This October, faithful from throughout the Diocese will join with their brethren around the world once again to offer public, yet peaceful, witness for the value of life from conception to natural death.

“40 Days for Life” is an internationally coordinated campaign which aims to end abortion by methods of peaceful protest - prayer, fasting, community outreach and an all-day vigil in front of abortion businesses. Beginning Sept. 22 and continuing throughout the month of October, Respect Life Month, 40 Days for Life anticipates the participation of volunteers in more than 1,000 cities and towns in 63 countries.

"With the changing abortion landscape, as well as things happening legislatively in the states and nationally in the Supreme Court, there has never been a greater time for this coordinated pro-life movement in our nation," said Shawn Carney, president and CEO of the Texas-based organization founded in 2007. The organization’s website claims the campaign has saved 19,322 lives; convinced 222 abortion workers to leave their jobs, and responsible for the closure of 114 abortion centers.

Rachel Hendricks, diocesan coordinator for Respect Life Ministries, cited the value of the 40 Days for Life campaign in informing faithful and supporting life-sustaining practices.

“We live in a dark time where death is, at times, viewed to be an acceptable option when dealing with difficulty and suffering,” said Hendricks. “40 Days for Life reminds us that, as a people of life, we are called to recognize that every human life is sacred and has inestimable dignity, particularly the most vulnerable among us - unborn children.” 

Hendricks continued, “40 Days for Life calls us to pray and fast for an end to abortion and to give public witness to our belief that all life is sacred and worthy of protection. Those who participate in 40 Days for Life seek to convert hearts and minds from the culture of death that preaches death and ‘choice’, to a culture of life which helps us foster communities of love, respect and service to those in need.”

The 40 Days for Life campaign volunteers will be visible at two local abortion clinics.


A group of faithful plan to protest outside Monmouth County’s Planned Parenthood office, 69 Newman Springs Road, Shrewsbury. Protest hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at will. For further information, or to sign up for prayer times, see 40DaysforLife.com/shrewsbury, or email Diana Bischoff at Monmouth4life@hotmail.com.

The Cherry Hill Women’s Center, 502 Kings Highway North, Cherry Hill, is the site of a faith-based, peaceful demonstration from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For further information, or to sign up for prayer times, see 40DaysforLife.com/cherryhill or contact Claire Howson at 856-313-9861 or claire@helpersnj.org.

Hendricks stressed that the 40 Days for Life campaign was not political, but instead prayer based.

“40 Days for Life is not focused on changing laws or engaging in debate about life issues, but rather, this peaceful campaign brings us back to our calling as baptized Catholics to offer the message of God’s grace, mercy and forgiveness,” she said.