||Bishop Robert C. Morlino prays the Rosary October 18 with more than 80 people gathered outside the Planned Parenthood Clinic in Madison during a candlelight midpoint 40 Days for Life rally. (Catholic Herald photo/Kat Wagner) To view or purchase photos from this event go to: madisoncatholicherald.smugmug.com
MADISON -- In the twilight hours of October 18, more than 80 people gathered on the sidewalks and terrace grass outside the Planned Parenthood Clinic on Madison’s east side to pray at a candlelight midpoint rally for the 40 Days for Life Vigil.
The vigil, which extends from September 28 to November 6 this year, has seen several fruits from the pro-life presence outside the clinic where abortions are routinely performed, but has also been a tough year for volunteers despite the chilly but mostly pleasant weather.
From the first weekend of the 40-day vigil, the two-person minimum has been difficult to accomplish and sometimes the schedule is filled on a day-to-day basis. On the night of the candlelight rally, three hours in the small hours of the following morning were yet to be taken.
Need to stay motivated
Bishop Robert C. Morlino, in a brief talk he gave before leading those gathered at the candlelight rally in a Rosary, encouraged the campaign’s volunteers to continue to make their presence known in prayer.
“You are a powerful witness, an example of the New Evangelization that our Holy Father is so promotive of,” he said. “You do a very good thing being here.
“In terms of being motivated, being encouraged, we just have to see the way things are going in this world and we are very motivated by it,” the bishop said.
Protecting our freedom
From economic to social troubles, from overspending on an individual to a national level, “our world is in great danger because people are looking for happiness in material things,” he said. Our religious freedom in this country is being eroded, as well, and as Catholics we must stand against it.
“We want to join with all of the bishops in the United States to beg the president to have a change of heart and to beg the Lord to give Obama the grace to have a change of heart and be a good president and a good leader,” Bishop Morlino said after speaking of Archbishop Timothy Dolan’s recent letter to the president. “We have to pray the Lord gives him the graces he needs and we need to govern with justice.”
Our motivation for standing for our religious freedom is to ensure that we have the freedom to do what we need to gain us eternal life, the bishop said. “We don’t respond to that by hating anybody, but by praying that they have a change of heart.”
Continuing the vigil
The 40 Days for Life Vigil continues through Sunday, Nov. 6. Those who have not yet become involved are encouraged to take an hour to pray outside the clinic in solidarity with others who believe in the pro-life message, with the goal to change hearts and minds on the question of abortion through peaceful witness. More information on the vigil and a sign-up calendar is available on the Web site www.vigilforlife.org