40 Days for Life to start September 23 Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Written by Kevin Wondrash, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Sep. 17, 2015 -- 12:00 AM

MADISON -- Beginning Wednesday, Sept. 23, the efforts to end abortion will be increasing in our area.

That day is the start of the 40 Days for Life vigil.

The annual campaign has a vision to access God’s power through prayer, fasting, and peaceful vigil to end abortion.

People in shifts are taking turns praying outside the Planned Parenthood clinic on Madison’s east side.

This is the ninth straight year the campaign is taking place in Madison. Similar campaigns are happening all over the country and the world.

More help needed

With more attention on Planned Parenthood recently, this year’s vigil has added importance.

“With the release of the videos exposing an even greater disrespect for the infinite value and the dignity of the human person from Planned Parenthood, people can no longer say that they do not know what this organization is about,” said Gwen Finnegan, local campaign coordinator for Vigil for Life, the organization that puts on 40 Days for Life in Madison.

“We must be doers not only hearers of the word. Pray for an end to abortion and take a public stand for life by joining our upcoming 40 Days for Life campaign,” she added.

Men are being asked to take a more active role in this year’s vigil.

The Sleep No More portion of the campaign asks men to be the protectors of life that they are called to be and to fill the over-night hours of 6 p.m. to 8 a.m.

The hope is for more men’s groups to get involved this year.

More parish groups are also being asked to step up and come out this year.

Finnegan said those dedicated hours are down so far compared to years past and more volunteers are urgently needed to fill the hours.

“We’d like to see the good men of the Diocese of Madison Knights of Columbus councils step up this year and be more involved with our upcoming 40 Days for Life campaign,” said Finnegan.

Also doing their part this year will be the Cistercian Nuns from the Valley of Our Lady Monastery near Prairie du Sac and the Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters.

Campaign kicks off

The campaign efforts will be kicked off three days before the vigil with a presentation from Vicki Thorn on Sunday, Sept. 20, at 2 p.m. at the Bishop O’Connor Center in Madison.

Thorn is the foundress of Project Rachel and the executive director of the National Office of Post-Abortion Reconciliation and Healing located in Milwaukee.

The challenge between now and the duration of the vigil is filling up the schedule.

All those who are planning to come out and pray are asked to sign up on the vigil schedule.

“All it takes,” said Finnegan,” is one quick phone call or one quick email” to her at 608-393-8545 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Sign-up and more information on 40 Days for Life is also available on the Vigil for Life website at

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