40 Days for Life kicks off in Madison Print
Around the Diocese
Written by Kevin Wondrash, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Oct. 03, 2019 -- 12:00 AM

MADISON -- Prayer and fasting. Those are the two things that will end abortion, said Andrew Petersen

“I’m convinced this is why 40 Days for Life has successfully shut down 104 abortion centers to date,” said Petersen, the development director for Pro-Life Wisconsin.

He spoke at the 40 Days for Life Kickoff Event on September 23 at Holy Name Heights in Madison.

40 Days for Life is a peaceful, highly-focused, non-denominational initiative that focuses on 40 days of prayer and fasting, peaceful vigil at abortion facilities, and grassroots educational outreach.

There are more than 500 40 Days for Life efforts going on across the country and world to end abortion.

This year’s vigil in Madison started on September 25, and runs through Sunday, Nov. 3.

The great cause of life

Gwen Finnegan from Vigil for Life, which coordinates the Madison 40 Days for Life efforts, welcomed everyone and introduced Bishop Donald J. Hying of Madison, who led an opening prayer, and said a few words on pro-life efforts.

He said that he has been involved with them since he was a “very young priest”.

“We are called to stand up and disrupt the industry of death,” Bishop Hying said, and remarked that Christ came to earth to “disrupt the power of death, to destroy death, itself, through his life-giving death on the Cross, and the power of his Resurrection.”

He added that, “There has never been a more efficacious, important, and significant moment than right now for dedicated Christians and believers to stand up for the great cause of life.”

Prayer and fasting

Petersen spoke on the value of prayer and fasting in bringing an end to abortion.

“Why do we pray?” he asked. “What does prayer do?”

“The greater the request, the more prayer it takes,” Petersen said.

He added prayer draws us closer to God, and it allows us to be a participant in the plans for which God already knows the outcomes.

As to fasting, Petersen said, “it’s almost unheard of, today.”

He referenced the writings of St. Paul, saying “because God loves involving us in our own salvation, Christ has invited us to join him in participating in his suffering at Calvary.”

He added, “it lets God bring good out of evil for us.”

Participate in 40 Days for Life

40 Days for Life will feature a peaceful 40-day prayer vigil in the public right-of-way outside Planned Parenthood at 3706 Orin Rd., Madison.

For more information, visit: or contact Gwen Finnegan at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 608-393-8545.

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