In the evening hours of Thursday October 14th, about 50 committed Pro-lifers were graced with an uplifting 40 Days for Life Mid-point rally at Ground Zero. Hymns and music were provided by David MacDonald, Kirsten Hardy and the sisters from the Queenship of Mary community. There were inspiring talks given by Ruth Lobo (President of Carleton Lifeline), Doris Gagnon (head of Sidewalk Counseling), and by Fr. Matt Wertin (a strong Pro-life priest from Colorado studying Canon Law at St. Paul’s University).
See pictures of the rally http://www.basilica.org/pdf/Pictures.pdf
Below is a summary of this exceptional rally.
Opening and Closing Remarks by Paul Lauzon and Wanda Hartlin
- We’re having a great 40 Days Campaign, with over 20 days covered by various Parish or Church groups. The attendance at the Ground Zero Vigil site is phenomenal: We had as many as 12 people across from the abortion mill at one time. What a powerful prayer witness in favour of the sanctity of life. Many thanks to all those who took part, as well as those individuals and Church groups who have registered to take part in this Vigil.
- Tomorrow (Friday October 15th ) , we are expecting some students and parents from Wayside Academy in Peterborough to travel 3-4 hours by bus to be with us at Ground Zero for about 6 to 7 hours. What an extraordinary example of dedication to the Pro-life cause, and to 40 Days for Life.
- We still have some holes to be filled in the remainder of the Campaign. We encourage everyone to check the Vigil calendar and pray about registering for one of those empty slots. We’re doing this for those who cannot speak for themselves: the unborn entering the doors at 65 Bank. Do it for them and their mothers! Let’s end this Campaign with a Bang!!
- There are changes to the Closing Rally. Instead of starting at 7:00 PM at Ground Zero for a Closing Rally, we will start at 6:00 PM on Sunday October 31st. After the Rally, there will be a candlelight procession from Ground Zero to Saint Patrick’s Basilica for a Vespers Service. We found out officially on October 15th that this Service will be presided over by Archbishop Terrence Prendergast. The Archbishop expressed an interest in taking part in this 40 Days for Life campaign, and we are blessed that he is willing to take time from his busy schedule to help us end this campaign on a deeply spiritual note.
Ruth Lobo is a fourth-year Human Rights student at Carleton University and President of Carleton Lifeline. The arrest of four students from the Carleton Lifeline for attempting to set up a pro-life exhibit on a campus intersection has sparked considerable media attention. Ruth is often the centre of this attention, and she explained that the arrest of her and three other students for attempting an anti-abortion exhibit is an attack of freedom of expression. She started off her talk by thanking everyone for their prayers for the students arrested.
On the Carleton Lifeline Website http://carletonlifeline.wordpress.com/ , you can find links to the many articles dealing with this unjust arrest. The students were fines #130 each for “engaging in activity prohibited on the premises”. They are contesting these charges and have a lawyer who is defending them pro-bono. On the CALL TO ACTION: http://carletonlifeline.wordpress.com/ How can I get involved portion of their Website, you have directions on how you can donate and stand in solidarity with these outstanding students.
2nd Talk – Doris Gagnon
Doris Gagnon, head of Sidewalk Counseling with the 40 Days Campaign, counsels women against abortion as they enter the abortuary. In her talk, she describes her remarkable experience at Ground Zero with women as they leave the abortion mill….click http://www.basilica.org/pdf/Doris.pdf to read the text of her talk
Doris mentioned our dire need for more sidewalk counselors at Ground Zero. If you can help in this important ministry, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org
3rd Talk – Fr. Matthew Wertin
Fr. Matthew Wertin, a priest from Colorado, has come to Ottawa to study Canon Law at St. Paul’s University. However, instead of restricting himself to his studies, he has also become involved with local Pro-life activities.
Fr. Matt was an understudy of Fr. Frank Pavone (Priests for Life), and is an experienced sidewalk counselor. He thus has a keen understanding of the importance of the 40 Days for Life Campaign, and the need to get involved. In the short time he has been in Ottawa, he has a remarkable grasp of the Pro-life struggles facing our city, and its role in the Canadian scene.
Click http://www.basilica.org/pdf/FrMatt.pdf to read the text of Fr. Matt’s very inspiring talk.