A Pilgrimage for Life? There’s an App for That

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) have called for Catholics across the country to join in “a period of prayer, penance, and pilgrimage” from January 17-25—the days surrounding the 42nd anniversary of the Roe v. Wade, the infamous court decision that legalized abortion. This isn’t a pilgrimage where one literally sets one foot in front of the other, but rather a digital pilgrimage, accessed by an app for your mobile phone, emails, texts or downloads.

The USCCB explains that the ““9 Days for Life” novena encourages nationwide solidarity in prayer for daily intentions, including for couples experiencing infertility, those mourning the loss of a child through abortion, children in need of adoptive homes, and for an end to abortion and use of the death penalty.”

The novena not only focuses on an end to abortion, but also provides resources on other issues, including domestic violence, post-abortion healing, pornography addiction, and end-of-life matters. This digital pilgrimage is just one aspect of a the Respect Life Program of the USCCB, whose 2014-15 theme is “Each of Us is a Masterpiece of God’s Creation.” 9 Days for Life’s scope reminds participants that as Catholics we are called to uphold the dignity of all life, from conception to death.

Cardinal Seán O’Malley, who is the chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities, urges everyone to consider joining this nine-day novena: “Pope Francis reminds us constantly of the loving concern Christians have for all people at any stage of life who’ve been cast aside or forgotten by society. The 9 Days for Life novena offers a chance to join in prayer and solidarity with the unborn, victims of violence, those suffering from addiction, and those whose hearts ache to be part of a family.”

The USCCB has made it easy for anyone to participate. Both English and Spanish speakers can participate in one of four ways: subscriptions to daily content through email or text messages; the “9Days for Life” app; and downloadable print materials. Or, you can follow along through a Facebook event, accessed through www.facebook.com/peopleoflife and other social media using hashtags #9daysforlife and #9díasporlavida.

Want to sign up or share resources with others? Visit  www.9daysforlife.com and www.usccb.org/respectlife.

image: Miss.Monica.Elizabeth / Wikimedia Commons

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Caitlin Bootsma is the editor of Human Life International's Truth and Charity Forum. Mrs. Bootsma received a Licentiate in Catholic Social Communications at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome as well as a Master's of Systematic Theology from Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College. She lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband and two sons.

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