Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
May 24, 2010
Overnight 13-hour prayer vigil prayed for those considering abortion
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
EDMONTON - Like dozens of other faithful, Kathleen Gregg spent hours praying to God for life at St. Joseph's Basilica before joining the annual March for Life through the city centre May 13.
Gregg prayed from 11 p.m. on May 12 until 12:30 a.m. She came back to the basilica at 5 a.m. and prayed for another hour and a half. Then she went to St. Benedict Chapel for the 7:15 a.m. Mass, prayed the Stations of the Cross, sang some prayers and then returned to the basilica for more prayers. She stayed for the 10:30 a.m. pro-life Mass with Archbishop Richard Smith and then she joined the six-km march from the Alberta Legislature to Churchill Square and back.
"To me, prayer is the only thing," Gregg said March 13. "I asked for the end of abortion and for people to respect the sanctity of life."
The overnight 13-hour prayer vigil was a new addition to the March for Life and, according to Sister Elisabeth Coulombe, chair of the Alberta March for Life Association, was a success.
Several dozen people dropped by the basilica to join in the prayers. "Last night I was here with the archbishop from 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. with all the youth," Coulombe said. "There were lots of people, at least 100. And the archbishop gave three talks and after each talk he had a witness."
The purpose of the vigil was to pray for the abortionists and for women who may be thinking of having an abortion, she said.
Prayer unites those who fight for life, giving them strength. "If we don't pray together we won't fight together," she said. "This a battle for life so we have to be involved. We are not allowed as Christians to be silent. We have to stand up for life."
Leading the vigil throughout the night were members of groups such as Couples for Christ, the Legion of Mary, the Catholic Women's League, the Knights of Columbus and the Children of Mary. Seminarians from St. Joseph Seminary also led people in prayer.
Gregg said she prayed for the Holy Spirit to come upon the abortionists and enlighten them so that they stop what they are doing. "And I prayed for the women who want to have an abortion that God's grace be upon them so that they change their minds."
Grey Nun Sister Rose-Anne Gauvin prayed for all the women in the world. "I prayed so that those who abort their children will repent," she said. "We prayed that women who have had abortions can forgive themselves so that they are able to help others."
Gauvin said prayer is effective because it changes people's hearts.
Knights of Columbus member Joseph Young from St. Charles Parish joined the vigil "because we want the evil of abortion to end. "We must respect life from conception to natural death."
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