This was our church’s adopted day at the 40 Days for Life-Dallas prayer vigil. We started the day at 6 am with seven prayer volunteers, several from the Knights of Columbus. The area is well-lit, but there is always a darkness around Planned Parenthood. One volunteer told me he could feel the evil. But where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more. We began our task of covering this place of death with prayer, imploring the Blessed Mother to intercede for all her children.
Around 7:15 am, the security guard for Planned Parenthood showed up. The abortion center is usually closed on Mondays, so his appearance was not a good sign. Sure enough, clients began arriving. We had a Sidewalk Counselor with us, along with prayer support of five to ten people throughout the day.
Two Knights ran a shuttle in tandem from our parish, starting at 8am. One of them, Chris, has provided this service for several years. When the Council’s pro-life director had first mentioned needing prayer volunteers for 40 Days for Life, Chris knew he wanted to be involved, but standing in prayer was not something he could do. “I asked God how I could be of service,” he said, “and it came to me that I could drive people who otherwise couldn’t get there so they could pray.” He takes a day off from work and all day long, he brings people to and from the vigil.
On her way out from one of the medical offices next door to the abortion center, a woman stopped a prayer volunteer to ask, “Does Planned Parenthood really perform abortions?” Her question was yet another confirmation that we have to be present outside the abortion center to witness to the truth, not just for 40 days but every day they are open.
Our priest came to join us in an hour of prayer, bringing his father with him. His dad, in his nineties, insisted on being there, too. Having clergy is a powerful witness, not just to the clients and workers, but to the volunteers as well. The people gain heart when the shepherds show up.
Throughout the day, volunteers came and went. Two construction workers with a job about 5 miles away dropped by to pray before heading home. And the shuttle car brought their last group and waited until 6 pm.
A day of prayer and penance, asking the Lord to heal our land and His people. Please join us as we close out the prayer vigil tonight with a celebration at St. Elizabeth of Hungary. More details at www.prolifedallas.org/40days