Roe v. Wade 40 Years Later: Bishops Call for Nine Days of Prayer

WASHINGTON — The U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities urges Catholics nationwide to participate in Nine Days of Prayer, Penance and Pilgrimage, January 19-27, marking the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. The intentions for these nine days will be for healing and conversion, for elected officials who support abortion and for all people whose lives have been forever changed by an abortion.

“The bishops recognize that prayer is the foundation of all our efforts on behalf of human life,” said Tom Grenchik, executive director of the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). “These nine days of focused prayer and sacrifice are a great opportunity for people across the nation to unite their voices in prayer to God. Through this prayer campaign, I hope that many will be blessed with a new spirit of faith and encouragement in their pro-life efforts.”

Key events during the Nine Days are the National Prayer Vigil for Life, January 24-25 (, and the Rally and March for Life, January 25 (, all being held in Washington.

A youth video contest is open to middle and high school students, who are invited to submit a 30-60-second video that should be recorded while participating in activities surrounding the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Details of the contest are available at Also, young adults are encouraged to use their Facebook profile pictures to support the sanctity of life. Details are available at

USCCB will also feature guest bloggers the week of January 22 providing their personal pro-life testimonials at

Each day’s novena content includes an intercession, brief prayers and a reflection, daily suggestions for concrete acts of prayer, penance and charity, and a powerful abortion-related myth/reality fact. People can sign up to receive the novena daily by email by visiting, or by text message by texting “9days” to 99000. The novena will also be posted daily on “People of Life,” the USCCB Pro-Life Secretariat’s Facebook page, and tweeted from “USCCB” on Twitter.

Additional activities may be sponsored by local parishes and/or dioceses. Suggestions include a special Mass or holy hour with a Blessing of Pro-Life Pilgrims for those traveling to distant Masses, rallies, marches, and other events marking the Roe anniversary, a “40 Hours Devotion” or a Holy Hour for Life, including a “Prayer Service for Forgiveness and Healing,” and a closing “Holy Hour for Reparation and Healing.” Prayer resources and program models for these suggested activities are available at

News information provided courtesy of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

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