In years past, Cardinal Thomas Collins has joined the 40 Days for Life vigil in Toronto. Photo courtesy of Campaign Life Coalition

40 Days for Life seeks volunteers to ensure fall campaign is a go

  • August 11, 2013

TORONTO - Organizers of 40 Days for Life in Toronto are appealing for help so that the upcoming campaign doesn’t end up being cancelled like this past spring’s event.

Organizers from Campaign Life Coalition are appealing to the Christian community for volunteers to support the fall campaign that runs Sept. 25 to Nov. 3.

In this national campaign, peaceful vigils are held for 40 days in front of abortion clinics. A lack of volunteers doomed Toronto’s spring campaign.

“There are three parts to participating in the 40 Days for Life campaign,” said Campaign Life project manager Matthew Wojciechowski. “Through prayer, through fasting and through community outreach.”

From 8 a.m. until 8 p.m., the plan is to pray continuously across the street from the Women’s Care Clinic on Lawrence Avenue West. Volunteers are expected to dedicate one or more hours to prayer during the vigil. They are encouraged to pray for the end to abortion, the closure of abortion clinics, the conversion of doctors and staff and women who are in crisis pregnancies.

Though volunteers need to sign up for prayer slots, the restrictions on fasting are at their discretion.

“And community outreach involves going to the churches promoting this issue,” said Wojciechowski.

For the vigil, parishes can adopt a day where parishioners cover the entire 12 hours of prayer.

To organize an event of this scale, Campaign Life needs a committee, which can range in number of members. The Fall 2012 campaign committee had two students, but they were unable to repeat their commitment for the spring as one needed to pursue full-time studies and the other full-time work, said Wojciechowski.

“We did send out this kind of urgent appeal. We’re really hoping and praying more people will step forward and say, ‘This is something that I can do. I feel called to this.’ God is calling us to pray for the defenceless and hopefully people will respond to this call.”

Committees go out to parishes, give announcements and promote the event and make sure every day of the campaign runs smoothly.

Campaign Life alerts police that they are peacefully protesting for the 40 days and make sure that the vigil stays outside the protesters bubble zone around the clinic whereprotesters are legally prohibited from gathering.

“As Catholics, as Christians, I think we’re called to pray for the unborn. We’re called to pray for mothers, fathers, for families,” said Wojciechowski. “We hope to get a good turnout like we did in the past. We hope a lot of pastors will get their parishes involved, get their congregations involved... Sometimes we have a hundred (people show up).”

The 40 Days for Life campaign has occurred in Toronto since 2009 and this fall will be the eighth event. In addition to Toronto, 20 other Canadian cities have held campaigns.

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