40 Days for Life campaign kicks off in Canada

By 
  • September 25, 2009
{mosimage}OTTAWA - The 40 Days for Life campaign of prayer, fasting and vigils outside abortion facilities kicked off in cities across the country on the eve of the Sept. 23 start to the campaign.

The movement, which originated in the United States, is gaining momentum and has spread to five provinces, with eight sites in seven cities: Fredericton, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Kitchener, Ont., Winnipeg and two sites in Toronto.

Ottawa kicked off its third 40 Days for Life with a rally on Parliament Hill Sept. 22. Evangelical Fellowship of Canada vice president Don Hutchinson told the predominantly Catholic crowd of about 150-200 Canada is waiting for Parliament to act to protect the unborn.

“There is no right to abortion in Canada,” he said. “There is simply an absence of law.”

Companions of the Cross Father Christian Riesbeck said the closing prayer before a candlelight procession headed to the nearby Morgentaler clinic for a time of silent prayer, launching the 24-hour vigil that will last until Nov. 1.

Toronto, which ran its first 40 Days campaign outside the Women’s Care Clinic during Lent, is back at the same Lawrence Avenue location for a 24-hour vigil and has added a second location, the Cabbagetown Women’s Clinic, that will be covered from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Toronto co-ordinator Nicole Campbell has also organized a vigil outside the Freeport Hospital in Kitchener.

Montreal ran its first 40 Days campaign during Lent last spring. The Montreal group kicked off its vigil Sept. 23 with testimonies from Silent No More, a group that shares personal experiences of abortion. Vigil participants will stand outside the Morgentaler clinic from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Winnipeg kicked off its second vigil on Sunday Sept. 20 with a Mass, followed by a presentation on the 40 Days campaign. There will be a vigil outside the Women’s Hospital that is part of the Health Sciences Centre.

Halifax co-ordinator Julie Culshaw said about 85 people have signed up so far to take part in the city’s second vigil outside Victoria General Hospital.

Fredericton’s first 40 Days For Life vigil is outside the Morgentaler clinic.

Information for each city can be found at www.40daysforlife.com.

About 212 communities across North America are running campaigns, up from 177 last year. The movement, which began in 2007, has also spread to Northern Ireland, Australia and Denmark.

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