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8/26/2014 8:27:00 AM
Life campaign aims to be peaceful, prayerful, effective
Organizers want to build on successes in Portland
                                                                      Catholic Sentinel photo by Ed LangloisProtestors offer messages to motorists in 2009 during opening of new Planned Parenthood building in Northeast Portland.
                                                                      Catholic Sentinel photo by Ed Langlois
Protestors offer messages to motorists in 2009 during opening of new Planned Parenthood building in Northeast Portland.

On Sept. 24, the 40 Days for Life campaign returns to Portland with prayer, fasting, peaceful vigil-keeping and community outreach at churches and schools.

“We pray that these efforts will help mark the beginning of the end of abortion in Portland,” says Therese Ruesink, coordinator of the local campaign.

It’s part of a simultaneous pro-life mobilization across the U.S. and internationally.

“We know 40 Days for Life has made a difference in Portland,” Ruesink says. “Our volunteers have made extraordinary sacrifices to expose the abortion industry and to protect children and their mothers from abortion.”  

Ruesink says 30 mothers have decided against abortions during past vigils. One Portland Planned Parenthood employee left the industry, seeking support from a national group for former workers.

She says an entire family was baptized into the Catholic Church after they received help in a crisis outside a clinic.

The 40-day time frame is drawn from examples throughout Biblical history.

The campaign will feature a peaceful 40-day prayer vigil in the public right-of-way outside Planned Parenthood at 3727 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. All prayer vigil participants are asked to sign a statement of peace, pledging to conduct themselves in a Christ-like manner.

A Mass to mark the start of the vigil is set for 8 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 27, at St. Rose of Lima Church, 2727 NE 54th Ave. in Portland. Auxiliary Bishop Peter Smith will preside.

Following Mass, a rosary and chaplet of divine mercy with Father John Boyle is set for Planned Parenthood in on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Northeast Portland.

For information visit: 40daysforlife.com/local-campaigns/portland/ or contact Therese Ruesink at [email protected] or 503-997-1884.


Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, August 28, 2014
Article comment by: Dennis McCartin

The 40 Days for Life Campaign aims to be effective in the movement against abortion both in the U.S. and internationally. Recently, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that it takes an average of $245,000 to raise a child in the U.S. today. That does not include a college education. That also means a person would have to work for 13 years at a minimum wage of $9.10 an hour in order to support a child.

When women who are having an abortion are asked why they are doing so, three quarters of them say it is because they cannot afford to raise a child. Clearly, economic means is a major factor that impacts the abortion decision.

Pope Francis has made the push for economic justice a signature issue of his papacy. He has said: “Poverty in the world is a scandal. In a world where there is so much wealth, so many resources to feed everyone, it is unfathomable that there are so many hungry children, that there are so many children without an education, so many poor persons. Poverty today is a cry.” (Pope Francis, Meeting with Students of Jesuit Schools- 6/7/13)

Pope Francis has also said: "Every economic and political theory or action must set about providing each inhabitant of the planet with the minimum wherewithal to live in dignity and freedom, with the possibility of supporting a family, educating children, praising God and developing one's own human potential. This is the main thing in the absence of such a vision, all economic activity is meaningless."(Letter to Prime Minister David Cameron for the G8 Meeting, June 17-18,2013)

Prayer, fasting and demonstration can all have a positive effective on trying to reduce or eliminate abortion. Nevertheless, to be even more effective, the campaigns against abortion need to address one of its deepest root causes, poverty. It would bode well if the bishops and all Catholic anti-abortion advocates got behind Pope Francis’ leadership in this matter.

Dennis McCartin, Central Point

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