October is Respect Life month, and the faithful of the Diocese of Orlando are encouraged to participate in the many peaceful and prayerful activities and gatherings focused on respecting life throughout the entire month. Here is a look at some of the events happening in the diocese.
Helper’s Mass and Rosary Procession
The diocese will begin its Respect Life activities on Oct. 4 with a Helper’s Mass and Rosary Procession at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, 1603 Thacker Ave., Kissimmee. The celebration of Mass begins at 9 a.m., followed by a prayerful witness being held in front of the nearby Planned Parenthood, 610 Oak Commons Blvd. Kissimmee.
Deborah Shearer, director of the Diocese of Orlando Office of Advocacy and Justice, said the Helper’s Mass and rosary procession is a national ministry where participants maintain a loving, prayerful presence at abortion clinics. Participants are asked not to bring signs.
“These processions are always a prayerful and peaceful presence that attempts to touch the hearts and minds of all those involved and to be a witness for life and healing to those who are in most need of both,” Shearer said. “We pray for the protection of the innocent unborn, healing for the mothers and fathers, and for the conversion of staff and doctors.”
In recognition of Respect Life Sunday on Oct. 5, several parishes have organized Life Chain prayer services. Held nationwide and in Canada, Life Chain is a peaceful and prayerful public witness of pro-life individuals who stand in public view for 90 minutes praying for an end to abortion. It is a visual statement of solidarity by the Christian community that abortion kills children and that the Church supports the sanctity of human life from the moment of conception until natural death. For a listing of participating communities within the diocese, visit lifechain.net.
40 Days for Life
Other parishes are participating in the national 40 Days for Life campaign, a focused, 40-day, non-stop, round-the-clock prayer vigil outside a single Planned Parenthood center or other abortion facility. The mission of the campaign is to bring together the body of Christ in a spirit of unity of prayer, fasting, and peaceful activism, with the purpose of repentance, to seek God’s favor to turn hearts and minds from a culture of death to a culture of life, thus bringing an end to abortion. To learn more or to find a participating parish, visit http://40daysforlife.com/.
Respect Life Conference
On Oct. 24-25, the Diocese of St. Petersburg is hosting the state of Florida’s Respect Life Conference at Bethany Center, 5121 Pheasant Woods Drive, Lutz. The two-day event features the celebration of Mass and several speakers addressing an array of topics on the dignity of life. For more information, contact Sabrina Burton Schultz, Diocese of St. Petersburg, at email@example.com or 727-344-1611.