February 24, 2017
Organizers of the upcoming 40 Days for Life prayer vigil for the end of legalized abortion are looking for people willing to make a peaceful, prayerful public witness of their faith and their belief in the sanctity of life.
“We just need the folks to come and pray with us,” said Jason Davis, one of the organizers of 40 Days for Life who are coordinating the prayer vigil outside the Planned Parenthood Clinic on Dr. D.B. Todd Jr. Boulevard in Nashville from Ash Wednesday, March 1, through Sunday, April 9.
“People driving by when they see people outside … praying together, it reminds them of something higher than themselves,” said Davis. “Standing there together is something beautiful for people to see.”
The campaign will be launched with a Mass at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28, at the Church of the Assumption in Germantown, followed by a “Fat Tuesday” rally across the street in the parish’s Buddeke House. The rally will feature music, food, personal testimonies and sign-up sheets for those who want to join the campaign.
“It’s a way to get people fired up … about this campaign kicking off the next day,” Davis said. The rally will feature testimony from people involved in the respect for life movement. “People come to the pro-life movement for many different reasons. There will be time there for people to share stories,” he said, “to start the campaign with a spark.”
The prayer vigil outside the Planned Parenthood clinic will be from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day from March 1 through April 9. “The primary way people can contribute is to volunteer for an hour or two-hour slot,” said Davis, who is the database manager in the Office of Advancement at Aquinas College and a parishioner at Immaculate Conception Church in Clarksville.
People can sign up at the rally or at the organization’s website: https://40daysforlife.com/local-campaigns/Nashville.
For those a little jittery about praying outside an abortion clinic, Davis wants to reassure them. People typically stand on the sidewalk praying the rosary, Davis said, and they are not encouraged to confront anyone working or going into or out of the clinic. Only trained sidewalk counselors do that, he added.
Davis said he has heard praying at the clinic described as similar to a married person wearing a wedding ring as a sign of their marriage. “I don’t think it’s a far stretch to equate the desire to publically pray with this wedding ring image,” Davis said. “To be certain, we need many persons praying at their home, at work, on their commute, etc., … but we also need those folks who will wear that ‘wedding ring’ and publically pray on site at Planned Parenthood so that others might see our good will, which we hope will reflect the One, Himself, who gave it to us in the first place.”
For those who can’t come to the clinic, Davis said, “we’re encouraging people to pray every day for the movement. And for people who have this special calling to fast or offer whatever penance they’re doing for Lent for this campaign.”
There also is a Facebook page for 40 Days for Life Nashville.
The 40 Days for Life campaign began in 2004 in Bryan/College Station, Texas, and quickly spread around the country and ultimately the world. Since the first coordinated national campaign in 2007, 40 Days for Life participants report 12,668 lives saved from abortion, according to the organization’s website.