40 Days for Life wraps up

Catholics in the Diocese of Charleston renewed their commitment to the pro-life cause by taking part in the national 40 Days for Life campaign Sept. 28 to Nov. 6.

The campaign started in 2007, and events are now held annually in 387 U.S. cities and around the world. This year the dates coincided with October’s celebration of Respect Life month.

In South Carolina, regular prayer vigils were held during the 40 days outside abortion clinics in Columbia, Charleston and Greenville.

Kathy Schmugge, assistant director of the diocesan Office of Family Life, said organizers documented two babies saved during the prayer vigils. Couples in Charleston and Greenville told participants they had changed their mind about abortion after witnessing the vigils.

Hundreds of people turned out statewide to hold pro-life signs along roads and highways during the annual Life Chain on Oct. 3.

The Rosaries for Life campaign also took place during the 40 days. Each year the faithful are asked to pray the rosary for an end to abortion and the promotion of the pro-life message, write down the number of times they pray, and give the final count to their parish. At press time, final numbers for the campaign weren’t tallied. In 2010, parishes reported more than 44,000 rosaries for life.

Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone spoke to campaign leaders at a Charleston prayer rally on Nov. 5. He told the group that their faith and continued dedication to the pro-life cause are instruments that will help God’s grace flourish on earth and promote the pro-life message.

The event’s closing celebration was held Nov. 19 at St. Mary Church in Greenville, featuring guest speaker Alveda King, an author, pro-life activist, and niece of the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.