Hawaii Catholic Herald
Island parishes participated in the fall 40 Days for Life, a national community-based prolife campaign which ran from Sept. 27 to Nov. 5, with prayer, recitation of the rosary, holding of signs outside their churches and other activities. Another campaign is scheduled for the spring.
On Kauai, parishioners read the 40 Days for Life reflections and recited the “Rosary for Life” before Masses. After Mass they stood out in front of their churches and held signs that read “Pray to Stop Abortion.”
At St. Catherine Church, Kapaa, parishioners displayed a toy crib with a baby doll in it with a candle in front of a statue of the Blessed Mother. The display at Immaculate Conception Church in Lihue included models of the fetus from 10 weeks to birth.
At Holy Cross Church in Kalaheo, 84 parishioners participated in a morning rosary and read the 40 Days for Life prayers and reflections.
Parishioners at St. Theresa Parish, Kekaha, displayed Pray to Stop Abortion signs, prayed the Rosary for Life and read the 40 Days for Life devotionals.
At St. Raphael Parish in Koloa, parishioners displayed Pray to Stop Abortion signs and read the 40 Days for Life reflections at Mass.
On Molokai, St. Damien Parish embraced the 40 Days as a “prayer-filled, educational and healing opportunity,” according to Molokai’s respect life coordinator Janeel Hew.
There the observance of the campaign serendipitously corresponded with a parish interfaith healing and deliverance service and the diocesan Molokai Faith Formation Conference.
Along with prayers at Mass and in the bulletin, the Molokai Catholic Community reached out to others through a special Facebook group, use of the parish mobile phone app, email, and other social media outlets, which generated a following and prayer community of more than 500 participants.
At the Faith Formation Conference on Nov. 4, attendees stopped by the Respect Life information table for information, prayer and brochures. The conference itself offered courses on morality, the sacrament of anointing of the sick and healing, talking to teens about tough topics, adult confirmation, spirituality, the mysteries of Jesus Christ and the recruitment of ministry volunteers.
The conference ended with a 40 Days for Life vigil with praise and worship music filled with the hope and joy of true evangelization.
“We don’t win many converts with condemnation and anger,” said Hew. “We do win people to Christ with love and welcome.”
At St. Philomena Parish in Honolulu’s Salt Lake district, 46 parishioners signed up for the 12 hour, 7 a.m.-7 p.m., prayer vigils on the Fridays of the 40 Days campaign.
Six prayed outside the Planned Parenthood clinic in Honolulu, two on the church corner sidewalk with a respect life banner and signs, some in church, six homebound parishioners in their homes, and others simply prayed in place.
Prayer volunteers were recruited with weekly announcements and reminded by email and phone. This year’s number of participants, organized by Jean Leong, was 10 times that of previous years.