“A great prayer for life is urgently needed, a prayer which will rise up throughout the world. Through special initiatives and in daily prayer, may an impassioned plea rise to God, the Creator and lover of life, from every Christian community, from every group and association, from every family and from the heart of every believer.”
That plea, issued by Blessed Pope John Paul II in his encyclical letter “Evangelium Vitae,” (The Gospel of Life), has been taken up by the University of Notre Dame Alumni Association, which is sponsoring a month-long campaign of prayer for the protection of all human life from conception to natural death.
In observance of Respect Life Month, a 40-year-old annual tradition established by the Catholic bishops of the United States, Notre Dame’s “prayLIFE” campaign invites the University’s alumni, students, faculty, staff, parents and friends to reserve one hour during October in prayer for the unborn and their expectant mothers, the aged and the dying.
By visiting the campaign web site, participants may obtain access to a “prayer calendar” from which to select a date and time for an hour of prayer. The calendar displays the first name and state or country of each participant, and the hour of prayer chosen. According to Dolly Duffy, executive director of the Notre Dame Alumni Association, the campaign hopes to culminate in 744 unbroken hours of prayer for human life.
“The prayLIFE initiative is a way for our alumni to join together across the world and show support and thanks for the most important gift we have: life,” Duffy said. “This represents an important step for the Alumni Association in continuing our commitment to Catholic values and joining with all of our alumni, parents, and friends in the effort to promote the dignity of every individual.”