40 Days for Life Invitation

October 05, 2012

From Mary Schultz, Director of Residential Life

Dear Faculty & Staff,

I would like to invite you to participate in the 40 Days for Life Nashville campaign which begins next Wednesday, September 26th at The Women’s Center on Welshwood Ave and concludes on Sunday, November 4th. Concurrently this peaceful and prayerful movement will be taking place in 314 cities all over the United States, in seven Canadian provinces, England, Spain and for the first time ever—Uganda.

The three pillars of the 40 Days campaign is prayer, fasting, and witnessing. Prayer is powerful and many of us have seen the fruits of prayer in our own lives. Fasting is…difficult! Anyone who has tried to fast knows how hard this can be, especially when it is not during Lent! And then there is the witness aspect of this campaign… probably the hardest of all three but incredibly worthwhile and fruitful.

I am curious but I don’t want to commit to a certain time frame. What if I only come for 15 minutes?
Even if you only come for 15 minutes, it would be well worth it. Even if you just want to drive by and honk, we “prayerers” would appreciate that support as well!

I don’t want to drive there by myself.
I would be happy to arrange a carpool or a caravan of cars to the facility. It is located 15 minutes from here.

Quick directions: I-440 E to 65 S to Harding Place exit. Stay on Harding Place for 2miles until Nolensville Pike. Make a Left on Nolensville Pike-stay in Left lane. Drive about 500yds–see McDonalds, make next left onto Welshwood Ave. Abortion facility is at the top of the hill.

Isn’t praying at an abortion facility dangerous? Don’t people yell at you and make threats?
Ironically, praying outside of an abortion facility is an exceptionally peaceful experience. Everyone who gathers is truly there because they care about women, men, and the child. There may be an occasional person who drives by and yells something but they just keep driving. This happens very rarely.

But I am not Catholic. Don’t you say Catholic prayers the whole time?
Actually, the 40 Days for Life is an ecumenical prayer movement. Anyone is welcome to pray with us. Last year, I prayed with a Muslim woman who happened to be driving by and wanted to know what we were doing. She stayed for about 15 minutes but I was completely blown away by that experience. We have a prayer book available to us which we can use or not use- this has hymns, Scriptural readings and psalms. If you would like to come and just read the Bible, that is perfectly fine. Obviously, you can just come and observe as well.

Time: 3:00–5:00pm on Thursdays during the 40 Days (Sept 26–Nov 4)
We have permission to leave work on Thursdays at 3pm to participate in this prayer vigil.

Before I close I would like to share with you a story that occurred Mother’s Day weekend this year at this particular Women’s Center:

It was probably about 7:30am on Saturday morning and many high school students from Father Ryan and JPII were out there praying and witnessing for life. I distinctly remember watching two young women walk in and then about 15 minutes later, they walked out of the clinic and back towards their car. We hoped that they had changed their minds but were uncertain. As they were walking towards the car, all of a sudden, the high school students felt compelled to say something encouraging because they said in unison ,“We are praying for you!” This young woman stopped suddenly, turned and faced the students, waved, and gave them the biggest and most beautiful smile.

Our loving and peaceful presence makes a difference and God only knows the whole story. Life is a gift from God and we often need to be reminded how amazing it is that we are alive and have this gift to enjoy.

In light of all that is going in this crazy and beautiful world of ours, won’t you join us this year?