40 days for Life is an International prayer project,, running from 23rd September through to 1 November. Praying for the end of abortion and those involved in abortion across sixteen countries and involving multiple cities . 40 days for Life involves prayer, fasting and community awareness. In 2015 we will be praying outside Christchurch hospital across those dates. Our peaceful prayer vigil will be for 12 hours a day for the 40 days and will include prayer, fasting and community awareness.
Can you spare an hour to join us to pray for this important cause?
The Christchurch project is being organised by the John Paul II Centre for Life. For more information or to find out how to register please email email@example.com or see the 40 Days for Life Christchurch Facebook page.
“Daniel Côté Davis is the Campaign Director Christchurch. Daniel is keeping participants and the wider community informed by writing a short summary each day as presented below. He writes..
When God’s people gather in His love to Reveal the Heart of the Father for the suffering, the vulnerable and those in need of hope, Heaven showers blessings upon this prayer from the community and for the community. Each daily update is a fruit of prayer. The prayer of a community gathered in the heart of Jesus, to bring his love, hope and healing to situations of crisis before and after abortion. By reaching out with the heart of Jesus to those in need, a pathway of humility and mercy opens up Grace for the whole community. These reflections are sign of the Holy Spirits presence in our local community and a sign of hope for the end of abortion, not only here in Christchurch but in the whole world. For “with God nothing is impossible” (Luke 1:37)” –
The Gospel of life is at the heart of Jesus’ message. Lovingly received day after day by the Church, it is to be preached with dauntless fidelity as “good news” to the people of every age and culture. – John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae
What a day, such graces have poured out on this City and for the whole world!
Two stories from the peaceful vigil show the Lord is already at work. One engraced conversation touched the heart of a lady who shared her experience of caring for her husband who suffered from a grievous illness – she was touched by the vigil to find hope in that experience and hopefully to find a love again for all human life – including the preborn.
Let’s pray for her that she finds strength from this encounter to reconsider her stance on abortion for those with disabilities and genetic conditions.
Another young student nurse, enquired and then joined the vigil – even taking a photograph of everyone who was there, which included a mother and child and all the other prayers who were bringing a visible presence of peace.
Let’s pray that many more come and find in our vigil, a place of consolation, love, truth and hope.
Thanks so much for all those who turned up to the kick off event. It was excellent. If you missed it here is some of the info you missed.
Location – Directly across the road from main entrance to the hospital. Not too close to the corner as we can not be a distraction to drives. Either stand up against the fence or on the other side of the fence as we do not want to block the foot path.
There will be a sign with 40 days on it plus a plastic box with prayer books, contact info, 40 days card, pregnancy centre information and other fliers.
The prayer books got wet today but they will be put into clear files over the next few days.
but it would be great if you could get someone to do it for you.
When he presents the heart of his redemptive mission, Jesus says: “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (Jn 10:10). In truth, he is referring to that “new” and “eternal” life which consists in communion with the Father, to which every person is freely called in the Son by the power of the Sanctifying Spirit. It is precisely in this “life” that all the aspects and stages of human life achieve their full significance. – John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae Greetings!
God bless you!
Day two saw some beautiful moments at the vigil.
A lady from “Assembly of God” in Cashmere was inspired to learn more about our message and two passersby stopped to join and pray.
When one group from Rangiora begun their spot the sun burst out for an instant in a ray of light – a little pocket of Hope in the City. It was the first sunshine of another grey-skied day.
One lady stopped on her bicycle and shouted “what about helping people in poverty?” to which the group explained how the John Paul II Centre helps all those who come through their doors, including those who another child would be a financial burden. The prayer continued and the lady moved off on her bike with food for thought.
In the afternoon St Francis Parish had a great turnout and the chain of prayer continued in intercession for the unborn until the evening, for those wounded by abortion and for healing in the City.
Please continue to pray for the schoolgirl in a crisis pregnancy in New Plymouth, no update on that situation yet. Let’s pray that the Lord brings Hope into a situation of despair.
The Church knows that this Gospel of life, which she has received from her Lord, has a profound and persuasive echo in the heart of every person-believer and non-believer alike-because it marvellously fulfils all the heart’s expectations while infinitely surpassing them. Even in the midst of difficulties and uncertainties, every person sincerely open to truth and goodness can, by the light of reason and the hidden action of grace, come to recognize in the natural law written in the heart (cf. Rom 2:14-15) the sacred value of human life from its very beginning until its end, and can affirm the right of every human being to have this primary good respected to the highest degree. Upon the recognition of this right, every human community and the political community itself are founded. – John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae
It was another grey Spring day at the vigil, but prayers poured from the heart and continued to be raised at the vigil site – to send light into a place of darkness. Next to the cherry blossom trees, our vigil site continues to be a place of Grace in the city.
A Christian doctor bought muffins to vigil goers early this morning, making a great reward for a young boy who led prayers in one of the morning groups in a day that saw many different groups come and pray for Life.
What greater cause is there to defend? Life is the first and fundamental right, upon which all others can be derived.
One lady pushing her child walked passed saying “I don’t agree with abortion but…” she never finished her comment and moved on. No one was arguing, but the little vigil is a simple witness to all that life is precious and we are here to help with kindness and care, all who need it.
In the afternoon a group of eight prayed all the mysteries of the Rosary, with prayers ascending to Heaven. A young woman came past on a bicycle, stopped, looked at the banner and gave some words of encouragement.
Here are some comments from another vigil goer about day 2 – published a day later:
“I forgot to tell you that when we were there yesterday we got nothing but positive encouragement. A driver from the purple line slowed down gave us a friendly beep and the thumbs up. Two other cars did the same thing as they came around the corner. And then two runners came by and smiled at us and said “We totally agree – good on you!”
Every individual, precisely by reason of the mystery of the Word of God who was made flesh (cf. Jn 1:14), is entrusted to the maternal care of the Church. Therefore every threat to human dignity and life must necessarily be felt in the Church’s very heart; it cannot but affect her at the core of her faith in the Redemptive Incarnation of the Son of God, and engage her in her mission of proclaiming the Gospel of life in all the world and to every creature (cf. Mk 16:15).
Greetings in Christ!
Today more sunlight at the vigil and many good conversations too! Don’t forget that daylight saving kicks in tomorrow, so that will affect you if you are coming in early tomorrow.
We’ve been getting good little comments here and there, and many of you are reporting car honking too, although these little things might seems like drops in the ocean, they are all signs of light in our community and the more we bring our prayers into places of darkness, the more that darkness will be dispelled and all things can be revealed for what they really are.
More then ever we need light on this issue of pain in our community – we need to be loving signs of our Father of Light in Heaven for those in pain and in crisis, let’s take the hope from our vigil back into our daily lives and see how God wants to use us to bring healing and mercy to others.
Let’s continue to pray for the intention of a young schoolgirl in New Plymouth that was brought to our attention by Ken Orr. Let’s pray for love to win through in this situation. Come Lord Jesus +
An encouraging conversation with a group of longboarders this afternoon, was an assuring sign that our presence is being felt. Although they left not in full agreement, it was a chance to witness to Christ and his love on behalf of the unborn and in support of their mothers and families.
A conversation from a cyclist, gives the title to today’s day review. The cyclist stopped for a chat, he wanted to tell us that it was compassion we needed most, an increase of humanity. He was encouraged about how our vigil was reaching out and to the local community.
By demonstrating our care and concern through a loving prayer, we have the chance to reach out and connect. God can use these moments of connection for great purposes. Let’s continue to pray He does so.
For those who are finding the weather tad chilly, help yourself to the japanese heat-pads in the box, if you pop those on they should do the trick to keep you nice and warm! Remember to throw away after use, please don’t put back in the box!
Choices once unanimously considered criminal and rejected by the common moral sense are gradually becoming socially acceptable. Even certain sectors of the medical profession, which by its calling is directed to the defence and care of human life, are increasingly willing to carry out these acts against the person. In this way the very nature of the medical profession is distorted and contradicted, and the dignity of those who practise it is degraded. In such a cultural and legislative situation, the serious demographic, social and family problems which weigh upon many of the world’s peoples and which require responsible and effective attention from national and international bodies, are left open to false and deceptive solutions, opposed to the truth and the good of persons and nations. – John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae
Greeting from the vigil for Life!
We are the people for Life!
Today was a day when prayers were raised in several new languages including Polish and Gaelic, it was a day of communion and was the Lord’s day when we celebrated the Resurrection and stood as ambassador’s of Hope in our local community.
Daylight saving kicked in and our earliest prayers assisted a homeless lady get to Church and have some food. It was a concrete sign of our desire to help women, whatever their story.
Two school boys were curious about the vigil and came up to ask what was going on, they had a genuine desire to listen and seemed touched and amazed of the scale of abortion in the local community. It was a chance to share with them the love of Jesus and to witness as a community.
It is always a joy to have babies and children at the vigil, they are witness to Life by their simple presence and a sign of God’s precious love for all humanity and His faithfulness to us, even if we are unfaithful.
One of our vigil-goers who prayed today explained how she saw our peaceful prayer as symbolic of the 40 weeks of pregnancy. This is a great way to reflect on how we consecrate the time at our vigil to God, and ask Him how he wants to end abortion in our land and across the whole world. When we give ourselves over to the Lord for an hour or more, He can use that time and the way it transforms us to work miracles.
It was beautiful to hear how she explained the symbolism of our 40 days. If we remember each day as being like a week, then spiritually we accompany a child to its birth in our faithfulness to the vigil.
This spiritual accompaniment has a precious beauty when we consider that for the children who lose their lives at the hospital during the week, we are with them in Love and give them a love even if they are rejected and forgotten. We can be Christ to them and their mothers, fathers and families. Let everyone who does not have Hope, see Hope in us and everyone who need Peace find Peace in us.
Just as a century ago it was the working classes which were oppressed in their fundamental rights, and the Church very courageously came to their defence by proclaiming the sacrosanct rights of the worker as a person, so now, when another category of persons is being oppressed in the fundamental right to life, the Church feels in duty bound to speak out with the same courage on behalf of those who have no voice. Hers is always the evangelical cry in defence of the world’s poor, those who are threatened and despised and whose human rights are violated – John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae
Amidst the cherry blossoms and under blue skies, the morning was a crisp one at the vigil. For the earliest prayers it was a chance to praise the Son of God and call His Victory and Light upon the hospital – to pray for all those within and to implore God’s Mercy on behalf of our city and the world.
A great Hope was shared as songs were sung led by a younger vigil attendee, at her first vigil. I share the song below, it was a beautiful moment to hear this song raised before the Lord from a young voice:
We’re Jesus people gathered here, we have been baptised.
We try to follow Jesus but we have realised
Sometimes we’re not quite as good as God would have us be.
Sometimes we just need to say “I think I’ve lost my way.”
And we’re ready for a change of heart,
And we’re looking for a brand new start,
And we’re making out a whole new plan
To change our lives, we know we can.
Turn back to God
Turn back to God
Turn back to God
It isn’t always easy to be the best we can,
But we are not alone here and we must understand.
God is always there for us, waiting for our cry.
All we have to say to God is “Come and change my life.”
We know we need to start again, we need a change of heart.
We’ve turned from You, forgotten You, we wandered from Your path.
Lead us out of darkness now, lead us on the way.
Fill us with Your Living Light,
Help us change today.
There has been continued cause for Hope through the vigil, as it unites the body of Christ beyond denominational differences to work for the common cause of Life – the precious life of every child of God.
It has been very encouraging to hear about prayer being given even for those who have shouted abuse. Jesus’ love is being made visible in our community.
In International news – answers to prayers – miracles of lives saved!…
… “Mondays are always good during 40 Days for Life. Monday is the day we update all the reports of babies spared from abortion during your 40 Days for Life vigils.
So let’s start the week with some good news! Thus far during this campaign, we have reports of … 41 babies saved … that we know of!”
Here’s one of those stories from Windsor, Ontario … On the first day of the campaign, a man approached one of the volunteers in Windsor and said, “I just want to shake your hand!”
He went on to explain that “we were going to have an abortion and when we got here someone was outside with a sign and praying and because of that we decided not to have the abortion.”
He said they saw this vigil participant as a sign that they should not go through with the abortion. According to Laurie in Windsor, “Our volunteer reported that he was elated. Praise the Lord!”
A Great day at the vigil with wonderful spontaneous prayer being led by the Spirit and singing. Here is a story from one of our prayer volunteers:
“We had a young nurse come up to us today all excited about 40 Days for Life, she told us that a group of nurses are saying the rosary every day inside the hospital and they really wish they could be there with us! Was a huge blessing and source of encouragement.”
Special prayer intention… Let’s pray that the following service is not introduced in New Zealand but a rather a rediscovery of the value and dignity of human life is reestablished, with all the beauty, grace and preciousness that each new life brings:
NZ NEEDS TELEMEDICINE ABORTION SERVICE
A breakthrough telemedicine abortion service in Australia that will help cut abortion wait times and improve access should be replicated in New Zealand, but is precluded by our outdated criminalised abortion laws, the Abortion Law Reform Association said today.
“This is precisely the kind of service that New Zealand women need, given our poor statistics on access to early abortion, but it’s also precisely the kind of service denied us by our 38-year-old abortion laws,” ALRANZ President Terry Bellamak said.
see full article:
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” -James 1:17
A reflection from one of our prayer team …
We often think of justice and mercy as contradicting one another. We know that God is both just and merciful and we know that God does not contradict himself, so how do we make sense of this. Aquinas says that “God acts mercifully not… by going against His justice but by doing something more than justice.”
Jesus Christ is divine mercy in person: encountering Christ means encountering God’s mercy – Pope Benedict
Although our presence at the vigil can be very little. In some cases there has been just one person, when someone hasn’t shown up (we always aim for two at least – “when two or more are gathered in my name” – and would like more than two!)… we can ask ourselves, what can my little light do? How can my little light of love shine in this place?
It can be challenging to look up that the hospital, it’s a big building and the cars are noisy as they come round the corner. But in the gentleness of prayer you can hear the birds singing.
God is love and his love is eternal. When we come to the vigil we ask for God’s eternal love to be present. To be present in us, as a free gift for the world. We invite God into a place where he has not been welcomed. We welcome Him, we ask His presence that fills the whole universe, to come especially into a place of darkness.
Some good conversations today, it appears that a lot of nurses and doctors see our vigil, as they walk in and out of the their shifts, especially those coming through Hagley.
Also those who come out for a smoke have a chance to see us across the road and consider our peaceful, prayerful presence. Let’s pray for them and everyone who works in a place,where people have spent years to become professionals, capable of healing and restoring life. Let this true purpose of healthcare return!
Come Holy Spirit of Love!
“At last I have found my vocation. In the heart of the Church, I will be Love!” – Therese of the Child Jesus
The petals were showering down in the in the wind today like blessings from Heaven! They cascaded down on the vigil sight in the radiance of the afternoon light, quite a sight as the daffodils and cherry blossom continue to sing of the Love of God.
It was a beautiful day at the vigil and so many graces are pouring out, both visible and hidden. Thanks be to God!
There were some amazing conversations. One group held a debate with a passerby as prayer continued. It was a chance to witness to the Culture of Life. It is also a sign of hope that passersby join and pray or receive prayer.
The banner has been holding up in the wind thanks to lace being used to hold it up in the evenings. New banners are being ordered, a larger version in the style of our stand-up one and a smaller one listing all the help our Pregnancy Centre has to offer. This will be a great addition to the vigil – it is a chance to show how we are ready to “walk-the-walk” with anyone who needs help, a real sign of Hope in the community.
Let’s pray that our message is heard more and understood more, so that by a miracle of Love more lives can be saved until abortion ends for good.
Let’s continue to be a presence of love in our community. It is love that will win through in the end and have the final word.
The more we can increase our loving and peaceful presence, the more the light of God’s tender Love and Mercy can be revealed. More than ever this what is needed in this beautiful work of saving lives, interceding for the weak and vulnerable, consoling and counseling those carrying burdens and gifting Hope.
Let’s us keep praying that in bringing Christ to the Hospital, he will continue to work in and through us, so that Life will be victorious.
Come Lord Jesus +
Vigil hours, prayers needed for Saturday 12am, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm, 5pm, 6pm
Day 10 – Candles of Hope This evening the vigil finished with a candlelit vigil. Holding candles and offering prayers together, it was a sign of great hope for our community. It was a beautiful and contemplative way to end a day filled with prayer and constant intercession.
As we have reached a quarter of our 40 day prayer, let us celebrate and give thanks for the faithful people God has sent to pray and witness to life in our community. Let’s increase the fervour of our prayer that he will continue to send more and more!
The more we pray, the more God can fill our hearts, which we can freely pour out with love to those who need it most.
Let us be humbled by the reality of abortion in our community and have a deep faith that just by giving ourselves to prayer and the simple witness of a presence of love, that God will grant victory in Christchurch – the end of the needless waste of precious unborn lives as soon as possible!
Here are four beacons of light from around the world and the international 40 days for life this year, that we in Christchurch belong to in spiritual communion with the other 307 cities taking part (74 lives have been spared so far just this campaign – and those are just the ones that our known to the communications team)… Our God has tremendous love and compassion, He will answer our prayers if we are faithful to Him…
“CLOSED! CLOSED! CLOSED! CLOSED!?
Two abortion centers where 40 Days for Life vigils have been held for several years have just closed! Plus … we’ve recently learned of two more locations that have shut their doors forever.
This now makes 64 abortion facilities … where people have faithfully prayed for an end to abortion during 40 Days for Life campaigns outside their doors … that have gone out of business!
Praise God! And thank you for your prayers!
Here’s a quick look at four very happy teams of volunteers.”
1. Manassas, Virginia
“I bring you good news of great joy!” said Mike in Manassas. “Our Prayers have been heard! After 27 years of abortions, Amethyst Health Center for Women has closed their doors!”
Volunteers in Manassas have prayed outside that abortion center for years … and fourteen 40 Days for Life campaigns.
“This is truly God’s work through many, many hands in our community,” Mike said. “Light always conquers darkness … this is indeed a great blessing for our Manassas community.”
There are other 40 Days for Life vigils in Northern Virginia, and Mike encouraged the Manassas volunteers to continue to pray.”
2. Bridgeport, Connecticut
“Summit Women’s Center in Bridgeport opened in 1975 … and is now closed. People have prayed outside this abortion business for years … and that effort included four 40 Days for Life vigils.
“Praise God for this team of Christian soliders!” said Brian, the leader of the ongoing 40 Days for Life campaign in Norwich, Connecticut.
Word had gotten out that the building was for sale. It seems business was off – way off. A center that had reportedly done more than 300 abortions a week was now doing fewer than 20.
They closed for good last Saturday.”
3. San Marcos, California
“Prior to the start of this campaign, we received a note from a very excited Tony in San Marcos. “Just got the news,” he said. “North County Women’s Medical Center is closed!”
After years of prayer for an end to abortion there, it happened. The landlord wanted to use the property for other purposes, and the abortion center’s owner decided not to move but to retire. “God is good,” Tony said, “all the time!”
The San Marcos campaign is now the Vista campaign, with volunteers now praying outside a Planned Parenthood facility in an adjacent community.
For the 40 Days for Life headquarters team, San Marcos was simply “Gene’s campaign.” Gene is Gene Villinski, who passed away a little over a year ago. He led the San Marcos effort from 2009 to 2014 and was a relentless fighter for God’s innocent children.
Gene’s faith, courage and great sense of humor were an example to all of us. We miss him … and celebrate God’s victory in San Marcos with the memory of Gene in our hearts.”
“We’ve also learned of the closure of the American Women’s Services abortion center in Maryland, which had been the site of seven 40 Days for Life campaigns as well as an ongoing regular prayer presence.
“We are full of joy and thanking God,” said Dolores, the local leader, who was also appreciative of 40 Days for Life, “which was started in Frederick in 2008, for helping its closing.”
The prayers were answered. The building’s owner sold the property, and the new owner is a general medical practice that does not do abortions.
With the closure, the Frederick team has moved its vigil to a Planned Parenthood center. This business does not do abortions, but it does offer the morning-after pill and abortion referrals.”
The Holy Spirit yearns within us for the Victory of Life, of Light over darkness of Love over despair and apathy. When we pray, the Spirit gives new life, gives Hope, encourages us to be bold in our Hope.
Today we saw two separate people join our vigil for Spirit filled prayer after they had gone past the vigil and simply seen us at our site on another day.
It’s a real sign that our faithfulness to the vigil as a gentle presence of Mercy, touches hearts and each new person represents a community that they hold dear in their hearts and can hold in prayer and intercession. God can see the spiritual communion that our hearts offer together and can work in many wonderful and miraculous ways to heal and guide our efforts, if we but trust in Him and the work He wants to do in and through us.
Let us continue to pray to the Father – Your Kingdom come! Your will be done! … Until we love the unborn again in our community and all those in distress or acting misguidedly find a sure comfort in our hearts and actions of service for them.
Let us pray that this campaign we reach out and touch the hearts of abortion workers and facilitators – that they might see our love and that any blindness may be overcome by this Love into new life for them and a peace grounded in truth, as they step away to a new employment. Come Lord Jesus!
“We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” (Romans 8: 26)
Tomorrow we need help with the following hours, please sign by hitting the following link and adding an hour where you can:
8am, 9am, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm, 5pm, 6pm
The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. “He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. (Matthew 28:5-6)
The Lord Jesus is Risen! We are the people of Easter joy and Alleluia is our Song. Like the apostles we gather in the name of Jesus to bring the hope of His Resurrection to the poor in spirit, Our vigil is a sign of the Resurrection, of a new life of Grace. Let us continue to pray that our zeal for the Lord of Life bares miraculous fruits of Love. Come Lord Jesus! Come and enter our hearts in Christchurch, help us to intercede and serve the suffering and those most in need of love in our city and the whole world.
Two stories from today, in their own words…
“I have a mind like Swiss cheese and can’t recount much of today’s encounter, suffice to say we had discussion with a couple of passers-by for about 10 minutes in a very positive way. They were non-religious and against abortion on there own terms. The Lord works in mysterious ways!”
“There was a group of 6 of us praying from 12pm to 1pm and as we were finishing a couple came up to us. The woman had a third on the way and lives close to the hospital. She has enjoyed seeing us here outside the hospital everyday. She was encouraged by the bible verse on our sign and talked about how precious life is in the womb.”
Come Lord Jesus, fill our vigil with your Spirit of Life which is our Hope, teach us the Father’s Heart for the vulnerable, make us servants of your Divine
“He has cast down the mighty from thrones and has raised up the lowly.” (Luke 1-52)
One volunteer shared today how she was humbled in her prayer a she stood in front of the hospital to pray.
When we pray for the end of abortion we are forced to be humble. There is no escaping it, we are human and we are not God. We have failures, we have lackings of love, we think we are right, we are quick to judge and much slower to appreciate, love, understand and share concern – to enter into another mind and heart and share with them their life – to walk with them and to be a servant.
This lowliness and humility makes our offerings at the vigil very little indeed. We stand before God as ourselves in our little humanity, we face a reality that seems beyond our control and insurmountable. There are more that 42 million abortions in the world each year. We are unable to weep or contemplate this in a manner worthy of its tragedy. Our hearts and minds become more and more poor as we approach Divine Love. It is the only answer to our deepest needs.
It is consoling to read from the song of Mary that God favours the poor in spirit. He has raised up the lowly. Let us remember Jesus, who was himself mothered and given an example of love by Mary, said “blessed are the poor in spirit” (Matthew 5:3).
It is thus a blessing to be made poor and stripped back at the vigil in the face of evil, it is a blessing because we can ask the Lord to love everyone we meet with His Divine love because our human love is insufficient.
Let us ask everything from the Lord, so that our vigil be a Holy place of love and healing.
Let us pray that our community of 40 days for Life becomes more and more a place of love.
And the number of babies saved is … 139 so far during this 40 Days for Life campaign – that we know of – TO GOD BE THE GLORY +