Diocesan News

Pro-Lifers Urged to Observe ‘40 Days to Roe’

(SNR) - As the 40th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade looms, the Nebraska Bishops Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities (BPPPA) office is offering resources to be used in the 40 days leading up to this dubious memorial.

Greg Schleppenbach, BPPPA state director, noted in a recent column that the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the unborn, is exactly 40 days prior to the Jan. 22, 2013 anniversary, subtracting the Holy Days of Christmas and the Solemnity of Mary.

"Hence, her feast day and the 40 days between it and the 40th anniversary of Roe provide an excellent opportunity to educate the public on the tragic reality and results of Roe," he wrote.

Last January, Bishop James D. Conley wrote a column in the Denver Catholic Register about Roe v. Wade.

"Speak the truth, in love, about abortion," he wrote. "As uncomfortable as it might be, we are called to share our pro-life convictions with our neighbors, friends and families. We can counter the influence of relativism by speaking the truth with love—convincingly, clearly and without compromise."

Mr. Schleppenbach urged all Catholics to focus these 40 days on praying for an end to abortion and for a culture that fully respects human life and love.

"The 40th anniversary of Roe provides an excellent opportunity to correct society’s misperceptions of Roe v. Wade and to expose its radical nature," he said.

His office has a host of educational and prayer resources that can be used by parishes and schools. Each item is free to download from the program’s website at www.necathcon.org by following the "40 Days to Roe" link.

"The educational materials debunk the common myths about Roe v. Wade, give voice to the testimonies of post-abortive women, as well as prominent women speaking about the harm of abortion, and present scientific and scriptural quotes about life in the womb," he offered.

The materials include 40 daily facts, reflections and prayer intentions, available as a single document or as four bulletin inserts to publish during the observance.

Parishes are also encouraged to have a special pro-life Mass or Holy Hour to launch the 40 Days observance Dec. 12, and again on the final day, Jan. 22.

Mr. Schleppenbach recommends using the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops document, "Mass for Giving Thanks for the Gift of Human Life" for these holy hours. They can be downloaded from www.usccb.org/prolife. Click on the "Prayers" link under the "Prayer and Worship" navigation menu, and scroll down to the "Pro-Life Prayers" link to find it.

Mr. Shleppenbach’s office will also send a daily message to all who subscribe to his e-mail updates. To sign up, contact his office at (402) 477-7517 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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