September 25, 2009
OTTAWA, September 23, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Ottawa 40 Days for Life Campaign began with a rally last night on Parliament Hill, during which approximately 250 participants heard from various pro-life speakers from a variety of backgrounds. Speakers included Dr. Mary O'Connor, a doctor who left her general practice when she realized that the birth control pill is an abortifacient, Catholic Activist John Pacheco, and Don Hutchison and Bruce Clemenger from the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada.
Bruce Clemenger opened the evening with prayer and an inspiring talk.
John Pacheco welcomed everyone to Ottawa's third 40 Days for Life Campaign and declared that "real progress" has been made in "witnessing to the dignity of the unborn over the past two campaigns, offering hope, love, mercyàand most important of all the truth."
Pacheco highlighted the successes of the two previous campaigns, noting that each campaign averaged 750 vigil-keepers and that 15 identifiable groups participated. During each campaign vigil time at the Bank St. abortuary totaled 3000 hours, which represents 95% coverage, and, most importantly, it was confirmed that 4 babies were saved during each campaign.
Addressing the need for courage to witness to life, Pacheco said, "We must pray for courage and resolve in these days to witness to a brutal and lost world. And we must prepare ourselves to know that victory will not come without sacrifice. We deceive ourselves if we think that it will. But if we trust in God and avail ourselves of His Grace to stand, he will deliver us from evil. He will deliver this country from abortion."
Pacheco encouraged those about to begin the vigil not to underestimate the value of their sacrifice and said that even the smallest effort to witness to life bore real fruit.
"Do not think that your contribution in this work is minor or insignificant. In the light of eternity, I assure you it is multiplied a million fold," he said.
Rebecca Richmond, president of Ottawa Students for Life, a pro-life club at the University of Ottawa, addressed the crowd on behalf of the many pro-life students present.
Fr. Christian Riesbeck closed the celebration with some encouraging words and a closing prayer, after which the vigilers made their way from Parliament Hill to the Abortion facility at 65 Bank Street.
One participant described the evening as "serene yet upbeat," and noted that "there were about a dozen protesters who were remarkably civil and polite, even during moments of silence on the Hill."
To sign up for vigil hours in Ottawa, contact the Ottawa office of Campaign Life Coalition at (613) 729-0379, or visit the 40 Days Ottawa website here.
For more information, including other locations of the 40 Days for Life campaign, visit the 40 Days website here.