Over 10,000 worshippers, many of them youth from schools around the nation, are expected to gather in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception to pray for an end to abortion at the Opening Mass of the National Prayer Vigil for Life, Sunday, January 23, at 6:30 p.m., the eve of the 2011 March for Life. January 22 marks the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion.
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, will be the principal celebrant and homilist at the Vigil Mass, concelebrated by fellow cardinals and many of the nation’s bishops and priests. Following the Opening Mass, the Vigil will continue in the Crypt Church of the Basilica with confessions, a National Rosary for Life, Night Prayer according to the Byzantine Rite, and holy hours led by seminarians from across the country from midnight until 6:00 a.m.
That same evening, The Catholic University of America will host close to 1,300 pilgrims overnight.
On January 24, the Basilica will host Morning Prayer at 6:30 a.m. in the Crypt Church and the Closing Mass at 7:30 a.m. in the Great Upper Church.Bishop William E. Lori of the Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut, will be the principal celebrant and homilist. At the conclusion of the National Prayer Vigil for Life, participants will join in the national March for Life.
The National Prayer Vigil for Life is co-sponsored by the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and The Catholic University of America.