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US Bishops Sponsor "9 Days for Life"

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WASHINGTON (CNS) -- For the second year in a row, the U.S. Catholic bishops are sponsoring "Nine Days for Life: Prayer, Penance and Pilgrimage," planned for Jan. 18-26 this year, as part of several events marking the 41st anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion virtually on demand in the U.S.

"Since that tragic decision, more than 55 million children's lives have been lost to abortion, and many suffer that loss -- often in silence," says a posting on the website www.9daysforlife.com.

Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley of Boston, chairman of the bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities, said in a recent letter to his fellow bishops that response to last year's nine-day observance prompted this year's event to again "pray for the healing and conversion of our nation and people impacted by the culture of death."

The 9daysforlife website offers participants several ways to sign up to receive directly a daily simple novena with different intercessions, brief reflections and suggested acts of reparation via email or text message or by using an app for smartphones.

Several resources for prayer and activities -- as well as the full reflections for each of the nine days -- are available online in the "Pro-Life Activities" section of the U.S. bishops' website, www.usccb.org.

On Jan. 22, the anniversary of the 1973 Roe decision, the National Mall in Washington will once again be the site of the annual March for Life. Thousands of pro-lifers are expected to descend on the nation's capital for the rally and march to the Supreme Court.

The March for Life -- which has adoption as its theme this year -- will be held Jan. 22 once again on the National Mall in Washington, with participants walking from the Mall to Constitution Avenue and ending up at the U.S. Supreme Court.

Prior to the March, thousands of Catholics from the Diocese of Raleigh and Diocese of Charlotte will gather with Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Raleigh and Bishop Peter J. Jugis of Charlotte for the celebration of the North Carolina Mass for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine. This year, Bishop Burbidge will be the Homilist and Bishop Jugis will be Principal Celebrant.

Read story of Diocese of Raleigh Diocesan Mass for Life and annual Love My Life Youth Rally.