The Catholic Diocese of Tyler’s Sanctity of Life Office is sponsoring the first 40 Days for Life campaign to be held in Tyler March 6-April 14.
40 Days for Life is a national campaign, to be held in more than 300 cities across the country, of prayer and fasting, peaceful vigil and community outreach with the aim of ending abortion in this country.
Events begin Tuesday with a kickoff rally at 7 p.m. in the Bishop T.K. Gorman Middle School Gym, 1405 ESE Loop 323 in Tyler.
Rally speakers will include Chris Davis, National 40 Days for Life Campaign Strategist, and B.J. Garrett, Executive Director at CARE Christ-centered Abortion Recovery & Education.
40 Days for Life is a national anti-abortion campaign in which participants commit to spending 40 days in prayer and fasting for an end to abortion.
The campaign also features a 12-hour daily ecumenical prayer vigil outside a local abortion facility or abortion referral facility.
In Tyler, the vigil will be held across the street from the Planned Parenthood office at 601 Turtle Creek Drive in Tyler.
The Tyler Planned Parenthood office does not perform abortions. It refers clients to providers in Dallas or Shreveport for that service.
The vigil will be held from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. each day during the campaign.
Participants may bring Bibles, rosaries or other prayer and worship aides, but they may not bring graphic or offensive signs. They also may not interact in any way, including shouting, with Planned Parenthood clients or staff, and they may not obstruct anyone seeking to enter the facility.
They must stand on public rights of way, public sidewalks or public streets so long as no areas are blocked to vehicular or pedetrian traffic, according to a statement from the City of Tyler Police Department.
Participants must sign a “statement of peace” agreeing to these rules.
The diocese also urges participants to park only along the street and not in any of the parking lots. The parking lots in the area are private property, and vehicles parked in them risk being towed.
Organizers stress that 40 Days for life is not a protest, but a peaceful vigil centered around prayer and fasting.
“The mission of the campaign is to bring together the body of Christ in a spirit of unity during a focused 40 day campaign of prayer, fasting, and peaceful activism, with the purpose of repentance, to seek God’s favor to turn hearts and minds from a culture of death to a culture of life, thus bringing an end to abortion,” according to a statement on the Diocese of Tyler’s website.
More information about the campaign can be found on the Diocese of Tyler’s website, the Tyler 40 Days for Life Facebook page, the 40 Days for Life website, or by contacting Father Nolan Lowry, pastor of St. Edward Church in Athens and director of the Tyler diocesan Sanctity for Life office, at 903-675-2509 or sanctityofLife@dioceseoftyler.org.