Media Advisory/Photo Opportunity |
National Prayer Vigil For Life Opening Mass
Thousands To Pray For End To Abortion
WASHINGTON – Thousands of Catholics from across the country will gather in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception to pray for an end to abortion at the National Prayer Vigil for Life Opening Mass at 7:00 p.m. on January 21, the eve of the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion.
As in the past, approximately 8,000 participants – many of them youth from middle and high schools around the nation – are expected to attend the Vigil and then join tens of thousands more the following day to participate in the national March for Life.
Chair of the Bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities, His Eminence Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, will be the principal celebrant and homilist at the Vigil Mass, concelebrated by five fellow cardinals and many of the nation's bishops and priests.
After Mass there will be a National Rosary for Life, Night Prayer celebrated according to the Byzantine Rite, confessions, and holy hours from midnight until 6:00 a.m. led by pro-life seminarians from across the country. The Basilica and The Catholic University of America will host more than 1,600 high school students and other pilgrims overnight. On January 22, the morning of the March for Life, the National Shrine will also host Morning Prayer at 6:30 a.m. and a Mass of Penance and Prayer at 7:30 a.m. His Eminence Cardinal DiNardo of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston will be the principal celebrant and homilist.
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 Catholic University of America, and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. More information is available at: www.usccb.org/prolife/anniversary.shtml.
Media are welcome to speak with and interview pilgrims and to attend the Mass. Deirdre McQuade, the bishops' primary spokesperson on abortion, will also be available for interviews before and after the Vigil Mass. To schedule an interview in advance, contact Gene Tarne at (c) 571-331-7018 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Footage from the Mass may also be obtained by Satellite TV feed (backhaul; five cameras) courtesy of the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN). For coordinates, contact Jacquelyn Hayes at 202-281-0615.
Media should check in at the National Shrine's Upper Church Sacristy and present press credentials to Jacquelyn Hayes or Susan Gibbs to receive a badge for media access.