March for Life targets abortion, MLA’s Overnight prayer vigil, speeches, march, highlight 2010 event
|WCR FILE PHOTO
Last year’s March attracted more than 400 supporters.
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
EDMONTON – Edmonton’s March for Life has never garnered the participation organizers have hoped for.
2010 marks the third year this anti-abortion rally and remembrance of life will be held in the city. Sister Elisabeth Coulombe, chair of the Alberta March for Life Association, is inviting everybody to take part in the May 13 rally.
The city’s inaugural March for Life in 2008 attracted some 400 people from across the province. Last year brought a slightly larger crowd, supported by all of Alberta’s Roman Catholic bishops, as well as clergy from Eastern Orthodox and Ukrainian Catholic churches.
A new component to this year’s event is a 13-hour, overnight prayer vigil at St. Joseph’s Basilica, starting at 8:30 p.m. May 12.
“The prayer vigil is mostly to get people on their knees, to pray for the abortionists. We have to pray for the doctors who want to kill our elderly when they don’t have families,” said Coulombe.
“If we don’t speak up, the doctors will take advantage of this. The doctors will get rid of the elderly because no one is talking on their behalf.”
Coulombe said saying simple prayers at the vigil is a means of uniting them and having their pleas heard in heaven.
The March for Life is mostly equated with abortion. The event is not only about speaking for the unborn who cannot speak for themselves, but also for seniors, the dying and people with disabilities.
“There’s a dignity to life, and it doesn’t matter if you’re disabled, you still have the right to live,” said Coulombe.
Prior to this year’s march is a 10:30 a.m. pro-life Mass at the basilica. Presiding over the Mass will be Archbishop Richard Smith, with Alberta’s other bishops also present.
A Protestant prayer service is also scheduled prior to the march at Inglewood Christian Reform Church, 12330-113 Ave.
Everyone will meet on the Legislature Grounds for a 1 p.m. rally with various speakers, including Ukrainian Catholic Bishop David Motiuk and Joan Carr, Edmonton Catholic Schools superintendent.
TAKING IT TO THE STREETS
The six-km march, led by the Knights of Columbus, begins at 1:30 p.m. on the steps of the Legislature. Hundreds will march through the downtown streets.
The march proceeds to Churchill Square for more speakers. Returning to the Legislature, the crowd will pray and hear four concluding talks.
Emceeing the rally is Denise Mountenay, founder and president of Canada Silent No More. The organization formed in 2003 to support the two million Canadian women who have been hurt by legal abortion.
“The march is a chance to bring the pro-family people together and be a voice for the voiceless. We want to let legislators know that there are still a lot of concerned Albertans. My big things mainly are to share the pain of abortion, how it hurts women and killed my children,” said Mountenay.
She has been at previous marches sharing her anti-abortion viewpoints. Her personal stories, including her three abortions, have been recounted in her best-selling book, Forgiven for Murder: A True Story.
Within the next three months she hopes to release her second book, The Bride . . . The Serpent . . . And the Seed, aimed at exposing the lies and rhetoric surrounding contraception, abortion and birthing trends.
Mountenay just returned from attending the United Nations development and population conference in New York, April 12-16. There, she spoke of the pain of abortions she experienced.
“With all of the rhetoric about reproductive rights, reproductive health, maternal mortality, and all these issues, what it really means is abortion. They want to push contraception and abortion into all these nations. Especially right now, they are targeting Africa and South America because there are a lot of Christian nations where abortion is still illegal,” said Mountenay.
Canada Silent No More is accepting written testimonies from women hurt by legal abortion. The declarations will be used in studies, which will eventually be presented to politicians to encourage them to restrict abortion in Canada.