Parishes to hold Holy Hours for Life on Roe anniversary

BRAINTREE -- Dozens of parishes and collaboratives across the archdiocese are planning to hold Holy Hours for Life or similar pro-life events on the weekend of Jan. 21-23, bringing their communities together to pray for the unborn and for assistance in witnessing to the dignity of human life.

Jan. 22 is the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the United States. The U.S. bishops have established this as a day of penance for the act of abortion and prayer for the legal protection of unborn children. For 14 years, the permanent deacons of the archdiocese have coordinated Holy Hours for Life, Forgiveness and Healing on or around the Roe anniversary, holding prayer services in their respective parishes and encouraging other clergy to do so as well.

Marianne Luthin, director of the archdiocese's Pro-Life Office, said she is "beyond delighted" by the response of parishes organizing prayer services.

"I thought this year, with the continuing uncertainty about COVID, that the numbers would be way down, but they're actually up," she said, speaking to The Pilot on Jan. 10.

Holy Hours will be taking place in "all different kinds of communities," she said, from the inner cities to the suburbs and more rural areas. Many parishes are offering both in-person and live-streamed events, and an increasing number will be in Spanish or bilingual.