Bishop Malooly leads a decade of the rosary of the first day of 40 Days for Life on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 13. Father Leonard Klein, director of the Office of Pro-Life Activities, stands to the bishop’s right. The campaign continues through March 24 in front of Planned Parenthood on Shipley Street in Wilmington. The Dialog/Mike Lang
WILMINGTON — Inspired by Bishop Malooly, who encouraged them on a chilly winter morning, some 40 people kicked off the Lenten campaign of 40 Days for Life on Wednesday – Ash Wednesday — in front of Planned Parenthood in Wilmington.
After leading a recitation of the sorrowful mysteries of the rosary, Bishop Malooly told the crowd that the prayers and awareness raised at previous 40 Days for Life campaigns has made a difference.
“Every individual success story is one more life,” he said.
The bishop thanked the organizers of the campaign and noted the number of Knights of Columbus who were in attendance. He said that the last time he was at the event, it was a Saturday and many of those in attendance were women under 25 years of age. He said that is a good sign.
“I think in the life issues, we’re starting to move in the right direction,” he said.
Abortion is related to other issues the church is monitoring — the defense of marriage and religious freedom. They are all related, “like a cycle,” he said, and the diocese needs to be vigilant about all of them. He pointed out that the diocese is holding “Call to Prayer” holy hours and will have another “fortnight for freedom” from June 21-July 4.
The next Call to Prayer is scheduled for Feb. 24 at 4 p.m. at St. Polycarp Church in Smyrna. The holy hours are a pastoral strategy addressing the issues he mentioned Wednesday.
The bishop later celebrated Ash Wednesday Mass at the Cathedral of St. Peter a few blocks away.
Julie Easter, a member of St. Helena’s Parish in Bellefonte and part of the 40 Days for Life team in Wilmington, said one of the goals of the campaign is “to change the perception that we are protesting against a woman’s so-called right to choose.” The aim is to convince pregnant women that there are other options, such as adoption, and to steer them toward pregnancy centers that do not offer abortion services.
“The real war on women is abortion,” she said. “We’re here to let women know that we support them.”