US Bishops: National Prayer Vigil for Life to Continue Post-Roe

The vigil has taken place on the eve of the annual March for Life since 1979. Catholics across the country are encouraged to participate Jan. 19-20, 2023, to pray for an end to abortion and a greater respect for all human life in the United States.

The Vigil Mass for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., Jan. 21, 2015.
The Vigil Mass for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., Jan. 21, 2015. (photo: Addie Mena / CNA / EWTN)

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has decided to continue its National Prayer Vigil for Life even after this year’s historic overturning of the U.S. Supreme Court abortion case Roe v. Wade.

The decision to continue the vigil, which has taken place on the eve of the annual March for Life since 1979, was announced Friday, Nov. 11, in a press release put out by the USCCB’s Office of Public Affairs.

“The National Prayer Vigil is a time to praise God for the great gift of the recent Supreme Court Dobbs decision overturning the tragic Roe v. Wade decision made almost a half-century ago. State and federal legislators are now free to embrace policies that protect preborn children and their mothers,” Kat Talalas, USCCB’s assistant director of pro-life communications, said in the release.

“Yet, there is still a great need for prayer and advocacy from the faithful, as there will be intensified efforts to codify Roe in legislation and policies at the state and federal levels. Many prayers and sacrifices are needed to transform our culture so that all may cherish the gift of human life and offer life-giving support to vulnerable women, children, and families,” Talalas explained.

The press release urges Catholics across the country to participate in the prayer vigil from Jan. 19-20, 2023, to pray for an end to abortion and a greater respect for all human life in the United States.

The 2023 vigil’s opening Mass will be held at the Shrine of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., at 5pm on Thursday, Jan. 19, immediately followed by a Holy Hour for life.

Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities, will celebrate the Mass.

Following the Holy Hour, nationwide Holy Hours will be broadcast on the USCCB’s website throughout the night from different dioceses across the country. The vigil will conclude at 8am the next morning, Friday, Jan. 20, with a closing Mass at the basilica.

For those who cannot attend in person, the vigil program will be livestreamed on the basilica’s website and broadcast on live television by EWTN. Catholics can also sign up for the 9 Days for Life novena, a national pro-life novena held  Jan. 19-27.

For more information about attending the National Prayer Vigil for Life in person, visit the USCCB website.

Pro-life and abortion-rights activists protest during the 50th-annual March for Life rally in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 20 in Washington.

Pro-Abortion Counter-Protesters at March for Life Were Few but Loud

Only about a dozen pro-abortion protesters stood in front of the U.S. Supreme Court and only a few others were scattered within the march and on the outskirts of the march; some of the counter-protesters did manage to cause disruptions, and a few had verbal clashes with pro-life activists.