Pro-life prayer vigils, march set to coincide with DNC
Demonstrations start Aug. 31
CHARLOTTE — Catholics from around the Diocese of Charlotte are invited to attend several pro-life demonstrations and prayer vigils that will take place before and during the week of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte Sept. 3-6.
The Democratic Party's platform supports abortion and contraception, which are intrinsically evil. Our Catholic faith teaches that all human life is precious and a gift from God, from the moment of conception to natural death. This point is what pro-life demonstration organizers hope to get across to convention goers and the wider public while the national spotlight shines on Charlotte during the Democratic National Convention.
The three pro-life demonstrations will be:
• Friday, Aug. 31 — 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m. rosary and prayer vigil at Time Warner Cable Arena, 333 East Trade St.
• Saturday, Sept. 1 — 10 a.m.-noon prayer vigil at Planned Parenthood, 4822 Albemarle Road
• Wednesday, Sept. 5 — noon-2 p.m. Civil Rights for Life march and rally, starting at the Diocese of Charlotte Pastoral Center, 1123 South Church St., with rally to follow at Independence Square, at the corner of Trade and Tryon streets
The first event on Friday, Aug. 31, is sponsored in part America Defend Life and by Charlotte Coalition for Life. This peaceful, non-partisan prayer vigil will be held in front of Time Warner Cable Arena at 333 East Trade St. from 6:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. The vigil will begin with the recitation of the rosary at 6:30 p.m. Participants will then lay 3,300 flowers along the sidewalk to symbolize the number of lives destroyed by abortion in America each day.
America Defend Life is a local grassroots pro-life organization promoting prayer and peaceful activities for the sanctity of human life.
On Saturday, Sept. 1, America Defend Life and Charlotte Coalition for Life will sponsor another prayer vigil – this time in front of Planned Parenthood at 4822 Albemarle Road in east Charlotte, from 10 a.m. until noon. An aerial banner stating "Stop abortions – Defund Planned Parenthood" will be flown overhead during the vigil.
Planned Parenthood is the nation's leading abortion provider, with more than 800 centers across the U.S. – many of which provide abortions (either by medication or by surgery), "emergency" contraception medication, and birth control pills. Planned Parenthood has four such centers located within the Diocese of Charlotte: Asheville, Charlotte, Greensboro and Winston-Salem. Asheville, Charlotte and Greensboro provide contraception and referrals to local abortion facilities. Winston-Salem conducts abortions via medication and surgery (for unborn babies up to 14 weeks' gestation).
Capping off the week's pro-life events will be a Civil Rights for Life March and Rally in Charlotte on Wednesday, Sept. 5, from noon to 2 p.m.
Marchers will gather at 11:30 a.m. and process from the Diocese of Charlotte Pastoral Center at 1123 South Church St. and proceed along Carson Boulevard to South Tryon Street into uptown Charlotte, where they will gather at the corner of Trade and Tryon streets to listen to pro-life guest speaker Bobby Schindler and others, plus hear personal testimonies from post-abortive women and men.
Schindler is the brother of Terri Schiavo, a severely disabled woman who was starved to death by court order in 2005 following a contentious battle between members of her family. Schindler is the executive director of the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network, which works to protect the lives of the medically vulnerable and disabled from the threat of euthanasia.
Buses to shuttle marchers from two locations outside of the uptown area – one from St. Thérèse Church in Mooresville and one from St. Vincent DePaul in south Charlotte – are available.
For details about any of these events, go online to www.americadefendlife.com.
Members of the Knights of Columbus will serve as marshals during the Civil Rights for Life March and Rally, which is expected to be similar to the March for Life rally that the Diocese of Charlotte conducts each January to mark the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe vs. Wade, which legalized abortion in the U.S. Since that decision in 1973, more than 54 million babies have been aborted in the U.S.
Last weekend, pro-life Catholics from Charlotte gathered to prepare for the pro-life demonstrations that will be held during the upcoming Democratic National Convention.
The sign-making was an occasion for pro-lifers to come together and create compelling messages about the cause for protecting all human life, from conception to natural death.
"The main poster we're using for the DNC events, especially for Sept. 5th, is 'I AM A PERSON,'" said local pro-life leader Andrea Hines. She added, "People can bring their own favorite signs if they want, too. Handmade signs have become popular, so this 'poster party' was a way for us to come together and make them."
— SueAnn Howell, staff writer