Here is how one parish got their Life Chain numbers way up
TORONTO, Ontario, October 13, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Getting parish participation in various pro-life activities is usually challenging for pro-life Catholics and others. Life Chain, because of its public manifestation nature, is one that can especially result in far fewer numbers than some dearly hope for every year, especially in big cities, while in other locations there is great success.
Parish Life Chain leaders understand the devastation of abortion and the certain life-saving annual impact that a powerful Life Chain witness can produce. Many often shake their heads over the relatively small percentage of parishioners who respond each year to this important call to publicly witness for life and to even save lives.
There are of course numerous churches that every year do have large turnouts, but there are good reasons for those successes.
St. Lawrence Martyr parish in Scarborough, Ontario in Canada, is one of those parishes that for many years had only a relative handful of parishioners come out every Life Chain Sunday.
Then, a few years ago, thanks especially to the leadership of a re-invigorated Knights of Columbus parish council, the numbers have been increasing every year.
Jaime Libaque, the current grand knight of the St. Lawrence council, attributed the success of increasing the numbers from usual only 30-40 participants a few years ago to over 170 this year, to three things.
Libaque told LifeSite that number one was the full support of the parish priests who preached strongly on the issue and motivated more parishioners to commit to this one hour witness with their family members.
In the video accompanying this report, parish priest Fr. Steven Szakaczki presents a brief sample of the powerful homily he gave the week before Life Chain that tied the commands of the gospel to the need to go out and defend the lives of the most vulnerable via Life Chain participation.
Libaque also praised Campaign Life Coalition, Canada’s national pro-life organization, for their increased support of flyers, posters and their excellent website that could be referred to as a resource for more Life Chain information.
Last, but not least, the Grand Knight emphasized that the brothers of the Knights of Columbus, which is committed to building a Culture of Life, made a strong effort to promote the Life Chain. For his council, this is one of their major annual pro-life efforts. They did sign-ups and promotion the 2 weeks before the Life Chain, distributed the signs and organized the people during the Life Chain, took up the Life Chain collection in support of pro-life work, organized a group photo after the event was finished and provided much-appreciated food and hot and cold drinks for all the participants afterwards in the church hall.
Libaque said that the St. Lawrence council also brings a good-sized contingent to the annual Canadian National March for Life in Ottawa every year, as well as organizing prayers for the unborn and a number of other pro-life activities.
The St. Lawrence parish knights expect the annual growth of Life Chain participants to continue in the years ahead.
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