LANSING, Michigan (LifeSiteNews) – A bishop in Michigan has promoted a 54-day Rosary novena with the intention of combatting a proposal to enshrine a “right to abortion” in the state’s constitution.
On September 10-11, a pastoral letter by Bishop Earl Boyea was read at all parish Masses in Lansing. The address explained the dangerous possibility of codifying abortion access statewide and called upon the faithful to respond with the weapon of prayer to Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s promise to “fight like hell” for legal abortion.
“How … do we respond to those who fight like hell? Simple: We fight like heaven,” Boyea wrote. “What does that entail? First: We have to employ the three great spiritual weapons of the Christian life: Prayer, fasting and almsgiving.… On the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, Thursday, September 15, I am calling upon all within the Diocese of Lansing, both clergy and laity, to begin a 54-day Rosary Novena that will conclude upon the eve of polling day on November 8.”
“Second comes action. The Diocese of Lansing is cooperating with the Michigan Catholic Conference and Right to Life of Michigan to oppose and defeat this ballot proposal. They have created an umbrella campaign group called Citizens to Support MI Women and Children.”
The 54 days will be “in union with the Blessed Virgin Mary who is Queen of the Family,” he said. Participants can text “FightLikeHeaven” to 84576 to sign up and receive a daily reminder to pray.
While novenas are nine consecutive days of prayer for a specific intention, this extensive commitment is a combination of six novenas. The first three are offered in petition and the last three are offered in thanksgiving.
The idea for a diocesan novena was originally suggested by Fr. Gordan Reigle, pastor of St. John Church in Lansing. In a video, he shared that the thought came to him in prayer and was a surprise to him, since he has never prayed the 54-day novena before. However, he encouraged faithful Catholics to join him in asking for Our Lady’s intercession, whose “sorrowful heart grieves over the sufferings of her children, especially when her most innocent and vulnerable are threatened.”
“The most important frontline in this battle for life and love, however, will be the local parish,” Bishop Boyea continues. “It will be you. If each of us does what we can—including prayer, sacrifice and action—we will overcome this attack on life. It’s as dramatic and as simple as that.”
The letter also outlined that the state “enacted strong pro-life legislation” in 1931 and voted to keep the law in place forty years later. 1972 was “the last time the issue was tested at the ballot box.”
“The Reproductive Freedom for All initiative will be on our ballots this fall where it will appear as proposal 3. It seeks the approval of the people of this state to amend the Constitution of this State to include a so-called ‘right to abortion,’” according to Bishop Boyea’s letter.
Bishop Boyea states that the attempt is “spearheaded by Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union.” He continues to explain that the initiative “is the most extreme abortion proposal this country has ever witnessed.”
In addition to the goal of “enshrining abortion” throughout pregnancy and including the day of birth, laws regarding parental consent, partial-birth abortion, 24-hour waiting periods, and taxpayer-funded abortion and laws that require proper licensure as well as prosecution of anyone who harms a woman during an abortion procedure will be disregarded.
The language of the initiative would also allow “freedom” for minors to partake in puberty blockers and “gender affirming surgeries.”
“We have less than two months before voting on November 8,” Boyea concluded his letter. “Time is short. Our task is great. The Lord, however, always provides. Therefore, let us work cheerfully and unstintingly knowing that His grace is sufficient.”