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Archives 40 Days for Life is ongoing in Plattsburgh

Oct. 30, 2019

By Mary Beth Bracy
Contributing writer

PLATTSBURGH – “People do not go to these clinics because of freedom of choice. They go because they have no40 Days for life freedom and no choice,” declared Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, in his recent video promoting 40 Days for Life.

From Sept. 25 to Nov. 3, the Plattsburgh area is holding a 40 Days for Life campaign.

According to their website, “40 Days for Life is an internationally coordinated 40-day campaign that aims to end abortion locally through prayer and fasting, community outreach, and a peaceful all-day vigil in front of abortion businesses.”

“Since the spring of 2010, Plattsburgh has been registered as an official 40 Days for Life vigil site,” said Nancy Belzile, the local coordinator of 40 Days for Life. “Hundreds of people have participated in praying for the end of abortion in Plattsburgh.”

Belzile referred to the organization’s website, which explains three main ways that people take part:

The first way to get involved is through prayer and fasting: “Christ told us some demons can only be driven out by prayer and fasting,” notes 40daysforlife.com. “The two go hand in hand. Prayer keeps us rooted in the fact that it is our desire to carry out God’s will. Fasting is a sacrifice that helps us reach beyond our own limitations with God’s help... People of faith are also invited to fast throughout 40 Days for Life. We believe that when God’s people fast with a broken, repentant and contrite spirit, our heavenly Father will hear from heaven and heal our lives, our churches, our communities, our nation, and our world.”

Sister Barbara Langlois, a Dominican sister who resides in Plattsburgh, said 40 Days for Life is “important enough that I would go everyday if I could.” When she can’t pray on the sidewalk, she said she offers her Rosaries, Chaplets, and Office for this intention at home.

The second way to get involved is by participating in a 12-hour vigil. Locally, the public centerpiece of 40 Days for Life is a focused, 40-day, 12 hour (7 a.m. – 7 p.m.) prayer vigil outside of Planned Parenthood in Plattsburgh, located at 66 Brinkerhoff Street.

“It is a peaceful and educational presence,” says 40daysforlife.com. “Those who are called to stand witness… send a powerful message to the community about the tragic reality of abortion. It also serves as a call to repentance for those who work at the abortion center and those who patronize the facility.”

“For the 40 days, I limit myself to just two meals a day and remove all snacks from my home,” said Kenneth L. Lushia. “I also reduce time spent on social media. I use the Pro-Life Rosary from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops at www.usccb.org.”

The third way to get involved is via community outreach.

“During 40 Days for Life, the message is taken proactively to every corner of your community,” notes 40daysforlife.com.

This includes Media outreach, Church involvement, petitions and education, displaying a variety of 40 Days for Life signs, and campus outreach.

Deacon Randy Smith declared “a society that allows genocide does not have a future.”

Earlier this year, 40 Days for Life promoted the movie “Unplanned.”

“The movie provided the opportunity to show people what the abortion industry is all about, the bottom-line, more abortions equal more money,” Belzile said. “Because of this, many abortion workers and abortionists are leaving as they change their minds about abortion and experience a conversion of heart. Many women, men and others are seeking healing from their abortions as a result of the movie ‘Unplanned.’”

Belzile also noted she’s encouraged by youth involvement in the pro-life movement.

“I see the young people more repulsed with the idea of abortion,” she said. “The young generation is smart and educated about what abortion is all about.”

Belzile reflected upon why 40 Days for Life is so important.

“The main reason is because it works,” she said. “Forty Days for Life is result driven!”

According to the organization’s website, 16,004 lives have been saved through this movement, 104 abortion centers have closed, and 191 abortion workers have quit.

“It is my belief, that every child is created by and in the image of God,” Belzile said. “Abortion should never be an option, abortion intentionally kills an innocent individual and harms the mother, sometimes fatally, sometimes [causing] sterility. I have personally been affected by abortion and sought healing through our local Rachel’s Vineyard Weekend Retreat.”

Even after the 40 Days for Life ends, Belzile said there’s still work to be done.

“Anyone is welcome to continue to participate individually in the three areas (prayer and fasting, keeping vigil, and community outreach),” Belzile explained. “Some people feel called to get involved in sidewalk counseling to the mothers and those going to Planned Parenthood. Others are led to volunteer at the local frontline pregnancy center, Plattsburgh Pregnancy Center, Birthright or Gabriel Project. Ordinary people are taking on extraordinary tasks to save babies lives and to protect women from the regret, pain and hurt from abortion.”

Events are held throughout the year, as well.

“Champlain Valley Right to Life is the place to go to find out what’s coming up next in pro-life events,” Belzile said. “We are an educational not-for-profit organization in New York. Our events include: Life Chain, Christmas Peace in the Womb Caroling, Pro-life Movies, 40 Days for Life, Good Friday Stations of the Cross, educational trips and letter writing to New York State Legislators, Clinton County Fair booth, local March for Life. Go to our website, click on ‘Get Involved’ to stay up to date.”

The website can be found at champlainvalleyrighttolife.org.

For more information about 40 Days for Life, visit 40daysforlife.com/local-campaigns/plattsburgh/.

Belzile said that it is is “loaded with resources, [a] vigil calendar, and more.” For those without internet access, Belzile can be reached at 518-593-6024.


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