Archdiocese to host Respect Life prayer vigil, events

January 11, 2021

A statue of the Blessed Mother holding the Child Jesus is seen. Jan. 22 is designated the National Day of Prayer for Legal Protection for the Unborn. (File photo)

HOUSTON — As part of a series of events calling for greater respect for human life, the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart is hosting a prayer vigil with Eucharistic Adoration on Jan. 22, the National Day of Prayer for Legal Protection for the Unborn.

This year marks 48 years since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion in the U.S.

From 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., different groups from parishes in the Archdiocese will lead prayers throughout the day at the Co-Cathedral, which is located at 1111 St. Joseph Pkwy. in Houston, to pray for an end to abortion and for parents and families who may be considering abortion, according to the Office of Pro-Life Activities (PLA). The vigil will conclude with Benediction at 4:30 p.m.

The prayer vigil at the Co-Cathedral will be livestreamed online at for those who are unable to attend in-person.

Parishes around the Archdiocese were also invited to host their own candle-lit prayer vigils at sunrise from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. To find the nearby parish prayer vigils, or to receive a copy of the prayer service, contact the PLA at 713-741-8728 or email Julie Fritsch, PLA director, at

On Saturday, Jan. 23, the Office of Pro-Life Activities will host a pro-life expert panel virtual discussion at 9 a.m. The event will explore topics like 2021 legislative advocacy efforts, COVID-19 vaccine ethics, as well as the Archdiocese’s miscarriage and infant loss ministry.

Speakers include Greg Schleppenbach, associate director of the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; Jennifer Carr-Allmon, executive director of the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops; and Dr. Kathryn Karges of Caritas Women’s Care. To register, visit

Then at 11 a.m. on Jan. 23, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo will celebrate the annual Respect Life Mass at Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart. This special Liturgy will pray for the unborn and all those whose lives are most vulnerable.

Due to pandemic guidelines, attendance is by pre-registration only. To register, visit

The Mass will also be livestreamed online at

In May of 2018, Pope Francis echoed the Church’s call for greater protection for the unborn.

“Love is concrete, every day. Love for the other cannot be reserved for exceptional moments, but must be constant in our lives,” he said. “This is why unborn children are always to be welcomed; this is why, ultimately, life is always to be protected and loved, from conception to its natural end. And this is love.”

In a 2019 interview, the pope also said it is not fair to eliminate human life to solve a problem.

“Abortion is not a religious problem in the sense that just because I am Catholic, I must not seek an abortion,” he said. “It is a human problem. It is a problem of eliminating a human life.

To learn more about the Office of Pro-Life Activities, visit or call 713-741-8728. †