National Prayer Vigil for Life in Nation’s Capital, January 18-19; Plenary Indulgence May be Obtained by Those Taking Part in “Sacred Celebrations” Surrounding March for Life

January 12, 2018
By SS. Peter and Paul

Prayer Vigil for Life
will be held from
Thursday afternoon, January 18 to Friday morning, January 19, at the Basilica
of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Over 20,000 pilgrims from
around the nation will pray there for an end to abortion before the annual
March for Life. The Vigil marks the 45th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme
Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions legalizing abortion
throughout the nine months of pregnancy. Since those decisions, over 58 million
abortions have been performed legally in the United States.

The principal celebrant and homilist at the
Vigil Opening Mass will be Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, chairman of the
U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities. His fellow cardinals and many
of the nation’s bishops and priests will concelebrate with him in the
Basilica’s Great Upper Church from 5:30-7:30 p.m. The Vigil continues overnight
in the Crypt Church with confessions, a National Rosary for Life, Byzantine
Rite Night Prayer, and Holy Hours led by seminarians from across the country
from 11 p.m.- 6 a.m.

“This year, pilgrims have been given a special spiritual gift. A plenary
may be obtained under the usual conditions by participating in the
National Prayer Vigil for Life or the other sacred celebrations surrounding the
March for Life,” said Deirdre McQuade, assistant director for pro-life
communications at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

For those
seeking Sacramental Reconciliation while on site, confessions will be heard in
the Our Lady of Hostyn Chapel of the Crypt Church over the course of nine hours
before and after the Opening Mass. See
for additional details.

“We also invite all the faithful nationwide to be in solidarity with the
bishops during their annual pro-life novena, 9
Days for Life
, from January 18-26,” McQuade continued. “May our
prayers, combined with acts of love, help build a culture that cherishes every
human life.”

On the day of
the March for Life, Friday, January 19, the Basilica will once again host Eucharistic
Adoration in the Crypt Church at 6:00 a.m., with Morning Prayer/Benediction following
at 6:30. The Vigil’s Closing Mass will take place at 7:30 a.m. in the Great
Upper Church, with Bishop Edward Burns of Dallas
as principal celebrant and homilist.

The National Prayer Vigil for Life is co-sponsored by the Secretariat of
Pro-Life Activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
(USCCB), the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, and
The Catholic University of America.

Media are welcome to attend the Opening Mass and interview pilgrims
throughout the 14-hour Vigil.

Media should check in at the
Basilica’s Great Upper Church sacristy and present press credentials to
Jacquelyn Hayes or a designated Basilica press representative to receive a
press pass. Advance
registration is preferred. Footage from the Mass may also be obtained by
satellite feed courtesy of the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN). For
coordinates, or to register, contact Jacquelyn Hayes, director of
communications for the Basilica, at 202-281-0615 or

For more details on the overnight National
Prayer Vigil for Life and some of the other pro-life events in the Washington,
DC area, visit
To join — and help
spread the word
about — 9
Days for Life, visit

Keywords: National Prayer Vigil for Life, Basilica of the
National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, abortion, Roe v. Wade, Doe v. Bolton,
U.S. Supreme Court, Cardinal Timothy
Dolan, Bishop Burns, Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Secretariat, The
Catholic University of America, cardinals, bishops, seminarians, Byzantine
rite, rosary, adoration, benediction, 9 Days for Life, prayer, #9daysforlife, #ourprayersmatter,
March for Life, #whywemarch, #marchforlife2018, #lovesaveslives, Project
Rachel, post-abortion healing,, plenary indulgence


Media Contact:


Source:: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops