The Knights of Columbus announced Tuesday a “Novena for the Cause of Life” as part of Respect Life Month, observed in October.
The novena will take place Oct. 4-12. Each day of the novena will include a decade of the rosary, a reflection on a quote from Pope Francis, and a closing prayer to Mary taken from Evangelium vitae, St. John Paul II's 1995 encyclical on the value and inviolability of human life.
"The cause of life is today's preeminent priority, as Pope Francis indicated when meeting with the US bishops in January," said Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight, according to a Sept. 22 statement.
“The Knights wish to join all Catholics in prayer with Pope Francis for an end to abortion, euthanasia and the many social ills that bring illness, broken families, unhappiness and premature death, especially for the vulnerable.”
The Church in the United States celebrates Respect Life Month in October and the first Sunday is observed as Respect Life Sunday. During the month, the Church asks Catholics to reflect on the dignity of the person and to take action to spread the pro-life message.
"The theme of this year's national observance, 'Live the Gospel of Life,' says that, with Christ, we are meant to enjoy and foster life, the gift of being fully alive,” said Anderson.
On Respect Life Sunday, priests and deacons are asked by the USCCB to preach on the Church’s teachings on human life during their homilies. The USCCB also encouraged the laity and religious members to pursue activities that contribute toward the pro-life movement.
According to the 2020 Respect Life guide, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops provides resources to help parishes, families, ministries, and schools to share the pro-life message. Other ministry leaders are urged to use these resources during Bible studies or other ministry gatherings.
The laity and parish staff are encouraged to display the annual “Respect Life Poster” at home, parishes, or in other appropriate public places. The USCCB also suggested that Catholics spend this month in prayer and host an interactive Respect Life activity to help educate others.
Anderson said, as the events of 2020 have taken numerous lives in the United States, abortion continues to be the leading cause of death in the United States. He expressed hope that this novena will lead others to be more open to life.
"In 2020, we have lost lives due to the coronavirus pandemic and endured civil unrest, yet abortion remains the leading cause of death in America," said Anderson. "As the year enters its final months, we are prompted to pray more and with greater vigor that hearts may be more open to life in all of its stages,” he said.