The Diocese of Burlington is encouraging a variety of events to mark 9 Days for Life, linking it with a nationwide prayer vigil to mark the 48th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions legalizing abortion through nine months of pregnancy.

Since those decisions, more than 60 million abortions have been performed legally in the United States.

“We’re advertising this [prayer vigil] as part of our 9 Days for Life campaign — linking with what the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is calling for,” explained Deacon Phil Lawson, executive director of evangelization, catechesis, divine worship, marriage and family and respect life.

Catholics throughout the country are encouraged to observe a nationwide prayer vigil from Jan. 28 to Jan. 29.

Each January, the National Prayer Vigil for Life is hosted by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Pro-Life Secretariat, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, and The Catholic University of America’s Office of Campus Ministry to pray for an end to abortion and a greater respect for all human life.

The theme for the 2021 March for Life is “Together Strong: Life Unites.”

January is Respect Life Month, a time to focus efforts and prayers on saving the most vulnerable.

Phyllis Harkonen, respect life coordinator, is assisting with programs in the Diocese of Burlington.

While thousands of pilgrims usually attend the Washington, D.C., vigil in person each year, the basilica will not be open to the public for the 2021 vigil due to local attendance restrictions in place because of the coronavirus pandemic. In response, this year, for the first time ever, in addition to the televised Mass, bishops in Dioceses throughout the country will be taking turns leading live-streamed holy hours every hour on the hour throughout the all-night vigil.

The vigil will begin with a live broadcast at 8 p.m. on Jan. 28 from the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington with a rosary, followed by Mass opening the National Prayer Vigil for Life. The principal celebrant and homilist for the opening Mass will be Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, who is chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. After the Mass and throughout the night, holy hours led by bishops from various dioceses around the country will be broadcast on the USCCB’s website. The vigil concludes at 8 a.m. on Jan. 29 with Mass celebrated by Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore.

In the Diocese of Burlington, the following activities are suggested for the 9 Days for Life:

Jan. 21

Beginning of 9 Days for Life Novena – Pray together with thousands of other Catholics nationwide for the protection of human life. Sign up to have the novena prayers emailed direct to you.

Jan. 22

Spiritually adopt a child in danger of abortion. Pray three Hail Marys for him or her.

Jan. 23

Mass for Life with Burlington Bishop Christopher Coyne, St. Augustine Church, Montpelier, 9:30 a.m.

Join in-person or online:

or through the Diocese of Burlington’s Facebook:

Rally for Life immediately after. See for updates and information.

Jan. 24

Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for a mother mourning an abortion that she may find comfort and healing.

Jan. 25

Familiarize yourself with the work of Pope St. John Paul II, The Gospel of Life (Evangelium Vitae). Download a free summary compendium of this prophetic writing here:

Jan. 26

Support and pray for the pro-life pregnancy centers throughout Vermont.

To locate one near you go to:

January 27

Offer a rosary for a father who is dealing with his partner’s unexpected pregnancy. Pray that he finds courage and strength to care for his family.

Jan. 28

National Prayer Vigil for Life

The faithful are encouraged to join virtually on EWTN or the basilica’s website.

All prayer events on Jan. 28 and 29 will be televised by EWTN.

Jan. 29

March for Life, Washington, D.C.

Watch live on EWTN:

Bonus Event for Life:

Jan. 31

CNS/Gregory A. Shemitz

Envision Life — Youth/Young Adult event (ages 18-35)

6 p.m. Prayer/church service at St. John Vianney Church, South Burlington

All youth/young adults invited.

7 p.m. Pro-life student speakers – online webinar featuring Molly Sheehan and Krista Corbello