National Prayer for Life Campaign

How to Order Copies of the Prayer Card

Knights, Sisters of Life Urge Prayer for Life

At a Mass on May 3, 2010, commemorating the 10th anniversary of the passing of His Eminence John Cardinal O’Connor, Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York initiated a National Prayer Campaign for Life, which is being co-sponsored by the Sisters of Life and the Knights of Columbus.

Knights, Catholics and all people of good will are invited to join in raising up a great prayer for life across the nation through the daily recitation of this prayer:

Eternal Father, Source of Life,

strengthen us with your Holy Spirit
to receive the abundance of life you have promised.

Open our hearts to see and desire
the beauty of your plan for life and love.

Make our love generous and self-giving so that we may be blessed with joy.

Grant us great trust in your mercy.

Forgive us for not receiving your gift of life
and heal us from the effects of the culture of death.

Instill in us and all people reverence for every human life.

Inspire and protect our efforts on behalf of those most vulnerable
especially the unborn, the sick and the elderly.

We ask this in the Name of Jesus,
who by His Cross makes all things new. Amen.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us.

The prayer campaign finds its inspiration in Pope John Paul II’s landmark encyclical Evangelium Vitae, No. 100: 

“In this great endeavor to create a new culture of life we are inspired and sustained by the confidence that comes from knowing that the Gospel of life, like the Kingdom of God itself, is growing and producing abundant fruit (cf. Mk 4:26-29). There is certainly an enormous disparity between the powerful resources available to the forces promoting the “culture of death” and the means at the disposal of those working for a “culture of life and love”. But we know that we can rely on the help of God, for whom nothing is impossible (cf. Mt 19:26).

Filled with this certainty, and moved by profound concern for the destiny of every man and woman, I repeat what I said to those families who carry out their challenging mission amid so many difficulties: a great prayer for life is urgently needed, a prayer which will rise up throughout the world. Through special initiatives and in daily prayer, may an impassioned plea rise to God, the Creator and lover of life, from every Christian community, from every group and association, from every family and from the heart of every believer. Jesus himself has shown us by his own example that prayer and fasting are the first and most effective weapons against the forces of evil (cf. Mt 4:1-11). As he taught his disciples, some demons cannot be driven out except in this way (cf. Mk 9:29). Let us therefore discover anew the humility and the courage to pray and fast so that power from on high will break down the walls of lies and deceit: the walls which conceal from the sight of so many of our brothers and sisters the evil of practices and laws which are hostile to life. May this same power turn their hearts to resolutions and goals inspired by the civilization of life and love.”

Order Prayer Cards

For Families and Individuals
To request one to 10 complimentary prayer cards, send a self-addressed, postage-paid (47 cents) envelope to the address below. After your name, indicate the number of cards requested in parentheses. Example 
Attn: National Prayer for Life
PO Box 1670
New Haven, CT 06507-0901

For Dioceses, Parishes and Other Groups
Please use this form to place an order. The prayer cards are available in packs of 100 cards, at a cost of $3 per pack to offset standard shipping and handling costs.

For Knights of Columbus Councils, Assemblies or Circles
Samples will be mailed to every council in the United States. Additional quantities of prayer cards  (#9856) can be ordered using a Requisition Form #1 signed by an authorized officer. Supplies are available in packs of 100 cards, for $3 per pack to offset standard shipping and handling costs.

Knights Remember Cardinal O'Connor

More than ten years after his death, His Eminence John Cardinal O’Connor is remembered this week by the Knights of Columbus for his loyal service to the Church, for his courageous promotion of the Culture of Life, and for his long friendship with the Knights of Columbus.

Cardinal O’Connor, New York’s archbishop from 1984 to 2000, died on May 3, 2000, eight months after undergoing surgery for a brain tumor. He was 80 years old at the time of his death and was a member of Our Lady, Star of the Sea Council 6701 in New York City.

One of the most notable points of collaboration between Cardinal O’Connor and the Knights came while Cardinal O’Connor served as chairman of the Pro-Life Activities Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Seeing the need for a robust pro-life effort led by the nation’s bishops, Cardinal O’Connor turned to the Knights of Columbus to serve as partners, asking the Order to provide the seed money for the USCCB Pro-Life Education Campaign.

In 1992, Cardinal O’Connor served as host ordinary for the Knights of Columbus 110th Supreme Convention held in New York City. During the convention’s opening Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Cardinal O’Connor challenged local K of C units to begin erecting memorials to unborn children killed by abortion. Delegates to the convention unanimously adopted a resolution to promote the program Orderwide.

By the time of Cardinal O’Connor’s passing, more than 2,000 councils and assemblies reported establishing such memorials.

During the same Supreme Convention, Cardinal O’Connor joined with then-Supreme Knight Virgil C. Dechant in hosting Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who received the Order’s inaugural Gaudium et Spes Award prior to the States Dinner.

In 1994, the Board of Directors presented the second Gaudium et Spes Award to Cardinal O’Connor, in large part for his leadership of the pro-life movement, citing his “unflinching and eloquent championing of the cause of unborn human life in the face of the evil of abortion” and his “dedication to the spiritual welfare of his people,” with “compassion for the poor and the sick.”

The cardinal donated the award’s $100,000 honorarium to the Sisters of Life, the active and contemplative religious community he founded in 1991. In addition to the traditional religious vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, the Sisters of Life take a fourth vow to protect and enhance the sacredness of human life.

Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson recalled Cardinal O’Connor as “a man of great courage, and of great faith.

“Cardinal O’Connor truly was a giant in the history of the Catholic Church in America. No one did more for the cause of life that Cardinal O’Connor, and his contributions live on through the prayers and works of his Sisters of Life.”

The supreme knight continued, “We are proud to have helped the Sisters realize Cardinal O’Connor’s dream of a pro-life retreat center with the establishment of Villa Maria Guadalupe in Stamford.”

In 2004, with the support of future Supreme Chaplain Bishop William E. Lori of Bridgeport, the Order purchased the Villa Maria Retreat Center from the Bernardine Franciscan Sisters, located on a beautiful parcel of land in Stamford, Conn.

Following several months of extensive renovations, with countless volunteer hours contributed by local Knights, the renovated retreat center was renamed Villa Maria Guadalupe and dedicated by Bishop Lori and then-Supreme Chaplain Bishop Thomas V. Daily of Brooklyn on Oct. 20, 2004.

Today, the retreat center is in high demand, offering retreats for all facets of the pro-life movement, serving everyone from college pro-life leaders to post-abortive women and men. A bronze plaque in the entrance way of Villa Maria Guadalupe memorializes Cardinal Cardinal O’Connor.

Cardinal O’Connor