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Priest inspires thousands to sign up for novena to defeat ‘right to abortion’ in Michigan

September 14, 2022 Catholic News Agency 0
Father Gordon Reigle, pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas parish in East Lansing, Michigan, has inspired thousands to pray a 54-day rosary novena aimed at defeating an attempt to insert a “right to abortion” in the state’s constitution. The novena begins Sept. 15, 2022, and ends on Nov. 7, 2022, the day before Michigan’s general election. / Diocese of Lansing/FAITH Magazine

Lansing, Mich., Sep 14, 2022 / 09:00 am (CNA).

One Michigan priest’s prayerful insight is inspiring thousands of people to sign up for a 54-day rosary novena aimed at defeating an attempt to insert a “right to abortion” into the state constitution.

The proposed constitutional amendment is titled Reproductive Freedom for All. The ballot initiative seeks to enshrine abortion up to — and including — the day of birth. It also seeks to eliminate dozens of Michigan laws that presently regulate abortion, including parental consent and notification laws and laws that prohibit partial-birth abortion.

The novena begins tomorrow, Sept. 15, the memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows. It ends the day before Michigan’s general election on Nov. 8. 

“One evening in July, I was praying in the rectory chapel at St. Thomas Aquinas in East Lansing with the proposed constitutional amendment weighing heavy on my mind and on my heart,” Father Gordon Reigle, the parish’s pastor, explained.  

“So, I asked God what can be done to overcome such powerful and well-financed lobby groups [such] as Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union? Within a matter of minutes, the idea of a 54-day rosary novena popped into my head.”

A novena is nine days of prayer, and a rosary novena means praying the rosary every day for nine days. Hence, a 54-day rosary novena is actually a series of six novenas: three novenas to petition God and three novenas to thank God. Its roots go back to the 19th century and the miraculous cure of a young Italian woman, Fortuna Agrelli, through the intercession of Our Lady of Pompeii. 

“To be honest, I’ve never prayed a 54-day rosary novena before,” Reigle admitted. “I knew that it exists and that it is very powerful but, I have to tell you, the insight in prayer came as a surprise.” 

Reigle, who is also pastor of St. John Church and Student Center in East Lansing — which serves Michigan State University students, faculty, and staff — took his prayerful insight to his immediate superior, Bishop Earl Boyea of the Diocese of Lansing. The bishop heartily approved of the idea of the novena. Other dioceses across Michigan have since expressed an interest in the prayer initiative.

Already thousands have signed up to receive a daily text reminder for each day of the novena. Reigle believes that victory in November’s election is only possible through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary as “the patroness of the Gospel of Life.”

“Mary’s sorrowful heart grieves over the sufferings of her children, especially when our most innocent and vulnerable are threatened,” Reigle said. “May Our Lady protect us and save our children!” 

To sign up for a daily text reminder of Reigle’s 54-day rosary novena, text FightLikeHeaven to 84576.

Watch the video of Reigle explaining the novena and his inspiration for it below.