Praying for the unborn child

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 8, 1999

DEBBIE MUSTIAN / L’Observateur / November 8, 1999

Members of Ascension of Our Lord’s Catholic Youth Organization are concerned about abortion and want to do their part to make others aware of their distress.

To that end, CYO and Junior CYO members have spiritually “adopted” a baby and will pray for that unborn child for nine months. They hope that theirprayers will assist a troubled mother-to-be in making a pro-life decision for her unborn baby.

This is the third time AOL’s CYO members have participated in the spiritual adoption program established by Louisiana Pro-Life. “It’s a goodway for everyone to be involved,” said Janet Guillory, director of AOL’s youth ministry program. “It keeps pro-life in their minds.”In addition to praying each day for his or her “adopted” baby, each CYO member names the unborn child and follows its development. CamilePoche, 13, decided to name her two spiritually “adopted” girls Casey and Carrie, for example.

From time to time, Guillory said, the youth group will talk about how far the baby’s development has progressed since the moment of their spiritual adoption.

Since the prayer program began this fall, for example, the CYO’s “adopted” children have already grown considerably. CYO members can track theirbabies’ development by reading their “Diary of an Unborn Child.” To date,members may note their babies’ arms and legs have already begun to take shape.

CYO members received pink or blue cards to help them remember to pray for their “adopted” babies. And, laminated pink and blue baby shapes aredisplayed in the Holy Family House, where the group meets, complete with the babies’ names and the names of the spiritually adoptive parent. All ofthis is designed to keep CYO members focused on their task at hand.

At the end of the nine months, some time next summer, Guillory said the group will hold a huge baby shower for the “adopted’ babies and donate the baby gifts to Catholic Charities.

Recently, members of the group met after Mass at AOL’s Tomb of the Unborn for a candlelight service designed to be a starting point for the prayer program. As CYO members shared prayers, candles wereextinguished.

“We pray for the courage to take a stand for the unborn child,” Guillory began. CYO members took turns saying a prayer that described somethingan unborn child could contribute to the world, if given the chance to live.

“We remember those who had the potential for giving life, love and joy to others,” one CYO member prayed. “We remember those who might havediscovered new cures and miracle drugs in the field of medicine,” another member offered.

After the service, several members talked about how important the spiritual adoption program is to them. Ann Comiskey, 16, said, “It’s goodto pray for the babies. If you pray, God may inspire a mother to make theright decision.”Christine Lorio, 13, said, “I think this is really neat because a baby may grow up to contribute so many things that may be important.”

The spiritual adoption program’s prayer:

“Dear Jesus, child of Mary, I love you and thank you for your unconditional love. I plead with you to save the life of ________, the unborn child whomI have spiritually adopted and whose life if threatened by abortion. Maythis child be allowed to grow in wisdom, age and strength in your presence and in the sight of all. Amen.”

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