The archbishop of Detroit is calling on Michigan Catholics to spend the first two weeks of Advent doing penance following the passage of a ballot initiative that amended the state constitution to allow abortion on demand.
Archbishop Allen Vigneron addressed a letter to all parishioners the day after Proposition 3 passed with 56.7% of the vote.
“Abortion is now legal in Michigan at an unprecedented level, and millions of lives are at stake. We must pray and ask God for his mercy upon us for allowing this evil to happen in our state,” Vigneron wrote.
“For this reason, I want to invite all the faithful to join me in the first two weeks of Advent, from November 27 to December 9, in doing penance, giving alms, praying, and fasting. We must use these spiritual practices to make reparations for the great sin of abortion in our midst,” he said.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that Jesus called on his followers to strive for “interior penance,” defined as a “radical reorientation of our whole life, a return, a conversion to God with all our heart, an end of sin, a turning away from evil, with repugnance toward the evil actions we have committed” (No. 1431). Through almsgiving, prayer and fasting, Christians can “express conversion in relation to oneself, to God, and to others” (No. 1434).
This year, as part of the Detroit Archdiocese’s “I AM HERE” campaign, special eucharistic Holy Hours will be offered at 7 p.m. every day of Advent. The campaign was started in June in conjunction with the beginning of the U.S. Catholic bishops’ Eucharistic Revival initiative.
In his letter, Vigneron also underlined the importance of offering pregnant women in need help during time of crisis.
“We also renew our commitment to accompanying women and families in need, with greater resolve than ever. This work is more critical now, as the unborn have been stripped of their basic right to life and their mothers face the harmful lie that the death of their children is a solution to their struggles.
“In response to the passing of Proposal 3, we must step forward with no judgment, open arms, and effective resources to help women reject the ‘solution’ of death and empower them to choose life for their children,” Vigneron wrote.
He singled out the Walking with Moms in Need initiative and the Project Rachel as two important ministries that help pregnant women, mothers, and children, and those who have been harmed by abortion.