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9 Days for Life: FAQ


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What is 9 Days for Life?

9 Days for Life is an annual period of prayer and action focused on cherishing the gift of every person's life

Surrounding the Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children*, the overarching intention of the centerpiece novena is the end to abortion.

However, the novena also highlights many other facets of respecting each other's God-given dignity, especially by respecting human life at every stage and in every circumstance.

9 Days for Life is an opportunity to:

  • PRAY for the respect and protection of each person's life;

  • GATHER together in prayer, action, and fellowship with others;

  • SHARE your stories online!

*Typically observed each year on January 22 (also the anniversary of Roe v. Wade), the 2017 observance will be January 23. More information.

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When is it?

Saturday, January 21, 2017 - Sunday, January 29, 2017

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Who is invited to participate?

Anyone can join individually at!

However, leaders in parishes and various parish ministries, as well as in schools, dioceses, and other organizations, are especially important in raising awareness and helping others participate in various ways.

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What are some ways to participate?

  1. PRAY: The novena's short prayer guides highlight a different topic each day with five sections: intention, prayers, reflection, suggested actions, and related topical information.

    All the following options for obtaining the novena will be accessible from in the months leading up to January.

  2. GATHER: Join together with others in prayer, action, and fellowship. Organize or attend local events sponsored by dioceses, parishes, schools, etc., and/or host private gatherings of friends and family.

    • Ideas for sponsored events: Special blessing at send-off Mass or Holy Hour for pilgrims attending a march or rally (suggested blessing available online: "Order for the Blessing of Pro-Life Pilgrims before Their Journey"); service project related to one of the topics highlighted in the novena; workshop on chastity, Theology of the Body, or sexual ethics.

    • Ideas for private gatherings: Potluck dinner with discussion; lunch hour prayer with co-workers; movie night of age-appropriate films addressing life issues.

  3. SHARE:

    • Share how you participated in 9 Days for Life on a particular day, why you are participating, or what being pro-life means to you.

      Post your filled-in "selfie sign" (en español) or a 5-15 second video using #9DaysforLife and tagging @USCCB on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. We'll pick from the best to share!
    • Use the social media kit with pre-written posts to share the novena's daily intentions, as well as other respect life images and information.

      (The 2017 kit is not yet available, but the 2016 kit is available to view as an example.)
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What tools are available to help raise awareness and engage people?

Leaders are encouraged to promote and incorporate 9 Days for Life into their regular programming and/or to host special, related events during this time. To aid leaders in these efforts, a leaders' toolkit will be made available online with promotional, programmatic, and prayer resources. 

(Check back to the leaders' toolkit page for updates!)

  • Promotional: Pulpit/bulletin announcements; flyer; graphics (suitable for bulletins, emails, websites, newspapers, and more); 10" x 13" ad; pre-written articles.

  • Programmatic: Social media toolkit; selfie sign; Coffee & Conversation (discussion guide on additional pro-life articles); youth/young adult ministry guide (adaptable for other ages).

  • Prayer: 9 Days for Life novena; pro-life Rosary prayer intentions; Holy Hour templates; list of options for Mass readings for the Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children; pro-life intercessions for the Prayer of the Faithful; homily notes; Order for the Blessing of Pro-Life Pilgrims.
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Are these resources available in Spanish?

Yes! Both the leaders' resources and the novena itself will be made available in both English and Spanish.

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Why are the bishops asking us to join?

Each January 22 our nation marks the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court case which legalized abortion during all nine months of pregnancy. Since that tragic decision, more than 56 million children's lives have been lost to abortion, and many suffer that loss—often in silence. 

As Catholics, we recognize the inherent dignity of every person in every circumstance and at every stage of life—from conception to death. Yet we continue to see many threats to life and violence against it. We cannot look the other way. As Pope Francis noted during his visit to the United States, our "care for one another is care for Jesus himself."

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Is there anything else I should know?

You can sign up any time of year at! Throughout the year, the webpage features email and text message subscription options for monthly messages structured like the novena's daily prayer guides. (By signing up, you'll also automatically receive the novena in January.) 

Related pages are accessible throughout the year, and there will be more information on 9 Days for Life prominently displayed on during the time leading up to January 21, 2017.

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