The Knights of St Columba, in partnership with pro-life group SPUC, have launched a Spiritual Bouquet to pray for life from conception to natural death and make abortion unthinkable.
The year-long prayer initiative, titled “Let Life Flourish”, was launched on the Feast of the Holy Innocents on 28th December 2023. A website will be launched later this month to inform participants about prayer activities they can get involved in. Each month will have a special intention.
A Spiritual Bouquet means the gift of prayers and/or devotional acts on behalf of someone else. At the end of 2024, books listing these spiritual gifts will be presented to the Bishops’ Conferences of Scotland, and of England and Wales, as well as to the Papal Nuncio.
Founded in 1919 in Glasgow, the Knights of St Columba is a spiritual order of Catholic laymen dedicated to the service of the Church and their fellow brothers and sisters.
Speaking to SPUC’s Catherine Mockler, Supreme Knight Harry Welsh said it is “important for us to be able to stand up and say this is an abhorrent situation… the amount of children that we [the UK] have been killing over the years [through abortion]… It’s just not acceptable.”
Mr Welsh added: “If you’re going to stand up against abortion, you’ve got to put your head above the parapet and you have to let as many people know as possible. We have over 300 councils in the UK who will be taking part in this.
“We’re a Catholic organisation, and in the Catholic church we are told that Jesus (knew) you before you were even in the womb. That is where we are coming from as an organisation.”
There were 123,219 abortions in England and Wales between January and June 2022, up 17% compared with the previous year. Scotland saw an even bigger increase in 2022 when there were 16,584 abortions over the whole year.
A SPUC spokesperson said: “Prayer is a meaningful act of witness and invocation for millions of people around the world. This simple and inclusive act, which can take many different forms, is as vital as ever as we work towards making abortion unthinkable.
“The Knights encourage all SPUC supporters to pray towards this end. Every loving prayer and charitable act, complementing SPUC’s pro-life actions, will strike a blow against abortion.”
Pictures: YouTube screengrabs of Supreme Knight Harry Welsh speaking to SPUC’s Catherine Mockler and CEO John Deighan about the group’s involvement in the prayer campaign.