Bishops’ Council for Life launches second annual Pray For Life Novena

19 May 2023

  • “I hope the Pray For Life Novena, by gathering people together in prayer across cyber-space, will help put fresh heart in all of those who are committed to defending the rights of women and of their babies, and to become more practically aware of how that support may best be offered.” – Bishop Kevin Doran 

The Council for Life of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference has today launched a Pray For Life Novena which will run from Tuesday 23 May until Wednesday 31 May (Feast of the Visitation).  The Pray For Life Novena and its associated website Pray For Life – Novena May 23rd – 31st will give people an opportunity be an active part of this initiative to pray for the protection of human life and to build a culture of life.  The Council for Life is inviting people to sign up on to receive the daily prayers and actions that will focus on themes such as expectant Mothers and Fathers, unborn Children, for those who defend life and for an end to abortion.  

Launching the Pray For Life Novena, Bishop Kevin Doran, chair of the Council for Life, said, “This year, the period of the Novena includes the great Feast of Pentecost when we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit, the ‘Lord and Giver of Life’.  My prayer is that there will be a fresh outpouring of the gifts of the Holy Spirit on all of us who pray the Novena, and on our whole society.  Gifts such as Wisdom, Right Judgement, Courage and Reverence, which are so relevant to our mission of building a better and more just society, where ever life and every person is respected.” 

Bishop Doran continued, “This is the second year in which the Council for Life has offered this Novena.  This year we do so against the backdrop of the government’s recent Review of the abortion legislation, which proposes changes in the law which would weaken the rights of the unborn, weaken still further the limited safeguards for women, and restrict the right of conscientious objection for pro-life healthcare professionals.  We hope the Pray For Life Novena will help re-focus hearts and minds on the essential task ahead of us, which is to work for the repeal of the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018, and to replace it with public policies consistent with the right to life and the dignity of women.  We invite you to join people across Ireland during this last week of May to pray for the protection of human life.” 


Notes to Editors

  • The Council For Life is an initiative of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference.  It promotes the Catholic Church’s teaching on the dignity and value of every human life.  The Council offers dioceses, parishes and members of the faithful pro-life material and resources to encourage discussion in families on the value of every human life.
  • A novena refers to nine days of prayer, asking God for a specific intention, often through a Saint’s intercession.  The word novena is derived from the Latin word for nine, or novem.  Many of the most popular and widely-prayed novenas begin or end on a Saint’s Feast Day.
  • You can follow the Pray For Life Novena on social media by using the hashtag #PrayForLife and by following @ChooseLifeIRL on Twitter; Pray for Life Novena Ireland on Facebook; Pray for Life Novena on Instagram  
  • You can also join the Pray For Life Novena on Pray For Life – Novena May 23rd – 31st and receive a daily email.  Each email is GDPR compliant and provides an unsubscribe button for when the Novena concludes.