Pro-life prayer ministry marks 10 years

About 75 people, including Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, prayed the rosary during a procession to an abortion clinic in downtown Louisville May 20, as part of the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants monthly prayer vigil for life at the Cathedral of the Assumption. The Helpers marked its 10th anniversary with Mass prior to the procession.  (Record Photo by Jessica Able)

About 75 people, including Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, prayed the rosary during a procession to an abortion clinic in downtown Louisville May 20, as part of the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants monthly prayer vigil for life at the Cathedral of the Assumption. The Helpers marked its 10th anniversary with Mass prior to the procession. (Record Photo by Jessica Able)

By Jessica Able, Record Staff Writer

The Louisville Helpers of God’s Precious Infants marked 10 years with a Mass and rosary procession May 20 at the Cathedral of the Assumption in downtown Louisville.

The international ministry seeks to provide a prayerful presence outside abortion clinics around the United States, said Patricia Horton, one of the group’s organizers.

During his homily, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz thanked those gathered at Mass for their

prayerful witness.

“Thank you for being a humble, yet a powerful witness to others … we need to speak on the cause for life from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death,” he said.

Those involved with the ministry gather for an early-morning Mass at the Cathedral once a month. Following the 7:30 a.m. Mass, individuals may remain in church for eucharistic adoration or take part in a rosary procession to the EMW Women’s Surgical Center on Market Street. The monthly prayer vigil concludes with Benediction.

Horton said the Helpers aid “God’s precious infants” in three ways: prayer, sidewalk counseling and spiritual support.

“First, we pray for reparation for sins, for our own sins, and for the deaths that will occur that day. We pray for the woman and for our community so people realize this is something that needs to end in our country,” she said.

The group also trains people to be “sidewalk counselors,” Horton said. These individuals provide information and resources to the women entering or exiting the clinic.

And, lastly, there are many people involved in “spiritual support,” she said.

These who offer spiritual support are individuals who cannot be physically present but offer prayers and “are present with the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants in spirit,” an information card said.

Horton is quick to note that the Helpers are not protesters and do not carry signs condemning those entering the clinic. Those praying the rosary also remain across the street from the clinic entrance.

“We are there to pray for the women, for the families and the people working in the clinic,” she said.

The Helpers of God’s Precious Infants is an international prayer ministry that was started in New York City in the 1980s by Monsignor Philip Reilly, who still leads vigils and processions in Brooklyn.

After Msgr. Reilly gave a talk in Louisville in 2007, Horton and a few others, including Bob Baker, decided to begin a Louisville chapter of Helpers.

“I came to the conclusion that this was spiritual warfare. We were battling evil. The only thing that defeats evil is prayer and fasting,” Horton said.

Since that time, people in the Archdiocese of Louisville have been coming together once a month for a prayer vigil. About 75 people attend the monthly prayer vigils, she said.

Horton said anyone can be involved in the ministry, even those who are unable to attend the monthly vigils for life.

“This is a situation where everyone can help by praying. You can pray in your car, at your job, while rocking a baby in your arms,” she added. “If everybody in the country prayed for this everyday I think this would be over. That’s why I believe so strongly in what we do.”

To learn more about the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants, visit helperslouisville.org.

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