Catholic Social Services to Hold “Luminaries for Life” Observance in Remembrance Of The Millions of Lives Lost To Abortion

This observance recalls the sanctity and dignity of human life and is a local precursor to the 47th Annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. on Friday, January 24th.

Catholic Social Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (CSS) will once again sponsor Luminaries for Life to remember the millions of lives lost to abortion since the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion in the United States.


Thursday, January 23, 2020
2:30 p.m.–3:00 p.m. (Good Shepherd Singers)
3:00 p.m. (Prayer Service and Blessing)
Archdiocesan Pastoral Center
222 North 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Reverend Dennis M. Weber, SdC, Director of Ministry and Mission at The Communities of Don Guanella and Divine Providence, a ministry of CSS, will preside over this year’s prayer service and Blessing of the Luminaries.


Staff from the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center (APC) along with men served by Saint John’s Hospice (Center City) will light 47 luminaries to be displayed on the APC’s front portico. Luminaries will remain lit overnight and throughout the day on Friday to prayerfully remember the anniversary of the tragic consequences of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions legalizing abortion nationwide.
Prior to the prayer service and blessing, the Good Shepherd Singers, a choral group consisting of current and former residents of the Saint John’s Hospice Good Shepherd Program, a residential program offering housing and social services to medically fragile men experiencing homelessness, will perform.
The commitment of the Archdiocese to preserving the dignity of human life includes support for women in crisis pregnancy situations as well as healing outreach to all those suffering from post-abortion trauma.


CSS is a provider agency of Real Alternatives which provides life-affirming pregnancy and parenting support services for women in need of assistance during an unplanned or crisis pregnancy. Women have access to free, caring, and confidential support services, including education about reproductive health concerns, assistance in finding appropriate medical services, and referral to adoption services for those who wish to explore that option.


Project Rachel is a post-abortion ministry administered by CSS and the Office of Life and Family which provides healing to women whose lives have been affected by the decision to abort a child. It is composed of a network of specially trained clergy, spiritual directors, and therapists who provide compassionate one-on-one care to women and men who are struggling with the aftermath of abortion and seek emotional, psychological and spiritual healing.

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Editor’s Note: Catholic Social Services (CSS) of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia offers community-based and residential programs and services to support men, women and children in need as an expression of the charitable works of our local Church throughout the Greater Philadelphia area. To learn more about CSS programs that serve a wide variety of human needs, please visit https://cssphiladelphia.org/


Project Rachel was founded in 1984 in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. The ministry is now active in more than 110 dioceses across the United States. Project Rachel is composed of a network of specially trained clergy, spiritual directors and therapists who provide compassionate one-on-one care to men and women who are struggling with the aftermath of abortion and seek emotional and psychological healing. In the Archdiocese of Philadelphia this program is a collaborative effort between Catholic Social Services and the Office for Life and Family. For more information, please visit www.HopeAfterAbortion.org.

Real Alternatives is a government-funded program of the Department of Human Services that provides pregnancy and parenting support services to women facing unplanned, crisis pregnancies which empowers them to choose childbirth over abortion. For more information, please visit www.realalternatives.org.