Faithful gather and pray as 'Nine Days for Life' continues throughout Diocese

On Friday, Jan. 21, faithful gathered in-person at the Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption in Saginaw and also virtually for the beginning of "9 Days for Life," which began with a novena led by the Knights of Columbus, followed by a Holy Hour. "9 Days for Life" continues through Saturday, Jan. 29 in an effort to pray for and raise awareness of respect for all human life.  

Father Jim Bessert, director of the Office of Liturgy, led the Holy Hour on Friday and preached on the Gospel account of Jesus’ first public miracle during the wedding feast at Cana. 

“The miracle happened because there were empty vessels,” he said, adding that there are many people who, too, have “run out of wine when it comes to being the rich, choice message to be witnesses and stand for life.”

During the Novena for Life, Father Bessert continued, "We bring Jesus all these empty vessels through our prayer. We bring to Jesus, through the intercession and inspiration of the Blessed Virgin Mary, to help fill up the empty vessels with the reminder that God has created in his own image and likeness every human life, from conception to natural death. That is the choice wine. That is the sign of Jesus in our world today. 

“What we are doing here tonight and for the next eight days is to beg God, the author of life, not only to change the hearts and minds of those who may be contemplating an abortion, but also those who support and supply abortion on demand, to be changed. To be transformed like the water in the empty jugs at Cana— changed into choice wine. To be a voice of the wonder and awe of life. Changed and transformed to be the choice wine that we love, respect and honor every human person— most especially sacred from the moment of conception,” said Father Bessert.

He also encouraged the Faithful to be champions of life not only during the novena, but each and every day. 

"9 Days for Life" continues this evening at 6:30 p.m. at Resurrection of the Lord Parish in Standish with Novena Prayer and Evening Prayer.

All are invited to participate in "9 Days for Life" by joining the liturgies in person or virtually. The Diocese also invites the faithful  to view locally-produced videos on a variety of pro-life topics, such as living with suffering, war and peace, racism, caring for the Earth and more. Select videos also include handouts to foster reflection and group discussion. "Nine Days for Life" will continue now through Saturday, Jan. 29.

Learn more at

Bishop Gruss' Homily from Mass on January 22: Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children

Rosary Prayer Led by Knights of Columbus on Jan. 22 as part of 9 Days for Life Novena

Collin's Story

*Advisory for parents/guardians and educators: The following video contains mature subject matter which may not be appropriate for all audiences. We encourage you to review before sharing.

Collin Erickson, a Midland resident, received love and support from his family after his parents found his suicide note. In this video, he shares the story of his struggles and how he received help through family, friends and God. Collin also encourages those struggling with mental health to seek assistance. This video is part of "9 Days for Life." Click to learn more about “9 Days for Life” and to see the schedule, additional videos and other resources: