National March for Life online candlelight vigil held May 13; precedes this year’s virtual march on May 14

Screen capture from the online video of Cardinal Collins' message during a virtual National March For Life prayer vigil May 13. (Archdiocese of Toronto)

Toronto Archbishop blesses pro-life movement ahead of first-ever online version of National March for Life

By Bryan Dryden, Canadian Catholic News

[Ottawa – CCN] – In a country where thousands of babies are aborted each year before they can draw their first breath and euthanasia towards the end of life is now a legally protected aspect of the public health care system, Toronto Archbishop Cardinal Thomas Collins blessed Canadians on the front line of the pro-life movement during a virtual candlelight vigil on May 13.

The National March for Life that would have been held on May 14 in Ottawa is now an online event because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The May 13 candlelight vigil, following a series of pro-life films shown online from May 10 to 12, set the stage for a full day of pro-life messages and online programming planned for May 14 by the Campaign Life Coalition.

Canadians across the country can access the online National March for Life through the website starting at noon EDT (10 a.m. SK time) on May 14 when Ottawa-Cornwall Archbishop Terrence Prendergast will oversee a pro-life Mass.


“Lord bless and protect the unborn and the vulnerable and those nearing the end of life facing the increasing danger of euthanasia that is growing in our country,” Archbishop Collins said during the online candlelight vigil for the victims of abortion in Canada on May 13.

He said that the COVID-19 pandemic has shown the need to care for the most vulnerable in society with love and compassion, and said that is something that the pro-life movement in Canada has been emphasizing and doing for years.

“That is what we in the pro-life movement have been doing for such a long time,” he said, “to care for everyone from the moment of conception to a natural death.”

“This is our prayer, this is why we must not be afraid amidst the struggles we face in these days and we have faced for such a long time,” Archbishop Collins said. “May the Lord bless and keep and guide all who are engaged in this great goal as advocates for life.”

The May 13 hour-long candlelight vigil, hosted by pro-life musicians Kathleen and Jesse Leblanc from St. Augustine Parish in Dundas, ON, followed an earlier special remembrance Mass in honour of Catholic Fr. Alphonse de Valk, CSB, who was a hero of the Canadian pro-life movement and died at age 88 on April 16.

March for Life prepares for online version during COVID-19: ARTICLE

The pro-life Mass overseen by Ottawa-Cornwall Archbishop Prendergast and live-streamed from Ottawa’s Notre Dame Cathedral from noon to 1 p.m. on May 14 (10 a.m. SK time) will be followed by an online pro-life rally staring at 2:30 p.m. ET (12:30 p.m. SK time.)

May 14 marks the anniversary of the passage in 1969 of a federal omnibus bill that decriminalized abortion in Canada. All National March for Life online events can be viewed at the website.