Steve Karlen
Steve Karlen
Live in a way that exemplifies the culture of life.

That was advice from Auxiliary Bishop Peter Smith during a Mass Sept. 17 at St. Mary Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. The liturgy marked the opening of the fall 40 Days for Life campaign in western Oregon.

“When we live a life of faith and become living witnesses, God can do some pretty amazing things through us,” Bishop Smith said, telling a story in which a pro-life Uber driver got talking about his big family and unwittingly inspired a passenger to keep her baby instead of having an abortion.

From Sept. 28 to Nov. 6, pro-life advocates will increase their presence on the sidewalk outside Lilith, an abortion business located on an upper floor at 511 SW 10th Ave. in Portland. The site does late-term abortions and seeks out women from states where abortion is not allowed. Vigils are set during this period Wednesdays through Saturdays 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

40 Days for Life is a national campaign held in the fall and spring. Organizers say they have saved 22,000 babies nationally and 125 here in Oregon. They also say the effort has contributed to converting almost 300 abortion workers to the pro-life cause.

Oregon is getting national attention during the fall vigil. Steve Karlen, national campaign director of 40 Days for Life, will tell the story of the project Monday, Oct. 10, 6:30 p.m. at Our Lady of the Lake Church, 790 A Ave. in Lake Oswego.

“People in Portland have made extraordinary sacrifices to expose the abortion industry and to protect pre-born children and their mothers from abortion,” Karlen said. “Their efforts illustrate why we’re seeing historic changes — more mothers choosing life, more abortion workers experiencing conversions and leaving the abortion industry, and more abortion centers closing their doors for good.”

Karlen said he’s honored to join the Portland-area pro-life advocates in prayer.

“We are tremendously pleased that Steve will be here to support our 40 Days for Life effort,” said Therese Ruesink, spokesperson for the 40 Days for Life campaign in Portland. “He’s an energetic, enthusiastic speaker and we know he will be an inspiration.”

Portland is one of 1,000 cities around the world conducting simultaneous 40 Days for Life campaigns.