Day for Life

The Church teaches that life is to be nurtured from conception to natural death. In England and Wales, Day for Life is celebrated on the third Sunday of June each year. For the first time, it will be celebrated in Scotland and Ireland on the same day.

The theme is ‘Listen to Her’ and focuses on post-abortion trauma and the impact of abortion primarily on women, but also men and others.

The 2023 Day For Life message is unique in that the bishops’ have given it over to a Catholic woman who has had an abortion to share her experiences. Often the voices of women who have had an abortion are silent in Church and in society. The hope is that this will help break this silence and offer further opportunities for healing and reconciliation.

Day for Life

Novena for Life

This novena, nine days of intercessory prayer, can be prayed in the lead up to Day for Life 2023. It is offered to encourage a flourishing of a culture of life, with a particular focus, on ending abortion and healing the trauma of abortion.

Each day we will start the novena with a prayer, taken from St John Paul II’s concluding comments in his encyclical letter ‘The Gospel of Life’. This will be followed by a reflection and end with the ‘Glory Be’.

Novena for Life


This weekend, the Catholic Church in England & Wales, Scotland and Ireland marks the annual Day for Life.

This day each year gives us an opportunity to reflect on the gift of life which is precious from conception to natural death.

How can we fail to contemplate the precious gift of life for the victims of the attacks in Nottingham this past week. The tragic deaths of the two 19-year old students has touched the lives of so many people: young people, parents, people who recognise how the gift of life which we sometimes take for granted can be so fragile. We pray for all those affected and commend them to the compassion of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

The theme given for this year's Day for Life is ‘Listen to Her’ and focuses on the trauma that can follow abortion, for women and for others by association.

Jane’s Story is a powerful account of a young girl who appeared to see no alternative to abortion when she became pregnant and after her abortion hoped that life would return to normal. It was many years afterwards that a retreat experience with Rachel’s Vineyard led her to a journey of healing from the trauma.

This is most topical in the light of the recent story of a woman who is now serving a prison sentence for taking abortion pills after the legal time limit in our country for abortion. And soon afterwards there are calls to revisit the law…but presumably only to extend the time limit and to make abortion more accessible.

Closer to home, it has also become a matter of conscience that has questioned such fundamental rights as freedom of religious belief and the right to pray privately about abortion.

On the Church’s annual Day for Life, may we recognise the many complex situations that can lead people to consider abortion.

Our society sees abortion more and more as a right that should not be obstructed.

As, too, this weekend is Father's Day, let us pray that those who embrace the vocation of fatherhood may recognise the privilege of their calling.

May the rights and responsibilities of both parents always be held in balance for the good of the child.