A Novena for the Legal Protection of Human Life is being led by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Catholics are being encouraged to take part ahead of the Senate confirmation hearings for Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

The novena will be prayed each Friday between August 3 and September 28. The initiative is part of the USCCB’s ongoing Call to Prayer for Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty.

Senate confirmation hearings are set to begin in September, and there are expectations that Kavanaugh could be confirmed by the time the Supreme Court begins its next session in October. Kavanaugh’s nomination was welcomed by Catholics and pro-life groups who hope he could form part of a majority on the court in favor of overturning controversial abortion decisions like Roe v. Wade.

The novena is tied to the confirmation process and the prayers of Catholics are important, Greg Schleppenbach, associate director of the USCCB Pro-Life Activities Secretariat, told CNA. He predicted that the confirmation process will be “very contentious,” with much of the debate centered around the issue of abortion.

“As we’ve already seen, the pro-abortion side is making this all about Roe v. Wade. It will clearly be contentious on that issue alone and perhaps others. But certainly, the other side has been making Roe vs. Wade a central issue, if not the central issue, in this confirmation process.”

The Novena for the Legal Protection of Human Life is a “very concrete and effective way” for those who are concerned about human life to combat the “culture of death,” said Schleppenbach.

“The fact that this effort focuses on and encourages people to pray and to fast is critically important. It is absolutely one of the most productive, effective pro-life actions that we can take,” he told CNA.

Full story at Catholic News Agency.