Helpers of God's Precious Infants (Ottawa–Gatineau)

Prayer discipline

Peaceful witness

We believe it is essential that our witness be peaceful, prayer filled, and constant. It cannot in any way, shape or form be a demonstration, confrontation or protest; nor be perceived as such by anyone in sight. We are not picketing, we are praying.

The only sign we will hold is one stating We are praying for the end of abortion. Religious pictures (e.g. Our Lady of Guadalupe) are also used.

We seek to be a peaceful channel of grace

We ourselves must be free of anger and scorn — because scorn and ridicule close off a channel of grace to the very people who need it the most; the mother seeking the abortion and the abortionist who performs it.

A strict discipline of prayer is maintained

It is essential that the mothers arriving for an abortion see a praying people. Therefore, all participants must resist temptations to talk unnecessarily with one another, respond to remarks or ridicule from bystanders, passersby, or the abortion centre's staff, engage in conversation or debate with anyone, and be distracted by surrounding activity.


Participants are encouraged to pray reverently, in a low tone of voice or silently. Hymns may be sung, depending on the situation. Group prayer is appropriate, but not so loud as to be heard outside of the group, to avoid distracting the sidewalk counsellors or the women. Praying in a huddle will help to achieve this end.

Participants should be discreet (avoid gawking at the women) and not attract attention. They should be positioned together in one place where they will not be a distraction nor threat to the woman's privacy when she is speaking with the sidewalk counsellor.

Designated sidewalk counsellors

The only ones who should speak to the women are the designated counsellors. They must be allowed to counsel without interruption. No one should yell out or otherwise interfere with their attempts to effectively communicate with whom they are speaking. Every second is critical and what may sound clear to you will only be a confused noise to the women if several people are attempting to speak out.

Sidewalk counsellors may only use literature and signs approved by the Board of the Helpers of God's Precious Infants (Ottawa-Gatineau).

In order to achieve this prayer discipline, we operate according to the following:

Code of Conduct

While participating in the Helpers' activities:

  • I will only pursue peaceful solutions to the violence of abortion.
  • I will show compassion and reflect Christ’s love to all of the abortuary’s employees, volunteers, and customers.
  • I will not threaten, physically contact, nor verbally abuse the abortuary's workers, volunteers, or customers.
  • I will not obstruct the driveways or sidewalk while standing in the public right of way.
  • I will not block the abortuary's entrance nor the path of anyone, including passersby, on the sidewalk.
  • I will not litter on the public right of way.
  • I will closely attend to any children I bring to the prayer vigil.
  • I will not vandalize private nor public property.
  • I will cooperate with local city authorities.
  • I will maintain a spirit of prayer and refrain from judgements, debates and quarrels.
  • I will refrain from unnecessary discussion with the public and with the other pray-ers.
  • I will not picket nor carry any signs, pictures, displays, nor wear clothing bearing any words or images, without the consent of the Board of Directors of the Helpers of God's Precious Infants (Ottawa-Gatineau).
  • I will not engage in sidewalk counselling without adequate training and permission by the Helpers of God's Precious Infants official representative in Ottawa.
  • I understand that acting in a violent or harmful manner immediately and completely disassociates me from the Helpers of God's Precious Infants.
  • I will maintain a physical distance from others at the site whose tactics would be considered contrary to these guidelines.
The above guidelines have been collected and adapted from Msgr. Philip Reilly's literature and statements.

Sources :

Mt. 25:40 Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me. (Mt. 25:40)