I was in the home of a Chicago couple who support Priests for Life, and they had invited a number of other couples to the house so that I could speak about the projects and initiatives of our ministry. As our gathering progressed, someone called with the news that Mother Teresa of Calcutta had died. It was September 5, 1997.
Just three years earlier, in June of 1994, I had the privilege of a several-day visit with Mother Teresa in Calcutta. She took me around the city to the various homes run by her Sisters, the Missionaries of Charity. I spoke to them about the pro-life movement in the United States, and about the biblical basis for fighting abortion. I said Mass for the sisters, and even found myself preaching a homily about holiness, with Mother Teresa in the congregation!
Mother Teresa had just given her speech at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC a few months earlier. “Many of the American people really loved your speech,” I told her. “And what about the rest?” she asked. And she gave me a typewritten copy of the speech and asked that Priests for Life distribute it far and wide. We still do so to this day.
After my visit, Mother Teresa wrote me a letter in which she expressed her hope that “many priests and deacons will join the Priests for Life.” We had discussed pro-life strategy in detail, and the role that Priests for Life could play in the Church. (I was still in my first year as full-time Director of Priests for Life.) We spoke about Mother Teresa’s frequent assertion that “the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.”
Let us honor Mother Teresa on this her Feast Day and every day, above all by following her example!
Excitement regarding the elections continues to build; that’s why we’re having another national election teleseminar on Monday night September 29. (See www.priestsforlife.org/conferencecall to get more details and sign up.)
It is time to harness the energy that has been generated across the country, and organize it in the most productive way – that is, the way that will result in the most votes. It’s not time for long, involved arguments. It’s time, rather, to register voters who are ready to exercise their responsibility, to educate voters — who are already convinced of what’s right – regarding where the candidates stand, and to get people to the polls who are ready to cast their ballot – especially doing so early in the states that have early voting.
Join me and our expert panel by phone or internet on Monday night September 29 and let’s talk about getting to victory.
Well, it’s certainly clear to me that pro-life activists across the country are more energized than ever about this election. While there was a slow start this year to getting excited about the Presidential race, that has certainly changed in recent weeks.
First of all, the Republican platform was passed with the strongest pro-life language it has ever had.
Second, the VP selection of Governor Sarah Palin has really encouraged the pro-life and conservative movement. Some leaders who weren’t so sure that they even wanted to support the ticket are now saying that they’ve never been more excited about a presidential race.
My own communication with Governor Palin earlier this year reinforced my impression of her as a person for whom the pro-life message is not simply a position she takes, but is something that defines her life at every level.
Enough people vote pro-life on the issue of abortion to swing elections, and that dynamic is shaping up this year as it has in the past.