9 April 2003
Yesterday, was bone-chillingly cold; the day after the April snowfall, I
shivered as I stood holding my pro life sign on Court Street in Brooklyn. This
was the 2nd of 3 Brooklyn locations selected for the Priests for Life "Face the
Truth" tour. Priests for Life designed this 10-day tour to convey the truth
about the horror of abortion to the five boroughs of New York City through the
use of graphic images. On this, the eighth day of the tour, Fr. Frank Pavone,
National Director of Priests for Life, said that the Face the Truth Tour had not
enjoyed a good day of weather yet. "Why here?" I thought to myself. "There must
be plenty of busy streets in Brooklyn that don't have this bitter wind. My hands
are going to fall off. Why didn't you wear long-Johns?" I conversed with myself.
I was being a wimp!
It was the lunch hour and people were bustling in the streets, many of them
saw our signs. We were standing about 15 feet apart, displaying the 4 different
styles of signs: (1) "lst Trimester ABORTION", showing the results of a lst
trimester abortion; (2) "Planned Parenthood ABORTS BABIES", with a remarkable
lst trimester abortion in which the child's face is intact and so clear, (3)
"Life At 8 Weeks" showing what unborn child looks like at 8 weeks gestation; (4)
"ADOPTION: The loving option". A woman stopped and said angrily, "Why don't you
end the war in Iraq?" (I'm heading out tomorrow to Iraq to take care of that.)
At one point, Fr. Van Hager, i.m.c., told me we only had 20 more minutes; It
had felt like an hour had elapsed by the time we headed back to our tour bus
with the signs. A woman on the street stopped me and said, "You guys helped me
out so much today! Thank you for being here with the signs! We had 6 turn
arounds today!" It turned out that this woman, named Linda, was a counselor
in a crisis pregnancy center on Court Street. There is a Planned Parenthood
abortion clinic in the same building on a different floor. In fact, we were at
the perfect location, especially with the signs disclosing Planned Parenthood's
specific involvement in the killing of unborn children.
Back on the bus, there was a loud cheer as the announcement was made that 6
babies had been saved at the last stop. We prayed in thanksgiving.
We had about an hour between stops to warm-up and rest between stops. The
trip was incredibly well organized by Janet Morana and Andrew Smith of Priests
for Life. Things ran like clockwork. On this particular day of the tour, 24
people participated. There were people from Wisconsin, Kansas and Canada who
were on the tour for a week or more. The people from Wisconsin and Canada have
participated in other "Face the Truth" tours, which have been conducted in 26
Our last stop of the "Face the Truth" tour in Brooklyn was outside the main
branch of the Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza. This location was
infinitely more comfortable than the Court Street location, because there was
very little wind. We spoke to many people outside the library. At one point, a
couple of homeless people came up to look at my sign. "That's what abortion is?"
said the woman with spiraled designed colored contact lenses. Her name was
"Margie". "Isn't it terrible," I said, "But so many women don't know what
they're actually doing when they get an abortion." The man said, "You ain't
never doing that." She said, "No way." Then she said, "But I did that-I had 3
abortions. " "Did you ever ask Jesus to forgive you?" I asked. She said, "I'm
going to go home and ask for forgiveness tonight." "Jesus loves you so much, you
know," I said. "I love him." She replied. I asked them if they would like to get
a blessing from Fr. Pavone. Fr. Pavone and this couple stood in a circle and
prayed, and they thanked us and walked away smiling.
Fr. Pavone made some interesting observations while we were talking: "See,
the graphic images don't make women flip out; they bring people to repentance."
That has been my experience as well. Even if some of the people who see the
signs are upset by the sudden realization of what they did, it is most often the
beginning of the healing process. Another thing that Fr. Pavone mentioned, which
I also noticed in Brooklyn, was that the most of the people who spoke to us in
support of our cause were Black women. The most pro-abortion people were young
As I write to you from my warm and cozy office, looking out the window at the
rain, I am thinking about those joyous freezing-cold people who are standing in
the rain again today in Queens, NY. I am sure they are saving babies today they
will never know about in this life. Yesterday, I was thinking, it takes a lot of
effort and sacrifice to save unborn children. The Bible says that children are
always a blessing. Janet Smith, Ph.D, author and Associate Professor of
Philosophy at the University of Dallas, says that one of the reasons that
children are a blessing is that children typically turn parents into better
people. Parents suddenly become aware of what is going on in the community, if
the schools are good, etc. Parents become less selfish, since the needs of the
children must come first. Children are served first; Parents save for their
education, etc. Children require incredible amount of sacrifice. Today I'm
thinking, those unborn children we are working to save are a blessing to us.
They are turning us into better people.
In this Lenten season, would you consider making a sacrificial gift to
support my work on behalf of unborn children? Together we can reach more people
with the truth about abortion and chastity.
Checks should be made out to LIFENET, Inc. with the designation of "Public
Education" (in the memo spot) PO Box 1721 Morristown, NJ 07962-1721. All
contributions are tax-deductible.
Director of Public Education