SAN DIEGO PRO-LIFERS
RECEIVED A HUGE MORALE BOOST
San Diego News Notes
Diocese of San Diego
SAN DIEGO PRO-LIFERS RECEIVED
A HUGE MORALE BOOST from
Father Giacomo Capoverdi, of Priests
for Life. He visited the San Diego diocese from January 31 to February 6. Father
Capoverdi, of the diocese of Providence, Rhode Island, is currently working
full-time with Priests for Life at the organization's New York office. "My
mission is to go out into the whole United States and preach about the evils of
abortion," he explained. "I'm representing Christ, representing the Church, and
representing Father [Frank] Pavone [the Priests for Life director].
"I came out here because I know that San Diego has a lot going
on, in the way of pro-life work," Father Capoverdi said. The San Diego diocese
contacted Priests for Life and urged them "to send someone out here because they
felt like Priests for Life needed to have a presence here in this diocese."
Joseph Horejs, the new administrative assistant in the diocesan Social Ministry
Office, arranged his schedule here.
On February 1, Father Capoverdi assisted at morning Mass at
Most Precious Blood Church in Chula Vista and afterward accompanied 16
parishioners on their Wednesday morning prayer vigil at the Clinica Medica
abortion mill. "The doctor had just left, so there wasn't a lot of business,"
parish pro-life coordinator Shirley Henry reported. "Father Giacomo gave us a
beautiful little homily after the rosary and words of encouragement and support.
It was such an uplifting hour and a half that we felt really buoyed by the whole
situation and we're very grateful."
On February 2, the Feast of the Presentation, he said morning
Mass at Saint Rose of Lima in Chula Vista. In his homily, he portrayed the
situation in the U.S. since abortion's legalization as being analogous to C.S.
Lewis's mythical land of Narnia's seemingly perpetual winter without Christmas,
caused by the evil white witch's spell. "Six men [on the Supreme Court] caused
it to be winter time in the U.S. since 1973, and a spell was cast over our
country since Roe v. Wade was considered constitutional.... As a result
46 million babies have died due to this sin. But the prophecy of Narnia was that
the spell would be broken when sons and daughters of Adam and Eve came into
Narnia. As they came in, the snow and ice started to melt.... That's what it's
like in the pro-life movement right now."
Afterward he accompanied a group of about 10 parishioners to
My Choice Women's Medical Clinic, another Chula Vista abortion mill, on their
regular Thursday morning prayer vigil there. As the prayer vigil ended, he
offered prayers for the conversion of the clinic staff and directly appealed to
them to stop their involvement in abortion. Then he gave encouragement to the
pro-lifers. As has been typical there during the last few months, no clinic
personnel were seen outside nor was there any evidence of abortions occurring
during the prayer vigil.
On Saturday morning, February 4, Father Capoverdi joined
Catholics and Evangelicals who regularly pray and sidewalk counsel at the Family
Planning Associates abortion mill in downtown San Diego, across from Balboa
Park. Pro-lifer Sue Lopez reported that 37 people showed up, because "knowing
that this priest was coming drew triple the number of Catholics who regularly
Lopez recalled Father Capoverdi's reaction to the shout of "Go
Home!" yelled from a passing car. "He said, 'We Christians, we are home here.
Jesus tells us in the Gospel to love our neighbor. He gives the example of the
good Samaritan who rescued a man from death. That is what we are doing at the
abortion clinic.' It was so uplifting and inspiring for all present to hear this
young priest speak."
Speaking to a News Notes reporter, Father Capoverdi
said he was inspired to become involved in Priests for Life by "the horrific
nature of this sin in our country." He continued: "I felt God's calling say to
me, 'I'm happy you're a priest because I called you to be a priest, but now I
want you, for a while, to discern leaving the parish and working full-time to
help babies that are unborn.' I feel like, if I can save one baby's life in this
work, then I've accomplished what I wanted to do."
Having been born in 1965, technically Father Capoverdi is not
a survivor of the post-1973 legalized abortion holocaust, but says he
nonetheless feels like one. His mother was facing difficult circumstances during
her pregnancy and was offered assistance in arranging and paying for an
abortion, but she was horrified by the idea. Father Capoverdi said that now, the
person who offered her the abortion "comes up to me and pinches my cheeks and
says what a tremendous priest I am and ... she wants me to celebrate her funeral
Mass ... and I think to myself as she says this, 'If my mother had followed your
advice, I wouldn't be here.' And I wonder, 'How many future priests have we
Father Capoverdi discussed the reluctance of some priests to
preach about life issues from the pulpit. "I think sometimes priests are afraid
that if they say something that's going to offend somebody, it's going to bring
their budgets down and it's going to bring participation in Mass down. I say to
them what Christ said to Peter, when many of the disciples that were following
Christ formerly no longer were because His teachings [about the Eucharist] were
too hard for them to understand. Jesus didn't change His message to make it
easier for them. He preached boldly and with authority. And so we follow in the
footsteps of Christ. Our parishes may be smaller; our finances may be lessened;
our lifestyles as priests may need to diminish a little if we're not getting
enough money. But nothing should stop us from preaching the truth."
He added, "We have a message that is sensitive to women who
have had an abortion ... about God's mercy. In my homily I always say to women
who are post-abortive that often women who have had an abortion feel like they
didn't have a choice.... They need to know that they can go to confession; they
can receive God's mercy ... we're all in need of God's mercy, love and
forgiveness. I tell men and women who are post-abortive about Rachel's Vineyard
[ministry to women who've had abortions], which is under the umbrella of Priests
for Life. They can go on a retreat and receive God's healing and forgiveness."
Clippings from 2006