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The Florida Catholic

August 11, 1995

 Father Pavone baptizes baby saved from abortion

Steve Paradis

 

KISSIMMEE- Helene Lovera had come to have her baby aborted, but, she said, she did not want to.

Her friends told her she had to abort the baby. The baby's father, Ms. Lovera's boyfriend, said they could not keep the child, her third.

She knew she was in her second trimester, but the abortion clinic workers lied and said she was only about two months pregnant. Even if that estimate was correct, the baby's heart was already beating.

As she waited in the Orlando abortion clinic for test results, she said, suddenly, "I felt like I had to look out the window."

The crowd of pro-lifers prayed the Rosary outside on that Saturday morning. Ms. Lovera sent a friend out to ask the praying people for help.

She received that help and 3-month-old Guadalupe Lovera, born May 10, was baptized Sunday at Holy Redeemer Church here. Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life just happened to be outside the abortion clinic that day. He also was in town to baptize Guadalupe.

"Brothers and sisters, the question our society has forgotten is ... who we are. What does it mean to be human?" Father Pavone said during his homily before the baptism.

Unfortunately for society, to be human means to be disposable, he said. That is demonstrated more than 4,400 abortions each day in the United States.

This is happening throughout all nine months of pregnancy, right up to the day the baby is born, he said, adding: "You heard me right." If people did not believe him, he had the names and numbers of doctors willing to perform third trimester abortions.

Most women who have abortions, he said, feel that they have no choice. They feel no one can help them except the abortionist. He made a promise that the church and the pro-life movement will help any women who are pregnant and think they have nowhere to turn.

The same promise pro-lifers made to Ms. Lovera came to fruition Sunday. Guadalupe's 4-year-old brother, Kristopher, was also baptized.

"This was a unique opportunity for me," Father Pavone said after Mass. "l have met some of the babies that we saved, but I've never had the chance to baptize one." Father Pavone was in the Orlando area as part of national meeting of diocesan pro-life leaders and Catholic conference directors.

He remembers Ms. Lovera saying outside the abortion clinic, "Father, I did not know there was help available." She also felt sorry that she had even entered the building.

"God is very happy that you came out," he recalled telling her.

Ms. Lovera said Caroline Routson of St. Mary Magdalen Parish in Altamonte Springs was like an angel, helping her get the assistance she needed. Also instrumental were Deborah Shearer, Respect Life director for the Orlando Diocese, and the Rev. Ed Martin, national executive director of Rescue America.

The Rev. Martin also had the unique experience of knowing what happened with someone he helped "turn around" as he attended that baptism.

"It's important to emphasize why Helene came out of the abortion mill," the Rev. Martin said. "It was because someone was there to help." People who pray outside of abortion clinics may not ever know how many babies they save. He said holding Guadalupe was an unusual experience.

"The more people who come out to pray, the more babies will be saved and the better sidewalk counseling will do," the Rev. Martin said.

Father Pavone said the same is true if priests would preach more about abortion. "The more educated people are, the more lives will be saved," he said.

Priests for Life in the News

Priests for Life
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