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By 8th grade student On Friday April 19, missing half a day of school wasn't the only thing on my mind, like it would have been for any other grade eight student, but instead, I was sitting in class counting down the minutes to meeting an amazing and inspirational pro-lifer, National Director of Priests for Life, Father Frank Pavone. Little did I know that the weekend ahead of me would confirm my call to the pro-life movement.
Knowing that I was one of the three who had the privilege of picking up Father Frank from the airport made me even more anxious than I already was, just knowing that I was going to meet him! From the airport, we took Father Pavone to The Cabbagetown Women's Clinic, an abortion clinic in downtown Toronto, where we met up with other pro-life members in the community.
Right next door to the clinic is the Aid to Women Center, an organization that helps pregnant women. I was happy to meet Theresa Smyth, the director of Aid to Women, and was blown away by all of the baby pictures and baby clothes all around the office. From there we walked across the street for a prayer vigil with women from the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, and held signs saying, "Pregnant women need support, not abortion".
During this hour-long prayer vigil led by Father Frank, we got many negative responses, but also received many positive ones. One thing that sticks out in my mind the most is a man who approached the group yelling and screaming, "in the 1960's, all of you women wanted abortion, and now you don't want it anymore?! Make up your minds!"
As he approached the area where I was standing, I turned to a friend of mine, and we immediately began singing our pro-life song which begins with, "I will speak out for those who have no voices". The man continued to yell and chant, but became silent right after Father Frank had listed all the names of women who have died in so called "safe", legal abortions. This man continued standing there, but now he was standing in silence. It was then that I felt calming and peace among the group, and had even more hope and faith in what we were doing.
On the car ride to Father Pavone's hotel, I wasn't only able to get my feet wet, but instead get them soaked in all of the amazing pro-life tips and information that he had to offer. He spoke about how he became the National Director of Priests for Life, and how much he is enjoying everything that he is doing, even if it means getting in a plane just like anyone else gets into a car.
Fr. Pavone also spoke about his two famous YouTube videos that can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=us_y9GP_-DA, and at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBOAPleF1t0; Although these videos may be disturbing to see and hear, they are unfortunately the truth behind abortion-the reality. These videos are very powerful and effective tools that can be used to assist in the abolishing of abortion. Father Pavone asked that we pass these links on to everyone we know, because it is so important that people are educated on what abortion really is.
Father Frank wasn't just in town for the amazing experience that took place on Friday April 18th, but was actually in town for the Annual Catholic Renewal Ministry's Lift Jesus Higher Rally, which took place on Saturday. This year's rally was incredible and was attended by 10,000 people. The theme was "Empowering your Life".
There were various inspirational speakers, uplifting music, and amazing skits, including pro-life skits. Because Father Frank was a guest speaker, I felt that the rally in general was even more powerful for me, personally, than in previous years. I felt as if he was speaking directly to me. It was really a confirmation that I am on the right path in participating actively in the pro-life movement.
The main things that I have learned within the few years that I have been active in the pro-life movement is to pray, have faith, and stay strong in what you believe in, and trust in Jesus.
As we saw on Friday, and at many other previous events, pro-lifers will often find themselves being persecuted, made fun of, and treated poorly. Faith is the only way that we will overcome these unfortunate events. Without faith and hope, where are we?
How can we say that that we will abolish abortion without complete and utter faith and trust in God? We may not be able to change the laws, but we must make abortion become unthinkable.