The woman across the street had tears flowing down her face…. tears of pure joy. She embraced Sister Florence, the nun who earlier had given her a pro-life pamphlet. The four of us praying across the street witnessed this scene with both incredulity and joy. This woman, having entered the building seeking an abortion, came out with a new resolve to bring her baby into the world. We watched as Sister Florence accompanied her to the crisis pregnancy center, where she and others volunteer.
“This is the first save I have ever witnessed,” my wife, Maeve, said to me.
I was overjoyed! After all the years that Maeve has prayed in Schenectady and Albany in front of Planned Parenthood, God made it happen in London, England last October.
We were on the last week of a vacation trip to Ireland and England. From the earliest stages of planning, we were determined to schedule a time to pray with the 40 Days for Life campaign in London. It almost didn’t happen. We had limited email and phone capacity during our trip. So, at an internet café, we emailed the campaign office that we were available the next morning and wanted to join them. They in turn, left a message with our guest house proprietor, Avril. With only an address for the abortion mill, we took a taxi there the next morning.
Sister Florence stood in front of the mill, pamphlets in one hand and a rosary in the other. Stewart, the local campaign director, and Francis, a young man with a thick Belfast accent, prayed across the street in accordance with a local ordinance which mandates that only one person can leaflet directly in front of an abortion mill. Stuart greeted us warmly, but left shortly after to open The Good Counsel Network, a local pregnancy resource center, where he serves as the Director. Shortly after, Lucia, another Irish emigre, who works as a midwife in London, joined us.
l.-r. Francis, Glenn, Maeve and Lucia – right after a woman chose life.
It didn’t seem like much of a sacrifice to make this pro-life work part of our vacation. We simply intuited that the sisters and brothers in London would appreciate having their American counterparts from “across the pond” join them in their work to save lives. It cost us little time and effort to join them. Witnessing a save with Francis and Lucia and knowing that our prayers for this woman were part of her life-giving choice, was more reward than we had expected!
Last year, Maeve attended the annual March for Life in Washington. With hundreds of thousands other people, she braved the cold to stand up for the unborn. Today, a similar multitude of people will journey to the nation’s capital, sacrificing their comfort, to once again make their voices heard on the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion on demand. 57 million pre-born children have been killed during this time. The number of damaged women and men is a number known to God alone(see the photo below if you’ve been hurt by abortion).
Major media outlets ignore the March every year. Despite this, we know, our faith informs us, that the witness of the March of Life is not without effect. In the Letter of James, we read;
“The prayer of the righteous is effective.” -5:16
Neither of us is going to Washington this year, but we will take part in Eucharistic Adoration at a local church to pray for an end to the scourge of abortion. In addition, we plan on praying outside of the local Planned Parenthood, where I hope that an abortion-minded woman may see our signs, feel our prayers… and choose life!
May the mercy of Jesus, as referred to on the sign below, be a reality for all those whose lives have been harmed by abortion.