Enjoy re-reading Fr. John's weekly bulletin letters for the past year.
Many of us have been laboring in the Lord's Pro Life vineyard for a long time. The work certainly has it's ups and downs but what keeps us going is the face of the child we see that was spared from a death sentence or the grateful tears of a mother or father who has found healing and forgiveness post abortion. So as we start on another 40 Days for Life Campaign we do well to remember how far we have come locally. As one of our parishioners who has been on the front lines recently reminded me:
From the time the first African slave arrived on our shores in 1619, until the Emancipation
Proclamation in 1863, 244 years passed. It took another hundred and one years for the Civil
Rights Bill. We have been in this fight for just 42 years.
Since 1982 our community has participated in prayers at abortion clinics, first at the clinic
on Rural Road just south of Mt. Carmel church. Thanks be to God, that clinic has closed
its doors. Next, we prayed at the clinic on Broadway just west of Tempe High School.
Thanks be to God, that clinic has closed its doors. Now, we can pray at the Planned
Parenthood Clinic very close to us on Apache Blvd., just east of Rural Road. It has already
cut back its hours and is now closed on Sundays and Mondays.
Because of 42 years of prayer and education, the rate of abortion and its ratio to live births
are at their lowest points since 1973, when Roe v Wade was enacted. Real progress is being made!
We should also not forget that it was many of our parishioners who got together years ago and opened the Aid to Women Center to provide women with an alternative to the abortion clinic. The Aid to Women Center is still going strong on Mill Ave. & Broadway. Since then many other clinics have opened and are providing quality maternal health care and counseling to mothers and fathers across the Valley.
The 40 Days for Life Campaigns have also helped transform Pro Life work from a purely Catholic effort to an ecumenical one in which Churches from many different Christian denominations participate. This one important issue has been uniting Christians and strengthening the Pro Life movement all over the country.
I hope as many of you as possible participate in this year's 40 Days For Life Campaign. To sign up for a time slot to pray at the Planned Parenthood Clinic on Apache Blvd. in Tempe go to: http://40daysforlife.com/local-campaigns/tempe/ or there are several other sites around the Valley where you can participate for a more convenient location.
If for some reason you cannot participate physically in this year's campaign please do so prayerfully. Prayer can make the difference in this battle to save the unborn so commit yourself to 40 Days of Prayer. Additionally you can involve yourself as a faithful citizen in the political process that has been so important in bringing restrictions to the Abortion industry in a way that protects women's health by holding abortion clinics to the same standards as other medical facilities and put the brakes on partial-birth abortions.
I thank all of you who have previously participated in the 40 Days for Life Campaigns and urge more of you to do likewise. Remember our presence at the abortion mills is always to be prayerful and peaceful. So make sure you bolster yourself with prayer before you go, while you are there and when you leave.
"I feel the greatest destroyer of peace today is 'Abortion', because it is a war against the child…
A direct killing of the innocent child, 'Murder' by the mother herself... And if we can accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love... And we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts..."
Fr. John B.