Monday, October 29, 2018

Hold the Line

“Men must be strong, brave and true.”  These are words that I’ve heard my husband say many times.  So how do men bring these qualities to the sidewalk?

Deeply ingrained in men is the instinct to hold the line, to protect those whom they love.  We see this same commitment every day on the sidewalk.  One of the counselors is an older gentleman.  Young men are drawn to him because he tells them the unvarnished truth about their responsibilities as men and fathers.

At the 40 Days for Life prayer vigil, the rain was cold and coming down pretty hard, so we told Steve, one of the prayer volunteers, that he could pray from his car if he wanted to.  “No,” he said, “I want them to see me.”  He stood praying the Rosary near the driveway, unconcerned about being cold and wet.  He was there on an important mission, and he was doing his duty.

For several years now, two of our Knights of Columbus have taken a day off from work during 40 Days to shuttle people out to pray at the abortion center and then back to the parish.  One of them says it’s like a prayer all day; he says he is the one who is blessed by being with these people coming to witness for life.

My friend Angel asked me how coverage was going for a Wednesday afternoon.  “Not good,” I told him.  “We still have six hours open.  Why?  Can you come pray for an hour?” 
“No,” he said, “I can come pray for six.” 
“Are you sure?” I asked him. 
“Of course.  I have no choice.  My Mother Mary has asked me to do this, so I must go.” 

Another prayer warrior has diabetes and had to have a partial amputation of his foot, but he has signed up for twelve hours throughout the vigil.  Knights have spent from one to twelve hours on the sidewalk in front of the Planned Parenthood during this 40 Days for Life.  And so far, five women have chosen life for their babies, leaving the abortion facility with their lives still intact.  And these are the ones we know about.

The men who pray at the vigil have a strong faith.  They want to be seen.  They hold the line.

By: Susan Platt, Dallas Campaign Director

Friday, October 12, 2018

Where were you?!

Her name is Belinda.

People had gathered on the sidewalk outside the South Dallas Planned Parenthood to join thousands of Catholics across the United States to pray on the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. Belinda walked through the 40 Days for Life prayer vigil site and stopped in the middle of the street.

“Where were you?” she cried. “I might not have had an abortion if you had been there!”

This was completely different from the positive response we’d been getting from people in the neighborhood. We were blessed that our Convert-to-Life Director was at the vigil and was able to talk to Belinda, offering information on healing after abortion.

Twenty-four years ago, Belinda had gotten pregnant. Her boyfriend told her he didn’t want the baby and it was up to her to get rid of their child. She decided she didn’t want a baby either, so she’d gone through with the abortion. She’d never been able to conceive another child. And now she’s homeless.

We may not have been there 24 years ago, but we can be there now. Do you have an hour before work or an hour after work that you can spend in prayer? Maybe you can take your lunch hour to pray and give silent witness to all the Belindas who are struggling with their decision. Your presence does make a difference.  Please answer God’s call to pray. www.prolifedallas.org/40days



If you or someone you know is struggling from the effects of an abortion visit www.racheldallas.org.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

A Guardian Angel


South Dallas Planned Parenthood is in a quiet location, surrounded mostly by medical offices.  Yesterday afternoon, we had three people who drove past, giving us thumbs up and calling out, “Good job.”  A worker from one of the medical labs walked over to talk for a while, saying they were glad we were there. 

And an older lady pulled up to tell us that she could hardly stand to go to her doctor because having Planned Parenthood next door was so distressing.  She said, “I miscarried two babies, and I can’t believe that someone would intentionally…”.  She couldn’t finish her sentence.  We asked her to pray and she said she would.

The Feast of the Guardian Angels was this week.  How wonderful it is that we each have a Guardian Angel watching over us, aiding our prayer, and presenting our souls to God at death.  Angel means messenger, and the angels not only take our messages to God, but they also bring His messages to us.  Padre Pio spiritually adopted lots of sons and daughters, and he would ask them to send their Guardian Angels if they were in need.  He would send his Guardian Angel to pray for them too.

In Send Me Your Guardian Angel, a book about Padre Pio’s relationship with angels, the author relates a story about one of Padre Pio’s spiritual children, Cecil Humphrey-Smith.  Involved in a terrible car wreck, Cecil was seriously injured.  A friend went to the post office to send a telegram to Padre Pio, letting him know and asking for prayers.  When he turned the telegram in at the window, the clerk handed the friend a telegram from Padre Pio which said he would be praying for Cecil’s healing!

Months later Cecil was able to make the trip to see his spiritual father and asked how Padre Pio had known so quickly about the wreck and how the telegram had gotten there so quickly.  Padre Pio asked him, “Do you think the Angels go as slowly as the planes?”

Sometimes our Guardian Angels are sent to ask us for prayers.  Yesterday, this young man came to the prayer vigil because he said he felt called to pray the Rosary. He came just when we needed him.  Thank you, Guardian Angels.



Guardian Angel Prayer for Friends
Guardian Angel,
watch over those whose names you can read in my heart.
Guard over them with every care
and make their way easy and their labors fruitful.
Dry their tears if they weep;
sanctify their joys;
raise their courage if they weaken;
restore their hope if they lose heart,
their health if they be ill,
truth if they err, repentance if they fail.  Amen



By: Susan Platt, Dallas Campaign Director

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Vigil being baptized!


40 Days for Life- Dallas was off to a soggy start at 6am in front of the South Dallas Planned Parenthood.  We had all traveled through rain just to get a light sprinkle at the vigil site, but the more we prayed, the harder it stormed.  One of the Knights quipped that it was like our 40 Days vigil was being baptized!

Some of us had been to the Kickoff the night before; others had been to a Hike for Life meeting to finalize details for this weekend.  And at least one Knight plans to be at the vigil for all twelve hours today.

The Kickoff Rally was one of the best we’ve ever had.  Shawn Carney, a founder of 40 Days for Life, was the speaker, sharing amazing stories of God’s grace.  He told of one vigil that, year after year for ten years, had not seen one baby saved.  How trusting these people have been, that God wants them to persevere and that He can use for good whatever they give Him. 

This last campaign, a woman showed up with her six-year old daughter.  She wanted the volunteers to know that when she was pregnant, she had come to abort this child, but she had left because she saw them praying for her.  For six years, a little girl has been alive because of their sacrifice and Christ’s mercy.

Our host was Chris Wheel from The TurnAround Agenda, who welcomed us and prayed with us for life.  He prayed about the need for all of us to stand together  -- for everyone to be a part of the “us-ness,” a Texas word!, as we work and pray for life.

May God greatly bless this 40 Days for Life vigil and bless all His people who have answered His call!




By: Susan Platt, Dallas Campaign Director

Friday, October 27, 2017

A Couple Different Then Before

On the day their parish had adopted for 40 Days for Life, the ladies gathered at the corner to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet in Spanish.  They watched and prayed while sidewalk counselor called to a client.  Prayer support makes such a difference!  The clients see people making the effort to leave their jobs or homes to come stand on the sidewalk, praying for them and their babies.
Cate* is forty years old, and she and her husband, George*, have four other children.  George had brought her to the abortion facility, but he wouldn’t come over to the counselors.  As sidewalk counselors, we aren’t supposed to interrupt each other, but when the Holy Spirit takes over, you do what He says.  And when you’ve worked together for a while, you sense when your partner needs to share information and when you should speak. 
The two counselors began talking with Cate.  In a few minutes, she fell sobbing into the arms of the counselors and agreed to go to the pregnancy resource center.  When they passed by the women praying on the corner, Cate hugged all of them, too.  And most of them went with her, praying all the way!  George followed behind, and one of the prayer volunteers walked with him.
George wasn’t very happy with his wife.  He said she was the one who wanted to come to the abortion facility – all he wanted to do was support her decision.  At the pregnancy resource center, tensions continued to rise between the two of them.  Couples arguing in such a stressful situation can be dangerous for the baby, so the sonographer stepped in to say it was time they saw their child, and took them back to the exam room.  After the sonogram, one of the counselors took the couple to the chapel to pray together.  That sealed the deal.
It’s a great gift to see a couple after they’ve decided to keep their baby.  This couple came back to see the counselors, bringing their sonogram pictures.  On one was written “Hola, Mami!”  Cate pointed out one picture where the baby looked like he was sucking his thumb. 
One of the counselors said later that it was as though they were completely different people.  This couple was happy, smiling and at peace.  They even showed off the new box of diapers and other gifts they’d gotten from the pregnancy center!  Their baby is 10 weeks and three days old.  Thank God there were people who cared enough to pray for him and his parents. 
Your prayer can make a difference.  We know because we have seen it.  Won’t you please prayfully consider what one hour out of your day could do for a family?

*Names changed to protect privacy

By: Susan Platt, Dallas Campaign Director

Monday, October 23, 2017

The Sidewalk Doesn't Get Any Softer

People ask me, “When is the best time to come pray?” I guess they are asking when is their prayer the most effective. Maybe during the cool of the morning, when the workers are going in. They’ve spent time away - at home with their families, trying to convince themselves what they’re doing is okay, or even good. They’ve done what they can to forget what they saw the day before. In their short walk from the parking lot to the office, we have the chance to witness that, no matter what they’ve done, we love them too.

Or perhaps the best time is a bit later in the day, when clients begin to arrive. The women who’ve asked God for a sign that they shouldn’t go through with their scheduled abortion drive past us, sometimes parking and joyfully coming over to tell us that their prayers have been answered - just by our being there. Others hide their faces from us, ashamed at what they are about to do. Having us see them makes their consciences burn - enough, we hope, to drive them away.

The weather can change, but the sidewalk doesn’t get any softer. Volunteers who kneel on the sidewalk to pray always astound me. How can the sight of their sacrifice not affect the workers and the clients, no matter the time of day?

Late afternoon is the saddest time for me. The rides come, grim-faced fathers who’ve failed at the most basic responsibility a man has – protecting their own children. They load up their wives or girlfriends into the car, often in the backseat so the women can have more room. One counselor used to describe them as looking “shredded.” And that’s pretty accurate. Dazed, in pain, stunned with regret and loss – the sight of their faces can bring me to tears. I hate being outside the abortion center then. Which must mean it’s the time when my prayers are most needed.

For others, the best time to pray is whenever God calls you to be there for His children.

By: Susan Platt, Dallas Campaign Director

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Someone (else) Will Help

Kaye said she had missed her first scheduled hour at the vigil.  Her little baby girl was asleep in the backseat of the car, so Kaye had prayed from there.  We assured her that it still counted.  40 Days for Life even recommends praying from your car if you are the only one at the vigil.  Today she brought her 9-year-old son with her to pray.
As she signed in, a car drove up and the man driving called out to the counselor.  He wanted to know what we were doing.  She asked him to park his car and come back to talk to her.  And he did.  That always makes you feel anxious because you might lose the person, but you have to do it to make sure they are safely out of traffic.
The man, Case, had one of his children with him.  Case and his wife have three children, with the youngest only six months old.  His wife thought she was only a month pregnant.  She could have an abortion since it wasn’t really a baby yet, was it?  The counselor gave him information and explained the damage that abortion could do to both them and their family. 
Case looked thoughtful but didn’t say much before he left.  The counselors continued to minister as Kaye and her son prayed.  Their hour was almost up when Case came back to speak with the counselors.  His wife’s tests showed that the baby was two months along, not one.  And he had been able to share with her what he had learned from the counselor.  He wanted to tell the counselors that he and his wife were keeping their baby.
You always feel a thrill when you hear those words.  God’s most precious gift has been affirmed.  Kaye and her son had witnessed to life, making the effort to join in the vigil with fellow Christians and God blessed them by showing His love for this baby and his family.
God doesn’t always reveal lives saved to us.  But if we say yes to what He calls us to do, we show Him and others our love.  We can do all things through Christ, who gives us strength. 

We have hours that still need prayer.  Could you come pray during your lunch hour?  After you drop kids off at school?  Before you pick up grandkids?  On your way home from work?  Just an hour of your time could help prevent a life lost, a life filled with regret.  We are the ones being asked.  Let us not say, “Someone (else) will help.”

By: Susan Platt, Dallas Campaign Director