Sunday, November 6, 2016

There is always a darkness around Planned Parenthood

This was our church’s adopted day at the 40 Days for Life-Dallas prayer vigil.  We started the day at 6 am with seven prayer volunteers, several from the Knights of Columbus.  The area is well-lit, but there is always a darkness around Planned Parenthood.  One volunteer told me he could feel the evil.  But where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more.  We began our task of covering this place of death with prayer, imploring the Blessed Mother to intercede for all her children.
Around 7:15 am, the security guard for Planned Parenthood showed up.  The abortion center is usually closed on Mondays, so his appearance was not a good sign.  Sure enough, clients began arriving.  We had a Sidewalk Counselor with us, along with prayer support of five to ten people throughout the day.

Two Knights ran a shuttle in tandem from our parish, starting at 8am.  One of them, Chris, has provided this service for several years.  When the Council’s pro-life director had first mentioned needing prayer volunteers for 40 Days for Life, Chris knew he wanted to be involved, but standing in prayer was not something he could do.  “I asked God how I could be of service,” he said, “and it came to me that I could drive people who otherwise couldn’t get there so they could pray.”  He takes a day off from work and all day long, he brings people to and from the vigil.

On her way out from one of the medical offices next door to the abortion center, a woman stopped a prayer volunteer to ask, “Does Planned Parenthood really perform abortions?”  Her question was yet another confirmation that we have to be present outside the abortion center to witness to the truth, not just for 40 days but every day they are open.

Our priest came to join us in an hour of prayer, bringing his father with him.  His dad, in his nineties, insisted on being there, too.  Having clergy is a powerful witness, not just to the clients and workers, but to the volunteers as well.  The people gain heart when the shepherds show up.

Throughout the day, volunteers came and went.  Two construction workers with a job about 5 miles away dropped by to pray before heading home.   And the shuttle car brought their last group and waited until 6 pm.  

A day of prayer and penance, asking the Lord to heal our land and His people.  Please join us as we close out the prayer vigil tonight with a celebration at St. Elizabeth of Hungary.  More details at

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Raped and pregnant at 16

The girl is only sixteen.  When she found out she was pregnant, she went to the South Dallas Planned Parenthood to abort her baby.  Although Planned Parenthood is not known for adhering to rules, this time they told the girl that she couldn’t have the abortion unless a parent (in this case, her father) gave his permission in writing. She would have to tell him she was pregnant. 

After what must have been a painful and emotional revelation, the father refused to help his daughter abort her baby.  Desperate, she told him that if he didn’t cooperate, she would commit suicide. 

The director of the Project Gabriel Ministry was brought into the situation, counseling and offering prayers and help.  Fearing for his daughter’s life, the father told the director to leave him alone. He felt he had to agree to the abortion, even though he didn’t want to. 

All this time, prayers from 40 Days for Life volunteers were covering the Planned Parenthood. 

Unexpectedly, the Project Gabriel Ministry Director heard back from the Dad. He had talked more with his daughter, who finally revealed that she had been raped. Raped by a family member. After many tears and praying together, the daughter decided to keep the baby. Together, they were choosing life!  

This baby is the seventh save from this year’s prayer vigil, and these are just the ones we know about.  Praise God! Prayer works! 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Answering when the Spirit calls ...

Sometimes volunteers step up in unexpected ways.  The sidewalk counselor was tied up with someone else when a young African woman, toting a beautiful baby in a handheld carrier, walked out from the abortion facility parking lot.  

A Knight of Columbus, untrained in the ways of sidewalk counseling but realizing something needed to be done, stepped up to her and asked if she had come from the Planned Parenthood. “Yes,” she replied quietly.  “Were you there for your first appointment for an abortion?” “Yes.”  

Trying to recall what he’d heard sidewalk counselors say before, he told her that everyone outside was praying for her and for her babies, born and unborn.  “We have resources and people to help,” he said, and quickly dashed to the “You Have a Choice” brochures on the sidewalk.  Pressing one into her hand, he told her, “Call these people.  They will help you with your pregnancy.”  

Smiling, the woman took the brochure, looked at it, and then stuck it into her purse. “Thank you,” she said, and went to wait for her ride.

When the Spirit calls, you listen!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

A few moments of conversation

Volunteers who sign up parishioners to pray at the vigil often learn a great deal in just a few moments of conversation.  As she signed up, Maria shared encouraging news that her parish prays the Rosary for Life every Wednesday and Friday.  Theresa, a young mom, watched her daughter holding the 20-week-old fetal model, and tears started down her cheeks.  She reached out to caress the baby’s head and told us that she had lost her baby when he was 20 weeks old.  The memory was overwhelming.

A young couple stopped by the table to check on times that needed volunteers.  The woman, Rosa, started crying, silently but very powerfully, from a sorrow so deep she could hardly bear it.  Tomas, her husband, put his arms around her, and we could tell they both felt a great deal of pain.  Tomas explained, “We just don’t understand how anyone can do that to their baby.  We’ve tried to have children for sixteen years and lost five babies to miscarriage.  How can they do that?”

Sometimes volunteers can be surprised with a negative response.  One volunteer handed a flyer to a young woman leaving Mass with her husband and little girl.  The volunteer was describing 40 Days for Life and leaned over to the table to pick up a map.  When she turned back to the woman, the man had taken the flyer away from his wife and handed it back to the volunteer.  “We’re not interested,” he said. 

“Okay, well, will you please pray for us?”  “I already do,” he said brusquely, as he took his wife and child away.  Not a typical response, but we'll take the prayers and offer them up for him too!

Monday, October 31, 2016


Last week, while prayers continued, a mom went into Planned Parenthood for an abortion. During her pre-procedure examination, Planned Parenthood told her that she was going to have twins. When she asked to hear the heartbeats, they told her, "Oh, you don't want to hear that." So she left! After getting information from sidewalk counselors, she went to a pregnancy resource center. They confirmed the twins, and she decided to keep her babies! Woohoo!!! #PrayerWorks

Please There's still time for YOU to experience the miraculous.  Sign up to prayer here: The babies need you!

Thanks to all who joined us at the UNITED Rally Saturday night. The big blue bus rolling in was a site to see! Don't miss our final gathering on November 6 -- the Victory Celebration at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Dallas.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Saving lives, healing hearts

Thank you all for your prayers and thank you to those who were able to come out to the site and pray.  We’ve had six moms choose life!  And those are the ones we know about.  

The days we witness lives saved are incredible, but some days we are reminded why it is so important to be there for the suffering in the aftermath.

We were reminded of that when a young woman having seen our "Pray to End Abortion" sign pulled up in a pickup truck.  She jumped out of the truck and hurried over to us saying, “Is that a petition against this place?  I’ll sign it.”  We explained why we were there and about 40 Days for Life, giving her some information. 

“This place is awful,” she said, wiping away tears.  “They lie to women.  I was in the Marines and got pregnant.  I was going to be a single mom, but I would never have had an abortion.  My little girl is in the car, and she is such a blessing to me.” 

As God intended in this moment, the director of the local Healing after Abortion Ministry happened to be at the vigil site and could give this woman information about Rachel’s Vineyard in case she had any friends who might need help and healing.  After promising to pray for us, the woman and her daughter drove off.  

So much of what we do on the sidewalk is witnessing to life.  We never know how many people pass by whose hearts may be moved by the Holy Spirit, and the light of truth dawn for them.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Morning hugs at the Vigil

Richard comes to pray whenever he can.  Sunday morning, he was at the vigil at 6am, when the day was cool and still dark.  His relief showed up at 7am, but he decided to stay longer and pray with them.  He checked on the prayer coverage for the afternoon.  There was a gap at 1pm, so Richard decided he could come back to fill that.  He had ushered at the vigil mass the night before, so his Sunday was free.  And what better way to spend the Lord’s day than to pray and witness for life?

As the neighborhood began to stir, a young woman walking down the street crossed over to the vigil site and headed toward two prayer volunteers.  As she got closer, she threw open her arms and gave each of them big hugs.  “I always hug the Hispanic guy who comes out here,” she said.  “He’s always here praying for the babies.” 

“Yes, we know him.  He’s a wonderful man.  God bless you, ma’am.”

“God protect you today while you’re out here.”  And with a big smile and a wave, she went on.