Tag Archives: Brian Gibson

How to become a sidewalk counselor

July 23, 2013

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unborn-babyDo you want to do more in order to promote life? Perhaps you are being called to counsel people who are abortion-minded. Many babies have been saved because of kind words uttered by a counselor when their parents were entering an abortuary. Kalley Yanta–a sidewalk counselor–says, “A woman entering an abortion clinic is on the verge of falling overboard with her baby. This is life or death. It’s an emergency. What we do is crucial.”  People are lined up at places like Planned Parenthood as if they’re at a fast food drive-thru; and those little ones need more help.

The 2013 National Sidewalk Counseling Symposium is being held July 25-27. This event is sponsored by Pro-Life Action Ministries (PLAM). Here is what their website states:

This symposium is open to any pro-lifer interested in sidewalk counseling! Presenters include Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life; Shawn Carney of 40 Days for Life; Joe, Ann, and Eric Scheidler of the Pro-Life Action League; Rev. Walter Hoye of Issues4Life Foundation, and other sidewalk counseling leaders. The symposium will begin on Thursday evening, continue all day Friday, and conclude before noon on Saturday at the Best Western Premier Nicollet Inn at 14201 Nicollet Ave. S., Burnsville, MN . The fee is $50 (there may be some scholarships available for those unable to afford this fee). Please call 651-771-1500 to register.

Since 1981 there have been 2863 babies saved through the efforts of Pro-Life Action Ministries. Just this year 53 lives have been spared so far, but we need more help on the frontlines! Please view this informative video below and then visit Plam’s website for more information.

Thanks for all you do to embrace life!

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(Please read my earlier blogs about a baby being saved and my thank you to Pro-Life Action Ministries)

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Thank You Pro-Life Action Ministries!

April 4, 2013

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planned parenthood

It was one of those days.

In the morning I had my eyes dialated. Driving was difficult. I needed groceries–I wanted to cook a meal for a friend who had back surgery. The twins were cranky and needed their naps. The big kids were pokey. It was rainy and cold.

There were dozens of excuses. There always are.

But it was Good Friday, and we have a family tradition of praying in front of  St. Paul’s Planned Parenthood. The service is organized and executed by Pro-Life Action Ministries (PLAM). Director Brian Gibson, his staff and a host of volunteers do a stellar job. Taking it up with the Author of Death is not easy work. They organize clergy to lead these prayer vigils every year, giving clear witness to the sanctity of human life.

The Prayer Vigil

We parked easily on the UST Seminary campus. A bus shuttled us to the abortuary. We sat near four young mothers and their wee ones. The busdriver thanked us all and said, “Have a blessed Easter!”

At the site, we prayed peacefully with hundreds of others. Our teenagers took turns holding the twins on their backs. Others held a life-size cross on their shoulders. We were humbled by the disabled people who attended, and the children were affirmed by the classmates they saw. It’s like a family, really. Everyone is curtious. Everyone is prayerful. That is, everyone except for the those on the other side.

They blasted Celtic music–trying unsuccessfully to drown out our religious songs and prayers. They wore neon pink and had a party atmosphere. What is so joyful about ending the lives of preborn babies? We wondered. They held obscene signs. One woman with green hair held a placard that said: “Safe Sex is Good!” They seemed to mock us by having a transvestite march with them, too,  impersonating a woman or mother. Their false witness backfired, however. They showed our kids that the pro-choice view is convoluted. They cemented in their brains the fact that the Author of Life offers the way to the Truth. From going to these prayer vigils they have no doubt which side is right and which side is wrong. This is why we bring them again, and again, and again. Sometimes we even bring their friends.

In fact, one year when the Planned Parenhood was located in Highland Park, I received a tough question from my son’s buddy. He pointed to an incinerator-type thing outside the facility and asked, “Is that where they put the little babies?” I answered honestly, “I don’t know. Maybe.” He was disgusted. He was ignited. That kid will be a voice for the voiceless forever. The next generation needs to understand that women who don’t embrace life, carry the cross of regret forever. The youth need to work hard to help us end the right to abortion. But how can they do this if they do not learn about the atrocities of abortion?

Matthew Kelly, author of Rediscover Catholicism states:

“The only response to this cultural environment that will hold our students in good stead for a lifetime is to ignite in them a love of learning and a hunger for the truth.”

Sidewalk Counseling…Saving lives

Since March of 1981, PLAM has organized the nation’s most comprehensive and thorough sidewalk counseling program. It has documented that more than 2,500 babies have been spared from a torturous death. “These are children whose parents had decided to abort them and who were scheduled to be killed. The overwhelming majority would have been killed the same day they were saved.” (Pro-Life Action Ministries’ website–http://www.plam.org/) In fact, last year when the kids and I were at the Good Friday prayer vigil, a baby was saved by Fr. Larry Hubbard and some of the sidewalk counselors! When we heard the good news, we were so joyful. (Read the beautiful story: http://catholichotdish.com/embracing-life/a-baby-is-saved-from-abortion-during-good-friday-prayer-vigil/)

Thank you, Pro-Life Action Ministries, and all the people who pray to end abortion. Please consider attending a prayer vigil if you haven’t attended one before. And bring some youth; they will be ignited. I hope it will become a tradition for your family, too.

 

 

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A baby is saved from abortion during Good Friday prayer vigil!

April 20, 2012

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Photo from Creative Commons

Good Friday, a time for solemn reflection, was a glorious day this year in more ways than one!

On this day, in front of the new 46,000 square foot Planned Parenthood facility, a whopping 3,200 people assembled praying to end the scourge of abortion. Instead of the typical “Good Friday Storm,” God showered them with the gift of sunshine. And He also bestowed a more important present–the gift of the Spirit moving on behalf of life.

Let me explain…

The Culture of Life v. The Culture of Death

At the old Planned Parenthood located in Highland Park, 4,000 babies were aborted each year. But those running it were not content with that number, so they built a bigger and grander facility, which opened last December. On Good Friday, pro-lifers marched quietly on the street in front of the new abortuary, where an area was cordoned off for the prayer vigil–those praying included religious leaders, families and children. The only sign they carried was a life-sized cross. On the other side of the fence, was a group supporting Planned Parenthood–including an elderly lady holding up a sign that read: “Don’t have sex with pro-lifers!” There was another woman over there who walked around with her pregnant belly exposed, and on the baby bump she had written: “My choice.” They jeered at the praying marchers.

And somewhere in the middle of these two groups, hesitating on the sidewalk near the entrance, was a mother contemplating abortion.

Father Larry Hubbard, a retired priest, was among the marchers, and he told me, “These mothers who have an appointment at Planned Parenthood on Good Friday are between the Lord on one side and the Devil on the other. The big question is: Who is going to win out?”

In the Gospel of Life (Evangelium Vitae) #50, Blessed John Paul II wrote:

“In the early afternoon of Good Friday, ‘there was darkness over the whole land…while the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two’ (Lk 23:44, 45). This is the symbol of a great cosmic disturbance and a massive conflict between the forces of good and evil, between life and death. Today we too find ourselves in the midst of a dramatic conflict between the ‘culture of death’ and the ‘culture of life.’ But the glory of the Cross is not overcome by this darkness; rather, it shines forth ever more radiantly and brightly, and is revealed as the center, meaning and goal of all history and of every human life.”

The glory of the Cross

Good Friday is a day of hope. But the woman who was hesitating on the sidewalk was no doubt feeling conflicted and quite hopeless. And even though the day was bright and sunny, this mother was probably experiencing a sense of darkness.

That is, until she met Father Larry Hubbard and the counselors with Pro-Life Action Ministries.

Brian Gibson, director of Pro-Life Action Ministries, told me that one of his staff members and a sidewalk counselor had approached the woman and laid the groundwork. They had given her literature and told her that help was available. This is when Fr. Hubbard came to the mother’s side and shone forth brightly.

“I sensed this mother was at the point of going in to abort her baby. She was such a fine lady, and she told me she didn’t want to have the abortion,” recalled Fr. Hubbard, who is also known as ‘Padre Lorenzo’ in his ministry with the Spanish speaking Catholics. “She was with a man, but he was already inside Planned Parenthood waiting for her. I think he was the one who wanted her to have the abortion, and she was just torn apart.”

Father spent about 10-15 minutes talking with the woman, and eventually encouraged her to bring the man out so that Father could speak with him, too.

The good priest said, “I walked with the vigil-goers for an hour and a half, and prayed for this couple…but she didn’t come back.” Then Father, who was there that day to fill in for another priest, went home with a heavy heart–thinking she had gone forward with the abortion.

But little did he know…

The mother chose life!

About four minutes after Father Hubbard left Planned Parenthood, the mother came out with the man. Charlie Ramsey, a staff member at Pro-Life Action Ministries, said that the couple was very receptive to obtaining help for the unborn child, and was directed toward it.

Brian Gibson said, “Father Hubbard is a gentle soul and he played a vital role is saving this baby. His intervention was by divine appointment!”

How did Father Hubbard discover the big news?

“I called him and left a message saying that the woman he had been speaking to at the Good Friday vigil left the facility. And then I told him that he had saved a baby that day,” Brian Gibson told me.

‘Padre Lorenzo’ got choked up when he talked to me about it. “I never dreamed I’d be able to change someone’s mind. That was my first one-on-one encounter.” Father, who has prayed often in front of abortion facilities, definitely gave that mother something important to ponder on Good Friday–just like Jesus did to the women He passed as He carried the cross: “Daughters, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and your children” (Lk 23-28). And this is just what this mother did. Father Hubbard said that the presence of the people at the prayer vigil, some carrying the cross, is really beautiful support which encourages mothers to choose to keep their babies. Then he added, “Thanks be to God that mother stuck to her guns and came out of Planned Parenthood–with her baby!”

And thanks be to God Father Larry Hubbard was at the vigil that day. That pre-born child was the eighth baby saved from abortion since that facility opened its doors in December. Brian Gibson and his staff are very excited that another mother was talked out of an abortion this past week, bringing the total to nine.

Father had this to say about the work of Pro-Life Action Ministries: “Brian Gibson is so persevering and his staff and volunteers are just beautiful–they want to save babies!” When I told Father that I thought the mother whose baby he helped to save should name her child ‘Larry’ or ‘Lorenza’ he gave a joyful chuckle.

 (View photos from the good Friday prayer vigil)

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Looking for Something Spiritual to do on Good Friday? Attend the Vigil Outside of Planned Parenthood

March 30, 2012

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GOOD FRIDAY PRAYER VIGIL (Organized by Pro-Life Action Ministries)

Photo courtesy of the Pro-Life Action Ministries website

 April 6, 2012

 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

 New Planned Parenthood Mega-Abortion Facility (near University Ave. & Vandalia St., Saint Paul, MN)

On Good Friday join us in prayer next to Minnesota’s highest volume abortuary at it’s new location. Fifteen area pastors will lead in scripture and prayer each half hour throughout the day. A life-sized cross will be our sign as we carry the cross of abortion. An area will be cordoned off for a family-safe day of prayer. More than 2,000 Christians joined in prayer throughout the day at each of the last three Good Friday Vigils at the old location. Help us double those numbers on April 6!

We are encouraging groups to arrange a bus of their own. All buses must be registered with our office to find out the logistics of the day. We have another off-site parking lot for these group buses. For more information or to register a bus, contact Stephanie at 651-771-1500 or stephanie@plam.org.

Basic Things to Know:

  • Remember, more than any other event we organize, the Good Friday Vigil is a day of prayer. Pro-Life Action Ministries will only bring one sign, a life-sized cross. And the only signs you need to bring are yourselves!
  • We will have portable restrooms at the Vigil site. The street where we will be is closed to all traffic and our area will be surrounded by the police “bicycle” barricades. This will be as safe as ever for families.
  • Bring sun screen and all you need for your children, including water, etc.
  • Come ready to pray and be deeply moved by God.

Parking Information: (READ!)

  • There will be no parking available anywhere near the Mega-Planned Parenthood on Good Friday. Please do not even drive into the area.
  • We have arranged for parking at the University of St. Thomas at the St. Paul Seminary parking lots. You enter from Cretin Ave. at Grand Ave. Please follow the signs or the directions by our volunteers.
  • Buses will shuttle everyone to and from the Good Friday Prayer Vigil site. These buses will run the entire day from 8:00 am until our closing at 4:00 pm. There will be room for light strollers and everyone attending. If you are planning on being on site for the Opening Prayer, try to arrive as close to 8:00 am as possible. Also remember that the Vigil lasts all day and coming later in the Vigil has great advantages with parking and shuttles.
  • For a map to parking and more information: http://www.plam.org/brochures/GFVIGIL2012.pdf

Schedule:

  • Opening Prayer–Most Reverend John Nienstedt, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis
  • 9:30–Reverend Roger Barcus, Pastor of St. Paul Apostolic Temple, St. Paul
  • 10:00–Most Reverend Lee Pichè, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis
  • 10:30–Reverend Kenneth Krause, Outreach Pastor of Bethany Church, Bloomington
  • 11:00–Reverend Robert Grabner, Associate Pastor of St. Augustine/Holy Trinity, South Saint Paul
  • 11:30–Reverend David Johnson, Pastor of Elk River Evangelical Free Church, Elk River
  • 12:00–Reverend Michael Becker, Rector of St. John Vianney Seminary, St. Paul
  • 12:30–Reverend Randal Kasel, Pastor of the Churches of St. Paul and St. Michael, Zumbrota and Pine Island
  • 1:00–Reverand Larry Trawick, Associate Pastor Evangelist Crusaders Church, Minneapolis
  • 1:30–Reverend Humberto Palimino, Pastor Church of Saint Mark, St. Paul
  • 2:00–Reverend Leo Reck, Pastor of Word of Grace Baptist Church, Minneapolis
  • 2:30–Reverend Billy Russell, Pastor of Greater Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, Minneapolis
  • 3:00–Reverend Scott Carl, Associate Professor of Theology at Saint Paul Seminary, Saint Paul
  • 3:30–Reverend Fred Thoni, Pastor of Elmwood Evangelical Free Church, St. Anthony Village
  • 3:45–Reverend Brian Lother, Pastor of Hope Community Church, Corcoran
(Thank you Brian Gibson and the staff and volunteers of Pro-Life Action Ministries for their leadership in planning this vigil!)

 

 

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