Tag Archives: Pro-Life Action Ministries

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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New Planned Parenthood in St. Paul Opens Today

December 20, 2011

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Yes, it’s true…The new $16 million dollar abortion facility in St. Paul is open today. Pray that mothers and couples in a crisis pregnancy turn away from this place and seek pro-life assistance. Pray for the pregnancy help centers and the sidewalk counselors;

New Planned Parenthood in St. Paul

that they receive the gift of patience, knowledge, strength and perseverance. And pray that the staff at this mega clinic has a change of heart.

According to Steven Ertelt of Lifenews.com, more than a third of all abortions in Minnesota–approximately 4,000 a year–will occur at this site. (Please read the whole article.)

Earlier this year, Brian Gibson of Pro-Life Action Ministries told a busload of people praying at the construction site: (Please read my blog about this topic.)

Planned Parenthood claims that this new facility, which is larger than a half city-block, is NOT about abortion. However, in all the years PP was in Highland, they were performing abortions during the first trimester. But unfortunately, this past summer they have expanded into doing abortions into the second trimester.

Prayer for the Hopeless Unborn

Heavenly Father, in Your love for us, protect against the wickedness of the devil, those helpless little ones to whom You have given the gift of life.

Touch with pity the hearts of those women pregnant in our world today who are not thinking of motherhood. Help them to see that the child they carry is made in Your image – as well as theirs – made for eternal life. Dispel their fear and selfishness and give them true womanly hearts to love their babies and give them birth and all the needed care that a mother alone can give.

We ask this through Jesus Christ, Your Son, Our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.

Amen

 

Update: On December 21–the second day that this PP site was open–a baby was saved through the efforts of sidewalk counseling (according to Brian Gibson at Pro-Life Action ministries). Hallelujah!

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Welcome to Holland

October 4, 2011

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Licensed under Creative Commons

Licensed under Creative Commons

In celebration of Respect Life Month, I’m posting this poem called Welcome to Holland by Emily Perl Kingsley. Her son, Jason, was born with Down syndrome in 1974. She wrote this piece to explain what it is like to have a child with special needs. The author also wrote Sesame Street episodes–making sure to include puppets and actors with disabilities. She won 12 daytime Emmys and helped others to embrace life.

YouTube Preview Image

 

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Planned Parenthood’s Site: a distasteful “McMansion”

September 4, 2011

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Planned Parenthood Site

Construction Site of the new Planned Parenthood in St. Paul

Planned Parenthood (PP) in the Highland area of St. Paul, performed 4,033 abortions in 2010–IN JUST ONE YEAR! PP is planning to close this location, and in December, open a new clinic off University Avenue, close to colleges and many lower income neighborhoods, and next to a McDonald’s. It will be easily accessed by public transportation so that desperate young women can more readily make the biggest mistake of their lives. At a proposed 46,000 square feet, it will be a “McMansion” of abortuaries.

Why is PP building this mega site (Besides the obvious fact that they want to make more money)?

They also want to make it harder for the sidewalk counselors to help the pregnant women embrace life. A proposed back entrance with a contained parking space will be a hurdle because counselors aren’t allowed on the PP property. But, knowing the good people at Pro-Life Action Ministries (PLAM), who train and organize these counselors, I’m pretty confident they’ll find a creative way to assist these mothers.

According to an article by pro-life activist, Jill Stanek, another reason Planned Parenthood is building this “McMansion” is that it is preparing for a possible increase in demand due to the Obama administration’s health reform law, which will add millions of people to insurance rolls in 2014. Sarah Stoesz, president and CEO of PP in Minnesota, said that many clients will be the lower-income and young adults that Planned Parenthood serves. “We don’t know exactly what health care reform will mean for our patients,” she stated, “But I anticipate that more people will access health care.”

It’s likely this mega building is being constructed so that PP can perform abortions on babies that are far along–which is a travesty. Why not counsel the mother to place her child for adoption instead of aborting him or her? And yet, Planned Parenthood is killing these little ones when there are so many couples waiting to adopt. At a prayer service on August 15, the director of Pro-life Action Ministries, Brian Gibson, who will be honored as a ‘Champion for Life’ by the Archdiocese  on October 6, told bus-loads of people at the site:

Planned Parenthood claims that this new facility, which is larger than a half city-block, is NOT about abortion. However, in all the years PP was in Highland, they were performing abortions during the first trimester. But unfortunately, this past summer they have expanded into doing abortions into the second trimester.

Mary Kunze was at the prayer service with her three children–Nicholas who is her biological son, and Thomas and Joseph who are her adopted sons. When I asked them why they came that day she told me, “There is another option to abortion and I wish people would talk about it more.”

Passing by this mother and me, were many teens holding signs that said:

  • “A person’s a person no matter how small!”
  • “Real men love babies!”
  • “Life is beautiful!”

What can we do?

1. Pray that the construction workers have a change of heart, and that this site is not built as a Planned Parenthood, but perhaps as a “true” health clinic. Kalley King Yanta (former Channel 5 anchor) helped Brian Gibson organize the prayer session in front of the PP construction site. She led us in prayer with: “Blessed Mother shut this place down!”

  • A mother’s womb should be the safest place in the world,” one sign at the prayer session read.

2.  Contact Flannery Construction and the other contractors who are building this mega-abortuary.  Tell them to show moral integrity and cease working on Planned Parenthood. (Click here to see the list which was assembled by PLAM.)

  • “Workers…you have a choice!” another sign stated, as we prayed for their hearts to turn.


 

 

 

 

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A Mother, a Son and a Rose

August 12, 2011

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Image courtesy of blogspot.com

Living a life of gratitude nurtures the soul, and quite frankly, it’s the right way to live. Thankfulness is a virtue wise adults want to instill in their children, and they start working on this from the moment their babies open their toothless mouths. How many times have you heard a parent instruct Junior: “Say ‘Thank you’!” ? And the mumbling baby responds with something like: “Gank you!”

And when children grow a little bit bigger and learn how to hold a pencil, their parents give them friendly (or stern) reminders after birthdays and Christmases: “Don’t forget your thank-you notes!” or, “You’re not leaving this house until all your thank-you notes are done!”

But does all of this tutelage sink in? We parents can only hope and pray.

When I was in high school I worked in Door County, Wisconsin one summer at a candy store called “Uncle Tom’s.” The owner resembled a skinny Santa Claus and the kids loved him. They knew that if they recited, “Gratitude is attitude!” he would give them a free bag of popcorn. He wanted to teach youngsters about the importance of giving thanks because, he explained, it’s the only way we can really be happy. Uncle Tom ran out of popcorn every day because his lesson was such a huge hit.

G.K. Chesterton stated, “I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”

Today I wanted to share a little story with you about a mother and son who must experience this ‘happiness doubled by wonder’ of which Chesterton spoke. Their expression of thankfulness illustrates the power of gratitude. It also shows that some parents are great teachers by their instruction and modeling, and that kids sometimes do ‘get it.’

“Thank you, thank you, thank you!”

Each year, on her son’s birthday, a mother stops by Pro-Life Action Ministries (PLAM) to thank them for helping her through an abortion temptation over 20 years ago. She brings a thank-you note and a red rose. Some years her son, now a young man, accompanies her, and this past year for the first time, he appeared in full military uniform.

“She gushes out thank yous,” said Brian Gibson, executive director of the ministry.

When I asked Brian if the young man looks like he’s being dragged there against his will by his mother, he stated enthusiastically, “No, the son expresses his gratitude just as much as Mom. In fact, he’s proud and delighted to be there.” (This young man deserves some popcorn!)

Just thinking about this beautiful scenario sends shivers up my spine. Quite often pro-life work can be thankless, and the thought of someone so full of gratitude, gives me hope. I have a feeling that this gentleman is a true soldier for the unborn and all defenseless people. He and his mother are living precisely how Blessed John Paul II suggests in Evangelium Vitae:

“We are all called to express wonder and gratitude for the gift of life and to welcome, savor and share the Gospel of Life.” (#84)

Gratitude is Attitude

Brian Gibson told me, “Being thanked from time to time is not necessary, but it keeps us going. It bolsters us to no end and helps us so greatly.”

Through the work of Pro-Life Action Ministries, more than 2,600 babies have been saved from abortion over the last 30 years. And, yes, Brian and his staff have received other thank yous. “Being thanked reminds us of why we’re in this ministry. It keeps us going,” he said.

So far this year, PLAM has directly helped 57 mothers embrace life. It is the oldest and most comprehensive sidewalk counseling organization in America, and their offices are right here in St. Paul (visit them at http://www.plam.org).

When recalling his visits from the mother and her son, Brian told me, “Nothing is so fulfilling as to have the witness of the lives we have helped to save.” And when I thanked him for his part in saving all those babies he responded, “I can’t take the credit, I’m just a ball player.”

To this I say, “Play ball!”

 

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