EVENT RECAP: ECUMENICAL PRAYER VIGIL AND RALLY
Updated: Nov 2, 2020
This past Saturday, July 25th 2020, the Pro-Life Union of Greater Philadelphia hosted an Ecumenical Prayer Vigil and Rally outside of the Planned Parenthood facility on 12th and Locust. Following a beautiful mass celebrated by Archbishop Perez, several hundred pro-lifers processed from the Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral to Planned Parenthood to join in prayer and witness powerful speakers. Read below the words of encouragement, praise, and challenge offered at the rally!
Philadelphia Archbishop Nelson Perez
Thank you so much again for your witness. Today we walk for the right to life, especially for the unborn – for those who have no voice but our voice right now. But I have to say they are a powerful voice. Jesus taught Paul a great thing, that when we are weak we’re actually strong, right? So those little lives in the wombs of our moms, while they might not have the voice that we have, they have a powerful, powerful voice to the world. Never underestimate the power of the spirit of God working in you, through you, and despite you.
Fr. Christopher Walsh – Pastor, St. Raymond of Penafort Church; Chairperson, Pro-Life Union
God is good and all the time. My name is Father Chris Walsh and I’m not only the pastor of Saint Raymond Church in Mount Airy but also blessed to be at this point the Chairperson of the Pro-Life Union of Greater Philadelphia. We gather at this spot on this day because we believe in the power of change. Amen? A great thing happened in the Planned Parenthood organization in the past week – did you hear this? They came to the truth a little bit and in the midst of America getting “woke” Planned Parenthood got woke a little bit. They admitted that the founder of this organization, Margaret Sanger, was an ugly, bitter, angry racist; that she wanted to kill people of color. Right? And just as they’ve welcomed that truth, we’ve got one more truth we want them to accept, amen? That every life is precious, amen? That life begins in the womb, amen? And that we need to help those children come to birth, amen? We’re going to start with singing a beautiful song, ‘Amazing Grace’ written by a man named John Newton. John Newton was once very far from the Lord. He was a slave trader and it was through the influence of his wife and many other good Christians that he came to Christ. ‘Amazing Grace’ is not just a song, but it’s autobiographical. It tells his story of what the grace of God did in his life, moving him from here to there. Many of us know the journey because we were once here, and now we’re there, amen? So sing your heart out as we pray for the grace of God to fall not only upon us but also on the folks who work in this building, on the folks who come here thinking this is their only option – because our God can move mountains. And next up is our current President and CEO, Tom, who not only works on developing great strategy around direct services to women who are in need and organizing some of our public affairs and getting volunteers and a round of applause for putting together this amazing rally today right? Right, but another great gift of Tom is that he reminds us that this is fundamentally a spiritual battle. It is a spiritual battle. While we need to get good elected officials and good judges, we need to pray that hearts are changed so that abortion is never an option, amen?
Tom Stevens – Pres. & CEO, Pro-Life Union of Greater Philadelphia
Well, I got good news. We’re almost done, and also Jesus came so that we might have life. So I promised my children that I would not give them a shout out. They’re somewhere way over there, but my beautiful wife and we just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary, and we are in love and we’re thankful for the five children that we have here and the three that we have in heaven and we are thankful. Do you know I was at Philadelphia Women’s Center a while back, and one of the security guards said to me, “Well,” it was a Saturday, “we’re sending a lot of babies to heaven today for you.” And maybe that’s true, but the problem is is that the family tree, all the future descendants – all of those children afterward – those souls are being ROBBED from heaven and that is the work of the foe. It breaks my heart when a woman chooses abortion. And then, even more, to think of all the future generations lost because of one babies’ murder. The Pro-Life Union’s mission is as follows: we simply are using hope, we’re using love for families to serve and accompany others by offering education, real alternatives to abortion, and public witness. The purpose is that we would eliminate the perceived need for abortion. There’s never ever ever ever a need for abortion, but there’s a lot of people who are very afraid to bring a child into this world. I talk to them all the time. I’ve talked to a woman whose child has gone in to have an abortion and she has a mental illness, and I understand. I have compassion for the difficulty, but there’s never ever a need for an abortion. You know, right now we’re in the middle of a pandemic. We don’t know yet how to fix the Covid-19 disease problem. We don’t have a vaccine (and please when the vaccine comes out, we’re asking you to make sure that you use the one without aborted baby cells fetal parts, please!) On a smaller scale, we don’t have a solution yet to spotted lanternflies! We don’t know what we’re going to do about spotted lanternflies. We’ve got so many of them in Pennsylvania. We don’t have a solution. But, we do know the solution to abortion. We do know! We’ve got it! Medically accurate information – we don’t need a vaccine. We know how to end abortion. It’s easy.Stop killing babies! End surgical abortions. End the abortion by pills. Stop it. End the willing killing of a child in the womb. That is the medically accurate information available to end abortion. We know how to solve this problem! Don’t kill. We know how to do it. We know the answer. The answer is to never kill a baby in the womb. We can do that! A baby is not a disease to be ended. A baby is a life to be cherished. Let’s work together. Let’s find solutions, Let’s solve the foster care problem. Let’s solve homelessness, Let’s solve the unwillingness to have self-control. Let’s plan parenthood by raising up and educating children and teens, so people can plan parenthood by waiting until they’re married. We can solve the abortion problem. We don’t need a vaccine. We need to work together, and we need to keep praying because there is a foe, and the foe is not Planned Parenthood. The foe is the thief who is attempting, who’s doing everything he can to steal, to kill, and to destroy. But Jesus says – and this is what attracted me to him 30 years ago – Jesus says I have come that you might have life, and life to the full, amen? And joy. Joy that is complete. So the thief is our foe and Jesus is the answer, and just stop killing babies intentionally, and abortion will end. Let’s love. Let’s care. Let’s speak kind words, and let’s help. We need solutions. Let’s work together. Let’s find them and let’s help, and let’s not kill babies in the womb. Thank you for being here. Thanks for staying. God bless. We’ll see you back on Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday. You can come here. 12 000 abortions in the city of Philadelphia every year. 6,500 at 8th and Arch every year. Come on join us and pray, pray, pray. Thank you, and God bless.
Pastor Curtis Saxton – Ekklesia of North Philadelphia Church
Let the church say amen! We’re gathered here today, and what a privilege it is to be able to be with brothers and sisters, to call upon our great and awesome God in this time, knowing that He is a help to us at every moment. He’s present. He’s powerful. He has all authority. He is indeed Cristo Rey isn’t he? He is Christ the King. How do we keep up with this work, with this challenge? It’s easier perhaps, right now, to gather together when there are several hundred of us. That’s something that happens once in a while, but let’s be honest, brothers and sisters. It’s much more difficult on the days of oppressive heat or bitter cold, when you’re alone, just by yourself – just you and God and a stream of people often sadly walking through these gates. It’s more difficult on those days when we see these decisions being made because of a lack of hope. It’s difficult on those days. We recognize that our government has put all kinds of regulations out there to protect some lives, but then make special exceptions for the “essential” so-called work of taking other lives. It’s more difficult on those days when our Christian brothers and sisters respond to the call to be about what God is doing right here with outright dismay or perhaps even worse, with indifference. When we’re faced with these challenges, how do we keep up? God’s word gives us a picture of the source of our strength. It comes and we remember that there’s a bigger picture, a bigger movement, a bigger agenda that we’re a part of. We remember that the entire scope of history has been written in a scroll held by the hand of the slain Lamb of God, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, Who holds everything in His hands. In the words of Father Richard John Newhouse, how do we find a purpose that we might never weary, never rest? That strength comes from remembering, brothers and sisters, Who it is we serve. Yes, we’re here to serve fathers and mothers and babies. We’re here to love escorts and receptionists, nurses, physicians, uber drivers who take a fare and then find out that they’re delivering two to the gates of hell and picking up one later. Above all, brothers and sisters, our strength comes from remembering that we serve here as part of our worship of the true and living God. God, we’re coming before You today and we are proclaiming and trusting in Your goodness and Your faithfulness and Your answers to our prayer. The sign behind me says these doors stay open and I’m so glad for that because these are doors that the Holy Spirit can and will walk right through. Amen. And the day has come when He returns. Let’s pray. God we ask for your return, and in the meanwhile, we ask for your strength and encouragement for us in Your name we pray, amen.
Marlene Downing – Director, Hope Pregnancy Center
Let’s talk about alternatives. So that’s a hard one because when people come into the center they only see two alternatives: they see abortion, and they see either parenting. The other alternative that I like to present to people is that adoption is something that people really really don’t think about, because what happens is it becomes a taboo to some people, especially the communities that I work in. When they think about adoption they’re thinking that, you know, “If I have this child I’m going to have to really live with shame because this baby is going to now be alive and the shame is going to follow me for the rest of my life.” Little do they know that whatever decision you make, it’s going to be for the rest of your life. So, I don’t know if you guys all know but I know that if you’re a Christian, you know that we are all adopted. Everyone is adopted, as it says in Ephesians 1:5. I’ll tell you that I never really got adopted, but I have two moms. I have a black mom who passed away; she actually committed suicide when I was 12, and I have a white mom, and my mom that actually raised me was caucasian. She did a fabulous job, because you know what she did? She loved me, and that’s what adoption is. It’s love. So what we have to know is that when it comes to saving babies the reason why it’s so taboo for young ladies who are making that decision to live, to choose life, or not to choose life, is because we as the Church have fallen, and we’ve fallen to the point where we’ve not shown the love that we should.I know that there are a lot of people out here that are showing love. We have Our Lady’s House, Guiding Star, AlphaCare, Hope Pregnancy Center, Mother’s Home and so many ministries that help. But if we look around, everyone knows somebody who has money, who’s able to use their resources to make sure that these lives live, because it’s not only their choice but it’s our choice to get involved and to stand up for life. So I just want to just let you guys know that we as a people aren’t needed in this community. There are homes that are needed because these women are coming in and they’re facing homelessness because they’re wanting to choose life but they’re feeling like they can’t do it because they don’t want to be out in the street with their child. So who’s going to stand up and say I’m going to be the one, I’m going to be the one to create a new maternity home, a place for this person to live, or I’m going to be the one to put the money in their pocket that they need. Yes, some people take advantage. I know because Lord knows I know – but it’s okay. God has not called us to be like, “okay I’m not gonna help you because you’re gonna take advantage of me.” He’s called us to agape love and that’s what He’s given us. What we need is housing, resources, education, and communities of purity. We need to teach our children purity so that they don’t even end up at the Hope Center. It’s just, the sexual nature of our society is on us. We’re responsible guys.I love you all and I just want you all, everybody to know that that you’re able to make a difference. Each and every one of you might be looking at the speakers that are coming up here and thinking that there’s someone special. You’re special because Christ has adopted you. Okay? So you have to just put on your armor of God and just be that person for someone else. God bless you all.
Chris Massaro – Seminarion, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary
Why don’t we just take a moment just to direct our hearts and our minds towards our Heavenly Father. Father, we come before You as Your beloved sons and daughters. We praise You and thank You for the gift of our lives and the gift of Your love. We pray on this day with heavy hearts and also with joyful hearts, knowing that You are at work in this movement to end the culture of death and bring about a culture of life. We pray for all of those mothers who are considering an abortion and facing that fear and the agony of a crisis pregnancy. We just entrust them to You and to Your loving mercy. We pray for all the unborn children, especially those who are at risk right now of an abortion. We pray for all those who work and volunteer for Planned Parenthood and clinics like it. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Herbert H. Lusk, III – Youth Minister, Greater Exodus Baptist
All right guys, we made noise for everybody else – let’s make some noise for Jesus. Come on y’all let’s make some noise for Jesus! It is important for us to know that in order for us to turn this thing around the way that it’s supposed to be, it must be presented with a message of love. I want to tell everybody under the sound of my voice I believe the word of God. Unequivocally, unapologetically it says that if My people hear me – it doesn’t say the world, it does not say those who are unbelievers – it says if My people who are called by My name would humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and heal their land. Listen, the onus is on us. We’re looking for Planned Parenthood to change, but we got to change first. We’re looking for them to change, but the onus is on us. One of the greatest quotes that I’ve ever heard in my life was from Dr. King. He said it’s always the right time to do the right thing. It’s always the right time. It doesn’t need a rally. It doesn’t need a march. It’s just always the right time to do the right thing, and this is the right thing.Father I thank You for this morning and I thank You for this opportunity, and Lord You have brought us to this moment. It is not by accident. You knew that this moment would happen. Father before I even begin, I adore Your wonderful name. You are awesome. You are amazing. You are faithful. You are kind. You are compassionate. You are loving. You are forgiving. Father I even bring what’s going on with these abortions before You. I bring what’s going on with hatred before You. I bring how we can decide to even kill a baby before they even come out of the womb. Father we confess our sins before You right now. Father, everybody under the sound of my voice including this weak vessel right now has sins to account for but Your word says that You are faithful and just to cleanse us and remove all unrighteousness Father we confess these sins right now. We confess our sins and then we say thank You Lord because You forgive. We begin to pray for every mother who may decide to even have an abortion. We pray for life right now in Your word. It says in the book of Jeremiah, You have said in Your word father that before You knew Jeremiah You knew him, You called him, informed him to be a prophet unto the nations. Psalm 139 says “I am fearfully and wonderfully made! You formed me, You made my inward parts. You knitted me together in my mother’s womb. My soul knows this very well.” We can’t do it Father, we don’t have the ability to change a heart but what we do have is the ability to change, to talk to the Power that does. We talk to You today and we ask You. Lord have mercy, not only on us but have mercy on them. Change their mind even right now. You said in Your word that You’re able to turn the heart of the king like a babbling brook. I ask that You change their hearts even right now. Change somebody in the abortion clinic now, God. Convict their spirit, let them not sleep at night, let them not rest until they understand the sanctity of life. We give You all glory and all praise and our honor. It is in the only name that matters, in Jesus’ name. Amen
Ashley Garecht – Wife, Mother, Activist
This is awesome. This is a fantastic turnout! So my nameis Ashley Garecht. I’m a proud member of the board of the Pro-Life Union of Greater Philadelphia, and a little over a year ago my daughters and I and our friend were praying here and we were harassed and doxed by state representative Brian Sims because he didn’t like what we were doing, but praise God He used that moment. That was a hard day, let me tell you. As a mother that was a hard day. God used that day, that week, the months after that, and even today I see reflections of this that God is amplifying the cause of life and so I’m grateful even for hard days that God uses for good.So I’m back here today specifically to talk and say the truth in love over a place where there are too often lies and hatred. So my daughters and I were accused that day of being “pro-birth” but here’s the truth: I am pro-birth. I’m pro-birth because every woman who is pregnant and walking into this building is carrying a unique and precious human being. That human being has been endowed with the inalienable right to life. These babies are not clumps of cells. They are not mere inconveniences. They are not almost babies. The truth is that we are fighting for the lives of actual, already present human beings. Now here’s the love: in addition to being pro-birth, I’m also pro-healthy pregnancy and I am pro-infancy and I am pro-toddlerhood and pro-childhood because we love life and birth. So for every woman who is challenged in her ability to make it through her pregnancy or who feels alone and overwhelmed at the thought of motherhood, we love you, and we love your child, and we are here to help you. We would love to walk with you and to help lighten your burdens. Do you need pregnancy care? Do you need an ultrasound to see what your child looks like today? Yes, we can do that for you. Do you need rental assistance? Do you need help finding diapers and baby supplies? Yes, we can help you. Do you need a place to live before the baby is born? Do you need a place to live after your baby is born? Yes, we can help you, and we stand here today and every day ready to offer that assistance. This is the truth because we love these women. We love their babies. We love the fathers.We are not here to harass and attack women. We are here to tell them that they have options and that there is help, and furthermore that ending the life of their baby will not be an end to hardship, but ending the life of that child will mean an end to possibility, an end to future joy and an end to a loving relationship with their child. Women deserve better than abortion. Babies deserve better than abortion, and our city deserves better than abortion. Amen. That is the truth, and the truth is we are here because we love life, amen? God bless you.
Richara Krajewski – Discipleship & Youth Minister, St. Raymond of Penafort Church
I feel like I’m proving my bona fide aid grassroots speaker status. At this point I’m sweaty, I have no lipstick and my glasses are all fogged up, but anyways it is a great blessing and a gift to be with you all. My name is Richara Krajewski. I’m a member of the board of the Pro-Life Union of Greater Philadelphia. I also serve full-time as a pastoral associate and youth minister at St. Raymond of Penafort Church in Northwest Philadelphia. Come check us out sometime – online saintraymond.net. Well it’s never been easy to be a pro-life person in the United States and certainly it has never been easy to be Black in the U.S. For me it’s always been kind of awkward to be the pro-life Black person right and I used to feel like it was a burden, but increasingly now what I see is actually a blessing, right? Being Black and pro-life, especially right now gives me an opportunity to see and hear things that I would otherwise miss. Like so many of you I’m watching youtube all day and I’m seeing, like, crazy vicious arguments breaking out on facebook: parishioners against the priests and moms against daughters. Rather than looking at all of this discord and saying “Okay there goes a bad person, oh that person’s too woke they need to, go back to sleep,” No! What I’m seeing is people who are starving for love, literally starving, craving to be loved, to be seen, and to be recognized. So we have to admit as a pro-life community is that this moment has challenged us, this moment of racial conflict has us scrambling for new ways to express what it is that we know has always been true: that every single human life is worthy of protection, worthy of love, and worthy of respect. So obviously for us, for the pro-life movement we have to prioritize those who are the most vulnerable – the unborn – but that doesn’t mean that we have to see ourselves as people who can’t care about anybody else, right? It’s not true of us that we can only care about people who have a simple history. It’s not true that we can only care about those whose culture makes sense to us. It’s not true that we can only care about those who have politics that make us feel safe, or that we find familiar. So this is Philadelphia. We are the city of brotherly love. We have so many things to celebrate in this city, and one of the things that I’m the most proud about is that we have this amazing legacy of historic Black christian communities right here in this city, and if you would believe it quite a number of pro-life Black people as well. However, even now in 2020 I’m still hearing from them that they can’t quite figure out how to find their footing in this movement, right? We sometimes are too attached to our old ways of communicating, our familiar ways of supporting people, right? And that honestly is still an obstacle for the people that we do need to reach and that we do need to be in touch with. So there is hope – I don’t want to be a doomsayer. I went to this amazing prayer rally with a bunch of Black Christians we gathered somewhere near Temple. The point was to pray, sing some songs, beat some tambourines – it was great. So we walked all the way down to City Hall. We even had some praying police officers with us, but for me what was the most beautiful, most amazing part of that whole afternoon was the presence of a number of seasoned, veteran pro-lifers, and guess what? They were whites, and they were male ones, and because I happen to know at least some of them I know for a fact that they were not there to advance a particular political agenda. They were not there to help Black people overthrow some system. They were there because they recognized that this moment was different, that this moment of social disorganization required a tangible demonstration of love, and I think there’s a lesson there for all of us. So as we know statues are coming down all over the place, all over the country, in our own city. We’re seeing statues of white men from Columbus to Rizzo to I think even some abolitionists, right? These statues are coming under a lot of suspicion and criticism, and a firm pointed out the other day, you know, every statue is going down but they left the love statue up. Why is that? And I thought you know what a great question. The love statue remains, I think, because somewhere beneath all the unrest and disquiet and anger and angst, those of us in Philadelphia, we still know that love is worthy of preserving. It’s worth extending, and it’s worth sharing, but looking at this moment we can’t bury our heads in the sand, right? We have to be alive and awake to the moment. Loving black people right now looks like being willing to look at ourselves, the assumptions that we make about people. Being willing to reach out and form authentic friendships, and I mean really getting to know people. That’s super important. Jesus Christ, the greatest Lover of all time, He got close to the people He was trying to save. He drew them in. He ate with them. He hung out with them, and that is what we really need to do if we’re going to be effective as pro-lifers. So I’m going to leave you with these words by Saint Francis DeSales. They may be familiar to you, some of you absolutely adore him, but he was living during a time when Europe was a total wreck, right? He was going, running from place to place. He was a priest and eventually a bishop. He couldn’t quite get his work done because everywhere he was going people were trying to get him. However, he has these words for us and I think these words can certainly inspire us: “You learn to speak by speaking. You learn to study by studying. You learn to work by working, and you learn to love by loving.” We’re not going to be a community that’s poised to speak life into those places that are darkest, where we really need to be able to enter, if we cannot demonstrate the love that listens more than it speaks, a love that can meet and is willing to meet every single human person where they are, and ultimately a love that says at all times “Your pain and your story matter.” This is our way to rise to the challenge of this moment. Thank you guys. God bless you.
Mark Houck – Co-Founder, The King’s Men
Hello, I am Mark Houck – founder of the King’s Men, a proud member of the Pro-Life Union of Greater Philadelphia.It is good that we’re here, amen? But how many of us avoid coming down here? I’m not pointing any fingers. Days like today are necessary. Marches are necessary to raise national awareness, but being here intervening in the last moments of a child’s life are the most critical thing that we can do with our day, our time, our year. It is the reason why we are here today. I’ve had the privilege of being here when women have said yes to life and I’ve also had the privilege of experiencing the rejection of that love and mercy. I say privilege because there’s no greater thing I’ve ever done in my life than saying yes to being a catalyst or an instrument in the hand of God, the Holy Spirit and helping a pre-born child leave this facility alive, and I also say I’ve had the privilege to experience the loss, rejection, derision, embarrassment, and humiliation here at this place. I’ve experienced the cross here. I’ve seen the rejection of God’s love and forgiveness on the faces of the workers, and the women and men who enter this house of death, and that is indeed a privilege to enter into the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ. I would like to share some words from a voice not too long forgotten, but one we should all be called upon: the late and great Archbishop Fulton Sheen, soon to be beatified by the Church. Praise God. “On judgment day,” these are his words, “He will say to each of us, ‘Show me your hands and feet. Where are your scars of victory? Have you fought no battles for truth? have you won no wars for goodness? Have you made no enemy of evil? If we can prove we have been His warriors and show the scars on our apostolic hands, we shall enjoy the peace of victory, but woe unto us who come down from the cavalry of this earthly pilgrimage with hands unscarred and white.” As pro-lifers and activists and lovers of life, we can show our lord those scars, yes indeed, amen? I was here with John Stanton, the great pioneer of the Pro-Life Union of Greater Philadelphia. I watched him get thrown into these bars of this gate here. He brought the scars to the Lord, amen? Both physically and spiritually. Archbishop Sheen goes on to say, “We finish our vocation as He finished His: on a cross, and nowhere else. Only due to the doers of the truth, and not to its preachers,” we’ve had some great preachers here by the way, “and hearers, comes the reward of the crown. Doing implies the spending not of what we have, but of what we are.” Friends it is not enough to say we are pro-life and that we vote such. So important. We must indeed daily intercede for the pre-born child and yes, come to these places of death, the ‘gates of hell’ as we’ve been calling them, which cause us great sadness but which can bring us so much joy in the choice of life. Finally, Fulton Sheen says, “The world judges us by our results. Our Lord judges us by the way we fulfill and finish our appointed tasks. A good life is not necessarily a successful life. The sowers are not always the reapers. Those whom God destines only to sow receive the reward for just that even though they never garnered a single sheath into everlasting barns. In the parable of the talents the reward is according to our potentialities and the completion of appointed tasks.” Fulton Sheen, friends. He said it, I believe it. It is here at 12th and Locust, and other places like them around this city, that we can find this completion of our work. I hope you can come down here for the next 40 days for life. I hope you can come down here, for the finest hour of my life is when I am at this gate of hell. God bless you.
Liana Hollendonner – Regional Coordinator, Students for Life
Good morning, everyone. It is so good to be here. I’m so happy to be here in person, masks and everything, and it never ceases to amaze me how we know how to bring out a pro-life crowd in Philly, don’t we? My name is Leanna Hollander. I am the Mid-atlantic Regional Coordinator for Students for Life of America, so I get to work with students all over the country, but specifically in Pennsylvania and in Delaware, and for those of you who are unfamiliar with Students for Life, our mission is to recruit, train, and mobilize students, young people, the pro-life generation to abolish abortion in our lifetime. That’s the mission, that’s the vision, and we work with thousands of students in every state – some of them are here I can see them today – to serve women, to influence legislation, to change hearts and minds, and to shut down the abortion industry. This week I had the privilege to help run the virtual kickoff of our fellowship program that we have at SFLA, and it’s a program designed to prepare students for a full-time position in the pro-life movement, and I have to tell you if you met this group of students – there’s 50 of them – you wouldn’t doubt for a second that we will see an end to abortion. These students truly blow me away and they are as young as 15 years old. They are so bold and so courageous, and they’ve already dedicated a huge portion of their lives to this cause, and they know what they signed up for. They know the names that they’re going to be called. They know that they’re going to get flipped off on the street. They know they’re gonna get treated unfairly by their school administrations and their peers, and it seemed to only strengthen the resolve. Something that’s really been on my mind and on my heart the last couple days is I’ve been working with these students and I’ve been praying, and thinking, and trying to figure out what I’m going to say to them that’s wise and useful, so something that’s been on my heart is the story of Saint Joan of Arc. You know her. She lives in a truly scary time, right? A time of war, in a time of violence for any citizen, let alone a woman, and yet when God called her to do something terrifying, to go into battle with an army of men, not only did she do it, not only did she say yes, but when she spoke about it she said – and I paraphrase of course – “I am not afraid. God is with me. I was born for this. So I think that that’s a sentiment that we can all feel in the pro-life movement, right? So when a lot of us might deal with this fear of societal consequence, or maybe family consequences, but every skill, every quality, every ounce of courage that we need to do something great with our lives, God has already given us, God has already put in us. And the only thing we have left to do is to say yes. In a minute you’re going to hear from Dr. Ruberu, and if you know her, you know that she’s probably going to ask you to come back here. She’s going to ask you to maybe sign up for a more regular time out here on the sidewalk, and I challenge each of you, especially the young people, especially the people who have maybe never tried this before, I challenge you to say yes not just today but to say yes to the opportunities that God puts in your life every day to save lives, to serve and advocate for these women and to ultimately change our culture. Thank you all so much and God bless.
Dr. Monique Ruberu – Natural Women’s Health, LLC
Hi guys, my name is Dr. Monique Rubero. I’m a pro-life ob-gyn and I am a co-leader of the 40 Days for Life outreach and Sidewalk Servants outreach in downtown Philadelphia. I just want to thank each and every one of you for being here today, and we are just so excited to be here with you. I especially want to thank our youngest pro-lifers who are here, and there, and there, and all over the crowd. Oftentimes these little ones come here to pray at 12th and locust. Pastor Curtis Saxton’s little ones come on a weekly basis once a week and they hand out blessing bags to the people who are here and offer alternatives so if a little child can come out here to 12th and locust Planned Parenthood, a small child who is defenseless, just as defenseless as those small babies in the womb, if they can understand the importance of those lives, if they can give of their time and their energy and fearless souls…They come out here and people don’t treat them nicely just because they’re little. People still say mean things to them. People still curse them, but they respond with love. These small children. Guys, I ask each and every one of you to take a lesson from these guys, and let’s all be here guys. If we fill every hour – we say this every single time – if we fill every hour that this place is open the numbers go down. The people see us from a distance. They see us praying, they see us lovingly reaching out with kindness with love with compassion and they see us offering them the resources that they need to choose life. When they see us oftentimes they walk away. They do an about-turn before they even get to the door, and if they get to that door and if we can hand them the resources sometimes they will read them and then they’ll turn around and even if they go inside and they’re sitting there and they don’t have resources and there’s someone outside waiting for them. Then we can talk to those people lovingly, kindly, compassionately giving them the resources that will save their children’s lives. So I’m asking each and every one of you here. We have a signup sheet where we can get your information. They’re floating around in this area, and we ask that each and every one of you come and give us your name, give us your number, give us your email, tell us what day of the week you’re available. Commit to one hour a week. We need to do this. Every other group that is standing up for what is wrong is committing and it’s our turn to commit. Okay, all right. God bless each and every one of you. I promised my kids I’d give them a shout out they’re doing pro-life bows, pro-life pins, pro-life magnets. 33% of all their sales goes to Guiding Star Home or the Orphanage in Uganda. All right, God bless you guys.