By Fr. Daniel Bowen, O. de M.
Post-Roe Work for Life
Inside an ordinary-looking medical building in a large city, a young woman takes a seat along with her boyfriend. She casually flips through a brochure that was given to her by a friendly-talking man just before entering the building.
The brochure explains her unborn baby’s growth within her womb and provides a list of physical and psychological dangers of abortion.
Moved by the pictures and recalling the offer of help of the sidewalk counselor outside the building, she has second thoughts about getting the abortion.
Changing Hearts and Minds
This drama takes place all over America and throughout the world. It’s the quiet and prayerful witness of pro-lifers that is saving lives and turning hearts toward generosity – and even to God for help in a crisis.
Although the Supreme Court overturned the infamous 1973 Roe v. Wade decision last year, 34 states have few to no limits on abortion at this writing, according to Sidewalk Advocates for Life. Many of these states are huge in population, such as California, Illinois, Ohio, New York and Pennsylvania.
Something must be done.
The outspoken Bishop Robert Barron told Fox News that abortion is “the most pressing moral issue of our time."
Good Effects of Sidewalk Counseling
You might be thinking, “What good could it do for me to stand outside an abortion mill and try to talk to these women?”
You might be surprised.
Here are five good effects of this noble work, taken from the literature of Catholics United for Life, of New Hope, KY, who helped pioneer sidewalk counseling beginning in 1973:
- Saving babies. Yes, it does happen. Even women and girls who shun us on the sidewalk at times go inside the abortuary and change their minds.
- Praying the rosary. Our Lady’s Psalter always brings good. We may not see the results of our efforts, but they are always there.
- Witnessing for life. Those whom we meet on the street, and friends of ours are moved toward a respect for life when we tell them what we do.
- Awareness among abortuary workers. There is a convicting effect upon the entire staff, knowing that even one person is praying outside the abortion mill.
- Doing penance for our sins and those of others. You don’t think that standing for two hours in freezing cold or in a blazing summer heat for the love of God provides satisfaction for our sins and those of others?
I have been praying outside of abortuaries alongside sidewalk counselors on an almost weekly basis for decades in the four states where our friars live: Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania and Florida. I can tell you that those of us who pray and counsel save many unborn children from abortion. They also have a tremendous effect upon many people, as well as upon ourselves.
NEXT: A typical morning of sidewalk counseling
Are you a single Catholic man age 18-40 interested in participating in Christ’s redemptive act of love on the cross to free others from the captivity of sins surrounding abortion? Why not think of becoming a Mercedarian friar?
The Mercedarians, also known as the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy, was founded in 1218 in Spain. We have friars who are priests and brothers.
In the United States, Mercedarian friars serve in parishes, prisons, hospitals, schools and other institutions in Ohio, Pennsylvania New York, and Florida. As part of our charism of redemptive love, we have a sincere devotion to Mary and to the Eucharist.
Single Catholic men age 18 – 40 who think they may have a Mercedarian vocation are invited to visit the website of the Mercedarian Friars USA. Contact me, Fr. Daniel Bowen, vocation director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Test Your Call
Why not test your call to the Mercedarian Friars and get your score?
Learn more about the Friars at these sites as well:
YouTube: Mercedarian Friars USA