Confessions of a Pro-Life Fantic
No one likes to be called a fanatic. Fanatics are hard to live with. They tend to be single-minded to the point of being obsessive. They neglect other issues that have an importance of their own and sometimes they forget to simply enjoy the beauty and wonder of life. Very often fanatics seem to lose their sense of humor, particularly if the joke has anything to do with their particular issue. Can you imagine being around a John the Baptist? He didn’t care about what he ate. He didn’t care about his clothing. He didn’t care what anyone thought about what he said, not even King Herod.

I have been called a fanatic many times. Some consider me such because of my vocation as a priest. Many more have called me a fanatic because of my focus on the pro-life cause. I’ve prayed and demonstrated before abortion centers. I have preached and spoken and written about this issue. Since 1973 I have worn a bracelet on my wrist bearing the date of the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision that, for all intents and purposes, permitted abortion in our country for any reason at any stage of life. That decision was issued on January 22nd of 1973. The bracelet also has symbols inscribed; the alpha and the omega, the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, are on either side of a symbol that stands for life within woman. Since the alpha with the omega is a sign representing God, the symbols serve as a constant reminder to me that only God has a right to determine when life begins and when it ends. I have worn that bracelet for 32 years now, through 32 years of unparalleled legalized bloodshed, and I will not remove it until that holocaust is stopped.

Although I have been called a fanatic, as I think about it my sense is that, if anything, I have not been sufficiently devoted to this cause. It is true that, particularly in my role as pastor, there are many great needs that call for my attention. But when I think of the whole realm of social justice causes and the many areas of service, I cannot find one more fundamental, more direct assault upon everything I know and believe, than this state sanctioned slaughter.

I am haunted by questions of how I would have responded had I lived in the midst some of the other great social justice travesties of history. How would I have acted if I had lived in the time of slavery? What if I had been pastor of a church in a place where slavery was practiced? Would I have been willing to be considered a fanatic there as I expressed my opposition?

How would I have acted had I lived in Germany during World War II? What if I knew, as many did, what was happening to all the Jewish people and many others who were being transported into the Day after day they came, old and young, healthy and lame, laity, priests and sisters, but especially Jews, while all that ever left the camp was the constant sickening sweet effusion that wafted skyward from the chimneys and covered the sun? Would I have been willing to speak knowing that my fate would have been mingled with theirs?

Many don’t really know what is happening. There is a great conspiracy of silence and of double-speak. We don’t address such things in the media or among polite company. Therefore many do not know. But I know that an unborn child is not at any point just a blob of tissue, like a hangnail. This new life is a separate, self-directing, totally unique, human life. I know that this new slaughter of the innocents is happening in numbers that boggle the imagination. More than 11,700 in Dallas every year, 3,600 a day in the U.S. alone, one out of every four children conceived, are ruthlessly torn in pieces from the haven of their mother’s wombs and thrown in the garbage. I know—and I cannot make believe that it is otherwise.

I also know of the sheer panic many women experience when they learn that they are carrying a child they did not expect. I have walked with them as they struggled with what they feel is the loss of their dreams in the midst of a culture that sees children as burdens and often resents their intrusions upon our plans. I have also spoken with many who long years after choosing an abortion still feel the pain of their decision every single day.

This convinces me in my fanaticism that we have to do better in supporting women who face a crisis pregnancy. We must tell them the truth about abortion, as some are doing through sidewalk counseling outside the abortion centers. We need to let them know that there are other options besides killing. Help and support is available through services such as those offered at crisis pregnancy centers. We need to be there to assist post-abortive women and men, who also suffer the pain and guilt, to find healing through retreats such as Rachel’s Vineyard. And we need to continue to work to change laws that give a cloak of respectability to this ghoulish violence directed at our most helpless brothers and sisters.

It is hard being considered a fanatic, but it is even harder to be silent.

Submitted by Msgr. Mark Seitz
Pastor, St. Rita Catholic Church, Dallas, Texas
August 22, 2006

“I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine.” (Song of Songs 7:11)
A year ago, a pretty, blond young woman in her mid-20’s came to one of the 6 Dallas abortion centers to terminate her pregnancy. She was surely scared and frightened of the responsibilities and life changes that would accompany being single and pregnant. This was Independence weekend – a time when we as Americans celebrate our Independence from oppressive rulers, from tyranny, from slavery. We celebrate our freedom to worship, freedom of speech, freedom to organize and demonstrate, freedom to a fair trial, freedom to elect those who will honor and respect our freedoms. This young woman wanted freedom from the consequences of her actions – surely she feared the impact having a child would have on her life and she must have believed that the best she could do at that time was to be free of this child. Fortunately, this woman had the courage to respond to God’s grace and the prayers of those on the sidewalk, as well as the prayers of those at home and in church, that fervently prayed for her to be open to listen to the sidewalk counselor who was there at this center that July weekend. God gives us all Free Will and this freedom gives us the choice of responding positively or negatively to the graces that God bestows. God sets before us Life and Death, and it is ultimately our choice to decide which way we will go. Thankfully, this young woman chose life for her child and for herself.

This past 4th of July weekend this same young woman returned to this Abortion Center. As she approached the driveway, she smiled and waved at the sidewalk counselor and two prayer warriors who were fortunate enough to be there this day so as to meet this young, beautiful mother. She parked in the first lot next to the sidewalk, rolled down her window and said, “I was here a year ago to have an abortion and one of you spoke to me on the sidewalk and I just wanted to show you my son .” She pulled her car around near us, rolled down her son’s window and said, “This is my beloved son, Jonathan. Thank you so much for being here.”

I couldn’t help but be grateful for all of the graces God has bestowed. I thanked God for the fact that we were at the clinic an hour longer than usual and that this woman happened to drive by this street at this point in time and had it placed on her heart to stop and share her story and let us see the face of her beloved Jonathan. Standing on the sidewalk outside an abortion center, on a Saturday morning, praying for each of the women and men who enter this house of death to have the courage to respond to God’s grace of hope is not always easy, especially since the results of your efforts are not always known. However, when a connection is made and someone has the courage to respond to good counsel, it makes each day worth it because the whole world is changed by each life that is given the opportunity to grow in the fullness of life. I can’t help but wonder what this young woman’s life would have been like had she chosen death – would she have mourned for a lifetime the face of her beloved JOnathan that she would never see, of the hand that she would never hold, of the immense potential that now exists because her beloved Jonathan does exist and how grateful and happy were the smiles of this young woman because she chose life.

Thank you to those who ministered to this young mother in need a year ago – the fruit of your labor was seen this day!

Submitted by Shelly
Catholic Pro-Life Committee Sidewalk Counselor
August 10, 2006


Report on Operation Outcry National Conference Call
August 8, 2006
On August 8, 2006, I took part in a nationwide conference call with the leaders of Operation Outcry and attorney Allan Parker with the Justice Foundation, and discussed the lawsuit filed in the Doe v. Bolton case with the U.S. Supreme Court as well as a future Texas abortion ban.

Operation Outcry (www.operationoutcry.org) is a non-profit project of the Justice Foundation dedicated to ending legal abortion by exposing its lies and offering the real truth of the devastation in the lives of thousands of women, men and families who have participated in an abortion. Operation Outcry uses the testimonies of women who have suffered from the trauma of abortion to help uncover the truth that abortion “strikes at the heart of a culture: the family.” Operation Outcry also utilizes prayer, a 24-hour hotline for hurting women and others, and training of individuals to speak in public venues and collect affidavits for the effort to end both the suffering and tragic consequences of abortion by ending abortion itself.

The Justice Foundation (www.txjf.org) was formed in 1993 to “protect the fundamental freedoms and rights essential to the preservation of American society.” It is a public-interest litigation firm and represents clients pro-bono.

There were about 20 people or more at different times on the conference call. The call was moderated by Rhonda Arias, the Texas State Leader of Operation Outcry. The call began with an opening prayer led by Caron Strong, the National Director of Operation Outcry and then a scripture reading by Ms. Arias.

At that point, Allan Parker was introduced and began to speak.

Allan told us about the lawsuit filed with the U.S. Supreme Court seeking to overturn the Doe v. Bolton case (410 US 179 (1973). Doe v. Bolton is the decision by the high court which overturned the abortion law of Georgia in 1973 following the Roe decision. Together, Doe and Roe recognized abortion as a constitutional right.

The Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the Doe v. Bolton case was filed with the U.S. Supreme Court on July 31st. The case was then docketed on August 2nd and the Supreme Court will conference and discuss their docket between now and September 25th. On that date, they will have their formal conference and begin the selection process for cases to be heard. Mr. Parker said that we will know sometime in the first week of October whether the high court will take the appeal.

Mr. Parker stated that although Roe v. Wade was not chosen, he feels highly optimistic that the Court will hear Doe v. Bolton. According to Mr. Parker, “for the first time, we will have thousands of affidavits from women documenting the pain, anguish and regret that abortion has caused them.”

Another topic of the conference call was the need for a Texas abortion ban. Mr. Parker said that Texas should pass a ban on abortion following the lead of South Dakota and Louisiana. There are two types of bans: an immediate ban on abortion, making it illegal in our state, and a trigger ban which is a ban that would immediately go into effect when Roe and Doe are overturned.

We also heard from Molly White with Operation Outcry regarding the need for a letter-writing campaign by individuals touched by abortion. Ms. White recently met with Texas House of Representative Phil King, R-Weatherford. It was a short meeting, but a fruitful one, according to Ms. White. She talked to Mr. King about pro-life issues and a ban on abortion in our state. She said that he “seemed intrigued” and wanted Ms. White to come up with a plan of action and bring it to him. Ms. White also spoke with Joe Pojman, Ph.D., Executive Director of Texas Alliance for Life, about his thoughts on an abortion ban. He is also very supportive of an abortion ban in Texas.

Finally, we heard again from Rhonda Arias with some action points on the letter writing. Ms. Arias believes that there needs to be common ground with all pro-life groups, and it needs to be “grassroots” in order to be effective. Ms. Arias said, “We have more unity than we might recognize . . . and we agree that it is the women’s voices that will make the difference.” She further stated that we must take our message to our legislators and “God will show us the rest of the way.” In order to bring our united voices to the forefront, each post-abortive woman needs to write a letter to her state representative and state senator asking for a commitment on an abortion ban, and giving our testimonies on how abortion has hurt us and, ultimately, all women and families. “The power is in our testimonies,” says Ms. Arias. She urged us to write these letters in our own handwriting and send them to our legislators and even follow-up with them, encouraging them to take a stand today for the lives of our future generations.

Submitted by Caryn Stevens
Director of Abortion AfterCare Healing Ministry
August 8, 2006

"You must Know What A Great Blessing Children Bring To Our Lives"
Teresa called me late Monday night asking if she could join me side-walk counseling the next morning. That morning I had found out that Jennifer and Mike weren't going to be able to make it, but I said that with Teresa there, we should be okay. So, we almost didn't go out that day (but, I should have known then that something special was going to happen because it worked out so perfectly that we were able to go).

Teresa and I were about to leave at 11:00 am and closed with some final prayers when we saw a car pause waiting for traffic to pass. This car was turning into the center we decided to stay. We both approached the car and gave them our information. I looked up and saw another car that was turning in and told Teresa to keep talking to the people in the first car and I'll get the second car.

The young lady in the second car called across the street asking, "Do you know where the health clinic is?" I replied that there was a clinic down the block, (a retirement clinic) and Medical City was off of 75, about 5 minutes away. She frowned and I asked, "Are you looking for the abortion clinic?" She called back a "yes". I told her it was right here, but I told her, "I have some valuable information for you before you go in though." We waited for traffic to clear and she pulled into the driveway (the car Teresa was speaking with had by this time gone in).

Because there were two young women in the front seat, I couldn't be sure who was coming for the clinic, so I talked to them both. I told them of the harm abortion does to women and the help the White Rose offers. They sat quietly listening, so I kept talking. I don't remember all of what I said, but I knew I had to keep talking to them about anything and I brought in God and the importance of having faith. I was almost going to step away when I noticed a little boy in the back seat. This gave me new hope and I asked about him.

It turned out that the woman driving was coming for an abortion and her friend was in the passenger seat. The child belonged to her friend and she lit up when I asked her about him. They were both Christian and I said to her friend, "You must know what a great blessing children bring to our lives."

She nodded and pulled out some paper by her seat. It was an Internet printout of aborted babies. She said she had been showing it to her friend and brought her son in the car with her to try to stop her friend. At this time a car was honking from the street to go into the clinic, so I told them they could park and come out and talk to me some more. With a last thought I blurted, "The White Rose is just 10 min away and you can follow me there if you like."

They pulled in and Teresa and I waited and prayed. After about 10 min we weren't sure if we should stay or go and prayed some more and decided to go. We started walking away and I turned to glance back and saw that her friend was walking over to us.

She said, "My friend is crying in the car and really upset, would you mind coming to talk to her again?"

I told her that I'd love to speak with her more, but I can't step on the property. I told her they could park closer to where we were by the building and we could speak. Her friend walked away and we waited. Finally their car pulled around to the entrance and her friend was driving. She rolled down her window and said, "I'll follow you to the White Rose."

The Holy Spirit did some serious action that morning because I have never asked for someone to follow me, and that day I did. We got them checked into the White Rose, we talked/prayed some more, and Teresa and I went out to lunch to celebrate!

The next story is a bit different. A very young couple parked at the abortion center and the girl came over to me a little curious about what we were doing. I told her about the White Rose next door. The guy was dawdling at the car getting dressed, pulling his shoes and belt on.

He looked over at us sarcastically and I asked her if that was the father. She looked at him with a similar look and nodded. There was tension between them and it was apparent. He called her back over and she started walking in with him. I called out that, "No one has the right to force her to do this, this was her baby. Her baby to love." She stopped ,looked at him and said, "You hear her? You're taking me over to that clinic and we're goin now!"

He kind of slunk around just following her, trying to be cool as she walked back over to me. I walked them into the White Rose, spoke to her and then spoke to him more after she had gone in.

It's been a very growing and prayerful summer!

Submitted by McKenna
Catholic Pro-Life Committee Sidewalk Counseling Summer Intern
August 8, 2006