I was at the vigil from 1 to 2 p.m. again today. While standing praying, something happened I wasn’t expecting but very touching. A man carrying a large backpack approached me for prayer. I could see he was needy but he didn’t really say anything except that he wanted to pray. I prayed with him for a while, asked the Lord to help him in his life and for the Holy Spirit to fill him. At the end of the prayer, he thanked me and walked away.
Around the same time, another vigiler, Frank, was approached by a man who identified himself as a Knight of Columbus and supported our efforts..
In spite of the abortions going on, it is exciting to see what God is doing at Ground Zero.
I was at the site this morning, slowly walking back and forth with my sign. At one point, Elizabeth May (leader of the Green Party) walked by. She was with a couple of young men and they proceeded to the bus stop where they waited for the bus for about 10 minutes. During that time I simply walked back and forth, prayerfully, as I had been doing. It is my habit
to turn the sign one way for a few minutes : “Pray for and End to Abortion” and then the other “Before I formed you in your mother’s womb, I knew you”. While they were waiting, they glanced over a couple of times and clearly saw both messages.
Was her heart moved toward the cause of life? I don’t know, but perhaps one day she will come to see that the effort spent on environmental policy is simply hypocritical and, ultimately, ineffectual in the face of the environment of death that exists in our country. I pray that she
will receive the Grace to see the horror that abortion is, and become as eloquent a spokeswoman for the unborn and traumatised mothers as she is for the environment.
I just got home from Ground Zero for the second time today and it was quite an eye opener. I was there for a few hours this morning and was able to see some of the staff and quite a few clients enter the clinic. The staff were a bit too obvious as they tried to look smug and like they were happily skipping their way to work, but the clients, mostly young women in their early twenties looked far less enthusiastic.
I saw two young girls no more than 17 enter playfully, the one giggling as she was trying to cover her friends face from reading my sign. I saddened me to see them making fun of such a serious moment. Most of the others looked at the sign and looked away as if they just saw something incredibly horrifying. The sign read: Jesus loves you, and the unborn too.
I took a break for lunch and came back in the afternoon to see some of the same women who were now coming back out after their abortions and again, some sombre and some unrepentant.
The passers by were more animated in the afternoon, while some of them stopped to offer support and encouragement, others laughed and scoffed, one bicycle courier spat on the ground in front of me and a twenty something black haired girl mumbled some expletives as she kicked over our abortion clinic sign. But, nothing that our patience and prayers couldn’t handle. I felt that the more assertive people were the stronger my will and resolve became to stand and pray and witness all the harder.
At the very end of the day as the staff and final few clients were leaving I noticed the sheets and other clinic laundry being carried out and a courier walk in and then walk back out with a blue insulated container which seemed like it contained the spoils of the day. I was almost sick and felt I couldn’t take it anymore.
With the clinic now closed and my feet almost frozen to the sidewalk, tired and emotionally drained, I was about to leave, and as I turned to do so I saw coming up the sidewalk a young man dressed in a black robe followed by a dozen or so young girls from St. Clements. They very neatly and orderly came to a halt with bibles in hand and began to chant hymns and pray the rosary for almost an hour.
Their wonderful and tender young voices filled the air with a sublime reassurance that no matter what evil had transpired here this day, devotion to God, prayer, vigilance and the innocent will prevail.
The biggest lesson of the day for me was that it is a lot tougher when you are there by yourself and people tend to single you out as radical, but as soon as there are two or three people standing with you people tend to be more respectful and consider the cause more carefully. I can only imagine what it would be like to have a dozen or a hundred witnesses standing there!
– John O
Editor’s note: Our “sister city” in the U.S. , Ocala, Florida, posted the following account on their site some time ago. In light of John O’s testimony above about the “insulated container”, I thought it would be appropriate to post it here:
The truck you saw was the one picking up baby bodies. It used to come on Tuesdays, and we convinced the truck driver to quit the job and go elsewhere to work. We gave him leads for jobs and he was hired. He has stopped back on occasion to visit and thank us. The baby bodies are put in red plastic bags with “medical waste “ printed on them, then the red bag is put inside a large box and thrown in the back of the truck. The babies are then disposed of in the landfill where your regular doctor medical waste is put. That is how they dispose of babies whose bones have developed to the point that the industrial type garbage disposal will not break them up and flush them down the drain. If the baby is in the first trimester, usually the bones are soft enough to use the disposal, otherwise you see the truck come in for pickup. The garbage disposal is by design like the ones we have at home, except they are more heavy-duty designed. In my February 2009 newsletter there is an article on this nightmare activity. – Mabel
It was 6 degrees Celsius tonight (10-11pm), much easier to be out than the previous week. I started out with one other person and shortly afterward a group of about six young adults arrived. They began to sing what I believe was sacred music in Latin. It was beautiful to listen to as I prayed my rosary. There was very little positive to be seen from the people witnessing our vigil. A young man walking by with a cold stare, said “my girlfriend’s had six” in an attempt to provoke a response from me. A little later we were given the finger from a man on a city bus that was passing by. Halfway through my hour, a car with some people in it drove by slowly with the passenger window rolled down. The young women inside began to shriek and curse at us, repeating “it’s my body” in between her curses. It was quite disturbing. There is a lot of anger out there. Our public witness is forcing people to think about abortion and the unborn whether they want to or not. And this really upsets them. The thing is, if abortion was like getting your tooth pulled and the unborn child wasn’t really a living human being, there really shouldn’t be a reason to get upset the way that they do.
Just thought I’d let you know while I was at the site today, a young woman named Michelle asked me if she could interview me for the Charlatan newspaper (good name), the Carleton University newspaper. I asked her who she was , and she said she was a journalism student, and she wanted to interview both sides about the abortion “debate”. She was aware of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign.
At any rate, I spoke with her, primarily about why I am there. (For the babies who can’t speak for themselves),and to hopefully be able to tell other people, women primarily, as I am one, and it is women who carry , and make the final decision, what having an abortion did to me, and how I believed this lie, I added that people would not hurt a puppy , let alone ,do to an animal, what abortion does, yet to a human child they can’t see, they do.
I also said that I was not aware of what it looked like and the horrific suffering for the child involved, till I researched it for myself, unfortunately, after the fact.
I mentioned I did not know there was support available, nor did I attempt to find out, but alas yes there are crisis pregnancy centers, the H.E.L.P no and of course now there is Rachel’s Vineyard., for women who are grieving the terrible unavoidable grief , of killing their own child I detailed that it is something that will be with a person the rest of their life, and I think about her everyday (I pray for her, and ask God’s Mercy), and I pray to her. I did not elaborate on the praying part, as I don’t want her thinking I’m some sort of “God” fanatic. I am being very facetious here, of course, but I realize that just by being straight forward and keeping it where I can hold their attention about what it truly is and because of the nature of killing a human being and the resulting impact on the whole being of the one who committed such, (me in this case), is tantamount to the suffering incurred by so many who are affected by the decision to kill human life. I ended it with that all life is sacred. I kept most of this conversation simply said, and I spoke from the “I” perspective and how it affected me, although I did add that women believe lies regarding abortion and what it is, and the child has rights, as does any human being, but the child can’t speak for her/his rights.
It seemed to go well, and I can only pray, that God intervenes where the lies attempt to twist the Truth.
I noticed as I was holding my I regret my abortion sign what could have been a couple of possible turn around. I also received a mixture of reactions from the steady stream of passerby, mostly favorable.
I should add that if you had not received this news from in the past I have had a couple of young women who opened up to me about their previous abortions, and when I shared with them, about my regrets and empathy for their pain, they moved into a more trusting stance, and cried asking me if they thought God could and would ever forgive them, and to which I shared yes, of course, as He could see a deeply sorrowed heart, and that if they asked and turned around in the future, He would be very Heartened and also wanted to help them. I added there were places of support, i.e. Rachel’s Vineyard, as well as the many pregnancy crisis support avenues, and the Help number.
One time I spoke with a young man who was the boyfriend of a young woman and as she held their young 2 year old (age approx.), I shared why I regretted it, and what seemed to catch their attention was the fact that I may have endangered my abilities to ever conceive again, and although she kept saying to him, “see…I told you so”, and he admitted to me that she had already had 4 abortions, (she looked about 20 years old), he believed God had put me there, that day so they knew they should not go through with it.
At that point the young girl who was still holding her little girl, called over either her mother or his , who was parked over across the street at Queen, and she seemed to have a really bad influence on the whole turnout, as when she came over, I heard her say to them “Why are you talking with ….ing her!, and she grabbed the crying child and crossed back over to the other side where 240 Sparks is. and the young woman went back in.
I was finding I had a real impact when I was walking in front of the clinic before the vigil began, and I noted that yes, the people who worked at the Mill, were keeping an eye on me, trying to imply that I was blocking the way, a couple of times, even though I made sure I was courteous, to all and watched my step, so they could not say that. I even waited for people le speak to me, and when they did, with those tow women just in front of the clinic, I noticed a man or woman coming out of the clinic asking them if I was bothering them, to which they said no. They approached me and asked.
So, all in all I do notice a LOT of people taking the time to stop and look at my sign, and it is hard to say who may just change their mind, but, as I said, I did notice a couple of women who were with guys, stop after seeing me and turn the other way, and not return.
Also, today , the comment, from one young woman as she entered 240 Sparks “Get a job” was one I’ve heard before, and it was about the extent of any flippant remarks made in passing to me. Most are favorable and lots of smiles towards me, thumbs up, looks of understanding and encouragement, and comments as well, thanking me, for being there.
I only wish there were more people holding up “I regret my abortion, and/or lost Fatherhood signs, it really makes a difference. So, I will keep on praying , and in God’s time, I hope there will be.
As I was standing in front of the mill last Thursday (Feb 26th), Lucie walked past and greeted me. I met Lucie during the campaign last fall as she walked past me standing in the same spot. She asked me what I was doing, and I told her about the campaign. She
promised to tell her prayer group to pray for us and continued on to her workplace. I saw her again in a store in the Byward Market in January and told her about this lenten campaign. Again, she promised her prayers and those of her prayer group.
This time, Lucie greets me by saying “I have wonderful news for you!” and proceeds to tell me this story:
“I happend to walk by here last fall and noticed a lady I knew sitting on the bench in front of the door of 65 Bank. I asked her what she was up to and she told me that her daughter was upstairs having an abortion. She said she didn’t want her to, but couldn’t
convince her otherwise. I was on my way to work and couldn’t stay long, but I started praying and praising the Lord and didn’t stop until I got to work. Two months later, I saw the woman again and asked about her daughter. The woman told me that shortly after I left, her daughter came out in tears saying “I can’t do this, it’s a crime!” and decided to keep her baby.”
I was overjoyed to hear Lucie’s story. It was such an encouragement. We may never know the effect our prayers will have. God sent Lucie that day so she could pray for this young woman. It could also be that our prayers in the fall campaign or in this campaign
had an effect in this case, it could be the prayers of the gentlemen who have been showing up daily for the past 8 years to pray, as we do, for the end of abortion. God is outside of time, let us keep this in mind as we pray, for it is His work we are doing,
not ours. May He raise up new laborers. – Doris
It was bitter cold and H. helped me open the box to sign in. She walked opposite me so that anyone walking the street couldn’t miss her sign or mine. Interestingly, we must have been praying in sync as whenever I turned at one end of the sidewalk , she was turning at the other end. I carried the sign with the infant child out for others to see. Some people could not meet my eyes but others looked me square in the eye and showed their affirmation of what we were doing. Not a word was spoken but encouragement was communicated. The frigidity of an hour’s walk in below zero weather with bitter wind is an offerring for life – a small sacrifice offerred in love of the unborn. I watched in silence as a well dressed gentleman crossed the street and entered the door. I peered at the sign above the door ” Curves”. I pondered at the curve they throw women when they say it is painless and you’ll feel nothing. May Our Lord in His infinite mercy forgive us all.
Just wanted to send a little message your way. Tonight, shortly after midnight, a beautiful young woman on the opposite side of the street crossed over to talk to us. She had no idea that the Morgentaler facility was there, and was surprised and excited to find out about the campaign. She told me that she had had an abortion, and a couple of years ago she became a Christian and now has a completely different outlook on her experience. She said that earlier in the day she had been thinking about volunteering at a Christian organization near Landsdowne (sorry, forget the name) that helps pregnant women, and it seemed like coming across the 40 Days For Life was a kind of confirmation for her. It was a happy way to end the night!
While at the vigil from 1 to 2 p.m., I saw two couples leave after having the abortion. I also saw another young woman waiting outside the door smoking, after having her abortion. Her mother (I assume) was with her at the clinic and might have been waiting inside behind the glass door. A truck then arrived driven by her father (I assume). They got in and drove away.
A little bit later, I saw another young woman waiting for quite some time behind the glass door, talking on her cell phone. A car arrived and she crossed the street to get in. She saw us and was crying. Two adults were in the car, a man and a woman. Her parents? I noticed the car had a rosary hanging from the mirror as it drove away. Imagine.
Thoughts about my first few days:
Public support has been positive. People wave and voice their support. People in the buses that pass by nod their heads. Many read the signs and reflect. A couple of people have come up to talk to me and said things like they are doing the best they can to make people aware such as sending letters and e-mails to politicians, etc.
I had an abortion 2 weeks ago from today (Feb 19, 09). Oh how i wish i could go back in time. The night i found out i was pregnant i was a scared. The morning brought light and hope, i had been blessed. My boyfriend of three years wanted me to get an abortion. Abortion was not an option for me. He caused a lot of grief and stress that i began having complications but i was determined to keep my precious baby. I prayed to God to give me strength and to open my boyfriend’s heart and soul. Three weeks later, my boyfriend finally accepted that i was keeping my baby but began having suicidal thoughts. He attempted suicide once by drinking pills and he said he would keep attempting until he was successful. I felt trapped and misguided. His mother having had gone through an abortion herself almost 30 years back guilt tripped me into getting one. So i felt like if i didn’t get an abortion, i would be responsible for my boyfriend’s death. I wish i could have stayed strong and regret not walking away. He had a choice to kill himself or not, and that wasn’t my responsibility. My baby did not have a choice. I took that choice from him/her. My job was to protect him and i failed him. Now i am left with so much pain, despair, guilt, shame, and an emptiness that will never go away. I will never look into his/her precious eyes and tell him how much i love him. I will never be able to hold him, kiss him, play with him, read to him, wipe away his tears. My baby is gone, and i killed him. I loved and love him and i hope he can forgive me. I hope that one day we will reunite, and i can finally be with him. I don’t understand why my boyfriend’s mom would persuade/manipulate me knowing the pain involved killing your own child, it was her grandchild, her own flesh and blood. This is something i will regret the rest of my life.
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Today was another frigid day. At noon, the temperature at the Ottawa Airport was -12º C with a bone chilling wind-chill of -19 º…..not the best conditions to do the vigil outside the abortion mill. I was wondering how many people I would greet when I arrived at the site, and to my surprise there were four: a couple with their toddler and an elderly lady, perhaps the grand-mother. What a powerful prophetic witness, I thought, on one of the busiest intersections of Ottawa, with numerous pedestrians and buses. Two were proudly holding signs while praying. What a sacrifice on such an icy day! But hey, it’s Lent, and you’re supposed to make sacrifices. And this francophone family was certainly setting an example of what a Lenten pilgrimage should be.
I was alone on my vigil shift between noon and 1:00 pm as the family hustled off to the 12:15 Mass at St. Pat’s Basilica, with toddler in a stroller. I held the “Pray to End Abortion” sign while I recited several rosaries, and strolled about 10 metres up and down Bank Street to keep from stiffening out. I was into my 2nd decade when a husky youth gave me two thumbs up as he spotted my sign while crossing Bank. Several other people gave me a sympathetic nod, and one cheerful gentleman greeted me with a “good-day”.
Two other encounters occurred while I was on my second rosary. An elderly lady, who having just disembarked from the bus, after spying the sign, exclaimed “oh no!” … and hurried off. I don’t know what she meant by that, but she didn’t look too pleased. A well dressed, middle aged lady spotted the sign and smiled at me. She said we should add “to end wars” on the sign. I responded that we pray for that as well. In retrospect, I should have reversed the sign which had a picture of a fetus in the womb, and paraphrasing Mother Teresa, should have said “we can only end all wars when we stop killing these”. I’ll remember that for the next time.
As I was ending my third rosary, my feet started to feel numb. Hence, I put my sign into the empty crib, and walked up Bank to the hot air vent to warm up a little. As I was standing there, Sharon, my replacement had arrived and was looking for the log to sign in. Sharon takes a one hour break from work four days a week to do the vigil…another inspiration to end my shift.