Early Saturday morning on May 7, the month of Our Blessed Mother Mary, I left at 9:00 AM the abortion facility infamously known as the All Women’s Health Pavilion, located on Queens Boulevard in Kew Gardens. For many years I have witnessed with a small, wonderful group of the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants outside the abortuary.
Being an active member of this international apostolate, which was founded by Msgr. Philip Reilly, I stand and pray the mysteries of the rosary and the prayers from the God’s Precious Infants Prayer Book. In a friendly manner, sidewalk counselors try to approach those entering the abortuary handing them our palm booklets.
In early October, eight years ago, I had a wonderful opportunity to speak with two young women who were a little reluctant to enter the abortuary after viewing our palm booklets, seeing our posters, and hearing us pray. Although these two young women visited the abortuary on two different Saturdays, the two turnarounds became unexpected miracles. Each of these young ladies were in high school: one was a sophomore and the other was a senior; both were of Spanish descent. Both of them came alone to the abortuary and both had very difficult home situations. Both were encouraged and forced to abort their babies by their family members and the fathers of the babies.
We explained how we could help them and we offered to speak to their mothers. We made calls to the Life Center of New York, which is located in Brooklyn, and we were able to connect with the Sisters of Life, located in Manhattan. Luckily there was a Spanish-speaking sister available to talk to their mothers.
On these two different Saturdays I was elected to be the driver. When I drove the first young mother we traveled to East New York and picked up her mother and then we were off to the Life Center of New York. There we arranged how they would be able to get help which included baby supplies, food and some temporary financial aid. We were also able to make an appointment for them to meet with the Sisters of Life the following week.
A similar scenario occurred with the second young mother. I picked up her mother but this time we traveled to Manhattan to the Sisters of Life.
During both rides from Brooklyn and Manhattan I was able to talk to these young women and, as a retired Catholic High School teacher, I questioned them on how they were doing in school. I learned that they were both excellent students. Both spoke to their mothers in Spanish which helped them to be included in our conversations. I experienced the joy that comes from witnessing the transforming power of God’s grace in another’s life.
Over the course of months of these pregnancies we were able to help them with clothes, food, furniture, baby equipment and supplies. Ironically, they both had younger brothers that were very happy and pleased with all the help that was given to their families. In early February we held a baby shower in a Mexican restaurant in Woodside, Queens. In late February the first young mother gave birth to an eight pound baby boy named Oliver in Jamaica Hospital.
The second young mother gave birth in mid-March to a five pound baby girl named Alyssa. She was born in Elmhurst Hospital. I was able to visit both of these miracle babies in the hospital and visit with their beautiful mothers.
Over these eight years we have had the wonderful experience of attending the baptism of Baby Alyssa which was performed by our beautiful Witness Father Czok. Our great sidewalk counselor, Donald, was asked to be the godfather for both babies. We attended the church wedding of the mother of Alyssa which was also officiated by Fr. Czok. Two years ago, Fr. Czok blessed their new home.
On May 7 of this year I attended Alyssa’s first Holy Communion Mass at a church in Long Island. Alyssa attends Catholic School and she is an ‘A’ student as told by her godfather, Donald.
The gifts that we offered to these beautiful young women over eight year served for us as a bridge that connects all believers in God to learn to do good for those in need; not just for practical assistance, but for hope in the goodness of life that breaks down walls and renews our faith to help build a Culture of Life.
As we approach the political primaries and, later, Election Day, please vote Pro-Life. It can make a real difference in helping pregnant women, their babies and their fathers.
Please put the words of our beloved pope, St. John Paul II, in your heart, “Be not afraid!”
Editor's note: Some names have been changed to preserve privacy.