Day 33…Oakland Catholic, Our Lady of Grace and Ave Maria Parish

Lindsay, who did the first shift today wrote:

I wonder how my life would have turned out if my brothers and sisters had been born?

Yesterday at the 7am-11am Vigil Shift, we were approached by a man named “S”. “S” was a young, fit looking man in his 20’s, and very clean-cut looking and polite. Immediately upon approaching us, as often happens when downtown, he “hit us up” for some money for a “bus fare”.   Then immediately went  into his story, telling us that he used to be a roofer but has not been able to work for over 3 years after he sustained a horrible spinal injury after falling 36 feet from a roof, hitting the rim of a steel dumpster on the way down. As if to prove his story, he suddenly turned around and pulled up his shirt to show us the
16″ scar running down along his spine, where they had to operate on the 5 crushed vertebrae he sustained.  It was a terrible “Frankenstein-like” scar, and he has steel rods in his back and is in constant pain which prevents him from working as a roofer like he used to.   When asked, “S” said he doesn’t receive disability, and that the insurance settlement money he had received only amounted to one-years salary which is gone now.  But he did say that now  he is fit for light-duty construction work, and that he had an interview lined up for this Monday, so we promised our prayers to “S”, that he find employment.   But then “S” began to talk about what we were doing there with 40 Days for Life, and about his personal thoughts on abortion.  He told us that he did not believe in abortion, and that he was an only child because his mother had had several abortions so no siblings were ever born.  He said his mother deeply regretted those abortions, and throughout his childhood and even now she often cries and laments about his poor siblings that he never got to know; about her poor children that she never got to know.  He told us that his mother suffered from breast cancer (which sadly, is one of the terrible known side-effects of having an abortion(s)).  “S” then wondered aloud how much better might his life have been had he had his siblings to grow up with?  Would he have chosen a different career? Would he have had a dangerous roofing job? Would he have fallen to his near death and permanent, life-altering injury? Would he, at so young an age, have been reduced to
pan-handling, possible pain-killer dependency, and desperate attempts to find light-duty construction work?  Would his memories of his childhood be filled with familial joy instead of with memories of his mothers tears and regrets and cancer?

His story and his “what-if” scenarios certainly helped God to further open our eyes to cast a totally different Light upon the dark tragedy of abortion.  We so often are focused on how abortions tragically affect the unborn, their mothers, their fathers, their grand-parents…but we so very often fail to see the “ripple-effect” of abortion in how it also tragically alters the lives of the aborted baby’s siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, and all of society as a whole.  Not only has “S” been tragically deprived of the joy of having known his brothers and sisters, but the entire Body of Christ has also been tragically deprived.   Please pray for “S”, that his job interview produces fruit, that his chronic pain becomes bearable, and that he and his mother both find the healing and peace that can only be brought about through the Mercy and Truth of Jesus Christ. Amen!

Lindsay Mitchem

The second shift manager, Jen, wrote:

While today’s weather couldn’t be described as beautiful,
this afternoon’s vigil certainly was.  Many faith-filled parishoners from Our Lady of Grace in Scott Township came to pray for increased respect for life and an end to abortion.  Led by two of their Respect Life Committee Members who stayed for the entire four hours, we prayed the Bishop’s Rosary for
Life, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, and other communal and private prayers.  God blessed us with a number of positive responses from passers-by, including four who stopped briefly to pray with us before continuing on their way.  Jen

The third shift manager tonight, Jim, reported that it was a wonderful shift, and an inspiring time, filled with 14 very prayerful people from Ave Maria in Bentleyville…along with Sunday afernoon “regulars” Johnny and Mary Ellen.  Also someone came from St. Gregory’s came to pray.

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