“Do you remember where you were when…?”
There are few events that are so astoundingly life-altering that we ask this question. 9-11 is one of them. All of us remember exactly where we were and what we were doing the moment we heard about the first plane crashing into the twin towers.
So…where were you on Friday, June 24th, 2022 when Roe vs. Wade was struck down? I’ll bet you will never forget it.
I feel compelled to write about my own experience of hearing the news. It began on Thursday morning at about 6:30am. I was in the Adoration Chapel at the Oratory praying before the Blessed Sacrament before 7am Mass. In an instant, I felt that the Lord had let me know that the decision was to come the next day. It would be a Friday, after all…and it would make sense that they would want to release it on a Friday. I pulled out my phone and checked the calendar. it was the final Friday of June…and they had said the decision would come in June. It was also the Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus! I thought to myself, “It would be just like God…to give us such a wonderful gift on this special day!”
That night, I got to bed very late and was looking forward to sleeping in a little late, since I didn’t have anything on my calendar until a 10am adoration commitment at St. Anthony Chapel in Troy Hill, followed by noon Mass at my parish. But, as my head hit the pillow, I realized that if Roe was overturned in the morning, that I would be going to PP to pray and celebrate at noon (as Shawn Carney had been calling us to do on the decision day). If that happened, I wouldn’t be able to go to noon Mass. So, I said to God, “Lord, if Roe is going to be overturned tomorrow, please wake me up early enough to get to 7am Mass at the Oratory…and make it so that I can’t fall back to sleep.” Sure enough…at 5:45am I woke up. I tried to go back to sleep, but after 5 minutes I was still awake and realized that was my sign from God to get to 7am Mass! As I was putting my makeup on that morning, I purposely left out the mascara. If the decision was coming that day, I knew I would be crying…either for joy or from grief, and I didn’t want my mascara to be running down my face. After Mass, I arrived at St. Anthony Chapel for the 10am hour. I was beginning to think that maybe we would not be getting the decision today after all. It was getting to be late in the morning. Maybe we would have to wait another week. At about 10:20 am, I saw my phone light up beside me with a message from Abby Johnson saying, “Roe is gone!”. That was it! My eyes opened wide and I turned to motion to the other ladies who were praying (all of them I knew from the sidewalk), and I mouthed the words as silently as I could, “Roe is overturned!”. It took a few seconds for everyone to understand, but once we all knew what had happened, tears and smiles and whispered prayers of thanksgiving to God filled the sacred chapel! We went to the front of the chapel and knelt in front of Jesus in the Monstrance, and with our faces to the floor and tears flowing, we poured out our gratitude to our Lord for granting us this wonderful gift.
After my hour was over, I walked out the doors of the chapel, into the warm bright sunny day and looked up into the blue sky. It hit me that this was the first time I had ever looked at the blue sky of a world where abortion is not a constitutional right. It was truly a new day! It was truly a new world!!! I headed to Planned Parenthood to pray and rejoice with my pro-life brothers and sisters. While I was on the sidewalk, I felt moved to call a few of my heroes, who have fought this battle for the past 50 years. I called Mary Lou Gartner first and thanked her for telling me that voting for Trump was important because of the supreme court…back when I told her that I just couldn’t bring myself to vote for him. I always trusted Mary Lou…such a smart woman…so I changed my mind and I voted for Trump. After that I called Helen Cindrich. We rejoiced and cried on the phone. Both Helen and Mary Lou lost their beloved husbands this past year. I imagine Dave and Frank are rejoicing with us in Heaven. Next was Al Brun. Al lost his beloved Sally in October of 2019, right before Covid hit and is in a nursing home now. I talked to him on Facetime so he could see the place that he and Sally had devoted such a large portion of their lives. His daughter had just woke him up to give him the news right before our phone call. Lastly, I called Bob Newman. Bob is now blind, but still looks great. I thanked him and his wife Joan for paving the way and for all their many years of sacrifice. Bob, Al and Sally were the very first pro-lifers I ever met, and I met them the first time I faced my fears and went to PP, back in 2009. They had been going there for at least 25 years before that.
I am not sure why I wanted to share such a detailed account of my own experience of finding out that Roe was overturned. I am sure everyone has their own story, and we will remember this day for the rest of our lives.
I am aware that abortion will continue and that this isn’t the end of the story. It’s funny though, that when God first broke my heart over abortion back in 2009 and called me into pro-life activism, one of the first things He asked me to give up was alcohol. I remember saying to myself and others, “If Roe vs. Wade ever gets overturned, I am going back to drinking!” I can laugh about that now because I would NEVER want to go back to my old life. And truthfully, even though the fight to end abortion is hard...it is the struggle that makes us better! It is the same concept in the physical world. If we don’t exercise and are lazy, we get weak and unhappy. So it is in the spiritual world; if we don’t persevere through difficulty and suffering, we get weak and unhappy. So now I am grateful for the struggle and I never want to go back to “easy living“. Struggling for a holy cause is a gift! It is a privilege! I am honored to have met so many wonderful brothers and sisters in this movement, and I look forward to continuing the fight with all of you!
In fact, I believe that really…the fight is just beginning. With Roe on the books, we were shackled and tied. We had no ability to pass laws to stop abortion. The federal government made abortion a constitutional right, it was protected. What was the point of being involved in politics? (That is the excuse I made for being lazy about learning about politics.) But now…we have been freed! Now we actually are able to fight this battle legally, in the courts and halls of justice, as well as on the sidewalks in hearts and minds!
It’s been 49 years since unborn children have had their right to life stolen from them. Almost 50 years! It is just like God to set the captives free after 50 years. It was in the law that He gave to his people, Israel, that every 50 years, a “Jubilee” year was to be proclaimed. On that Jubilee year, slaves and servants were to be released from their owners and masters. Property that had been sold or lost was to be restored to its original owner. It seems to me that is what God is doing by setting us free to now end abortion in every state. We have been freed. Alleluia, praise the Lord!
Tonight we gathered in front of Planned Parenthood. For the first time in this brand new “post-Roe” world…we brought Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament to Planned Parenthood. We prayed and thanked Him for answering our prayers and for taking the first step to healing our land. Many thanks to His Excellency, Bishop Waltersheid, for carrying Jesus to the sidewalk and for leading us on a Eucharistic Procession to Epiphany Church. It was so beautiful and peaceful, full of Christian love. Enjoy these photos and enjoy this victory…and PRAISE THE LORD!!!