Wednesday, September 22, 2010

That was surreal

Today is the national kick-off of 40 days for Life. As an advisor to Cincinnati Right to Life, I have heard about the tremendous success this program has had in helping change hearts of those who were seeking abortion and led them to embrace life; even to the point of one planned unparenthood exectuive leaving her post and joinging those who were praying in front of the mill. (She's speaking at Greater Cincinnati Right to Life's Evening for Life next month!) I have been in front of Murder, Inc., many times before, as I celebrate the Mass on first Saturday for Helpers of God's Precious Infants; which includes a Rosary procession to Cincinnati's branch of Murder, Inc.

Well, today was different.

The local chapter had heard about the start of the 40 Days for Life, and as they are wont to do, didn't want to take it quietly. We heard they were planning a rally for 12:30 this afternoon, so the Pro-Life movement rallied right on back. A few members of a local parish were to be manning the station today for, hopefully, a quiet kickoff to the fall campaign. Fearful it would be overwhelming for them, about 40 or so Pro-Lifers showed up to pray with them, to support one another, and to not let Murder, Inc., get the lead on this.

As they charged out from the back alley, waving signs, chanting slogans; we started praying the rosary, the sorrowful mysteries. We stood aside against the fence while they circled up and down the fence. I led those with us in the calm recitation of the Rosary, while routinely being bumped and chided. (My personal favorite was the guy chanting: 'Keep your Rosaries off our ovaries!' Ummm..... 'Our'?!?!?) We finished the Rosary with American Life League's prayer before a Murder, Inc., facitility and a consecration of the spot to Mary; all the while being chanted down and attempts to mute us came back our way. (One older lady proudly boasted to the other side that she has 14 children; which prompted the response: 'You could have used this place, then!')

TV news coverage was there, I will be interested to see how it is portrayed. I will post the link, if it becomes available.

As I drove back to the office, I thought: 'And we're the angry, 'anti-choice' hate-mongers?' We prayed quietly, we did not try to shove our thoughts down their throats, we stood aside as insults rained down upon us. Not in righteousness, but in offering.

As this new 40 days 4 Life campaign starts, find a center near year and go pray. Don't worry about what you are to say, Jesus promises that He will give you the words. Don't worry about trial and persecution; it is a way of embracing the Cross.

Yeah, I felt a risk, I felt adrenaline coming on as I pulled past Murder, Inc., and parked my car. But the children in those centers have no voice but ours. Who will speak for their 'choice'?


Anonymous said...

Thank you, Father Schnippel, for coming to the opening day of 40 Days for Life in Cincinnati. It was comforting to me as the local 40 Days coordinator to know that you would be present since I had no idea what might happen.

The contrast between our peaceful prayer presence and the Planned Parenthood volunteers and employees' loud voices was not lost on the reporter from Channel 12 who told me afterwards, "You (meaning the pro-life group) were great. You just kept praying."

His report on TV revolved around Kathleen Turner who was in town to do a play but he did remark on our peacefulness.

Mary Clark said...

I didn't mean to send a post signed "anonymous." I'm new to blogs! I do what people to know that I admire Father Kyle Schnippel's willingness to come to the Cincinnati 40 Days for Life prayer site - Planned Parenthood - for the impromptu prayer hour we had. It was a blessing.

Mary Clark
Cincinnati Campaign Coordinator
40 Days for Life

Anonymous said...

Fr. Kyle,
Thanks for shepherding a calm and powerful witness for life in the face of a heated counter-demonstration. It's frustrating that the news coverage focused so much on Kathleen Turner, but the witness of 40 Days for Life sounded exemplary.
In peace,
Tony Stieritz
Catholic Social Action Office

Anonymous said...

I did view the Channel 12 video.

As usual, one can only sigh at the pro-Planned Parenthood bias of the news media. They called Kathleen Turner "gracious"; while calling the pro-lifers "aggressive"; they dwelt on the violent incident in 1985, as if this is typical of pro-lifers, while ignoring the violence of the abortionists, etc.

But despite the bias, the patient, prayerful, loving demeanor of Mary Clark contrasted with the anger of the PP crowd. I think the clip will help show the beauty of the 40 Days for Life movement!

-Fr. James Reutter