“You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb. I praise you, because I am wonderfully made; wonderful are your works! My very self you know. My bones are not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, fashioned in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw me unformed; in your book all are written down; my days were shaped, before one came to be.” Psalms (139:13-16)
I have always been Pro-Life. While I did not grow up Catholic, I knew that the human person was special. There is not one of God’s children He does not care for. God makes everyone by hand, fully detailed and completely original. He loves to create, and He loves His creation even more. It is a perfect love that reaches all mankind. He loves you: young or old, innocent or guilty, born or unborn. To be Pro-Life is to believe in God’s love for everyone.
While I knew and believed this, I wasn’t involved in the Pro-Life movement. I went to the March for Life once in high school, and I would pray for the end of abortion but nothing else. I never felt a strong desire to do anything more than that. Since coming to St. John Paul II Seminary, that has completely changed.
During our first week of Seminary, we are all assigned house jobs or “prefectures.” Imagine my surprise when I look at the job listings and I see my name next to Pro-Life Committee! I remember thinking: “Why me? This house is full of guys who are a lot more knowledgeable and passionate about being Pro-Life. They should have chosen someone else.” Luckily, I was not the only Pro-Life Committee member. There are three other guys on the committee, who are all knowledgeable and passionate to defend the unborn. I was in good hands. Our first order of business was to re-establish seminary trips to the local Planned Parenthood on Fridays and Saturdays.
Three times a week (twice on Friday, once on Saturday), a group of seminarians head 6 minutes away to pray for mothers and the unborn. Because I was on the Pro-Life Committee, I knew it was important that I go. That first Friday morning, I was nervous. I didn’t know what to expect. When we arrived, we walked up to the front of Planned Parenthood and stood off the sidewalk facing the building, only 15 feet away from the door. We stood silently, mentally preparing for our prayers.
It didn’t take long for women to start walking in. Friday and Saturdays are operation days. Most of the women are there to have their children aborted. It was a heart-breaking scene. When we were there, we didn’t say anything. We didn’t hand out pamphlets. We didn’t have signs. We simply did the most loving thing we could; we prayed. We prayed the Rosary, we knelt for the Divine Mercy Chaplet, and we sang the Litany of Saints. Then, we quietly left.
This experience changed my heart. Every Friday, I go back to Planned Parenthood with my brother seminarians. I now understand it was God who placed me on the Pro-life Committee; He wanted me there. He wanted to open my heart and deepen my love for the mothers and their children. He continually asks for not only mine, but all our witnesses of His love.
Being on the front line of the Pro-Life cause is no easy undertaking. Only through God’s grace can hearts be changed, and it is in fervent prayer that we can humbly ask Him to help young mothers. As we continue to promote God’s love for life, let us confidently pray for an end to abortion and recognition of the dignity of life in our country. Mary, mother of life, pray for us!
Mr. Wright is a First Pre-Theology seminarian for the Archdiocese of Washington.