Mary Louise Kurey opened the Rally with the National Anthem
As Fr. Charles Fanelli of St. John Vianney parish in Northlake, IL remarked at the close of the “Bring America Back to Life” Victory Banquet Saturday night, June 7, to the gathering around his table, “This is really an historic event. In my lifetime we have not had such a reversal as Scheidler v. NOW.”
Historic Pro-Life Victory Celebration
The events of June 7 are themselves truly historic. Hundreds joined together in the Chicago Federal Plaza at 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. to begin the full day of activities to celebrate the Pro-Life Action League’s 8-1 victory in the United States Supreme Court. Thirty stalwarts of the pro-life movement addressed that crowd.
“Grandfather” of the pro-life activism, Fr. Paul Marx
It started off with Mary-Louise Kurey of the Archdiocese of Chicago Respect Life Office leading the crowd in the “Star Spangled Banner.” Kevin McCollough of WYLL radio was co-host. A Dixieland band played at intervals during the rally, speakers included Fr. Paul Marx of international pro-life fame, Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, Miss Nelly Gray of March for Life, former abortionist Dr. Beverley McMillan, our attorney Tom Brejcha and twenty-four other leaders from across the country and from Ireland and Canada.
Just across the street from the rally was the Seventh Circuit courtroom where Andy, Tim and I were convicted of racketeering in April 1998. Flags, t-shirts, special 8-1 fans, red, white and blue balloon festoons — all added to the spirit of victory and promise and patriotism for a country that still holds a promise of coming back to respect for all life from conception to the grave. The highly successful and inspiring rally concluded with the singing of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”
Instructive Workshops and Inspiring Banquet
From 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. three workshops were conducted at the Congress Plaza Hotel on sidewalk counseling, youth ministry and the growth of activism. Many guests took part in the workshops and contributed many new ideas and many success stories to the packed audience of some two hundred guests.
The “Bring America Back to Life” banquet later that evening was hosted by Jerry Horn following the invocation by Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life. More than 500 supporters of the League shared in the pro-life victory — that is, the 8-1 decision by the United States Supreme Court in our favor of free speech over the tyranny of the abortionists. A Protector Award for his tireless work on NOW v Scheidler was given to attorney Tom Brejcha.
Pro-Life Award Presented by Our Children
Despite some sixty often inspiring talks and presentations of that beautiful day, the most touching were those given by our children when all seven came to the stage to present Ann and me with a pro-life award. During the presentation, Eric and Catherine, our oldest son and oldest daughter, speaking for all of them, told the audience what it was like growing up in a family that was fighting against the tide of convenience and that was counter-culture with a vengeance. It wasn’t easy . . .
One respected pro-life leader said at the end of the day that the most inspiring talk of the entire day was my daughter Cathy’s honest presentation. Cathy had not even known that she was expected to give a talk until shortly before she got up to deliver it. Eric is a trained speaker and is in great demand, as is Annie, but Cathy didn’t know she was so good.
The “Impossible Dream” Is Possible for God
I also spoke on the importance of this victory as being not for us, but to give encouragement to the whole movement and the eventual victory of life over death. I read the words from the Man of La Mancha, “To Dream the Impossible Dream,” as a tribute to the more than five hundred pro-lifers present, insisting that our dream may appear impossible to man but that there will come a time when the dream will be a reality and that abortion will be looked upon as we look on slavery — unthinkable.
At the end of my talk I asked the audience to to sing the line from the motion picture of Henry V at the battle of Agincourt: Non nobis, Domine, sed nomine tuo da gloriam — “Not to us, Lord, but to you goes the glory.” We ended the evening as we had begun the rally twelve hours before, with a prayer by Fr. Pavone.
Resurrecting the Pro-Life Action Network (PLAN)
On Sunday following the Mass of Pentecost, about fifty of us discussed plans to revive the Pro-Life Action Network (PLAN), and ad hoc gathering of pro-life activists to plan a calendar of peaceful but effective means to network in the effort to close down the abortion industry.
The entire assembly agreed that PLAN should be resurrected, and sites for a future meeting were discussed. More on this later. It was a day to be remembered as a turning point in the pro-life movement and a propitious day, the Vigil of Pentecost.
Chicago Sun-Times Defends Partial Birth Abortion
In other news, an editorial in Monday’s Chicago Sun-Times is outrageous and should receive hundreds of irate letters. The editors say politicians have no business limiting abortion. The editors are suffering distemper because efforts are being made to curtail some abortions. They drag out the tired old lie that pro-life has lost the battle of public opinion. The fact is we’re easily winning it.
The editorial champions the gruesome partial birth abortion method of sucking out the brains of living children. And says the law could have a chilling effect on the free exercise of a woman’s basic medical right to kill her baby. Picket of the editorial board of the Sun-Times, anyone? — with some gruesome pictures of the form of abortion they like so well, partial birth? Well, stay tuned.