At the invitation of Bill Melnick of the Macomb County Affiliates of Right to Life of Michigan, Joe Scheidler was the featured speaker for the group’s annual Benefit and Awards Dinner on October 21, 2003 in Sterling Heights, MI.
Great Pro-Life Church
Joe and Ann Scheidler at the Macomb County Awards Dinner
[Photo by Pam Gesund]
Joe and Ann Scheidler, who had been visiting their son, Matthias, at a log cabin in the Berkshire Mountains of Western Massachusetts the weekend before the banquet, arrived in Sterling Heights, MI on Monday, October 20. Not far from their hotel they discovered Sts. Cyril and Methodius, a wonderful Catholic Church with a late afternoon Mass. A large number of homeschooling families were in attendance and six altar boys assisted the celebrant. They later learned that Sts. Cyril and Methodius enjoys a stellar reputation among local pro-lifers.
Over three hundred and fifty supporters attended the banquet at Penna’s in Sterling Heights. Awards were presented to several local pro-lifers for their outstanding commitment to the cause of the unborn. Dan Goodnow, president of the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants of Michigan, received the “Defender of Life” award. Ed Szczepanski, a Macomb County commissioner who introduced pro-life legislation, received the “Voice for Life” award. And Marianne Weiss was presented the “Rose of Life” award for her many hours of volunteer work for Compassion Pregnancy Center.
Ora et Labora
Scheidler spoke on the dual weapons at pro-lifers’ disposal in the war against abortion — prayer and action, or as St. Benedict phrased it in Latin, ora et labora. Scheidler reminded the audience that Our Lord issued the command, “Go and teach,” and said that is exactly what pro-lifers do when they take the pro-life message to the streets in “Face the Truth” demonstrations and in sidewalk counseling at abortion clinics.
He emphasized the importance of serving as witnesses to the truth and representatives of the Christian Church in all that we do, but he also warned that one is assured of persecution when one follows Jesus Christ.
While in the Detroit area, Joe and Ann also visited the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, which houses the bus that Rosa Parks rode on the day she sat in the “white” section and catapulted the civil rights movement into national prominence. Said Scheidler, “One person can make all the difference if that person is willing to step out in faith and take the risk.”
Scheidler at St. Mary’s College
Pro-life activist and colleague Monica Miller is now a theology professor at St. Mary’s College in Orchard Lake, MI. Miller asked Joe Scheidler to address her class while he was in Michigan for the Right to Life benefit. On October 22, thirty-five students gathered in the Social Concerns Center to hear Scheidler discuss the background of activism and the future of the pro-life movement.
Another long-time friend and activist, Lynn Mills of Livonia, MI, attended Scheidler’s talk at St. Mary’s with her young son, Max. Lynn was instrumental in bringing Jack Kevorkian — “Dr. Death” — to justice for killing several critically ill individuals in Michigan. Following the discussion at St. Mary’s, the Scheidlers, Monica Miller, the Mills and Pam Gesund, a pro-life activist and photographer, had lunch at The Sheik restaurant before the Scheidlers headed back to Chicago.
Links and Related Articles
- Director on the Road — Joe’s other trips, including two other visits to Michigan (in this Action News)