At the invitation of Matt and Georgene Ulrich, Joe and Ann Scheidler traveled to Seattle, WA May 4 and 5. Georgene is the president of Prolife Washington and Matt heads up the Seattle chapter of the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants.
Joe Scheidler with pro-life collegians at the Prolife Washington banquet
[Photo by Prolife Washington]
Matt and Georgene met Joe and Ann at Seattle’s airport in a white Cadillac and treated them to a great seafood lunch at Duke’s on the waterfront. They explained that they had been involved in a car accident a few days before and had to rent a car since their own Dodge Stratus was being repaired. The only car the rental agency had on hand was the brand new white Cadillac and the Ulrichs were self-conscious about being seen in it.
On Tuesday evening, May 4, Joe was the featured speaker at Prolife Washington’s annual banquet, held at the Embassy Suites in Lynnwood. More than 260 people attended, including members of Youth for Life and students from the Newman Center at the University of Washington and from Washington State. The Youth for Life arrived at the end of the meal since they were coming just for the talk, but Georgene arranged for them to have dessert with the banquet crowd.
A Racketeer without the Perks
Joe spoke on the virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity and how they come into play in the pro-life movement. In his opening remarks he alluded to being proud of his reputation as a “racketeer,” mentioning that he seems to have missed the perks of the usual racketeer life — expensive suits, fancy cars, etc. — except that he had been driven around in a white Cadillac while in Seattle and Lynnwood. Georgene later explained to the audience why she and Matt were driving a Cadillac. “I don’t want our donors to think we’re using their donations for a fancy car,” she said.
Joe presented some encouraging statistics to the dinner audience, noting that there are far fewer abortion clinics and abortion providers than there were before 2000. He urged those present to use every opportunity to get involved in pro-life activities and praised Prolife Washington for their excellent work in placing pro-life billboards across the state.
Among those present were Ed and Dani Sauley who have launched “Show the Truth” in Washington State. The Scheidlers met the Sauleys in New York at the Priests for Life Truth Tour organized by Fr. Frank Pavone in April, 2003. The Sauleys returned to Washington and immediately started up their Show the Truth project. They have been visiting college campuses in the western part of the state for the past several months and were beginning a one-week Truth Tour around the rest of the state on Wednesday, May 5, planning events even in Idaho.
Helpers Assemble for Sidewalk Counseling Seminar
On Wednesday morning Joe and Ann joined thirty-five Helpers of God’s Precious Infants and other volunteers for a visit to the Aradia abortion mill in downtown Seattle, as part of a sidewalk counseling training seminar led by Ann. As most of the group prayed the Rosary, one or two people at a time joined Ann in front of the clinic door to observe her as she attempted to counsel patients going into the clinic.
Aradia monitors those who enter the building by using a door-buzzing system. The patient must press the “call” button and give her name, as well as the name of anyone who is with her and identify whether she is carrying any kind of a package. As she waits for the door lock to be released the sidewalk counselor has an opportunity to talk with her, and since she was required to say her name into the microphone, the counselor can address her more personally. Fortunately there were few patients on Wednesday morning. All but one accepted the literature as they were entering or exiting the building, but there were no confirmed turn-aways.
Following an hour-and-a-half at the abortion mill, the group retired to the Knights of Columbus hall for a workshop. Ann showed the first few minutes of No Greater Joy before presenting the philosophy and techniques of sidewalk counseling, responding to questions throughout the presentation.
Most of those in attendance had already been praying at the abortion clinics and some had experience in counseling. All said the workshop gave them confidence to approach pregnant women and their companions to offer assistance. Ann distributed a worksheet as “homework” that helps the potential counselor educate himself on fetal development, abortion procedures, clinic hours and the services of the local pregnancy resource centers.
A light lunch was provided at the end of the workshop before the Scheidlers headed back to Sea-Tac airport and Chicago.
Links and Related Stories
- Scheidlers See New Mexico’s Most Beautiful Sights — article in this issue of Action News
- Joe and Ann Meet Old Friends and New in Sunny Naples, Florida — article in this issue of Action News