Helpers Barbecue Serves Up Thanks

This article was written by former League staffer Julie McCreevy

On Saturday, August 21, the Chicago Helpers of God’s Precious Infants gathered for their First Annual Barbecue at St. Mary of the Angels Parish located on the near north side of Chicago. Fr. Hilary Mahaney and the staff of St. Mary’s graciously welcomed the Helpers as the aroma of sizzling pork chops, savory chicken and spicy bratwurst wafted through the air on a breezy, sunny, picture-perfect summer day.

Helpers barbecue

The Helpers enjoy a beautiful summer afternoon at St. Mary of the Angels [Photo by Julie McCreevy]

A special and unexpected treat was the thrilling sight of the world-famous Blue Angels as they flew over the parish while performing their spectacular maneuvers for the Chicago Air and Water Show. What a wonderful flourish for the seventy-five Helpers who weekly pray and sidewalk counsel at the Des Plaines abortion mill, Planned Parenthood, and the Aurora, Albany, Washington Street and Western and Diversey mills.

Great BBQ Volunteers

The Helpers Barbecue volunteers were second to none; Ray Pellegrini and Pat Coll set up and festively arranged several eight-foot tables and scores of chairs for the crowd that came early and stayed late: always the hallmark of a successful event. Celia Ramirez, Stephanie Schure, Tessa Kocan and Margie Manzcko of the Archdiocese Respect Life Office manned the prep kitchen, producing countless trays of vegetables, side dishes and mountains of frosty watermelon.

Everyone was relaxed and ready for a well-earned break from the rewarding but sometimes exhausting mission of helping abortion-bound moms choose life for their babies. To that end, the Helpers enjoyed forty pounds of chicken and pork chops, twenty-four burgers and fifty bratwurst. Linda Rodriguez, a St. Mary of the Angels parishioner and volunteer Helpers Hispanic liason, along with her husband Osvaldo and brother-in- law Michael, barbequed almost non-stop.

Local Leaders Stop By

With the able supervision of Linda Rodriguez and St. Mary’s pro-life coordinators and Helpers’ prayer warriors Kelly Ames and Pat Coll, the party kept rolling. Mary Louise Kurey from the Chicago Archdiocese Respect Life office arrived in time to visit with Joe and Ann Scheidler of the Pro-Life Action League, as well as with Mary Strom, new Executive Director for the Women’s Centers.

And so, without a single bratwurst or burger left within a mile of St. Mary’s, the Helpers headed for home as the sun moved westward casting late afternoon shadows. A good time was had by all, and a new tradition for the Chicago chapter of the Helper of God’s Precious Infants was begun.

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