This article was written by former League staffer Julie McCreevy.
The Chicago Helpers of God’s Precious Infants held a sidewalk counseling workshop on Saturday, September 25 at the offices of the Pro-Life Action League. As Director of the Chicago chapter, I helped a dozen pro-life faithful hone their skills in an interactive seminar which emphasized a step-by-step approach to offering life saving alternatives to women who are about to undergo abortions.
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Intercessors Called to Counsel
The trainees came from the various Helpers prayer groups that pray regularly at abortion mills in the Chicago area. Most of them had been involved as Helpers prayer intercessors for at least a year and felt that they might also be called to the Helpers’ sidewalk counseling ministry.
The Helpers encourage those who have little experience being present outside of an abortion clinic to begin by joining one of the prayer groups. If after several months they discern a desire to learn more about sidewalk counseling, they may attend a training seminar followed by one-to-one training at the mill with an experienced counselor.
Prayer Is Vital to Counseling
It is important to note that the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants prayer intercessors’ and sidewalk counselors’ missions are two parts of a whole and are vitally dependent upon each other in the effort to save babies and their parents from abortion.
As St. Paul wrote, “Our battle is not against flesh and blood” (Eph. 6:12). The prayer intercessor is the first line of pro-life defense, gaining grace for the conversion of the mother’s heart, interceding for the sidewalk counselor as he or she speaks to the mother (and often the father) and protecting all present from the malice of the evil one.
The sidewalk counselor hopes to “put into action” the grace gained by the prayer intercessor. The sidewalk counselor strives to greet the abortion-bound mother and father with patience, persistence and compassion; all are essential to successfully turn an abortion-bound mother away from her tragic “choice.”
Counselors are Good Shepherds
The Helpers seminar also taught the new sidewalk counselors to never take rejection or harsh words personally, but to see the abortion-bound mother or father as a “lost sheep” in serious trouble. The counselor can bring light and hope, helping them see that they are not alone and that the answer lies not in abortion for their baby, but in help that the counselor can offer.
Over the years, hundreds of babies have been saved through the efforts of the Helpers’ prayer intercessors and sidewalk counselors. Many parents have returned to the abortion mill to proudly and tearfully show their newborns to the counselor and prayer group who helped save their lives. With the assistance of Our Lord and His Blessed Mother, many hundreds more will be saved.
The Helpers conduct training seminars several times each year. If you would like to become a part of this vital ministry, or would like more information, please contact us.
Links and Related Pages
- One Choice, One Life: What It Takes to Save a Baby—Lead story in this issue of Action News
- Sidewalk Counseling—More information on sidewalk counseling, including how to order the No Greater Joy training packet