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Helpers Vigil with Our Lady of the New Millennium Saves an Unborn Baby

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Our Lady is reflected in the window of the FPA abortion center [Photo by Oscar Menendez]

A half an hour before the break of dawn on Saturday, October 7, the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, a blue semi rolled off the Washington Street exit of the Kennedy Expressway in Chicago and parked across the street from the notorious Family Planning Associates abortion center. The truck carried a most precious cargo: the magnificent, 33-foot tall, eight ton steel statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of Our Lady of the New Millennium.

This remarkable statue was commissioned several years ago by Mr. Carl Demma, a devout Catholic and devotee of the Blessed Virgin. Through Carl’s generosity tens of thousands of faithful throughout the Archdiocese of Chicago and across the United States, beheld the inspiring sculpture of Our Lady of the New Millennium. Upon Carl’s death in 2000, his widow Francine carried on his mission, paying all expenses for maintaining, transporting and displaying this incredible work of art and object of intense religious devotion.

Our Lady Stands Vigil

Thanks to Francine’s love for the Church and Our Lady the statue of Our Lady of the New Millennium had been present for a day-long vigil at the Family Planning Associates “Albany” late term abortion clinic on Chicago’s Northwest Side in 2003, during which three babies were saved from abortion. This past October, Our Lady was present at the Family Planning Associates location downtown—along with the gracious Mrs. Demma, who participated in the entire vigil.

As Our Lady’s driver and guardian, Thomas Bruschetto, positioned the sixty-foot truck across the street, the abortuary blinds, always tightly drawn, suddenly flew up as a host of abortion workers came to the windows. They watched as Tommy stabilized the truck and then raised the statue of Our Lady upright with a hydraulic lift, just as the sun broke over the horizon to shine upon our “Morning Star.” Her majestic gaze looked singularly mournful, her face reflected in the window of the abortion center as if she were inside, standing vigil over the countless lives sacrificed within those walls.

Bishop Manz Leads the Faithful

As the bright, temperate morning dawned, the faithful began to gather in prayer at the foot of the statue. At noon they were joined by over three hundred others processing from a Helpers of God’s Precious Infants pro-life Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii celebrated by Bishop John Manz and Fr. Stephen Lesniewski, assisted by Deacon Jim Sinecore. In his homily, Bishop Manz called to mind the words of the prophet Daniel: “Defend the widow, orphan and alien, because they are the most helpless.” He said, “We cannot give up the fight to help the unborn and also the woman who is fearful and to pray for those who are engaged in this horrible business.”

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Bishop John Manz leads a Rosary at the Oct. 7 vigil [Photo by Linda Rodriguez]

The vigil group, now joined by Fr. Peter Gnoinski, offered prayers and hymns in English, Polish and Spanish, led by Javier Rojas and Alicia Ortega. Members of Couples for Christ, an international lay movement of over one million, raised their voices for life led by Mrs. Margie Hermano.

A Young Mother Chooses Life

As Bishop Manz led the faithful in prayer, he was handed a note by Mike Busse, a veteran activist who usually counsels at the Albany location but had come to the downtown location for the vigil. Earlier that day, Mike had spoken to an abortion-bound young woman and her mother as they approached the abortion clinic. He explained why the beautiful statue of Our Lady was there, and that a Bishop would soon be there to pray for the intercession of the Blessed Mother for all who are involved in abortion, including this abortion-bound mom and her unborn baby.

The young mother was so moved that she tore up the papers that would have given the clinic permission to kill her unborn child. She wrote a note and asked Mike to give it to the Bishop when he arrived and drove away with her mother, smiling. The note told Bishop Manz that she had intended to abort her baby that day, but she was now certain abortion would be a terrible thing to do, and she was committed to having her baby. She thanked him for caring enough about her to actually come out to the abortion clinic to pray.

The faithful rejoiced when this note was shared during the vigil, and one person wondered aloud how many other conversions were taking place that day hidden from human eyes, but seen in Heaven. Only the Lord knows, but one day those who count the unborn as brothers and sisters in need of protection will know too how many were saved through the merciful intercession of Our Lady of the New Millennium.

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A Spiritual Banquet

Fr. Tom at Helpers Retreat

Fr. Tom Euteneuer offers a blessing at the July 22 retreat [Photo by Julie McCreevy]

On July 22, sixty-five Chicago Helpers of God’s Precious Infants gathered at St. Mary of the Angels for a Day of Retreat with Fr. Thomas Euteneuer, President of Human Life International. Father Hilary Mahaney, pastor of St. Mary of the Angels, graciously donated the use of parish meeting facilities and the chapel. Fr. Euteneuer’s retreat was a spiritual banquet for the Helpers as they meditated deeply on the glory of God and how the Lord has given His Blessed Mother and His holy angels tremendous powers over the forces of the evil one.

Father also gave particular instruction on specific spiritual weapons available when one prays or sidewalk counsels at abortuaries—for example, prayers of deliverance, the authority of the Our Father, and the infinite power of the Holy Name of Jesus.

Father explained to the Helpers that those who pray and sidewalk counsel are on the “front lines” in the battle against the culture of death. For this reason, they may be particularly susceptible to spiritual attacks. To protect themselves and their families, Father strongly advised the Helpers to pray the following prayer:

May the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ protect my family, friends and acquaintances from the devil and all demons. May the Holy Spirit illuminate my mind and heart with the Spirit of Truth. Amen.

We thank Fr. Euteneuer for taking the time from his world-wide pro-life mission to inspire, guide and spiritually equip the Chicago Helpers for another year on the front lines in the battle to restore a Culture of Life.

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From Darkness Into Light

The following testimony by a Helper of God’s Precious Infants was shown to a woman planning to have an abortion. The abortion-bound mother changed her heart and chose life for her unborn child. We are honored to share this moving testimony with our readers.—Editor

The grace of God is like a shaft of light revealed in complete darkness. If you have lost your way, you will seek that shaft of light. Open the door, and the light bursts in.

I was educated as a nurse-midwife in the early 1980s, very much a child of the culture. Although my Catholic upbringing and the power of my mother’s prayers grounded me in innocence, as I attended college and received my degree as a Registered Nurse, I found myself in a combat zone I wasn’t ready for. As a nursing student, I was trained in various methods of contraception. I was against abortion and the IUD, and even suffered some mild persecution for it, but I know this training began to erode my personal convictions.

Some years later, I started work as a nurse-midwife with an Ob-Gyn in a private practice. After hiring me, the doctor told me that she did abortions. I was shocked because I had previously worked with her in the hospital and hadn’t heard about this. But greed is powerful once you submit to it—the job paid very well, the hours were just right—how could I back down now?

Since college, I had fully embraced the contraceptive mentality, so why not just overlook that part of her practice? In the meantime, God had plans for me . . .

The Light Begins to Shine

After months of providing women with birth control pills and fitting diaphragms, I began to see that I was in a dark place. God allowed me to help provide a sixteen-year-old virgin with the Pill—only to see her return in three months with gonorrhea. I fitted a diaphragm for a medical student, also a virgin, who returned pregnant and seeking an abortion. My conscience began to revive.

Until this time, the doctor had not done abortions when I was in the office because of my anti-abortion position, but on this day she honored the patient’s request and did the abortion while I was there. God wanted me to hear the cry of this woman as she underwent the abortion of her child. It was not a cry of pain, it was a cry of grief and enormous hurt. I went home that day, fully aware of my complicity in this evil. I fell on my knees.

A contrite heart is a treasure beyond words—it leads to purity. The door was now wide open and I received an unusual gift: an inner locution. It said simply, “Turn on the television.” There was a small television near at hand, but I resisted the command. It came again, more forcefully than before. This time I obeyed.

I rose and switched on the television and at that very moment a news clip of Pope John Paul II appeared. Speaking with power and authority, the Holy Father said, “Do not contracept!” My knees buckled and I was back where I belonged!

I resolved at that instant to not return to work and immediately phoned the office assistant. She was frantic. She said she couldn’t let me quit because the doctor had just checked herself in to a psychiatric ward! I relented and for two weeks I went to the office. I now saw that God wants to be welcomed into every space and thought, every action and decision, every emotion and judgment.

I saw the ramifications of the pill in women’s bodies. I saw the IUD as an agent of gross infection. The addictive nature of contracepted sex became clear and was especially hard to look at. If I was to answer to God for all the evil I did, then I resolved to give Him a heart and life that I would be happy to answer for. I left the job and never looked back.

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What Will My Baby Look Like?

We’re always searching for new ways to reach abortion-bound women to help them recognize how precious their unborn babies are. We recently learned about a creative ministry offered by photographer Holly Marie Spoonley, worthy of our readers’ attention.—Editor

This is a question every pregnant mother ponders. It was no different for Holly Marie Spoonley. She was pregnant. And she was divorced. She was looking for guidance. She ended up at the Osceola Pregnancy Center in Kissimmee, Florida.

My First Bath

Baby Allison Ruth in “My First Bath” [Photo by Holly Marie Spoonley]

Holly got the support and love she needed from the women at the pregnancy center. She had her baby and she got a new lease on life. With her new outlook, Holly began to nurture her love for photography as well. She had a real talent for capturing priceless moments in the lives of her family and friends.

Holly thought about all those other pregnant mothers that came to the door of the crisis pregnancy center. She knew they were scared, uncertain about the future and full of anxiety. She also knew that somewhere in their heart they wondered what their babies look like. She decided to offer her services as a professional photographer to the women served by the crisis pregnancy center. She thought the idea of having a picture of her newborn baby might be just the bond a woman needs to continue her pregnancy.

Now the Osceola Pregnancy Center gives a flyer to each woman who tests positive for pregnancy. The flyer reads “A gift to you: A free photo session in the hospital of your baby’s Birthday. A free 8 x 10 will complete the package.” With this gift of her talent, Holly is returning the love and attention she got from Osceola Pregnancy Center and helping new mothers celebrate the precious life they are carrying.

Holly calls her business Timeless Treasurers Photography. For more information on her ministry, e-mail Holly at time1essteasures@aol.com, or visit time1esstreasuresphotography.com (please note that the “L” in “timeless” in both the e-mail address and website is actually the number 1).

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Baby Shower Helps New Moms

Shower group

[Photo by Julie McCreevy]

The Helpers are grateful to the Vicariate I Respect Life Activities Group, St. Joseph Parish in Libertyville, IL and the Archdiocese of Chicago Respect Life Office for hosing a multi-parish baby shower for three expectant mothers who were counseled out of abortion. Pictured (left to right) are Mari Tomsic, Director of the Vicariate I Group, expectant mothers Shanna, Diamond and Gloria, and pro-life activist Carol Walsh. Mari and Carol, together with Margie Breen of the Respect Life Office, coordinated the buffet lunch and donation of baby items to the young mothers.

You Are a Priest Forever

Newly Ordained

[Photo by Julie McCreevy]

Rev. Quentin A. Mann (photo, left) and Rev. Walter P. Stumpf, radiate joy as they pause in the courtyard of St. Francis Xavier Cathedral following their ordination to the Roman Catholic priesthood for the Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin on June 3, 2006 by Most Reverend David A. Zubik. As seminarians at the University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, IL, Fathers Walter and Quentin were active prayer warriors and sidewalk counselors with the Chicago Helpers of God’s Precious Infants. During his years as a volunteer Helper and Mundelein seminarian, Father Walter initiated a fundraiser dubbed, “Split for Life,” whereby he and fellow seminarians chopped cords of firewood every fall, which they then sold locally to businesses and neighbors, donating the proceeds to the Helpers.

Several Mundelein Seminary Gospel of Life Group members have been ordained and are now serving in the Chicago Archdiocese and in their various dioceses around the country, including Rev. Edward White, former president of the Gospel of Life Group, who stationed in Seattle, WA. As priests, these men continue to tend to the lost sheep outside of abortion clinics across the United States. Ad multos annos!

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