Joe and Ann with Fr. Paul Marx and Abbot John Klassen
Human Life International is celebrating thirty-five years of defending life around the globe. As part of its year-long anniversary, HLI held an awards banquet March 24 in St. Paul, MN honoring founder Fr. Paul Marx. Joe and Ann Scheidler were honored to be sponsors of the event. Fr. Marx is now retired and living at St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville, MN.
Fr. Marx played a key role in Joe Scheidler’s full-time involvement in the pro-life movement. Just a couple of months after the infamous Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling, Fr. Marx came to Chicago to address a pro-life banquet. Organizers expected a large crowd, but fewer than a hundred showed up. After the talk Scheidler and half-a-dozen others stayed all evening to talk more with Fr. Marx.
Pro-Life Activism Is a Calling
Joe asked Fr. Marx, “Why does abortion bother me so much when it doesn’t seem to matter to so many people?” Marx’s answer: “It is a calling. You are blessed with a special calling.” It was this response that led Scheidler to believe he had a leadership role to play in the pro-life movement.
At the HLI banquet this March, again the crowd was fewer than a hundred. The movement seems to be suffering a kind of angst. Perhaps thirty-four years is taking its toll on those who have been in the fight since the beginning. It may be that many people simply accept that abortion, horrible though it is, has become part of our culture. But the activists at HLI and at the Pro-Life Action League do not accept abortion as a part of America’s culture, and simply will not settle for the status quo. Neither will Fr. Paul Marx. Even though he is officially retired he is still a powerful symbol of the pro-life movement, and a forceful voice for the unborn.
Pope John Paul II told Fr. Marx that his pro-life work was “the most important work on earth.” In recognition of Fr. Marx’s stellar leadership for nearly four decades, HLI presented him with the Cardinal von Galen award. In his acceptance remarks, Fr. Marx reminded all those present, “Don’t ever give up.” He doesn’t have to worry about that. We never will.