Sitting in the movie theater after seeing Unplanned the first time, I felt stunned. For me, this film gave abortion the kind of visual and emotional dimension that The Passion of the Christ did with the suffering and crucifixion of our Lord. So I had to see Unplanned again.
After the second viewing, I felt an undeniable stirring in my heart to get involved in the pro-life effort. I needed to do something. Something to help the preborn babies. Something to support pregnant, potentially abortion-minded women to see that there is a better way. But how could one person make any kind of difference against Planned Parenthood, the abortion industry’s Goliath?
We cannot all be an Abby Johnson and that’s okay. Saint Teresa of Calcutta once said, “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” Consider how God could use a mighty collection of small acts, done with great love, to dismantle the abortion industry. Yes, to touch the hearts of desperate, scared and lonely moms, He needs all hands on deck.
Then I wondered exactly how, when and where I could help. Where do I plug in and how do I find the time? Just as God has crafted each of us with unique abilities and interests, we also have limitations on our 24-hour days filled with family, work and personal commitments.
Here’s the good news: There is something that everyone can do to help. It’s just a matter of finding your thing. If you are searching too, here are a few ideas:
The Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth has a Respect Life office with resources and information on various ways to get involved such as: pro-life parish education, Adoration for Life, help at diocesan pro-life events, 40 Days for Life, Youth for Life, Gabriel Project (crisis pregnancy assistance), Rachel Ministries (post-abortion healing), Loreto House in Denton (pregnancy/parenting support) and Mother and Unborn Baby Care. Click here to complete an online volunteer request form and indicate the areas you want to help.
There are many volunteer opportunities at Mother and Unborn Baby Care of North Texas located at 1118 Pennsylvania, Fort Worth, TX 76104. These include desk receptionist, peer counselors, nurse counselors, prayer chain participants, speakers, fundraisers, newsletter, or technical assistance (website, social media). Any amount of help is welcome and needed! Please contact Suzie Baumhardt at 817.201.8442 for more information. A website is currently being developed, however, you can find them on Facebook.
Unplanned also vividly showed the effectiveness of peaceful, prayerful presence from the sidewalks of the abortion clinics. Catholics United for Life (CUL) (www.catholicsunitedforlife.org) is a national organization that promotes prayer and sidewalk counseling in front of two abortion clinics in Fort Worth: Whole Women’s Health and Planned Parenthood. The local affiliate of CUL is planning a training seminar this summer. For more information, please contact Pat Pelletier at 817.738.1086.
These are just a few places where your time and talents would be greatly appreciated and where you can make a difference right away. Of course, there are many other ways to help including prayer, political activism, and financial support of pro-life efforts. In fact, if limited on time yet still wanting to make a difference, a monetary contribution greatly fuels the efforts of these organizations. It may not take long to write a check, but it sure goes a long way in helping pregnant women learn about better options.
So let’s think: What contribution could you make to support pro-life efforts in our diocese? What is that one small thing that only you can do with great love in this area? This summer, let’s each of us do a little something to help the unborn and their mothers, together.
This blog was written by a guest writer and parishioner, Jen Johnson. Jen has been a parishioner at SFA for three years where she lectors and serves in the children’s catechesis program. She has been married to her husband, Bob, for almost 15 years and they have four children. Jen enjoys volunteering, traveling, family time and musical theatre. If you’re interested in writing a blog for St. Francis of Assisi, please contact Joseph at firstname.lastname@example.org.