Anne Lorenzo (NTC photo/Jaye Shedenhelm)

1 John 4:20 says true love of Christ pushes one to extend that love to others.

Anne Lorenzo is the first of seven profiles representing many other individuals throughout our 28-county diocese who are willing to be what St. Teresa of Avila calls the hands and feet of Christ.

Featuring all the ministers, volunteers, youth, and other unsung “laborers” in our diocese would be impossible, but for those silent servants, we at the NTC thank you profoundly for your witness and your love in action.

One mother helping another

FORT WORTH — What do you do when you are young, single, and pregnant in a small Iowa town and the biological father is encouraging you to have an abortion? You do the difficult thing – the right thing. Then, years later you urge other women in similar circumstances to do likewise.

Anne Lorenzo stood outside in a downpour the first time she went to Planned Parenthood to pray for the women considering abortion and their unborn babies. She now serves as a sidewalk counselor, waving at cars turning into the abortion clinic and asking in a compassionate voice, “Hey, can I talk to you for a minute?”

A minority of women will stop and take the offered brochure about abortion alternatives. That brief encounter is not long enough to hear Lorenzo’s story: that she faced a similar dilemma many years ago. The baby from her unplanned pregnancy has grown up to serve our country as a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps and flies F-18s.

Lorenzo said sometimes it’s difficult to know if the prayer and sidewalk counseling outside Planned Parenthood makes a difference. Some days it’s apparent, such as the day a few months ago when a prospective patient stopped. She began crying and said that she didn’t want an abortion but felt she had no other options. She’d been praying that God would show her what to do.

For that woman and many others, that next step can be the Gabriel Project, which provides practical assistance to women in crisis pregnancies. Lorenzo also volunteers as a Gabriel Angel to two mothers — one now has a one-year-old, and the other an expectant mother.

A St. Francis of Assisi parishioner, Lorenzo said she’s been “truly blessed by God.” She met her husband, Nick, when her son was just a few months old, and they built a successful business.

Wanting to share those blessings with others, Lorenzo felt called to serve and discovered her niche in these two pro-life ministries. “Jesus said to ‘Love thy neighbor.’ When you are helping them, that’s what Jesus wants us to do.”

This story was written by Susan Moses and published in the September issue of the North Texas Catholic. The North Texas Catholic has granted us permission to republish this article.