Terri Palmquist ministers outside the Bakersfield FPA abortion center while friends from a different religious tradition pray nearby.
Every 40 Days for Life campaign seems to have its own unique positives and negatives. Although we experienced incredible blessings during this (our eleventh) campaign, for most of the campaign I was physically ill. But what bothered me even more than my physical problems was my sadness over the fact that some people who were very important parts of past campaigns have decided to no longer participate in 40 Days for Life.
What is even more tragic to me is the reason that they left.
A few days before the beginning of this campaign, we met with a pastor who explained why he will no longer participate in 40 Days for Life. The essence of his concern related to doctrinal purity: the importance of focusing on saving souls and not just saving babies. Continue reading →
Why would a Catholic nun advance a “pro-life” view against the death penalty while refusing to speak against killing innocent children by abortion? I have asked myself this question repeatedly over the past several days while searching for quotes from Sister Helen Prejean, who is speaking in Bakersfield later this week. Although I am not a member of a Catholic church, I have a high respect for many Catholic teachings, and particularly appreciate the Catholic Church’s long record of consistency regarding life issues such as abortion.
We learned of Sr. Prejean’s visit from Joel Torczon, our friend and dedicated pro-life volunteer who also happens to be a member of St. Philip the Apostle Catholic Church, one of the churches where Prejean will be speaking. Torczon wrote a letter to the editor of the Bakersfield Californian expressing concerns about Prejean’s views in the context of the “consistent life ethic.”
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While all of the crosses were exposed to the water, only the Mary cross retained the water.
During the 40 Days for Life Closing Celebration
on November 6, I shared the new video “Blessings”
which (from my perspective) captures the spirit of this 40 Days for Life campaign. When the video ended, I talked to the small crowd gathered in the cold, damp air, about something I found to be quite amazing when capturing images for this video.
(Understanding that some may doubt the significance of my observations, I confessed that after long hours at the vigil I have been known to make extended observations relating to “trivial” things such as cracks in the sidewalk.)
The “Blessings” video returns several times to a scene of crosses outside the abortion center. The crosses were placed in memory of the babies aborted the previous day, as the mothers left the abortion center one by one with aching, empty wombs. On each cross, a name was written to represent the identities of the real human beings whose lives were sacrificed. Early that morning as I videotaped the crosses dripping with water, I noticed that the front cross bore the name “Thomas,” while immediately behind that cross was a cross bearing the name “Mary.”
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