Saturday, February 27, 2016

Praying Outside Planned Parenthood

For many years I was part of a Catholic group praying every Saturday outside Planned Parenthood. Rosary. Divine Mercy Chaplet. Other prayers.

It was a peaceful, prayerful witness.

But then another group arrived - from a more activist group. That was not a problem - the more the merrier. They had graphic signs, though. I don't like such signs, but I could understand them outside clinics in business, or more isolated areas, as a way to shock the women and workers going into the clinic. The clinic where we pray however is across from a shopping plaza with a major supermarket. The signs don't face the clinic entrance; they face the street where families with children are going to do their weekly food shopping.

I went over the group and asked them to consider those families and if for no other reason than out of respect for us (we'd been there first after all), that they not use the more graphic signs. They refused.

So I stopped taking part. I just did not want to be connected with those signs that I consider violent and out of keeping with my Franciscan spirituality.

Recently I heard that the other group had stopped showing up. I decided today I'd go back to pray for a variety of reasons: As a Lenten practice, the parish that used to have a Saturday morning Mass no longer does has one and I wanted a spiritual outlet, I am a committed pro-lifer, it fits my Franciscan vocation, I missed the people.

I went today.

The other group was there. Sigh.

However they did not have the graphic signs. I joined the Catholic group and prayed.

After, several of the people said they were glad to see me back, and pointed out that the other group had stopped bringing the offending signs. I hope that continues to be the case.

I will be back there next week.

Pax et bonum

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