March 27, 2009
Report for night shift March 26th
The St. Augustine Parish vigil day outside the abortion mill was Thursday, March 26th. I arrived early for my shift, and was greeted by George from St. Basil Parish. He had not registered initially, but came in at the last minute when he saw there was no one registered for the 11 PM to midnight time slot. Georg does this on a regular basis. We need more people like George to fill in the gaps. From midnight to 1 AM, there were eight of us: seven from St. Augustine, including the Pastor, Fr. Richard, and Frances. from St. Pat’s Basilica. From 1 AM until 3 AM, there were 4, including Frances who stayed on. These early morning hours were relatively calm, with only the odd catcall from youths shouting “pro-choice!” Other than that, there were thumbs-ups and comments like “you’re doing a great job!” A city of Ottawa employee in a truck offered to buy us a coffee or hot chocolate. A generally friendly atmosphere prevailed during the shift, conducive to quiet reflection and prayer. As reported by John Pacheco during the St. Maurice Parish Day, the nightshift is perhaps more propitious for one-on-one evangelization work than the boisterous daytime. There were two such encounters during my three hour stint, and both involved Frances, a parishioner at St. Pat’s. The first was with a gentleman with a broom, who agreed with our stand on abortion, but had questions on contraception which Frances was able to handle with aplomb. He was a well built man in his 30’s, and father of eight, who lived in the country. The second encounter was with a youth in his 20’s, who had general questions about abortion, and particularly the harm it does to the people involved. What fabulous shifts they were, and what a blessing to have this evangelization take place while we were there. Frances and I had a conversation after these encounters, and she remarked how sorry she was for these young people. Many have poor role models, parents who mostly both have to work - and no time for the kids, a completely secular education system, and are bombarded with a mass media in the grips of the culture of death. Even if they go to church, what chance is there that they’ll hear any teaching about the evil of contraception or abortion?? We have to pray very intensely for these youth, for the Church, and for us, that God provide us with graces so we equip ourselves with appropriate arguments, and take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself to evangelize those we meet.