Yesterday morning I travelled with Bishop Paprocki to Granite City, Illinois, which regrettably has the only abortion "clinic" within the boundaries of the Diocese.
The morning began at Holy Family church with the Diocesan Respect Life Mass. I was very happy to see a full church at the 9:00 a.m. Mass, with many people having travelled over an hour to pray for life.
Following the Mass the Bishop led a rosary walk to the abortion clinic.
As we turned the corner to approach the abortuary, I was struck by two contradictions just across the street one from the other. On the right was a hospital and right on the road was sign for the cardiac unit that said in large, bold letters, "Still beating." On the left was the abortuary, where many hearts have ceased to beat.
Every Saturday - and perhaps more often - a faithful couple drives a truck with an ultrasound machine inside and parks outside the abortuary. That morning, before we arrived, three women requested an ultrasound of their babies and three hearts are still beating. I wonder, though, how many other hearts ceased beating yesterday morning?
Something else also caught my attention yesterday. In total, we were more than two hundred people peaceable walking through the streets of Granite City. We gathered in peaceful outside the abortuary. After our prayer Bishop Paprocki said, more to the workers than to the pray-ers, "We wish no one harm."
A curious juxtaposition was present yesterday morning because of the presence of one man. When we turned the corner toward the abortuary, in addition to the "Still Beating" sign, I first heard and then saw a man shouting words of condemnation toward the workers and volunteers standing at the doors of the abortuary. One angry seemed to overshadow more than 200 peaceful people. He method seems not to be the best way to change minds and convert hearts.