After a one-year hiatus, Center City Philadelphia was fully alive with the sight of smiles and friendliness of high school, seminarians, and even college students from Philly’s Youth Mission Chapter. Due to the pandemic last year, the Holy Week outreach went virtual. While it was good to improvise, many felt that there was a component missing. That would soon be found through an eventful Good Friday.
About 150 youth took the city by storm during Holy Week. For Good Friday, the day in Center City Philadelphia began with a one-hour prayer vigil outside of Planned Parenthood. Even the police officers were thrilled to see the youth take time out of their Easter break to bring the faith and light of Christ to those on the margins.
After a one-hour vigil, which included testimonies, rosary, and Divine Mercy Chaplet, the youth broke off around the city to collect intentions for the 3PM Service at the Basilica. Some of the passerbyers took time to admire the youth’s courage and tenacity to show kindness to others.
The pivotal part of the day for the large group was the Living Stations that took place from St. Patrick’s Church in Rittenhouse Square through town to the Basilica. As I was walking in the procession, I took time to survey how everyone stopped and watched everything unfold before them as they were reminded of what Good Friday let alone Easter was all about. Despite some occasional head shaking and maybe some uncharitable taunts, the people continue onward. The most moving part was the parkway was used to signify the lord’s journey to Calvary as I was taking in the background of City Hall and the large crowd following Jesus.
These young people bring hope to a city that is in need of it. Philadelphia has 12,000-13,000 abortions annually. That is extremely more devastating than the 500 homicides that happen in our city. Even a high poverty rate was needed to be shown by many. The youth even came out of their comfort zones to fulfill works of mercy to all around them.
These young people remind us why life from womb to tomb is precious and is worthy of protection. Even Jesus, portrayed by Jack Terzian, remembered every child of his that was going to be victimized by such atrocious acts while also asking his father to forgive his perpetrator.
If you are in the Philly area and interested in getting involved with Mission Youth Philly, please visit their website here.
A beautiful spring Saturday dawned upon the 150 pro-lifers that came out to celebrate outside of the largest non-Planned Parenthood affiliate in the State of Pennsylvania.
Fr. Matthew Bierdrycki of the Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral delivered the opening prayer for all in attendance.
Those who attendant heard from speakers that ranges from seasoned veterans to young leaders on college campuses and just added to the fold a high school senior.
One in particular was Emily Jones. Jones, a senior at Mount St. Joseph’s Academy in Flourtown, spoke about how the inaugural Philadelphia March for Life inspired her to do more for the pro-life cause. Despite backlash, threats, and even the loss of friendships she endured, she kept the faith and helped revitalize her school’s pro-life group. She even signed up for vigil hours.
Two prominent college women spoke to the crowd, Karly Brown of Temple and Kassidy Johnson.
Johnson, a junior at University of Pennsylvania and member of Quakers for Life, shared how she was moved from her experience in Philadelphia. Coming from North Dakota which has only one abortion facility, Johnson shared how she knew that more had to be done to protect life.
For Karly Brown, she is no stranger to pro-life activism in Philadelphia area. Every Friday, her and Sean Garvey, both students at Temple would pray outside of Warminster Planned Parenthood. They both are now engaged. Congratulations Karly and Sean.
Pat Stanton goes on to share why our world should not tolerate the evil of abortion. Using examples of historical figures, he reminded everyone that each of them fought against the injustices of their time. He asked that we do the same when it comes to abortion.
The following is from Tina Whittington, the Vice President of Students for Life of America.
I need you to SAVE THE DATE for our 2022 National Pro-Life Summit in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, January 22, 2022.
This one-day training event for grassroots pro-life activists of all ages saw a record-breaking crowd, selling out at over 3,400 attendees in January 2020.
As you know, we had to replace the 2021 National Pro-Life Summit with our National #Stand4Life Weekend that we hosted in 18 cities across the country and online with more than 63,000 pro-lifers joining us!
But today, I am thrilled to announce that the National Pro-Life Summit is BACK for 2022 and will be better than ever!
While we’ll be revealing the theme of the 2022 National Summit at a later date, what I can tell you right now is all the benefits of attending, like…
Explore and strengthen your personal calling for Life
Become energized to protect the preborn and their mothers
Learn how to engage in the culture more effectively
Strategize with other pro-life youth and adults from communities across the nation
Meet and hear from dozens of experts in the pro-life movement
More details are to come, but you can sign up here to stay in the loop about all Summit-related announcements and updates.
We will sell out again this year…so, trust me, you’ll want to be among the first to know when registration goes live.
I hope you’ll consider joining me, the rest of the Students for Life team, and 3,000+ of your closest pro-life friends in January!
Below is a reflection and testimony on a save that happened yesterday outside of Planned Parenthood in Center City. My hope is that someone would be inspired to step into the breach to save lives as I do with many of my fellow pro-lifers.
Today was a day filled with so much traffic. I remember people walking by shaking their heads in disgust of my presence outside of an abortion facility that is the epitome of White Supremacy. Even one person (Jacob )that walks the route along locust on his way to work, only to stop to snap a photo of me and send it to his friend Anna from (Philadelphia Women’s Center).
As I was winding down my two hour coverage, two young women were going in as I offered to them a blessing bag. They declined and went inside.
A few minutes later, those same girls came out two minutes apart. One of them was crying. I knew that it was my moment as I prayed the flying novena. After concluding the flying novena, the girls came out of the gate. This time, I wasted no time offering them life saving information. They thanked me for sharing and wished me a good day as I watched them walk away from the place.
If this is not why we are needed outside of places of doom and gloom then I don’t know what is.
And what amazes me is she went from tears of sadness and woe to leaving PP with a hint of hope for her and child
It also dawned on me that today is the Solemnity of the Annunciation. God’s sense of timing for yet another news worth of praise.
Please attend the closing rally outside of the largest non-Planned Parenthood affiliate in our city and state.
Jesus falls once again falls for our sins. This time, he falls away from the cross. The journey is taking a toll on him as he draws near to Mt. Calvary.
Reflection: No matter how many times we may fall in our journey, the mercy of God is everlasting. Women who have gone through with abortion have often done it again while engaged in a promiscuous lifestyle. They get to the point where if, “there is a way out.”
Challenge: Get to confession. Invite someone to go with you. Forgive someone whom you may have hurted.
Planned Parenthood, 1144 Locust Street, Center City Philadelphia, 19107 9:00-10:00 AM. At 1:00 PM, Living Stations of the Cross commences at St. Patrick Church, at 20th and Locust Streets. The procession will go from 20th and Locust around the city to the Basilica before the 3PM service. The Living Stations of the Cross will be performed by high school and college students from Philly Youth Missions.