On Wednesday, the pro-life community has learned of the tragic loss of Vicki Thorn, foundress of Project Rachel, at the age of 72.
She shared her first indirect encountered when a friend needed help. “All I could do was just love her and be present to her, and make sure she was OK,” Thorn would recall years later. “But it was a life-changing experience for me, in understanding that abortion was not a non-event, that it left enormous footprints in someone’s life, and enormous pain.”
In 1984, Thorn founded Project Rachel while working for the Respect Life Office in Milwaukee. The idea of her ministry came from Jeremiah 31:25, which reads, “In Ramah is heard the sound of sobbing, bitter weeping! Rachel mourns for her children, she refuses to be consoled for her children — they are no more!”
In his statement on the tragic loss of Vicki Thorn, Archbishop Listecki recalled that “Vicki’s life was dedicated to a single mission; caring for men and women wounded by abortion. As the founder of Project Rachel, she single-handedly created a post-abortion healing ministry at a time when none existed,”
In 2021, Vicki Thorn received Evangelium Vitae Medal from the University of Notre Dame. View the presentation here.
Today, Project Rachel is flourishing through a majority of Archdioceses throughout the United States and in 25 additional countries.
More information about Project Rachel is available on the ministry’s USCCB’s website, or by calling 888-456-HOPE (4673).
With the primary race for PA Governor just a few mere weeks away, it is clear that there is one candidate who can cross off everything voters need to defeat Josh Shapiro and undo everything Tom Wolf has done… Joe Gale.
Against all odds, Joe Gale won a challenging and dirty race in 2015 to become Commissioner of Montgomery County after he learned of the establishment Republicans in the county had endorsed a board member of Planned Parenthood. He won by 1000 votes between him and the establishment candidate.
What sets him apart from establishment candidates like Jake Corman and Doug Mastriano is his events called “Cup of Joe”. He has held more than 1000 of these events since 2015. During these events, he connects with voters throughout Pennsylvania to discuss the issues pressing them.
In the summer of 2017, he became a voice for families of Berks County who wanted to remove Planned Parenthood and its agenda in the public school system. With his help and voice, the nine-member school board voted down Planned Parenthood by a narrow 5-4 vote.
With Joe Gale, we have a powerful voice that is needed to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. Joe Gale is the complete package that is needed for Pennsylvania.
He has even fought the recent mask mandates in his county that have been waning our school children. He brings a common-sense approach to politics.
With Joe Gale, he can restore common sense, undo the Tom Wolf and RINO legacy combined, and most importantly bring more common sense to Harrisburg and the entire keystone state.
I am endorsing Joe Gale for Governor. You should too. Let’s support more candidates like him that are more action than talk.
It was no contest when three republicans, one a former presidential candidate ten years ago, will support Biden’s controversial nominee to the high court. They and their Democrat colleagues sealed her fate.
Today, with a 53-47 vote, President Biden’s promise to the abortion lobby has been fulfilled. Even Joe Manchin, Senator of West Virginia, sided with his Democratic colleagues in support of the controversial nominee. Manchin recently put some of Biden’s plans in limbo, until today. Three Republicans, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Mitt Romney of Utah, crossed party lines to support Biden’s nominee.
Sadly, Brown-Jackson’s confirmation to the Supreme Court is a threat to the progress of the pro-life movement over the past five decades.
“She doesn’t hold a position that ‘all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights… Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.’ Judge Jackson says she has no position on whether you have a right to life.” said Senator Ted Cruz.
Even Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina took it a step further, “The historic nature of Judge Jackson’s nomination reinforces the progress our country has made. However, ideology must be the determining factor—not identity.”
Brown-Jackson also took heat during the hearings about how she let sex offenders and pedophiles receive a light sentence.
The stage is set for the 2nd Annual Philadelphia March for Life. Now, all pro-lifers have to do is get fellow pro-lifers to come out to attend.
Members of the Knights of Columbus, clergy, seminarians, faithful pro-life warriors, high school and college students, missionaries who evangelize to students, and families are asked to attend this event.
The cathedral will provide free parking. Be sure to plan accordingly and arrive early.
7:50 AM- Rosary at Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral
8:30 AM- Mass celebrated by Fr. Dennis Gill
9:30 AM- Praise and Prayer Rally on South lawn of Cathedral
10:30 AM- March begins from 17th and Race and ends on the north lawn of Independence Hall. There will be a stop outside of Philadelphia Women’s Center
12 noon- Rally begins
Be sure to dress warmly.
Kristan Hawkins- President of Students for Life of America
Michael Geer- Pennsylvania Family Institute
Toni McFadden- author of Redeemed and pro-life activist
Pastor Herb Lusk III- Pastor of Greater Exodus Church in North Philadelphia
Pete DeMaio- PLU board member and activist
Dr. Monique Ruberu- Pro-Life OBGYN, leader of 40 Days for Life campaigns in Philadelphia
Sister Maeve- Sisters of Life
Fr. Chris Walsh- Pastor of St. Raymond of Penafort in Mount Airy area, chaplain of PLU, and record holder of the longest homily preached at three hours.
Volunteers are still needed for set up and clean up. Visit prolifeunion.org to find out how you can help.
On social media, Dr. Monique Ruberu and Marlene Downing shared some great news.The first is shared by Monique.
Nine months ago, a scared young girl went into 777 Appletree and took an abortion pill. She later regretted this choice and called the abortion center to find out if anything could be done… they told her to go to the ER… the ER had no help for her, but while she sat there she desperately searched the web and came across Marlene Downing who was the Hope Pregnancy Center Director. Marlene took the late-night call and called me… at 10 o’clock at night I told that girl to meet me at my office… I took Marlene with me on the phone for safety since I had never met anyone this late alone in my office…
The minute I laid eyes on her I knew I had nothing to worry about… this sweet mama was nothing but love.
I gave her her 1st progesterone shot and arranged to follow up… prayed with her and Marlene….
Soon after I met her to do an ultrasound and make sure the sweet baby was still alive and she was. We went for lunch to celebrate that day!
Today is a joyous day. I have to tell the story even though my beautiful friend Monique did an amazing job telling it.
I was given permission by the mom to educate you all on the miracle that took place in a beautiful mother’s life.
Let me first start out by saying that Dr. Ruberu, myself, and countless others live a life of servitude to mothers and babies daily. It is our mission to assist and love not only the babies but the mothers. We have so many stories left untold because it’s not at all about recognition of us but leading lives that represent our father in Heaven. We take this very seriously.
BUT … this story holds so many layers that need to be told because telling it can be educational and a saving grace for others.
Last year I was the director of Hope pregnancy center. I took after-hours calls. It didn’t matter where I was..driving, grocery store, in bed in the middle of the night I answer the phone calls directed from the center to my personal line.
This time I was headed to the grocery store and the phone rang. I answered. On the other line was a young woman asking if this was a place that she can call to speak to someone about abortion. I responded that we don’t do abortions but I would love to talk to her before she makes that decision. She said I’m looking for someone to help me. She said she took the abortion pill and regrets taking it.
My heart dropped because of the life or death reality of the matter but I was excited that she called. There were a few things that I needed to know first. One -When did she take the pill ( a mother has 72hrs to change her mind to increase the chances of saving the life of her baby)
She said that she would. I told her to call the hotline and call me back once she’s spoken with them.
I continued into the store, got my groceries, and headed home. She was on my mind the entire time but I didn’t want to interrupt the process so I waited to call back. An hour went by I called her back. I asked what happened when she called the hotline. She said because she had a peanut allergy they couldn’t subscribe the pill to reverse it but she may be able to go to the ER to get a shot. The shot would not affect her allergy. So I said I highly doubt that they will help in the ER but I told her to let me know when she sees a doctor there. In the meantime I called the only person that I could 100% count on to do everything she could possibly do in this situation Monique Ruberu I told Dr. Ruberu what was going on, she said “see what the doctors say in the ER and I will talk to my husband in case I have to shoot over to my office. “ I said awesome I’ll call you back.
I waited for the young woman to call, no call so I called her and asked what was going on. She said the ER doctors didn’t want to give her the shot… I asked her how far she was from Dr. Ruberu’s office. She put it in her GPS .. she was exactly 16 minutes away! I called Dr. Ruberu and stayed on the phone with her until she got to the office because after all I never met the young woman and she never met her to be there at 10pm in the dark of the night.
When the young woman arrived Dr. Ruberu and I was already praying for the baby over the phone and it was now my time to hang up knowing that everyone was safe and things were moving forward.
Later that night I got a text thanking me for introducing her to Dr. Ruberu. She felt so much better knowing that there was a chance her baby would live.
Later that week there was a follow-up visit to check the heartbeat the heartbeat was strong! So we all went out to eat to celebrate life! (Picture above)
I continued to pray and talk to the young woman about concerns at home in early pregnancy. There came a time of hardship when she needed an immediate place to stay. I contacted Wendy Stanton and Pat Stanton of Our Lady’s House maternity home and they prepared a room for her. She stayed the majority of her pregnancy there and was later transferred to another Maternity care Facility.
During her stay, city life Church reached out to Hope Pregnancy Center to sponsor a baby shower. I worked with Trish to organize the shower. It was awesome. It was there that the beautiful young woman got most of what she needed to prepare for life as a new mom! (Picture below)
The same night we threw the baby shower, my mother passed away of Cancer. I worked and directed the center all of that day knowing my mother was in the hospital not doing well and helped set up and throw the baby shower. The last person left at 7:45.. I got in my car at 8:15pm at 8:20pm I received a phone call from my brother telling me that my mom didn’t make it.
So at the celebration of life, God saw fit to take one. He is beautiful in ALL things.
The care for this mom and baby will continue. Our relationship is more than an experience .. she is truly like family. She is a beautiful young lady, she loves God and that’s why she changed her mind. She said that she knew something wasn’t right and she had to fix it.
Here is the last thing I want to say. BE AVAILABLE… Had I not picked up the call, had doctor Ruberu chosen to stay in the comfort of her home, had Pat and Wendy not opened their home, had we not prayed… that beautiful baby would not BE HERE.
God has a plan and purpose for you that includes others around you. Don’t be selfish.. Don’t grow weary in well-doing.
OH, AND ANOTHER THING- Women do regret abortion so we won’t stop talking about it and educating everyone on resources and ways to overcome it.
If John Stanton were alive today, he would love to have stepped out in the bitter, winter cold, all bundled up, ready to save babies and prick the conscience of the workers and volunteers alike. He did it through every element. Whether he was alone or with a group, he carried a smile and a humble demeanor to every person that he would encounter.
His presence was felt this morning with 75 people stronger from all walks of life. The rally began with a rosary led by Martin Stanton.
Kim Savage of Generation Life shared about how on September 11th, she was scared about going to work when the world stood still when the events were unfolding in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. She pointed to the fact that Planned Parenthood was offering abortions to the widows of the fallen first responders. Mr. Stanton told her, “We have work to do”. Indeed, she did go to work.
Pastor Bill Devlin shared how John Stanton prayed for his son Luke who had cancer at 18 months. His fervent prayer cured him, yet he continued to pray for him for the rest of his life.
Marlene Downing took the time to promote Susan B Anthony List. Correlating how she kept fighting this one girl in her neighborhood growing up Marlene shared how we are in a constant spiritual battle. God told her that “I’ll teach you to pray first”.
After the prayer vigil, everyone gathered for Mass that was celebrated by John Stanton’s longtime friend Father Rayford Emmons. Fr. Emmons shared about his many encounters with John Stanton, especially how he met him through an encounter when talking with a woman who had two suicide attempts, which propelled John to launch the Pro-Life Union of Greater Philadelphia.
Pat shared about how his father and several faithful prayed outside of Gosnell’s House of Horrors for many years. Additionally, he would fervently pray outside of two abortion facilities in Center City. He recalled the saves they had during his time out there through a letter Pat read after Mass.
Many of us have a story about John Stanton. Soon, each one will be told. He will also remain a powerful intercessor in heaven for all of your needs.
The following is from Tom Stevens, President of the Pro-Life Union of Greater Philadelphia
Please join us Saturday, February 5th, on the 8th Anniversary of the passing of the Pro-Life Union founder, John P. Stanton, for a Prayer Vigil and Memorial Mass. The 8:00 am Prayer Vigil will be held at the Philadelphia Women’s Center (the largest abortion center in PA), 777 Appletree St., Philadelphia, followed by a 9:30 am Memorial Mass in remembrance of John Stanton at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, 915 Vine Street. The Mass will be celebrated by Rev. Rayford E. Emmons.
John Stanton’s leadership since before Roe v. Wade built the pro-life movement in the Philadelphia area. To be inspired and learn about John Stanton, take a moment to watch the engaging tribute video here: https://youtu.be/PPeAD8fLSFc
Respect Life Memorial Prayer Vigil and Mass
8:00 am — Prayer Vigil 777 Appletree St., Philadelphia
9:30 am — Memorial Mass in remembrance of John P. Stanton Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, 915 Vine St. Philadelphia
For hundreds of thousands of pro-lifers, they have longed to return to Washington, DC to be back in person as we slowly come out of the Draconian lockdowns and live in fear of an Orwellian reality.
Despite the efforts last year to proceed as planned, the event was canceled due to the ongoing pandemic and the plotted
That day become a reality as Jeanne Mancini, the President of the March for Life foundation, said in her opening remarks when she said, “It is good to be back in person”.
The three-quarters of a million gathered in the District of Columbia still stayed the course despite Mayor Martha Browser’s mandate for proof of vaccination for many dining and entertainment venues.
Mancini took the time to thank the lawmakers in Congress who have protected the most vulnerable on the federal level, especially longtime representative Chris Smith of New Jersey. Smith used his time to encourage those gathered to, “never give up.”
The main headliner for the March for Life was Fr. Mike Schmitz of Duluth, MN. Fr. Schmitz has a weekly Youtube video series on Ascension presents, and this time last year the No. 1 podcast titled, “Bible in a Year”. Correlating his message to a personal story involving his maternal grandmother, Fr. Mike shared how his grandmother Helen made a hard decision to walk away from a career as a nurse when her hospital participated in the evil of abortion. In his original message to his 8th-grade classmates, it was resonated again to the crowd that “every life matters.”
After hearing from dynamic speakers, the faithful who have gathered marched for a mile and a quarter from the National Mall to the Supreme Court. Along the way, the faithful would sing songs, pray the rosary or Divine Mercy chaplet, sing along to beloved hymns from TFP on the bagpipe and drums, overcome some occasional taunts from a small pro-abort counter-demonstration.
The peaceful, loving, and humble presence of the marchers continues to give people a glimpse of hope. It is the channel needed to bring equality to all unborn children in the womb because every life matters.
To view photos from the March, see our gallery here.
“Speak softly and carry a big stick.” This quote personifies Sandy Slater. Of course her weapons were her constant prayer and daily Mass attendance, her faithfulness to the Lord, and her commitment to the most vulnerable in our society, the unborn.
Sandy passed away on December 12 of this year; the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the unborn! How fitting that she would enter her eternal reward on this feast day.
Sandy and I had many conversations over the years and created a bond. She and I are both adoptive mothers. We connected because of our adoption experiences, our love of the Lord, and our commitment to do what we can to stop the slaughter of our unborn brothers and sisters.
I can picture Sandy sitting on a rocking chair in heaven holding and consoling the many babies who lives were cut short through abortion. I can hear her voice saying to them, ‘hush, it’s okay, you’re safe now.”
Several pro-life warriors have shared their memories with me and I’ve posted them below.
“Sandy Slater was a gentle, graceful presence in the pro-life movement. She was always eager to learn more about the issue and was an absolute joy to work with. Her quiet strength and dignity made her a wonderful role model for advocates for life. She was at the forefront of alerting voters in southeast Pennsylvania to the stands of the candidates as they related to the pro-life issue. She was tireless in her advocacy and dedication. She will be greatly missed.”Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation
“Sandy Slater was the epitome of a daughter of the Pro Life Movement. She walked in grace and dignity with silent determination to right the grievous wrong of abortion. Every time I met her , she was quietly encouraging and helpful in any pro life work I asked her to share with me. My heart is deeply saddened at her passing. I can imagine that all of the babies she tried to save are now giving her a round of applause and cheer. This beautiful daughter of Life is now residing with her Heavenly Father. I will miss her as will all that knew her and were blessed enough to be her friend in the Journey of the Pro life movement. With all of my heart.”Denise Wilcox, RTL SE PA, the Pennsylvania Pro Life Federation, Director to the NRLC
“Sandy was a person who would want you to get involved in pro life. She had a warm and loving personality. She always was thinking of others before herself. She was a great example of following Christ with a true and loving heart. She was humble, modest, kind, and a gentle woman. My comfort is thinking of her in the arms of Mother Mary, St Joseph and our loving and merciful God, Jesus.” Christina Doherty, Treasurer, Bucks County Pro-Life Coalition
“A few years back when Sandy was sick, another pro-lifer and I spent some time praying with her. I was very inspired by Sandy’s acceptance of her cross and quiet, gentle demeanor in spite of her suffering. Another memory which I will always hold onto when thinking about this kind woman is that she always asked how my youngest son was doing even though she had met him only once. She was so spiritual that she was truly seeing Christ in everyone. Missing you already, Sandy. Please pray for us.” Mary Paris, Bucks County Sidewalk Counselor
“I only met Sandy two years ago but am so thankful I had the opportunity to know her and join her at Bucks County Pro-Life activities. She was a soft-spoken woman with an easy smile and laugh but was fiercely committed to the pro-life cause and was a tremendous gatherer of people to help her on this journey.”Anita Flynn, Bucks County Pro-Life Coalition
“Sandy was a great lady! It is heartbreaking to hear she is gone. May she be richly rewarded for her marvelous work on behalf of the babies! And May the Lord of Life hold her in the palm of His hand. Rest In Peace Sandy!” – Ted Meehan, Delaware County Pro-Life Coalition
“Sandy always had a little hustle in her step and a gentile manner in dealing with others. She was the real McCoy. There was no guile, only a willingness to lead others in the fight against the greatest evil in our lifetime.” – Patrick Stanton, Pro-Life Union of Greater Philadelphia Board of Directors, Founder, Our Lady’s House
“Sandy was by far one of the sweetest persons to ever enter our lives. I believe most of us would agree on this. There was an instant connection between Sandy and whomever she met. Many of us felt like a daughter, son, a sister, brother, or a best friend to Sandy because that’s just the way she made you feel. Sandy was interested in your wellbeing and your family too. Her soft and gentle style was all it took to feel the warmth of her personality and the depth of her sincerity.
Beneath the tenderness was a woman of conviction that was full of love for God. Her priorities were God-driven, placing others’ needs before her own. Nothing was sugar-coated about Sandy’s ambition to protect life. Year after year, the challenge was on between good and evil and Sandy’s determination persisted. Sandy inserted herself, in her kind yet convincing manner, where the need was the greatest. Understanding the law, knowing our legislators, seeking protection for the unborn and attending to the financial needs of the pregnancy centers was Sandy’s mission and she carried out God’s plan through her tireless efforts.
People were drawn to Sandy and for this reason were compelled to join her crusade for those at-risk babies. Individually and collectively, we were important to Sandy. She saw our value and understood the impact each of us could make if we gave just a little tiny bit of ourselves. Sandy’s requests of us were simple and uncomplicated, never wanting to burden anyone with a load too heavy to carry. All the while, Sandy carried the heaviest load as our leader and mentor. Never asking of us what she wouldn’t do herself.
Sandy, our dear, sweet friend will be remembered by all those who entered her life. Only the Lord knows the full range and magnitude of her acts of kindness as I am sure we have only had a glimpse. Sandy’s influence on the respect life movement and many other social concerns will surely have a lasting effect on those she touched. Well done faithful servant! Proverbs 16:24 – Anne Ruegner, A Baby’s Breath
Sandy Slater was a strong leader and role model in the pro-life movement. She was devoted to the Lord and faithful to His call in restoring the sanctity of human life. Sandy was soft spoken and gentle in her manner. These were in strong contrast to her efforts and determination to save babies from abortion and assisting mother’s who chose life. She worked tirelessly to promote the pro-life cause.
I’m so thankful for having known Sandy. Her friendship, leadership and example of perseverance and love has been an inspiration. I will miss her more than words can say.
As we mourn her passing, we remember the legacy she left us. We are grateful for Sandy’s life and devotion to ‘serve the least of these’. Sandy was faithful to His call and now she is home with Jesus. “…We’ll done thou good and faithful servant…” Matthew 25:21 –Terry Noble, Bucks County Pro-Life Coalition, Voices for Life Blog
I describe Sandy Slater as a meek and faithful compassionate servant and courageous warrior for justice, all motivated by her deep Catholic Faith.
Meekness is the virtue that counters the sin of Anger, which is the desire for revenge or to cause serious harm to another. In her pro-life advocacy and leadership, Sandy maintained a calmness and gentleness in word and spirit while usually speaking through her actions.
Sandy spent most of her 83 years in the service of the Least of our Lord’s brethren. When the Culture of Death pervaded our nation, State, and community, she demonstrated the insight and courage to recognize children in the womb as the least of these.
During her service as a social worker, particularly in drug and alcohol abuse counseling, Sandy offered a sympathetic ear and practical assistance. In her encounters with expectant mothers, she resisted the pervasive practice of her colleagues to recommend killing the mother’s child by abortion and provided extensive assistance for these mothers and their children.
Providing such counseling and assistance led Sandy to lengthy and extensive volunteer service in the pro-life movement as her Parish Pro-Life Coordinator and in the leadership of the Bucks County Pro-Life Coalition. This leadership included persistent and effective efforts to elect and motivate public officials who would do justice by enacting pro-life public policies that included legal protection for the lives of all children before birth.
Sandy’s life beautifully fulfilled the exhortation of the Old Testament Prophet, Micah to.. “Do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.” – Micah 6:8 – Mike McMonagle, President Pro-Life Coalition of Pennsylvania