New York News

Catholic Kid Takes Up Pro-Life Cause

By Allyson Escobar & Emily Drooby

A 9-year-old Catholic boy is going beyond “thoughts and prayers” to take action against legal abortion in New York.

After Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the Reproductive Health Act in January, a law that expanded abortion rights in New York state, Jack Thimons felt he had to do something about it. No matter his age.

“I was really upset about abortion [being legal], and didn’t want it to keep going on,” Jack said. “I was upset about it, so I came up with an idea, and wrote a letter to Cardinal Timothy Dolan and the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal.”

The Manhattan-based Franciscan order of priests, whom Jack often visits and volunteers with, suggested that Jack go online to spread his message.

The website,, which was built in April by Jack and his father, Tom, collects digital prayer pledges submitted by visitors to the site. The family plans to send the prayers to Cuomo’s office in hopes for Cuomo’s conversion and an end to abortion.

Jack Thimons, center, 9, poses with his mom, Annemarie, and younger brother Max. (Photo: Emily Drooby)

Jack has collected more than 2,000 prayers since April and is excited for Cuomo to hear his message.

“I know that the rosary is sharper than any sword, so I’m guessing that this idea is the second strongest,” Jack wrote in a digital letter posted on the site’s homepage.

“It feels like I am very close to getting him converted,” Jack said. “I hope that we get so many [letters from people], and that one day Governor Cuomo sees the website and sees how many people are praying for him.”

Father Patrick Buckley, the pastor of Jack’s home parish, fully supports Jack’s efforts.

“For a young fellow who has just gone through his first Holy Communion, to have that spirit within him to understand how important life is, from the moment of conception until our last dying breath … it shows the importance of mother and father raising their children in that way,” Father Buckley said.

“A young man at the age of 9 has to have the grace of God in his heart, to be able to come out and say how he feels about the importance of life. Myself and the priests and congregation in our parish are very proud of him.”

Father Buckley says that God has special plans for Jack’s future. “Jack is filled with the Holy Spirit, and so is his family … Maybe this is the movement for our young people. To have courage and to stand up for what is right,” Father Buckley said.

“We are called, as Pope Francis said, to be a beacon of light, to stand up for what we believe in and to do it with love. That’s the most important thing. Who better is an example of love than a child?”

Jack’s mother, Annemarie, described the response to Convert Cuomo as “incredibly humbling.”

“People are so generous with their prayers. So it’s humbling, because our initial reaction was being really upset, and our first route was not thinking of prayer,” Annemarie said. “Prayers keep pouring in every week, people are saying Masses are being said each week… it’s kind of overwhelming, but the Holy Spirit is guiding the whole thing.”

Annemarie added that she is inspired by her son’s prayerful activism and often learns about faith through him.