Dear Editor: At the opening of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, Our Holy Father, Pope Francis asked all Catholics to reflect upon and increase both the corporal and spiritual works of mercy in their lives.
The Helpers of God’s Precious Infants have been trained by their executive director, Msgr. Philip Reilly, to incorporate the spiritual works of mercy each time that they go to the modern-day Calvary, the local abortion businesses near their homes.
The spiritual works of mercy are:
1) instructing the ignorant – Helpers’ sidewalk counselors offer information where help is available to pregnant women;
2) counsel the doubtful – the Helpers will talk and pray with vulnerable women who doubt they can cope with a pregnancy;
3) admonish sinners – the Helpers do this in a loving way so that a woman will never return to the abortion facility even if she makes the tragic choice to abort her child;
4) bear wrongs patiently – the Helpers are constantly being harassed by passersby and escorts but do not confront those who do this;
5) forgive offenses willingly – the Helpers are at times subjected to physical abuse without complaint;
6) comfort the afflicted – the Helpers will reach out to any woman who has aborted her child to comfort and console her in her time of need;
7) pray for the living and the dead – Helpers’ prayer warriors are constantly praying for both the mother and her child. The typical Helpers contingent consists of one or two sidewalk counselors and several pray-ers.
Msgr. Reilly has emphasized repeatedly that both prayer and counselling are necessary at these places of death. Many Helpers are also engaged in performing the corporal works of mercy: feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked and sheltering the homeless when they open their hearts and wallets to help mothers who have decided for life.
I have been an active pray-er with the Helpers for the last 20 years. I have witnessed many miracles in which mothers have chosen life for their children at the last possible moment. I have seen several abortion facilities close. I have seen the love that the Helpers have shared with their fellow man and woman outside these chambers of death.
In fact, if not for the Helpers I would have never met my beautiful wife, Susan. I believe the Helpers are involved in the single most important work of our time – to try to reverse the culture of death and bring back the culture of life.
The next large Helpers’ prayer vigil will be held Oct. 15 at St. John Vianney Church in Flushing. We begin with Mass at 7:30 a.m. and then proceed to a nearby abortion facility, praying the rosary and singing hymns. Won’t you join us?