In 1992, Micki and I wanted to do more to promote the sanctity of life. So we and a few other people of conviction went to see Fr. Alfred E. Smith, a retired Maryknoll priest who was residing in an upper room of the Immaculate Heart Church rectory in our city of Everett, Washington. All we had to do was tell Fr. Smith our desire to do something pro-life, and he stepped right in as our spiritual advisor, suggesting we center our activity in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and from there go out to work in the world. So every Friday we met in the chapel for Holy Hour, with Exposition and Benediction led by this good priest, and held meetings monthly in the church’s conference room, under Fr. Smith’s suggested name for our new organization--the Rachel Society. From 1992 well into 1994, Micki was the Society’s president and I was the secretary.
The Purpose of the Rachel Society: We are Catholics who
Pray for human life,
Labor against the killing of unborn babies,
Educate people in the sanctity of life,
Assist those who choose life,
Support other prolife groups,
Evangelize those in darkness.
Besides the Holy Hours, one of our major activities was picketing and praying in front of the local Planned Parenthood facility. (Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in existence.) But Micki kept telling me that we should have some sort of event that would bring all the local prolife groups together, and she suggested the LIFE FAIR. In hopes that telling you about this event will inspire you to help put together similar ones, here is the information from the brochure:
THE LIFE FAIR
Saturday, October 2 , from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Knights of Columbus Hall
2913 W. Marine View Dr., Everett
Admission is free! Donations will be accepted. Food will be available for sale.
ADOPT-A-CLINIC ADVOCATES FOR LIFE MINISTRIES BIRTHRIGHT
CATHOLIC COMMUNITY SERVICES CRIB MINISTRY
CRISIS PREGNANCY CENTER EVERETT ALTERNATIVE GRAD PROGRAM
FEMINISTS FOR LIFE HEART TO HEART HUMAN LIFE OF EVERETT
MENDING HEARTS MINISTRY PREGANCY AID PROJECT RACHEL
PRO LIFE WASHINGTON RACHEL SOCIETY
SPECIAL CARE MINISTRIES TEEN AID
The LIFE FAIR will bring these organizations together in cooperation to fill the gaps and to help more people. It will draw together strong prayer support throughout the community, and will publicize and make easily accessible the alternatives to abortion. Groups will be coming from as far away as Portland and Spokane, and counselors will also be on hand. Each organization will man a table, and guest and local speakers will tell their stories and offer help and understanding.
In the middle of the day will be the BABY OLYMPICS, with baby crawling races and ball toss competition. The event will be sponsored by KGNW Radio Station, and prizes have been donated by many local businesses. There will also be a PHOTO CONTEST with the following categories: Surprise, Kids & Animals, Funniest, Special Memory, and Action.
The LIFE FAIR will be a celebration of life, a positive event, saying yes to life rather than no to abortion. The attitude will be non-judgmental and friendly, displaying lots of positive choices and help for people to choose life or receive healing for past hurts. The first rule of the event in NOT to argue about abortion. We will simply offer the many choices available for saying yes to life.
Along with this project, a resource booklet will be developed for pro-life workers to use to make people aware of all the alternatives.
SCHEDULE FOR THE LIFE FAIR
10:00 a.m. OPENING PRAYER--Fr. Phuong Hoang.
10:10 a.m. Panel Topic: “CHOOSING CHILDBIRTH IN ADVERSITY.”
10:55 a.m. SONGS by Jeannie Seserovich.
[From 11 a.m. until noon there will be registration in the foyer for the BABY OLYMPICS and also the displaying of photos for the PHOTO CONTEST.]
11:15 a.m. Panel Topic: “ADOPTION.”
12:00 noon BABY OLYMPICS, with CRAWLING RACES and BALL TOSS COMPETITION.
2:00 p.m. “RELIEVING THE PRESSURE AND GIVING SUPPORT”--Dawn Stover of Advocates for Life Ministries.
2:30 p.m. SONGS by Wayne Gibson.
2:40 p.m. “TEEN ABSTINENCE”--Nancy Roach of Teen Aid.
3:10 p.m. SONGS by Terry Springer.
3:25 p.m. Panel Topic: “ABORTION.”
4:10 p.m. PHOTO CONTEST winners announced.
4:25 p.m. “FINDING PEACE AFTER ABORTION”--Marion Hazzard of Cornerstones for Life.
5:00 p.m. LIFE FAIR officially ends, but A CALL TO THE CHURCHES begins. This will be a time for God’s people to gather in worship and praise, and to become involved in pro-life work. This will also be a PRE-RALLY for the LIFE CHAIN which will take place the following day.
Throughout the seven hours there will be tables displaying information and literature from the various organizations. Immediate help and referrals will be available.
THIS IS A FIRST-TIME EVENT FOR THIS AREA. WITH ALL OF THE ORGANIZATIONS AND INDIVIDUALS PARTICIPATING, THIS IS THE IDEAL OPPORTUNITY FOR YOU EITHER TO GET INVOLVED OR TO MEET THOSE WHO ARE. LET US ALL WORK TOGETHER TO BRING OUR COMMUNITY BACK TO LIFE!
For further information, call Micki Lund, 353-7066.
In the Rachel Society’s newsletter of the month of October, I wrote this about the LIFE FAIR:
I’ll never forget coming out of a Life Fair planning meeting in September and seeing Georgene standing at her car, with a friendly but panicked look on her face, saying, “This is a nightmare.” And indeed, how could a small group like the Rachel Society, just a year old, host a fair! With a score of organizations, some even unaware of each other, some with methods practically directly opposed, coming to join in cooperation--with businesses putting out donations, trusting that we’ll do a good job for a worthwhile cause--with having to provide food for who knows how many people--with a radio host coming to M.C. us trying to keep order in baby competitions--with speakers about to open up their innermost hurts to the general public--with a last-ditch attempt at trying to publicize the event and not getting media cooperation--how could we pull this off?!
It was scary, all right, but we kept pressing on because we know that every week at Holy Hour we do not sit idle--nor does our Lord Jesus Christ. Somehow God would get us through this.
But what amazed me was how smoothly we got through it! Many remarked at how organized we were! But it was more cooperation than organization. People were more than willing to fill in where help was needed, and so there was nothing that seemed awkward and no jobs left undone. We could put together a schedule of events, get things printed on time, write letters, make calls, etc., but it’s the Lord who brings about cooperation. We feared that there might be pro-abortion picketers, or worse--vandals--or that some might come in to disrupt the Fair; but there were none. We could publicize the event, and so simultaneously notify pro-abortionists about the Life Fair, but only the Lord could keep them from disrupting our efforts. Only God could create the love and concern that would bring speakers to share their most private burdens in hope of helping others. And only God could speak to the hearts of the listeners and bring about healing. The Lord’s hand was evident throughout the Life Fair, and it is He who should receive all the credit for its success.
God also has a wonderful sense of humor, apparently, to take the one who least wanted to do it--the one who is terrified of public speaking--and make him be the M.C. for the day! It was the last thing I intended to do; I planned only to help man the Rachel Society table; but it was one of those gaps that were left to be filled. And although the thanks is to go to God for all the good coming from this Fair, when I stood up to thank all those good people who worked so hard to help make this dream come true and began picturing these people in my mind and seeing them happily sitting around the room, I choked up. I was overwhelmed with appreciation for these people. “Why did God make you?” it asks in the Catechism. “God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him for ever in heaven.” This realization suddenly hit me there at the Life Fair, and through my tears I glimpsed heaven in these people, where “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
Since there are many on our mailing list who could not be with us at the Life Fair, along with this newsletter you’ll find a Life Fair program. The picture on the front is a reduction of the one silk-screened on the T-shirts. The picture of the baby was drawn by our son, Leif.
We are so thankful to Fr. Phuong of St. Mary Magdalen Church in Everett for coming to open the Life Fair with prayer. And I could go on and on thanking everyone mentioned on the program for their part in the Fair, but this would fill the newsletter. I do here want to thank Fr. Alfred Smith, for his encouragement, prayers and generosity in helping to make this event happen.
I hope that other Life Fairs are put on around the Country. All of our pro-life work is so very necessary, but the Life Fair is different in that it envisions the hope of the future, when God will put an end to abortion in our world--when we will come together in cooperation to help those in need and to celebrate life, when our approach will be entirely positive and not defensive, and when our past hurts will become passed hurts. The Life Fair can still be celebrated in joy, even long after abortion is only an evil fading away into history. And perhaps, just perhaps, by overstepping the bitter conflicts and working to develop the solution, we’ll be all that closer to it.
If we don't stop it, what I hope you don't have to see in this video below will continue to ravage our nation and our world. If you don't realize what's going on, you may view this video for shock therapy.
For the complete contents of the Butter Rum Cartoon, click here.