The Priest in the Streets

“This old man stands here every day, every single day for years….”

“Oh where’s he? there he is…he’s been here for years…”

“He’s around here for a very long time, he comes everyday and stands here . ..”

These are the conversations I overheard as I stood by the door next to the Brooklyn’s largest Abortion Clinic where babies are killed up to six months for reasons varying from ignorance to arrogance. Although skeptical and reluctant I decided to go with this ‘old man’ because I was more than curious to know how a person could be ‘on the streets’ for almost 50 years taking up the spitting and cursing and ridicules and in return offers help and joyful smile. Waiting at 14 De kalb, I was taken aback by what I saw.  I couldn’t keep it to myself and wanted others to see it.

Not because they do not know him. The entire Pro Life movement in Continental US knows him. But not my generation, the generation that is closed within self, faking introversion, and obsessed with social media. This generation needs to know that one man’s answering to God’s call  changes the entire course of events. On what basis do I say that?

Monsignor left the Operation Rescue, the rescue way of defending life, blocking doors and protesting in front of clinics in 1960’s answering God’s call to take up the meek way, bringing in the meekest Blessed Mother into the play, handing over Rosaries to women who go for abortion and asking them to consider their choice, joining with the long patient suffering of God as he usually calls it, making the place the Modern Day Calvary. And what was the outcome? not just the shutting down of abortion clinics by which thousands of babies, mothers and fathers were saved in body  and soul. But the conversion of heart. And how long has this been going on? Coming 2017 will be his 50 years in the streets going clinic after clinic praying and offering help, encouraging people to pray and sacrifice, doing vigil after vigil bring God’s presence into the most hopeless haunted places of the world – the abortion clinics.

capture

My generation is an ‘instant’ generation. Everything is based on instant gratification. From food to nuptial union, Money to fame. Pleasure, pain, joy, sorrow,…they are collectively simulated to that instant style. That’s one of the reasons God seems alien to them these days. And since God Himself is alien, there’s no hope, no meaning, no happiness, no unity, no love. The generation polluted of anxiety, noise and chaos. And to this generation I wanted to show what Jesus looked like if He was here today. Because even Pro Lifers of the present generation want instant response to their efforts. They get satisfied with instant results, they get excited with instant reactions. But there’s something about this priest who used to spend 6 hrs in the streets, battling cancer past 20 years and still in the streets last 4 decades. That’s the participation in the long patient suffering of God and men. Not many times we find the Director or founder of cross continental organizations in the streets and being accessible to people of humble standards.

His methods are radical. His message is hard to accept. It echoes the one taught 2000 years ago. The infamous message of “Love”.

 When the video was posted in Facebook, people started pouring in, women confessing their abortions, others comforting them and reminding them of God’s mercy and unconditional love, people encouraging one another to spread the message of Hope, Love and Forgiveness. The response to the video startled me personally in facing the massive wounded population yearning for the message of love, the crowd yearning for God. People were encouraged to be present prayerfully in love in front of the clinics to bear the image of Christ, to be heroic Christians. The message was widely accepted with more than 53,000 views.

And this post should add on to the article posted on August 13, 2015 What a single person can do? The answer : Can capture such moments of hope and spread the message of love.

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. – Mathew: 9:36

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