Seniors defend life, inspire others - Catholic Courier

Seniors defend life, inspire others

Yesterday Mike Crupi and I spent part of the afternoon in Newark with eight senior citizens. They’d gathered on the lawn in front of St. Michael Church, rosaries in hand, to pray for the souls of unborn babies and to pray for an end to abortion.

Their lawn chairs were arranged in front of a headstone tucked in a patch of black-eyed Susans near the church’s front corner. A small statue of Mary stood on one end of the marker, which is the parish’s monument in memory of babies who perished before they were born.

These St. Michael parishioners gather at the monument every Monday afternoon to pray the rosary. Inclement weather doesn’t stop their prayers, although they do move into the parish chapel when winter sets in.

For years these parishioners have provided a visible and audible witness to the sanctity of life. They pray the rosary out loud, and their voices usually carry over the hustle and bustle along Main Street in front of the church, although yesterday they were somewhat diminished by the near-constant rustling of wind-blown leaves.

Occasionally passers-by stop to ask who they are and what they’re doing. These curious people have always seemed receptive to what the parishioners have to say, although "they’ve never joined us," lamented parishioner Mary Gilardo. Nonetheless, she and the others won’t be deterred. Every human life is important and must be valued, they say, so they will continue to pray every week.

During the course of my reporting I often meet people like Gilardo and her fellow defenders of life. Each time, I’m impressed by the strength with which they cling to their convictions, and it always inspires me to hold fast to my own beliefs.

Have you felt similarly inspired recently? What inspires you?

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