The Deacon's Bench

A reader alerted me to the disturbing video below, showing the arrest of an 80-year-old priest yesterday on the campus of Notre Dame.

I was struck by this for a number of reasons. Just this morning, I took part in a pro-life mass and march at my parish, led by the legendary Msgr. Phil Reilly, founder of Helper’s of God’s Precious Infants, an apostolate that began in Brooklyn and now stretches around the world. (We’re going to be profiling Msgr. Reilly on The NET, and the march and mass were filmed for that.) The “Helpers” take a very different approach to protest — and it’s proven to be fairly effective. It’s not without conflict and controversy; this morning, several people jeered and taunted as we marched. But sometimes quiet, prayerful work, done within the parameters of the law, can be a powerful witness. We had a police escort for the march, and stayed where we were legally permitted. There were about 60-70 people, praying the rosary and singing behind police barricades. A handful offered rosaries and leaflets to passers-by. (I’ve attended other marches where there were “escorts” on hand to help women in and out of the clinic. I didn’t see any this morning. Maybe because we were keeping our distance.)

At least one blogger is wondering if that’s a better way to make a point.

Below is a video explaining how the Helpers do their work. As Msgr. Reilly puts it, when pro-life activists prayerfully march to a clinic, it is nothing less than a journey to Calvary.

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