Friday, September 23, 2011

"Pro-Life Christians Are Welcome"

Not all clergy are cool to pro-life activists.

Good friends sent along the following letter which came from Fr. Rocco Porter, the new pastor of Blessed John XXIII Catholic campus parish in Ft. Collins, Colorado. It was written to to welcome and pledge assistance to those praying and sidewalk counseling outside a Planned Parenthood abortion mill during the 40 Days for Life.

Here are excerpts of the letter which you can send along as an encouragement to your pastor to do likewise.

Dear Pro-Life Friends,

Three months ago I was sent to Fort Collins by Archbishop Charles Chaput with a challenge to make a great campus ministry program for Colorado State University.  I knew that I would not only be a stone's throw from the Planned Parenthood abortion clinic but also that the lives of college age kids are tormented by that abortion clinic.  I told everyone here that I would make this community not only welcoming to the pro-life message but also focused on putting Planned Parenthood out of business.

Last year I came from Greeley to Fort Collins each Saturday during the 40 Days for Life Spring campaign and so I am familiar with the 40 Days for Life team that works to inspire the constant presence of Christians on the sidewalk outside that awful clinic.  I am committed to giving the 40 Days for Life every bit of support I can.

I want pro-life Christians across the region to know that they are welcome at Blessed John always.  I want you to know that I feel a special calling to support all of you, Catholic or not.  I want to show you my love and unity with you not only during these 40 Days but beyond them as well.

Not only will we host a Catholic Mass next Tuesday evening as a part of the kickoff, but we will also host the rally afterwards at 7pm.  I have approved a budget for food and beverages as well and I hope this will literally leave a good taste in your mouths about our hospitality.

And we will be continuing to show that hospitality each and every day of the 40 Days with a hospitality area in the vestibule of our church.  There will be hot coffee and iced down sodas and juice or milk for the kids.  We will try to keep fresh donuts on hand in the mornings and small sandwiches in the afternoons.  While I welcome any donations to support this, we are doing it in any case.  I hope that you will always stop by after a time of prayer and rest your legs and talk with your neighbors while sharing a small snack and a drink.  We will do our best to make sure that there are sufficient chairs and tables and refreshments for everyone praying at Planned Parenthood.

Hopefully this hospitality area will become a place where stories are shared and lasting bonds are made.

I hope you will see in this effort that I deeply support your efforts and that my support will not diminish so long as I am Pastor here at Blessed John XXIII Church.

The closure of Planned Parenthood both here in Fort Collins and everywhere is a great hope for all of us who fight for the lives of the unborn and it is one of the most important goals I have in my ministry here in Fort Collins.  Thank you for all you are doing by your prayerful witness through the 40 Days campaign and thank you for the way your efforts help me in achieving that goal.

Father Rocco Porter
Blessed John XXIII University Center
1324 University Avenue
Fort Collins, CO  80521