On Friday, March 21, 350 admirers filled the Patrons Hall of San Francisco’s St. Mary’s Cathedral in support of one of only two crisis pregnancy centers in the City. The event was a fundraiser for Alpha Pregnancy Center, located in Mission Terrace. For those unfamiliar with San Francisco, that is not one of the neighborhoods President Obama visits during his frequent fundraising trips. Attendees included Father John Jimenez, who recently celebrated Mass in front of San Francisco’s Planned Parenthood to kick off this year’s 40 Days for Life; a number of 40 Days volunteers; and many veterans of the pro-life cause, including the beloved and elderly Bea Smalley, one of San Francisco’s first pro-life activists.
Servers and ushers at the event were from the youth group at Dolores Park Church, led by Jon Brackett, the church’s youth minister. Brackett, who gave the event’s invocation, told CalCatholic that his youth group has sort of “adopted” Alpha: in addition to serving the fundraiser, the young people annually join in Alpha’s Walk for Life, some volunteer at the center, and about twice a year the group goes down to the center to help with things like major cleaning or painting.
Alpha Pregnancy Center began in 1983. A group of pastors were meeting to pray about the large number of abortions in San Francisco. Alpha Pregnancy’s “Beginnings” page says “As they prayed together the Lord convicted them to offer His helping hand, love, and compassion to women faced with an unplanned pregnancy. They started the Crisis Pregnancy in the basement of the First Orthodox Presbyterian Church in the Sunset District of San Francisco.” That Christ-centeredness, absolute faith and surrender to the will of the Lord, is a hallmark of Alpha to this day. In 2002, Alpha moved to Mission Terrace, because as they write “they realized there might be a larger need in different neighborhoods.”
As Alpha grew it wanted to more fully meet the needs of their families: “We began offering complete case management, more thorough education, and an extensive list of free supplies when we moved to our Mission Street office in 2002. In 2006, at the request of our clients, we began offering Post-Abortion recovery groups as well.” They now see an average of 20 women a day, and last November, added free ultrasounds to their lists of services. Every single woman who has used the ultrasound has chosen life.
During dinner, a video of a recent client was shown: Maricris and her son Tristan. Maricris described the wild life she was living with her boyfriend in the Tenderloin, and her surprise at becoming pregnant—surprise because it hadn’t happened sooner! Initially deciding to abort the child, she described her visit to Planned Parenthood, and their encounter with sidewalk counselors, who directed them to Alpha. At Alpha they were met with love, offers of help with food, with diapers, with housing. She and Tristan were the recipient of Alpha’s first sonogram—where the tech was able to tell her the child was a boy—something Planned Parenthood had been unable or unwilling to do. Finally, her decision of hope: to keep her baby. The change in Maricris herself was wonderful: she said “I went from living a fast life…now I’m home. I can’t believe it. I’m amazed. I’m overjoyed!”
The final speaker was Alpha’s executive director Chastidy Ronan, the story of whose personal trials, overcome by trust in Jesus, cannot be summarized here. She eventually found and married a good man, and in 2006 they decided to move to San Francisco, where a job was waiting for both of them—or so they thought. In 2006 Chastidy found herself out of work and facing an unplanned pregnancy. She was gripped with fear, and thought every day how much easier it would be to abort the child. She recalled going through the aisles of baby supplies at Target and crying because everything was so expensive. She went to Alpha for help—and she received it. In 2008 she began working as a counselor at Alpha, and within a year become the executive director. She said:
“I feel I was set in this place and in this time and in this season to do what God wants me to do. Like in Nehemiah we must restore our city to a place where God’s people understand the value of life. In this city there are 7 abortion clinics and only two pro-life clinics. Every year in San Francisco there are 16,000 births, but there are 18,000 abortions. When my mother was beaten to death, I learned that the neighbors had heard screams but had not wanted to get involved. I vowed then that I will never ignore the cries of those who need help. We are called to seek the welfare of this city, of our wonderful city. We will not ignore the cry of the 18,000 killed every year and we invite you to join us!”
To help or learn more about Alpha Pregnancy Center, visit: www.alphapc.org
Great work by good people. 16,000 births, 18,000 abortions? San Franscisco is apparently the death camp of America.
“… women faced with an unplanned pregnancy…..”
Do men face unplanned impregnation?
Aren’t the men responsible for impregnation ?
Let’s put them in ” impregnation centers” and help them realize their responsibility for the child they procreated?
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Do men face unplanned impregnation? Not really, they don’t. They used to be shamed, at least in middle-class society, but somehow they sold no-fault divorce and now fathers don’t have live with their children more often than not.
Why is this news? Abortion and sodomy – the two sacraments of the Democratic Party – can be expected to flourish in Sodomy-by-the-Sea.
is it really true that in SF there are 16,000 births vs 18,000 abortions? are those official numbers verified by say the local press? If it is, how shocking and horrible and sad. Thanks to all those working to build a culture of life. God Bless you and your efforts.
These stats were featured in a Time article…from 1946! Certainly, they could provide fresher stats than that.
If the “local press” were to verify, just to be safe, I might at least double their abortion number for a reliable figure. Get it? Anybody who looks to the “local press” of any major city, let alone San Francisco, for any reliable information regarding the broad topic of abortion . . . well, by the way, I have a bridge in Nebraska for sale.
retrospective, after reading tim’s comment about the local press verifying the numbers, I had the same reaction as you!
Ditto your response.
Sodom by the sea is dying.
Actually, Father Karl, SF seems to be doing quite well. Population is growing faster than anytime in decades, I have never seen so many cranes in the city in the 30 plus years I’ve lived here, and SF is creating more new jobs per capita than just about any city in America.
So what is your point YFC? SF should go on aborting their children? No worries? It’s never been better for SF? :(
No Tracy, that is not my point. If you follow my posts, you would see that I am not a fan of abortion.
“Father Karl” spoke about “Sodom by the sea”, a reference, as we all know, to gay friendly San Francisco. ‘Sodom’ by the sea has no reference in life or in scripture or in church teaching to abortion.
Father karl makes a conglomeration of gay rights, abortion, and a generalized notion of sin which HE and HE ALONE conflates with San Francisco. Even the scriptural references to Sodom witnesses pleas for the innocent among them, yet if Father Karl heard those pleas, he would likely condemn them all.
So let him explain what he means…and let he and he alone explain how it is that his claim that San Francisco is dieing all the while it seems to be thriving. And let him explain why pleas for mercy from innocent San Franciscans would fall on his own deaf ears.
CCD, lately a majority of my responses to YFC have remained un-published. Why is this? Do you per chance have a leftist sympathizer as a volunteer deciding what gets published?
Please refer to comments policy.
Editor, maybe it is just me but I can’t seem to find where on your site your “comments policy” happens to be posted.
The comments policy is directly above and below the comment box for each story.
Editor, thank you. for your response. Now that I read your policy, I am further convinced that you may have a leftist sympathizer, as a volunteer, deciding what gets published.
Offensive: causing resentful displeasure; highly irritating, angering, or annoying
Libelous: (used of statements) harmful and often untrue; tending to discredit or malign.
It is amazing to me that YFC and some other regulars (of the Left) who post here, are continually given a platform here on CCD to offend, discredit, and/or malign those of us who strive to uphold Catholic teachings. I will grant you that they may typically do it in a “polite” manner, but does it really elevate an assassin’s moral standing if he comes off as polite rather than rude?
Of course, San Francisco isn’t dying in sense that it is becoming uninhabited.
Lots of people are moving in, even if to be bused to Google. Generally, young people will continue to move to cities as long as sexual partnering opportunities in them are high.
Working for Google and uncoupled sex, two different forms of chains, hardly life-affirming aspirations.
Wow, Mrs. Ronan, you are fortunate to know that you are the recipient of God’s favor, and direction. Through your storm, you held fast, and now understand your present mission in life. Your work is overwhelming, but anything is possible with God. Please continue to tell your story. Many of those reading your blog have daughters and granddaughters. These young ladies will face similar trials to those you faced. The success of your journey can be a beacon when all seems lost. We will pray for you.
Perhaps the Archdiocese of San Francisco could think about opening a crisis pregnancy center of their own. Oh wait, that would be actually “walking the walk” on abortion. Never mind.
Respectfully, that’s not really their job. Their job us is to strengthen and motivate us, the laity, especially those of us who have medical expertise, to set up crisis pregnancy centers.
How about just fund them then? So groups like this don’t have to waste their efforts on fundraisers and can concentrate on helping women?
It’s interesting and telling that this group was started by Protestant pastors. I’ve not heard of Catholic priests praying together deciding to open up a similar facility. Maybe there’s one out there somewhere. I would love to hear about it.
prayers, prayers and more prayers
Apparently the most dangerous thing to be in San Francisco is unborn!
I cannot understand this thinking. Do people think that they themselves will never die? Do they want to die and then face the people that they killed? Even worse, their own children?
Perhaps the ‘final solution’ to the problem is in the hands of the Margaret Sanger – Planned Parenthood Award winner- CHINO Nancy Pelosi, who would no doubt with the ‘Horatio Algore’ award for this type of Carbon Offset:
“Thousands of aborted babies incinerated to heat UK hospitals
LONDON, March 24, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Thousands of bodies of aborted babies have been incinerated, along with other “medical waste” in a process that was used to help heat British hospitals, UK media has revealed.
The Daily Telegraph reports that more than 15,500 babies have been incinerated as “clinical waste” some of which have been used in “waste to energy” schemes to generate power for the hospitals.