The following story from Catholic News Service appeared in August in the Tidings, archdiocese of Los Angeles’ newspaper.
Pro-lifers must be joyful in the work they do, said Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities.
“This is a beautiful time for us to gather and get energized for a difficult year ahead,” he said as he began his homily at Mass Aug. 6 during the Diocesan Pro-Life Directors’ Meeting held in the Diocese of Orange.
Sixty directors attended the meeting organized by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities.
Throughout the conference — which was not open to reporters — presentation topics dealt with the challenges facing pro-life ministers and activists in the United States today. Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, who chairs the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty, gave the opening keynote.
But on the evening of Aug. 6, the focus was less on the challenges facing pro-life workers than on the joy of prolife work….
Cardinal DiNardo was the principal celebrant at the Mass at La Purisima Church in Orange. Orange Bishop Tod Brown and more than half a dozen priests attending the conference concelebrated the Eucharist with the cardinal.
The Mass preceded the celebratory high point of the meeting, the People of Life Dinner Banquet — an event that gave meeting attendees an opportunity to relax with one another and with Diocese of Orange staff and to celebrate the work of the award recipients: Dr. Vincent Rue and Sister Paula Vandegaer, a Sister of Social Service.
Rue, a psychotherapist who provided the first clinical evidence of post-abortion trauma, “set out to be the most ridiculed … and vilified man among psychotherapists,” said Mary McClusky, the secretariat’s special projects coordinator, in her introduction.
“Normally someone who made such a discovery would be greeted with acclaim, awards,” she said. “The official reaction to Vince’s research was basically to ridicule and ostracize him.”
Based in the greater Los Angeles area, Sister Vandegaer worked as the editor of Heartbeat magazine, founded International Life Services and worked with agencies including Southern California’s Right to Life League, Holy Family Services and the Welfare Bureau of Los Angeles.
She came to pro-life work not so much because of the unborn, she said, “but because of my concern about what was happening to the women.”
To read entire story, click here.