The following comes from an Apr. 29 posting on the Walk for Life blog site.
Dolores Meehan, co-chair and co-founder of the Walk for Life West Coast writes:
Rest in peace, faithful servant and gentleman.
Our relationship with George began in March 2004, while we were planning a rally in defense of marriage. He welcomed our ‘radical’ group, and convinced first Archbishop William Levada, and then Oakland’s Bishop Allen Vigneron, they needed be there with us. As a result, both led us in our inaugural journey into the public square. The success of the marriage rally gave birth to the Walk for Life West Coast. George was untiring in his defense of the vulnerable, especially the unborn; there was nothing he wouldn’t do to help make the Walk for Life a success
…. At the March 2012 rally for religious freedom in San Francisco, George reminded us how religious sisters came to San Francisco in the late 1800s and founded orphanages, hospitals and schools. He told the crowd, “according to the HHS mandate, those activities would no longer be considered religious expression. Unbelievable!” After every statement, (and much to our delight) George got the crowd to chant with him “Unbelievable!” (What was really unbelievable was gentle George leading chants at a rally!)
I think our work energized George; we certainly felt cherished and protected by him. He was simply a lovely man and we will miss him greatly – may he rest in peace.
George’s friend and comrade, Vicki Evans, the Respect Life coordinator of the archdiocese of San Francisco, remembers her friend:
George Wesolek died recently. With him died an era. George was the director of Public Policy and Social Concerns for the archdiocese of San Francisco. When he took over this position more than 25 years ago, the landscape in San Francisco was very different from what it is today with respect to pro-life issues. There was no Walk for Life West Coast. There was no 40-Days for Life. There was little support in the local Church hierarchy for life issues after Roe v. Wade made its “statement” on behalf of America. Social justice issues were prominent and embraced and accepted; life issues were less significant and much less acceptable in polite company. But George championed both issues equally, a bit of a heresy for his age. He encountered opposition at USCCB conferences and on the Catholic Charities board of directors when he equated life issues with social justice issues. But his resolve never diminished. His love for the poor—and he deeply loved the poor—never eclipsed his support for the unborn, those who had no one except the Catholic Church to speak for them.
Fast forward 25 years. We now have an archbishop in San Francisco who considers life issues a top priority. Pro-life culture is now more embraced. Today it is easier to be pro-life because there is more widespread active support from a greater number of bishops. But it was not always so. Ten years ago when the Walk for Life West Coast came into being, George Wesolek was the one who believed in it, sanctioned it, argued on its behalf, sent resources to it and made it a priority of the archdiocese of San Francisco. I would venture to say that the Walk for Life would not exist in its present form had George not stood with its organizers from day one, convincing the powers that be that it was all right to be involved with such a radical idea. George had vision, took chances, because it was right. He was called the “guardian of orthodoxy” in a derisive tone by some of the more politically correct in local Catholic circles.
Today, the archbishop of San Francisco and the archdiocese of San Francisco have an easier road to embracing orthodoxy when it comes to life issues. George embraced it when it was hard. In terms made famous by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, George demonstrated costly grace, not cheap grace. We are where we are today because of his acceptance of avant-garde ideas when they were unpopular—even inflammatory. We shouldn’t forget our history or discount those who made the sacrifices which are the foundation of what has been built. In characteristic human fashion, however, George’s contributions will be discounted and forgotten by the world in which we live. But I am certain his reward is great in heaven.
A Mass of Christian burial is to be held May 1 at St. Francis Solano Church in Sonoma. The family asks that any donations in his honor be sent to Catholic Relief Services.
May the soul of George Wesolek through the mercy of God rest in peace. I remember many, many years ago standing alone on a corner with a pro life sign until another couple came up. I was disappointed in the turn out and said so. The young wife said to me, “Perhaps we are here to save just one child.” I told her, “Yes, and for just one child it would be worth it.” Later many others showed up, but not as large a crowd as there are now. I hope someday to see George Wesolek, again may he rest in rest and receive a heavenly crown.
I meant of course “rest in peace” instead of rest in rest” in my sentence but everyone I am sure , including Fr. Joe, got the message.
With so many dragons attacking marriage, life, and family, how wonderful that we have another St. George in the heavenly court to intercede for the Church Militant. In thanksgiving for his life and labors, for all who have shared in his work, that the Church and society will see the ills/evils of contraception, and for the end of abortion, I will offer Mass. Of course, the Mass will include the hope
and prayer expressed so beautifully by Anne T.
A very holy Claretian, Fr. Thomas Matin, CMF, once told me that those who work in defense of the unborn will have those babies they saved and tried to save to testify for them before the Judgement Seat of God!
May God have mercy on an amoral Amerika!
Viva Cristo Rey!
Yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher, Founding Director
Concerned Roman Catholics of America, Inc
Thanks, Dolores, for this. George was a great friend and a gift to the Church and all those who knew him.
George certainly seems to have been a Godly man but by, immediately,placing him in heaven you suggest that there is no need for us to pray for his soul when in death we should not deny him the greater tribute of our prayers.
May he rest in peace.
May the soul of George Wesolek through the mercy of God rest in peace! AMEN!
For George Wesolek. He knows who am.
Questioning the Accused
by Theresa Taylor
April 25, 1997
Timothy James Mc veigh, born on St. George’s Day,
Did you the King of Kings betray?
Did you the innocent children slay?
On the morn of St. Leo’s Day?
Was it you who planted that bomb
After the parents had gone?
Did you run away, leaving the unwary as prey?
Have you lost the Way, Timothy James Mc Veigh?
And if it is so —-
Have we as a nation bloody hands too?
Do we stop our ears at the cries from the tombs
Of the unborn babes murdered
In their mother’s wombs?
Do we, like Pilate, wash our hands too?
Do we claim there is nothing we can do?
Timothy James Mc Veigh are we
So very different from you?
By God’s power, St. Michael and St. George
Slay the Dragon in us all!
End the slaughter of the Innocents.
Lift up the Children of the Fall.
Then with stainless hands this nation,
Crying out to God above,
Shall be filled fit for habitation
And be filled with hope and love.
Maybe George’s family is not aware of some of the anti-life activities Catholic Relief Services is involved with around the world. I would NEVER donate to them in George’s memory!
and that poem was not written for George Wesolek, the poet did not know him or of him at the time when she wrote it, but he certainly seems to have played the part of St. George well. And yes, he does need our prayers for his eternal rest.
Well done!! I am well-rebuked!!!
What you expressed came to mind even as I wrote. That is why I wrote that the Mass will include the hope and prayer expressed so beautifully by Anne T.
So thank you for your keen reading and reply. These signal to me that you have shared in the labors of George Wesolek. Mass awaits….
You are setting an excellent example in humility by publicly accepting my
You are to be commended as that is so rare.
So many Bishops don’t even acknowledge it when I am contacting them.
Thankfully Pope Francis, too, is leading the way in setting us all a good Christian example in all things.