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hristmas 2009

Father Emmanuel’s Christmas Message:
“When peaceful silence lay over all, and night had run the half of her swift course, down from the heavens, from the royal throne, leapt your all powerful Word; into the heart of a doomed land the stern warrior leapt.” (Wisdom 18:14-15) Earlier this month, we were blessed to have Monsignor Reilly visit us here in London (4 th-5th December). In 2 short days he gave a stirring talk at St. James‟ Church in Mayfair on Friday evening, led a prayer vigil at Ealing the following morning (with about 85 people), and then proceeded (after a bit of lunch) to present us with a powerful 2 hour session on the Helpers spirituality and approach to prayer vigils!* I was struck (as I‟m sure many were) by the strength and authenticity of his prophetic witness and by the apostolic zeal which animated him. He is 75 years old, but clearly the grace of the Holy Spirit and his sense of the Lord‟s mission keeps him going! As with any prophet, spending time with him challenged me to examine my own fidelity to the Gospel of Life. In his talk on Friday, Monsignor had shared how the word “infant” is derived from two Latin words meaning “not speaking”. The unborn, he said, have no voice and so the choice of whether they live or die is made for them by others. They cannot speak. They cannot be heard and so the decision to take their tiny, innocent lives, is made without consulting them. His challenge to us was to be that voice for them; by prayer, by witness, by counselling, by our very lives. Monsignor also spoke with great insight about the damage contraception has effected in our society, leading to sex without babies and babies without sex (IVF). An anti-life mentality thus begins to pervade. Through contraception we separate the unitive and procreative aspects (the divine “love-life link”) of the sexual act. Once these are separated, life can become a commodity. When God is forgotten (or ignored), life may no longer be seen as the beautiful gift it is. On the one hand, the unborn baby can now be regarded as an unwanted inconvenience – to be rid of. On the other, as something to be manipulated in a laboratory. In response to this, what impressed me most about Monsignor Reilly is his desire to see hearts changed. The pro-life movement, and in particular the work of the Helpers, is not, for him, simply about saving lives (vital as that is), but most importantly about saving souls, bringing all people – men and women entering or leaving the clinics, abortionists, nurses, accomplices, post-abortive men and women – to know the saving love of Jesus in their lives. Ultimately, the work of the Helpers is a work of love and salvation.

2 “The people that walked in darkness has seen a great light; on those who live in a land of deep shadow a light has shone.” (Isaiah 9:1) We live in a land of deep shadow. Perhaps the darkest shadow hangs over the very sites where abortions quietly take place, but the Eternal Son of God, Jesus Christ, left heaven to bring His light into this very darkness. The Eternal Word became a zygote, became flesh in the womb of Mary so that we could hear Him, see Him, tough Him and know God‟s saving truth and love (1 Jn 1:1-4). The work of the Helpers is ultimately a work of the Holy Spirit, incarnating that truth and love of God within us just as He did within Mary through her unconditional „yes‟. To put it in modern terms, the work of the Helpers is to make God‟s love human – real and practical – for very real people with very real problems. Let us no longer be silent, but speak up for the voiceless ones. Let us no longer be afraid to speak a Word of truth that can illumine and expose the lies of a culture tragically deceived by a contraceptive mentality. Let us car enough to love even when it is difficult. Let us, above all, be men and women of prayer, knowing that only God can effect real change in hearts. Let us be prophets for life and love, that His light will shine again in our land.

* Monsignor Reilly‟s talks were recorded and will be available on CD from the Helpers Office soon.

Yet again, we were able to welcome the Bishop of Brentwood, the Rt. Rev. Thomas McMahon, to Woodford Green, Essex, to lead our Helpers Vigil in September, and we are very grateful to him for accepting our invitation. We also wish to offer our profound thanks to Dr. Paul Doherty, Headmaster of Trinity Catholic High School, not only for once more allowing us the use of the school premises, but this time, when Bishop McMahon graciously gave us permission to have Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, for taking the extra trouble of arranging for us to have Adoration in the lovely school chapel at very short notice. We would also like to thank Mrs. Deidre Smith and other members of the staff, the Caretaker and also the ladies who gave up their Saturday morning to provide the refreshments for us when we returned to the school after our vigil. We had many blessings that day, as when a woman came out of the Marie Stopes centre, having had a consultation and fixed a date for an abortion, she spoke to one of our counsellors and told him that when she came out and „saw all those people praying‟, she felt that God was giving her a sign. She listened to all that the counsellor told her and took all the information about the help she could get. Later on she phoned our counsellor and told him that she had gone home and told her boyfriend all that the counsellor had told her and showed him the information and he agreed with her that they should keep the baby and they had made an appointment with the Women‟s Centre.

THANK YOU, Bishop Thomas for leading us in the defense of life and THANK YOU, Dr. Doherty for your continued and much valued support.

3 REPORTS FROM WEEKLY PRAYER GROUPS
FOR CONTACT DETAILS etc. OF ALL PRAYER GROUPS AND INDIVIDUALS, PLEASE TELEPHONE: 0208 252 3109

BEDFORD SQUARE: By the grace of God we have been able to continue our weekly vigils at Bedford Square performing the work that we are called to do and have been recently inspired by the visit of Monsignor Reilly and found his talks a great source of knowledge and wisdom. We had a recent spectacular conversion of one woman who approached the centre expecting to undergo a simple task of taking the morning after pill and leaving to continue her life as it was but left with an understanding of God‟s gift of life, a desire to let God in to her life and a call to seek God‟s Mercy and Forgiveness for a past abortion after speaking to one of the Sidewalk Counsellors. There was a sense of bewilderment felt by the woman, she didn‟t really know why she phoned the abortion centre for an appointment or indeed why she was on her way to go in but she said that she felt something would happen to make her not go in, and finding one person praying for her and two people with some leaflets in their hands was that large turning point for her. Matthew. BRIXTON: PRAISE BE!!! We had a couple turn around this week. We talked to the young Dad outside and he phoned young Mum and she came running out - tears of relief on her face. The staff came out, told her not to listen to us and asked her to come back in “just for a chat” but she told them herself she is keeping the baby. Also the taxi cabs are not going in and out for some weeks now. We have spoken to the drivers and told them what the place is and gave them the leaflets relating to Islam/Christianity and Abortion the “Did You Know?”s A large church group came by on Saturday on a prayer/praise walk and stood singing their hearts out opposite the abortuary for a good ten or twenty minutes. BUCKHURST HILL: Once more it was a mid-week prayer vigil and the weather was such that the sensible thing to do was to stay at home. Very heavy rain showers and gusting winds made it difficult when kneeling on the pavement, to support an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe whilst holding a very large, windresistant, umbrella with one hand and holding a Rosary in the other hand. A gust of wind caused me to look up to make sure the umbrella and image stayed safely in my grip and I noticed a young lady come out of Marie Stopes. She appeared to be listening closely to what the counsellor was saying to her and taking notice of what he was showing her in the „Did You Know‟ leaflet and our „exhibit for life‟ with the SPUC baby models etc. Afterwards the counsellor told me some of her story. She had come there with a friend who was still inside the building. During the conversation, she told the counsellor that she had had an abortion herself 3 years ago and that it was such a bad experience. I immediately said, “If she felt it was such a bad experience, why would she want someone else to go through it?” Then the counsellor continued. The young woman wouldn‟t take a Rosary or Miraculous Medal – she had done such a wicked, evil thing, God wouldn‟t forgive her for having the abortion, she had no hope, she couldn‟t accept the Rosary or Medal. Then she was told about God‟s infinite Mercy – that He loved her, Our Lady loved her, and we who were there offering help and prayers loved her. Gradually she believed and hope returned and accepting the Rosary and Miraculous Medal and all the information about post-abortion counselling, she went back in to try to persuade her friend to come out and not go ahead with her abortion. Then I knew why, although she had such a bad time herself, she had come with her friend – God wanted to show her the way back to Him. A car had pulled up onto Marie Stopes‟ driveway and on seeing the counsellor, the lady driver got out and, thinking he was a traffic warden, asked him if it was alright to park there. The counsellor told her why he was there – to offer help etc. The woman said, “Ooh – can I have some?” meaning the leaflets with all the information on.

4 I happened to glance up and saw a young woman who was obviously well into her pregnancy and thought, “No, surely not.” The counsellor spoke to her and she answered and laughed and went into the building, coming out again soon after. Later, the counsellor told me that when he spoke to her, she laughed and said, “It‟s not for me – I‟m taking my dad in there.” - Wednesday‟s being men‟s day for vasectomies. The great Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Unborn, and there we are with our Image of Our Lady and invoking her with even more fervour as we held our vigil outside Marie Stopes. And Our Lady kindly let us know about two of those who changed their mind there that morning. One woman told our counsellor that she already had three children, that she really would not be able to cope with a new baby, and also that she had had an abortion four years ago. The counsellor, gently encouraging her, told her about all the help she could get, that she wouldn‟t have to manage alone and also about post-abortion counselling. She said that she would indeed keep her baby and that she would get an appointment at the Women‟s Centre then she gave our counsellor a great big hug. She kept her appointment at the Women‟s Centre and is definitely keeping her baby. Another woman, although she wouldn‟t talk to the counsellor, seemed very reluctant to go into Marie Stopes although her boyfriend made sure she did. When they came out and were going back up the road, she was shouting loudly at the boyfriend and arguing. Our counsellor walked up after them and spoke to her. The boyfriend did not like it at all, but the woman gave him a hefty kick up his backside and he left. She phoned and made an appointment with the Women‟s Centre and the counsellor and a pray-er drove her – and her baby – to the train station. When most of our pray-ers and our two counsellors were on holiday, two of our pray-ers decided to go to the abortion mill so that at least there would still be prayers there that Saturday. This is a report from one of them: Reflections on an August morning at Buckhurst Hill – So there we were, on a beautiful August morning in a leafy road in Buckhurst Hill, saying our prayers on the other side of the road from the clinic. It was the usual, busy Saturday morning, with people being brought there by car and taxi or arriving on foot from the train or bus but, because it was a holiday month there were no pavement counsellors in their place on the clinic side of the road. We had been there some time when D... said to me, “I think I recognise that girl.” She had walked across the road towards us and then past us to go and sit on a bench a little way behind us under the trees. “I think I should go and talk to her,” he said, and went off, so I found myself doing what I thought I could never do – praying at the roadside by myself. But what followed probably wouldn‟t have happened if I had not been alone. I was getting used to the idea of being on my own and reminding myself that of course we‟re never really alone – Christ is there with us – after all we‟re there in His Name – but still hoping that J... or P... would turn up like the US cavalry (2 other pray-ers who may have been able to come along), when a dialogue began with a group of people standing on the pavement opposite. I was offered a cup of coffee, and then a cup of tea which I declined (I was thinking that I could murder a cup of tea and coffee). The next offer was a glass of water and then the question, “What are you doing over there anyway?” I explained that I was praying for them, the babies, everyone who goes there and everyone who works in there. A lengthy conversation ensued and one woman asked why had God let her 71/2 year old son die? And, as has happened before and no doubt will happen again, the subject of the scandals in the Catholic Church came up. Just then a large taxi stopped in the road between us, there was no time for goodbyes, as they all got in and sped off. The brief street drama was over, the road was quiet again. It left my head full of whirling thoughts, but one thing I was in no doubt about was that I was glad that I‟d been there. Despite my feeble attempts to answer I was in no doubt that it had been worth it. I suppose it was the Church being in the front line, and even if the foot soldier was bumbling and incompetent at least he was there. The main woman had been determined to engage me in conversation and there had I think somehow been gratitude from her and her companions and – odd to say it – but a warmth. I know that I felt sympathy for them. D...‟s conversation had been with a Catholic girl who had come as a friend to support someone who was determined to abort. Had D... not gone over to her, she would not have had an opportunity to re-think her

5 lost faith. But the morning was not over yet. As D.... and I a little time later were strolling down the road another, quieter but even more immediate drama unfolded. A beautiful young woman asked the way to Russell Road. D... and I caught each other‟s eyes. I went to „check the road signs‟ and D... got into conversation with the girl. From across the road I could see it was getting intense so I kept my distance, ambling up and down in the glorious sunshine, not wanting to interrupt their thought train. It was some time before D... signalled me to join them. He introduced me to P... She had been heading for the clinic. She was six weeks pregnant. She‟d appreciate a word with me also. It was D...‟s turn to go for a stroll. I think by now she had decided to keep her baby but she talked for a while. Her boyfriend was angry because they had been contracepting so how could she be pregnant etc. and so she poured out her story. She was Christian and didn‟t want an abortion. We rejoined D... and we drove her back to the train station. She contacted the Women‟s Centre and made an appointment with them. As D... and I set off for the longed for cup of coffee, we reflected that it had indeed been a grace filled morning and we both felt immensely grateful and privileged to have been there. EALING:

As Father Emmanuel has said in his Christmas message, we were very privileged to have Monsignor Reilly lead our Rosary Prayer Vigil from Ealing Abbey to the abortion centre in Mattock Lane. A lady came up to me outside Marie Stopes abortion clinic in Ealing a couple of months ago and she was happy to tell me that 3 years ago she had an abortion booked that day. She told me that she recalled people praying outside and that although she did not take a leaflet, nor did she speak to any of the pavement counsellors she realised that she could not go ahead with the abortion so she turned around and went home. “I‟ve a beautiful little daughter now” she told me. “Thank God I did not go inside that place”. It just shows us that we never know how many lives are really being saved by God‟s Graces through our prayers and sacrifices and that we must trust in God even if we don‟t see the results at the time. A woman took one of our help leaflets from somebody outside the Ealing abortion clinic around the end of May and she came to the women‟s centre for help at the beginning of June. The woman has recently had a healthy baby boy in November and has received the help she needs. All praise and thanks to God. BATH & BRISTOL: No matter what the weather, Anna, Christopher and their pray-ers faithfully keep their Helpers‟ weekly vigils going here. EDINBURGH: On 26 August this year we moved from the Murrayfield private hospital to the New Royal Infirmary. This is a general hospital and is where most abortions in Edinburgh and from surrounding areas are carried out (in the Simpsons Maternity Pavilion). There are somewhere in the region of 35-50 per week – 8am-5pm weekdays. There has been a good response from the public to our presence there. Lots of people are willing to stop and chat, listen to why we are there, tell their stories and give their opinions and, even if they disagree, there's room for discussion and a great opportunity for evangelisation. As someone commented in the last newsletter - it's amazing the amount of rosaries, prayer cards and miraculous medals that people are taking, and saying they would like to try to pray, even non-Catholics. Also the dialogues with lapsed Catholics helping them return to the faith. Prayer is the fuel and I've contacted the monks at Nunraw, the Poor Clares,

6 and one of our helpers, Charity praying for us. the Carmelites at Kirkintilloch. We already have the Missionaries of

A few doctors have stopped to chat and their response has been very favourable. One obstetrician said women are not told all the options available to them and said you are doing a very good and necessary work here. Another Asian doctor was willing to comment on the proposal to remove the conscience clause and said how wrong it was and that she's glad she doesn't work in that branch of medicine. She also said we are offering a very valuable service. Another Muslim doctor on his way for an interview at the Royal took a blue leaflet and a prayer card of Our Lady of Guadalupe with the miraculous prayer. (He was very interested to hear our viewpoint on life issues). Then he joked - and said and they blame us immigrants for the population explosion, so now we know who to blame! I think it's important to foster these contacts with the doctors and other staff and let them know we are there support them during this difficult time. Lots of people stand and look at the display of foetal models and the chart showing the developmental stages of babies in the womb. It's a good chance to engage with them. We've not had this kind of interaction with the public before and it's very exciting, rewarding, and seems to be bearing much fruit. (A photocopier has been bought to cope with the amount of information leaflets we're giving out.) We notice most of the hostile glares and looks come from some (certainly not all) young women and find they can be the most difficult to engage. (The Queen's Medical University is based inside the hospital and the students get off at the stop where we stand.) I've suggested having a board "HAD AN ABORTION, NEED TO TALK. WE ARE HERE TO LISTEN." It could open the door for women to talk about past abortion experiences and be an opening for repentance and a fresh start. We can also refer them to other agencies. I think some might think we are just condemnatory full stop and "trying to take my choice away." Such a poster might help them to understand the fullness of the message we bring and that it's also about God's mercy. Some women have shared that they are so glad they didn't go through with the abortion. One of them, a Catholic, said she just felt she couldn't speak to the priest about it at the time and wished "someone like yourselves had been there." We are still getting established there, getting to know the people who work there, those who have already had leaflets, making the message known etc. and as yet we have had no turnarounds. However it's early days and we are all very hopeful. Mary. LEEDS: Our Saturday vigils are quite transformed now as the building stands desolate with closed gates each Saturday, on what used to be its busiest day, especially when we were told during an encounter with a staff member while praying another day that “WE” (? Our Lady!) had closed it because we upset the women going in! Alas the abortions continue on Monday to Friday, and we are all trying to get down for another hour or two during the week as we thought we were getting away too lightly! There is now a presence some part of most days, thank God. While there are very few connections with the women, unless to comfort them on their way out when they are distressed, God will use our prayers and witness and there are often encouraging conversations with taxi drivers and passers by. We thank God for Fr. Michael Kelly at nearby St. Augustine‟s, who has offered Mass and Adoration every Saturday during the 14 years in that parish, and for Fr. Bernard Ratledge who will soon rejoin us after a hip replacement, and who concelebrates the Mass and brings the Real Presence to Marie Stopes. Thank you to all our Spiritual Supporters and to the growing team of supporters who go there alone to pray a Rosary, and of course the Brothers of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal who go when they can. We are becoming more aware that large numbers of first trimester abortions are performed on Eastgate at BPAS. The notorious Doncaster Marie Stopes, performing abortions up to full term is only 20 miles away. How necessary then to invoke the intercession and honour the Yorkshire Martyrs for help in this work. Our York Walk of Reparation and public witness will take place on Sunday April 25th 2010. God bless you all, Pat and all Leeds Helpers.

7 MAIDSTONE: Maidstone the county town of Kent, has been so blessed by the priests who live their vocations by saying yes to life and by being willing to pray for their innocent unborn brothers and sisters. Our hearts go out for the parents who blindly seek to abort their children, believing that they are doing what is best at the time but they in reality are hurting themselves irrevocably. A priest leads the Helpers after Mass on a weekday, usually on Wednesday. Many of them travel long distances. In September as the group were praying, a young man protested loudly that he was not interested in taking information offered to him. He sat in his car in front of the abortuary with music playing very loudly. Another young man who was sitting opposite and quite near to the pray-ers, went over to him and asked him to turn down the music and to have some consideration to those who were praying. One of the counsellors overheard him saying that his girlfriend had gone and had an abortion without his knowledge. He was very obviously upset about it. The young man in the car got out and they went off together. We prayed that this young man will not make the same mistake and allow his girlfriend or wife to destroy his child. We were hopeful about the outcome. On 11th November Armistice Day, a Muslim lady approached the abortuary. It was noticed that she had left a young child in the car. She was convinced that certain drugs she was taking for a medical problem would hurt or kill her unborn child. The counsellor explained that abortion is against her religion and that she would be blessed for giving life to her child. She considered the comment for a moment and said that she would think about it. As she entered the building the clock began to strike 11am. We all stood for the two minutes silence, remembering those who had lost their lives in the past and those little ones who are dying not so many yards from us. I explained to the pray-ers about the Muslim lady and special intercessory prayers were said for her. After 20 minutes or so she came out. I asked her if she would definitely keep her baby and she said that she would be keeping it. Thanks be to God. We thank the Lord that by His great love and grace our small group continue to pray for hearts to be changed. To enable information to be given to the many young girls who will be harmed by their abortions. Our presence is also a great witness to those passing by and to the parishioners in the church who we witness to every week. The hope is that some of them will join us one day. As the season of Advent is upon us we pray for many children to be allowed to see their first Christmas in 2010. God Bless. Carole. MANCHESTER, FALLOWFIELD: The regular Vigil takes place in Fallowfield every Saturday morning between 10.15 and 11.15 outside the abortion site (5 Wynnstay Grove). Five to ten people typically come to pray, of which one to three hand out devotional and pro-life material and try to engage those approaching or leaving the site. The abortion mill is busy. It is thought that the clients are advised by the mill not to engage the pro-lifers. So it is encouraging that this advice is not always heeded. Despite efforts to get new recruits to pray at the Vigil, there has been little or no response. However, there are people who cannot by physically present praying in tandem with the Vigil, notably a Catholic family in Pakistan. Glory be to God! MANCHESTER,_STOCKPORT: At this time of year it's still quite dark when we arrive at the clinic and the screeching starlings circulate in black clouds around the rooftops and trees. They repeatedly land and take off noisily until they eventually all disappear over the horizon. Girls just arriving at the clinic look up anxiously at them and then run inside with their arms over their heads. It can be quite spooky. Again, nobody is using the clinic carpark, at least not on Saturday mornings when it used to be very busy. We have noticed quite a few stationary cars with engines still switched on, behind, to the left or right of us and then drive off without anyone getting in or out of them. Many of the young men we have spoken to

8 recently look and sound very uncomfortable just being there but the girls just fly in. Except recently, at the end of our prayer vigil, two Polish girls came out and stood nearby. One was crying. When approached she told us she had changed her mind and was keeping the baby. I am glad to report that business is bad. NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE: The Helpers of God's Precious Infants in Hexham & Newcastle recently were asked to pray for a 23 year old polish girl who was contemplating having an abortion. She is approximately 18 weeks pregnant. On the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, a prayer vigil was held at Our Lady of the Rosary Roman Catholic Church in Peterlee in conjunction with the International Prayer for Life. We prayed for this girl there asking God to move her heart to accept her baby. I received a phone call today from the woman who had requested that we pray for this girl, advising me that the mother had gone to the hospital on Wednesday 9th. December and has decided to keep her baby. The reason being that she felt the baby move for the first time. When I told my mother, she told me that she had prayed that the baby would move and the girl would realize that there was a living human being inside her womb! Praise be to God and His Holy Mother! In terms of active service, due to some illness and circumstances beyond our control, the Helpers have not been as active with our quarterly vigils this year. We have not had a prayer vigil in Newcastle since May 2009. There are lots of seeds being planted at present which will hopefully shape our future in our area, so please keep us in your prayers. Kevin Gilfoyle (now known as Friar Philomeno) was back in the UK from the USA for a couple of weeks in September 2009. He is now in Italy. His father recently passed away - would you believe on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Please pray for Friar Philomeno and his family, especially his mother at this difficult time. Sarah Parker.

PLEASE PRAY FOR :
At this Christmas season let us pray for each other, especially for those Helpers and their families who are suffering and are in need of help. Let us pray that the new year will bring many blessings on us all as we strive to do God’s work.

R.I.P.
Let us pray for the souls of: John Ursell (Elizabeth Ursell‟s brother) Patricia Maguire (Jim Lamont‟s sister) All our departed pro-life relatives and friends

CONGRATULATIONS TO
Karen and Paul who were married in March Gabrielle and Ian who were married in August

9

HELPERS’ RETREAT – 2010
Once again the Helpers will be returning to Craig Lodge, Dalmally, Scotland, for the 2010 Retreat. The dates are from Thursday 29th April – Tuesday 4th May, which is a Bank Holiday weekend. As there is a limit to the number of places, would those who come to the weekly and monthly vigils and wish to participate, please contact the Helpers office to let us know as soon as possible.

THANK YOU TO Bishop Thomas McMahon and Dr. Paul Doherty, for their continuing and valuable support; The wonderful priests who host our Prayer Vigils at their churches; All the wonderful priests and religious who support us and pray with us and for us; All our wonderful Spiritual Supporters for their invaluable prayer support; All our marvellous Helpers who come in all weathers to pray and counsel outside the abortion mills every week and every month in the sure hope that God will melt and change hearts to stop the killing of His precious infants. And to all our benefactors for their very generous donations, without which we would be hard-pressed to continue our work. And thank you for the Christmas cards and greetings sent to the Helpers Office.

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Helpers’ Corner

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When Rose asked me to write something about how I started coming to Helpers‟ vigils, it made me think back to when I first became aware of the reality of abortion. This was at a time when my sister was pregnant and being pressured to abort by two doctors – they were a man and wife GP practice – who tried hard to convince her because her marriage was in difficulties and she herself was under great strain and had suffered post natal depression with her previous child. Also this would be child number three and having more than two children was not acceptable to some doctors even all those years ago. Despite their “logic” and continued pressure, she was a Catholic mother and refused to entertain the idea. So she had her third and easiest birth and was blessed with a most beautiful baby who, years later, so she said, saved her at a pivotal moment from a downward spiral of depression and who is now a great strapping chap with a six week old baby of his own! And what a beautiful baby. So, fast forward to some years later when I somehow heard about the Twickenham vigil and recognised the name of the road as one that I drove past sometimes on the way down to Cornwall. So I decided to join it. Afterwards I heard Msgr. Reilly talk and found him compelling listening. I didn‟t then see myself as going to lots more such vigils, but thought perhaps I‟d pop in on the Twickenham one again the following year. But then I went to New Dawn at Walsingham and had a wonderful week there. At the end of it a priest told us, „now to go home and put in some real work and effort and do something...put the newly re-fired faith into practice.‟ So driving back from Norfolk the thought occurred to me, most inconveniently it seemed to me at the time, that what I could do was go to the Buckhurst Hill weekly vigil next morning. I turned up bright and early but, unusually as I was later to discover because they usually turn up seriously early, there was nobody there. I strolled up and down in the sunshine. I spotted a girl doing the same but didn‟t have the courage to ask her if she was heading for the clinic, though I was sure she was. She turned out to be a Helpers‟ counsellor. Then the others arrived and we got down to work. I was amazed at how busy it was. Constant coming and going of cars, taxis, walkers, an endless stream it seemed, punctuated by the Securicor money van and the

10 “medical supplies” van. It struck me that many of the cars were expensive. I saw lots of giggling, lots of crying, lots of anger. Someone drove past, turned round, slowed down and shouted, “Can‟t you think of something better to do, like go home and cut the grass?” I thought, „No, I can‟t think of anything more worthwhile.‟ In fact, I think Buckhurst Hill is probably the most useful thing I‟ve ever done. And now I suppose I shall always associate being there with the recommended alternative, cutting the grass. So you could say I‟ll be hooked on grass cutting till the day they put grass on top of me or the day, please God, the clinic is shut down for good.....Deo Gratias! Paul. One of our Helpers thought that perhaps we should be reminded of the fact that MacDonald‟s fund the abortion industry with vast amounts of money and that perhaps we shouldn‟t give them our custom. Also it has been brought to our notice that besides various soap powder brands, Pringles are made by Proctor & Gamble, who also heavily fund abortion.

Wishing you all many blessings and happiness for this wonderful Christmas season and in the immortal words of Tiny Tim, ‘God bless us, everyone.’

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