Pro-lifers continue to knock on doors, hold signs and pray until last minute, entrusting results to 'the mercy and love of God'
ROYAL OAK — Pro-lifers across southeast Michigan gathered to pray, advocate and seek guidance and comfort from God on the eve of an election that will determine the state’s abortion laws for generations.
Parishes hosts prayer vigils, rosaries, holy hours and Masses to conclude months of campaigning and advocacy against Proposal 3, as others continued to demonstrate, holding signs right up until the opening of polls advocating for the defense of life.
“We are entrusting our state, this election, to the mercy and love of God,” said Fr. Joe Horn, rector of the National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica in Royal Oak. “There is nothing more we can do. We have educated, talked to our friends, tried to make sense of what Proposal 3 does to help people understand this issue. Now what we have to do is entrust all of this to the Father, through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.”
Fr. Horn led the Shrine community in a holy hour and rosary Nov. 7, with quotes from saints defending life, including St. John Paul II’s 1995 encyclical Evangelium Vitae, “The Gospel of Life.”
“The Author of life doesn’t want Proposal 3 to pass,” Fr. Horn said. “He does not want to see any human life destroyed, whether it is 9 months old or 90 years old. How beautiful the Lord keeps encouraging us, keeps giving us this sense that it is all in His care. I want to worry, I want to be anxious, by nature. But the Lord is taking care of this. The Lord is helping me let go and surrender. I hope He is asking you the same thing, to surrender.”
Surrendering the fate of Proposal 3 to God doesn’t mean giving up or to stop advocating for life, parishioners said.
An Oct. 26-28 WDIV Channel 4/Detroit News poll showed a 55%-41% lead in favor of Proposal 3, but pro-life advocates still believe there is room for those numbers to improve as people educate themselves and read the language on the ballot.
“This is a turning point for Michigan,” William Barnes, a Shrine parishioner, told Detroit Catholic. “Our constitution would be irrevocably changed, permanently, and we have reason to grieve. We would have reason to regret that we didn’t do enough to bring in the light to our brothers and sisters. On that note, I’m joining some friends to be outside polling places with ‘No on Proposal 3’ signs.”
Barnes lamented how the language that will appear on the ballot doesn’t match the actual language that would be placed in the state constitution should Proposal 3 pass.
With so much of the conversation about rights revolving around abortion, Barnes tells people who are on the fence on Proposal 3 to consider deeply what rights are, what they are for and where rights come from.
“Abraham Lincoln once said, ‘No one has a right to do wrong,’” Barnes said. “You hear a lot about invented artificial rights these days. But nobody had rights before Christianity; that didn’t happened until sacrifice and prayer and endurance introduced rights to our civilization. Our very Declaration of Independence (guarantees) the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. So who has a right? Without Christianity, there would be no rights. The enemy is encouraging and deceiving people here in our civilization. But you do not have the right to do wrong.”
Pro-life advocates continued to stand for the lives of the unborn Monday afternoon, holding signs at busy intersections, flying planes pulling banners with pro-life messages and taking to the airwaves. Even University of Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh appeared on the Paul W. Smith Show (WJR-AM 950) with ACTS XXIX founder Fr. John Riccardo to let voters know why he is voting against Proposal 3.
Debbie Bloomfield of Southern Downriver Right to Life organized a last-minute rally, holding “Vote No on Proposal 3” signs at the intersection of Allen and Southfield roads in Allen Park on Monday afternoon, with motorist honking in support and shouting obscenities in opposition to the group.
“In the last three weeks, we’ve had somebody out for an hour and a half every day during rush hour, reminding people that parents’ rights matter and abortion until birth is what will happen with Proposal 3,” Bloomfield said. “We are urging people to vote ‘no’ on Proposal 3. We get negative comments, but also get a lot of positive ones.”
Bloomfield said the group continues to go door to door to educate voters about Proposal 3, trying to reach anyone still on the fence and encouraging them to vote "no."
“There are people praying, praying all over,” said Bloomfield, a parishioner at Our Lady of the Scapular in Wyandotte. “It’s in God’s hands. The numbers are moving in our favor; we’ll be at the polls as much as possible throughout the Downriver area. We’ve made phone calls, gone door to door, everything we possibly can. We are trusting God that Proposal 3 will fail.”
On Monday evening, 12 hours before the polls opened, an estimated 80 young adults gathered at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Parish in Beverly Hills for a rosary and Mass celebrated by Fr. Drew Mabee, who spoke about the great task the group had in praying for a defeat of Proposal 3 with the highest form of prayer — Mass.
“There are many who we probably live alongside in our neighborhoods and interact with who support Proposal 3,” Fr. Mabee said in his homily. “I was at a restaurant tonight and three or four tables down, the people there were all in agreement in support of Proposal 3. They were not advocating for the Gospel of Life; they were advocating for the Gospel of Death, for abortion. But they aren’t the enemy; they are deceived. The only enemy of God is the evil one, Satan.”
Fr. Mabee reminded the congregation that they, too, were once deceived, removed from God’s plan for their happiness, but it was through the grace of Christ that they were once more brought back to the light.
As evening fell and the election loomed, Fr. Mabee encouraged the faithful to pray that all voters will see the light and live the call to preach the Gospel of Life.
“Let’s pray for our brothers and sisters who are Catholic and hold office and hold public beliefs contrary to the truth. Let’s hope they might have a change of heart and stop doing what they are doing,” Fr. Mabee said. “We do penance and pray. The enemy is the enemy. It is not the other party; it is not a person.
"We pray for an end to abortion, and we pray for a conversion of every single person, that they may have a change of heart and see the Holy Name of Jesus, that he would encounter them and show them the dignity of the human person. Let’s pray for that, especially tonight.”
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