They gathered together on a Saturday, in the Bronx—they came from far and near, from all races, and from differing educational backgrounds and vocations. They differed in many other ways—but they had one thing in common—they were all suffering from the pain, anger and in some cases self-loathing that comes from being a post-abortive individual. Oh, they also had one other thing in common—they were all men!!
Some may ask how a man could possibly suffer from the aftermath of an abortion—after all it was no this child. How wrong that statement is because all one had to do was to sit and listen to their individual stories to know the answer to that question. Some had actively participated in arranging for their abortions, some had tried to talk their girlfriend out of the abortion, some had “married into” their abortion (their wife had their abortion prior to marriage). So many differing stories but one common thread: his child was aborted, and he suffers from the abortion of his child no differently than a woman would suffer after the abortion of her child.
Under the guidance of Fr. Mariusz Koch, CFR and Theresa Bonopartis, one by one their stories started to unfold and for many for the first time they were able to express the anger and pain they suffer for their abortions. They expressed themselves in a non-judgmental, loving atmosphere. They started to experience the healing that comes from “getting a load” off ones chest. But more importantly they experienced the Mercy of God in the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist.
There was another form of forgiveness that started to begin—the forgiveness of their children’s mothers who participated in the abortions with them.
At the end of the day the men were given a prayer card with the image of St. Joseph caressing his child, Jesus Christ. In part the prayer on the reverse reads:
Good Saint Joseph, spouse of Mary,
Guide and protector of the Holy Family,
You trusted God and opened yourself to receive
The graces you needed
To care for Jesus, your Son, our Merciful Savior.
We know our children are in your care.
Lead us to a life of love and fidelity
To the will of your Son,
So we may join you in heaven and share eternal life with our children,
Praising God forever for the Mercy and love He has shown us.
After the closing Mass, I spoke with Fr. Mariusz and I do not think he would mind my relating this story. He said he was going to go home and have a “good cry” because of the pain expressed by these men, but also because of the witness they gave by being willing to come and seek God’s Healing Embrace, Mercy, and Forgiveness.