Denver priest ‘pulls out the big guns’ on Planned Parenthood: says Mass on the street outside clinic
DENVER, CO, April 23, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Prayerbooks, rosaries, and pro-life pamphlets are a common sight outside Planned Parenthood’s massive facility in downtown Denver, but this year, local organizers of this spring’s Forty Days for Life campaign decided that one last piece was missing to bring the light of Christ to the country’s second largest abortion facility: the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
The idea to celebrate the Catholic Mass in front of Planned Parenthood came from Fr. Joseph Hearty, Assistant Pastor at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in nearby Littleton, who felt that it was time to “pull out the big guns.” It was, he told LifeSiteNews, an inspiration from the Holy Spirit.
“If we can pray the rosary, why not offer the Mass, why not use the Mass and the Eucharist as a means of fighting this tragedy,” he said. “Why not use the most powerful means that we have?”
As it turned out, the idea energized the local pro-life community far beyond what organizers had expected. Fr. Hearty planned for thirty attendees at his first Mass on March 3rd, and got a hundred.
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Providentially, an empty parking lot right across the street from the Planned Parenthood owned by a pro-life couple was big enough to accommodate the crowd.
As a member of the traditional Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, Fr. Hearty celebrated the traditional Latin Mass, known as the Tridentine Mass. Diocesan priests have also gotten in on the action, though, with six different Masses offered in the parking lot during the Forty Day campaign in English and Spanish. All six Masses were well attended, averaging between fifty and a hundred persons.
A March 31st closing rally kicked off with a Spanish Mass, followed by a rosary led by Bishop James Conley, apostolic administrator for the Denver Archdiocese. In comments at the rally, Bishop Conley urged pro-lifers to vigilance as Planned Parenthood continues to build “megaplex death mills” across the country, the Denver Catholic Register reports.
According to the Register, over 300 people attended the rally, which ended with a second Latin Mass celebrated by Fr. Hearty. There were so many at the final Mass that the priest returned to the altar four times to break up the hosts for distribution before finally running out.
The popularity of the idea, says Fr. Hearty, is a sign that “people really want to do something.” He hopes the idea will spread, and in particular that clergy in other parts of the country will be inspired to become more involved in pro-life work.
“That’s our vocation,” he said. “We’re there to mediate, and we’re there to lead, and we’re there to encourage.”
As for the effort in Denver, organizers are hoping to build on the momentum and establish a regular schedule of Masses in front of the clinic, continuing to wage spiritual warfare against the nation’s largest abortion provider.
“Our fight is not against the world, it’s against principalities and darkness, it’s against evil, it is against the devil,” says Fr. Hearty. “Why not make a few demons quake?”