Dear Editor,

It is 3:00 A.M. and I can’t sleep. In my head, I keep singing “Here I Am Lord.”  I suddenly realize that means I need to write to someone about something. As I received my Interim a few days ago, I read about the passing of Father Jim Whalen.
  I recall the first time I met him.  It was at a pro-life conference in Toronto. I was helping at the exhibitors table and had some time to walk around to see what material was available on the pro-life movement. Father Jim was at his table sitting in anticipation of the next wave of seekers of truth. I went to see what he had on his table and asked him what he had and why he was there. He said he was a priest who was trying to educate other priests and lay people about the evils of abortion and contraception. He gave me copies of the newspaper “Priests for Life.” 

I asked him why he felt the need for the involvement of priests in the pro-life movement. He said that too few priests were informed about the importance of being pro-life. He also said it was time for the clergy to show their faith by becoming a part of such activities as pro-life conferences such as the one we were at, and also March for Life, Lifechain and Show the Truth tours. He believed that if the clergy were leading these activities not just by prayer but by physically being present at these events, there would be more people participating in them. It would also show Canada that we not only talk about abortion and contraception but are willing to stand up in public for these principles.

How ironic that he was in Thorold when he died. I used to live in St. Catharines and have not been very active in the pro-life movement for a few years. Just hearing he was near there reminded me that I need to again be part of his crusade to get more clergy involved with the pro-life movement. I don’t quite know how yet. But I am sure Father Whalen will nudge God to send me the message I need to hear. 

He will be greatly missed and I thank God I had a chance to meet him. Father Jim Whalen, well done good and faithful servant.

Laura Piatkowski
  Brampton, Ont.


To write a letter to the Editor: E-mail your letter to [email protected]. Write “letter to the editor” in the subject line. Include your name, city and state or province and country of residence, as well as your phone # (the phone # is for our use only, and will not be published). Please note that all letters are subject to editing. will publish letters to the editor at its discretion, giving priority to the most concise, insightful and timely submissions.