AVE MARIA, FL, April 2, 2012 ( – The 7th anniversary of the death of Terri Schiavo was commemorated by a Mass at the Ave Maria Oratory at Ave Maria University Friday evening. Terri’s remaining family – her mother Mary Schindler, brother Bobby and sister Suzanne – were all in attendance, along with pro-life leaders and activists from across North America.

Homilist Fr. Denis Wilde, Associate Director of Priests for Life, vividly recalled the “crisis period that gripped our nation leading up to the final week of March 2005 in Pinellas Park.” It involved, he recalled, “day and night media, Florida’s legislature, state, and federal and courts to Washington, with the intervention of both Governor Bush and President Bush, and then the courts, and the country then riveted on Terri’s plight.” 

“I am afraid many have forgotten the impact of your keeping the flame of life and hope flickering,” he said. “Not just for Terri, but as it turns out for the country as well.”


“But we haven’t forgotten and we never will forget, will we!” he exclaimed.

The priest said that the weeks leading up to Terri’s death were a time of “terror on all sides,” which he described as “no less than the terror visited upon our nation on ‘9-11.’”

“Both were about murder,” he said, “and both carried deep social implications, and still do.  One came from a foreign manifestation of murder, the other from within our very courts from whom the responsibility to follow God’s law is greatest.”

“I vividly remember offering Holy Mass on that street in front of the facility where Terri was kept in a room with shades and blinds covered, along with others praying on that Tuesday of Holy Week – people from all over the country and Canada – for an end to this court-imposed travesty and a hoped-for, decent return to sanity. I remember a young boy was arrested among others and cuffed for trying to bring a glass of water to Terri.

Fr. Wilde also recalled that Pope John Paul, “who you will remember knew about Terri, his fellow sufferer in Florida,” had “released his spirit before the throne of the Father’s Mercy two days after Terri’s death.”

On behalf of her family Suzanne Schindler expressed her heartfelt thanks to attendees following the Mass.  A reception was held at Ave Maria University.