NOTE: Commentary is made as a private citizen and not as Regional Coordinator for Silent No More or Leader of Rachel's Hope, unless otherwise stated.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

"Neither snow nor rain nor dark of night . . ." Part IV - Suite Moments

After gathering as much information as possible from the expo, it was time for the meet and greet in the Silent No More suite. Janet Morana (Co-founder of Silent No More and Executive Director of Priests for Life) and others from the group displayed their exemplary hosting talents by putting together a wonderful spread of snacks and beverages.  The suite itself was huge with a magnificent view and expansive, snow-covered balcony (which was quite useful --- right Leslie Blackwell?  LOL).  Seeing the accommodations resulted in another mental Gibb’s slap, for my penny-pinching ways.

It was nice to be able to see Father Frank Pavone (National Director of Priests for Life) again as well as finally see in the flesh, some Silent No More Regional Coordinators and staff I’d connected with on Facebook as well as through our monthly conference calls and Google Groups conversations.  These people have been such an inspiration to me and a guiding force in my desire to do more not only in the Silent No More arena but also in my parish, diocese, and community. 

We Regional Coordinators spirited away to another room for a round (actually, it was oblong) table discussion on those who have come to us as post-abortive but are resistant when it comes to attending a healing program.  Some feel that just admitting the abortion is enough, having convinced themselves they have come to terms with it. This denial is quite common but dangerous.  Suppressing the guilt and shame can result in a variety of self-destructive behaviors and affect every aspect of their lives, including but not limited to faith/spiritual life, personal relationships, (parents, spouses, born children, friends, etc.), and careers. The behaviors can present subtly at first, but eventually, become pronounced and damaging.  

There are no magic words to convince those in denial to attend healing.  However, we will not be discouraged.  We can plant the seed by sharing our personal experiences, pointing out the types of behavior that follow an abortion (even years later) providing the many resources available if they change their minds, pray and maintaining contact. 

Following the discussion, we rejoined the group to celebrate Mass.  Afterward, Sharon and I picked up signs to carry at the March, our treasures from the expo, said our good-byes and set out to our next destination - Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse. Sharon lives in Virginia but she had not done much driving in downtown D.C.  Although we had a navigating system, we were busy catching up on our lives and talking about the expo and get-together and missed a few turns, ending up in Southwest rather than Northwest D.C.  An hour later, a few more wrong turns (including one down a one-way street the wrong way – YIKES), we arrived.  The meal was fantabulous (I know … it’s not in Webster’s dictionary).  We enjoyed a variety of salads, sides and meats and definitely needed the three block walk to the parking garage. 

We both commented on what a great day it had been which made dealing with our substandard lodging a little easier.  At least Sharon was smart enough to bring silk pajamas….they were much cooler than my flannels.  She fared much better in the oven room.  I swear, from now on, when referring to out of town accommodations, I’ll be typing HOTel.   


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