by Gordon Nary
Gordon: When you were growing up, how active was your family in pro-life issues?
Brian: Roe v. Wade was decided while I was in high school. At that time, there was almost no organized pro-life efforts outside of living pro-life values. I am one of nine children my parents had and raised within a faith-filled Catholic atmosphere. My late brother Matthew was born with a genetic defect somewhat similar to Down Syndrome. Matthew was, without being so overtly, what made our family pro-life values something we lived every day.
Gordon: Please share with our readers your initial venture into pro-life issues when you were in high school.
Brian: My junior year is when Roe v. Wade was decided. I had a current events class that included following the court decision. The teacher had everyone in the class stand one day and then asked students to sit down based on a series of questions (excuses) on their beliefs about legalized abortion. In the end I was the only one left standing for being against abortion under all circumstances. Though it was a public school, more than 70 % of my classmates were members of my Parish, I stood alone.
Gordon: When did you your begin volunteering at Pro-Life Action Ministries and what were you doing as a volunteer?
Brian: The summer of 1981. I attended protests and demonstrations at local abortion facilities.
Gordon: Please provide our readers with some background on Brother Michael Gaworski.
Brian: Br. Michael was a very good friend. He had left the minor seminary to found Pro-Life Action Ministries along with the late Br. Paul O’Donnell (had left the major seminary). Michael had a profound belief in the sanctity of human life that resonated in all he did. His eloquence in calling others to the same level of conviction is what drew me into this ministry.
Gordon: When were you appointed Executive Director of Pro-Life Action Ministries and what are your primary responsibilities?
Brian: I was officially name executive director on January 1, 1989. I had been fulltime with the ministry since March 1, 1986 and simply stepped into the role of leading the organization. Everything with the ministry became my responsibility.
Gordon: How many members does Pro-Life Action Ministries have and what are members' responsibilities?
Brian: Actual membership is limited to essential our Board of Directors. They hold the fiduciary and directional responsibility for the ministry. We do have about 17,000 constituents who do everything from sidewalk counsel, prayer support, aid with large prayer vigils and rallies, organize 40 Days for Life and other activities on behalf of the ministry within their churches to following our work.
Gordon: Please provide an overview of your annual Good Friday events.
Brian: Our Solemn Good Friday Prayer Vigil is the highest attended annual pro-life event outside an abortion facility in the world. We had about 3,800 in attendance on Good Friday in 2019, the last year prior to COVID restrictions (Good Friday 2021 still had more than 1,200 with serious restrictions in place) and have consistently had more than 2,500 each year for the past decade or so. This is an all-day event with 15 area pastors of various denominations helping lead. We have a life-size cross and no other signs. We gather every half hour, beginning at 9:00 am, for a scripture and prayer meditation led by one of the pastors. In between meditations, solemn hymns are sung. Our first all-day Good Friday vigil was in 1984 with about a dozen of us in attendance.
Gordon: Approximately how many abortions are performed annually in the United States?
Brian: Because there is a lack of reporting from several states, the number of children killed by abortion can only be an approximation of just fewer than one million in 2019. The total number of abortions have been declining annually since the peak in 1990 of approximately 1.6 million abortions.
Gordon: What in your opinion are our moral responsibilities to help prevent abortions?
Brian: If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small. Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work? Proverbs 24:10-12
As followers of Jesus, we have the duty and obligation to defend the defenseless and to speak up for the voiceless. We are commanded to love our neighbors as ourselves and to care for the widowed and orphaned. The unborn are our neighbors, they are the defenseless and voiceless, they are being led to the slaughter. The unborn are our modern day orphans, being abandoned to death by their own parents. Many of the women seeking abortion are cast off in their relationships by the men who left them pregnant and become like widows. When we actively work on behalf of the unborn babies, we also care for the moms and dads by giving them concrete help to alleviate difficult and trying situations like poverty. And we offer them the love of God which alleviates
Gordon: Thank you for this interview that I hope will inspire many of our readers.