Monday, July 24, 2006

Fr. Euteneuer

This weekend I had the pleasure of going to a pro-life retreat with Fr. Euteneuer of Human Life International. The retreat took place in the basement of St. Mary of the Angels Church in Chicago.

It was a wonderful experience. Fr. Euteneuer did three 45 min - 1 hour (about) sessions on Angels and demons and how they interact with the pro-life movement. He was just a wonderful speaker, and a wonderful person to interact with. Just so nice with the way he approached the topic, and interjected his experiences on the front lines all around the world, and the way he spoke to people and dealt with his questions, just a wonderful soul. I went to this retreat with my Mom and perhaps she best described him, she said he was in every way a gentleman.

He made all his points very clear, but at the same time kept it very down to Earth, kept everything so we could all follow along and enjoy and share experiences. After the third portion, he said mass in the chapel (also in the basement). He also gave everyone who wanted a special individualized blessing.

It was just a wonderful time for everyone in this group to get together, and rejuvenate.

I think this is the best story he told and I think this is something perhaps all pro-lifers can take to heart, I will retell this as best as I can, normally I wouldn't try but I found this so touching. He said he and a group of people were paying outside an abortion clinic (I think he said this was in Florida when he had a parish) and nothing had been going right that day. They weren't having much luck in what they were doing, and were growing discouraged.

As they were out there some 7 and 8 year old children walked past them. He decided that he was going to tell them, in age appropriate language, what was going on inside the abortion clinic. As he explained to them the kids became angry and concerned and asked why nobody was stopping what was happening. He explained to them that while what was happening was wrong, in the law it was legal and so no one could stop it. They continued to explain how they tried to talk to the women going inside and how they told women that if they could not care of the baby that they would take the child to raise.

Flash forward a couple weeks later. One of the little girls who had heard Fr. Euteneuer talk about this was at home when her 15 or 16 year old sister came home pregnant. Her mother told the sister that she was going to have an abortion. The little girl stood up and told her mother and sister 'no, you're not going to have an abortion! I will raise the baby' - in the same way that Fr. Euteneuer had shown the children a few weeks before. Through this young girls steadfastness and love the sister did not have an abortion. 8 months later this young pro-lifer brought her new baby nephew to see Fr. Euteneuer.

What a wonderful thing. You never think that the little things you do can have such an effect. Fr. Euteneuer and the others in front of the clinic could have ignored the 7 and 8 year olds, but instead by showing them in a way they could understand the horror of abortion a life was saved.

I think that is the future of the pro-life movement. One by one hearts need to be changed. We should never forget that every word we speak could have a great effect down the road.

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On to the pictures.

St. Mary of the Angels Church





These angels are all over the top of this beautiful church. I read online that they are 9 feet tall and there are 26 of them total.













An amazing and beautiful church, can you believe it was almost torn down in the late 80's? What a loss it would have been to the city and the church.





The retreat was held in a conference room in the basement, but when we prayed and had mass we had it in the St. Josemaria Escriva chapel (St. Mary of the Angels is staffed by Opus Dei). I really liked this image they had on the wall behind the altar. It is of course St. Josemaria Escriva, Our Lady and Christ, and The Angel Gabriel (according to Fr. Euteneuer, I wasn't sure which Angel). But what I thought was so interesting was the background. It's the Chicago skyline! I don't know, I just really liked that, especially since I didn't notice it at first and nobody that I have shown it to yet noticed it at first either.

And last but not least...



Fr. Euteneuer!

1 comment:

Esther said...

What a moving story!! I sometimes think that what we say in order to evangelize doesn't bear fruit. Now I wonder...

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Catholic and politically conservative, I graduated with a BA in History (concentration in American) and Political Science. I'm between two parishes; one in Wisconsin that is fairly traditional, and one in Illinois that is fairly liberal. I teach CCD. I work in the food service industry, which basically means I'm working in fast food until I find a better job. I'd like to work for the church somehow. Right now I'm working on getting my teaching certification, although I'm unsure thats the correct path for me. This blog is as random as I am. I hope you enjoy.