by Joe Bollig
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The archdiocesan pro-life office has launched a new initiative to close Planned Parenthood, but it won’t succeed unless there are “boots on the ground.”
During the annual March for Life on Jan. 22 in Topeka, archdiocesan pro-life consultant Ron Kelsey announced the “Brick by Brick” campaign to close down Planned Parenthood’s abortion clinic in Overland Park.
How? By getting Catholics out of their chairs and onto the sidewalks to pray and witness.
“With many people dying for their faith in parts of the world, I encourage Catholics to be courageous in witnessing for the sacredness of human life,” said Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann. “Please participate in this prayerful, peaceful, persistent and patient public witness for life.”
Kelsey calls the campaign “Brick by Brick” because decades of activism and prayer have resulted in cracks in the mighty edifice of Planned Parenthood, said Kelsey.
Now, he said, “we are seeking cracks in the bricks [of support] for Planned Parenthood.
“There are efforts in the U.S. Congress to defund Planned Parenthood. And, of course, they get over $500 million a year in taxpayer monies. Most of it is Title X monies for ‘family planning’ services.”
The Brick by Brick campaign is one of prayerful, peaceful, persistent public witness on the sidewalks near the Planned Parenthood clinic in Overland Park. It is very much like the successful campaign that closed the abortion clinic in Kansas City, Kansas.
“I think this gets lost on our community, but . . . more than 100 babies are killed every week at Planned Parenthood in Overland Park,” said Kelsey.
The Brick by Brick campaign is simple, he said.
First, people attend the monthly archdiocesan pro-life Mass at 8:15 a.m. on the first Saturday of each month at the Church of the Nativity in Leawood.
Next, participants travel to a sidewalk near Comprehensive Health of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, located at 4401 W. 109th St. in Overland Park. There, they pray the rosary and hold signs and banners communicating pro-life messages. The activities conclude by about 10 a.m.
“The rosary is a powerful devotion,” said Kelsey. “Our Blessed Mother is patroness of the unborn, and her intercession will be instrumental in ending abortion.”
Another part of Brick by Brick program is “End Roe on Roe” Days, which entail additional sidewalk witness days. (See the website at: www.pro lifekc.com.)
The banners and signs are intended to do four things: educate the public about Planned Parenthood, dissuade women and families from using Planned Parenthood, offer life- affirming alternatives; and encourage clinic staff and volunteers to abandon Planned Parenthood.
People can participate in three ways, said Kelsey. One way is by being a “prayer warrior.” Another way is by being a “sidewalk witness,” praying the rosary and holding banners and signs. A third way is by being a “sidewalk team leader,” who recruits and organizes sidewalk witnesses.
“There is really a strong need for more people to give public witness about these killing centers in the middle of our communities,” said Kelsey. “The killing goes on day by day, almost unnoticed.”
“The pro-life movement is winning hearts and minds,” he continued. “I think public witness on the sidewalk is a significant next step to change even more hearts and minds.”
Archbishop Naumann gives the campaign his heartfelt support.
“I am grateful to Ron Kelsey for initiating this effort to close Planned Parenthood in Kansas,” said the archbishop. “Ron has set the perfect tone for this public witness against the organization that kills the most unborn children in the United States and leads the effort to promote sexual immorality, destroying the lives of young people and families.”
For information about the campaign and how you can get involved as a sidewalk witness, sidewalk team leader and prayer warrior, go online to: www.pro lifekc.com, or send an email to Kelsey at: firstname.lastname@example.org.