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February 11, 2009
Parishioners’ response to postcard campaign encouraging, official says
By John Gleason
“We’re declaring it a success.”
With those words, Mimi Eckstein, director of the Respect Life Office for the Archdiocese of Denver, imparted her feelings about the local efforts of a national postcard campaign that voices opposition to the Freedom of Choice Act. FOCA seeks to make abortion a federal entitlement. The Fight FOCA postcard campaign urges President Barack Obama and Congress to protect existing pro-life policies.
If FOCA is signed, as the president has pledged to do, the legislation would eliminate laws which now permit states to limit or regulate abortion.
Eckstein noted that Deirdre McQuade, spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has said that tens of millions of postcards have been distributed throughout the country. The postcards have been sent to parishes, schools, churches and pro-life groups.
The USCCB’s Pro-life Secretariat along with the National Committee for a Human Life Amendment Inc. were the primary organizers of the campaign. The preaddressed postcards—actually a set of three with one for the congressional representative and the other two for Colorado’s senators—were and are being distributed at parishes. Over the past two weeks, announcements were made at churches across the Denver Archdiocese about the campaign, encouraging people to fill them out before leaving Mass.
“I’m hearing that the local campaign has been extremely successful,” Eckstein said. “As of today, we’re out of cards.
“All 100,000 in English and another 25,000 cards in Spanish have been signed and sent off,” she continued. “It can be called a success if these cards send a clear message to Congress and the new administration that we expect to see legislative efforts pass which protect the most vulnerable in our society particularly the unborn.”
A sampling from around the archdiocese reveals just how passionately people feel about the defeat of FOCA. St. Louis Church in Englewood parishioners signed 800 cards; Our Lady of Loreto in Foxfield parishioners signed 6,290 cards. A Loreto parishioner described Father John Paul Leyba’s homily on the subject as “very moving” and said the sight of so many people signing cards was “inspiring.” Eckstein is not surprised.
“The feedback I’m hearing from the parishes is that priests are speaking to the campaign from the pulpit, encouraging parishioners to take part in it to help end the cycle of violence against the unborn,” she said. “I want to thank everyone who participated—who contributed to making the cards available to their parishioners, and to the priests and deacons who spoke out in favor of the campaign. Indeed, it will send a clear message.”
Positive numbers from other parishes included Christ the King in Evergreen, which signed 1,111 cards; St. Joan of Arc in Arvada, which signed 2,175 cards, and St. Pius X in Aurora, which signed 3,000 cards—2,000 in English and 1,000 in Spanish.
In an open letter sent to all who organized the campaign at the parish level, Eckstein expressed joy at the level of interest shown in the campaign but cautioned that the job isn’t over yet.
“God bless you for your hard work in distributing the postcards,” she wrote. “We have much work ahead of us so keep your prayers strong and your energy up.”