I Am a Survivor

Homily for the Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of the Unborn

Some 33 years ago, a 35-year-old mother of three with her fourth child on the way arrived at her doctor’s office for one of her prenatal visits. The pregnancy was going smoothly and she was looking forward to hearing an update on how things were progressing with the little guy forming within her. It was a regular visit to the doctor, or so she thought.

Following his examination, the doctor informed this expectant mother that there was something wrong. Based on his medical observations, he believed this mother’s son would have a whole slew of medical issues. He believed her child would be born severely deformed and suffering from mental incapacity. It was in her best interests and her baby’s that he recommended she go forward with an abortion.

Absolutely crushed by this news, the young mother drove home with a stream of tears running down her face. When her husband got home that afternoon, she informed him of what the doctor had to say. Devastated by the news, the husband consoled his sobbing wife. As they talked about the situation, the two parents decided that they would welcome whatever gift God offered them.

In March 1988, their fourth child was born a healthy baby boy. The only deformity was a slight hole on their son’s right ear, which closed up within days after being born. Today, this child whose life could have easily been ended because of a recommendation from a doctor stands before you as a Catholic priest. That now-mother-of-four is none other than my very own mother.

Some people often ask me why I care so much about prolife issues, specifically abortion. I think the answer is pretty clear, don’t you? I speak out against abortion because I am a survivor. Imagine what would have happened had my parents not had such a strong faith that God was going to provide for them. Imagine if my parents would have followed the doctor’s recommendations and gone through with the procedure.

Abortion closes us off to the possibility of life and prevents us from welcoming God’s gift. So, in the words of the great St. John Paul II, we must “stand up for life!” We must “never tire of firmly speaking out in defense of life from its conception” and cannot be “deterred from the commitment to defend the dignity of every human person with courageous determination”…especially now when the sanctity of human life is being so threatened because of the policies of our new President and his administration.

All of us are called to speak out against abortion. For me, it’s personal because I am a survivor. I thank God every day for the parents that He gave to me. Without their faith and their determination that God would provide, I would not be here today. Thank God they were open to the possibility of life! Now, we’ve got to go out and fight for that right for those unborn today, to fight for that right for those whose parents lack a deep sense of faith. Who will fight for them if not us? Who will stand up for them? Will you?

Published by Fr. Tom Pringle

Priest of the Diocese of Orlando. Parochial Vicar at Holy Family Catholic Church, Orlando.

5 thoughts on “I Am a Survivor

  1. Thank you for this testimony. Few people ever know of the “what ifs”. I am so glad you are here to share this story. Bless you.


  2. Your story made me cry. Thanks to your Mom and Dad for their gift to us at HNJ. Thank God for giving them the courage to go ahead and take whatever comes and look how great that decision was. We love you. God bless your journey as a priest.


  3. Very touching story. Your family does have a very strong faith in God that shows in you. And, whatever that doctor thought was going to be wrong with your development, I can’t imagine. Definitely didn’t stunt your growth. 😂


  4. We, here at HN, are the beneficiaries of the gift of YOU, Fr. Tom. God Bless You and your strong family. Keep up those wonderful homilies!


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