THE RESCUER'S MISSION BEHIND BARS
Red Rose Rescue currently has five rescuers in jail serving unjust sentences for seeking to protect helpless babies in imminent danger of death by dismemberment and their mothers who will be separate victims of the abortion holocaust.
Fr. Fidelis Moscinski, CFR, Dr. Monica Miller, Laura Gies, Matthew Connolly are all in Oakland County Jail in Michigan, and John Hinshaw is in the Nassau County Correctional Center on Long Island, New York.
While many pro-lifers have always believed in rescue work and the need to directly defend life, and who both recognize the irreplaceable witness of rescue and understand the extraordinary power of redemptive suffering, plus the special necessity to make serious reparation, there have been some people who still say "you can do more if you're not in jail."
Unfortunately, this type of comment does not fully grasp the spiritual dimension of the call to rescue.
While no rescuers ever seek to go to jail intentionally, if an unjust court throws them into prison, they do not view this as a defeat, but instead a deeper opportunity to continue the spiritual battle through prayer and fasting, as well as a sustained witness to the sacredness of human life.
But in addition to the powerful spiritual benefits of suffering unjust punishments in union with Christ, rescuers are also able to make a difference in other concrete tangible ways as well.
For example, when Laura Gies was put into her cell in Oakland County before Palm Sunday, she was soon given a new bunk mate who was three months pregnant! When Laura shared with her the reasons why she was in jail for protecting lives, the pregnant woman told Laura that she "would like to talk."
This mother explained that she did not know what to do about her pregnancy, and was making plans to abort the life of her child.
After long conversations, Laura helped this mom to change her mind about the gift of this little baby!
In time, the woman happily told Gies that being in jail with someone who was arrested for trying to help save babies was "a sign" that she should keep the baby!
This happened on Good Friday!
A very good Friday indeed for the baby, this mother-- but also for Laura, Red Rose Rescue, and the world!
Dr. Monica Miller, Ph.D., was also sent to jail just before Holy Week. She ended up being assigned to a jail cell in which a fellow Christian was serving time and suffering personal challenges in her life.
Monica was able to talk with this woman, console her, counsel her, pray with her, and be a sign that God was with her and that she was not alone in the county jail.
Monica and Laura would often pray together in the "day room" where inmates congregate when they are not in their cells. Dr. Miller relates that during Easter Week, while they were praying the Rosary "some six others asked if they could pray with us too, including two Protestant women who joined our group in prayer by singing hymns."
Soon, other women, even non-believers, were asking to join in the prayer circle! Some of the ladies even wanted to receive their own rosaries so that they could pray in their cells and meditate on the life of Jesus!
Rescuers always have many unique opportunities to share the Gospel with other inmates and lead them to Christ and to deeper prayer.
Yet women rescuers are not the only ones who can make a life or death difference behind bars.
Matthew Connolly overheard a man on the phone yelling at his girlfriend and attempting to force her to go "get rid of that baby!"
Matthew was working as a jail trustee and had the job of delivering meals to the inmates. Whenever he came to this man's cell, he would smile and say to him in a quiet voice, "God bless you. Choose life."
This went on for several days or more.
One day however, this man stopped Matthew and wished to have a conversation with him. The Lord opened up an opportunity for Matthew to speak to him about the great blessing of a child and the incredible importance of fatherhood, as well as the horrible violence of abortion.
After their talk, the man told Matthew that he had been being selfish and unfair towards his pregnant girlfriend. He decided not to pressure her to get an abortion, and even spoke of his excitement over having a little son or daughter!
So this man told Matthew later that he decided to call his girlfriend and let her know that he would support her and their little baby!
"Men also have opportunities to speak with imprisoned fathers who have lost their babies to abortion," said Red Rose Rescuer Will Goodman. "They often share with us the pain of their loss, and being there with them, we can offer these hurting men compassionf, understanding, and help."
As a Catholic Priest, Fr. Fidelis sees his unjust jail sentences as a chance to enter into deeper prayer for an end to all abortions, and also a chance to become more united to the persecuted preborn children. In this special time of solidarity, he prays around the clock for lost souls, hopeless parents, abandoned children, and also for members of the pro-life movement.
Thanks to the behind the scenes efforts of Rob Muise, Esq., the rescuer's attorney from the American Freedom Law Center, Father was able to obtain permissions to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass inside the county jail!
This tremendous blessing has become a true gift to many others and a new means by which to evangelize those who are suffering in their incarceration.
Throughout the past 50 years of rescue work, those Catholic Priests who have rescued and been sent to jail have been able to offer Holy Mass, hear Confessions, lead Bible studies, and even cast out demons inside the walls of American prisons.
One such hero was Fr. Norman Weslin, the founder of the Lambs of Christ, a Catholic rescue organization in the 80s-90s. Fr. Weslin rescued many, many times and was often brutalized by police and pro-abortion supporters. He served numerous sentences behind bars and ministered to hundreds if not thousands of lost souls.
John Hinshaw, who is now imprisoned in New York, rescued with Fr. Weslin years ago. He learned from Father first hand about the power of prayer behind prison walls. Being involved in many rescues with Operation Rescue in the 80s and 90s, John is a veteran with great stories to relate about rescuers' jail ministry.
"We have a captive audience, literally," says Hinshaw, "in which to share the Good News of Jesus Christ and how He brings true freedom to those in spiritual and physical bondage. God has accomplished much good by using His rescuers in the dark solitude of American prisons."
But the presence of rescuers in jails is not limited to these benefits to expectant mothers and fathers, the hurting post-abortive, and those far from God. Rescuers also help the babies in a very unique and singular way.
Richard Cowden-Guido, editor of the book "The Prison Letters of Joan Andrews," writes about how rescue provides a very special and unrepeatable contribution to the lives of the whole endangered class of preborn persons:
"By their voluntary willingness to absorb some small measure of the injustice inflicted on the innocent unborn, not one such child will be killed anywhere without this public testimony to their value-- before man, and before God."
Rescuers offer their lives as a gift of self for the babies, the parents, and for the common good. They seek to do all for God's glory.
Therefore, in this effort of non-violent direct action, rescuers are always prepared to engage in three distinct aspects of their mission:
1. Working at the doors of the killing center to directly and personally assist parents in harm's way, and then even putting themselves between the knife and the innocent in order to provide that last means of real protection for those little ones who are scheduled for execution.
2. Testifying before the abortion-supporting government to the truth of these childrens' humanity and legal personhood, as well as to the many serious harms of abortion to women, men, and society.
3. Being willing to offer the sacrifice of unjust incarceration, utilizing that time to continue the rescue with prayer; fasting; reparation; counseling parents to accept the gift of life; assisting men and women in post-abortion recovery; and further evangelization efforts to share the Gospel with those whom they live with behind bars.
Please pray for the five jailed Red Rose Rescuers as they continue their mission.
Upcoming release dates:
Monica Miller -- May 5th John Hinshaw -- May 5th Laura Gies -- May 18th Matthew Connolly -- June 6th Fr. Fidelis -- June 12th
Please consult previous Red Rose Rescue Facebook and Instagram posts to learn how to connect in solidarity with the rescuers via e-messages, video visits, and letters. Thank you.