Police Called in MI at Pro-Life Vigil with the Black Madonna

After Fr. Peter West’s interview with Michael Voris on ChurchMilitant.TV, the From Ocean to Ocean Pilgrimage continued through Michigan to Immaculate Conception parish in Lapeer before stopping at two abortion facilities for prayer vigils, and then on to a parish dedicated to Our Lady of Czestochowa. It was an eventful couple of days for Fr. West and Chris Morales who not only met more great pro-life leaders along the journey with Our Lady, but had encounters with a Polish bishop, and with the police.

The morning Mass at Immaculate Conception was filled with youngsters from kindergarten through 8th grade who took the chance to venerate the pilgrim icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa after Mass. Our Lady draws the young people to her to lead them to her Son.

School kids venerate Our Lady of Czestochowa.

School kids venerate Our Lady of Czestochowa

Before continuing the pilgrimage, Fr. West and Chris Morales stopped for breakfast with the parish priests, Fr. Douglas Terrien and Fr. Michael Zuelch. At breakfast the conversation turned towards the next stop, the impending weather and concerns about keeping the icon from being exposed directly to water. Rain was predicted in the forecast, and the last rainfall and accompanying wind broke two of Fr. West’s umbrellas. Fr. Douglas offered one of his umbrellas, which was gladly accepted.

At the Woman Care abortion mill there were about 80 people already gathered when the Black Madonna arrived for the 40 Days for Life prayer vigil. Fr. West led prayers and blessed the people who gathered to pray for an end to abortion.

The second abortion mill Our Lady visited that day was deceivingly named Serendipity, and a similar sized crowd gathered there for another 40 Days for Life prayer vigil. Upon arriving, administrators of the facility came out of the building and started taking pictures of those gathered in prayer.

They also called the police.

Fr. West speaking with police in front of the abortion mill called Serendiptiy.

Fr. West speaking with police in front of the abortion mill called Serendiptiy.

The apparent accusation was that the HLI van was blocking traffic. The police also told those gathered to move off the sidewalk onto the grass. Then the police said people couldn’t stand still outside of the abortion facility, so pro-lifers formed a circle and walked around praying.  Fr. West spoke with the police who arrived on the scene while everybody else continued to pray. All was resolved peacefully and the prayer vigil ended after all prayers were said.

Following the prayer vigils, the Black Madonna icon arrived at a very fitting location: Our Lady of Czestochowa parish in Sterling Heights, MI. The celebration at this Polish Catholic parish started with a Rosary followed by a pro-life presentation in Polish. An evening Mass was celebrated by the pastor of Our Lady of Czestochowa, and an all-night prayer vigil started after Mass. Particularly beautiful were the many Polish men and women and youth who honored the Black Madonna by wearing their traditional celebratory dress.

In the morning, Fr. West and Chris took breakfast with Fr. Sławomir Murawka, Fr. Tomasz Ludwicki and Bishop Stanislaw Stefanek, bishop emeritus of Łomża, Poland. Bishop Stefanek recalled his knowledge of HLI’s work in Russia, Ukraine and Eastern Europe, and his personal relationship with HLI’s country director in Poland Ewa Kowalewska and her husband Lech.

Bishop Stefanek celebrated the morning Mass at Immaculate Conception Church where he blessed the pilgrim icon and the From Ocean to Ocean Pilgrimage. The entire congregation processed behind the Black Madonna and sang Marian hymns while the icon was placed in her vehicle.



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HLI staff writers bring you stories from the mission field and the latest information on life and family issues. All HLI articles are true to Catholic teaching.

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