PALM BEACH GARDENS | Luncheons 4 Life, the monthly pro-life event that features a complimentary meal for like-minded people to learn and network, has shifted its focus a bit to be more connected to local Catholic parishes.
After years of taking place at the Seasons 52 restaurant in Palm Beach Gardens, the Feb. 8 luncheon was served in the Family Life Center of the Cathedral of St. Ignatius Loyola in Palm Beach Gardens.
The main speaker was Mary Ellen Chajkowski, organizer of the 40 Days for Life vigil outside a clinic where abortions are performed on 45th Street in West Palm Beach. The effort to save the lives of children and women is held twice a year, in Lent and during the fall, by maintaining a constant peaceful presence of compassion and prayer at abortion facilities in West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie and Fort Pierce. The next 40 Days vigil is set for Feb. 22 through April 2.
At the luncheon, Chajkowski, a member of St. Ann Parish in West Palm Beach, along with some of the 40 Days for Life shift leaders, spoke about the proper procedures to follow for sidewalk advocacy to help mothers in need, how to refer them to Birthline/Lifeline services and security concerns.
“40 Days has three ways to measure success: the number of babies saved, the number of workers who leave the abortion industry and quit, and the number of abortion centers they’ve closed,” Chajkowski said. “Today, from 2007, it’s 22,820 known saved, and there may be others that we don’t know about; 247 workers have quit, that they know for sure; and 132 sites have been closed.”
Bishop Gerald M. Barbarito briefly addressed those attending the lunch, thanked them for their witness to the value and sanctity of human life, and gave them his blessing.
Deanna Herbst-Hoosac, Respect Life coordinator for Catholic Charities, who helps organize the luncheons, explained that the generous donor who supports Luncheons 4 Life has directed the program to shift venues toward parishes. The next luncheon is set for 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 28, at St. Jude Parish, 204 N. U.S. Highway 1 in Tequesta, focusing on community resources for unplanned pregnancies.
She said the upcoming luncheons will become “more of a call to action. So, a lot of training will take place in the next months.”