Article from the January/February 2002 issue, Vol 25/No 1, page 12, by John Pinedo, © The Foundation for Life.
National Life Chain Sunday was October 7. Eight hundred and four Life Chains took place in the U.S. and 114 in Canada. The Houston chain had people along certain areas of FM 1960 from I-45 to Champion Forest Drive. Other local Life Chains assembled in Rosenberg, Pearland, Magnolia, Tomball, Pasadena, and the Woodlands. Certain strong pro-life churches brought the greatest support. These churches made the Life Chain an activity that they did together as a church family.
The strong pro-life churches had something else in common. Their clergy encouraged the Life Chain both by word and example. Seven priests, three deacons, and ten ministers participated. Fr. Fran Pistorius, pastor of St. Ignatius of Loyola, led the largest church group with 100 parishioners. Msgr. James Golasinski, pastor of Annunciation Church , led the second largest church group with 90 parishioners at FM 1960. He also had six parishioners at the Rosenberg, three at Pearland, and two in Tomball. Pastors Rick Scarborough and Sonny Foraker of First Baptist of Pearland led the third largest group with 75 people. Pastor Rick Sitton of Airline Methodist led the fourth largest congregation with 62 people.
The Houston Life Chain had 516 people. Besides Fr. Pistorius, Msgr. Golasinski, and Rev. Sitton, the Houston chain had Fr. John P. Borsari of Assumption, Fr. Nicholas Harding of St. Charles Borromeo, Pastor Jeff Schreve of Champion Forest Baptist, Fr. Steve Ledinich of St. Michael, Deacon Glen Cuiper of St. Ignatius, Deacon Ken Martin of St. Edward, and the Reverends Jim Loutham and Grady Butler from Mission Greenspoint.
Rosenberg reported their largest Life Chain ever, 233 people. Clergymen led there too-Deacon Don Ries of Sacred Heart/Richmond, Rev. Ed Johnson of First Assembly of God, Rev. Al Cerda of New Life Ministries, Rev. Bruce Gilbert of Rosenberg Four Square, and Rev. Bruce Frazier of Friendship Assembly.
Pearland reported their second largest Life Chain ever, 151 people. The majority of this chain comes from just two churches, one Baptist and the other Catholic. Dr. Rick Scarborough (senior pastor) and Pastor Sonny Foraker (executive pastor) led the congregation from First Baptist of Pearland. Msgr. Reginald Nesvadba led the flock from St. Helen Catholic Church.
Organizers of the various chains reported many positive comments: “God provided beautiful weather”… “very peaceful … “I didn’t see a single negative response” … “lots of [friendly] honking, waving, and thumbs up.” Although most reported similar comments, Pearland encountered opposition as in the past, but this time from a surprising source: a church! An organizer relayed the story: Some pro-lifers stood beside a street outside an Episcopal Church. The Episcopalians had maybe a thousand pumpkins in the whole front yard with some kind of wooden structures. A man from the church approached the pro-lifers and said, “Do you have permission from the Reverend [so and so] to stand here?” The organizer informed the man that the pro-lifers don’t need permission, since the area is a public right of way. The man urged them to move, but they stayed put. The organizer held his tongue at the time, but later derided their pumpkin business as the “altar to the Great Pumpkin”!
Pasadena had their first Life Chain in six or seven years, with spiritual leadership from Fr. Richard Barker, associate pastor of St. Hyacinth.
The Magnolia, Tomball, Pasadena, and the Woodlands Life Chains had 60, 24, 21, and 13 people respectively. All totaled, 1,018 people participated with 62 churches represented.
St. Ignatiius of Loyola
First Baptist of Pearland
Christ the Good Shepherd
St. John Fisher
Our Lady of Guadalupe/Rosenberg
First Assembly of God/Rosenberg
Champion Forest Baptist
New Life Ministries/Rosenberg