SANTA PAULA, CA-It took them six years, but students at Thomas Aquinas College helped close a Family Planning Associates (FPA) abortion clinic in Ventura through their persistent weekly prayer and sidewalk counseling efforts in front of the clinic on days abortions were being performed.
In an interesting twist, the date of the clinic’s closing also marked the sixth anniversary of the untimely death of another Thomas Aquinas College student, 19-year-old Angela Baird, who launched this pro-life prayer and sidewalk counseling ministry months before she died. After a freak hiking accident, Angela offered what sadly turned out to be her last sufferings for the victims of abortion. Student numbers in front of the clinic swelled to more than 100 the day after Angela’s death, and eventually leveled off to 10 to 15 students, twice a week.
“I am very proud of our students,” says Fr. Michael Perea, O.Praem., college chaplain. “They take a lot of initiative and they are a witness to the power of persistent, “knock on the door” prayer. They are true prayer warriors. Most of our campus ministries-and our pro-life group is no exception-are spontaneous in character. Students faithfully passed down this ministry to the unborn-and the story of the young woman who started it-from year to year.”