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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Seminarian urges Catholics to join abortion clinic vigils

A seminarian who met a baby he helped to save during a pro-life vigil has urged Catholic Universe readers and all people to be “courageous” and join the campaign for life.

Deacon David Donaghue, who is in his final year of formation at St Mary’s College, Oscott, told The Catholic Universe that Oscott Seminary is a supporter of the Birmingham 40 Days for Life campaign – a peaceful prayer vigil outside Marie Stope clinic in Edgbaston.

And he urged others to join similar campaigns for life after he recently met a baby he helped to save from abortion during a vigil.

He explained that on the vigils we “handed out leaflets to those walking by and engaged in conversation with any who wished to talk.”

“One day I offered a young man a leaflet and he began to talk to me about his situation,” Mr Donaghue said. “Being poor and with two children already, his wife was inside, arranging a termination. I was able to affirm him in his fatherhood and put him in touch with the Good Counsel Network, who eventually paid several months rent for the family.

“I recently had the privilege of meeting the little baby who was saved from abortion,” he added.

Mr Donaghue admitted that he was initially nervous going to the vigils as he was stepping out in public doing something that would be viewed as unpopular by some. However, his sense of rightness in doing it overpowered these worries.

“I felt that I was going in love and I trusted others who went. They were not obsessive, strange or out of touch, but actually articulate, reasonable and very compassionate,” he said.

And now, having visited the clinic for a number of years, Mr Donaghue is urging others to dismiss their fears and do the same.

“Having gone to the clinic for several years now, I see the real need on the ground. Men and women approach me to talk, I often tell them I love them and we really do love them,” he said. “This baby is precious, and I am sure there are many more lives saved that we will never know about.

“I encourage all people to be courageous, dismiss the fears and join a campaign.”

Mr Donaghue, who is training for the Northampton diocese, believes his vocation story is one of the prodigal son. Having lived a hedonistic life in his youth Mr Donaghue played in a number of bands and had his heart set on being a musician.

However, this changed when one of his military friends was killed in Iraq.

“I searched for my rosary beads which I had not used since my childhood, but thanks be to God my grandmother had taught me the Holy Rosary and I was able to recite it straight off,” he said.

“From that day things began to change.”

Picture: Deacon David Donaghue with the baby he helped to save. (Deacon David Donaghue).