Our Lady of the Wayside

Our Lady of the Wayside
Protect Expectant Mothers and Their Babies


Monday 30 July 2012

What m*r*e stopes fears most about our Vigils, in their own words: "baby pink and blue rosary beads"

Eddie and a fellow vigil keeper. Not filming anyone, harassing anyone, shouting at anyone, running after anyone or even cuddling anyone - just another normal day of loving women in trouble and their babies by offering them support and help.
Well since everyone is talking about it here and here and here, we may as well blog about it ourselves! Please consider making a donation to the excellent work of the Thomas More Legal Centre here, they kindly acted on our behalf free of charge.
Have a read of m*r*e stopes letter below, and note how similar the accusations they have thrown at us and those BPAS threw at 40 Days for Life and are now throwing at Abort67.
Re the camera and filming accusations, we DO NOT film the women at the vigil and have not in the past, and although we have taken pictures of the abortuary, we have always avoided doing so when women are entering. However, we do reserve the right to film the vigil itself to protect our staff and volunteers from the kind of false accusations made in this letter. Even if we do so, we still will avoid filming the women going in, if for no other reason than the fact that our whole aim is to offer them help and support. Not harrass them, scare them, humiliate them or judge them. For the most part we find that they have experienced rather a lot of this type of treatment by others already. And we don't think filming them would be very conducive to getting them to consider an offer of support!
From the solicitors of m*r*e stopes:

16th July 2012

Dear Sirs

Re: Protests outside of Marie Stopes international centres

We represent Marie Stopes International (MSI).
We have been asked to write to you in connection with the
ongoing activities of protestors affiliated with your organisation who protest
regularly outside of MSI’s centres. We have set out below our client’s concerns
in relation to such activities. Whilst MSI acknowledges your organisation’s
(and that of its members) right to protest, we strongly urge you to consider
how such protests may be conducted respectfully and without potentially
infringing the law and breaching MSI’s rights and those of its clients.
Approaching MSI’s clients

We understand that protestors have engaged in various acts
or conduct including shouted ‘Don’t
apologise just leave!’ or used
similar vocabulary at MSI’s clients, have approached clients with plastic
foetus’ asking the client to pray for the foetus, have attempted to intimidate
clients by running up to them, have handed out baby pink and blue rosary beads,
and have handed out leaflets containing graphic images. We further understand
that on occasion, where a client has stopped in response to a protestor, the
client has been surrounded by protestors who have tried to ‘cuddle’ the client.
These activities have caused some of MSI’s clients immense distress. We further
understand that at least one client was physically injured whilst being pursued
by a protestor.
Section 3A of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 (the
“Act”) provides for a civil right of action against harassment and allows one
to seek injunctive relief. Under the Act, a person must not pursue a course of
conduct which amounts to harassment of another and which he/she knows or ought
ot know amounts to harassment of the other. ‘Harassment’ includes a conduct
which causes distress. Our client is therefore concerned that some of your
activities may be in breach of the Act.
Filming MSI’s clients
We understand that protestors have filmed clients entering
and leaving MSI’s centres. Given that MSI’s clients state their names via the
intercom system upon entering the centre which can be heard by protestors
located by the entrance, the filming of MSI’s clients amounts to processing of
personal data. This activity can cause distress to MSI’s clients.

Section 10 of the Data Protection Act 1998 provides for a
right to prevent processing of personal data that causes distress. The
continued filming of MSI’s clients could force our client to seek a court order
to prevent a breach of the data protection rights of MSI’s clients.
It has further been brought to MSI’s attention that
protestors from your organisation distribute a leaflet entitled. “Pregnant...Worried?”
(the “leaflet”) which contains factually incorrect and/or misleading
information. The Leaflet claims that abortion can result in breast cancer,
disruption of the menstrual cycle and the inability to become pregnant in the
future. These claims are wholly unfounded. Likewise, the possible psychological
implications of abortion set out in the leaflet are also misleading.
MSI is entitled to make a complaint to the Advertising
Standards Authority on the basis that the information published in the leaflet
regarding the physical and psychological implications of abortion is
misleading, unsubstantiated and in some circumstances untrue.
We understand that your organisation has a right to protest
and our client recognises this right. The purpose of this letter is to inform
you of MSI’s concerns. Should your organisation or its members continue to
engage in activities which MSI considers unlawful, our client reserves the
right to seek all remedies as may be necessary, including injunctive relief.
Yours faithfully

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP

Our Reply, from Mr Neil Addison, of the Thomas More Legal Centre
Dear ...........
I am instructed on behalf of my client the Good Counsel Network (Good Counsel) to reply to your letter of 16th July sent on behalf of your client Marie Stopes International (MSI). I note at the outset that Good Counsel disagree with your description of their acts as being a "protest", it is rather a prayer vigil where Good Counsel pray for the unborn children daily killed by MSI and also for the mothers of those children. It is also an opportunity to offer women contemplating Abortion an alternative choice and is there to assist them in choosing to allow their child to live rather than be killed. Good Counsel offers counselling, practical help and moral support to women who are contemplating Abortion and also to women who have had Abortions and are suffering trauma afterwards. Ultimately the final decision is that of the mother of the child but Good Counsel, unlike MSI, does provide mothers with an alternative to Abortion. In any event whether called a prayer vigil or a protest the actions of Good Counsel are always carried out peacefully and lawfully and are protected under Common Law rights of peaceful assembly and under Articles 9, 10, 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights. With regard to the specific allegations made in your letter
APPROACHING MSI'S CLIENTS Good Counsel deny that they or any person associated with them has shouted at clients of MSI indeed to do so would be completely counter productive and contrary to the purpose of Good Counsel which is to reach out to and talk to women. Representatives of Good Counsel do not seek to intimidate anyone whether by running up to them or otherwise. Representatives of Good Counsel approach women with leaflets which offer help to women considering a decision which, we assume, MSI would agree is an important decision and not one to be made lightly or on the basis of inadequate information. They do have models of pre-born children which may be shown to women and which are useful in showing women the accurate developmental stage of their child. This is a valid part of any counseling which is committed to ensuring that pregnant women have accurate information before they make any irrevocable decision.Good Counsel do indeed have Rosary beads which are in both "baby pink and blue" to use the description in your letter, the colours being chosen in memory of the baby girls and baby boys killed daily by MSI. These Rosary beads are not forced upon anyone and possession and use of the Holy Rosary is a "manifestation of religion" protected under Article 9. Leaflets containing graphic, but accurate, images of abortion are kept by Good Counsel representatives but they are not handed out in an indiscriminate manner as is suggested in your letter. Such pictures are shown on a one to one basis when the Good Counsel representative is in discussion with someone about Abortion. The leaflets are only given to someone when they request a copy which is often done in order to show the images to someone else who is pressuring the woman to have an Abortion. This constitutes the "imparting of information" and as such is protected under Article 10. I note at this point that the information provided to representatives of Good Counsel is that women who take any leaflets provided by Good Counsel are having them taken off them by staff members of MSI even when the woman wants to retain the leaflet and read it. I am informed by my Client that in the last month at least 2 women who had their leaflets taken from them by MSI staff asked for further copies from Good Counsel representatives after leaving MSI premises. They then went on to accept the support offered by Good Counsel and decided to keep their babies as a result of the help they were offered. [my emphasis] This action by MSI staff is an interference with the Article 10 rights of these women to "receive information" so it would seem that MSI are interfering with the Human Rights of pregnant women as well as, of course, ending the Right to Life of unborn children. Good Counsel by contrast is upholding the Human Rights of pregnant women as well as the right to life of their unborn children.Good Counsel deny that they or anyone associated with them has surrounded MSI clients or attempted to "cuddle" them against their will so as to cause them distress. I note at this point that MSI has frequently called the Police in order to complain about the activities of Good Counsel but the Police once called have never found any evidence of wrong doing by Good Counsel. Had persons associated with Good Counsel been surrounding women or attempting to touch them against their will, as your letter alleges, then that would be conduct contrary to the Public Order Act and the Police would have taken action. The fact that the Police have not done so is indicative of the fact that this alleged harassment has not occurred.You state that one of MSI clients was physically injured by someone associated with Good Counsel. I assume that such a serious incident, if it has actually occurred, will have been reported to the Police as an Assault. Can I therefore please be provided with confirmation of the Police station to which the alleged assault was reported, the date it was reported and the Police Crime Incident number. If this alleged assault was not reported to the Police then why not, certainly Good Counsel are not aware of any injury or any allegations of injury being suffered by any client of MSI.
PROTECTION FROM HARASSMENT ACT s3A. We note your reference to this Act and its requirements however you have failed to mention the defences in the Act in particular s1(3)(c) "that in the particular circumstances the pursuit of the course of conduct was reasonable." As already mentioned Good Counsel is exercising Common Law rights of peaceful assembly and rights guaranteed under Articles 9, 10, 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights and as such its conduct is reasonable. I mention this defence without prejudice to the fact that Good Counsel deny that their vigil has caused harassment, alarm or distress or that any reasonable person would consider that the vigil amounts to harassment. In addition the allegations made by MSI do not reach the level of seriousness which the Courts in such cases as Majrowski v Guy's and St Thomas's NHS Trust [2006] UKHL 34 and Veakins v Kier Islington Ltd [2009] EWCA Civ 1288 have stated is required in order to justify either a Civil or a Criminal allegation of harassment.
FILMING MSI's CLIENTS Good Counsel categorically deny that they or anyone associated with them has filmed or photographed clients entering or leaving MSI's premises. Participants in a vigil have on occasions videoed themselves as part of the provision of information to supporters etc about the vigil but Good Counsel do not and have not filmed clients of MSI or processed their personal data contrary to the Data Protection Act. Good Counsel do however reserve the right to film their vigil in the future as evidence of the peaceful manner in which it is conducted and as a defence against unfounded and inaccurate allegations of the type made in your letter. They will of course continue with their existing policy of not filming MSI clients.
LEAFLETS If you wish to waste your time and MSI's money by referring Good Counsel's leaflets to the Advertising Standards Authority you are of course at liberty to do so. I would however make the point that it is your own case that these leaflets are distributed by protestors as part of a protest and it would be an extraordinary extension of the remit of the ASA if it were suddenly to assume that it had the right to vet information given out as part of a protest. I frankly regard this suggestion that you would refer the matter to the ASA as simply an attempt to intimidate Good Counsel by making a threat which you yourselves must know is legally fatuous.
In any event Good Counsel is prepared if necessary to defend before the ASA or a Court everything said in its leaflets the contents of which are based on solid scientific study and on the testimony and experience of many women who have had Abortions. Good Counsel and organisations like it deal daily with women suffering the physical and psychological effects of Abortion; effects which MSI attempts to ignore. Let us be blunt Marie Stopes International makes a great deal of money by persuading women to kill their unborn babies and makes no money if women decide to keep their babies. Marie Stopes International is by no stretch of the imagination a neutral and impartial voice on the physical and psychological effects of Abortion and has a substantial financial interest in trying to silence any person or organisation which questions the effect of, or provides alternative information about, Abortion. That is very clearly what they are trying to do with regard to the work of the Good Counsel Network.
We would also remind you, MSI, and if necessary the ASA or a Court of the words of Mr Justice Supperstone in the case of British Pregnancy Advisory Service v Secretary of State for Health [2011] EWHC 235 (Admin )
"Abortion remains a controversial subject in respect of which there are differing deeply-held views."
and also the words of Mr Justice Munby in Smeaton v Secretary of State for Health [2002] EWHC 610 (Admin)
"Our society, including the most thoughtful and concerned sections of our society, are deeply troubled by, and indeed deeply divided over, such issues [ie Abortion]. These are topics on which men and woman of different faiths, or indeed of no faith at all, may and do hold, passionately and with the utmost sincerity, starkly differing views. All of those views are entitled to the greatest respect but it is not for a judge to choose between them"
Should MSI decide to pursue any form of legal action against Good Counsel that action will be defended with vigour Should you wish to correspond further on this issue I would be obliged if those communications were sent to me, (contact details...)
I am authorised by my Client to receive service of any legal documents should MSI be ill advised enough to want to go down that route. Good Counsel reserve the right to publicise your original letter, this reply and any response from you.
Neil Addison
Thomas More Legal Centre

Saturday 28 July 2012

The 2nd Annual GK Chesterton Pilgrimage is today, Better late than never!

The Delayed 2nd Annual GK Chesterton Walking Pilgrimage, is TODAY, Saturday 28th July.
After a disasterous false start a few weeks ago, Stuart is doing this as a sponsored walk and you can sponsor him here. He's only £40 away from raising his target funds of £750. Can you help him get there? Or would you like to join the pilgrimage?

The details of the pilgrimage are:

9am Meet outside St George's C of E Church, Aubrey Walk, London, W8 7JG where GKC was Baptised as a baby.
Walk to Uxbridge (14 miles approx), stopping for breakfast.

1.30pm Old Rite Mass in thanks giving for Chesterton's Conversion, which took place 90 years ago this month. This will be at Our Lady of Lourdes and St Michael Catholic Church, Osborn Road, Uxbridge, UB8 1UE, you are welcome to attend the Mass even if you are not doing the walk.

Walk on to Beaconsfield (10 miles approx) where Chesterton lived, converted, died and is buried.
Say the prayer for the Beatification of GK Chesterton at his graveside.
See here for more details about Chesterton. To financially support the sponsored walk see here . To join the pilgrimage on the day or to find out how it's progressing, follow Stuart's updates on Twitter day, @Stuart1927 .

Why not join Stuart in prayer, you can offer the Prayer for the Beatification of GK Chesterton (see below) for the conversion of those you love, since many people hold Chesterton responsible for their own conversions, it seems to be his particular gift.
God Our Father, Thou didst fill the life of Thy servant Gilbert Keith Chesterton with a sense of wonder and joy, and gave him a faith which was the foundation of his ceaseless work, a charity towards all men, particularly his opponents, and a hope which sprang from his lifelong gratitude for the gift of human life. May his innocence and his laughter, his constancy in fighting for the Christian faith in a world losing belief, his lifelong devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and his love for all men, especially for the poor, bring cheerfulness to those in despair, conviction and warmth to lukewarm believers and the knowledge of God to those without faith. We beg Thee to grant the favours we ask through his intercession, the end of abortion in this Country [and especially for……] so that his holiness may be recognised by all and the Church may proclaim him Blessed. We ask this through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
See here for copies of this prayer in Spanish, French and Italian and for printable prayercards

Sarcasm and "anti-choice *****" God deepens our understanding at the abortuary vigil.

I was outside marie stopes one day, handing out leaflets that give info on the help available to women who will, with God’s help, decide to choose life instead of abortion. Sometimes people think that we are there to condemn and judge the ladies that are coming to the clinic which, I might add, we definitely are not there to do. So people sometimes shout abuse at us while
passing by, or tell us that they don’t like what we are doing, even though they don’t take the time to ask about what we are doing!
So anyway, I tried to hand a lady who was passing by a leaflet and she promptly told me that she didn’t want any of my “anti-choice ***** ”. That we were “out of order” being there. So I told her we were pro­-life. She argued that we were not so I asked her when she thought life began. To which she answered “At birth”.
I then told her that medical scientists & biologists largely agreed that life begins at conception. She disagreed with this fact and told me she thought it was untrue, as she worked for the Department of Health .
I then made the mistake of asking her, sarcastically, if she was a scientist or a biologist, to
which she replied that she was and then walked off!
We are taught to see the person of Christ in all the people we meet while we are outside the abortuary, (especially the ones who are nasty to us). So instead of being sarcastic, what I
should have done was pray for God’s blessing on her. But while we are doing the vigil, God reveals things like that to us all the time.
Later while I was praying a few things came me; While looking through one of the leaflets, I noticed there were plenty of choices in it- just not the one option of killing a baby in the womb.
My thoughts and prayers also came around to the horrible murder of pregnant Nikitta Grender and her unborn daughter who she had already named Kelsey Mae
May they rest in peace. It had been all over the news that
the perpetrator of this horrendous crime would also be charged with child destruction and rightfully so.
The lady who said that she worked for the health deptartment might not agree but thank God, in this case, the Crown Prosecution Service does.
Eddie Bauer

Friday 27 July 2012

Making Good Decisions

“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.”
As a Christian and Catholic, I believe that every human life is precious, from conception to natural death. Not one is more or less important than another, no matter what age, gender,
religion, race or ability. In this secular world that we live in, the dignity of every person isn’t respected and I want to protect those whose dignity has been forgotten.

In many situations when a woman falls pregnant, in today’s society, it is seen either as a “problem” or a blessing, depending on whether a baby is “unwanted” or loved. Facts are, not
one baby is a problem, and every single one is loved and is wanted by someone. Scientifically, in each and every conception, there is a completely unique set of DNA, every baby being unique. When someone has a problem, it is natural to look for solutions. Not every problem is black and white. It’s easiest to look for a physical state in a person to try to change. Most times, the problems are further below the surface. By “changing” physical state, you only risk increasing emotional, psychological and very often mental issues. I believe if someone is going to make a decision, they should look at all their options, at every angle.

We all have fallen from God’s grace but we all have the same opportunity to make choices to try and choose the best path. Sometimes bad choices are made with good intentions. Bad choices
are made because not every choice is presented, and not every possible consequence of each of these choices is revealed. Women and often their partners are led towards the closest, quickest and therefore easiest solution without thinking of how it will affect them negatively.

Many times a mother has not seen the alternate options before having an abortion. Many times also, needless-to-say, a father who has been involved in an abortion has not seen the alternate options. We must not push aside the harm of these abortions, no matter how long ago they were, just because the “product” of the abortion is not physically present. It is extremely important for this mother or father to talk about it. The healing they can get from knowing of God’s forgiveness is crucial. The healing they can get from properly grieving, like they would for the loss of
any other loved one, is also crucial.

As a person of pro-life beliefs I want to show women that there are other options, that give every person involved a chance at life and that there are people who won’t judge, but want to help them in a long term way. Every choice you make has long term effects, whether you choose life or not, but in a pregnancy, choosing life is the choice that continues to keep good options open.
Rachael McEvoy

Thursday 26 July 2012

I thought she had had the abortion...

We were praying at abortuary as usual. While I was kneeling on the pavement and saying the rosary, a young woman approached me. I didn’t recognise her straight away. Then I remembered that I spoke to her two weeks ago. She was not sure what to do because her boyfriend had left her and she was scared and alone. I had seen her one other time, a week ago, going in to the abortuary and I assumed that she had had an abortion.
I was over the moon when she showed me an ultrasound scan photo of her 9 week unborn baby. She said that she wants to keep the baby. She was so happy that she came to us to share this great news. The friend who was with her was pregnant too, so hopefully they will support each other. I wonder how many other women changed their minds because of our prayers and presence at the abortuary at Whitfield street.
Justyna Pasek

Wednesday 25 July 2012

Hope and Generosity

I have been attending the prayer vigils and counselling outside the Marie Stopes abortuary in Whitfield Street for the last week and a half, with Justyna, Eddie and several other supporters of the Good Counsel Network. Unfortunately there have been no turn-arounds at Whitfield Street as far as we know during this time, but we can hope and pray that some of the leaflets that we handed out, or the conversations we managed to have with women who went in might have had a “delayed action” effect and they might have changed their mind. This can be disheartening and I might be tempted to think that this method does not work, but last Saturday a couple chose life for their baby at another abortuary in Ealing after having talked to a volunteer. “That’s my baby”, said the father, showing the scan. And we know that God hears all the prayers we direct to Him, so we have to keep knocking on the door, like the friend that came late at night asking for bread.
Good Counsel needs donations to make it’s work possible. This morning something quite extraordinary happened. When Justyna and I were praying while Lorraine was counselling, two homeless Polish men saw the “exhibit for life” on the pavement, approached us and one of them tried to give us some money. We explained what we were doing there and that we were not asking for money. But these coins were really the “widow’s mite”, an example of generosity
that puts all of us to shame.
Jesus Gonzalez Nicolas

Wednesday 18 July 2012

Why I am Pro-Life - An Intern's View

Thine eyes have seen my
unformed substance;
And in thine book they were
all written,
The days that were ordained
for me,
When as yet there was not one
of them.
(Psalm 139: 13-16)

This beautiful passage illustrates God’s intimate relationship with every being He creates and the unique purpose we have each been created for. Bible passages such as Psalm 139 inspire me to seek to protect the unborn and tell others of the sanctity of human life.

Abortion should never feel like a woman’s only choice which is why I believe prayer, spreading a pro-life message and extending a hand of love and support to women faced with a pregnancy they
feel unable to cope with is so important. Human life is precious, both the mother's and the unborn baby’s, therefore it is vital that the physical and mental wellbeing of women is protected as well as the life of the voiceless unborn. I feel that women have the right to know about the horrors of abortion and need to be given back the freedom that the abortion industry cruelly
snatches away from them. They need to know that there are other options, and that with the right help and support, the can choose life for their baby. The promotion of a culture of life is crucial so as to overshadow the culture of death destroying society today. This is why I am pro-life.

Having been adopted when I was 15 months old I am forever grateful that my birth mother chose life for me. She was only sixteen when she discovered she was pregnant with me and the
circumstances were difficult. I could have been a victim of abortion and yet she chose the loving and selfless option of adoption. Having met many adoptive parents and adopted children I know what an amazing gift a child can be to a family who choose to adopt. My personal experiences and my faith contribute to my strong pro-life convictions and desire to work in the pro-life movement.
Stephanie Barnes

Tuesday 17 July 2012

Pro-Lifers You're Getting Fat! An...er..gentle hint from Jan!

Under the enchanting title "Pro-Lifers - You're getting fat: Join us for a bike ride in support of Good Counsel" Jan Klepacki has organised a sponsored event to raise us some funds to help reach, advise, feed and house expectant mums.
This is much appreciated at a very tight time financially. And after all there has been some widening of many girths around here...
So here are the details:
Choose the sanctity of LIFE, over the idleness of the couch. Join the great ANNUAL GOOD COUNSEL CHARITY BIKE RIDE, from Haslemere to the historic town of Littlehampton, on the coast. A group of young, jolly, pro-lifers will gather on Friday night at 7pm at the Our Lady of... Lourdes Church in Haslemere, 2 minutes walk from Haslemere train station (direct trains from Waterloo). Free accommodation, lots of comradery with the bike ride setting off the following morning. Good counsel is a charity that provides counselling and practical support for women in crisis pregnancy situations so that they are able to choose life for their child. Alternatively, you can join us directly on Saturday. The ride starts at 10am at the Church. The event end time is flexible but attendance until 4pm will allow one to make great use of the BBQ and company. Bring your swimming gear in case you want a swim once we arrive in Littlehampton! To obtain a copy of the gift aid and sponsorship form for this event please email me at klepackijan@yahoo.com for any further info please feel free to call me on 07838022247 or 01428641519. Perhaps, YOU CAN TALK THE PRO-LIFE TALK, BUT CAN YOU CYCLE THE PRO-LIFE CYCLE?

Saturday 14 July 2012

Good Counsel walk report & Photos

Today Good Counsel held a ten mile sponsored walk from Wandsworth to Wapping. About 20 people did the walk, God bless you all. Hats off to Conor, who organised the day and did the walk with his young daughter on his back. Also Rhos (@RhoslynThomas) who had a wild journey up from Wales and Clare & Delushka who were both late due to helping Good Counsel Mums this morning. Clare was then given the wrong directions and went off walking the wrong way! Fr Edwards of Wandsworth came on the walk and gave Benediction at the end in St Patrick's Wapping. Many thanks to Canon Samuels the PP of Wapping. Declan has asked us to credit his photos, the one of Belloc's house is one of his, I recognise his finger! Please do still sponsor these wonderful people.
"Right we're not moving until you show us the map, and tell us the name of that bridge!"
The house of Belloc, pointed out by Declan.
And now we can go home.

Thursday 12 July 2012

Fr Martin Edwards joins Good Counsel walk & two walkers are 'lost'!

Today Good Counsel is having our annual sponsored walk, which this year is from Wandsworth to Wapping. Fr Martin Edwards of Wandsworth is joining the walk. Two of the walkers are running late without a map! The walk is 10 miles long through central London mainly following the route alongside the River Thames. We have a number of brave people who have decided to take part in this event. It costs approximately £350 to save a life. Some of our walkers are getting close to raising this amount. Can you help them to save a life?
Below are some of the walkers pages, please read them and consider sponsoring them.

Clare McCullough http://www.justgiving.com/Clare-McCullough

Rhoslyn Thomas http://www.justgiving.com/Rhoslyn-Thomas

Karisha Kimone George-Llewellyn http://www.justgiving.com/Karisha
Follow @GoodCounselNet on Twitter and you may get an update from time to time!

Thursday 5 July 2012

8th Anniversay of the death of a Saint?

This article was written a number of years ago, but is well worth reading again and has been added to at the end;

You gave me shelter….
….Louisa Staunton RIP

Miss Louisa Staunton, a deceased benefactor of The Good Counsel Network, saved a lot of time and money as well as saving a lot of lives by her generous response to an appeal for housing.

Louisa originally came to The Good Counsel Network, a Catholic Pro-Life organisation, to attend the Counsellor Training Course we run. One day when attending one of the sessions, she overheard one of us phoning around trying to find accommodation for a woman who was turned around outside an abortion clinic and who wanted to keep her baby, but could not go home as her boyfriend had threatened both her and her baby. Louisa immediately said, “she can stay with me!”.

Without regard for her own safety or comfort, Louisa took this lady home with her and there began her new work of looking after vulnerable expectant mums. Louisa turned her whole house over to us, having as many as 3 members of our staff/volunteers living with her at any time as well as up to 4 mothers-to-be. She hated to accept any money from the mothers who stayed with her and was regarded as a grandmotherly figure by them all. The last Friday before she died, I brought another girl to stay with Louisa. “Mary” had spent the previous night sleeping on various London buses, after being made homeless by her employer because of her pregnancy. We had tried to find her a place wherever we could and Louisa was the first to say yes, even though there were already 4 other women staying with her. When we arrived she made Mary very welcome and cheered her up no end by her friendliness. The last time I saw Louisa conscious she was blowing bubbles in the living room to entertain Mary. “Its Our Lady’s house” she told us as we thanked her for taking Mary in.

Louisa went to bed that night but could not be woken in the morning. She was taken to hospital where she remained unconscious until Monday. Doctors found she had had bleeding around the brain during Friday night. On Monday a Priest came to the hospital to say Mass in her room. The gospel that day was the cure of the woman with a hemorrhage. Louisa died immediately after the Mass, having never regained consciousness.

During her life Louisa worked as a nurse, later a psychiatric nurse and also an assistant to the blind. She was involved in many Catholic organisations, especially the Legion of Mary. Even at the age of 75, she did the shopping for many ill and housebound neighbours and was known well by all who lived near her. She gave away anything that was asked of her to others, including on one occasion where she gave her car to a family she had just met whose car had broken down!

Louisa was involved in the Justice and Peace movement throughout her life and regarded justice and peace for the unborn as a priority. She had supported various pro-life causes over the years and while working with us she housed over 20 mothers and many babies, who may not otherwise have come into he world.

She did not confine herself to providing a roof for these girls but really loved them and took and interest in their lives. From serving ice cream to them at midnight to helping them repair their relationships with their families, she was always there for them. The more difficult the girl, the more she loved.

She was a special friend to the lonely and depressed. She loved Our Lord and had a strong devotion to Our Lady, particularly Our Lady of Good Counsel and Our Lady of All Nations.

Louisa had spent a long period of her life wanting to become a religious sister. Speaking at her funeral, one of her brothers pointed out that although she had not been able to achieve this she made her world a kind of convent where she could serve God through prayer and through her actions to those around her.

Through a strange series of events she was buried wearing a Carmelite habit and was buried on the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
May God rest your soul Louisa, our great pro-life friend and sister in Christ.

Please pray for the repose of her soul, and also ask her prayers for your intentions.

“Then the king will say to those at his right hand. ‘Come, O Blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me”. Matt 25 v34-36

Due to the generosity of Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor, we have been allowed to continue housing pregnant women at Louisa’s house.

Last year Louisa's house was sold and a new one purchased. It is nice to know that nine Mothers/Mums-to-be are still being housed by Louisa!

The baby in the photo really will be able to say, when a little older, "Louisa Staunton, You gave me shelter."

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