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A ‘how-to’ for closing Planned Parenthood Print
Guest column
Thursday, Sep. 15, 2016 -- 12:00 AM
Fr. Richard Heilman

On Friday morning, August 26, at 6:45 a.m., I read an article about the miraculous closing of the Appleton, Wis., Planned Parenthood.

I say "miraculous" because "exactly to the day" one year prior, Bishop David L. Ricken of the Diocese of Green Bay offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with the specific intention to close that Planned Parenthood, and then proceeded to the Planned Parenthood site with many other prayer warriors to offer special prayers for its closing.

That's right . . . one year. To. The. Day. And, it happened on the memorial of the Queenship of Mary (August 22). WOW!!

Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima

From May to October 1917, the Mother of God appeared to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal, and gave them a peace plan from heaven. In honor of the 100th anniversary of these apparitions, the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Fatima is touring the U.S. and is coming to the Diocese of Madison. The statue will be at the following parishes:
• Monday, Sept. 26 -- St. Cecilia, Wisconsin Dells
• Tuesday, Sept. 27 -- St. Clement, Lancaster
• Wednesday, Sept. 28 -- Immaculate Heart of Mary, Monona
• Thursday, Sept. 29 -- St. Michael the Archangel, Mt. Horeb
It will also be present on September 29 at Planned Parenthood (40 Days for Life) in Madison.

Lila Rose posted an article about the Appleton Planned Parenthood closing and added a comment that said, "Now there are only two Planned Parenthoods open in Wisconsin."

A plan of action

Knowing that one of them was in my backyard (my city of Madison), and now "only" offers abortions, the warrior came out in me. I brought it to prayer at my 7:30 a.m. Mass, asking what God wants us to do.

Like a thunder bolt, it came . . . "This is what you should do!!!"

I recalled that the very powerful (miraculous) International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima is coming to my parish in Mt. Horeb, St. Michael the Archangel Parish, "on the Feast of St. Michael" (September 29), and I knew we needed to have the statue of Our Lady out in front of Planned Parenthood for part of that day.

When I got home from Mass, I got into action.

• I contacted Dan Miller, director of Pro-Life Wisconsin, and he liked the idea. He said Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life is going to come to Wisconsin to speak at Appleton about that amazing miracle closing. I said, "Wouldn't it be great if he could come here on the Feast of St. Michael."

• I decided to call Fr. Stephen Imbarrato (of Priests for Life) to see if he or Father Frank would come. Father Imbarrato said he would check with Father Frank, but count on him (Father Imbarrato) for sure. Father Imbarrato asked if there was a parish nearby, so we could do a Eucharistic Procession. I said, "no", but there is a chapel across the street with the Holy Eucharist and a monstrance. He couldn't believe it. He said, "Perfect!"

• I called the person who travels the Fatima Pilgrim Statue to see if it would be possible to have Our Lady in front of Planned Parenthood. He started to say, "Churches only," but then I shared this whole story. He agreed this was "of God," and is allowing this exception.

• I contacted Laura Karlen of Vigil for Life and she loved the idea and said the date was perfect because it was at the very beginning of 40 Days for Life, and this would be a great way to launch it.

• We also knew we should do what Bishop Ricken had done and offer a special Mass with the specific intention for the closing of Planned Parenthood.

• I contacted Bishop Robert C. Morlino's office and he was very enthused about the September 29 plan and he was very sorry he will be out of town and cannot join us.

That's what happened between 7 and 10 a.m. on that Friday morning.

Schedule of statue

So, this is the schedule:

September 29 (Feast of St. Michael the Archangel) -- "Prayer Day to Close Planned Parenthood"

• 3 p.m. (Hour of Mercy) – Fatima Statue brought out in front of Planned Parenthood, Priests for Life leads Eucharistic Procession, Rosary prayed, Divine Mercy Chaplet, talks by Priests for Life and Dan Miller (head of Pro-Life Wisconsin), and others. We will also have many Knights of Columbus there in full force.

• After this, the Fatima Statue is brought to the top of Mount Horeb, Wis. -- St. Michael the Archangel Parish (on the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel).

• 5 to 6:30 p.m. -- Fatima Statue present in church, Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Adoration, Sacrament of Confession, and conclude with Benediction.

• 6:30 p.m. -- Talk by Patrick Sabat (Miracles of the Fatima Statue)

• 7 p.m. -- (Candlelight) Holy Sacrifice of the Mass offered by Priests for Life, with the special intention to close Planned Parenthood. The Knights of Divine Mercy Schola Cantorum will provide chanting and singing.

Please join us.

And thank you, Bishop Ricken, for your inspirational warrior spirit.


Fr. Richard M. Heilman is a priest of the Diocese of Madison and the Wisconsin state chaplain for the Knights of Columbus. He is the founder of the Knights of Divine Mercy, an apostolate for Catholic men's faith formation, and the Ladies of Divine Mercy, an apostolate for Catholic women's faith formation.