From Holy Chid’s bus to D.C.: Why they marched for life


Dialog Editor

Nancy Frick was the bus captain for the Church of the Holy Child’s Jan. 23 trip to the March for Life in Washington, D.C.

While the Holy Child parishioners and others from area parishes left the fog-enveloped church grounds by 7:30 a.m. for the demonstration against the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion, Frick’s journey to the march started decades ago.

After the Holy Child March for Lifers attended the 10 a.m. Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, Frick recalled her dramatic conversion to the pro-life movement.

Pilgrims to the March for Life in Washington, D.C., Jan.23 from Holy Child's contingent, paused by the U.S. Capitol after joining tens of thousands processing past the U.S. Supreme Court building. (The Dialog)

“Thirty years ago I took someone to an abortion clinic; she was going to go anyhow,” Frick said. “It led to a conversion of the heart and a realization of what I had participated in.”

Now, Frick’s life is busy with pro-life activities. She’s secretary for religious education at Holy Child; a member of the 40 Days for Life Committee, the group that holds protests for 40 consecutive days at Delaware’s abortion clinics; has been a social worker at Mother’s House for six years; and counsels Rachel’s Vineyard retreatants, who have experienced the emotional and spiritual pain of an abortion.

And Frick has been marching in Washington for more than 15 years in defense of the unborn.

On March for Life day she signed in Holy Child’s pilgrims and reminded the marchers that the north Wilmington parish was named for the Holy Child by the diocese in reference to the growing movement for legalized abortions in 1969.

James B. Vandergast, from St. Helena’s Parish in Wilmington, said he was attending the March for Life after doing a lot of reading on abortion and seeing the film “Bloodmoney, The Business of Abortion.”

Vandergast, District 6 Deputy of the Delaware State Council of the Knights of Columbus, said he feels compelled to demonstrate in Washington for aborted children and the women who suffer the psychological effects of abortion. He’s also sent an email to President Obama on the tragedy of abortions.

“The choice should be adoption or raising the child themselves,” he said.

A new participant to the march, Vandergast said that now that he’s retired, “I’ll do it as long as I can walk.”

Pat Radell, a member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Wilmington, said that “around the kitchen table I was always pro-life” but she hadn’t been an activist.

The mother of three children and grandmother of six, Radell decided to give more than lip service to the pro-life cause and participated in a 40 Days for Life vigil at Wilmington’s Planned Parenthood clinic.

“The first time I went to the clinic I was so afraid, I was quaking,” she said. She found the signs with photos of aborted babies troubling and “didn’t go back.”

But Radell said she now understands that the graphic signs at demonstrations are truths. “They don’t offer nurturing at Planned Parenthood.”

No longer sitting at the kitchen table just thinking pro-life thoughts, Radell is a coordinator of 40 Days for Life in Delaware and an annual participant in the March for Life.

“We’re up against forces of evil,” she said.