I gave a talk at the most long-standing pro-life Mass in Colorado, maybe even in the country. Fr. Bill has been conducting Mass every Saturday (rain, snow, sub-zero temperatures…) since 1994, at a street corner in front of Planned Parenthood’s abortion clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Fr. Bill told me that during the Republican Convention here several years ago, he had t-shirts made for people who were born after 1973. They read: “I survived Roe vs. Wade.” Fr. Bill also helps coordinate youth “Chastity Rallies.” He said it is his belief that the use of artificial contraception started to cheapen life, which consequently has led to almost wholesale abortion. During the Mass, Fr. Bill said if abortion continues, God may well, “out of His mercy,” allow major chastisements to correct us… We then stopped in Arvada, Colorado, where we talked with Chris Michalik. He’s been to Juarez, Mexico, four times to help with building projects in the slums there. (He goes with the non-profit group Southern Exposure.) They build a $3,750 home in a week there. The modest (by our standards) cinder block homes are like absolute mansions, in comparison to the tiny, cobbled together shacks that stand throughout most of the slums. Chris said to me that “…we are fighting the (immigration) battle on the wrong side of the fence.” He said a big part of the answer is to mobilize as much help as possible south of the border so people don’t have to leave family, friends, culture, language… Chris noted that people work in the multi-national factories in Juarez for as little as $4 a 10-hour-shift (Mexico’s current minimum wage), yet he was amazed to see that the prices in the stores in Juarez where comparable to the prices in U.S stores… Chris is also involved with Arvada’s Community Food Bank. We stopped by there today and interviewed a volunteer who told us that the year before last, the food bank collected some 46,000 pounds of food, whereas last year it was 42,000 pounds. He attributed the decrease to the recession. Note: The volunteer’s name at the food bank was: Richard Amen. (Honest.) He laughed and said at church when everyone says amen, “…I stand up and wave.” Note 2: At the YMCA yesterday in Arvada, we saw a bumper sticker with a picture of a bicycle and the words: “I spend my life behind bars.” Probably a good ‘sentence’ for all of us concerned about what’s going on in the Gulf.