It was a sad Friday for the pro-life movement. We lost two very great pro-life men in Dr. Jack Wilke and Bro. Paul O'Donnell.
Dr. Jack Wilke
Dr. Jack Wilke was an enormous figure in the pro-life community. He served as President of the National Right to Life Committee for 10 years, helped found the International Right to Life Federation, and was Co-Founder and President of the Life Issues Institute.
Dr. Wilke was an asset for all pro-lifers; giving us such materials as Abortion, Questions and Answers: Why Can't We Love Them Both and the Handbook on Abortion, among numerous other books. The materials of Dr. Jack Wilke and his wife, Barbara, have educated millions around the world, having been translated into 32 different languages. Dr. Wilke died at the age of 89. He was loved by so many and will be missed by us all.
Bro. Paul O'Donnell
Bro. Paul O'Donnell died in his sleep yesterday at the age of 55. Bro. Paul was a founder and President of Pro-Life Action Ministries, a board member of the Terri Schiavo Life and Hope Network, and Guardian Overall for the Franciscan Brothers of Peace.
Bro. Paul was a warrior for those who were vulnerable. He was there to fight for Bro. Michael Gaworski (the Founder of the Franciscan Brothers of Peace) during his death. He was there for Terri Schiavo and the Schindler family as Terri was being starved and dehydrated to death. He was there for baby Joseph Maarachli and for Jahi McMath. Bro. Paul was there for those who needed help protecting the dignity of their lives. Bro. Paul was an inspiration for us and will be missed.
I was lucky enough to have met both Dr. Jack Wilke and Bro. Paul O'Donnell. I remember Bro. Paul speaking at a North Dakota Right to Life convention a few years back; and I remember speaking with him at different National Right to Life conventions. He was always so kind, so joyful, and so passionate about helping those who are vulnerable. Bro. Paul reminded you what our purpose was in being pro-life; that we cannot get so caught up in the battle that we forget to truly care about and care for both those who we are fighting for and those who we are trying to convert. He was a great man and I know that I will miss him.
I was lucky enough to have met Dr. Jack Wilke at this past years National Right to Life Convention in Louisville, KY. I remember learning about him when I started getting involved in the pro-life movement. I remember his materials being a starting point for my own education on life issues. This was a man who everyone recognized as having an impact on their being pro-life. I was honored to have been able to meet someone who not only impacted my own life, but who I know educated and helped millions of others. Dr. Wilke, even being gone, will continue to be a rock for all of us who are pro-life.