Honoring a Radical Pro-Lifer in Colorado Springs

(photo: Register Files)

Colorado Springs is where I live. We have a very vibrant and faithful pro-life community, many who show up weekly to express their commitment to life and opposition to what Planned Parenthood does and stands for. Others live in our city and never show, giving testimony to the value of life in different ways. One pro-lifer who had never shown up at Planned Parenthood did so on Black Friday and made his presence known. He did something extremely radical.

It was not the crazed and demonic lunatic that is unfortunately all over the news now. He is no pro-lifer in any regard. He is evil and did a deeply evil thing.

The radical pro-lifer I speak of is Officer Garrett Swasey, a policeman at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs (where my oldest daughter attends). He was one of the first officers to respond to a crisis call of a gunman randomly shooting at citizens on the west side of town. He was killed trying to apprehend the gunman and protect those in and outside of the building. He was a husband, father of two young children and one of the teaching pastors of his church, Hope Chapel, a strong and faithful reformed fellowship in town.

Officer Swasey knew what kind of place Planned Parenthood was. He knew what they did there. He strongly opposed it because of his faith. His conservative Christian faith. He was strongly pro-family. Traditional. But he didn’t think twice about racing to the scene, acting quickly to bring safety and protection to the victims, including the Planned Parenthood staff. He selflessly and without reservation ran toward grave danger.

He engaged the shooter and he died. His wife young wife is a widow and his two sweet children are fatherless.

Those of us who are pro-life well know the real “politics” at play here, regardless of what the 24-hour news cycle must create to attract viewers. A crazed man—regardless of what he allegedly uttered during his rampage—sought to end life and a good man sought to protect life, even those who were engaged in work he believed was reprehensible. That is radical. That is pro-life. That is Christian.

Officer Garrett Swasey, we pray for your eternal peace with Christ our Lord. We pray also for the daily peace and care of Rachel, your wife, and Elijah and Faith, your sweet son and daughter. May your entire family receive the peace that only our Heavenly all-wise and loving Father can provide.

Even in the tragedy of death we can celebrate life. And so we do.

Cistercian Father Thomas Esposito says of discerning one’s college choice, ‘There has to be something that tugs at you and makes you want to investigate it further. And then the personal encounter comes in the form of a visit or a chat with a student or alumnus who communicates with the same enthusiasm or energy about the place. And then that love of a place can be a seed which germinates in your own heart through prayer.’

Choose a College With a Discerning Mind and Heart

Cistercian Father Thomas Esposito, assistant professor of theology at the University of Dallas (UD) and subprior (and former vocations director) of the Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of Dallas, drew from his experience as both a student and now monastic religious to help those discerning understand the parallels between religious and college discernment.