SUMMERFIELD | Maggie Fraser prays every day for Joseph Thomas. She’s never met him, although she hopes she will someday.
What she does know is roughly how big he is, what he looked like since God conceived him, and the promise of joy that is to come should his mother choose to let him live.
This is spiritual adoption and about 40 men and women at St. Mark the Evangelist Parish in Summerfield take time each day to pray for babies whose mothers are considering abortion. In a post Roe world, these prayers still matter.
Fraser spiritually adopted her first child, who she named Kevin Zachary, in 2011. “I was thinking about the young women needing our support and hopefully carrying their babies to full term,” she said. “That’s part of it. The more we pray for these young women out there seeking abortions, I feel that’s what God wants us to do.”
It is her prayers, and those of fellow parishioners — united with millions of others around the world — that have saved an untold number of children.
Praying provides power over a seemingly powerless situation. It is this idea that spawned spiritual adoptions after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion in 1973. It was the late Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen who provided the first prayer, assuring the faithful they would “embrace” in heaven the babies who were spiritually adopted.
As Fraser begins her morning with her daily devotional, she pulls the card from between its pages and offers her first prayer. Then she continues to pray as she moves from one thing to the next throughout the day. Over the past 22 years, Fraser has prayed for at least as many children. Beginning every January, she’s watched them grow month by month, depicted and described in the parish bulletin.
As their “birth” arrives, parishioners gather clothing, bottles, blankets, diapers and other items and invite Lori Aguirre, director of Alpha Center for Women, to a baby shower. This particular center is significant because it was once an abortion clinic in Ocala where St. Mark the Evangelist prayer warriors would pray for babies and mothers. Aguirre often brings mothers to be, sometimes accompanied by their other children. They are the evidence of the miracle of prayer.
“We know by faith He answers all prayers, though we may not know His answers, although we won’t always know the effect,” said Fraser. “God wants us to pray. That’s what this is about.”
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you” (Jer 1:4-5).
By Glenda Meekins of the Florida Catholic staff, September 08, 2023