When a research group in New York City studied the  statistics for abortion in the various areas they discovered a strangely low number of abortions in zip code 11219.  Gregory Pfundstein of the Chiaroscuro Foundation thought there might be a story behind this and noting the presence of a Catholic Church in that zip code thought he might start there.

He contacted the pastor [of Regna Pacis (Queen of Peace)] and made arrangements for a visit. On his way to the appointment he drove around the 11219 area, noting that the homes and neighborhoods were ordinary, middle-class. Nothing struck him as outstanding or special.

He met the pastor of Regina Pacis, Msgr. Ronald Marino, who took him into the church, a beautiful example of Italian Renaissance architecture. As he looked around, the reporter stopped suddenly. He saw a sign and an arrow pointing to a little chapel in the back of the church — “Chapel of Mary, Mother of the Unborn.” He walked into the chapel and was amazed. The walls were covered with pictures of new-born babies, smiling, joyous. There was a beautiful statue of Mary and a “Book of Life” on a table, a volume with the written prayers and testimonies of pregnant women and of their spouses, mothers, fathers, grandparents, relatives and friends. These people poured out their fears, hopes and joys in the pages of the book, pleading for a successful birth or for the health of a child, or for the strength to go through with a difficult pregnancy, or expressing thanksgiving. One account told the story of a couple who were advised by their physician to get an abortion because their baby would not have any arms. The couple came to the pastor to talk. He felt he was not getting through to them about saving the child, so he led them to the little chapel and left them there. Months later they returned with their baby — born with fully developed arms and with their doctor’s testimony that he could not explain how! Msgr. Marino said that he had 60 more books like the one on display, filled with similar stories.

Read more on the HLI America’s Forum.