By Susan Ciancio
Last year, Gabriel Vance, founder of the Columbus, Ohio-based pro-life group Catholics for Life, stood praying outside an abortion facility. As he prayed, he noticed a man drive up and drop off his partner. While the man stayed in the car with two other children, the woman entered the facility.
Gabriel approached the man to talk to him, and in doing so, found that he was upset and didn’t want his partner to go through with the abortion. Gabriel encouraged him to continue to talk with her via phone and text. The man drove away, promising to try.
After the man left, Gabriel began saying Venerable Fulton J. Sheen’s prayer for the spiritual adoption of babies in danger of abortion. He said that prayer repeatedly and fervently, asking God for that baby’s life to be spared—or another baby’s life, if it was too late for this baby.
As he was praying, another car pulled in. The pregnant mother went inside the facility, while the father approached Gabriel to talk. Gabriel began explaining that every baby is a gift and that there are people who can help. He then pointed to the pregnancy resource center across the street and said the couple could get help there. The man accepted literature from Gabriel, got the mom out of the Planned Parenthood facility, drove across the street, and entered the Women’s Care Center, where they got a free ultrasound.
Gabriel doesn’t know if he saved the baby that day, but he does know that, when the couple left the pregnancy resource center, they smiled and waved—a definite positive sign.
Because he loves babies and their moms, Gabriel Vance puts himself between the abortion facility and the abortion-minded every day.
A pro-life beginning
It’s no surprise that Gabriel grew up to create a Catholic, pro-life organization. He had always been passionate about saving babies. As a child, he would pray with his family in front of abortion facilities. In middle school, he attended Marches for Life. And in high school, he began a pro-life group called Crusaders for Life.
But it was an event during his senior year of high school that solidified his passion and desire to make pro-life work his life’s work. During spring break of that year, he went on a Justice Ride with a pro-life group called Created Equal. The mission of the Justice Ride—a bus trip to different cities in Florida—is to train high school and college students to talk to people about abortion and about the sanctity of life. Gabriel and other missionaries went to several college campuses to educate students. During this trip, Gabriel learned the importance of effective dialog and was even part of an outreach where an abortion-minded mother changed her mind and spared the life of her baby.
Gabriel would later take a summer internship with Created Equal. He then attended Ohio Dominican University, where he earned a degree in theology. After graduation, he returned to Created Equal, where he continues his work part-time as director of external affairs.
To read the remainder of this article, visit clmagazine.org/topic/pro-life-activism/catholics-for-life-founder-inspires-love-and-compassion.
To read additional pro-life articles that will not only inspire but educate, visit the Celebrate Life Magazine website at clmagazine.org.