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Archives Sidewalk Advocates Program offered in diocese

March 31, 2021

By Colleen Miner
Director Diocesan Respect Life Office

Ever wonder if you’d know the ‘right thing’ to say to a woman who finds herself in an unplanned pregnancy? Afraid to say the wrong thing? Some people don’t say anything at all.

Situations arise in life that require tactful comments - whether overhearing a conversation in a grocery store or seeing someone quietly slip into church to pray - the opportunity may arise to help another. The contact may be by chance or because you’ve shared your prolife beliefs or maybe because you’ve placed yourself on the sidewalk outside an abortion facility. Wherever the time or place, it’s important to be prepared to help others make life-affirming decisions by offering help.

Starting in April, the Diocese of Ogdensburg has been approved to offer an educational opportunity to equip those who wish to help others choose life. The online, 10 course, 5 hour program has saved thousands of lives across the United States. Sidewalk Advocates for Life is a compassionate, peaceful, prayerful ministry that helps women feel confident to choose life.

Those who are interested are asked to complete a short registration form at www.sidewalkadvocates.org. At the bottom of the page, in the yellow box, click the “Join- Get trained as a Sidewalk Advocate”. Once the form is completed, it will be sent to the diocesan Respect Life Office who will contact you for payment ($10) and arrange to get a workbook to you. The workbook will have a unique code for you to go online and complete your studies. While the courses are designed for those 18 years of age and older, those who are younger are able to be trained, either alone or with a guardian by completing the Parental Permission Form.

Once training is complete, you’ll be asked to sign the Integrity Pledge and receive a certificate of completion. You’ll then be ready to schedule sidewalk time anywhere in the US! This is perfect for those who travel or snowbirds who spend part of their year in another state. Each Sidewalk Advocate location is listed on the website. The two locations listed for our diocese are Plattsburgh and Watertown because they are the two known surgical abortion locations. Other locations that are active and offer chemical abortions (RU-486) will be added as needed.

“Covid has presented this opportunity for us. While we are waiting for the ‘okay’ to gather in person, we can be trained online for this valuable ministry that can be used throughout life, wherever you are, to save lives.”

Also, since the Youth Buses for Life could not travel to DC this year for the March for Life, this might be something that teens can complete with their parents. Teens ask about ways to continue prolife efforts when they return home. Demographics tell us that the majority of abortions are done while women are college-aged so training in high school really makes sense and can benefit those headed off to college.

Sidewalk Advocates for Life is already active in two dioceses in our state: The Archdiocese of NY and The Diocese of Buffalo who have found it be a valuable asset. Several dioceses across the United States have Sidewalk Advocates for Life as their sidewalk counseling ministry so we are blessed to join those who are already active.

Please contact The Respect Life Office 518-524-0774 cminer@rcdony.org with questions concerning this new educational opportunity.


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