Iraqi Nun To Keynote Pro-Life Commemoration of Pro-Abortion Ruling
By Kelly Thomas | January 20, 2017, 10:44 EST
An Iraqi nun who has lived through four wars is the keynote speaker of a pro-life event Sunday in Boston marking the 44th anniversary of the court decision that legalized abortion.
Every year, Massachusetts Citizens for Life organizes an assembly to coincide with the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade and the legalization of abortion in all 50 states. It’s a time of sorrow for participants, but also of renewed fervor as they commit to another year of defending the unborn. Perhaps that’s why this year, MCFL chose for its keynote speaker a woman who began her life of service to the vulnerable in the midst of a warzone.
Mother Olga was born and raised in Iraq as a member of the Assyrian Church, an ancient eastern Christian church that is not in communion either with the Roman Catholic Church or Orthodox churches. She became a religious sister and tended to the poor, sick, and homeless, and she founded an organization that brought together Christians and Muslims to serve Iraq’s neediest. She spread her lay ministry into the walls of prisons as well, even tending to those prisoners within the Abu Graib compound.
After moving to the United States in 2001, Mother Olga studied pastoral ministry and worked in the campus ministry at Boston University, adding to her previous degrees in biology, philosophy, and theology.
In 2005 she joined the Roman Catholic Church. In 2011 she founded a religious congregation of sisters, the Daughters of Mary of Nazareth, based in the archdiocese of Boston.
While Mother Olga’s zeal and devotion to her faith and to service have earned her accolades both in and outside of the Church, it is her joyful presence and quiet leadership that brought her to the attention of Anne Fox, the president of Massachusetts Citizens for Life. Fox, who has seen Mother Olga speak at rallies in the past, said of the petite Iraqi nun: “She’s out there in the middle of everything, a true witness.”
Fox said MCFL’s goal for the event is not only to rejuvenate the fight against abortion, but to defend life at every stage, from conception until natural death.
With legislation to legalize doctor assisted suicide inching closer to Massachusetts’ ballots, the need to witness to the value of every human life, regardless of age or ability, is more grave than ever, Fox told New Boston Post.
It is in this capacity that Fox believes Mother Olga was the perfect choice to top the lineup of speakers for Sunday’s event. Even in the most trying of times, Mother Olga has sought to defend the dignity of every human life. But beyond that, as Fox pointed out, she has done so in a way that reaches out to the youth of today, and inspires them to take on the fight for life.
“January 22nd isn’t just about commemorating Roe v. Wade,” Fox said. “It’s also about re-igniting people, and re-energizing them to take up this cause.”
For her part, Mother Olga is humble about her contributions to the pro-life movement, citing her deep faith as her strongest motivation: “I see His face in every human person I encounter, even the child in the womb. … I see the glory of God the same in the young people, the elderly, the people of all the nations that I have traveled to serve throughout my ministry.”
Also expected to speak are Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, the archbishop of Boston; Tim Bogertman, associate pastor at First Congregational Church in Revere; and Father Tom Bouton from St. Ambrose in Dorchester.
The assembly is scheduled for 2-4 pm Sunday, January 22 at Faneuil Hall in Boston. In addition to speakers it features a musical program.