March 2011 - Marilisa Carney
Where are they now?
Meet Marilisa Carney!
Click HERE to see other extraordinary sidewalk counselors in our archives!Name: Marilisa Carney
Previous/Current Occupation: Director for the Coalition for Life; Now stay at home mom
Church: St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Fredericksburg VA
Major and classification: Communication; Texas A&M Class of 2003
Any passions/interests?: Other than my pro-life interests, my current passions revolve around my soon to be 4 children. Spending each moment with them in their young lives is such a joy and adventure!
How did you become a volunteer/why are you involved? I became a volunteer for the Coalition for Life in the Fall of 2000 upon transferring to attend Texas A&M University from St. Mary’s College in Indiana. While attending a volunteer fair at St. Mary’s Catholic Center, I met Lauren Gulde, the founder of Coalition for Life. She informed about how volunteers were able to “Stand & Pray” outside of the local Planned Parenthood abortion facility. While I had been raised in a Catholic home and was always very pro-life, I had never previously participated in any type of “activism” activity and was very intrigued! Before attending Texas A&M I had written and given competitive speeches in high school on the issue of abortion, and even volunteered for a maternity home in Indiana that served the needs of women in a crisis pregnancy. However, after my first time of going to “Stand & Pray” I was hooked! I felt even more convicted about my responsibility to be there on the sidewalk to offer alternatives for women, love them where they were, and make one last attempt to help save their child before the abortion. I soon became trained as a sidewalk counselor and served in that role for several years before joining the Coalition for Life staff in the Spring of 2004. After witnessing both the pain of the women going into Planned Parenthood and coming out looking barren and full of sorrow, and the joy of seeing a woman choose life for her child, I knew it was “there” that Christ had asked me to stand, to love, to pray, and to reach out to those He loved the most.
Why you are pro life (is there a story here?): I was raised by wonderful loving parents in a Catholic home. My parents were always very pro-life and vocal about their views. Being the daughter of an OB/GYN, bringing life into the world was something very familiar to our family! As a family we were blessed to have the influence of two Irish Catholic priests who served in my high school and were close personal friends of my parents. Their witness and example to the Faith, the Church, and Christ’s teaching on abortion helped to mold my own personal convictions about taking a vocal stand for life. I would say it was during my senior year of high school, when I wrote and delivered a speech for a state competition on the issue of abortion from the perspective of the unborn child that I took my first steps in speaking out about this great evil and injustice.
Any additional thoughts (comments): The Coalition for Life has played a major role in my young adult life. My husband and I began dating while serving as volunteers, started working there at the Coalition as a married couple, and helped to start 40 Days for Life, along with David Bereit and Emily Smith in the Fall of 2004. I cannot say enough great things about this incredible, Holy Spirit inspired organization. It is like no other. I urge and encourage everyone to take a greater role in serving Our Lord through this organization by either participating in “Stand & Pray”, becoming trained as a Sidewalk Counselor, and certainly by sharing your treasure. Thank you to the current Coalition for Life Executive Director and Staff for doing such an amazing job of speaking out for life, serving the men and women in crisis pregnancy, and praying for those working in the abortion industry. To all of you in Bryan/College Station, thank you for your witness and example, you have truly changed our life!