Where are they now?
Meet Sr. Amata Filia, SV (Laura Dierschke)
Click HERE to see other extraordinary sidewalk counselors in our archives!
Name: Sr. Amata Filia, SV (Laura Dierschke)
Previous/Current Occupation: Previously: Business Manager for the Coalition for Life from Nov. 2005 – Aug. 2007
Currently: In my fourth year with the Sisters of Life in New York City, missioned at our Sacred Heart Convent in Manhattan, which serves as a “Holy Respite” home for vulnerable pregnant women and their babies
Church: St. Mary’s Catholic Center when I lived in Bryan/College Station; now Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in mid-town Manhattan
Major and classification: Marketing; Texas A&M Class of 2004
Any passions/interests?: Prayer, reading, cross-stitching, playing board games
How did you become a volunteer/why are you involved?
Beginning in my sophomore year and throughout the rest of college, God poured out many graces into my heart. I began to take my faith more seriously and became active in several Catholic Campus Ministry programs. Many of the new friends I was making through St. Mary’s were already active volunteers with the Coalition for Life, and they invited me to various coalition events. As my faith-life blossomed and I came to realize the awesome power of prayer, and as my eyes were opened to the realities of the Culture of Death in our society, even right there in my beloved Aggieland, I knew it was something I wanted and needed to be a part of. By the time the first 40 Days for Life campaign began in Fall 2004, I was a regular stand and pray volunteer. But then I graduated and moved back to my home town. I was unsure at that point in my life where God wanted me, but knew that somehow I was supposed to be working for Him. Several months later I got an e-mail from Marilisa Carney saying that a position had opened up at the Coalition—was I interested? Of course I was! Getting hired to be on the staff of the Coalition was an answer to my prayers, and the next two years were incredibly happy and fulfilling. My experiences at the Coalition laid a beautiful foundation for, and in some ways helped me discover, my ultimate vocation as a religious sister, consecrated to God and vowed to the protection and enhancement of the sacredness of all human life.
Why you are pro life (is there a story here?): I remember my freshman year of college going to Open House on campus and being drawn to the Aggies for Life table, but when I learned that they stood to pray in front of abortion clinincs I felt uncomfortable with the thought. I would have considered myself pro-life growing up, but had never really given much thought to the issue one way or the other because I wasn’t very exposed to any type of pro-life activism in my small town. I certainly wasn’t interested in doing anything so “radical.” But once I got over that misconception and began attending Coalition events and saw how peaceful and prayerful they were, I knew that the witness and prayers were making a real difference that was changing people’s lives, including my own! Being present there at the actual place that the abortions occur makes “pro-life” more than just an “issue” to be debated—it makes it real and personal. Praying at the clinics and sidewalk counseling allow us to reach out to those mothers who are scared and vulnerable and to say, “I’m pro-YOUR life. We love you and we want what’s best for you, and we will support you through this,” which is often all that her heart really desires to hear. That’s not “radical,” that’s the compassion and love that Christ calls all of us to. Now as a Sister of Life, I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to walk closely with these women on their journey, and to offer them the practical, emotional, and spiritual resources that will help them to know their inherent dignity and goodness and to embrace their motherhood in a beautiful way.
Any additional thoughts (comments): I am constantly encouraged and edified whenever I hear the marvelous ways God continues to work through the Coalition for Life and I am grateful to have been a part of it. I continue to keep the Coalition’s efforts and 40 Days for Life deeply in my prayers. Let us persevere in hope and trust that the Lord will bring about in our world a true Culture of Life where every person is loved and cherished as a unique, irreplaceable icon of the living God; reverenced and treated as beloved sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father.