Rest in Peace, Dick Baker

The Rockland Right to Life Committee extends its condolences to Cathy Baker on the passing of her beloved husband, Dick, on Aug. 19.

Dick Baker of Tomkins Cove died at home, surrounded by his family. Cathy is the co-founder of Birthright of Rockland and a was member of the group of Rockland prolifers who joined together to fight the legalization of abortion in New York in 1969. Their efforts resulted in the establishment of the Rockland Right to Life Committee.

Visiting hours will be Monday, Aug. 22, 2016 from 2-4 and 7-9pm at Higgins Funeral Home in New City, N.Y. A funeral Mass will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 23, at  10 a.m. at St. Anthony’s Church with burial to follow at St. Anthony’s Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Dick’s memory to Birthright of Rockland County.
Dick’s obituary may be found here.


Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Dies

ScaliaStatement of Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life, on the death today of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia:

We are deeply saddened by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Justice Scalia steadfastly defended the right of elected lawmakers to enact laws that protect unborn children and their mothers and he often issued powerful critiques of the judicially manufactured barriers that limited such legislative efforts. Our thoughts and prayers are with Justice Scalia’s widow and family.

In Memoriam: Bonnie Walsh


April 23, 1947 – August 10, 2015

facebook-pix-bonnieThe Rockland prolife community lost one of its greats this past summer, Bonnie Walsh, of Haverstraw, who passed away Aug. 10.

Bonnie was a nurse and community leader, whose good works encompassed the full spectrum of human life.

She was a strong supporter of the Good Counsel Home (for homeless moms and babies) in Spring Valley and was honored for her work in 2003. She also received an award in 2011 from the Catholic Community Services of Rockland for her caring for those who needed assistance in our community. She worked tirelessly to hold political leaders accountable and to make Rockland a better place to live.  Continue reading

In Memoriam — Don Mellon


March 14, 1925 – June 10, 2015

 Don Mellon“I didn’t know whether he was a friend or foe,” long-time Pearl River resident Terry Anselmi said, recalling the first time she met the mysterious, helmeted biker in the black leather jacket who pulled up on his Harley to where a group of prolifers were protesting near an abortion clinic on Route 59 in Tallman many years ago.

He turned out to be a friend — great friend – to many of us and to the prolife movement here in Rockland County. His name was Don Mellon.

Don was a soft-spoken, gentle man with a big heart – a loving husband to his beloved wife, Joan, a generous, devoted family member, a devout Catholic, a college professor and author who would “gladly learn and gladly teach,” and an ardent, committed pro-lifer with a love for life. Continue reading

Dr. Jack Wilke, Rest in Peace

imagesJack Wilke, MD, the father of the modern prolife movement, passed away on Feb. 20 at the age of 89.

One of the first to speak out about the threat of legalized abortion in the late ’60s, he dedicated his  life to defending the unborn.

Many of us became active in the prolife movement through the work of Dr. Wilke. His landmark Handbook of Abortion was the text book where we learned about the issue and how to argue against it.

And his slides — long before there was an Internet — showed the world the beauty of life before birth — as well as the horror of abortion that ended it.

Do you recall the photo of the nurse’s wedding ring around the thin, tiny arm of little Marcus Richardson, who was born prematurely at 20 weeks? Or the iconic photo of the little feet at 10 weeks?

Those were the photos Dr. Wilke showed us — the photos that made us prolife.

Thank you,  Dr. Wilke. May you rest in God’s peace.

Read “Dr. Jack Wilke, R.I.P.” from the National Review

Be Part of the Life Chain — Sunday, Oct. 6

The 21st annual Rockland Life Chain will take place on Sunday, Oct. 6, from 2 to 3:30 at the intersection of Route 59 and Middletown Road in Nanuet.

The Life Chain is a peaceful, prayerful public witness of prolife individuals praying for our nation and for an end to abortion. This year it is being held in memory of the late John Davidson, of Congers, a longtime defender of the right to life.  John passed away on June 16, 2013.


John Davidson

John praying the Rosary at the 40 Days for Life.

John was a regular with the Our Lady of Guadalupe Rosarians, who pray every Saturday morning at 11 a.m. year round outside the Planned Parenthood office in Spring Valley.

Also, for six years — from the fall of 2007 until the spring of 2013 —  he participated in the 40 Days for Life, taking numerous hours fasting and praying to end abortion.

John was born in October 1933, in the heart of the Depression. He experienced  hard times. His father, out of work and ill, became hospitalized for tuberculosis, and his mother, Josephine O’Leary Davidson, became the breadwinner. With an outstanding score on the Civil Service Exam she landed a job of toll collector on the George Washington Bridge. She worked there until the end of World War II and then obtained a permanent position with the New York City Transit Authority.

Determined to meet the challenges he had to face, John took to education like a duck to water. He graduated from Sacred Heart grammar school in 1947, and his hard work paid off with a bachelor’s degree from Manhattan College in 1975, a master’s degree in English from Fordham University, a PhD in Administration from St. John’s University, and a JD from Pace University Law School in 1982. He was admitted to the bar in 1985.

In 1956 John’s  education was interrupted when he was drafted into the Army, where he served as a paratrooper. He later joined the Army Reserves as a second lieutenant and advanced through the ranks,   eventually retiring with the rank of Brigadier General.

In 1960 John met the love of his life, Kathleen Patricia McNally, a registered nurse. They were married in August 1961. John and Pat had four children: Kathy Patricia, Siobhan Mary, John Joseph III, and Joseph Dignam Davidson. John lost his beloved wife of 46 years on St. Patrick’s Day 2007.

John was a life-long educator. In 1960 he began teaching English at Lawrence High School in Cedarhurst, N.Y. In 1969 he was assistant principal of Lincoln Junior High School. In 1970 he became principal of the Academy of the Sacred Heart of Mary, in the Inwood section of the Upper Bronx. In 1971 he served as an assistant principal in Pittsfield, MA. Two years later returned to New York to be  assistant principal of Clarkstown North High School in New City. John held that position for 17 years until his retirement in 2000. Then he was elected to the Clarkstown School Board in 2001, becoming its president in 2006. He retired in 2012.

Also close to John’s heart throughout his life was the Knights of Columbus. John became a Knight in 1966 and received his Fourth  Degree in 1967 in Oceanside, N.Y. When he returned to Rockland County,  he joined the Cardinal McCloskey Council and the Joyce Kilmer Assembly 698. He was one of the founders of the  Pope John XXIII council 7104 in Congers and was elected that council’s first Grand Knight. He has also held the offices of District Deputy, Faithful Navigator of Assemly 698, Past Association Chairman, and Commander of the Honor Guard, which he considered  the “singular honor of his life.”

We thank the Knights of Columbus Triune Council 2052 for providing the information for this tribute.

In Memoriam — Barbara Braun

Betty at last year's Life Chain in Nanuet

Mass in Memory of
Barbara Braun

Oct. 7, 2011 — 7 pm
St. Francis of Assisi Church
Parrot Road, W. Nyack
This is the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, and the rosary will be said at 6:30 pm before the mass.

Blauvelt resident and pro-life activist Barbara (Betty) W. Braun, 86, passed away on April 15 from injuries sustained in a car accident. 
 Continue reading

In Memoriam — Thomas J. Niblo

November 8, 1920 — September 14, 2010

Tom & Inez Niblo, Past Chairs of Rockland RTL

Tom Niblo, former chairman of the Rockland Right to Life Committee, passed away on Sept. 14, 2010, at the age of 81. Tom was a member of the organization’s board of directors at the time of his death

Although Tom served Right to Life in many capacities for decades, his passion was education and his mission was to spread the word.

When the legalization of abortion steamrolled over the laws and values that upheld the sanctity of human life in the early 1970s, information about the issue – its moral, medical, legal, and sociological ramifications – was not that easily come by.

In those days, Tom found his weapons to confront the assault on the defenseless: prayer (he was a devout Roman Catholic) and the power of knowledge. Continue reading