A giant of an unsung pro-life hero, Cardinal Aloysius Ambrozic, died recently in his early 80s after a long illness. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion, mayors of the two of the largest cities in Canada, attended the standing room only funeral Mass at St.Michael’s Cathedral in Toronto.

Cardinal Ambrozic was a strong moral and financial supporter of LifeSiteNews in its embryonic stage and embraced its mission enthusiastically.

His support for pro-life and pro-family goes all the way back to when he was Archbishop of Toronto. In response to a letter my wife wrote to him in 1994, he wrote an unsolicited reply letter and I’ll only quote a little: “It would be difficult to express adequately my gratitude for your letter in connection to my invitation to the people of the Archdiocese of Toronto to protest the proposed same-sex legislation.

Such letters are true balm for my heart… yet it was most encouraging and in view of some media reactions, very consoling to receive affirmative echoes from ‘out there’.”

His death received scant media coverage compared to the overkill that NDP leader Jack Layton’s death got around the same time.  It was media posturing because they loved Jack because he promoted their agenda:  abortion, same sex “marriage” and a denial of personal liberties to others.  I first met Jack Layton when he was a Toronto councilor. I was on my first Operation Rescue and the participants laid down in front of Morgentaler’s abortuary, blocking the entrance for women planning to kill their babies.

Layton complained to the police: “What are those people doing there?”  The police told him bluntly: “These people are trying to stop them from having an abortion.”  Jack incorrectly told the police that it was illegal what they were doing and to get them out of there.

The police followed these political orders and picked up the protesters and dragged or carried them to a paddy-wagon and took them to jail where they were charged and released for court appearances.

A number of Operation Rescues were done but they didn’t get the kind of backing that was needed to be considered a success.  An Italian woman told me that if half the Italian Catholic population in Toronto turned up once for an Operation Rescue, there wouldn’t have been another: abortion would have been stopped because no politician would have wanted to cross them.

Last month, LifeSiteNews reported about a young would-be pro-life nurse, Anne Marie Dust, in Nashville. She applied at the end of her 2011 senior year in college to the nurse’s residency program at Vanderbilt University to pursue a career providing care to pregnant women and their preborn-children, only to be shocked to discover that Vanderbilt required her to certify in writing that she would agree to participate in abortions. It was assumed that applicants were “for women’s health” and you were also pro-abortion. The application stated that if one cannot provide care for women during this “type of event” one could go elsewhere.

Anne Marie Dust, a strong pro-lifer, decided that it was time to make a stand for her convictions.  With the help of the Alliance Defence Fund, she filed a federal complaint to the Tennessee Department of Health and Human Services in early January 2011. The complaint objected to the university’s “illegal discrimination” in forcing students to violate their “federal rights of conscience” by agreeing to assist at abortions.

U.S. federal law prohibits schools that receive Federal grants from denying admission to students who are reluctant to assist in any way in carrying out abortions, contrary to the applicant’s religious beliefs or moral convictions.  Vanderbilt receives $300 million in federal health grants every year.

In spite of her fears of a backlash at her school, or narrowing her job prospects, she decided to proceed with action. Within 26 hours of ADF’s letters being sent, Vanderbilt caved in and rescinded its policy that required students to assist in abortions.  (Canadian courts take notice.)

Ann Marie Dust’s story has already inspired pro-life students who wish to become student nurses.

Congratulations to Anne Marie for her courageous stand.  It’s interesting to see how many years have gone by when young nursing students were forced to do abortions or take some less suitable career path before Anne Marie Dust took on the establishment.

Three cheers for Anne Marie Dust and Cardinal Ambrozic. May others take up their challenges.