The Angel Gabriel and Frank D’Angelo have some surprising things in common. Both are messengers with long flowing hair, both have “angel” in their name and both are friends to the child in the womb.
In fact, Frank could never imagine how anyone could ever think of harming a child. But, some 20 years ago, a schoolmate told him he was taking his girlfriend to Buffalo to have an abortion. It wasn’t until years later that he ran into the abortion issue again from the pro-life side. A decade ago, when he was building his new courier business called :The Messengers,” he would go about knocking on the doors of downtown Toronto offices.
One day he knocked on the door of Toronto Right to Life and was warmly received by Alma Sternik, the secretary. He noticed the colourful wall posters of developing human life and was fascinated. He kept coming back to look at them and Mrs. Sternik kept handing him pro-life materials to read. Gradually he became angrier over the evils of abortion.
Since then he’s participated in Toronto pro-life demonstrations, prayer vigils and pickets, has attended the national annual RTL March in Washington, D.C. for the last five years and has worked with the Ontario Family Coalition Party.
On his pro-life vigour, June Scandiffio, Toronto RTL president, says, “Frank has revived our board with his enthusiasm and energy. I think of him as open arms and generosity.” Indeed she knows. Last May at a RTL board meeting, a group of young Canadians from all aver Canada described a Teen Chastity Program they were presenting in schools across Canada. Impressed, Frank bent over to board secretary, Joan O’Connor and asked her if he should give them some of a donation he had earmarked for RTL. She told him to give it all – and he did.
Last spring, he and his business partner, Andrew Buckingham decided to designate donations from their company’s profits to a needy charity, Rosalie Hall. It is a Toronto home and community centre for young single mothers, which offers accommodation, schooling and day care. Every month “The Messengers” donates 25 cents for every U.S. delivery and 10 cents for every Canadian air delivery.
To keep customers, informed of his company’s charitable donations, Frank writes them a breezy bi-monthly newsletter. Across the bottom of the note is a line of baby bottles. Full bottles represent $100 donations and partially-full ones represent “those on the way.” Recently, a representative from a prestigious Toronto business group wrote, “I am particularly touched by the money you have contributed to the Rosalie Hall Foundation. That is what society should do for the needy and I am proud to be associated with ‘The Messengers.’ Keep up the good work.”
Thirty-eight-year-old Frank was born and raised in Toronto, the fifth child of Italian immigrant parents (who, although elderly now, regularly come to Life Chain). After graduating from high school, he spent three years at university but grew restless and left to sell car insurance. Along the way he married Maggie, who is of Irish background. Of their marriage he says, “We’re a mix of mashed potatoes and pizza.”
One day he announced to Maggie that he was going to start his own courier company. She asked what he knew of such a venture and he replied, “Nothing.” Undaunted, with the help of a cousin, he went ahead anyway. Today, ten years later, “The Messengers” employs seventy people from all walks of life.
Couriers who work for “The Messengers” are easily distinguished by their professional attire. “Walkers” and “Drivers” wear ties, dark business suits, and trench coats (to identify with their customers) and drive small cars. Cyclists wear professional racing gear (to identify with a professional racer’s speed and safety). The company office is located a block away from Canada’s busiest financial centre at Bay and King Streets. Most of their customers are large financial institutions (two of Canada’s largest banks), the Toronto Stock Exchange, and major insurance corporation head offices.
More important than his “business smarts,” Frank says he’s a family man at heart who worries about society’s influences on his children. He wants them to grow up pro-life and tries to teach them by example.
Maggie, Frank’s wife of fourteen years, and their daughter, Rina, 13, are more private in their pro-life support. Frank tells about a family friend’s experience with an acquaintance who wanted to have an abortion because her pregnancy was interfering with a favourite sport. Appalled, Frank urged the family friend to tell her that he would offer her whatever kind of help she needed to have her baby. Then Maggie added her bit, “Tell her we’ll adopt her baby.”
Last Christmas, Frank’s flair for innovative ideas surfaced again. He approached CFRB radio and offered them courier service in exchange for radio advertising time for his company. They accepted his offer and he ran an ad borrowed from the U.S. Knights of Columbus that said, “This Christmas remember how it all started. Keep Christ in Christmas – Sponsored by ‘The Messengers.’” Many listeners head it on and over ten motorists called in on their cellular phones to thank Frank for the religious message.
This Christmas he’s running it again, beginning on December 13. It will be heard several times a day for a week. In his soft-spoken voice, he says “It’s nice to remind the secular world about the true meaning of Christmas.”