Noted pro-life activist Gerard Liston fasted here during the first two weeks of October to make amends for the world’s heartless attitude to the unborn child.

He was responding to the call from the Movement of Marian Lay Organizations (MMLO), a network of religious and pro-life groups, to unite in a weeklong “Supernatural Rescue” mission. Roman Catholic pro-lifers across North America concentrated on October 13, the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.

The rosary is a Catholic devotion of biblically based prayers repeated on a string of beads.

Mr. Liston, 31, has been involved in pro-life action since 1978 when he started a Right to Life group on the campus of the University of Alberta in Edmonton; he also participated in Campaign Life activity in that city.

In 1988, he was one of two men who undertook a “Fast for Life” on Parliament Hill in Ottawa (the other was Kurt Gayle of Toronto). A frequent sidewalk counselor and long-time hospital picketer, he has recently participated in a number of Operation Rescues.

Just why fasting works “is a mystery,” Liston admits, but he’s convinced that “there is a power there.”


The week for “supernatural rescue” culminated here October 13 in the third rosary rally held this year. Starting from the inner city St. Basil’s church, the procession of 250 people, organized by Mrs. Helen Fritz, crossed the university campus while praying the rosary. It was preceded by a statue of the Virgin Mary mounted on a platform and carried by four men.

The procession wound its way along streets adjacent to the notorious Morgentaler abortuary on Harbord Street.

In May 1989, a sweeping injunction issued by the Supreme Court of Ontario prohibited any form of peaceful protest such as praying, picketing or sidewalk counseling within 150 meters of the premises.

Toronto Picket

On October 26, 50-60 people took part in a picket at the Robert Scott’s abortuaries here. As women approached, some picketers stood on the steps to try to prevent access.

Enraged, Scott emerged shouting, shoving, and kicking. A priest was punched and shoved backwards to the ground over a low chain fence. Others were pummeled and kicked. An attempt to hold the door closed by one pro-life young woman resulted in her being charged with “mischief.” One young man, who earlier had been kicked in the head, was arrested on his way to the subway.

Another ma, who had been on the receiving end of Scott’s vicious behavior was also arrested. Both were charged with ‘mischief’ and ‘assault’ on the complaint of an abortion nurse that they had impeded her while she was making her way to a nearby “safe house.’

A safe house is a place in the neighborhood of an abortuary for women who have abortion appointments. Neither man knows the basis of her complaint.