Denver priest ‘pulls out the big guns’: TLM outside Planned Parenthood

Here is something Life News to stir the heart.

Fr. Joseph Hearty. OORAH!

Denver priest ‘pulls out the big guns’ on Planned Parenthood: says Mass on the street outside clinic
Mon Apr 23, 2012

DENVER, CO, April 23, 2012 ( – Prayerbooks, rosaries, and pro-life pamphlets are a common sight outside Planned Parenthood’s massive facility in downtown Denver, but this year, local organizers of this spring’s Forty Days for Life campaign decided that one last piece was missing to bring the light of Christ to the country’s second largest abortion facility: the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

The idea to celebrate the Catholic Mass in front of Planned Parenthood came from Fr. Joseph Hearty, Assistant Pastor at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in nearby Littleton, who felt that it was time to “pull out the big guns.” It was, he told LifeSiteNews, an inspiration from the Holy Spirit.

“If we can pray the rosary, why not offer the Mass, why not use the Mass and the Eucharist as a means of fighting this tragedy,” he said. “Why not use the most powerful means that we have?

As it turned out, the idea energized the local pro-life community far beyond what organizers had expected. Fr. Hearty planned for thirty attendees at his first Mass on March 3rd, and got a hundred.

Providentially, an empty parking lot right across the street from the Planned Parenthood owned by a pro-life couple was big enough to accommodate the crowd.

As a member of the traditional Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, Fr. Hearty celebrated the traditional Latin Mass, known as the Tridentine Mass. Diocesan priests have also gotten in on the action, though, with six different Masses offered in the parking lot during the Forty Day campaign in English and Spanish. All six Masses were well attended, averaging between fifty and a hundred persons.

A March 31st closing rally kicked off with a Spanish Mass, followed by a rosary led by Bishop James Conley, apostolic administrator for the Denver Archdiocese. In comments at the rally, Bishop Conley urged pro-lifers to vigilance as Planned Parenthood continues to build “megaplex death mills” across the country, the Denver Catholic Register reports.

According to the Register, over 300 people attended the rally, which ended with a second Latin Mass celebrated by Fr. Hearty. There were so many at the final Mass that the priest returned to the altar four times to break up the hosts for distribution before finally running out.

The popularity of the idea, says Fr. Hearty, is a sign that “people really want to do something.” He hopes the idea will spread, and in particular that clergy in other parts of the country will be inspired to become more involved in pro-life work.


“Our fight is not against the world, it’s against principalities and darkness, it’s against evil, it is against the devil,” says Fr. Hearty. “Why not make a few demons quake?

WDTPRS kudos to Fr. Joseph Hearty!

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  1. Arieh says:

    Ad orientem and prie-dieux! Was this a Traditional Latin Mass??

  2. Arieh says:

    Oops, should read the article first. [Not to mention the entry’s title! o{];¬) ]

  3. Joseph-Mary says:

    There have been several other priests to have offered the Holy Sacrifice there across the street from the second largest abortuary in the country–they kill 200-250 a week there. Also Bishop James Conley comes there to lead prayers as well.

  4. Joseph-Mary says:

    May I mention also that the 40 DAYS FOR LIFE campaigns are generating a huge grassroots pro-life effort in America and internationally now. Please support your closest 40 Days for Life effort! The next campaign will be September 26th-November 4th.

  5. Long-Skirts says:

    “Our fight is not against the world, it’s against principalities and darkness, it’s against evil, it is against the devil,” says Fr. Hearty. “Why not make a few demons quake?”

    God bless Fr. Hearty, Sacerdos!


    There can be no peace
    If not of good will.
    There can be no race
    For those who stand still.

    Only she –
    Full of grace
    Was the miracle
    Set in place.

    To magnify
    Her soul prepared
    By God, her spirit –
    Never ensnared.

    “Blessed art thou…”
    Gabriel hailed,
    And at that moment
    The enemy railed.

    For he remembered
    In the garden free
    Between him and a woman

    But who the woman?
    God did not tell,
    Then Gabriel’s “Ave”
    Shook the depths of Hell.

    And Satan screamed,
    Turned on a wing
    To offer some peace
    And will good to a King.

    “Peace.” Herod said,
    “And yes good will…
    I’ve a right to my reign,
    If some Innocents I kill!”

  6. Spiritual Warfare – OORAH!

  7. RichR says:

    Inspiring. It is so easy to become complacent about the “legality” of abortion that you forget the fact that there are children being denied life. How tragic, how dark, how evil!

    This post and the recent one on the Pontifical Josephinum seminarians were great.

  8. Gregg the Obscure says:

    The photo could be a wee bit misleading. The tallest structure is a hotel that isn’t connected to the slaughterhouse.

  9. tripudians says:

    Was it Missa contra paganos? Would be very fitting… ;)

  10. Wow. I’m wondering why this hasn’t been done already?

  11. J Kusske says:

    At first glance I thought the altar had a St. Andrew’s Flag on its base–I wonder if that table was chosen because the crossbars form the shape of the St. Andrew Cross! That way it has the crucifix on both sides…

  12. smad0142 says:

    And I am sure it does not suprise anyone that Fr. Hearty, and the Parish he is at, offers Confession frequently and he is a wonderful Confessor. In fact I have seen him several times dressed in laymen’s clothes in line for Confession himself! Truly a great man and Priest! If people would like to support him,his parish is currently undergoing a capital campaign. Google Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Littleton and check out the website.

    [That is great news. I will add, however, that when you see him or any other priest doing that (going to confession) just ignore him, don’t take any notice of him whatsoever.]

  13. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    I dunno. . . I’ve just never been comfortable with Mass being celebrated outside of sacred places, except when “necessity requires” otherwise, per c. 932.2. Doubtless, it’s just me.

  14. AnnAsher says:

    I guess I’m the only unreformed ossified manualist wannabe that doesn’t like outside Masses even for this cause? Sorry to be a downer. How about a Corpus Christi procession with the Eucharistic Lord instead?

  15. Diego F. C. says:

    I think you’re right, Dr. Edward.

    See this hard article (in spanish):

  16. Del says:

    Speaking of spiritual warfare and big guns….

    Some priests of the Diocese of Rockford got permissions and assembled a team of prayer warriors, then began to do the rites of exorcism on the four corners outside a notorious abortion mill in Rockford. Yes, some strange and spooky stuff happened…. but after a few weeks of this, the mill closed. Even before the health inspections, the clinic (which never closed during decades of protests) was often closed on the days of exorcism prayers.

    Of course I can’t prove it, but also I believe that angels had a hand in guiding the pro-abortion health administration to finally inspect the place.

  17. Todd V. says:

    While I applaud the intent, I myself am personally not entirely comfortable with this. In the Byzantine Liturgy, before receiving communion, I pray, “Receive me now O Son of God as a participant in your Mystical Supper, for I will not give you a kiss like Judas, nor reveal your mysteries to your enemies.”

    In the Early Church, catechumens and penitents were not permitted in the main body of Church during the Mass of the Faithful/Liturgy of the Eucharist.

    While Spiritual Warfare against the great evil of abortion is necessary, USING the Eucharist, the mystery by which the Baptized enter into communion with Christ, seems to be instrumentalizing, and thus cheapening, a Sacrament, at least in my understanding. I would much prefer Rosary, prayer, and by all means exorcisms, but this practice seems to turn our highest form of worship into a form of protest. Again, no disrespect for the participants, I just question the prudence.

  18. Blaise says:

    I would be inclined to argue that this is case of necessity in terms of the overwhelming need to stop the slaughter of the innocent and save the souls of those involved.

    Of course really mass does not need to be said outside the facility, or even in the same continent, to have the spiritual effects desired. Maybe we could encourage priests everywhere in the world to offer mass at least once a month for the conversion of those involved in providing or procuring abortion and for all those undergoing abortion or struggling in the face of an unwanted pregnancy.

  19. NoraLee9 says:

    In March 2004, when many of the faithful in New York City were trying to prevent the Archdioscese from selling the National Shrine of St. Ann (St. Ann’s Church on East 12th Street) in order to pay their lawsuit debts, the SSPX asked permission to say a Mass at the Ars Privilegiata. They were denied, so they said Mass outside the Church. There were over 200 people. It was a very Holy affair.

    Remember that when the Irish Catholics were on the run from the British soldiers, Mass was held outside in remote locations. When one sees big, burly rugby player-type ushers standing in the back of the church with their arms crossed during Mass, they might not know it, but they are hearkening back to the practice of their ancestors, who guarded the priest and the people from disturbance. But I digress.

    Mass is said outdoors during camping trips and during pilgrimages.

    We are entering a period of spiritual warfare. Although Mass inside of a beautiful church is incredibly spiritually enriching, and certainly puts one on the fasttrack to heaven, as soldiers of Christ we must save souls and give witness to the truth. Father Hearty and his people certainly accomplished that goal.

  20. AnnAsher says:

    I also just noted most of the people sitting on their rumpasses … Another point of contention I hold.

  21. Supertradmum says:

    I am all for these types of Masses, the Sacrifice of Christ against the powers of the world. Also, silent and respectful Adoration of the Lord in the Eucharist would be a majestic witness. I am reminded of the priest, Father Gabriel, in The Mission, played by Jeremy Irons, carrying the Monstrance with the Vulnerable Christ out to meet the enemies of the Church. Public witness carries truth and conviction.

  22. Alice says:

    AnnAsher, I don’t know what picture you’re looking at because I see most people kneeling on hard pavement with a few standing in that picture. I do see 3 people (and the legs of a fourth) who from their dress appear to be a bit north of 60 sitting.

    That said, I have a very hard time understanding why so many people think this Mass was a good idea. Are there no churches nearby where the Mass could be celebrated on a proper altar and then the people could process to the abortion facility for the Rosary or exorcisms?

  23. irishgirl says:

    A double ‘OORAH’, indeed! Way to go, Father Hearty of the FSSP!

  24. Cathy says:

    In his book, An Exorcist Tells His Story, Fr. Gabriele Amorth says that it is ‘very efficacious’ to celebrate Mass at a house that is being exorcised. Hopefully, the same applies at a place like Planned Parenthood. It seems like a good idea to me. Personally, I trust Fr. Hearty to know and do what’s proper in celebrating Mass.

  25. plemmen says:

    “Our fight is not against the world, it’s against principalities and darkness, it’s against evil, it is against the devil,” says Fr. Hearty. “Why not make a few demons quake?”
    Verily! The struggle in which we are engaged is against the very minions od Satan, the demons and principalities that perform his commands against the believers and potential believers (the unborn). Each murdered preborn child is a soul cast into limbo until the Judgement Day, thus millions of potential believers and warriors for Christ are negated and not available for the spiritual battle against Hell’s inhabitants, the Army of Darkness’ commanders.

  26. AA Cunningham says:


    Father Hearty frequently goes to confession incognito at a parish other than his own. I would surmise that that is SOP for most Priests.

  27. AA Cunningham says:


    “I also just noted most of the people sitting on their rumpasses …”

    Obviously, you didn’t look too closely. Most are kneeling, with a few standing, on the asphalt. The exceptions who were seated, about a half dozen of those pictured, were the elderly and those in poor health.

  28. AnAmericanMother says:

    Don’t be too picky, guys!

    Or, better yet, if you want to be picky, get busy and organize one of these events in YOUR parish.

  29. Todd V. says:


    I disagree with you. A “state of necessity” generally needed to celebrate Mass in such a manner is when a church is not available (battlefields, persecutions, etc.). My issue here is that people are using the Eucharist as a protest demonstration. I personally feel incredibly uncomfortable with this, as it goes against Church Tradition, and seemingly against our Lord’s command to not give what is Holy to the Dogs, or cast pearls before swine. A Mass is efficacious wherever it is said, choosing to instrumentalize it into a protest demonstration I believe causes scandal.

  30. ContraMundum says:

    @Todd V.

    You could say the same thing about rosaries, and in fact I have. In that case, though, there is probably a difference between “We are going to protest the abortion clinic, and while we are there we will say the rosary” and “We are going to say the rosary outside the abortion clinic as a protest.”

  31. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    contramundum. there is no law on where rosaries are said; there is law about where Mass is said, and this don’t count as one of those places on these facts.

  32. AdTrinitatemPerMariam says:

    To borrow the words of Fr. Z:
    Just too cool.

  33. M.D. says:

    At the closing rally, Father Salvador Cisneros from Ascension Parish in Denver celebrated Mass in Spanish at 8 a.m.; Bishop James D. Conley, apostolic administrator for the Denver Archdiocese, led a rosary and pro-life litany at 10 a.m.; then Father Hearty celebrated the extraordinary form of the Mass—commonly called the Tridentine Mass, which is said in Latin—at 11 a.m.

    Additional Masses were celebrated on-site other days during the campaign by Father Piotr Mozdyniewicz, pastor of Shrine of St. Anne Church in Arvada; Msgr. Bernard Schmitz, pastor of Mother of God Church in Denver and liaison for clergy for the archdiocese; and Father John Paul Leyba, pastor of Holy Trinity Church in Westminster

    “The diocesan Bishop shall be the judge for his diocese concerning this necessity, on a case-by-case basis.”

    40 Days for Life appears to have met that standard.

  34. ContraMundum says:

    @Dr. Edward Peters

    I wasn’t talking about canon law, which is not mentioned in Todd V.’s comment to which I replied.

    So, for instance, he said, “My issue here is that people are using the Eucharist as a protest demonstration. I personally feel incredibly uncomfortable with this …” and I say, “My issue here is that people are using the rosary as a protest demonstration. I personally feel incredibly uncomfortable with this ….” I would not our Lord’s command to not give what is Holy to the Dogs, or cast pearls before swine to the rosary; however, I would apply our Lord’s command not to pray on the corners of the streets that we may be seen of men. Finally, he said, “A Mass is efficacious wherever it is said, choosing to instrumentalize it into a protest demonstration I believe causes scandal.” I say, “A rosary is efficacious wherever it is said, choosing to instrumentalize it into a protest demonstration I believe causes scandal.”

    There may be valid canonical concerns about holding Mass in the open this way, but Todd V. was not addressing them and my response did not invoke them.

  35. ContraMundum says:

    The word “apply” got left out above: “I would not apply our Lord’s command ….”

  36. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    I was trying to bring this thread back to the original point, the liceity of such a Mass. I was not trying to sort out motives for and characterizations of such Masses, just whether there was an objective way to see whether they were licit. I think there is. That’s all.

  37. Ben Yanke says:

    I want to plan one of these…

  38. Pingback: Wow! MASS outside Planned Parenthood clinic! | Catholic Canada

  39. Todd V. says:


    I don’t believe the Rosary and the Mass are comparable. I myself have prayed the Rosary outside an abortion clinic, and have no issue with it (provided, as you say, it is done out of devotion and not to show of, as our Lord warns us). The difference is the Mass is our highest sacrament, and I believe that it should not be turned into a means to a (laudable) end, such as protesting an abortion clinic. I reiterate my past comments, based on Church History and Liturgical Precedent, that using the most august of all sacraments in this manner is a scandal, and add that the Mass as such must be treated in much more careful a manner than a private devotion, such as a Rosary.


  40. Todd V. says:

    *”show off,” not “show of”

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