Dave Anson has an interesting story. Ordinary guy, who happened to be raised without a firm faith foundation. He served in Vietnam, experiencing, as did many of the very young men who served there, a lot of terrible things.
Anson worked hard at bringing himself to a good place in his life after a less than perfect time as a young man. His journey led him to wonder about the truth of God. So as he sat at a computer one day, Anson, who’d been attending Baptist services, did an Internet search asking simply who started the Church. His query led him to the basics of the Catholic faith, and ultimately, RCIA and joining the Church.
Anson, now a member of Corpus Christi Parish in Council Bluffs, Iowa, who also works in maintenance there, is active in supporting life as well. It wasn’t just Anson’s curiosity that led him to the Church and further developed his pro-life heart. He has a grandson who’s about to turn four years old, and the two are just about inseparable when Anson’s not working. “I wanted to be a better example for him,” Anson said. “If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be in the Catholic Church.”
The blessing of his grandson came through an unexpected pregnancy for his daughter who is single. His grandson’s arrival led the way for the family to live a pro-life example. Anson worked on his small house to make more room for his daughter and grandson. He and his wife took on and shared childcare duty in earnest to help his daughter out. When his grandson accompanied him everywhere, he proudly told those who ribbed him about it that he wouldn’t have it any other way. He feels like his grandson is another chance in his life to do some good in the world.
Volunteering at Birthright and helping Gabriel’s Corner with carpentry are among the things he’s done outside his own home to model the pro-life principle. Anson is so passionate about the life issue that he’s written several letters to the president trying to change his mind on his promotion of abortion. Anson said he felt unnerved about doing it at first, as though a regular person like him would have not be able to find the right words and ultimately have no voice in the situation. He worried about how he came across. “I never finished high school,” he said. “I’ve been more immature than anything.” Yet the call he felt took him forward in corresponding, something he worked hard at. “I pointed out the disparity in what he says and does,” Anson said. “I invited him to talk about it, to Bible study. I included scripture.This is not about what people say. It’s about what God says.”
Last year, Dennis Shea, a member of the Knights of Columbus in the Holy Family council and Anson’s sponsor for RCIA, put Anson’s name in for a Knights scholarship to the March for Life. Anson was awarded the trip to attend the march, and came back even more energized about fighting for life. “That was a really good opportunity,” said Anson, who went with his wife Susan. “I had never really thought about going before.”
The pro-life crowd of hundreds of thousands affected him. “The amount of people, that was just amazing,” he said. “I’ve been to New York and L.A, but that was a lot of people out there all for the same cause.”
Like many who’ve experienced the march, seeing the diminished media coverage bothered him. “The thing I didn’t like, the paper had a small article,” said Anson. “That was sad, that that’s all they have in that newspaper.”
One of the many things missed by the media was something Anson still recalls, and it was the spirit of the pro-life crowd. “Everybody was pro-life,” Anson said. “Everybody worked together, there was no pushing.” Anson said the March for Life was inspiring, exciting, and really thought-provoking. “You start thinking on the bus ride home, what you can do,” said Anson. “It brings it home right away.”
Anson’s wife Susan joined him in coming into the Catholic Church this past year. Their daughter will complete RCIA and enter the Church at Easter Vigil this coming year. At that same time his grandson will be baptized.
He remains committed to doing all he can in support of life.
How can the March for Life impact your life like it has impacted Dave’s? What can you do in support of life?