Thursday, October 16, 2008

From Conception To Natural Death

I'd like you to take a moment to read an obituary with me. No, it's no one I know, and as the gentleman was of extremely advanced age, never married, and had what appears to have been a good kind of life, the obituary isn't the sort that makes you gasp and say "How sad!" even if you didn't know the person; it's actually rather intriguing:
Marion Joshua Hite

Recitation of the rosary followed by a funeral Mass will be at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 11, 2008, in Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Portland for Marion Joshua "Doc" Hite of Beaverton, who died Oct. 4 at age 102.

Marion Joshua Hite was born Dec. 9, 1905, in Boring. A farmer in Gresham and a truck driver, he also owned a body-and-fender business. He was a member of the church.

Survivors include his sisters, Pearl Barger and Marie Spencer.

Remembrances to Human Life International. Arrangements by Zeller.

See what I mean? Short, sweet, a life of over a century summed up in a handful of words. But why does a farmer, truck driver, and body-and-fender business owner ask for remembrances to be made to Human Life International?

There was more to the story, which is here:

A gentle legend in the pro-life world has died.

Each day for decades, Doc Hite walked, stood, sat and eventually slumped outside a Portland abortion clinic, urging adoption over abortion. His mission was persistent testimony to what he considered a slaughter of innocents. Hite, a member of Holy Rosary Parish, kept up his protest until he was 100.

He died Oct. 4 at age 102, after several years of sickness thwarted his mission. There was a rosary and funeral Mass at Holy Rosary last weekend.

“Only the dear Lord knows how many babies he actually saved,” says Thomas Di Novo, a Beaverton member of a Catholic men’s association that included Hite as its spiritual inspiration. “I know we are not to declare anyone a saint before the church does, but there are many who thought of him as a living saint.” [...]

He did not usually speak harshly of others, but did have some words for Christians who would not join him. “I quoted Scripture,” he told the Sentinel in 1999. “‘Naked and you clothed me, thirsty and gave me drink.’ What will He say to them? ‘I was being tortured and killed by the abortionists and you never lifted a finger to stop it!’” [...]

Hite always spoke respectfully if pleadingly to the women he encountered outside the building, urging them to call a 1-800 number for information about adoption. He was rarely, if ever, harsh and leaned toward compassion.

There are about 10,000 abortions in Oregon each year and usually about one in three are performed at Lovejoy.

Hite’s motivation, he told the Sentinel in 1999, is “love of God and children.”
Some of the women who did not abort because of his presence at the clinic would bring their babies to see him. You could count them on one hand, but most people assume there were many others who made their decisions without telling him.

Hite, who according to the article had many nieces and nephews, never had any children of his own, and said two years ago that it might have been nice to have had children. But he did have children--the women he helped, the babies he saved, they will be the children who know him someday, God willing.

As his friend said, we can't canonize anyone before our Holy Mother Church does. But if there are some miracles soon in Portland, especially ones that involve the lives of the unborn, I think the Church will know where to start looking.


Kimberlee said...

Beautiful! And is not even one child saved 'worth it' for a lifetime of prayer and effort?

MommaLlama said...

Wow, my his soul rest in eternal peace!

Journey of Truth said...

Lovely testimony.

Irenaeus said...

Could always send his case to the office that handles saints.