The Reward of Her Labors

In the days following the Red Sox breaking the curse of the Bambino in 2004, one frequently heard of visits to cemeteries to put a remembrance at the graves of loyal and long-suffering family members.

In a matter of infinitely greater importance, one might expect the same in the aftermath of overturning Roe vs. Wade. How many in the pro-life movement lived for the day when their passionate labors and intense prayers would be rewarded – and did not see it, at least in this life.

Allow me to honor one of them. In June of 2020, our dear friend Nina Tsantinis succumbed to the cancer she had lived with grace and dignity for many years. She died in the middle of the pandemic and was deprived of a public funeral in the Church she had come to love. This is always a painful thing, but in Nina’s regard, especially so.

Not only because her love for the Church fortified her efforts to defend the lives of the most vulnerable, but also because she was such a kind and thoughtful friend. I was not privy to the circumstances which led to her conversion, but I believe that, like many, she suffered her way into the Church. Unwavering in her convictions, her intelligence and her own experience of human limitations kept her heart open to suffering in many different forms.

For obvious reasons, Nina came to mind this week on hearing of the vandalism at the Problem Pregnancy offices on Pleasant St. in Worcester. It was here that she volunteered her time and it was here that she protested in front of the adjacent abortion clinic. Whatever worth there is in stereotypes, this sweet and gentle woman did not easily fit the role of a sidewalk protestor. But this doesn’t account for the steel within and the dedication to women in distress and to all those who have no voice of their own.

We loved you, Nina. Please pray for us.