Jakubczyk on Common Sense

Applying faith and reason to ideas, issues and events in today's world

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John J. Jakubczyk has been active in the Pro-Life Movement since 1975.  He served as President of Arizona Right to Life, Arizona's largest, oldest and strongest pro-life organization.  He was on the board of AzRTL for many years and now acts as the Arizona delegate to the National Right to Life Committee.  As the founder and president of Southwest Life & Law Center, he continues to use his legal skills to assist in advising, counseling and defending women, children, pro-life activists, organizations, as well as victims of abortion. A national speaker, motivator and adviser since the 1980s, he is very familiar with the history of the movement at the national level.   A founder and past president of Ville de Marie Academy, he served as a trustee for 15 years.  He has been an attorney in private practice for 35 years, is active in his church, married, the father of 11 children, and a proud grandfather.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Thirty years ago today - a reflection

On the morning of October 13, 1979, in Grady Gammage Auditorium at Arizona State University, those men and women who had successfully passed the Arizona State Bar Exam and were deemed fit to practice law, raised their right hands and and repeated the Oath admitting them to the practice of law. I was among those participants and it was a day that brought pride to my family and friends. It was an exciting day for me, one which offered great anticipation. I was a lawyer and soon to hang out my shingle and begin the noble work of an honored profession.

I will admit that my idealism had been tempered after three years of law school. Learning how the law really works and that there is a difference between justice and the law takes some getting use to. And the shadow of the abortion controversy was ever present. I could not shake myself of the notion that until that evil was lifted from our nation, everything the law touched was somehow tainted.

Yet I was hopeful that God would use me in some small way to make a difference.

Two days later I opened up my office on 324 E. Thomas Road in Phoenix, not far from where I lived while attending high school. I would swing by the old house and visit our neighbor, an old Greek hatter, named Georg Falkadis. He made me my first hat and every so often I would stop by, sit with him in his parlor and let him reminisce about the early days of downtown Phoenix.

It was the beginning of an adventure that found one part of me engaged in the general practice of law and the other part drawn to advocacy for the unborn, their mothers and those who who protect them both from the treacherous claws of the abortion industry. After thirty years, it is still the same story. And I hope that through the years, I have done more good than ill, and helped more than hurt. Of course those thirty years have had quite an impact on my life. I met and married a most incredible young lady and we have been blessed to raise 11 amazing children. Those children have been and continue to be the conduit of God's awesome love. I have been involved in a movement that is all about the "other person;" a movement that has allowed me to meet and befriend some of the greatest human beings on the face of the earth. And I do not mean just the famous or important ones when I say this. So many people have given of their time, their talent and their treasure to help save the lives of these little ones and to help women who were without hope. They would open up their homes and take in young women who had been kicked out of their homes. They would give up their Saturdays or maybe even more of their weekdays to sidewalk counsel. Then there were the little old ladies who would come to the office and help with the mailings. This was before computers made things easier. We had the prayer warriors them as we do today. And not just the prayer warriors but also those who seemed to suffer as well, offering their physical ailments for the sake of the children.

Of course we have these same people, or their sons and daughters, or their friends out here today making a difference, one life at a time. Believing that everything will happen in God's time, that we as a people will finally realize that killing our future is so wrong, that we as a people will get on our knees, atone for our sins and seek His forgiveness, I can continue and seek to make a difference each day, open to what ever God has in store.

In keeping that faith, I draw upon the example of my parents, two people who live their faith every day. I can happily say that I know my parents' story and it is a beautiful one; not without tragedy, not without disappointment, but filled with an amazing appreciation for the gifts God has given us. A strong work ethic, a clear sense of right and wrong, and a dedication to family, my parents showed me what love was all about.

So I consider 30 years of practicing law. There have been some very interesting cases and a lot of very ordinary ones. Yet with every client there was a human being and in most cases I learned something from those encounters.

Ironic that while so much has changed, some things have not. It will be interesting to look back years from now and see if I will be reflecting from behind the same desk. After all I still have a six year old to see through school.

Thanks for joining me on a personal walk in the past.