'Bella' star believes America will see end to abortion
DENVER — Former Mexican soap opera star turned pro-life activist Eduardo Verastegui told a crowd of over 500 that he thinks abortion in the U.S. will one day come to an end.
"I think we will see regeneration and the end of abortion in this country," he said at a sold out Jan. 26 fundraiser for Lighthouse Pregnancy Center in Denver, Colo.
Verastegui gave his testimony about growing up in a pro-life country and eventually seeing Mexico City legalize abortion.
"Pro-choice, pro-life, all that, all those terms in Mexico didn't exist until a few years ago when Mexico City passed that horrible law."
Although abortion was legalized in Mexico City in 2007, 19 states have since passed constitutional amendments establishing the right to life for all, at the moment of conception. Once a total of 25 states pass similar amendments, the ruling in Mexico City can be overturned to reflect the majority.
"It was defined in our hearts, in all the Catholics in Mexico, but it was not defined in the Constitution," Verastegui said.
He also spoke about his passion for the pro-life movement and his recent opening of Guadalupe Medical Center in Los Angeles. He called the center an "oasis of life" in a "desert of death" because of its location near 10 abortion clinics.
Verastegui said that the goal of his center is "to save the most important thing that God loves the most," which is "to create human life."
"The most amazing part is when they enter this place they don't feel alone anymore because there are so many volunteers, so many people just hugging them."
When he heard about Lighthouse Pregnancy Center's goal to open a crisis pregnancy center near the second largest Planned Parenthood in the country, he said, "I am just so excited to hear that you are doing the same thing here ... (it is) really the best way to really win this culture of death and turn this culture into a culture of life."
Verastegui spoke about his conversion from being a popular Mexican soap opera star to becoming a "missionary in the media."
When he realized that he had become a "poison in our society" through the characters he portrayed in film and on television, he made a promise to God to "never use any of my talents to offend my faith, my family or my Latino culture."
Since then he has founded his own production company, Metanoia Films, with two friends, Leo Severino and Alejandro Monteverde, who also experienced conversions after working in the media for a number of years.
Metanoia, which means "conversion" in Greek, experienced great success with the critically acclaimed film "Bella." The company is set to release another feature length film, "Little Boy," later this year.
"The idea of this film is to inspire young people that after they see the film they leave not only entertained, but also inspired to 'the list.'"
"The list" is the corporal works of mercy which the main character of the film, a young American boy, works through to grow in his faith while his father is overseas fighting in World War II.
Verastegui said he hopes that the film will "mobilize a big army of young people" to serve others through the corporal works of mercy.
Since Metanoia's success with "Bella," Verastegui has been involved in making inspirational short films, a medium which he sees as having "the same potential to save life" as feature length films by making them more accessible to viewers on the Internet.
Verastegui showed the audience his latest short film "Crescendo," which tells the story of a struggling mother contemplating aborting her child. The film will be available online later this year.
"We just want to send it to the whole world," he said. "Short film has the same potential to save life because it is really artistic."
He said Metanoia will make more short films based on true stories about choosing life.
"We're doing videos and just thinking about what else we can do to grow ... anything I can do."
Verastegui said he would like to come back to Denver for Lighthouse Pregnancy Center's opening and that he would "love to" share ideas and resources that have been helpful with the creation of his medical center.
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FROM THE PASTORS
Read and listen to homilies posted regularly by pastors at parishes within the Diocese of Charlotte:
- Fr. Frank Cancro at Queen of the Apostles
- Fr. Patrick Earl at St. Peter in Charlotte
- Fr. John Eckert at St. John the Baptist in Tryon
- Fr. Timothy Reid at St. Ann in Charlotte
- Fr. Benjamin Roberts at Our Lady of Lourdes in Monroe
- Fr. Patrick Winslow at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Watch full Masses live and on demand, listen to homilies and reflections from Sacred Heart Church in Salisbury
- Listen to homilies from St. William Catholic Church in Murphy