The Bible and Society

How God’s Word is True

The Celebrated Matthew Shepard & the Forgotten Mary Stachowicz

Posted by Mats on 29/12/2008

by Barbara Kralis
(New Oxford Review, May, 2003)

How many of us are ready and willing, spiritually and catechically, “to fearlessly proclaim the complete and authentic truth on Christ, the Church and the world, without reductionism or ambiguities” (JPII, 9/01).

Mary Stachowicz was willing and she did catechize the Word of God and she was brutally murdered for her beliefs.  The hate crime was committed on November l3, 2002, the feast day of St. Frances Cabrini, virgin, the first U.S. Saint to be canonized.

Mary, the gentle, devout 51 year old Catholic mother of four asked a Chicago homosexual man, Nicholas Gutierrez, 19,  “Why do you want to have sex with boys instead of girls?”  Gutierrez said she began to counsel him about his lack of good direction in life.

The disordered Gutierrez confessed to the crime during a videotaped interrogation and explained he became furious when Stachowicz asked him the question.  He then brutally punched and kicked Mary until he was exhausted; next, he mutilated her body with multiple stab wounds.  While Mary was still alive, he shoved a garbage bag over her head, strangled her, and jammed her body into the crawl space under the floor of his Chicago apartment, which
was above at the Sikorski Funeral Home where they both worked.  The Funeral  Home is right across the street from Mary’s  parish, where moments before she had received Holy Communion.   Her mutilated body was discovered three days after she was slaughtered.  

Mrs. Mary Stachowicz, a Polish translator, was witnessing her well-formed Catholic conscience and was murdered for it.  She performed the appropriate Spiritual Work of Mercy…instruct the ignorant, admonish the sinner.

The secular news media refuse to touch this story because it’s about homosexuality.

And perhaps because legislation has been passed in the U.S. (New York State is one) to make it a punishable criminal offense to speak out against homosexuality. In New York City, ‘tolerant’ Democrats have made it a crime to condemn homosexuality using bible verses or opinions on billboards (intolerance).  

In Canada, it’s illegal to speak one’s convictions concerning the practice of homosexuality without penalty.  TV, radio and print media in Canada cannot use bible passages that condemn homosexuality.  Some Canadians have already been jailed for their opinions against the effects of sodomy in their society. No, this is not Nazi Germany in the l940’s. This is the United States and our closest neighbor, Canada!

Pro-homosexual, and alleged Catholic, Senator Ted Kennedy is re-sponsoring a ‘hate crimes’ bill, Senate Bill S.625, another bad law, which would give homosexuals more protection than any other group of people in the nation.  In other words, a heterosexual person isn’t as worthy as a homosexual person.

Most American’s are already timid about teaching God’s Truth on the mortal sin of sodomy, the great scourge dividing our nation in deep misery and confusion, without the added fear of being imprisoned for doing so.  Mary wasn’t intimidated.

That Mary cared enough to intervene didn’t surprise her pastor.  

“She was a very intense person concerned about the good of the parish always seeking things for the poor as well as the spiritual welfare of people,” said Rev. Francis Rog of St. Hyacinth Catholic Church.   

Alas, Mary’s practically forgotten, even though her murder was less than 3 months ago. Where’s the outrage from Christians?  No one wants to talk about it.

Only several of the total U.S. secular news pieces written about Mary’s murder made it into the two Chicago news dailies, the scene of this chilling crime.

Of Mary’s murder, the Chicago Sun-Times, on November 18, carefully headlined,  “Arrest in funeral home death.”   The day before it said,  “Body found in funeral home was stabbed.”  The Chicago Tribune said, “Body identified as missing woman.” The final piece published in the Tribune  subtly headlined, “Quarrel preceded slaying, officials say.”   The subhead, small print, gave the only hint in Chicago about what really took place: “Suspect’s lifestyle allegedly at issue.”  

Could their silence be signaling that the homosexual already have preferential treatment when it comes to ‘hate crimes’ murders?   Within a 30 day period, in l998, over 3,000 articles were written about Matthew Shepard, the homosexual college student who was killed by three men in Wyoming.   Is this a double standard in how hate crimes statutes are applied, as well as how the media cover the crimes?

Stupendous reactions among homosexual web sites and chat lines have been reported to range from “she deserved what she got,” “Where do I send a check for Gutierrez’s defense,” to “Maybe this will send a message to the religious zealots to mind their own business.”

“If a gay man had been murdered for trying to convince someone to be gay, it would be a national news story and deemed a hate crime. But when a gay man murders a woman who tried to convince him to change, the media spike the story,” said Peter LaBarbera, senior policy analyst for the Culture and Family Institute for Concerned Women for America. “If Matthew Shepard’s murder deserved national media attention, then why not Mary Stachowicz’s?…It’s going to be hard for people to say this is not an anti-Christian hate crime committed by a homosexual activist,” he says. “But I fully expect the media to not pay a lot of attention to this case.”

Mary Coleman, Stachowicz’s friend, told the Chicago Tribune, “Those of us who knew her immediately hear her soft voice saying something like, ‘God wouldn’t approve of the way you’re living your life.’ ”

Mary Stachowicz’s death parallels that of St. Maria Goretti, her namesake.   St. Maria was also brutally stabbed to death as she resisted Alessandro Serenelli’s sinful, lustful advances.  

Will we someday see Mary Stachowicz recognized by the Church for her courage?  Will we ever witness Nicholas Gutierrez’s repentance and return to God, as we witnessed the dramatic conversion of Alessandro Serenelli, Maria’s murderer?  Alessandro spent the rest of his life traveling the world to witness of God’s mercy and forgiveness until his death in 1970 at the Capuchin convent of Macerata, where he lived out his life in reparation.

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