Progress – Jan. 22 Pro-Life Issue - Ed Mohs’ faith journey
Jan. 7, 2009
By John Wolcott
A child of rape, Ed Mohs’ strong pro-life stance has been a part of his deepest beliefs since his early teens. Through his family and friends, he knows the value his life has had and he’s seen God’s spirit guiding him in his life of faith.
He knows, too, that even in states where there are strong anti-abortion laws, exceptions often are made for babies conceived through rape or incest. That would include his life, a life he’s deeply thankful to be living.
“In my pre-teens, I learned I was adopted. Later, I learned about my mother’s rape and her mental problems. For me, my past has led to my strong pro-life faith,” said Mohs, 53, a Boeing Co. engineer for more than 20 years, resident of Marysville and parishioner at Immaculate Conception church in Everett.
A participant in Forty Days For Life vigils at Planned Parenthood’s abortion clinic in Everett, a familiar face at January March for Life gatherings in Olympia and a frequent writer of pro-life “letters to editors” in area newspapers, Mohs is preparing for a Jan. 31 Walk For Life from Immaculate Conception to Planned Parenthood as yet another opportunity for witnessing to pro-life views.
“I’m not really an out-front type of person, but I just can’t help but be a witness, to offer reminders to people of those values, particularly in today’s society,” Mohs said. “I could say ‘no’ to these things and it’d be easier, but this becomes part of you. I can’t say ‘no’ to God when there are opportunities to witness for those views, even though it takes a great leap of faith every time to say ‘yes’ and get involved.”
Mohs first stepped out when he invited Human Life of Washington to participate in his high school family living classes, balancing presentations by Planned Parenthood speakers. In 1970, he gathered signatures to oppose Referendum 20, the ballot issue that made Washington the first state to endorse a woman’s right to abortion by a vote of the people.
Looking back, he attributes his years of pro-life witnessing to his family’s influence. His father and mother, Ray and Mary, provided strong Catholic standards for their family of eight children, including Ed and a brother who were both adopted. His late father was a grand knight of Lynnwood Council 5816 and brought Ed into the fraternity, where he later served as the council’s pro-life chairman.
“I was young enough to be molded by my family’s faith and I accepted that mold,” he said. “I was involved in pro-life symposiums and other Knights’ activities. It seemed just natural to me.”
A member of St. Mary’s Knights of Columbus Council 7863 in Marysville, Mohs said both the Knights’ and the Catholic church’s respect-life activities were positive influences.
“The pro-life movement helped to revitalize awareness of those issues in the 2008 presidential campaign. It was good to see our own Archbishop Alex Brunett and other bishops speaking out for life issues. Also, I saw the 40 Days For Life events attract more people to witnessing, including priests such as Rev. James Northrop and Rev. Bryan Hersey,” Mohs said.
The eldest of the Mohs family’s eight children, he remembers several foster children as well, including three Native Americans who lived 12 years with the family. He said he was deeply influenced by his father’s work with Catholic Charities and St. Vincent de Paul in Everett. In Mountlake Terrace, his mother continues to be involved with St. Vincent DePaul and Catholic Daughters of America at St. Pius X parish.
As a pro-life chairman for the Knights’ Lynnwood and Marysville councils at various times, he helped to sponsor many baby showers and supportive events for Pregnancy Aid of Snohomish County, which now operates from the Everett Knights of Columbus Hall beginning this month. Throughout the 28 years since his marriage to Donna, he credits her with being a strong supporter of the Catholic faith and many pro-life events.
Today, Mohs is an electrical planning engineer on Boeing’s 747-8 program in Everett, the father of four and grandfather of six. But he hasn’t forgotten his birth mother, Ann. After more than 20 years of searching for her, he located her in 2002. Because of head injuries suffered at birth and as a young girl, his mother had no idea she was meeting her son. He was introduced by one of his newly found aunts as a “friend of the family,” but he had an opportunity to see her and know she was secure and well cared for in a group home.
“I’m grateful that my birth family welcomed me and grateful for my mother. I’m also grateful for my own family, my parents, extended family and friends. All of them have stood by me in prayer and loving support. I’ve been blessed,” Mohs said.
John Wolcott and his wife, Roberta, are freelance writers, owning their own business Features Northwest, and are on the board of Pregnancy Aid. John is a member of Knights of Columbus Council #7863, Marysville, WA.