Written by Val Pakaluk Friday, 25 February 2011 00:00
Michael Pakaluk, son of Hicksville residents Michael and Valerie Pakaluk, recently edited and published a book focusing on the powerful story of an amazing woman who converts to Catholicism at Harvard University, marries her college sweetheart and welcomes six children.
After some successful forays into the pro-life activism in New England, this woman, Ruth Van Kooy Pakaluk, is struck with breast cancer and dies at the young age of 41. To be published on March 1, The Appalling Strangeness of the Mercy of God is available now for pre-order at Amazon.com. The Hicksville library will also have a copy.
Ruth’s story is told primarily through her humorous, sparkling and insightful letters, through which her realistic cheerfulness shines. Mike has written a biographical sketch that fills in the needed background information, while a collection of her talks on abortion and on being a Catholic wife and mother round out the volume.
Peter Kreeft, professor of philosophy at Boston College and The Kings College in New York City, and a widely published author, referred to Ruth as the best and most effective and inspiring pro-life speaker he had ever heard. He said she was so renowned as a pro-life debater in New England that eventually Planned Parenthood spokeswomen refused to spar with her in public. He also said that the forceful logic of her arguments was made even more compelling by the strength of her personality.
Mike has remarried and he and his wife, Catherine, are residing in Ave Maria, Fla., where he serves as chairman of the Philosophy Department at Ave Maria University and Catherine is an economics professor. They have a “Cheaper by the Dozen” family (Michael, Max, John Henry, Maria, Sarah, Sophie, Joe, Nick, Greg, Lizzie, Mark and Blaise). The children have grown and been nurtured thanks to the love of two mothers and a devoted father.