Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains: An ex-employee’s perspective

Three years ago I was the happiest guy on earth. I had a great job paying over $100K a year, an amazing wife, and a beautiful step son. I learned that it only takes a few things to bring everything crashing down.

It started in May of 2012, when the President of my company notified us that the business was closing for good effective the 1st of June. I had two weeks to find another job.

I immediately started combing the job sites, contacting friends, and doing an emergency search for jobs. The problem was that our company wasn’t the only one hurting. After a few weeks, and zero interviews, I was getting worried. My wife and I played poker nearly every day, quite successfully, and used the winnings to keep us afloat. This went on for over six months.

Then I saw an advertisement for a Director of Security position. It was an absolute perfect fit for my skill set. Lots of security reviews of facilities, personnel protection of company leaders, alarm systems, and best of all, training of employees. It was as if the position description had been written utilizing my resume’ as the format. The only problem? It was with Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains.

As a former military member, and lifelong conservative, that did present a slight problem. However I justified my interest with the simple thought that my job wasn’t going to be doing abortions. My job was to protect the employees. I mean, everyone deserves a safe work place, right? And what they were doing was 100% legal, right?

So I applied, and as anticipated, they thought I was as perfect of a fit as I did. I even explained to them that although I didn’t personally like abortion, I certainly felt that people should not be in danger simply because they did.

And that’s where the happiness ended. Over the next year, I suffered from extreme depression, my wife and amazing step son moved out, I drank way too much, my weight ballooned, and overall my life went straight down the toilet. I spent day in and day out watching young women come in to the facilities with a hesitant smile, and leave in the afternoon in tears.

Protestors stood outside our facilities screaming some of the vilest things I have ever heard, all in the name of their Lord. Workers for the company would sit inside and make some of the worst jokes you’ve ever heard about abortions, birth control, and everything else associated with the organization and the women who were their patients.

I started out like every other employee, parroting the “we’re a women’s health organization”. Turns out, Planned Parenthood is an abortion facility. Sure, they do many other things, on a small level, but abortion is focus #1, every day, all day.

So I decided I had to get out. Now, please don’t get me wrong. I needed to get away from the protestors every bit as much as I needed to get away from the organization. We had some of the worst protestors in the country at the Denver main office. They screamed at my 5 year old step son. They followed my wife when she was driving.

Sure, I met some protestors that were wonderful. The Catholics are fantastic. A nun pulled me aside one time and simply prayed for me. And I’m not Catholic. But it was a wonderful prayer, and I thought she actually cared about me.

So there I was at a crossroads. I didn’t like where I worked, and I didn’t like those that protested where I work. I had talked to friends, neighbors, and someone suggested I contact Abby Johnson from And Then There Were None; an organization devoted to helping people quit Planned Parenthood and find jobs elsewhere.

Abby hooked me up with a corporate headhunter that rewrote my resume, and helped me with job interview skills. The headhunter even logged into my LinkedIn page and turned it into something usable. Abby’s organization provide me money to tide me and my family over during the transition and asked for nothing in return. She simply was there with a “what can I do for you” attitude.

Now, I have to tell you, in my time working for Planned Parenthood, I had done lots of investigations on Abby Johnson. We were on her mailing lists. We knew where she was, and ensured we had someone in her audience whenever she visited Colorado. I was told her book (unPlanned) was a lie, and she was evil. Turns out, everything I’d been told about her was a lie. The leadership of Planned Parenthood didn’t dislike her….they were afraid of her….because she was willing to tell the truth about things the people at Planned Parenthood hide. And believe me, they do hide things.

So, with the help of all these people, who have still asked for nothing more from me after all they did for me, I left. I’ve never looked back. I don’t miss it for a second.

If I have any advice upon leaving, I would give it to the following:

1. If you work for Planned Parenthood, all I ask is that you truly pay attention to what you’re being told, and try and see the lies as well as the truth.

2. If you’re a protestor outside the facilities, and you yell, scream, blow horns, and blare from megaphones….you are doing NOTHING to further the cause of eliminating abortion. Your actions hurt the cause. Most every pregnant woman who turns away when you get in their face returns when you’re not there. They go to the back gate where we would sneak them in. They come in before you get there. But you don’t stop them.

3. If you’re one of the peaceful protesters, keep doing the good work. Abortion will not be ended with hatred and screaming. The only thing that ever changes someone’s heart is love.

4. Read Abby’s book, Unplanned. I was told not to read it, because it was full of false information. What I found was that I never saw one word in the book that didn’t turn out to be 100% true. And from a personal perspective, Abby and her organization saved my life. She saved my marriage. She saved my future.

This letter was originally sent to Abby Johnson. For more information on her work, visit For help leaving the abortion industry, visit

COMING UP: Father and son, deacon and priest: Deacon dads and priest sons share special bond as both serve God’s people

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The bond between a father and son is one of God’s greatest designs; however, when father and son are both called to serve the Church as deacon and priest, that bond takes on a whole new meaning. Just ask these two dads and their sons, all of whom answered the call to serve the people of God at the altar.

Deacon Michael Magee serves at Our Lady of Loreto Parish in Foxfield, while his son Father Matthew Magee has worked as the priest secretary to Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila for the past several years and will soon be moved to a new assignment as parochial vicar at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Boulder. Deacon Darrell Nepil serves at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Denver, and his son, Father John Nepil, served at several parishes within the archdiocese before his current assignment as a professor at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary.

However different their journeys may have been, all four have something in common; mainly, that far from seeing their vocations as a reward from God, they have received them as an uncommon gift of grace that has blessed their families and individual relationships with each other abundantly, knowing that God acts in different ways to help us all get to Heaven.

Interwoven journeys

Deacon Michael Magee was ordained in May 2009, at the end of Father Matt’s first year of seminary. Little did they know that God would use both of their callings to encourage each other along the journey.

Deacon Michael’s journey began when a man from his parish was ordained a deacon.

“I simply felt like God was calling me to do something more than I was doing at the present time,” he said. “I had been volunteering for a number of different things and was involved in some ministry activities and in the Knights of Columbus. And I thought the idea of being a deacon would be simply another activity for which I could volunteer.”

He didn’t know what it entailed at the time. In fact, he believed it was something a man could simply sign up for. To his surprise, the diaconate was more serious – and it required five years of formation and discernment. Yet he was so drawn to it, that he decided to do it anyway. But as he learned more about the nature of the diaconate during his formation, he became more nervous and unsure about whether God was really calling him to that vocation. 

While his doubts remained all the way up to his ordination, Deacon Michael was faithful to his studies, trusting that God would lead him in the right path. 

And God did — through the calling of his own son to the priesthood.

Deacon Michael didn’t realize that his son Matthew had paid close attention to his father’s faith journey and had found in it a light that gave him courage to discern the priesthood.

Father Matthew Magee (left) and his dad, Deacon Michael Magee (right), were both encouraging to one another as they each pursued their respective vocations. (Photo by Daniel Petty/Denver Catholic)

“Seeing my dad, as a father, growing in his relationship with the Lord was really influential for me on my own desire to follow Christ,” said Father Matt. “Looking at his courage to discern his own vocation and follow God’s plan in his life gave me the strength and courage to be open to the same thing in my life… He played a very important role, whether he knew it or not at the time, and whether I knew it or not at the time.”

On the other hand, Father Matt didn’t know that his dad was in turn encouraged by his own response to God’s calling. 

“As I went through all those doubts, I watched Matthew’s journey in seminary and listened to how he was dealing with that in his life. And, as he just articulated very well, I also saw those same qualities in him,” Deacon Michael said. “Seeing a young man in his 20s willing to consider following God for the rest of his life also gave me the courage to continue on in my own journey, to see it through.”

God’s way of uplifting them in their vocations through each other’s journey is something they are very grateful for. 

This unusual grace impacted Father Matt during his first Mass, when his dad, as deacon, approached him before the Gospel reading and asked for the traditional blessing by calling him “father.”

“It was a really special moment for me. He’s certainly my biological father and raised me. But then there’s something different when we’re at the altar in a clerical capacity — there’s a strange reversal of roles when we’re giving spiritual nourishment to the people — a father asks the new father for the blessing,” he said.

In both of their vocations, Deacon Michael and Father Matt see God’s Providence and the unique plan he has for all of us.

“We all have a vocation, even if it’s something we may not expect,” Deacon Michael concluded. “You may feel anxiety or worry about what it’s going to look like, but trust in God. He will take care of things as he always does.”

A bribe for Heaven

For Deacon Darell and Father John Nepil, the journey was different, but not any less providential.

While he grew up Catholic, Father John wasn’t interested in setting foot on any Church activity during his teenage years. His saving grace was perhaps what many parents have to do to get their teenagers to Church: bribe them.

“His mom and I basically bribed him to go to the Steubenville of the Rockies Conference,” Deacon Darell said with a laugh. “He didn’t want to go, but we’d heard so many good things about it, that we said, ‘We’re going to make this happen, whatever it takes.’”

So the Nepils came up with a creative idea.

“He owed me some money for a uniform that he had needed for a job in the summer. So, I said, ‘Listen, if you go to the Steubenville of the Rockies Conference, I’ll forgive your debt. And he did, he and his brother went. And John especially came back a different boy. He literally was converted with a lightning bolt at that retreat.”

To this day, Father John marks his conversion to Christ from the summer before his senior year in high school when he attended that conference. 

As it happens with stories worth telling, the details of how much money he owed his father have varied over the years, and it’s a matter of debate among them, but Father John remembers it was close to $500.

“That’s subject to each one,” Father John said laughingly. “But what matters is that they offered to forgive my debt if I went to this retreat – it was money well spent.”

Besides this important event, Father John said that his dad influenced him in many ways by the simple fact of who he was as a father.

“My dad’s faith and moral character were a rock for me during some difficult teenage years,” he said. “He’s a great example of a man who was always faithful and lived a really outstanding moral life, but then as he deepened in love with Christ, he decided to give of himself in a more profound service.”

Father John Nepil (left) and Deacon Darrell Nepil (right) both had rather roundabout ways to their respective vocations, but they both say serving God’s people together as brothers in Holy Orders is a great joy. (Photo provided)

Besides his desire to serve and follow God, the seed that would eventually lead Deacon Darell to the diaconate was planted by a coworker, who would also take holy orders: Deacon Joe Donohoe.

“One day he said to me, ‘You should be a deacon.’ And, of course, I laughed at him and said, ‘I don’t have time for that. My life is too busy.’ But it only took him to suggest it for the idea to keep coming back to my head, and God kept nudging me. Eventually I decided I really wanted to do that,” Deacon Darell said.

The ability to share at the altar during the Mass has deepened the natural relationship of father and son and given Deacon Darell and Father John new opportunities to grow closer to God. 

One of the most meaningful times came when Deacon Darell had a massive stroke in 2018. While he was in the hospital, Father John was able to visit and celebrate Mass at his bed and pray the rosary with him every day, as he had come back from Rome and was working on his dissertation.

“It was probably the most privileged and intimate time I’ve ever had with my father,” Father John said. “It was an amazing gift that really changed our relationship.”

“I feel like that’s a huge reason why I healed and why I am here today,” Deacon Darell added.

“It’s a real gift to have my dad as a deacon and a brother. It’s a tremendous honor. It’s one of the great joys of my life.” Father John concluded. “That’s really what has bonded our relationship together: the sheer desire to serve Jesus, especially in holy orders.”