Legate Chris Aubert teaches what it means to be a real man through word and deed . . .
Chris Aubert recognized the human face of evil at a young age. His late father, Henri, told stories of surviving Buchenwald By playing the violin to entertain the SS, who also forced him to serenade prisoners making their death march to the “showers.” Among those who heard Henri play a prelude to a satanic symphony of screams were his parents and sister.
Fearing another Holocaust, his father named his son Christopher to obscure his Jewish identity. Aubert’s early lack of religious devotion obscured it all the more: His Bar mitzvah marked the last time he attended temple.
The American Holocaust
Eventually the native New Yorker became a successful attorney in his adopted city of New Orleans. Living a self-centered life and splashing in the shallows of hedonism, Aubert didn’t think deeply about the two pregnancies he caused — the final solutions to which were the checks he wrote the abortionists.
“If I took a wrong turn in life, I justified it by saying something like, ‘Hey, everyone does it and no one got hurt, so what is the big deal?’ This excuse was used for frequent indiscriminate sex without love, guiltless partying of all kinds, and many other things for which today I am, frankly, embarrassed.”
Light first pierced Aubert’s soul in the early 1990s when he heard abortion referred to as “the American Holocaust.” Up to that point, abortion was an impersonal issue to him — just the purging of an inconvenient blob of tissue. But the Holocaust: That he knew on a deeply personal level. How could abortion even begin to compare with the nightmare from which his father never fully woke?
The question got him thinking about the big questions in life. Soon God became his first consideration. The decisive turnaround happened when he met his wife, Rhonda, a cradle Catholic who led him to the faith, which he embraced in 1997.
As for recognizing the evil of abortion, the watershed moment in Aubert’s conversion came when the father of six saw an ultrasound of his first child. “I want to meet the person who says that is not a baby!” he remembers saying out loud.
Today Chris divides his time between his law practice and two non-profit ministries: Fullness of Truth and his personal ministry to men. His involvement with Fullness of Truth, a lay apostolate dedicated to the New Evangelization, was initiated through a series of serendipitous events born of a disaster — Hurricane Katrina destroyed the Auberts’ Louisiana home, so they moved to Texas.
There Aubert reconnected with his friend, Fullness of Truth cofounder Ken Zammit, who asked Aubert to help him jump-start the fledgling organization. Aubert did so — and more. Today, Fullness of Truth hosts parish and regional conferences to bring fallen-away Catholics back into the fold, to introduce non-Catholics to the faith, and to encourage and educate faithful Catholics.
“The conferences are incredible things,” Aubert said. “I’ve seen marriages changed, people throwing away their contraceptives and starting to have babies, conversions and vocations.”
Aubert is heartened by strong support for the ministry in dioceses like the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, where Cardinal Daniel DiNardo addressed a benefit dinner for the organization.
“Chris Aubert is a man whose deep conversion to the Catholic faith drew him into a genuine mission of proclaiming the beauty and dignity of all human life,” Cardinal DiNardo told Legatus magazine. “His reverence for life is a powerful witness to many, especially to men who desire a deeper friendship with Jesus.”
Patrick Madrid, author and director of the Envoy Institute, frequently addresses Fullness of Truth conferences — most recently the June regional conference in Lafayette, La. That conference had an apologetics theme titled after Madrid’s book Where’s That in the Bible?
“I admire the fact that Chris wants others to avoid the problems he encountered in his previous life — especially pushing back the darkness about abortion,” said Madrid. “He’s also a very articulate and effective speaker. People need to be confronted in a genuine way, not candy-coated. He’s also a dedicated family man. Having met his wife and children, I can testify to the fact that he’s not a public face who promotes aspects of the faith but at home is different.”
Monsignor James Hart, pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Keller, Texas, will host a Fullness of Truth conference at his parish in September. It will focus on teaching the Catholic faith. Monsignor Hart first became acquainted with Aubert after seeing him appear on EWTN’s The Journey Home, which features conversion stories. “He and Rhonda embody the faith, especially in their openness to life, which is a testimony to the Church’s teaching on marriage and family life,” he said.
Men and Abortion
Aubert speaks to thousands of men every year about abortion, spiritual fatherhood and what it means to be a Catholic gentleman.
“If they get me a ticket and a hotel room, I’m there,” he said. Speaking to men who have been affected by abortion is important, Aubert said, because “the number of men suffering silently is astronomical. I remember at the end of one talk there was an old man, maybe 75, standing at the side waiting over an hour until the line [of men waiting to talk with me] was over. He walks over to me and starts to cry, says ‘Thank you,’ and walks away. That guy had such a scar. It happens every time I talk about men and abortion.”
Aubert hopes to extend that message with the book he’s writing. The working title is Real Men Don’t Kill Their Kids.
Dorinda Bordlee, vice president and senior counsel for the Bioethics Defense Fund, said she admires Aubert for being “a witness to truth and life.”
“Like all of us, he’s made terrible mistakes,” said the New Orleans-based attorney. “But what makes him a man of character is that he learned from them and tries to prevent others from falling into the trap of abortion — and the pain it’s brought to women and the unborn children these men will never meet in this life.”
Matthew A. Rarey is Legatus magazine’s editorial assistant.