Archive for the ‘Catholic Church’ Category

Remembering Mother Angelica

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

In 1994, just a year after taking the reins of Priests for Life, Father Frank Pavone was invited to speak at several events in Birmingham. While he was there, arrangements were made for him to be on EWTN’s live show with Mother Angelica.

Father Frank always wore the “Precious Feet” pin that model the feet of a baby at 10 weeks’ gestation, and I had suggested to him, some time before this appearance on EWTN, that we should glue pink and blue ribbons to the pin. So Father Frank and Mother were in the midst of a conversation on the show, when Mother interrupted him and asked about the pin. “You need new ribbons,” she asserted, “they’re faded.” Her trademark laugh followed, and then she was back on point with their previous conversation.

The next day, the two of them had a private meeting in Mother’s office. With her characteristic bluntness, she said, “The network needs a pro-life show. Would you do it?” Of course Father Frank said yes! Then Mother picked up the phone and said to whoever was on the line, “We’re going to have a show with Father Frank. Make it happen.”

That’s how it was with Mother Angelica. If she wanted you on the air, you were on the air. If she felt a comment needed making, she made it. She was totally led by the Holy Spirit.

Our first season of “Defending Life” aired in 1995 and in the 21 years since, we have featured scores of pro-life ministries on the show and raised awareness of the pro-life cause in ways that just wouldn’t have been possible if Mother Angelica had not opened that door.

I remember another time, it was still in the 90s, when Father Frank and I were at EWTN taping “Defending Life.” He was on the live show again, and as I was waiting I walked into a reception area and found Mother Angelica there. She told me about land she had just purchased in Hanceville, about an hour away from EWTN in Irondale. The property was a former soybean farm, and it was just acres and acres of nothing. But she envisioned a monastery, with a church big enough for an eight-foot monstrance.

Her vision was fulfilled in 1999 when the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament opened in Hanceville, with an eight-foot monstrance in the chapel.

The monastery was beautiful, and I understood Mother Angelica’s desire to get her cloistered sisters away from the hustle and bustle of EWTN, but the truth is I also miss seeing them, and her, when I go there four times a year to tape our shows. It was inspirational to see them at Mass and to hear their singing, and in and around the set, there was always a chance to catch a glimpse of her. They were spiritual, special years.

I was very fortunate to have a chance to visit her at the monastery in 2000. I was at EWTN and one of our guests on “Defending Life” and I received permission to visit one of the sisters and while we were there, Mother Superior let us know that Mother Angelica would like to come out to greet us. Through the iron grate that separated the sisters from the rest of the world, she shook my hand and it was a truly mystical, spiritual moment. In her presence, I felt the very near presence of God.

“May the angels lead you into paradise; may the martyrs receive you at your arrival and lead you to the holy city Jerusalem. May choirs of angels receive you and with Lazarus, once a poor man, may you have eternal rest.”

 

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Glen Campbell and Brittany Maynard Face Their Mortality Very Differently

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

1413489817_brittany-maynard-video-article[1]This blog was originally published in the National Catholic Register on Oct. 28, just a few days before Brittany Maynard committed suicide in Oregon.

Two stories battled for my attention recently, and both of them broke my heart.

The first was about Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old woman with brain cancer who moved from California to Oregon to gain access to legal suicide-inducing drugs. She is planning to die in bed, surrounded by her family, on Nov. 1 (the solemnity of All Saints), two days after her husband’s birthday.

The second story was about the singer Glen Campbell, who decided to go public with his struggle against Alzheimer’s disease. With his children on stage with him for a final, 151-stop musical tour, and the cameras rolling for a ground-breaking documentary, Campbell said: “I ain’t done yet. Tell ’em that.”

Maynard is fighting, through a foundation set up in her name, to expand the right to die beyond the five states that now allow it.

Campbell is allowing himself to be seen in all his vulnerability to show those suffering with Alzheimer’s — some 44 million people worldwide — and all those who will be diagnosed in the future, that, as St. John Paul said, “Life is always a good.”

Our reactions to these stories show that, as usual, we Americans seem to have a split personality. We applaud Campbell for his courage in refusing to go quietly into that good night, and yet many of us also support Maynard’s desire to “die with dignity.”

I do not.

I have watched people close to me die, and, with the rest of the world, I watched St. John Paul suffer with the debilitating and ultimately fatal effects of Parkinson’s disease. It was heartbreaking, and while I prayed for a miracle for all of them, I also prayed that each would have a peaceful death.

But we are not the architects of our own lives, no matter what we think and no matter how many misguided politicians and activist judges we can convince that we are. What Maynard is doing is wrong, and my fervent prayer is that she changes her mind.

With palliative care, we can hope for a death without pain for ourselves and our loved ones, and there is nothing wrong with that. We can refuse extraordinary, unnatural treatments. But to choose suicide — and to further legalize it in this country — is a catastrophic mistake.

Take a look at what assisted suicide and euthanasia are doing to Belgium and Denmark.

In a piece for Front Page magazine last month, Stephen Brown wrote:

“Holland was the first European country to betray its Judeo-Christian heritage regarding the sanctity of life when it legalized euthanasia in 2001. Holland also has the dubious distinction of leading the way in killing babies, as the Dutch euthanasia policy was expanded in 2006 to babies born with severe birth defects.

It therefore should not surprise that Holland is another country where euthanasia appears out of control. In 2011, 3,695 people were reported medically killed, including 13 psychiatric patients, while 4,188 were euthanized in 2102, accounting for three percent of all Holland’s deaths that year.”

Brown wrote that, in 2012, Holland also began sending mobile death teams to the homes of people who want to die but whose doctors refuse to help them. And Belgium, if possible, is worse.

According to Brown:

“Originally, Belgium’s euthanasia law, passed in 2002, was meant for gravely ill adults suffering unbearable physical pain. Now, as mentioned, it includes those experiencing ‘unbearable psychological suffering.’ So relatively healthy people suffering mental stress or disorders are now being killed, among them a 44-year-old person who had undergone a failed sex change operation. So it is no wonder the number of euthanasia victims in Belgium has grown from 24 people in 2002 to 1,807 in 2013, an average of five per day and a 27 percent increase from 2012.”

Brown also reported that Belgium’s King Philippe signed a law last March allowing euthanasia for children of any age and dementia sufferers upon request. Last month, Belgium — a country without the death penalty — made headlines again when it granted a convicted murderer the right to die under the country’s euthanasia laws. Another 15 inmates have made the same request.

Could this happen in the United States? Could we have mobile death squads and legalized murder of babies born with birth defects? In a country that has aborted 55 million children in the last generation, and where “choice” is well on its way to becoming the new religion, it absolutely could. We are already headed that way.

Since Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act was passed 14 years ago, 1,100 people have asked for the lethal prescription, and two-thirds of them have ended their lives with it. Please pray with me that Maynard does not join that group and changes her mind about her date with death.

Life is always a good, even if it is cut tragically short by a disease we cannot control.

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/JMorana/glen-campbell-and-brittany-maynard-face-their-mortality-very-differently#ixzz3IKRDcfuL

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Left behind

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

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The testimony of a faith-filled, passionate pro-life teenager who learned her mother was post-abortive was published yesterday on the web site of Stand True, which is Priests for Life’s youth outreach. The whole piece is worthy of a read, but there’s one part I want to delve into a bit deeper.

The girl was almost 13, the oldest of her siblings, when her mother told her that, years earlier and in a previous relationship, she had aborted her first child, a son.

“Big brother,” Zoe wrote. “For years I had been saying, ‘I wish I had an older brother or sister!’ Now I knew that I had one.”

The truth is that Zoe probably always knew – perhaps buried deeply in her subconscious — that she was not her mother’s first child.

Dr Philip Ney, a Canadian psychiatrist, discovered in the late 1970s that siblings of aborted children often have this awareness and, as consequence, suffer from Post Abortion Survivor Syndrome (PASS). In a 2011 opinion piece published by LifeNews, Dr. Ney wrote:

“The most prominent symptom of PASS is existential guilt, ‘I feel I don’t deserve to be alive.’
“Other symptoms include pervasive anxiety, fear of the future, sense of impending doom, self injury, obsessive thinking, poor self identity, low self esteem, self destructive behavior, fear of becoming psychotic and dissociation.
“PASS helps explain low rates of child bearing and raising. PASS people are afraid of having children. PASS helps explain economic recession. PASS people are pessimistic about the future. PASS helps explain the younger generation’s fascination with the occult. It helps us understand mad bombers who are extremely angry at adults and politicians who have allowed the massive slaughter of their siblings. It helps explain suicide bombers who have no joy in living but want a ‘noble’ meaning to their death. It helps explain the large number of depressed people who have unresolved grief of an aborted sibling. It may help explain the growing interest in euthanasia. PASS people are poorly bonded to their parents.”

None of this is true about Zoe, and I’ll discuss why a bit later. But first I’d like to repeat a story Dr. Ney told me, and that I recounted in my book, “Recall Abortion.”

A woman came to Dr. Ney for counseling because her 6-year-old daughter was having nightmares, wetting the bed and suffering from separation anxiety. In his interview with the mother, Dr. Ney asked her about pregnancy losses, and she confided – out of earshot of her child – that she had undergone two abortions prior to giving birth to this child.

Then, working alone with the child, Dr. Ney asked her to draw a picture of her family. Although she was an only child, her family portrait consisted of her mother, her father, herself and two siblings – a brother and a sister.

Dr. Ney said that for children like this little girl, growing up in a home where she felt there should have been other children created a whole range of deep internal conflicts that likely were the root of her problems.

This is clearly not Zoe’s experience. After learning of her mother’s abortion, she wrote: “I will never forget that experience, but I am kind of glad it happened. I have taken the pro-life movement even more seriously than before. I want to be able to say I avenged my big brother David by abolishing abortion, and I am confident that I am part of the generation that will do that.”

I haven’t had a chance to confer with Dr. Ney about this, but it seems to me that the difference between Zoe and the 6-year-old, and how each of them copes with the internal awareness of someone missing, is the way abortion was treated in their respective homes.

Although Zoe’s mom kept the truth about her own abortion from her children until she thought they were mature enough to handle it, abortion, and efforts to end it, are front and center in their lives.

And even above that pro-life commitment, and as strong, or stronger, than their familial bond, is Zoe’s family’s faith. Her mother suggested she speak to a priest after learning of the abortion, and he suggested visiting Jesus in the Tabernacle. Zoe prayed for understanding, as her mother before her had prayed for forgiveness. Both were freely given by a God who loves us no matter what we do. He always knows we can do better and if we’re listening, he tells us how. Zoe’s mother became a member of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign and she speaks publicly of her abortion regret. Her testimony is valuable to the pro-life movement, but its price is above rubies for her daughters.

In his 2011 piece, Dr. Ney wrote that one of the most important factors in determining whether or not a woman will have an abortion is whether her mother had one. The forgiveness that Zoe’s mother asked for and received, and the way she has raised her children since, has broken the chain for her family.

Let’s pray that all families wounded by abortion will find a way to break that chain.

Posted in Abortion, Abortion Complications, Catholic Church, Faith, Family, Post Abortion Survivor Syndrome, Silent No More Awareness, Stigma | 5 Comments »
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Study from Finland links IUD to breast cancer

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

IUD[1]As the outrage continues over the Supreme Court’s decision to put Americans’ religious liberty ahead of their right to free contraception, a new study from Finland shows that a type of IUD has been linked to an increase incidence of breast cancer.

CNN is reporting that, according to a study published in the journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system (LNG-IUS) or progesterone-releasing IUD, may be associated with a higher than expected incidence of breast cancer.

What caught my eye, though, is that levonorgestrel, a hormone that regulates ovulation, is also the used in the Plan B contraceptive, better known as the morning after pill. Millions of American women are now going to receive the IUD and Plan B free, thanks to Obamacare, and most of them will have no idea they could be increasing their risk of breast cancer.

CNN doesn’t delve into that possibility, but here’s what the Polycarp Institute, a Catholic research think tank, has to say about Plan B and breast cancer:
Does Plan B cause breast cancer?
Ironically, this question has never been asked. Theoretically, this is certainly possible especially in women who use Plan B often as a method of “birth control.” How could this be? Plan B is composed of the hormone named levonorgestrel, which is a potent progestin which is also found in some of today’s birth control pills. Birth control pills have been declared a Class 1 carcinogen (ie, the most dangerous type) by the World Health Association in June, 2005. In addition, the most recent meta-analysis published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings (October, 2006) noted that taking the birth control pill before pregnancy results in a 44% increased risk of developing breast cancer prior to age 50. Finally, levonorgestrel’s progestin “cousin” (ie, Depo Provera) has been noted to increase breast cancer by 190% in women who take 12 shots prior to age 25 (JAMA, 1995: 799-804). These data theoretically implicate Plan B if taken often enough. In addition, when a woman takes Plan B she ingests 1.5 mg of levonorgestrel within a twelve hour period of time which is nearly equivalent to the amount of progestin contained in an entire month’s worth of some of today’s low dose birth control pills (ie, 1.925 mg).

Not to get off topic, but it’s also worth mentioning that while the mainstream media is dutifully regurgitating the “fact” that Plan B is not abortifacient, the scientists at Polycarp feel differently:

Is Plan B a contraceptive or an abortifacient?
The truth is, no one knows for sure but it probably does work by causing early abortion at least part of the time. The 2010 Physician’s Desk Reference notes that Plan B “may inhibit implantation by altering the endometrium.” In addition, Croxatto et al noted that Plan B only fully stops ovulation 12% of the time when given within two days of ovulation (Contraception, 2004: 442-450). This would point to an abortifacient method of action since ovulation and consequent fertilization would likely be occurring much of the time, yet visible pregnancy is usually absent. Finally, Mikolajczyk and Stanford showed via a sophisticated mathematical model, that if Plan B really were to be 75% effective, it likely would be working as an abortifacient at least some of the time (Fertility and Sterility, 2007: 565-570). In the future, researchers might be able to “prove” if and how often Plan B is an abortifacient by employing the use of a very early pregnancy tests which turn positive within the first 7 days of pregnancy (eg, EPF: Early Pregnancy Factor).

As CNN notes, most women use the progesterone-releasing IUD to treat heavy periods. That’s also the reason millions of women start taking birth control pills as teenagers. Dr. Anne Nolte, a pro-life, pro-woman obstetrician and gynecologist, points out that this is bad medicine. Instead of trying to get to the source of the problem and fix it, hormonal contraceptives like the Pill and some IUDs just shut down the system and restart it artificially. This gives doctors an easy way out and sometimes, it gives women breast cancer.

For a longer look at the Pill and its symbiotic relationship with abortion, please read my book, “Recall Abortion.”

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Santa Penguin? Not in my house!

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

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Should I be making plans to take my grandchildren to see Santa Penguin, right after we decorate the Holiday tree?

NO!

I try not to let the secularization of Christmas get me down, because it is a beautiful and sacred season that I look forward to every year. But this year, the rhetoric around Christmas has gotten downright disheartening.

For one thing, the American Atheists are back in Times Square with a billboard that suggests we take Christ out of Christmas, because the really important things about Christmas are the Rockettes, presents and Chinese food (included, I suppose, because Chinese restaurants are open on Christmas, offering sustenance to the fictional family of “A Christmas Story” and to real-life Jewish families).

But it’s the penguin that’s really got my goat. Slate magazine blogger Aisha Harris suggested in a post that we ditch the pink-cheeked Santa in favor of a penguin, because kids of every color like penguins and no one will feel excluded. She recalls her childhood, when she would see white Santas in the mall and black Santas in her neighborhood. When she asked her father why. “My father replied that Santa was every color. Whatever house he visited, jolly old St. Nicholas magically turned into the likeness of the family that lived there.”

What a wise and wonderful father, offering up what I thought was a perfect answer. But Ms. Harris didn’t buy it. She goes on to say how she felt so ashamed of her dark skin because she thought the real Santa must be white. I hope that’s not true, because I hate to think of any child being ashamed of who she is. But I’m also tired of the annual attempts to make me feel guilty for being a Christian.

I believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ. I celebrate His birth at Christmas, mourn His death on Good Friday and revel in His resurrection on Easter Sunday. I was born and raised a Catholic and the church welcomed me back with open arms even after I had left it for years. One of the most beloved Christmas traditions is to tell children about Santa Claus, a jolly old man who lives in the North Pole and delivers gifts to good children all over the world. To young Christmas celebraters, it’s enchanting to think about Santa visiting every home all over the world. Santa is completely inclusive in these young minds. You just have to be good!

The legendary Santa Claus sprang from the real-life St. Nicholas, a wealthy and generous young man from what is now Turkey. He became a priest, and then a bishop. I don’t know if he had rosy red cheeks, but I do know he was not a penguin. He was an actual flesh-and-blood human being. His first act of beneficence saved young girls who were on the verge of being sold into slavery. His story spread throughout Europe, and Europeans brought him, and their traditions of giving each other small gifts, with them to the New World. The legend spread and morphed and St. Nicholas became Santa Claus, known for his trademark red suit and his bowl-full-of-jelly tummy.

I am not denying that our country has been, and in many ways still remains, divided by race. But Santa Claus is not the culprit. The fact that black Santas existed in Ms. Harris’s childhood was a sign that African-Americans had embraced this delightful custom as part of their (very Christian) celebration of Christmas, but ornament makers and greeting card designers hadn’t yet caught up.

I don’t know if Ms. Harris will take any solace from this, but every child worries that the Santa on whose lap they are perched is not the real one. The hope that he might be is part of the magic of Christmas.

Somehow, I just don’t see a penguin pulling that off.

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Shame on you, California

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

California Assemblywoman Toni Atkins

California Assemblywoman Toni Atkins

Midwives, physician assistants and nurse practitioners will now be able to legally perform first-trimester abortions in California, and the former employer of the assemblywoman who introduced the bill stands to make a killing.

Of course they are already killing unborn children at Womancare in San Diego, where California Assemblywoman Toni Atkins was once the director of clinical services. Just think how much less WomanCare, and Planned Parenthood and every other abortion provider will have to pay their abortionists now that they won’t have to have that costly MD after their names. What a windfall!

Abortion is much less about ideology than it is about profit, at least at the provider level. This new California law — and another that lowers the standards abortion facilities have to maintain – are all about profit at the expense, once again, of women’s health. We are being asked to believe that women in rural California had to travel over the river and through the woods to reach the door of an abortion clinic and wait who knows how long before they could get an appointment. But the California Catholic Conference showed what a lie that was as it lobbied, unsuccessfully, against the new law. While it’s true that 22 percent of California counties do not have an abortion clinic, a conference study showed that only 1 percent of the state’s women live in those counties. Also, consider this: Californians make up 12 percent of the nation’s population, but the state commits 29 percent of the country’s abortions. Volunteers for the Catholic Conference who called the clinics pretending to need appointments for first-trimester abortions had no trouble securing a slot to have their unborn children murdered. Thank goodness, no real children were harmed during this survey.

What the California Catholic Conference proved was that access to abortion is clearly not an issue in the Golden State. What is at issue, although you won’t read about it so much in the mainstream media, is the health of low-income and minority women. You can bet that well-heeled women will still seek the services of a qualified physician for their abortions. But women with less disposable income will likely be the ones seeking the services of a physician assistant who has taken a special eight-week course in the gruesome science of killing the unborn. It’s not hard to predict the outcome: More cervical lacerations, more uterine perforations, more bleeding, more compromised fertility, more death.

California has been home to some very unscrupulous abortion providers in the past. As I wrote about in my book, “Recall Abortion,” Bertha Bugarin owned a chain of clinics that employed a rogue’s gallery of drug addicted and alcoholic doctors to perform abortions. And when they failed to show up for work, she did the abortions herself, even though she had no medical training. She was sent to prison on several felony charges, but guess what? She secured an early release and she’s back living a life of luxury in her multimillion dollar house, paid for with blood money.

Bertha Bugarin or those like her will make huge piles of money from California’s new law, while women and their unborn children suffer and die.

Shame on California.

If you agree that it’s time we stop passing laws to line the pockets of abortionists, go to RecallAbortion and sign the petition to get this harmful procedure off the market once and for all.

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Students at Kansas high school fight abortion on the front lines

Monday, January 7th, 2013

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The high school students at St. John’s Catholic School in Beloit, Kan., are hoping other Catholic schools across the country will join them on the front lines of the pro-life movement.

For the last five years, students at the school that’s a three-hour drive from Wichita and a three-hour drive from Lincoln, Nebraska, have been making a yearly trek to pray outside an abortion clinic. In the beginning they traveled to the late George Tiller’s clinic in Wichita. Since Tiller’s death in 2009, the students have been praying and prayerfully protesting outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in Lincoln.

“We were looking for a way to make abortion real to them,” said teacher Andrew Niewald, who teaches Theology of the Body to seniors at St. John’s. “You see the young girls go into the clinic and 45 minutes to an hour later, you seem them come out. It’s so real to the students that some of the girls will start crying. It’s kind of irrefutable.”

School Administrator Marcy Kee said everyone in the school community is on board with this effort, including staffers and the students’ parents.

“We’re trying to instill in them that this is an important part of who they are,” Mrs. Kee said. When they head off in a car caravan to an abortion clinic, or for a round-the-clock, 1,300 mile bus ride to the March for Life in Washington, D.C., she said, “I know they’re going in the right direction.”

“It’s a lot more joyful when you bring a baby into the world rather than kill him,” said George Meyer, a sophomore at the pre-k-through-12  school in north central Kansas.

If you have never prayed and witnessed outside an abortion clinic you should do so at least once.  It will make abortion real for you and lives are saved by the presence of pro-lifers outside these clinics.  To find a clinic near  you go to  www.lifedynamics.com/DeathCamps/DeathCamps.cfm

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Playing a Vital Role in Preventing the Next Newtown…

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

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The events in Newtown, CT are very tragic and yet the shootings and deaths were just hours old when the blame game began.  We seem to have a need to assign blame as a way to move on when crisis strikes but I would like to propose a different take on things.

I think we begin in our homes and families.  You can complain all you want about the violence in movies and TV but you the parents are responsible for how much of that violence you allow into your home.  You also control the movies your children see.  Let’s not forget the video and computer games you purchase for your children.  Again, where is the violence filter in your home?

Now everyone is turning to God and going to Church for comfort with their families but wait and see in a few weeks, just like after Sept. 11th the Churches will empty out again.  Why is it we only seem to turn to  God, His Churches and clergy when we are in a crisis?

Then there are those brave teachers that are rightfully being honored for laying their lives down for their students.  Everyone is praising them and rightfully so but that’s not the attitude that many in this country have for those in the teaching profession.  Parents are very quick to criticize their child’s teacher and right in front of their children, even questioning homework assignments and other classroom activities.  So too the praising of the teaching profession will also fade in a few weeks time.

Also the talk about attacking the second amendment, our right to bear arms.  Let’s stop and think for a minute.  All those who currently own guns legally, are they kept in a safe place under lock and key?  If not, then why not?  Yes some guns like high powered assault weapons should be banned from average citizens and used only by law enforcement and the military.  Think about it, when was the last time you heard a deer hunter using an assault multi-clip rifle?   Ammunition by mail order;  isn’t that ridiculous?

So as we are trying to figure out why this young man did what he did and the media will continue to press for answers, let’s see what improvements we can make in our own homes and in our neighborhoods.  Let’s turn off the violence and tune into spending more quality time with our children and loved ones.

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Coming to a TV Near You: ‘The Catholic View for Women’

Monday, April 16th, 2012

New EWTN Talk Show Focuses on Culture of Christ

by Marge Fenelon, Register correspondent

Friday, Apr 13, 2012 11:09 AM

http://www.ncregister.com/site/article/coming-to-a-tv-near-you-the-catholic-view-for-women/#ixzz1sDzFogN0

 

When Astrid Bennett Gutierrez, Janet Morana and Teresa Tomeo get together,  something fantastic happens — it’s called The Catholic View for Women.

It’s a new EWTN talk show. Several pilot shows ran on the network last year,  garnering reviews so favorable that EWTN not only contracted for a full series,  13 episodes of which will air this fall, but also created a brand-new set.
The trio traveled to the Irondale, Ala.-based EWTN studios in March to tape the  fall season.

The idea for the show was conceived by host Janet Morana, executive director  of Priests for Life and co-founder of the Silent No More awareness campaign. The  concept spent five years in gestation before EWTN approved the production of six  episodes in 2010.

“I’d look at [secular] women’s talk shows, and say, ‘This is why Catholic  women are getting poor information, because they’re not getting the truth of the  Church,’” Morana explained. “We see a strong need to help catechize women who  are where we were so that they won’t fall away like we did.”

Morana shared her concerns and ideas with author and syndicated Catholic  talk-show host Teresa Tomeo. Tomeo’s daily morning radio program, Catholic  Connection, is produced by Ave Maria Radio and also airs on Sirius/XM  Satellite Radio. Tomeo liked Morana’s idea and approach and suggested Astrid  Bennett Gutierrez, executive director of Los Angeles Pregnancy Services, as a  third host.

Gutierrez was hooked as soon as she heard the idea. “I’m really grateful. I  feel privileged to be here with Janet and Teresa, because they’re my heroes,” Gutierrez said. “That they would pluck me out of my little neighborhood, that  they realized the minority voice must be heard [on the show], is a huge  blessing.”

The mix of personalities, backgrounds and cultural heritage creates the  perfect balance for the co-hosts and forms a solid foundation for lively and  inspiring exchanges on the show. Morana is a native New Yorker, Tomeo is a  Midwesterner and Gutierrez is a West Coast native of Hispanic decent.

What’s more, the women all had one thing in common: Each had left the Church  and come back with the realization that only the Catholic Church holds the  fullness of truth.

As Tomeo said, “There’s an urgency in all three of us to really help women.  That’s where our hearts are at, and that’s where the energy comes from.  Additionally, we’re all staunchly pro-life, and this is a pro-life show. Of  course, we also are good friends.”

The hosts believe the Holy Spirit is the source of what they describe as an  immediate sisterhood that “just clicked” when they began working together. “The  Holy Spirit took our pain and our pasts and works within all of us, using our  different gifts to do something wonderful,” said Morana.

Each show has entertainment, substance, catechesis and “homework” that help  women grow in their Catholic faith. The show’s website  (TheCatholicViewforWomen.com) offers discussion questions for each episode that  can be used for personal reflection or group discussions.

According to the website, the show’s goals are: “To reach Catholic women in  the pews who are cafeteria Catholics, who have never been exposed to the  fullness of the faith because of poor catechesis; to reach fallen-away Catholic  women like us and show them the beauty of the faith/Church teaching and how  Jesus is the greatest liberator of women and the greatest source of our dignity;  to reach the un-churched, who have completely fallen away from the faith; to  encourage today’s faithful Catholic women, that they can be in the world and not  of the world; to meet women where they are at in their walk with the Lord and  the Church;  to help parents in their efforts to raise their daughters as  faith-filled Catholic women; and to offer a positive, relevant and fun  alternative to today’s toxic TV shows targeting women.”

“I’m so upset with the lack of objectivity in the secular media; it’s  absolutely devastating to women,” said Tomeo. “The media can do so much good,  but, lately, they’ve been doing so much damage.”

As a Hispanic woman, Gutierrez was raised on what she calls “survival mode,” with minimal catechesis and in an amoral environment. Still, she always felt a  strong attraction to the Church.

“What I really want is that women of all ages will be able to see the beauty  of the Catholic Church that I missed for so many years: the Eucharist, morality,  (Church teaching on) sexuality, the truth about the pro-choice lies and all  those things that are misleading women,” said Gutierrez. “I’d like to see  minority women assimilate, but not into the mainstream culture. I’d like them to  assimilate into the culture of Christ.”

Gutierrez, as well as her co-hosts, hopes that the show will become a  catalyst for change and a means to dispel the plethora of myths about Church  doctrine.

“We want women to see that the Church is not the ‘evil monster’ that the  secular media makes her out to be,” added Morana.

The hosts also hope The Catholic View can be a vehicle to let  others know about EWTN and the wealth of information and devotions that it has  to offer Catholics.

“There are too many people in the pews who don’t yet know about EWTN. We’re  so grateful to EWTN for the opportunity they’ve given us,” said Morana. “We’re  excited that they think this is valuable programming.”  (The Register is a  service of EWTN.)

Morana, Tomeo and Gutierrez spend a good amount of time researching for each  show. Before taping, they gather Church documents, conduct interviews and search  for other information that will form a substantial basis for the topics they  will discuss.

During the shows, they quote Scripture, Church documents, the Catechism of  the Catholic Church and writings of the saints and doctors of the Church as much  as possible. Topic ideas come from their own experiences as well as interaction  with friends, acquaintances and viewers.

It’s not only the information that they work hard at — it’s also giving the  show a professional appearance. The hosts shop together, intentionally  coordinating their outfits to complement each other on the set, and they hire a  professional make-up artist to do their hair and makeup, all at their personal  expense. They know they must take their on-air presence seriously in order to  compete with secular shows.

“God’s message deserves it,” Morana said. “It’s his word, his teachings, and  what we’re doing is wrapping it up in a pleasing package so that people open it  up and really appreciate it.”

This season’s shows will focus on women leaders in the Church, EWTN’s  foundress Mother Angelica, Blessed Mother Teresa, St. Teresa of Avila, the  single life, discernment, the pill, saying Yes to marriage as a sacrament,  pornography’s effect on women, in vitro fertilization and egg harvesting,  miscarriage, faith and fitness, college life and minority issues.

Doug Keck, EWTN’s executive vice president and chief operating officer,  thinks the show brings something new and innovative to the network’s lineup. “The show has a different format, with a different approach, and allows us to  reach an audience we haven’t been able to reach before in a new way,” he said. “It’s a strong series with great potential, and we’re committed to it.”

Marge Fenelon writes from Cudahy,  Wisconsin.

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/site/article/coming-to-a-tv-near-you-the-catholic-view-for-women/#ixzz1sDzFogN0

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Easter is Coming

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

MEVs John and Elaine Testa are greeted by Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, during the Walk for Life West Coast in San Francisco in January.

http://www.priestsforlife.org/articles/4137-new-mev-couple-is-fighting-for-the-unborn-on-many-fronts

John and Elaine Testa, who recently made their final promises as Missionaries of the Gospel of Life (MEV), sent this beautiful message out to their email list today. Take a moment to read it, and click on the link above to read more about the Testas and their full-time commitment to life.

 

Easter is Coming

There once was a man named George Thomas, pastor in a small New England town. One Easter Sunday morning he came to the Church carrying a rusty, bent, old bird cage, and set it by the pulpit. Eyebrows were raised and, as if in response, Pastor Thomas began to speak…. 

“I was walking through town yesterday when I saw a young boy coming toward me swinging this bird cage.. On the bottom of the cage were three little wild birds, shivering with cold and fright.

 

I stopped the lad and asked, “What do you have there, son?”

“Just some old birds,” came the reply.

“What are you going to do with them?” I asked.

 

“Take ‘em  home and have fun with ‘em,” he answered. “I’m gonna tease ‘em and pull out their feathers to make ‘em fight. I’m gonna have a real good time.”

“But you’ll get tired of those birds sooner or later. What will you do then?”

“Oh, I got some cats,” said the little boy. “They like birds. I’ll take ‘em to them.”

 

The pastor was silent for a moment. “How much do you want for those birds, son?”

 

“Huh?? !!! Why, you don’t want them birds, mister.

They’re just plain old field birds. They don’t sing. They ain’t even pretty!”

“How much?” the pastor asked again.

 

The boy sized up the pastor as if he were crazy and said, “$10?”

 

The pastor reached in his pocket and took out a ten dollar bill. He placed it in the boy’s hand. In a flash, the boy was gone. The pastor picked up the cage and gently carried it to the end of the alley where there was a tree and a grassy spot. Setting the cage  down, he opened the door, and by softly tapping the bars persuaded the birds out, setting them free. Well, that explained the empty bird cage on the pulpit, and then the pastor began to tell this story:

 

One day Satan and Jesus were having a conversation. Satan had just come from the Garden of Eden, and he was gloating and boasting. “Yes, sir, I just caught a world full of people down there. Set me a trap, used bait I knew they couldn’t resist. Got ‘em all!”

 

“What are you going to do with them?” Jesus asked.

 

Satan replied, “Oh, I’m gonna have fun! I’m gonna teach them how to marry and divorce each other, how to hate and abuse each other, how to drink and smoke and curse. I’m gonna teach them how to invent guns and bombs and kill each other. I’m really gonna have fun!”

 

“And what will you do when you are done with them?”

Jesus asked. “Oh, I’ll kill ‘em,” Satan glared proudly.

“How much do  you want for them?” Jesus asked.

 

“Oh, you don’t want those people. They ain’t no good. Why, you’ll take them and they’ll just hate you. They’ll spit on you, curse you and kill you. You don’t want those people!!”

 

“How much? He asked again.

 

Satan looked at Jesus and sneered, “All your blood, tears and your life.”

Jesus said, “DONE!” Then He paid the price.

 

The pastor picked up the cage and walked from the pulpit.

 

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