Archive for the ‘Faith’ Category

Healing the Shockwaves of Abortion

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

HealingtheShockwavesLogo

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The year 2014 saw the first “abortion rom-com” in theaters, heard the head of Planned Parenthood express the goal of making pro-life political candidates “unacceptable,” and endured a relentless assault by an anti-life movement that seeks to recast abortion as a social good.

 

Abortion is not a social good, and in 2015, the Silent No More Awareness Campaign will demonstrate that through a new project called Healing the Shockwaves of Abortion. The aim of Shockwaves is to reach out to those impacted by the loss of a child through abortion: Parents, grandparents, siblings, friends, abortion clinic workers and even the abortionists themselves.

 

The project will be announced at a press conference Thursday, Jan. 8 at 1 p.m. in the Murrow Room at the National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW. The official launch for Shockwaves will be at the annual Silent No More gathering in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building during the March for Life on Jan. 22.

 

The Supreme Court decision to legalize abortion was like a series of powerful nuclear devices detonated in January 1973 in Washington, D.C. The damage done by an explosion is not only in the initial impact, but in the invisible shockwaves that ripple out from the epicenter. We often fail to see the radioactive fallout from 55 million abortions but the new initiative aims to make Americans aware of the powerful and destructive shockwaves that have wounded our nation in ways that we are only beginning to fully understand. 

 

 

“Each individual abortion procedure is an explosive event in the lives of the mother and father and those closely connected to that decision,” said Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life and Pastoral Director for Silent No More. “The shockwaves not only deeply touch the mother and father but all those who are part of abortion decisions and procedures.  They extend out into the lives that they will touch as their unresolved  grief and loss impact their future relationships, their marriage and family lives. This can and does reach deeply into our society — our schools, our health care and legal systems, our economy and our communities.”

 

Every month throughout 2015, Shockwaves will reach out to a group that has been directly impacted by abortion loss, with helpful information, resources, and referrals to abortion-recovery programs.

 

January will focus on “Healing through the Church.”  February will recognize Black History Month to offer “Healing the Black Family.” March will put the focus on grandparents, while April will take a look at how the shockwaves have impacted the siblings. Mother’s Day in May and Father’s Day in June provide opportunities to focus on those at the epicenter, the parents who lose children to abortion.

 

“The new aim of the pro-choice movement is to convince women and men that abortion is the very best thing they can do for themselves and their future,” said Georgette Forney, President of Anglicans for Life and co-founder of Silent No More. “But I can tell you from experience that the abortion I had as a teenager was not the best thing I could have done for myself. It was the worst, and it impacted my parents, my future husband and our daughter.”

Janet Morana, Executive Director of Priests for Life and co-founder of Silent No More, was unaware for years that she had lost a grandchild to abortion.

 

“When I look at my two precious grandchildren now, I often think of their cousin who’s missing,” she said. “It’s heartbreaking to think of what my family lost, and what my daughter went through. The shockwaves of that abortion have reverberated throughout my family, and there are families like mine all over our wounded nation.”

 

The theme for July will be “Healing the Survivors and Friends,” followed by “Healing the Abortion Providers” in August. Family will be the theme for September, with a focus on Hispanic families in October.

 

“Healing Pro-Lifers” will be the theme for November.

 

“Those who stand outside abortion clinics, on the front lines of this battle, also need healing,” said Kevin Burke, LSW, co-founder of Rachel’s Vineyard and head of Silent No More’s Fatherhood Forever initiative. “So do those who work in pregnancy resource centers, and others who counsel abortion-vulnerable women. Every woman who chooses abortion represents a deep and personal loss to these people who are so committed to life. They feel the shockwaves most acutely.”

 

December will be devoted to seeking healing through Jesus Christ.

 

“When a spiritual and emotional healing program safely opens the abortion wound to the light of Christ, there are miraculous encounters with the Lord,” said Dr. Alveda King, director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life and a spokeswoman for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign. “We hope that by the end of the Shockwaves year, we have made a start in healing the heart of our nation.”

 

The Silent No More Awareness Campaign is clearly on the radar of the pro- abortion movement.  Since 2002, Silent No More has been equipping men and women across our nation to share the truth of the devastation abortion unleashed in their lives. The pro-aborts are pushing back with campaigns to “affirm” abortion and “normalize” this procedure as a safe and benign rite of passage in many women’s lives. Healing the Shockwaves of Abortion will counter these efforts with the truth.

 

Posted in Abortion, abortion survivors, Faith, Family, Health Care, Men and abortion, Silent No More Awareness |
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Brave Mom Rejects Pressure to Abort Her Disabled Child, Finds Guardian Angels at “The Promise”

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

Pregnant-woman[1]

by Janet Morana and Kevin Burke, LSW

Blessed are the poor in spirit … for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Here’s a real life situation that is tailor made for pro abortion apologists:

- Arielle is a single mother of two young children and facing an unplanned   pregnancy. In the early stages of her prenatal care the doctor told her “your baby has a serious medical condition and won’t survive.”  Arielle’s baby girl had a chromosomal defect known as Trisomy 18, along with severe cardiac defects. The chances of her child surviving a full term pregnancy, let alone being born alive were slim. And if the baby was born alive, she would likely die before her first birthday.

In the majority of cases like this the unborn baby will be aborted. The mother (and father if involved) will face the complicated grief and trauma that are common after such procedures.

Medical Pressures to Abort

Arielle was a patient at a Pittsburgh-based hospital pregnancy clinic. Many of the medical professionals advised her to abort.  When Arielle informed them that she was going to carry the child to term, she found that the clinic did not want to spend money on a life that was not expected to survive long after birth. Arielle was feeling more isolated and alone. Her hope was that clinic personnel would be more sensitive and attentive to her struggle as an expectant mother of a child with medical challenges.

Despite great pressure Arielle resisted. She drew upon a deepening of her faith and trust in God. She revealed a spiritual wisdom that far exceeded that of the highly educated medical professionals who were presenting abortion as the only reasonable solution to her problem pregnancy.

Arielle reflects on their temptations to abort:

“Do you know how the devil makes bad things look good?” 
Arielle discerned that if her daughter were to die, then the death of her baby should be natural, not based on her decision…but on God’s timing. Arielle made the brave choice to carry her baby girl to term. When she shared the news of her baby’s poor prognosis with her 9 year-old daughter and 8 year-old son, their response, like their mother’s revealed an advanced level of trust in God’s providence:

“We will love her as long as she’s with us,” the children told their mother.

Even with her strong faith and supportive children, Arielle was still alone with a very challenging diagnosis, and an uncertain future.

Thankfully the faithfulness of Arielle and her family was rewarded when a representative from Northside Christian Community Health Center told her about The Promise.

The Promise is a Pittsburgh based prolife program of Catholic Palliative Services committed to walking alongside families with a poor prognosis for their unborn and newly born infants. They help women like Ariel to face their journey with hope and optimism.

Arielle came to The Promise overwhelmed and not aware of her options and the best way to proceed. The Promise team of Lori Heil and doula, Brandy Rawls offered the support and guidance to help Arielle discern the best options for her care:

“Brandy knew questions that I didn’t even think of,” Arielle stated.

Advocates for Life

One of the most important resources The Promise provides is advocacy for the mother and child. Parents face an uphill battle in a medical climate that can be hostile to those that choose life-affirming alternatives when facing a fetal disability. Arielle was being denied appointments with neonatologists and other specialists. She needed a knowledgeable advocate for herself and her unborn baby. Here’s where a resource like The Promise is so important.

Promise representatives attended Arielle’s clinic appointments and secured the care typical for a pregnant woman. “Lori and Brandy helped to put things into perspective that were too touchy for others to handle,” Arielle shared.

When she chose not to terminate her pregnancy, clinic personnel were encouraging Arielle to place the baby in a hospital setting after her birth. Knowing that she had a team of people focusing on a live birth and possible discharge to home alleviated many of the unknowns for Arielle. Through The Promise, Arielle’s baby would have the opportunity to be at home with family, with medical care provided by Catholic Hospice.

A Brief Life…an Eternal Destiny

Alonna Angel quietly entered this world on Thursday, September 18, 2014 at 3:27 PM weighing four pounds, two ounces and measuring 17 ½ inches long. Approximately twenty minutes later, she took her final breath on this earth while lovingly cradled in the arms of her mother.

Everything happens for a reason. How often we have heard that phrase as a condolence statement in reaction to a difficult time in our lives. Although it’s meant to be supportive, most often it can also evoke great sadness and heartache. But for those who maintain a strong and faithful relationship with God…like Arielle and her family…everything happens for His reason.

Although the emotional healing will take time, a memorial service is being planned to recognize Alonna Angel’s short life on this earth and the great love that her mother and siblings hold for her. Arielle’s hope is that her experience with this pregnancy will get her to a place where she can help others going through the similar situations. The Promise will follow Arielle and her two surviving children for 13 months in a specialized bereavement program.

Every life is a miracle, whether long or short, it is worthy and matters. Arielle demonstrated incredible faith and strength to give her daughter the gift of life.

Support services provided through The Promise are made possible by community contributions and foundation grant support. If you would like more information on the program or to contribute, call 1.866.933.6221.

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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

Broken_Handcuffs[1]

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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“Life is Always a Good”

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014
Jen and Kevin Sheridan with their son, Owen, and daughter, Aubrey.

Jen and Kevin Sheridan with their son, Owen, and daughter, Aubrey.

There are few happy endings when doctors pronounce a child in the womb to be “incompatible with life.” But miracles – and good medicine – do happen.

In the Huffington Post, Nicole Stewart wrote of her abortion at 22 weeks after a doctor made that pronouncement. Her post doesn’t detail the problems the doctor diagnosed, but a story from the Dallas News in January gives a few more clues. The baby boy’s brain was “abnormal.” Fluid was building up in his brain and lungs. He would lose the ability to swallow.

Ms. Stewart and her husband made the decision to take the life of their wanted and loved child, and they feel it was the right decision. She speaks publicly about it, and receives kudos for being one of the few women brave enough to talk out loud about her abortion. Of course, the women of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign have been doing that since 2003, but that’s another subject.

But a few weeks before the Dallas News was congratulating Ms. Stewart for her courage in talking about her abortion, a couple in Johnstown, Pa., was reaping the rewards of their courage – and their faith. Jen and Kevin Sheridan, a devout Catholic couple who already were the parents of a baby girl, learned that something was seriously wrong with the baby boy in Mrs. Sheridan’s womb. She was about 14 weeks pregnant when doctors told the couple that a neural tube defect called an encephalocele was causing a portion of the baby’s brain to grow outside of his skull. Abortion was never an option for the Sheridans.

By the time baby Owen was born at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center on Dec. 6, 2013, the growth was nearly seven pounds, and almost as long as his body. The couple knew that Owen might die shortly after his birth, but that boy had other plans. A team of specialists at Boston Children’s Hospital was able to remove the encephalocele and close his skull. Today Owen is four months old and a treasured member of his family. Exactly what his future will hold is unknown, but that is true for every living creature on God’s Earth.

It is not up to us to decide who is compatible or incompatible with life. It is not our right, in any circumstance, to take a life.

It takes courage and faith to travel the road the Sheridans did. And it takes a doctor willing to accompany a couple whose baby’s survival is in jeopardy. As I wrote in my book, “Recall Abortion,” those doctors can be found. Dr. Byron Calhoun is one. He is a pioneer of the perinatal hospice movement. Parents who know their children might not live long after birth are prepared for that eventuality. They have family with them for the birth, and often a clergy member, and a photographer. They have a chance to hold their child, to surround him with love, to let him die with dignity. Contrast that with a shot of digoxin to the heart and a brutal dismemberment. That’s what a late-term abortion is, and we can’t pretend that choosing that kind of death for a child in the womb could ever be a loving choice.

Ms. Stewart’s experience also reminds me of a situation I encountered almost 30 years ago. A woman who had given birth to twins on Staten Island asked for help from the Mothers of Twins Club, of which I was a member. One of this woman’s twin daughters was born healthy but the other had severe complications. She needed a breathing machine and a feeding tube to live, but the family’s insurance company wanted to drop them from the policy, citing the futility of continued care for this sickly newborn.

I alerted the media, rallied the troops, and joined this girl’s parents in the fight for her life. As it turns out, this is another happy ending for a child whose life was considered not worth saving. She is in her late 20s now. She had a rough start, with lots of medical intervention, but she survived and is now a young woman, a college graduate with a bright future.

Nicole Stewart and her husband made the choice they thought was right. But they were wrong. As Blessed St. John Paul II, who will be canonized this month, often said, “Life is always a good.”

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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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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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Victoria Hearst Takes A Stand For Young Girls

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Victoria Hearst, granddaughter of Hearst Corporation founder William Randolph Hearst, has taken a courageous stand regarding Hearst Magazines’ Cosmopolitan.

Citing the explicit content found in the magazine, Miss Hearst has joined model Nicole Weider to petition the Federal Trade Commission to require that Cosmo be “brown-bagged” and sold to adults only.

In a press release today, Miss Hearst – the founder of Praise Him Ministry and a great friend of Priests for Life – said: “About 11 years ago, I contacted Frank Bennack and the board of the Hearst Corporation and told them that what they are publishing in Cosmopolitan magazine was pornographic. I had the support of two female psychologists and counselors who attest that this content hurts young girls. I also asked that the magazine be sold only to adults 18 and older.

“I never received a reply from anyone at the Hearst Corporation, but I had peace because I delivered the message. When I heard about Nicole’s campaign, I knew I needed to join in her mission to put Cosmopolitan in a bag and make sure that its pornographic content cannot be sold to minors!”

Ms. Weider, who founded ProjectInspired.com to encourage young women to value themselves, set up a petition via Change.org demanding that Cosmopolitan be sold in a non-transparent wrapper to adults only. The petition currently has more 33,000 signatures.

“We are not asking Cosmopolitan to change their content,” Ms. Weider said. “We simply want them to take responsibility for it. They say it’s for adults, so let them sell it only to adults. This is what we are in communication with the FTC about. If they are going to print sexually explicit articles and images, it should not be marketed and sold to kids. It’s that simple.”

To view and/or sign the petition, visit: www.tinyurl.com/anticosmo. For more on the anti-Cosmo mission, go to: www.anticosmomission.com

On July 13 and 14, Miss Hearst and Praise Him Ministry will host her annual Night Vision Festival in Olathe, Colorado. Last year, 2010, Father Frank Pavone, our National Director; Dr. Alveda King, director of African-American Outreach, Dr. Theresa Burke, co-founder of Rachel’s Vineyard, and I had a chance to speak at the event. Bryan Kemper, our youth outreach director, will represent Priests for Life this year. If you’re planning to be in Colorado, it’s definitely worth checking out. For information, go to: www.nighvisionphm.com

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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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Ashes to Ashes…

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

As we begin our Lenten journey today and receive our ashes, the priest will say “Remember thou are dust and to dust thou shall return” or “Turn away from sin and be faithful to the gospel”.  That reminded me of a poem which we recited when I was young girl  growing up in Brooklyn. It went like this:

“Ashes to ashes dust it dust, if God doesn’t get you the devil must!”

Now you might smile and grin a little but I think there was a lot of wisdom in this child like poem.  See we were aware of the devil, heaven and hell.  These are concepts that you rarely hear preached or thought about today in Churches.

So as we enter this Lenten season, let’s try right from the very first day to make this our best Lent ever.  Not just in what we might be giving up for Lent but in more prayer and reflection, time before the Lord in Adoration and reading of the Scriptures.  It is not about giving up things but giving more to the Lord!

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