Archive for the ‘Priests for Life’ Category

Children know right from wrong

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

twins-in-the-womb

 

It comes as no surprise that some pro-abortion feminists are finding they can’t quite bring themselves to tell their children about their own abortions. This story in Yahoo News is an important read and I hope you can all find the time to read it in its entirety. But some lines jumped out at me and I would like to talk about those.

The author, Raven Snook, is a writer who emcees burlesque shows, according to her website. The fact that she’s so edgy, so out there, makes it very telling that even she couldn’t answer her 9-year-old daughter when she asked if she had ever been pregnant before.

I’ve never been secretive about my abortion. My friends and family know and I’ve even performed a monologue about it onstage. I’m unabashedly pro-choice and I’ve talked with my child in an age-appropriate manner about sex, pregnancy, birth control, and the fact that women have the right to decide if and when they become mommies. Yet when it came to revealing my own abortion — a necessary conversation so that my daughter views it as a personal choice, not a political one — I panicked.

Could it be she was worried her daughter wouldn’t see the intentional killing of her older sibling as either a political choice or a personal one but would instead discern the truth? That this child, with the same 23 chromosomes and maybe the same eyes and smile, was killed simply because he or she was inconvenient?

Ms. Snook mentions that she threw herself into mothering her chosen child “with zeal.” Could it be that, having shown her daughter her super-mom side, she can’t find the words to explain how one of her children could be so different from the next. How on earth do you say, “I aborted  your sibling, but oh darling, I really wanted to have you!  That is a terrifying thing for a child to hear. What might happen, they wonder, if they fail to measure up to Mommy Dearest’s expectations? What happens if they become inconvenient?

The fact that Ms. Snook’s daughter asked the question in the first place is an indication she already had intuited that someone was missing from their family portrait. Sibling survivors often do. The Canadian psychiatrist and abortion trauma expert Dr. Philip Ney once told me a story about a woman who brought her daughter to him to get to the cause of her bed wetting. In a private conversation, the mother told Dr. Ney she had had two abortions before giving the right to life to this daughter. When the doctor asked the girl to draw a picture of her family, she drew a family with three children.

In April, our new Healing the Shockwaves of Abortion initiative at Silent No More will focus on sibling survivors like Ms. Snook’s daughter. In an interview that can be heard at www.abortionshockwaves.com Dr. Ney said considerable research has been done on sibling survivors of abortion.

“It’s quite clear that children are affected,” he said. “They have existential guilt that they shouldn’t be alive when their siblings were aborted. They feel guilty for existing. They don’t trust people. They have pseudo-secrets. They have a long list of difficult problems.” Dr. Ney also talks of how abortion can afflict families for generations: The grandmother has had an abortion, the mother has had an abortion, the daughter has or will have an abortion.

This phenomenon also impacts sibling survivors. “Abortion survivors don’t want to have children,” he said. If they don’t deal with their feelings, they can grow up into narcissistic adults, modeling the behavior that led their mother or father, or both, to see their older sibling as inconvenient and disposable.

In the Yahoo News story, Ms. Snook quotes another post-abortion pro-choice mother about her experience when she told her two kids, including a 10-year-old son, about their missing sibling.

After discussing sperm banks and pregnancy, the topic turned to abortion, specifically hers. “‘It’s one of the choices people can make if they get pregnant and can’t take care of the baby for whatever reason,’ I told them. I felt the whole temperature of the car change. Maybe I was projecting but I saw a look pass on his face that went ‘whoa.’ The statement made an impact. But being open about it, you normalize it.”

Her last statement, about normalizing the experience, is nothing but wishful thinking on her part. But the temperature of the car changing and the look on his face? Those were spot-on observations.

It is my hope that Ms. Snook will one day seek healing for her abortion just like many women do on a daily basis as they visit our website www.AbortionForgiveness.com where they can find an abortion recovery program in their area. Also, Dr. Ney has written about how to tell your child about your abortion and you can view his work at www.Messengers2.com. Remember, to a child, there is nothing normal about the murder of their brother or sister. Children know right from wrong.

Posted in abortion survivors, Feminists, Priests for Life, Pro-life, Silent No More Awareness |
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25 years and counting …

Monday, January 19th, 2015
Here I am at the March for Life in 2005 with Father Frank Pavone and Alveda King.

Here I am at the March for Life in 2005 with Father Frank Pavone and Alveda King.

On a cold day in January 1990, long before the sun was up, I showed up at my parish church, St. Charles on Staten Island, to board a bus headed for Washington, D.C. Our group was led by our young associate pastor, Father Frank Pavone, whose passion for the unborn gave us the energy to make it through that long, grueling day.

When we arrived and saw tens of thousands of people on the National Mall, I was awe-struck. I had no idea so many people were involved in trying to bring an end to abortion. It was an eye-opening experience for me, and as I boarded the bus for home, I knew my life was never going to be the same. I have not missed the March for Life since then.

Four years later, Father Pavone had become national director of Priests for Life and I traveled with him and others as volunteers with the organization. It was the first time many of us met some of the nation’s most prominent pro-life leaders, and we had the sense that we were kids peeking in at the grownups. But that changed quickly.

At my first-ever March for Life Convention, where dozens of pro-life groups set up booths to help explain their work, I felt like I was in Disney World.  Until then it had been on the bus, do the march, get back on the bus. Now I was able to attend all the activities surrounding the March and take in all the great work people were doing on behalf of the unborn. I was humbled, and so grateful to be part of it all.

At that Convention, I was able to meet the great Nellie Grey, who started the March in 1974, one year after Roe v. Wade. I couldn’t believe I was in the same room with her and was feeling a bit star-struck, but when I heard her say she needed a priest to say the opening prayer at the Convention, my Brooklyn chutzpah took over. I told her I was with Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life and he would be happy to do it. Minutes later, he did just that.

That year, 1994, was a year of contrasts for the March. Cardinal John J. O’Connor provided a rousing and passionate keynote address at the Convention, but it was Bill Clinton’s Washington, and I remember being watched over by police snipers stationed on the rooftops along Constitution Avenue.

At another March during the abortion-friendly Clinton years, NOW President Patricia Ireland showed up, coat hanger poster in hand, to push her anti-life agenda. Father Pavone was wearing a press pass given to him by the Catholic Press Association, and he was carrying a small tape recorder, so with his Roman collar, hidden behind layers of clothes, he approached Ms. Ireland and asked for an interview. As they were speaking, some pro-life leaders, including Operation Rescue’s Troy Newman, were trying to drown out her words. I ran over to them to say the man with the tape recorder was on our side, was in fact a priest, and they quieted down. As expected, Ms. Ireland spouted the usual pro-abortion rhetoric about abortion being vital for women’s rights.

The weather plays a role in any March for Life, and in 1994, the weather was something to remember. Father Pavone and I arrived on the last flight in to Reagan National before snow and ice conditions grounded the rest of the flights. As we stepped out of a cab outside the guesthouse where we were to stay, I found myself sprawled on the ice. The taxi driver left the car to try to help me, and his cab slid down the hill and across the road on its own.

Almost every year has been brutally cold, including last year when the temperature was in the single digits when we woke up to snow-covered rooftops and learned that hundreds of buses had to cancel their trips. But one glorious year, it was so balmy that I remember taking my coat off and carrying it down Constitution Avenue.

The March for Life entered a deeper dimension for me in 2003, when we had the women of the brand-new Silent No More Awareness Campaign, which I co-founded, talk about their abortion regret in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building for the first time. Pro-lifers weren’t sure what to think when the first of 60 women started to speak. Some members of a youth group thought we were pro-abortion counter-protesters and started to yell at us. But Bryan Kemper, the founder of Stand True – and now our youth outreach director at Priests for Life – told the agitated youth that the women were on our side.

These testimonies have become an integral part of the March experience, and now many groups schedule their buses to leave later so people can hear the unvarnished truth about abortion from the only people truly qualified to speak – those who have been through it. People thank these courageous women and men for their witness.

One year, two marchers carried bunches of red roses, and gave one to every woman carrying an “I Regret My Abortion” sign. Another year, a woman who had not registered with the Campaign showed up in a wedding gown and asked to speak. We asked about the dress, and she said her abortion had wounded her profoundly, both physically and emotionally, and she never expected to marry. When she came back the next year after completing an abortion-recovery program, she was not in a wedding dress but she was sporting a diamond engagement ring. Giving her testimony with Silent No More had helped in her healing.

I look forward to the March every year because it is tangible proof that this counter-cultural civil rights movement in which I am privileged to play a role continues to grow. But every year, I hope and pray it’s the last time I have to make the trek to the nation’s capital in protest of the worst U.S. Supreme Court decision in my lifetime. Abortion will end when God says it’s time, and until then, it is my job to show up and bear witness to the truth: Abortion kills an unborn child, damages mothers and sends shockwaves of misery throughout our society.

Posted in Abortion, About Janet, Feminists, March for Life, Priests for Life, Pro-life, Roe v. Wade, Silent No More Awareness | 1 Comment »
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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

Posted in assisted suicide, Cancer, Catholic Church, Christianity, Faith, Family, Health Care, Priests for Life | 1 Comment »
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The most stormy time of the year…

Monday, August 29th, 2011

After all the chaos here on the East Coast from the hurricane, I thought I might as well make some blog material out of it!

I left the Priests for Life office Friday evening; our office was ‘smack dab’ in the middle of the mandatory evacuation zone! I headed home with puppy Georgio, making sure I had plenty of bottled water, flashlights, batteries, etc.  I put all my patio furniture in the garage and prepared to ‘hunker down.’

The rain started around noon on Saturday and didn’t stop for another 24 hours. It poured like a faucet on full strength, and the wind was loud and fierce.  I thought that would be the extent of it,

My poor neighbors!

but at about 3 am, I woke up to a loud crash just in time to see the sky literally light up.  Seconds later, the power was out.  I knew the drama had begun, starting with a nonfunctioning basement pump…!  I made my good faith effort at keeping up with the water as a one-woman bucket brigade, but it was useless, and I finally decided to go back to bed and face the disaster in the morning…

The next morning, I learned that 90% of my town was without power – and my basement had 7 inches of water… And that loud crash from the night before?  It was a giant oak tree – roots 3 yards in diameter – that had fallen *two doors* away from my house and taken all the power lines, a car, and a transformer with it! 

So now I had no power and there was water, water everywhere!  What was I to do?  Well, when the going gets tough, the tough go to Church!

I went over to noon Mass at St. Francis Cathedral in Metuchen.  Even the Cathedral had no power; it was truly like stepping back in time: No electricity, no speakers, just dozens of candles and the souls of the faithful!  It was actually a very beautiful experience.  The priest asked us in our homily to take advantage of this opportunity to slow down with our normal routine and bring our focus back to Christ and to assist our neighbors in need. It’s amazing how God has the power to bring us back to the basics through these forces of nature!  It was a really uplifting message to hear when things looked so bleak! 

As if in answer to my prayers at Mass, three chivalrous gentlemen from Priests for Life (Mark Valonzo, his brother, Val, and Ruben Obregon) came all the way from Staten Island to help me with my pump.  We walked over to the fallen oak tree and couldn’t believe the damage.  I thought I wouldn’t get power back for a week.  But thanks be to God, the next morning we did it back.  I felt like the characters in the Poseidon Adventure (You Baby Boomers know that film reference! You younger readers might have to look it up!)

It was a noisy day today – Walking around the neighborhood, I couldn’t help but think of that beautiful Christmas song, “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” – “With generators running and chainsaws buzzing…!”)  Let’s just hope this isn’t an annual occurrence… :-)

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