Monday, January 31, 2005

Thank God for the Miracle of Technology!

http://www.jewishworldreview.com/jonathan/gurwitz013105.php3
St. John Bosco
Don Bosco
Giovanni Melchior Bosco(1815 – 1888)

Born in 1815, Giovanni (John) Melchior Bosco was the youngest son of a poor farmer in hamlet of Becchi in northern Italy. John lost his father at age two and was raised by his mother, Margaret Bosco, a hard working woman who struggled to raise three sons on her own.

At age nine, John had a dream that predicted his vocation. In the dream, he was surrounded by a crowd of swearing and fighting children he attempted to pacify, first by reasoning with them verbally, then by hitting them. Then, suddenly a mysterious woman appeared who instructed him, “Softly, softly…if you wish to win them! Take your shepherds staff if you wish to lead them to pasture.” As she spoke the children transformed first into wild beasts, then into lambs.

From this time on, John believed that it was his duty to lead and to help other boys.He began teaching the children of his village catechism, first amusing them with acrobatics and magic tricks, at which he became quite skilled. One Sunday morning, when John saw a traveling gymnast and juggler entertaining the children, he challenged him to a match and beat him at his own tricks. Then he marched off to church, followed by an audience of admirers. John had a very informal education.

When he was staying with an aunt who was a servant to a priest, the priest taught him to read and write. At sixteen, he entered the seminary to begin his studies for the priesthood and was so poor that his clothing had to be provided by charity. He studied theology in Turin and continued to volunteer to help abandoned and neglected homeless boys.

His first assignment as a priest was assistant chaplain at a home for girls, which allowed him to help his boys in his spare time. With help from the founder of the girls’ home, Marchesa Barolo, a wealthy philanthropist, he was able to set up a combination Sunday school / recreation center for the boys on the grounds owned by the Marchesa. The boys were rowdy, unruly and sometimes even picked flowers from the garden, so the Marchesa quickly changed her mind.

For more than a year the group was regarded as a nuisance by the property owners of the town and no suitable meeting place could be found. Finally, he found an old shed to use as a meeting place. The Marchesa now gave him an ultimatum – to give up his work with the boys or to resign his post at the orphanage for girls. He immediately resigned and chose to serve the boys – who now numbered several hundred.

As a result of all this stress, John Bosco developed a severe case of pneumonia and nearly died. When he recovered, he went to live in some rundown rooms near the meeting place, where his mother served as his housekeeper and assistant. He opened a night school and two more youth centers in Turin, and began to build housing for destitute boys.

Next, he built a church, which he named St. Frances de Sales, followed by the construction of another home for his growing family.The boys he enrolled as boarders were of two different types: young apprentices and craftsmen, and other youths whom St. John Bosco perceived to be future helpers, with possible future vocations to the priesthood. He managed them all and taught them well without the need for punishment.

St. John Bosco was a popular preacher and was always in demand. He spent his remaining time writing appealing, high – interest level books for boys, which were virtually non-existent at that time. He worked late into the night, writing historical books and faith – based books, but was forced to give up writing due to his failing eyesight.

On January 26, 1854, a group of men met to form a new apostolate based upon practical works of charity. The group took the name of Salesian after the great bishop of Geneva, St. Frances de Sales. In 1858, John went to Rome, taking the rules of the Order with him and received preliminary approval from Pope Pius IX.

Sixteen years later, he received full approval.His next great accomplishment was the founding of an order of women to care for girls and to provide for their needs. In 1862, he organized a group of twenty-seven young women whom he named the Daughters of St. Mary Auxiliatrix, the Helper.

As he grew older, his health weakened and on the morning of January 31, 1888, he died in Turin. St. John Bosco was canonized in 1934.

Messages From St. John Bosco

“Do you want Our Lord to give you many graces? Visit Him often. Do you want Him to give you few graces? Visit him seldom. Visits to the Blessed Sacrament are powerful and indispensable means of overcoming the attacks of the devil. Make frequent visits to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and the devil will be powerless against you.”

“This was the method that Jesus used with the apostles. He put up with their ignorance and roughness and even their infidelity. He treated sinners with a kindness and affection that caused some to be shocked, others to be scandalized and still others to hope for God’s mercy. And so He bade us to be gentle and humble of heart.”

“Your reward in heaven will make up completely for all your pain and suffering.”

~ Taken from Gold in the Furnace copyright 2004 Jean M. Heimann



St. John Bosco

Friday, January 28, 2005

What Can We Do To Help Terri?

(National Right to Life, January 28, 2005)

IF YOU'RE FROM FLORIDA, HERE'S HOW YOU CAN HELP TO SAVE TERRI!Contact your Florida state senator and representative to sponsor and support legislation to protect Terri Shindler-Sciavo and those with disabilities like hers from starvation and dehydration.

The Florida Supreme Court threw out Terri's Law 1 because it said it dealt only with her case and therefore violated the separation of powers. But a law that covers not only Terri, but also others in similar situations, COULD be upheld.

A massive outpouring from their constituents is necessary to get Florida legislators to sponsor and support a protective law to save the lives of Terri and others like her. You can get contact information for your state senator and representative on http://www.leg.state.fl.us/ or www.myflorida.com

ACT NOW!

More things that each of us can do to help save Terri Schindler-Schiavo:

1) Pray for Terri, for her family and for those who have dedicated their time and talents to helping her plight.

2) If you have relatives or friends who live in Florida, contact them ASAP and ask them to write or call their legislators.

3) Monitor your local media coverage of Terri’s case to ensure that the press reports her condition accurately. Due to media distortions on Terri’s condition, many people think that Terri Schiavo is in a coma, when in fact, Terri appears alert and aware and she responds to her family. If you come across an inaccuracy, please take the time to call or email the media outlet and ask them to issue a correction.

--Inaccuracies in your local media to respond to:
MYTH: Terri Schiavo is in a coma or in a comatose-state.

FACT: Some claim that Terri Schiavo is in a persistent-vegetative state, while many doctors and medical professional disagree and believe that Terri is very aware of her surroundings. No doctors or medical professionals claim that Terri is in a coma.

MYTH: Terri Schiavo is dying and her family refuses to “let her go.”

FACT: Terri is not “dying.” In fact, she is a healthy woman who happens to have a disability. Terri is brain-damaged but she is not dying of any terminal illness and is not being sustained through a respirator. She breathes on her own and merely receives her food and hydration through a feeding tube. Terri’s family is asking to be given legal guardianship so that they may love and care for her.

MYTH: Death by starvation and dehydration is painless.

FACT: It is upsetting to note that Florida law does not allow a dog to be subjected to a death by starvation so why would should Terri, a human being be sentenced to such a death? St. Louis neurologist William Burke said: "A conscious [cognitively disabled] person would feel it just as you or I would. They will go into seizures. Their skin cracks, their tongue cracks, their lips crack. They may have nosebleeds because of the drying of the mucus membranes, and heaving and vomiting might ensue because of the drying out of the stomach lining. They feel the pangs of hunger and thirst. Imagine going one day without a glass of water! Death by dehydration takes ten to fourteen days. It is an extremely agonizing death."

ACT NOW!

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Another St. Gianna?

Italian Woman who Refused an Abortion Dies of Cancer

ROME, January 26, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The official Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, wrote on Tuesday that a woman who refused cancer treatment to save the life of her unborn child is a ‘hero.’“She was aware that if she gave birth she wouldn't have had any hope of surviving,” the Vatican paper wrote. “Despite that she went through with her choice, the choice of welcoming new life even at the cost of her own death.”

Rita Fedrizzi 41, who refused the abortion and cancer treatment, joins the ranks of a number of other women praised by the Holy See for their lifegiving sacrifice. Last year, Pope John Paul II canonized Italian pediatrician, Gianna Molla, who died in 1962. Molla also refused to be treated for cancer and died days after giving birth to a daughter.

Fedrizzi died this week, three months after giving birth to a baby boy. “Rita’s choice, which I always shared, was a choice of faith,” her husband, Enrico Ferrari, told the Italian news agency ANSA. “Whenever someone recommended abortion as the only way to escape (death), she would say, “It’s as if they’re asking me to kill one of my other two children to save my skin,” he said.

Source URL: http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/jan/05012608.html

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Conversion of St. Paul

Monday, January 24, 2005

Happy Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul!

As a Catholic revert, I can definitely relate to St. Paul's conversion. In fact, I had to get knocked off my horse quite a few times before my reversion.


http://www.cin.org/saints/convpaul.html

http://www.ewtn.com/library/MARY/CONVPAUL.htm

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11567b.htm
St. Francis de Sales
Bishop, Doctor of the Church
(1567 – 1622)

Francis was born on August 21, 1567, at the Chateau de Sales in Geneva, Switzerland to a noble family. He was a frail and delicate child, but very intelligent, humble, kind, loving, patient and gentle. He was educated in some of the best schools of that time period.

At the age of thirteen, he attended the University of Paris where he studied theology. He then attended the University of Padua, where he earned his doctorate in law. His father desired that he become a lawyer and politician, but Francis desired to become a priest. In 1593, he was ordained.

The Catholic Church at this time was losing many of its parishioners to the new churches of the Protestant Reformation. Francis set out to restore Catholicism to the area around Lake Geneva known as Chablais. For three years, he trudged through the countryside, his feet frozen and bleeding, as he trampled through the snow. No one would listen to him, so he wrote out his sermons, copying them by hand in the form of leaflets, and placed them under doors. It is said that he converted 40,000 people by the time he left to return home. In 1602, he was made Bishop of Geneva.

He led and organized his diocese from his new residence at Annecy. His words of inspiration and wise counsel led many people to live out the gospel message in their lives. In 1610, he founded the Order of the Visitation with St. Jane Francis de Chantal, a good friend, with whom he shared his spiritual beliefs.

Francis was overworked and often ill due to his heavy workload. However, he remained active, particularly using his talent for writing to assist him in ministering to others.

Francis died at Lyons on December 28, 1622.

Messages From St. Francis de Sales

"Keep your heart very wide to receive in it all sorts of crosses and resignations or abnegations, for the love of Him who has received so many of them for us."

Faithfully attend to your obligations, but know that you have no greater obligation than that of your salvation and of the saving progress of your soul on the way to true devotion."

" When you are sick, offer to Christ our Lord all your pains suffering, and your languor, and beseech Him to unite them to those He bore for you."

~ Taken from Gold in the Furnace, copyright 2004, Jean M. Heimann

St. Francis de Sales

Saturday, January 22, 2005

IT"S A BABY -- NOT A PIECE OF TISSUE!
Pro-Abortion Catholic Politicians Targeted by Canonical Lawsuit

WASHINGTON, January 21, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A canon lawyer who filed a heresy charge with the Vatican against then presidential nominee Senator John F. Kerry last summer has expanded his suit to include a number of other pro-abortion Catholic politicians.

Marc Balestrieri, in an unprecedented class-action ecclesiastical lawsuit, filed a “Dual-Denunciation for Heresy and Complaint for Reparation of Harm” against Senator John F. Kerry for his support of a civil right to choose abortion. Balestrieri announced Thursday that he has added Senators Edward Kennedy, Tom Harkin, Susan Collins, and former New York Governor Mario Cuomo to the suit.

Balestrieri argues that Kerry and other Catholic pro-abortion politicians, because they support abortion rights, are guilty of the "Right-to-Murder" Heresy condemned by Pope John Paul II in the Encyclical Evangelium Vitae of 1995. Automatic Excommunication is the penalty incurred for this offense.

Father Basil Cole, a Washington-based Dominican priest asked by the Vatican’s undersecretary for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to respond to Balestrieri’s suit, indicated that Catholic politicians who advocate abortion are “automatically excommunicated.” This pronouncement was understood by Balestrieri to indicate Vatican support for his lawsuit against Kerry. However, Vatican authorities later fended off any suggestion of involvement in Balestrieri’s lawsuit.

My Opinion

I think it is about time someone stood up to these Catholic heretics and did something to let them know that the Catholic Church wholeheartedly disapproves of their behavior and the scandal they are creating by perpetuating the "Culture of Death" in publicly voicing their approval of infanticide and passing laws that encourage parents to murder their babies. They are not Catholics and have no right to call themselves Catholics! We all sin and confess our sins and attempt to correct our behavior, whereas, these individuals express no remorse for their sins -- they continue to preach the "gospel of death" and encourage by their words and actions! Not only do they act as accomplices in the murder of our babies by their actions, but they instruct others that slaughtering their children is perfectly ok. Why they have been allowed to continue to receive the sacraments is beyond my understanding! I believe they should be formally reprimanded and told that either you cease preaching false heresy or you're excommunicated. I know that they have already "excommunicated themselves" by their behavior, but someone needs to make it formal. The senseless slaughter needs to stop and not be perpetuated by those who the world looks up to as "Catholic leaders." They are not Catholic leaders -- they are Catholic heretics!

Thursday, January 20, 2005


Sanctity of Human Life Walk & Rally 2005


I have just returned from Central IL Right to Life's March and Sanctity of Human Life Rally held in downtown Peoria. Neither freezing temperatures nor falling snow could stop this "family" of approximately 150 dedicated Christian prolifers from protesting the 32nd anniversary of the passage of Roe V. Wade.


We met in front of the Peoria Courthouse by the statue of Abraham Lincoln, where CIRL Director Dan Smith gave a motivating speech, a prayer was said, and hundreds of multi-colored balloons were released into the air. We walked to the Rally at Riverside Community Church carrying pro-life signs. Mine read "Abortion is murder." (Believe or not, some people don't know that or don't want to be reminded of it! It's freeing to proclaim the truth.)


Tonight's speakers were spectacular! Myfawny Saunders, the Director of the Women's pregnancy Center as well as the Director of Peoria Rescue Ministries updated us on the activities at Esther House -- a new residential facility to help women, and women with children in the Peoria area. Esther House is the newest residence sponsored by Peoria Rescue Ministries and it is located at 6847 North Allen Road.

It is a long-term facility, which exists for two purposes:


To present the love and life of Jesus Christ as the only way to spiritual and emotional wholeness.


To assist residents in acquiring the educational and vocational skills necessary to become functioning members of society.

Currently, Esther House consists of eleven residents -- seven women, three babies, and one in utero. The women reside there for a variety of reasons, such as: substance abuse, incarceration, and pregnancy. To date five of the seven women have enrolled in programs to further their education -- to complete their high school degree or to take college courses at Illinois Central College.


Myfawny stated that the women receive individual guidance at the residence and religious training, which includes bible study. She mentioned that some of the women enjoy living there so much that it is difficult for them to leave.

What touched me most about Myfanwy's talk was her response to the words of Joycelyn Elders, Surgeon General under Bill Clinton. Addressing pro-lifers, Joycelyn Elders in her eloquent style stated, "Get over this love affair with the fetus." Myfawny's reply was, "We need to have the same love affair with the mother as we have with the fetus."


Nurse Sondra McEnroe reminded us that "everyone who works in pro-life is called" and that Central IL Right to Life included all residents of central IL -- not just those who live in Peoria. The Primary purpose of CIRL is to educate and finances are needed for that purpose. Monies go toward: a cell phone used to talk with pregnant mothers in crisis (The hotline number is 645-8000), the purchase of models of pre-born babies at different stages of development, a phone book listing, purchasing and distributing life packets (gift bags containing diapers, baby clothing, and a toy), publishing a newsletter, putting up pro-life billboards.


Some of the fund-raising activities include: an annual garage sale held at St. Mark's in Peoria, a 4th of July walk, an annual race. Other activities include: an annual life chain to pray publicly for life, supporting pro-life candidates and educating others about the candidates, purchasing and distributing life packets (gift bags containing diapers, baby clothing, and a toy), publishing a newsletter, and putting up pro-life billboards. CIRTL's main goal for the coming year is to develop educational "infomercials" in movie theatres directed at young people.
Sondra also revealed that she is now the proud grandmother of her 45th grandchild! We call it the Roe effect.


Soloist Nora Wilburne, whose powerful, soulful voice was unforgettable, provided special vocal music. Christa Dillard's medley of religious hymns, on the synthesizer made my heart melt.


Robert Richti, Karen Guth, and Liz Boudreaux presented special testimonies. All were informative and moving. Each one deserves its own accolade.


The Keynote speaker is the person who wanted me to get up and cheer and do cartwheels around the room (I have never been able to do cartwheels -- the splits at age 4 maybe, but never cartwheels!) Dr. Mildred Jefferson is a person I will never forget as long as I live and I hope to see Dr. Jefferson long after that. If anyone belongs in Heaven, this beautiful angel of a woman does.


I spotted her in the Ladies Lounge before the talk and noticed her petite frame, her flair for fashion, her grace and elegance, her charm, and most of all -- her gorgeous smile. She looked like royalty and had such an air of dignity about her. I watched the local news interview her and thought to myself, she really knows how to handle the media. She spoke in a calm, assured voice and seemed to know exactly what to say -- each reply seemed to be well-formulated and articulately presented. She was, to say the least, perfectly poised.


Dr. Mildred Jefferson helped found the National Right to Life Committee and has three times served as the organization's president. As a committed Christian, as well as the first African - American woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School, Dr. Jefferson is a nationally recognized speaker on the detrimental effects of abortion to women and the minority community. She is a staunch defender of the sanctity of human life and has spoken that message on many regional and national outlets including Good Morning America, the Today Show, Nightline, Sixty Minutes, the MacNeil / Lehrer News Hour and many more.


Dr. Jefferson traveled from Boston to Atlanta to Chicago on this cold, snowy winter day and appeared totally unruffled and peaceful. She smiled frequently and when this demure, petite woman started to speak, it was as if God knocked me off my chair with a bolt of lightning!


She spoke of the tragedy of in our society -- how our little ones -- "our hope for the future" -- "the only way we can achieve immortality" -- are being destroyed.
The "planning people" want us to turn our backs on the most vulnerable, defenseless members of our family and allow them to be "put to death."
Dr. Jefferson defined "rally" as a "coming together to look at what you have done" and asking yourself, "Is there more that I could do?"


"There are many in our movement who don't know why we're here." She added that "when people feel thwarted" and when there are obstacles, which block the way, the movement develops and grows.


When the Supreme Court began to act as a "Super Congress" and violated what is was to make the law, when they violated our first right amendment which protects our right to religious freedom, they forced human secularism on us. The Civil Rights Movement was born in the churches and Dr. Jefferson did not hear even one commentary about the separation of church and state on this last holiday commemorating Civil Rights leader, Martin Luther King.


Dr. Jefferson provided her personal account of the history of the movement. She began with the Griswold V. Connecticut case in 1965, which gave a woman the right to bear children when she wanted. "This cast a dark cloud over the horizon." Then, when Doe V. Bolton and Roe V. Wade both passed in 1973, these actions "released our 'Desert Storm'." She spoke of the difficulty in bringing about change and how our state and federal tax laws as well as our state and federal election laws perpetuate abortion. "You have been forced to participate in (the pro-death movement) in ways that you can't even imagine."


She spoke of Cardinal Archbishop Terrence J. Cooke and his role when in the very beginning of the pro-death movement, when our government first began to push people toward immoral behavior and human secularism. Cardinal Cooke's position was to see that his people knew their moral obligation and that they be able to recognize the difference between right and wrong. "We understood at the beginning that the hostile media always points its fingers at the Catholics."
She emphasized how important it is today to have strong pastors who will speak about pro-life issues in their churches because this is a "moral issue."


"We need pastors to lead the flock, rather than letting them wander wherever they want to go. Some poor pastors don't want to discuss this because they're too frightened." Some are afraid of "getting fired", of losing their flock if they speak of these issues. "Yes, I do feel sorry and I do pray for the poor shepherds."


She spoke of Margaret Sanger (1883 - 1936), the founder of Planned Parenthood, who opened the first birth control clinic in Brooklyn, N.Y. in 1916. Margaret Sanger married well and became rich and powerful through her wealthy acquaintances, was able to influence others, and it was easier for her to do what was wrong rather than it was for the pro-life people to mobilize and do what was right. "We were sent to do this job. There are people far more capable of doing what we do, but they didn't answer."


In 1972, a TV show entitled "The Advocate" hosted by Michael Dukakis (a democrat from Massachusetts who was a strong abortion and homosexual rights advocate) was produced. The governor of California saw this program and showed it to his staff members and wrote a letter to Dr. Jefferson. He promised to do everything in his power to bring an end to this pro-death movement. At that time, California was 55% Catholic and they knew that if they could get a Catholic state to fall for abortion, they get others to fall "like dominoes." This governor was Ronald Reagan.


Dr. Jefferson told pro-lifers that they must join civic organizations. "We have to create structures to fight and the only way we can make the democratic process work is to participate in the political process."


She spoke of how all - inclusive the pro-life movement is. We represent every phase of political and religious belief." When we have Republican Presidents like Ronald Reagan and George Bush in office, it is because pro-life democrats have put him there, she added.


She concluded by stating that we are fighting this war in the only way that can be just. "We didn't start the war." She revealed that it began when doctors started using knives as weapons and saline solution to destroy life and it escalated when it began to effect family life, and further escalated when laws were passed in Oregon legalizing euthanasia, and escalated even further with the introduction of embryonic stem cell research. "We are trying to stop the killing without using killing weapons. We will win and when we win that victory it will be for God, for all of America, and for all of mankind."

AMEN!

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Another Bizarre Case of Discrimination Against Christians in the U.S.

Just when you thought things couldn't get any more outrageous as far as discrimination in the U.S. goes, something really ridiculous occurs. The following article appeared today in World Net Daily.

TESTING THE FAITH

DMV rejects 'JOHN316' license plate
Bureaucrats claim biblical tag inappropriately refers to 'deity'
Posted: January 19, 20055:00 p.m. Eastern

A resident of Vermont who had his request for a custom "JOHN316" license plate rejected filed a federal lawsuit against Department of Motor Vehicles officials yesterday.

Alliance Defense Fund, a legal group representing Shawn W. Byrne, says the state agency's action violates the Constitution.

"The Constitution does not permit DMV officials to discriminate based upon the applicant's point of view," said ADF attorney Joshua Carden in a statement. "Religious speech is not inferior to secular speech. The department's actions are clearly unconstitutional."

John 3:16 is perhaps the most famous verse in the Christian Bible. It states, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

According to ADF, Byrne submitted his application for the special plate on April 20. The following month, he received a letter from the DMV stating that each of his choices, including "JOHN316," was "deemed to be a combination that refers to deity and has been denied based on that reason." Byrne appealed the decision, but an administrative law judge upheld the denial based on the statute that prohibits combinations that refer to "deity," among other things.
Though DMV officials rejected Byrne's application, they approved other plates that used names and numbers referring to religion, the legal group says.
"DMV officials selectively censored Mr. Byrne's expression," explained Carden. "When officials suppress speech because they don't like the message of the plate or the viewpoint it expresses, that's illegal discrimination. …

"Not only did DMV officials enforce the statute unequally when they approved another applicant's plate that also referred to deity or religion, but the statute itself does not pass constitutional muster. We intend to make sure that the DMV will no longer be able to discriminate against anyone based upon their religious views."

I am definitely not an attorney, but this certainly sounds like a blatant violation of the right to free speech to me. I am praying that Shawn W. Byrne and his attorneys win this case and set a precedent, sending a powerful message to the government of Vermont and to the rest of the country to leave Christians alone.
I know that is probably too much to ask for the liberal aetheists of this country as Satan is behind these attacks and the one who spurs them on in this spiritual battle.

Let us never forget that Jesus Christ has won the battle and is the Ultimate Victor in all situations. Mary, Our Mother, and all the saints in heaven are supporting us, and praise and Adoration, the rosary, the Bible, the Holy Mass, the Eucharist, and all the other sacraments are our most powerful weapons in the battle. Satan is an ugly cockroach and we can stamp him out if we stay strong and connected to our faith, united as one Body in the Lord, there is nothing he can do to defeat us. Keep a bottle of holy water handy to use an insecticide and a rosary to whack him with! Believe me, he won't stay around long when you have your weapons handy -- he is a coward. He runs from the Truth!


Tuesday, January 18, 2005

St. Louis Archbishop Burke Calls Abortion Fight "a battle against Satan"

(LifeSiteNews.com) Archbishop Raymond Burke, after spending a busy 2004 setting the pace for episcopal pro-life leadership, appears set to continue his strong efforts on behalf of the sacredness of life in this new year. This past Saturday, Burke personally led a congregation of 400 Catholics to the sidewalks in front of the Planned Parenthood abortion mill in downtown St. Louis.

In his homily at the cathedral Mass, Archbishop Burke described the pro-life fight as "a battle against Satan and his cohorts." He said, "We pray for the parents who are contemplating the betrayal of their parenthood through abortion."

The group left the St. Louis cathedral and walked the five blocks to the Planned Parenthood facility while being led in the Rosary by the Archbishop whose voice could be heard over the walkie-talkies carried by organizers. The group stayed for about 10-15 minutes and prayed without incident.

According to the local president of Planned Parenthood, Paula Gianino, the St. Louis facility committed about 6,000 abortions last year. Gianino said that next week a group of clergy (of unspecified denominations) will be present to escort women into the facility. "It will show our patients that many churches and many clergy are supportive of a woman's reproductive rights and privacy," Gianino said.

In the United States, much public pro-life activity occurs around the January 22 anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. In dioceses around the country, many US bishops ask parish priests to preach homilies on the sanctity of life. For most of the last year, Burke however, has set a high standard for bishops' pro-life commitment. During a regular 'ad limina' visit to Rome, the St. Louis archbishop said that the fight against pro-abortion politicians receiving communion must not end with the end of the election campaign. He said, "These are questions that are at the very foundation of the life of our country. We just simply have to continue to address them."

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
A Prayer for Discernment in the Pro-life Movement

Lord, help all our clergy and lay people to act on behalf of the unborn with the same enthusiasm and dedication as that of Archbishop Raymond Burke. Give each one of us a clear message and vision as to what our role is -- what you call us to do in our lives each day to bring about an end to the senseless slaughter of the innocent and a respect for human life. Help us to be obedient to that call and to live out the gospel message in our lives by venturing beyond our "comfort zone" surrendering our bodies, our hearts, our every action to You, uniting our will with Yours. All for you, my Lord, Jesus . Totus tous, Sweet Mother Mary.

Monday, January 17, 2005

St. Anthony of the Desert

St. Anthony of the Desert (c. 251–356), a religious hermit and monk, is known as the founder of monasticism. His rule of order was one of the first to create guidelines for monastic living. He became a monk at age 20 and withdrew into total solitude on a desert mountain near the Nile River. Here he overcame extreme temptations of the devil, and in 305 emerged from total seclusion to instruct nearby hermits in the ways of monasticism. His face showed lasting peace. He demonstrated the power of Christ to touch lives by healing the sick, providing spiritual guidance, casting out demons, and preaching. Many were attracted to monasticism by his example. Athanasius's Life of Antony perpetuated his story and inspired waves of monks who civilized and evangelized Europe and the Near East.

With the end of Christian persecution in 313, Anthony established a monastery between the Nile and the Red Sea. This same monastery exists today.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

EXCELLENT VIEWS

Be sure to tune into EWTN today and tomorrow. There are some excellent pro-life programs scheduled.

WE ARE ALL GOD’S CHILDREN (60:00)
This true story of a young woman's struggle with an unplanned pregnancy and her search for truth, highlights society's false ideas about happiness. In the face of this young woman's dawning realization that actions have lifetime consequences, she learns there is abundant life, love, and hope when the teachings of the Church come first in making a moral choice.
Thursday
January 13, 2005
4:30 AM EST


Thursday
January 13, 2005
6:30 PM EST

EWTN GALLERYMAKING ABORTION RARE: EP. 1 (30:00)
Understanding the Keys to Ending Abortion Built on an understanding of the ways in which abortion hurts women physically, psychologically, and spiritually Making Abortion Rare offers a three pronged strategy for ending abortion through a compassionate and comprehensive program of pastoral, political and educational reform.


Friday
January 14, 2005
4:30 AM EST

Friday
January 14, 2005
6:30 PM
EST
St. Hilary of Poitiers -- Bishop, Doctor of the Church


Hillary was a student of rhetoric and philosophy who became a convert to Christianity. He was later elected bishop of Poitiers and wrote commentaries on the Trinity, The Gospel of Mathew, and the Psalms. He stood up against the persecution of Saint Athanasius by the politically powerful Arians. He devoted his tongue and pen to fighting the Arian heresy and was exiled for his zeal. Hillary died in 368 A.D.

"Impart to us the meaning of the words of Scripture and the light to understand it."

~St. Hilary
St. Marguerite Bourgeoys

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

HAPPY FEAST DAY, ST MARGUERITE BOURGEOYS!

I nearly forgot that it is one of my favorite saint's feast days, so I had better get this posted before the clock strikes 12.


St. Marguerite Bourgeoys
(1620 – 1698)

St. Marguerite Bourgeoys has been described as a woman of dreams and action, despite her frail health. She was known for her obedience to God and for her perseverance in carrying out His desires despite the many obstacles and hardships she faced.

Born in Troyes, France in 1620, Marguerite assumed a "parental" role in her family at age 19 due to the death of her mother. The following year, through the inspiration of the Blessed Virgin Mary, she consecrated her life to God and became a member of the Extern Congregation of Troy, a group of women who were dedicated to teaching the poor children of the town. It was during this apostolate that she first sensed a call to missionary work.

In 1652, Monsieur de Maisonneuve, founder and governor of Ville Marie (Canada) returned to France and asked Marguerite to volunteer her services to teach French and Indian children in the new settlement begun in New France. Our Lady told her, "Go, I will not forsake you" which confirmed Marguerite’s call. With this assurance, Marguerite left Troy and sailed across the ocean to this new young colony.

Her first action was to arrange for the restoration of a chapel, which had been destroyed by Indians to restore the faith of the colonists. Next, she opened the first school in Montreal in an abandoned stable and soon realized that she must also teach domestic skills and educate the young mothers who were now part of this new society. She became their mother, social worker, counselor, and friend.

She developed a practical curriculum for her young women that not only consisted of vocational skills, but also included teaching catechism and Christian values. Her curriculum included reading, writing, arithmetic, singing, and religion, while back in her native country of France, people continued to question the practicality of teaching women to write.

Throughout her adult life, she sailed across the ocean three times to France to obtain additional volunteer teachers. The group of teachers who joined her in her life of prayer, of poverty, and of service to others, bonded together as a religious group. Thus, in 1698, Marguerite founded the Congregation of Notre Dame – an active Order who would continue the missionary work she started.

Marguerite became ill and spent her last few years praying and writing her autobiography. In 1699, a young Sister in her Order lay dying and she generously offered her own life to God in exchange for the return of the life of this Sister. Marguerite died in Montreal, Canada on January 12, 1700.

Pope Pius XII beatified Marguerite Burgeoys on November 12, 1950. Pope John Paul II canonized her on October 31, 1982, making her Canada’s first woman saint.

~ An excerpt from Gold in the Furnace by Jean M. Heimann copyright 2004

Thank you, Lord, for the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame, who are so dedicated to serving you. Thank you for all those Sisters who taught me during in both grade school and high school. I pray for special blessings on Sr. St. Madeliene LaMarr and Sr. St. Reine Marie. Dear Lord, bless them all with St. Maugerite's virtues and reward them for their dedication to you and to Our Holy Mother.
St. Therese of Lisieux -- "The Little Flower"
ST. THERSE FIBROMYALGIA SYNDROME SUPPORT GROUP
In case you have been wondering why I haven't been posting as regularly as in the past, the reason is that I have been preparing for my new fibromyalgia support group, St. Therese of Lisieux Fibromyalgia Syndrome Support Group. We were previously scheduled to meet in December, but the meeting was cancelled at that time. It is now rescheduled for February 2nd -- (Ground Hog Day!) the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. We could use some prayer that all goes well this time -- the weather cooperates and people show up. I am praying for St. Therese's intervention.
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The Elliot Insititute has done it again! Here is an excellent article from their newsletter excerpted from their publication Hope and Healing. I hope to put these useful ideas into practice.

HOW TO SOW THE SEEDS OF HEALING

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Do you realize that you can promote post-abortion healing without ever talking to people about their past abortions?

You don't even have to know if someone has had an abortion. And you certainly don't have to become a trained counselor or an expert in post-abortion issues. All you have to do is to sow a few words of compassion and healing into your everyday conversations.

In every case, your goal is merely to plant the seeds of understanding, empathy, and hope that can lead to future healing.

You are not trying to complete the healing process. But you can help break down some of the obstacles toward healing. In a simple, conversational way, cover the following three points:

(1) Announce that you have come to a whole new understanding of the abortion issue, including why people choose abortion and how it affects them;

(2) Express your compassion for women and men who have had abortions, knowing that they must constantly face the fear that others are judging or condemning them, and that they may be experiencing feelings of doubt and regret; and

(3) Describe how you have heard of new programs that help women and men find freedom from the burdens of secrecy and shame associated with past abortions.

For example, you might simply say: "I read an interesting article that gave me a whole new understanding of why women have abortions. I never really understood before how much pressure many are under to have an abortion.

"I also didn't realize before how much they feel judged and condemned by others. That fear of judgment can really make it hard for them to complete the healing process. Did you know that on average it takes around ten years for women to recover emotionally from a past abortion?

"The good news is that there are a lot of new programs now to help women and men who are dealing with post-abortion problems.

" That's it. You have planted the seeds. Perhaps someone will ask for more information, in which case you can refer them to a post-abortion ministry in your area.

Just remember these three key words: understanding, compassion, and hope. The first step, expressing understanding, respects the mind. The second step, expressing compassion, soothes the emotions. The third step, offering hope, feeds the spirit. Wouldn't our world be a better place if everyone would begin to sow the seeds of understanding, compassion, and hope?

This article is excerpted from the Elliot Institute's 12-page publication, Hope and Healing. This is a great resource that can be distributed through churches, crisis pregnancy centers, schools, and as an insert in newspapers. To view the layout and text of the articles, as well as pricing information, visit www.afterabortion.info/hope/hhindex.htm. To order, call 1-888-412-2676.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Prayer to End Abortion

Lord God, I thank you today for the gift of my life, And for the lives of all my brothers and sisters. I know there is nothing that destroys more life than abortion, Yet I rejoice that you have conquered death by the Resurrection of Your Son. I am ready to do my part in ending abortion. Today I commit myself Never to be silent, Never to be passive, Never to be forgetful of the unborn. I commit myself to be active in the pro-life movement, And never to stop defending life Until all my brothers and sisters are protected, And our nation once again becomes A nation with liberty and justice Not just for some, but for all, Through Christ our Lord. Amen!

~ Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director Priests for Life, Newsletter Volume 15, Number 1 January-February 2005

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Women Evaluate "The Cost of 'Choice'" on the Eve of 32nd Anniversary of Roe vs. Wade

To: National Desk
Contact: Daniel McConchie of Americans United for Life, 312-492-7234, dan@aul.org

WASHINGTON, Jan. 5 /Christian Wire Service/ -- Challenging the notion that the well-being of women is dependent upon the legal right to abortion, Americans United for Life, Feminists for Life, Encounter Books, and Advocates for Life will hold a symposium entitled "The Cost of 'Choice': Understanding the Toll of Abortion on Women's Lives" on Friday, Jan. 21, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Columbus School of Law, Catholic University of America.

The event will feature several authors of the book The Cost of "Choice": Women Evaluate the Impact of Abortion, a new collection of essays by women outlining the medical, psychological, social, and cultural impact of abortion-on-demand.

"The contributors, all doctors, lawyers and educators prominent in their respective fields, challenge the belief of the 70's women's movement that abortion is a necessary precondition to women's well-being and equality," said Erika Bachiochi, the book's editor and a contributor. "Thirty-two years after Roe v. Wade, it is imperative that we critically examine abortion's effects on women and explore alternative solutions."

Panelists will include Dr. Elizabeth Shadigian, OB-GYN, University of Michigan Medical School; Serrin Foster, president, Feminists for Life; Dorinda Bordlee, Esq., senior legislative counsel, Americans United for Life; and Erika Bachiochi, Esq., editor, The Cost of "Choice".

WHAT: The Cost of "Choice": Understanding the Toll of Abortion on Women's Lives

WHEN: Friday, Jan. 21, 5 to 7 p.m.

WHERE: Columbus School of Law, Catholic University of America, 3600 John McCormack Rd., NE, Room 204, Washington, D.C.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Panelists will be available for interviews at the event. To interview Erika Bachiochi, Dorinda Bordlee, or Elizabeth Shadigian before or after the event, please contact Daniel McConchie, director of public relations for Americans United for Life at 312-492-7234 or by emailing dan@aul.org.
To interview Serrin Foster, contact Feminists for Life's National Office Coordinator, Cat Clark, at 202-737-FFLA or by emailing cat@feministsforlife.org.

Favorite Quotes from St. John Henry Neumann on His Feast Day

My God, how great Thou art, how wonderful in all Thy works! Teach me Thy will that I may begin and end all my actions for Thy greater glory.

Speak to me, 0 my God, let me know Thy will, for behold I am ready to fulfill Thy every command. The difficult, the irksome, I will patiently endure for love of Thee.

0 my God, I thank Thee for the love Thou hast planted in my heart. I will cultivate this precious flower. I will guard it night and day that nothing may injure it. Do Thou, 0 Lord, water it with the dew of Thy grace.

~ From the Diary of St. John Henry Newman

Everyone who breathes, high and low, educated and ignorant, young and old, man and woman, has a mission, has a work. We are not sent into this world for nothing; we are not born at random; we are not here, that we may go to bed at night, and get up in the morning, toil for our bread, eat and drink, laugh and joke, sin when we have a mind, and reform when we are tired of sinning, rear a family and die. God sees every one of us; He creates every soul, . . . for a purpose. He needs, He deigns to need, every one of us. He has an end for each of us; we are all equal in His sight, and we are placed in our different ranks and stations, not to get what we can out of them for ourselves, but to labor in them for Him. As Christ has His work, we too have ours; as He rejoiced to do His work, we must rejoice in ours also.

~ Sermon: "God's Will the End of Life," from Discourses Addressed to Mixed Congregations, 1849, in Daniel M. O'Connell, Favorite Newman Sermons, NY: The America Press, 2nd ed., 1940, pp. 177-178

Monday, January 03, 2005

The Holy Name of Jesus

Meditation for the Feast of the Holy Names of Jesus.

I.

The name of Jesus was given to the Incarnate Word not by men, but by God himself: And his name shall be called Jesus, (Luke1:31) that is, Savior. A name of gladness, a name of hope, a name of love.

A name of gladness, because if the remembrance of past transgressions afflicts us, this name comforts us, reminding us that the Son of God became man for this purpose, to make himself our Savior.

My beloved Savior, You came down from heaven to seek me, and I, a miserable sinner, have turned my back upon You and despised Your grace and Your love! But, notwithstanding this, You willed my salvation, O my Jesus! and I thank You for it and love You.

II.

A name of hope, because he that prays to the Eternal Father in the name of Jesus may hope for every grace he asks for: If you ask the Father anything in My name, He will give it you. (John 16:23)

O my God! trusting to this promise, in the name of Jesus I ask of You the pardon of my sins, holy perseverance, and the gift of Your love. Grant, above all, that the remainder of my life may not be spent in displeasing You, but only in loving You and doing Your will, as You deserve that I should do.

III.

A name of love. St. Bernardine of Sienna says that the name of Jesus is a sign that represents to us how much God has done for the love of us. For the name of Jesus brings to our remembrance all the sufferings which Jesus has endured for us in his life and at his death. Wherefore a devout writer says to him, "O Jesus! how much has it cost You to be Jesus, that is to say, my Savior!".

O my Jesus I beseech You, do You write Your name on my poor heart and on my tongue, in order that when I am tempted to sin, I may resist by invoking You; so that if I am tempted to despair, I may trust in Your merits; and that if I feel myself tepid in loving You, Your name may inflame my heart at the recollection of how much You have loved me. Your name, then, will always be my defense, my comfort, and the fire that shall keep me always inflamed with Your love. Make me, therefore, always to call You my Jesus, and to live and die with Your holy name on my lips, saying even with my last breath, "I love You, my Jesus; my Jesus, I love You." O Mary, my Queen! make me when I am dying invoke you continually, together with your Son Jesus.

~ St. Alphonsus de Liguori, The Incarnation Birth and Infancy of Jesus Christ, Rev Eugene Grimm, Trans., Redemptorist Fathers, Brooklyn, Publishers (1927) pp. 320-321. Imprimatur +Patrick Cardinal Hayes, 1927.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Happy Feast of Epiphany!

"If the Magi had come in search of an earthly King, they would have been disconcerted at finding that they had taken the trouble to come such a long way for nothing. Consequently they would have neither adored nor offered gifts. But since they sought a heavenly King, though they found in Him no signs of royal pre-eminence, yet, content with the testimony of the star alone, they adored: for they saw a man, and they acknowledged a God."

~St. John Chrysostom

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Happy Feast Day! Happy New Year!

Today on this feast day of the Solemnity of Mary and the first day of the New Year, I pray that Our Lord will favor you with the graces and virtues you are in most need of and I entrust you to the heart our dear Mother, Mary.

A New Year's Prayer

Dear Lord, please give me ...
a few friends who understand me
and yet remain my friends.

Work to do which has real value,
without which the world would feel poorer.

A mind unafraid to travel,
even though the trail not be blazed.

An understanding heart,
A sense of humor.

Time for quiet, silent meditation,
A feeling of the presence of God.

And the patience to wait for the coming of these things,
with the wisdom to know when they come.

~ Author Unknown