Monday, February 28, 2005

Encouraging Message on Terri

Here is an encouraging message I just received on Terri Schiavo.

To all my dear Catholic friends...
On Friday, Father Thomas Euteneuer President of Human Life International in Va came down to Hospice and led us in prayer outside Hospice, in the pouring rain. With all the umbrellas, dark clouds and rain, rosaries swaying in the wind it looked a lot like Fatima and in fact I told Father that as I drove him back to pick up his car. But during the prayer, as the hour of 3:00 approached and we were preparing to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, the rain became torrential and we huddled closer trying to keep dry - it almost seemed like great tears were falling from heaven. Father then consecrated the building to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and bound all those inside to her Heart and the Sacred Heart of Jesus so that no evil would befall Terri. He then blessed the rain as it fell, to make it holy water - and wash the evil from the Hospice bldg. Some of the people began dropping their umbrellas to let the holy rain wash over them - it was a beautiful and powerful time of prayer. Quite strangely it would also be at this precise moment that across town Judge Greer handed down his order of execution. The fax from his office is time stamped 2:59PM -hence the great tears from heaven.

But there is more... tonight, very unexpectedly we were blessed to have the touring statue of Our Lady of Fatima brought to Hospice by the pilgrims. This is the same statue that has been known to shed tears and has traveled worldwide since 1947 with several reported miracles. She had been down in southern Fl and was supposed to go to Chicago but the pilgrims told us they felt she wanted to come there. Again it had poured all day and we prepared for another Fatima -like setting - but late in the day, the sun broke through the clouds, the rain stopped. We went tonight with lighted candles and prayed - with a most gorgeous red and blue sunset against the evening sky. We then began processing with the statue of Our Lady held high in the air, singing and praying more.

Now for some highly strange reason there were no police guarding the parking lot and entrance to Hospice tonight - only a car with no police officer inside and so as we marched with Our Lady along the sidewalk, we turned right up the driveway and approached the circular drive at the main entrance. At first I was a little frightened - because in all the times I have been there there have always been armed guards and we have never gotten past the main public sidewalk. And we were certain that the police would appear at any moment to stop us. But as I looked up at that statue solemly leading the procession, my fear melted and I felt like heaven was protecting us. No one came and so we continued to march on. Then, just as Our Lady passed under the covered breezeway right in front of the electronic security locked doors, suddenly the doors opened wide - and we gasped and froze momentarily - figuring the police were now coming out - but there was no one there. The doors suddenly closed and then opened again - we looked all around -not a soul was there. And just as quietly as those doors opened, they closed as our Lady left the breezeway. I turned then and kept looking over my shoulder to see if we were somehow setting off a signal that caused the doors to open but the entire procession had been a good 30 feet from the doors and they never opened again as the others followed behind us.

Once we were all gathered again out front Terri's sister Suzanne spoke to all of us with tears in her eyes. She was so grateful for all the love and prayers we - and the whole world have shown her family. She told us just saying "thank you" did not seem like enough - she was lost for words really, but none were needed. We watched them pack our Lady away to take her on her scheduled trip to Illinois and as we turned to leave there in front were the police guards again. Perhaps they were on an extra long break - maybe they went for donuts - or maybe, Our Lady just wanted them to stay away. So for a few special moments under the protective mantel of the Blessed Mother we came that much closer to Terri in quiet peaceful prayer, song and praise. And I think that is just what She wanted.... To let us all know not to worry, not to get discouraged, not to despair...Our Lord is taking care of his precious child!

Much love in Christ,
Debi Vinnedge
Executive Director
Children of God for Life
Latest Information on Terri

I have returned from Lenten retreat at the monastery and am encouraged to hear that Terri has been given at least another three weeks of life, but know that this struggle in the culture of death is far from over.

Here is the latest news on Terri from Hyscience:

via email from fight4terri. Please send an email to Amnesty International on behalf of Terri Schindler-Schiavo and ask for their intervention in saving this woman from a death by torture. Pass this email to get the word out that it is apparent in the state of Florida that they do not value the life of disabled Americans. Time is running out for Terri Schindler-Schiavo as Judge Greer has set a deadline of March 18 to commence starving and dehydrating Terri by the request of her self-serving estranged husband.

Should Terri be tortured to death per the actions of Pinellas County Florida circuit court, this could set a precedence for euthanizing disabled American men, women and children....especially babies who are born with disabilities. As any human being has the will to live, no Earthly court has the right to decide an innocent persons quality of life, whatever the circumstances.
Thank you for reading this and please pass it along.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Parents of Terri Schiavo Granted A Stay-Terri will continue to be fed for the next 48 hours

The following is a statement from National Right to Life and Illinois Federation for Right to Life in response to the stay granted today by Circuit Court Judge George Greer and can be attributed to Lori Kehoe, Congressional Liaison for NRLC's Robert Powell Center for Medical Ethics: Although we are relieved to know that Terri Schiavo will continue to be fed for the next 48 hours, the stay Is only temporary and her life Is still very much at risk.

National Right to Life Is urging all citizens of Florida to take action Immediately by contacting their state senators and house members to request support of HB 701. We are hopeful that the Florida legislature will act to prevent Terri from suffering a painful death by starvation and we pray that Terri's parents will finally be allowed to care for their daughter.Florida state legislators can be identified at More information is available at

Source: National Right to Life/Illinois Federation for Right to Life
Update on Terri

Liza Fabrizio has written an excellent article entitled Terry Schiavo and the Soul of America at WorldNet Daily.


"God whispers in our pleasures but shouts in our pains. Pain is His megaphone to rouse a dulled world."
~ C.S. Lewis

"Praying together with the one who suffers is the just response to the suffering. The cruelest response to suffering is the attempt to explain it away, to tell the one who suffers: "This is why this is happening. I'm sorry that you can't see the answer, but it's clear to me."

~ Msgr. Lorenzo Albacette

When Suffering Is Sweet

"It has come to this, that I can no longer suffer because all suffering is sweet. Besides, it is a mistake to worry as to what trouble may be in store; it is like meddling with God's work. We who run in the way of love must never allow ourselves to be disturbed by anything.
If I did not simply suffer from one moment to another, it would be impossible for me to be patient; but I look only at the present moment forget the past; and I take good care not to forestall the future. When we yield to discouragement or despair it is usually because we give too much thought to the past and to the future. "

"Pray for me; often when I cry to heaven for help it is when I feel most abandoned. But when I turn to God and his saints and thank them notwithstanding I believe they want to see how far I shall trust them. But the words of Job have not entered my heart in vain: "Even if God should kill me, I would still trust him" (Job13: 15)."

"I admit it has taken a long time to arrive at this degree of self-abandonment; but I have reached it now, and it is the Lord himself who has brought me here."

~ St. Therese of Lisieux

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Terri Schiavo is About to be Murdered -- We Must Speak up for her & Persevere in Prayer

If we don't speak up, fight for and protect the rights of those who are most vulnerable in our society, who will? If we don't act on Terri's behalf, who will? If we don't pray for Teri, who will? We cannot allow the Michael Schiavo's of this world to kill our disabled. You and I are the ones who need to act to stop this evil, immoral behavior before it spreads like wildfire.

Terri Schindler - Schiavo's life is on the line.

The court ruled today to stop the removal for at least one day, but that could only mean one day!

If that happens then only thing that may save her might be action by Florida Governor Jeb Bush.

Governor Bush has already fought to save Terri's life. The last time her feeding tube was removed he stepped in and snatched her back from the brink of death. The Florida legislature even passed a special law--"Terri's Law"--to give him the authority to keep her alive.
But then the law was struck down by a judge, putting Terri's life on the line once again.
If the courts continue their anti-life crusade against Terri and others like her, the only thing that may save her would be action by Governor Bush.

Here's what you can do . . .
1.) First, PRAY for Terri--harder than ever before! Not enough people are praying for Terri right now. And she needs our prayers now more than ever.

2.) Second, FAST along with Terri if and when her feeding tube gets removed--and then offer up your sacrifices for her.

3.) Third, please ENCOURAGE Governor Bush and key decision makers to do everything they can to rescue Terri.

At 3 p.m. on Wednesday, we will be saying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for Terri. Please join us in prayer at that time.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Update on Terri

Despite media reports to the contrary, Terri's life continues to be in danger. There is no stay.
Please find the updated information on Terri here.
We must continue to pray and fast for her, as Michael Schiavo is intent on killing her.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

What Crime Has Terri Committed?

What crime has Terri Schindler-Schiavo committed that she should receive the sentence of being starved to death by the Florida court system? She has reportedly been a good wife, a devoted Catholic, a loving and compassionate family member.

Who is her guardian? A callous man who physically abused her and may have even caused her current condition (as reported by her father on The World Over Live on EWTN, February 18, 2005), has reacted in a violent manner toward her sister, and has a common law wife with two children by her. He is someone who has used the money that was to be spent on Terri’s medical care to pay for his lawyers in order to have her put to death.

Why does the Florida court system not allow her to be cared for by a family who loves her and wants her to remain alive?

Why is Michael Schiavo not being judged and sentenced by the courts for his abusive behavior and for his bigotry? Why is he allowed to remain her guardian when he does not even care for her basic medical needs and provide the speech therapy, the physical therapy, and cognitive therapy she desperately needs?

Where are her rights? She is alive and alert, responsive and not in a coma, but because she cannot verbalize so that others can understand her clearly, she apparently has none. She is basically at the mercy of this man – her husband in name only – who wants her dead. He could walk away from the situation or he could divorce her, but he persists in his efforts to having her starved to death. Why?

Even a small child has the reasoning ability to determine what is going on in this situation. Why is it so difficult for the Florida courts to figure it out? Why is it that the courts are now the determiners of whether innocent people live or die? How did they get to be so powerful? Are not even murderers given a trial by a jury of their peers before they are sentenced to death?

When Scott Peterson decided he no longer wished to remain married to Laci, he murdered her and her unborn child, and even he was able to exercise his right to a fair trial by a jury of his peers.

I wonder why the law enforcement in the St. Petersburg / Tampa area have never investigated Michael Schiavo’s reported abusive behavior towards his wife? You would think that when a woman goes to the hospital in the condition that she was in that would be one of the first things they would do.

What kind of danger are Michael Schiavo’s current common law wife and children in? Are their lives also at risk?

It is never too late to admit guilt or to repent of wrongdoing in the past or in the present. It is never too late to admit that there is only one "GOD" and you are not Him. Yes, there is only one true God who is control of ALL life. We are all only finite creatures and we had better be careful if we try to abuse the responsibilities that God has entrusted to us as spouses, as lawyers, or as judges -- no matter what our vocation in life. It is never too late to admit your mistakes – no matter how grievous they are – and turn back to the Lord. A guilty conscience is the worst prison and torture anyone can ever experience. It is truly a living hell! Our God is a God of mercy, compassion, and forgiveness and He can forgive all men who turn back to Him with a humble and contrite heart to seek His Truth, His healing, and His mercy.

Lord, I pray that Michael Schiavo will turn back to you with his whole heart and relinquish the "power" he has over Terri’s life and place it in Your hands. I lift Him up to You and pray for his conversion. I pray that He will hear Your voice and that it will touch his heart and soul and move him to make good decisions and to do what is morally right. I pray for Terri – that she will receive the medical care she needs and will not be sentenced to death by starvation by the Florida courts. Lord, I pray in union with Your holy will for justice in this situation. Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on her! Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for her! Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, pray for her! Amen.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Prayer for Terri Schiavo

Merciful Father, you blessed Sr. Lucia of Fatima as a child with a vision of the Virgin Mary, and granted her the grace to live a life of holiness and heroic obedience to Holy Mother Church. By her life she bore witness to the glory of God. Grant, in this hour of need for your daughter Terri Schiavo, that by Sr. Lucia's intercession, those souls hardened by the culture of death may come to believe in the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and be moved to revere and protect her life and all innocent human life. Amen.
US Supreme Court to Consider Petition to Reverse Abortion Law Roe v Wade on February 18

( On Friday, the US Supreme Court is currently docketed to have an internal, private discussion conference on how to handle a petition to reverse Roe v. Wade.

Operation Outcry, the group which launched the petition, is comprised of Norma McCorvey, the former Roe of Roe v. Wade and Sandra Cano, the former Doe of Doe v. Bolton, and the staff of The Justice Foundation, the attorneys representing both of them and the post-abortive witnesses of Operation Outcry: Silent No More.

On January 14, the petition to reverse Roe v. Wade was filed with the United States Supreme Court. It was received by the United States Supreme Court on January 19. On January 17, Martin Luther King's birthday, Norma McCorvey and Allan Parker appeared on Hannity & Colmes to announce the filing. On January 18, a press conference with Norma, Sandra, and the ladies of Operation Outcry: Silent No More, and the lawyers, was held on the steps of the United States Supreme Court.Operation Outcry has called on pro-lifers to pray for a positive outcome from the court's deliberations

The petition to reverse Roe has been set for a Supreme Court discussion conference on February 18 with results to be public on February 22. (c) Copyright:, a production of Interim PublishingSource: LifeSiteNews.comPublish Date: February 15, 2005Online at:
February 17, 2005

Abba Father, we pray for a positive outcome for this case and for the reversal of Roe V. Wade. We ask this through the intercession of Our Holy Mother. Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us.
St. Gianna, pray for us.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

The Importance of Prayer

"He who prays is saved; and he who does not pray is damned."

"If you pray, you are positive of saving your soul. If you do not pray, you are just as positive of losing your soul. "

~ St. Alphonsus Liguori

"If we pray, we will believe; If we believe, we will love; If we love, we will serve."

"Pray. Prayer is the way to listen to God, to speak with Him, to understand His love for us. "

~ Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

A Novena for the Conversion of Michael Schiavo

Oh Lord of eternal compassion and mercy, by the words your Son has taught us, “I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” (Mt 6:43) grant we beseech Thee to hear the prayers we offer in this novena for the conversion of Michael Schiavo. As in all things, may it be done according to Your Holy Will. Glory be...

Let Us Pray....
O, God, Lord of Life,
We bring before You, the life and soul of Michael Schiavo,
Whom You have redeemed by Your Precious Blood.
Mindful of Your boundless mercy, O Lord,
We beg You to grant Michael
The grace to know You and desire You with his whole heart
So that in this desiring, he may seek and find You
And in finding you, he may love You
And in loving You, he may lose the desire to end the life of
Your precious daughter, Theresa Marie.
We plead with You, O Lord,
To surround Theresa with Your constant protection
So that she and Michael,
Together with all the hosts of Angels and Saints,
May glorify Your Infinite Mercy for endless ages. Amen
Our Father...
Hail Mary...
Glory be...

Let us continue to pray and fast for Terri. We know from the medical experiences of others that there is hope for her.


Sunday, February 13, 2005

Words of Wisdom from St. Augustine for the First Sunday in Lent

"When He willed to be tempted by the devil in the the desert, Jesus figuratively transferred Himself into us."

"Do you think only of Christ’s temptations and fail to think of his victory? See yourself as tempted in him, and see yourself as victorious in him. If he were not tempted he could not teach you how to triumph over temptation."

~ St. Augustine

Friday, February 11, 2005

Our Lady of Lourdes

Our Blessed Mother appeared to a very poor young girl, Bernadette Soubirous, 18 times in 1858. On the feast of the Annunciation in 1858, Our Lady revealed to Bernadette, " I am the Immaculate Conception." Because the dogma of the Immaculate Conception had been officially proclaimed less than four years earlier, and Bernadette could not have even known of its existence, great credibility was given to Bernadette by the repetition of the Blessed Mother’s words. It was an affirmation from Heaven about the truth of the dogma.

During one of these apparitions, when Bernadette was told by Mary to begin digging in the ground; she obediently did so, to the townspeople’s scorn. Water immediately began flowing from the spot where Bernadette dug, a tiny stream that has since has grown to the size of a small river. Thousands of healings have been reported as the result of people bathing in or drinking this miraculous water. The walls of the grotto where the Blessed Mother appeared are lined with the crutches of the lame who have walked away from the waters, totally healed.

What is the main message of Lourdes? First, we are called to look at the grace and holiness of Christ in Mary, become converted, and be healed. It is a call to enter fully into the mystery of the redemption. The second part of the message was Bernadette herself – simple Bernadette. She was uneducated and poor. She could not explain things very well. But, she had a pure heart. And, it was this purity of heart that opened her up to receive the grace of the Holy Spirit and to experience the fruits of the redemption.

Our Lady made unusual requests of Bernadette – to eat grass like salad, to dig in the dirt and mud with her hands to find a healing stream. Though humbling, Bernadette willingly performed these tasks despite the fact that she was laughed at and looked down up by the townspeople. Mary’s appearance and Bernadette’s response present a picture of what it means to love God with our whole heart, mind, and strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves. It is a visible expression of purity of heart that calls us "Be it done unto me completely and fully according to your word. Accomplish in my life fully what you want to accomplish." This is in contrast to our culture where one’s own will, pleasures, desires, and interests take precedence. In our culture, the motto is, "Be it done according to my will."

Let us follow the example of Bernadette in her purity of heart and let our hearts be tested and refined by the light of the Son, as we follow in His footsteps.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

A Quote for the Lenten Season

"The secrets of His heart are revealed by the wounds of His body."

~ St. Bernard

Thanks for sharing this, Patricia.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

St. Josephine Bakhita
St. Josephine Bakhita

St. Bakhita was born in Eastern Sudan around 1869 and was captured by slave traders, who named her Bakhita, which means "lucky one".

Bakhita came from a happy, loving tribal family, which consisted of her parents, three brothers, and four sisters. In comparison to other African tribal families, her family was well to do, as her uncle was the village chief and her father owned cattle and large plantations. When Bakhita was about nine years old, slave traders captured her.

During the course of her life, she was sold five times before she received her freedom. She was subjected to many cruel tortures, some of which included whip lashing, which tore off her flesh, and being tattooed multiple times on her body via incisions with a razor and having salt rubbed into her wombs. Despite the cruel treatments, she had no resentment or bitterness in her heart, but prayed for those who hurt her.

When Bakhita’s fourth owner, Callisto (Legnani), an agent of the Italian Consul in Sudan, was recalled to Italy, Bakhita insisted on accompanying him, and her master could not refuse her. On the ship bound for Italy, however, the Consul gave Bakhita to some fellow countrymen, Mr. and Mrs. Micheli, who needed a nanny for their child in Mirano Veneto, Italy.

It was in Italy at age 21 that the Canossian Sisters in Venice introduced Bakhita to the Catholic faith. Accompanying the five-year-old child she cared for to the Sister’s boarding school in Venice, Bakhita received religious instruction along with the child. When the child’s parents returned from Sudan to take them both back to Africa, Bakhita refused to go, but insisted that she remain in Italy to complete her religious instruction and to practice her faith. When Mrs. Michieli's pleas and threats toward Bakhita failed, she appealed to the King’s Procurator, who informed her that slavery was illegal in Italy. Bakhita was now a free woman – free to serve the One she loved.

Approximately two months later, on January 9, 1890, Bakhita was baptized and confirmed and was given the names Josephine and Margaret and Bakhita. She also made her first Holy Communion on the same day.

Bakhita continued her studies at the school for four more years, then began her postulancy with the Canossian Sisters on December 3, 1893, in the same house where she had lived for five years. On the feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, 1896, Sr. Josephine made her final vows at the Motherhouse in Verona, where the foundress, Magdalene of Canossa, had lived and died.

For six years, Bakhita remained in Venice, performing simple household tasks. Then, in 1902, she was transferred to Schio, a small town in the beautiful mountain area of northern Italy. Her first assignment there was as a cook. She sought to do her best, taking special care that the food she prepared was as pleasing as possible and she even heated the dishware in the winter to ensure warm meals for the boarding school girls and the Sisters.

In 1935, the Sisters asked Sr. Josephine to go on a speaking tour to tell her faith story as a form of missionary work. The shy and modest Sister reluctantly consented, as she disliked being the center of attention. She relayed her witness to captivated audiences for the next year and always did so "For God’s Glory." For the next two years, she served as the doorkeeper at the Sister’s missionary novitiate in Milan.

In 1938, Sr. Josephine’s health was beginning to decline, so she returned to Schio to perform household chores. She celebrated a joyous golden 50th anniversary as a religious on December 8, 1943 with nearly the whole town present, congratulating and thanking her for all her work.
As Bakhita’s life drew to a close, she began to spend more time with the Lord, gazing upon Him in the tabernacle or on the crucifix and praying. She spent much time in prayer for her fellow missionary Sisters.

"At times, I have sleepless nights: then I feel bored and sad. But I do not pay any attention to it: I offer my suffering and I feel happy. I thank God for the many graces granted me, happy to have something to offer in return, as a token of my gratitude."

As she was nearing the end of her life on this earth, some of her Sisters, expressed their concerns and fears about God’s judgement to her, to which Bakhita replied, "When a person loves another, she wishes to be together [with him], so why be afraid? Death takes us to God."
She added, "I am going slowly, slowly towards eternity…I carry two bags with me; one contains my sins, the other, much heavier, contains the infinite merits of Jesus Christ. When I appear before the tribunal of God, I will cover my ugly bag with the merits of Our Lady. Then, I shall open the other and will present to the eternal Father the merits of His Son Jesus. I will tell Him: "Now, judge from what you see."

Sister Josephine suffered from a violent attack of pneumonia in the winter of 1947 and her fever caused her to go through periods of delirium and unconsciousness. When she regained consciousness, someone asked her, "How are you Sr. Josephine? Today is Saturday." As she lay dying, she replied, "Yes, I am so happy: Our Lady, Our Lady!" These were her last words on February 8, 1947.

Pope John Paul II canonized St. Josephine Bakhita on October 1, 2000.

~ copyright 2005 Jean M. Heimann

Saturday, February 05, 2005

St. Agatha
Virgin and Martyr
251 A.D.
Agatha was born in Sicily, the daughter of rich and pious parents, who was consecrated to God as an infant. Agatha was a virtuous Christian woman known for her remarkable beauty. The Roman Senator Quintianus, who governed Sicily under the Emperor Decius, had heard of her beauty and wealth, and he made laws against the Christians, which served as an effective guise to summon her to Catania, where he was at the time.

When she was apprehended, Agatha prayed: "Jesus Christ, Lord of all things, you see my heart, you know my desire-possess alone all that I am. I am your sheep, make me worthy to overcome the devil." She wept, and prayed for courage and strength.Quintianus made advances toward her, and when she refused them, he ordered her to be put into the hands of Aphrodisia, a woman who ran a house of ill repute. Agatha refused to be influenced by the seductiveness of this wicked woman and her environment.

Quintianus then had her beaten and imprisoned, where she was subjected to various cruel tortures. Quintianus ordered that her breasts be cut off and that she receive neither food nor medical care for four days. But the holy virgin was consoled by a vision of St. Peter, who miraculously healed her.

Quintianus, not the least bit moved by the miraculous cure of her wounds, ordered that she be stretched out on a rack and rolled naked over live coals mixed with broken glass. Dying, she prayed: "Lord, my Creator, you have ever protected me from the cradle; you have taken me from the love of the world, and given me patience to suffer: receive now my soul."

St. Agatha is an excellent model of chasity and purity for us today. We live in a society of sensuality and "prostitution" where Christians are persecuted for their morality and struggle to defend that which is sacred. Through our media, we are constantly bombarded by the sensual temptations of our society – almost as if we are living in a house of ill repute. We do not suffer the physical torture that Agatha did, but most of us do experience the spiritual and psychological torment of living in a decadent culture.

Like St. Agatha, prayer and consecrating our lives to God will help us to remain strong. The Holy Eucharist and the rosary are also very powerful weapons in the Spiritual Battle. If we follow the example of our crucified Lord, seek the solace of the Good Shepherd, and look to Him for all our needs, we will receive the strength we need to endure all of life’s daily trials and not grow weary on the way.

~ copyright 2005 Jean M. Heimann