Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pope Benedict: "Love is the style of God and the believer"

This is a great video clip! Listen to the Holy Father laugh as he releases the doves at the end.

St John Bosco (1815 - 1888)

Today the Church commemorates the life of St. John Bosco, priest and patron of youth.

He was born in Piedmont, Italy of a peasant family, and he was brought up by his widowed mother. He became a priest, and his particular concern was for the young. He settled in Turin, where, as in so many cities in the 19th century, the industrial revolution was bringing enormous movements of population and consequent social problems, especially for the young men who came there to work. John Bosco devoted himself to the care of the young, first of all by means of evening classes, to which hundreds came, and then by setting up a boarding-house for apprentices, and then workshops for their training and education. Despite many difficulties, caused both by the anti-clerical civil authorities and by the opposition of some senior people within the Church, his enterprise grew, and by 1868 over 800 boys and young men were under his care. To ensure the continuation of his work, he founded a congregation, which he named after St Francis de Sales (a saint for whom he had great admiration), and today the Salesians continue his work all over the world. (Source)

For a more detailed biography, go here.

Catholic Culture's library has a good article: Don Bosco, Seeker of Souls.

Patron:
Apprentices; boys; editors; Mexican young people; laborers; schoolchildren; students; young people.

Collect:
Lord, you called John Bosco to be a teacher and father to the young. Fill us with love like his: may we give ourselves completely to your service and to the salvation of mankind. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes 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.”

"All for God and for His Glory. In whatever you do, think of the Glory of God as your main goal."

"Everything and everyone is is won by the sweetness of our words and works."

"Every virtue in your soul is a precious ornament which makes you dear to God and to man. But holy purity, the queen of virtues, the angelic virtue, is a jewel so precious that those who possess it become like the angels of God in Heaven, even though clothed in mortal flesh."

Discerning a vocation to the Salesians? Go here.
 

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Scott Roeder case: The real story on violence needs to be told

Most of you have heard the not so surprising news of Scott Roeder's conviction by now. While I am pleased that abortions are no longer being performed in Wichita, what Roeder did was wrong and totally opposed to what pro-lifers uphold. The immoral act of murdering George Tiller was evil and was not the goal of the pro-life movement, but the act of one sick individual with very distorted perceptions. Why isn't the mainstream media reporting on the violent acts of murder that take place everyday in this country? Why aren't the violent acts against pro-lifers being reported? Why aren't the horrific after-efects of abortion to the mother, the father, the family, and to our society being shared with the public?


Fr. Frank Pavone, Director of Priests for Life, sums up my beliefs and concerns in the following statement:

"Violence is antithetical to the pro-life movement," said Fr. Pavone, "which is why Priests for Life is part of the vast chorus of pro-life groups condemning the killing of George Tiller.  On the other hand, violence is the practice of the abortion industry, which kills real people in the womb every day.  Moreover, abortion advocates have done numerous acts of violence against pro-life people, and I receive death threats several times a month.  It would be nice to hear abortion advocacy groups condemn these things once in a while."

"You Are the Man!"

Reflection on today's first Mass reading:

Country singer's pro-life song

 Debuting on the country charts at #55 in October 2009, newcomer (although in his 40s) country singer Matt Kennon's song, The Call, is hopefully still gaining traction. In December Roughstrock named The Call one of the best singles of 2009, describing it as "powerful and proud".

Read more at Jill Stanek's blog.

Saint Martina

Today's saint is St. Martina, third century virgin and martyr, who is the patron of nursing mothers and Rome, Italy.

Martina, a noble virgin of Rome, was the daughter of a Consul. Having lost her parents when quite a child, and being exceedingly fervent in the practice of the Christian religion, she was singularly charitable to the poor, and distributed among them her immense riches. During the reign of Alexander Severus, she was ordered to worship the false gods, but most courageously refused to commit so detestable a crime. Where upon she was several times scourged; her flesh was torn with iron hooks and nails, and with potsherds, and her whole body was cut with most sharp swords; she was scalded with boiling oil, and was at length condemned to be devoured by wild beasts in the amphitheater; but being miraculously left untouched by them, she was thrown on a burning pile, from which she also escaped unhurt, by the same divine power.

Some of the men that had inflicted these tortures upon her, being struck by the miracle, and touched by the grace of God, embraced the Christian faith, and, after suffering many tortures, gained the glorious palm of martyrdom by being beheaded. The prayers of Martina were powerful with God. Earthquakes shook the city, fire fell from the heavens in the midst of loud thunder, the temples and idols of the gods were overthrown and destroyed. More than once, milk flowed from her wounds together with the blood, and a most sweet fragrance was perceived by the bystanders; and sometimes she was seen raised up and placed on a beautiful throne, and singing the divine praises surrounded by heavenly spirits.

Vexed above measure by these prodigies, and above all by her constancy, the judge ordered her to be beheaded. Which being done, a voice from heaven was heard calling Martina to ascend: the whole city trembled, and many of the idolaters were converted to the faith of Christ. Martina suffered under the Pontificate of Urban the First; and under that of Urban the Eighth, her body was discovered in an ancient Church, together with those of the holy Martyrs Concordius, Epiphanius and Companions, near the Mamertine prison, at the foot of the Capitoline hill. The Church was restored and decorated, and the body of the Saint was again placed in it, with much solemnity, in the presence of a great concourse of people, and amidst shouts of joy from the whole city.


Source

Tim Tebow Vs. Gloria Allred

Bill Donohue offers a good response to feminist attorney Gloria Allred's objection to Tim Tebow's Super Bowl ad:

Gloria Allred is no stranger to the subject of abortion, so it is not surprising that she wants to kill this pro-life ad. Her letter to Les Moonves of CBS, available at RadarOnline.com, wants the ad pulled because it is allegedly guilty of “misleading advertising.”

Allred, who has not seen the ad, charges that when Tebow’s mother was being advised by doctors in the Philippines to consider an abortion (she was on antibiotics for a pregnancy illness), it was illegal there to have one. In a monumental stretch, Allred reasons that the ad should disclose this information, otherwise it is “misleading.”

What is really misleading is Allred’s duplicity. Several years ago, she represented Amber Frey in a case related to the death of Laci Peterson; Peterson’s  husband, Scott, was convicted of murdering both her and the baby she was carrying, a boy they named Connor. In an interview she gave to Hannity and Colmes on the Fox News Channel on June 5, 2003, Allred found it useful to her case to emphasize the humanness of Peterson’s baby: “And the fact that there are two individuals who are dead there, Laci and Connor, that has to be the most important consideration of everything.” For once, she was right.

Allred’s confession in 2003 undercuts her credibility—to say nothing of her ethical standing—to make the case against this Super Bowl ad. She knows that Tim Tebow is alive today because his mother did not abort him. To top it off, she can’t even deal respectfully with this issue. Her snide remark, which is in the letter to Moonves, is classic. “As the story is reported,” she says, “Tim’s mother decides to take her pregnancy to term anyway and give birth to Tim. Apparently they have lived happily ever after since that time.” And apparently, this woman has no shame.

Let CBS know of your support for this ad. Contact Leslie Moonves: lmoonves@cbs.com

More Information:

LifeNews.Com: Feminist Gloria Allred Claims Story of Tim Tebow's Mom Non-Abortion Untrue

Related:

Pro-life leaders respond to the controversial Tebow Super Bowl ad

Fr. Frank Pavone comments on attempts to block Tebow ad

Petition launched to support the Tebow pro-life ad 

Friday, January 29, 2010

RIP: Professor Ralph McInerny (1929-2010)

I met him once (at the Catholic Writers Conference held at FUS - Steubenville in September 2002), but will never forget him. 

Via CNS:

The well-loved Notre Dame professor and scholar Ralph McInerny passed away Friday morning at 7:45 a.m... First Things editor Joseph Bottum reported McInerny's death in an article on the magazine's website on Friday afternoon.

In his article, Bottum reprinted a letter sent to him on Friday by Associate Professor Christopher Kaczor at Loyola Marymount who was one of McInerny's students. Prof. Kaczor describes the late academic's life accomplishments as well as his personal relationship with him.

Ralph McInerny had retired from the philosophy department at the University of Notre Dame as the Michael P. Grace Professor of Medieval Studies after serving in that position since 1955, said Prof. Kaczor.

“He wrote wrote more than 40 books in philosophy and other disciplines (including poetry), authored thousands of scholarly and general audience articles, edited three national magazines, authored more than 80 mystery novels (including the Father Dowling Mysteries), and I’m confident directed more dissertations than anyone in the history of Notre Dame,” wrote Prof. Kaczor.

The Fr. Dowling books eventually became a successful TV series.

McInerny was also credited with co-founding Crisis Magazine in 1982. The monthly lay publication was recognized for its orthodoxy in Catholic opinion. Read more here.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord. May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.


More Tributes:

Jay Anderson at Pro Ecclesia * Pro Familia* Pro Civitate

Francis Beckwith at Southern Appeal

Kathryn Lopez at The Corner

Thomas S. Hibbs at On the Square

Related Posts:

Culture of Life Quote of the Day: Ralph McInerny

I ALONE HAVE ESCAPED TO TELL YOU

Top Stories This Week on Catholic Fire


Petition launched to support the Tebow pro-life ad 


Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen's prophecies on the Laity in the 21st Century


Congressman Chris Smith calls for prayer and fasting to end abortion


The Near Occasion of Sin


 Saint Gildas the Wise


Deal Hudson: Personhood and Politics


Personhood expands to three new states


Fr. Frank Pavone comments on attempts to block Tebow ad


12-year-old homeschooler releases pro-life song, video


Gays and Abortion (Video)



St. Thomas Aquinas, "Angelic Doctor"


The truth about the 2010 March for Life


US bishops: Enact genuine health reform, oppose current language on abortion, conscience protection


Pope John Paul II: Why He is a Saint


The 2010 March for Life in Pictures


The American Life League Training and Activism Week and Personhood Conference (Photos)


Pope Benedict denounces the horror of the holocaust ; hopes that the memory will arouse greater respect for the dignity of each person


Saint Angela Merici


Pro-life leaders respond to the controversial Tebow Super Bowl ad


What is your pro-life strategy?


Blatant pro-Planned Parenthood bias in Catholic college’s research guides


Abortion groups attack faith-based charities providing support to pregnant women


Personhood Kansas Launches Campaign to Amend Constitution, Recognize Human Rights


Saints Timothy and Titus, Bishops


Miracle Accomplished

Petition launched to support the Tebow pro-life ad


 I have posted about the Tim Tebow pro-life ad controversy here and here. Now there is a petition available to support CBS' decision to air the ad.

Via Christian Newswire:

Dr. Kevin Roberts, executive director of the Catholic grassroots advocacy group, Catholic Families for America (CFA), announced his organization's sponsorship of a nationwide petition drive in support of CBS' decision to air the pro-life advertisement featuring Tim Tebow during the Super Bowl.

"It doesn't take long for the pro-abortion crowd to mobilize their members," Roberts said, "so those of us on the pro-life, pro-family side need to be sure we do the same." Roberts continued by describing how his organization would rally its members and those of similar groups to attract several thousand signatories.

The petition can be accessed at www.ipetitions.com/petition/prolifead.

Catholic Families for America is a nationwide grassroots organization run by lay Catholics, with offices in Austin, Texas, and Washington, D.C.

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen's prophecies on the Laity in the 21st Century

During Vatican Council II, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen prophesied about the role of the laity in the 21st Century:




H/T: St. Monica's Tears

Congressman Chris Smith calls for prayer and fasting to end abortion

At the "March for Life," Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) said that President Obama is "obsessed with promoting abortion," and that Americans "need to fast" and "to pray for Obama."




For more information:

Congressman Smith Blasts Abortion-“Obsessed” Obama – Calls for Prayer and Fasting

The Near Occasion of Sin

Today's reflection on the 1st Reading for the Third Week in Ordinary Time:

Saint Gildas the Wise

Today's saint is Saint Gildas the Wise, a sixth century British monk.

Gildas, surnamed “the Wise,” was born in Scotland around the year 516 to a noble family. He was educated under St. Iltus in Wales and was a companion of St. Samson and St. Peter of Leon. He was drawn to the monastic life and moved to Ireland to pursue such a life.

While in Ireland he was ordained to the priesthood. He apparently spent some time in Armagh and north Britain. King Ainmire invited him to return to Ireland where he built monasteries and churches and greatly inspired others by his teaching. He is compared to David and Cadoc by the Irish annalists in his giving a special Mass to the second order of Irish saints.

There are recordings of a pilgrimage he made to Rome. On his return, he decided to spend time alone and retired to the Isle of Houat, off Brittany, where he lived in solitude praying and studying. When it was discovered that he was there, he was asked to establish a monastery at Rhuys on the mainland. It was at this monastery that Gildas wrote his famous epistle to the British kings. He died at Houat, Brittany, in 570.

For more information on St. Gildas, see:

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Deal Hudson: Personhood and Politics

 I was planning on writing about Deal Hudson's enlightening and enthralling talk, which I heard at American Life League's recent Personhood Conference in Washington, D.C, but you can hear it for yourself here.

This is part 1. Parts 2-4 can be found here. This is a must-see.

Personhood expands to three new states

 Personhood has expanded into three new states, including Iowa, Virginia, and Kansas. Beginning on January 13, Virginia introduced HB 112, a bill to guarantee the constitutional rights of preborn children.

Shortly after, Iowa introduced HJR 2003 proposing a joint resolution for an amendment including a right to life for all men and women, irrespective of age. The same day, Kansas introduced a personhood amendment to the revisor's office.

"A two-thirds majority of both legislative houses is needed to pass the amendment and that can be a rather challenging endeavor, so it is of the utmost importance that Kansans voice their desire to see this measure passed," explained Keith Ashley, Personhood Kansas petition organizer.

Although attempting Personhood through several different avenues, all three call for a recognition of rights for preborn babies from the moment of their biological beginning.

"Personhood is a revolution of the pro-life movement," stated Keith Mason, co-founder of Personhood USA. "It challenges what's been done in the past, stimulates the movement's present, and eradicates the need for pro-life efforts in the future. Personhood is the best hope to end abortion in America."

Personhood USA will continue to serve as a support system for Iowa, Virginia, and Kansas, as well as the 5 states currently collecting signatures, and the scores of states working on Personhood legislation.

Personhood USA is a grassroots, Christian organization founded to establish personhood efforts across America to create protection for every child by love and by law.

Personhood USA is committed to assisting and supporting Personhood Legislation and Constitutional Amendments and building local pro-life organizations through raising awareness of the personhood of the pre-born.

Fr. Frank Pavone comments on attempts to block Tebow ad


Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, commented today on the efforts of pro-abortion groups to keep CBS from broadcasting a Focus on the Family ad featuring quarterback Tim Tebow and his mother during the Super Bowl.

"Why should it bother people who call themselves pro-choice if women watch Pam Tebow and her son Tim on Super Bowl Sunday and freely decide to choose life?  Would fewer abortions be a bad thing?" asks Fr. Pavone.  "As for the argument that the ad should not be shown because it is divisive, since when do we broadcast only things on which the American people all agree? In that case, the Super Bowl itself could not be broadcast."

Related post: Pro-life leaders respond to the controversial Tebow Super Bowl ad

12-year-old homeschooler releases pro-life song, video


Twelve-year-old Emma MacDonald and her family know a few things about abortion. Last year, Emma wrote the music and lyrics to a song about how abortion has touched her mother and their family. Emma's mother Jennifer is an abortion survivor. Jennifer explains,

"My mom got pregnant with me when she was 18. Unmarried, still in high school, and alone she tried to abort me, but in 1967 abortion was still illegal. The 'procedure' didn't work and she was supposed to return the next week to try again. Being raised Catholic, she 'got the guilts' and didn't return. But for God's grace, I would have been thrown out with the trash.

"Some might say that my early life circumstances were a textbook case for abortion. Thankfully, God had other plans. Despite those many painful years, my adult life is filled with joy and meaning. My five children are alive today because God's grace spared their mother."

When asked how she came to write her song, Emma explains, "One night I woke up suddenly because of a gruesome dream about abortion. A few weeks later, I woke up singing the tune that is now 'You Are There.'"  With the encouragement of several people, Emma recorded "You Are There" along with eight original instrumentals she has written. Emma reveals in her lyrics:

"On that day when my mama's mom tried to abort her
God was there.
Through His grace she was spared,
She found those who would care,
This gift of love is why I am alive.
You were there, You were there,
You were watching over us.
By Your grace, we were born
And my daddy's not alone."

© 2009. Emma MacDonald. All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted with permission.

The Christmas classic "It's a Wonderful Life" holds special meaning for Emma's father, David. In one scene, the angel Clarence remarks to George Bailey, "Each man's life touches so many other lives. When he isn't around he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he?" David agrees, "Certainly this applies well to our family. Abortion doesn't affect simply the lives of a mother and her unborn child, but future generations to come."

Emma's song and CD are now available at: www.cdbaby.com/Artist/EmmaMacDonald

† A portion of sales of this CD is donated to pro-life organizations

~ Via Christian Newswire/.

St. Thomas Aquinas, "Angelic Doctor"


The Triumph of Saint Thomas Aquinas (1471)
Benozzo Gonzolli
Louvre Museum, Paris, France

Saint Thomas Aquinas was a 13th century Dominican priest, philosopher, and theologian. As a Doctor of the Church, he has been given the title "Angelic Doctor" and is the patron of Catholic universities and schools. St. Thomas ranks among the greatest writers and theologians of all time. His most important work, the Summa Theologiae, an explanation and summary of the entire body of Catholic teaching, has been standard for centuries, even to our own day. St. Thomas reflected the Dominican ideal. He was a true contemplative who shared the fruits of contemplation with others.

Born of a noble family in southern Italy, Thomas was educated by the Benedictines. He was a superior student and surpassed his classmates in learning as well as in the practice of virtue.

When he became old enough to choose his state of life, Thomas renounced the things of this world and chose to enter the Order of St. Dominic in spite of the opposition of his family, who had expected him to become a Benedictine. At the age of seventeen, he joined the Dominicans of Naples. His mother, determined to change this, rushed to Naples to consult with her son, but the Dominicans sent him to Rome, on the way to Paris or Cologne. She then instructed his brothers to capture Thomas and confine him in the fortress of San Giovanni at Rocca Secca. He remained "imprisoned" by family members for a two year period in an attempt to prevent him from assuming the Dominican habit and to force him into renouncing his decision. They even went so far as to tempt him with a prostitute. When the woman entered his room, Thomas chased her out with a piece of burning wood from the fire. Following this event, he prayed to God, asking for purity of mind and body. Two angels appeared to him in a dream, to assure him that his prayers had been answered and that God was giving him the gift of perfect chastity. Thus, he earned the title 'Angelic Doctor.'  All of the family's efforts proved to be in vain, as Thomas was given the grace to remain pure and to persevere in his vocation.

Thomas studied in Paris and in Cologne under the great philosopher St Albert the Great. Here he was nicknamed the "dumb ox" because of his silent ways and huge size, but he was actually a brilliant student. At the age of twenty-two, he was appointed to teach in the same city. At the same time, he also began to publish his first works. After four years he was sent to Paris. The saint was then a priest. At the age of thirty-one, he received his doctorate.

Thomas spent the rest of his life studying, praying, teaching, writing, composing hymns, and traveling. During his lifetime, he produced 60 works within less than 50 years.

Thomas made a great synthesis of philosophy and theology. He combined the revelation of scriptures with a "framework" of Aristotle and the notion of participation of Plato. This synthesis is called Thomistic philosophy or "Scholasticism" and has remained the official theology of the Church since the 13th century.

He died on March 7, 1274 and was canonized by Pope John XXII on July 18, 1323 - less than 50 years after his death.

Patron: Academics; against storms; against lightning; apologists; book sellers; Catholic academies; Catholic schools; Catholic universities; chastity; colleges; learning; lightning; pencil makers; philosophers; publishers; scholars; schools; storms; students; theologians; universities; University of Vigo.

For more Information see:

Catholic Encyclopedia: St. Thomas Aquinas

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The truth about the 2010 March for Life

 At the 2010 March for Life the media set new standards for journalistic fraud. In its lead photo, CNN showed five pro-abortion picketers, all that could be found, and ignored the 300,000 pro-life marchers. CNN's Rick Sanchez wondered out loud which group dominated. Newsweek claimed that most participants were in their 60's when, in fact, most were under 25. This video sets the record straight. 

US bishops: Enact genuine health reform, oppose current language on abortion, conscience protection


The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is urging members of Congress to “come together and recommit themselves to enact genuine health care reform that will protect the life, dignity, consciences and health of all.”

“The health care debate, with all its political and ideological conflict, seems to have lost its central moral focus and policy priority, which is to ensure that affordable, quality, life-giving care is available to all,” the bishops write. “Now is not the time to abandon this task, but rather to set aside partisan divisions and special interest pressures to find ways to enact genuine reform.”

“The U.S. Catholic bishops continue to urge the House and Senate to adopt legislation that ensures access to quality, affordable, life giving health care for all; retains longstanding requirements that federal funds not be used for elective abortions or plans that include them, and effectively protects conscience rights; and, protects the access to health care that immigrants currently have and removes current barriers to access.”
The bishops reiterated their serious concerns about the health care legislation that has been passed by the House and Senate.

Disappointingly, the Senate-passed bill in particular does not meet our moral criteria on life and conscience. Specifically, it violates the longstanding federal policy against the use of federal funds for elective abortions and health plans that include such abortions -- a policy upheld in all health programs covered by the Hyde Amendment as well as in the Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, and now in the House-passed “Affordable Health Care for America Act.” We believe legislation that fails to comply with this policy and precedent is not true health care reform and should be opposed until this fundamental problem is remedied.

The bill passed by the House (and to a lesser extent the Senate-passed bill) recognizes the need to protect conscience rights on abortion. However, provisions in both bills pose a threat to conscience that is not limited to abortion. That threat needs to be removed before any final bill is passed.
The January 26 letter was written by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities; Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development; and Bishop John Wester of Salt Lake City, chairman of the Committee on Migration.

~ Via CWN.

Pope John Paul II: Why He is a Saint


A new book on the life of Pope John Paul II confirms that the late Pontiff sometimes beat himself with a small belt, practicing “the discipline” that is a traditional form of mortification. He also sometimes slept on a bare floor, according to the book by Msgr. Slawomir Oder, the postulator for his cause of beatification. “It is clear the aspect of penitence was present in the life of John Paul II,” Msgr. Oder said at a press conference announcing the publication of his work.

The new book, entitled Why He Is a Saint, also confirms that the late Pontiff prepared a letter of resignation, to take effect if he became unable to carry out his responsibilities.

The book reveals that in 1981, Vatican officials were aware of plans by the leftists Red Brigades to kidnap the Pontiff. When he was shot in St. Peter’s Square by Mehmet Ali Agca, Msgr. Oder reports, Pope John Paul thought at first that the assassination attempt was connected with the Red Brigade plot.


~ Via Catholic World News.

Gays and Abortion (Video)

 Michael Voris discusses why gays and pro-aborts are on the same team.

The 2010 March for Life in Pictures

The mainstream media has basically ignored the 2010 March for Life, which isn't surprising. Channel surfing, I watched CNN's brief news broadcast on the March, which was so unbelievably biased, I wondered if they were even at the March or if they concocted their distorted story from their imagination.

There were 300,000+ people at the March for Life. The crowd moved at a snail's pace, the street was so thick with people. People of all ages and races chanted, sang, prayed, clung to one another, and exchanged personal information. No one shoved or pushed, but peacefully protested the horrible mass killing of our children that resulted from the deranged 1973 Roe V. Wade decision -- a decision that the people of this country never had a voice in -- it was forced upon us. But now we speak out for those people who are victims in this holocaust -- the innocent voiceless infants who are mercilessly murdered daily. We speak out for the mothers and fathers who have been devastated by their decision to abort their children, other family members who suffer the consequences of abortion, and all members of our society who are daily effected by this terrible tragedy.

Below are a few photos from the March for Life. There were lots of interesting signs.











 


 

The American Life League Training and Activism Week and Personhood Conference (Photos)


Rev. Clenard Childress, Founder of BlackGenocide.org spoke on the topic of Black Genocide -- what a powerful speaker!



Jill Stanek presented the 2010 Pro-Life Blog Awards. Here she presents the Pro-Life Whistleblower award to George Offerman, Pro-Life Defender.


 Jill presented me with the Best Overall Pro-Life Blog award for Catholic Fire.


Alveda King accepted the Pro-Life Unity Award for Fr. Frank's Blog. Earlier in the afternoon, she also gave a wonderful talk on Personhood and the Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.


Troy Newmann of Operation Rescue accepted the Pro-Life Instigator Award for Activism for Operation Rescue.


Deal Hudson gave an enlightening and enthralling talk on Personhood and Catholic Social Teaching.



This conference was truly an amazing experience! I wish I had taken more photos -- especially of the American Life League staff -- who are wonderful people. I am so thankful to them for all the work that they did for this conference, which was very successful and fulfilling for those who attended. I am praying that it will bear much fruit!

Related Post:
Miracle Accomplished

Pope Benedict denounces the horror of the holocaust ; hopes that the memory will arouse greater respect for the dignity of each person

Sixty-five years after the horrific tragedy of the holocaust in Nazi Germany, the Holy Father recalled how the gates of the Nazi concentration camps near the Polish city of Oswiecim, better known by its German name of Auschwitz, were opened and the remaining survivors were freed.

"Today we celebrate 'Holocaust Remembrance Day', the Pope said,  "to recall all the victims of those crimes, and especially the planned annihilation of the Jews, and to honor those who, at the risk of their own lives, protected the persecuted and sought to oppose the murderous insanity. Deeply moved, our thoughts go to the countless victims of that blind racial and religious hatred, who suffered deportation, imprisonment and death in those abhorrent and inhuman places."

"May the memory of those events", he concluded, "and in particular the drama of the Shoah which struck the Jewish people, arouse ever greater respect for the dignity of each person, so that all mankind may feel itself to be one large family. May omnipotent God illuminate hearts and minds, that such tragedies never happen again.

Saint Angela Merici

Today is the optional memorial of St. Angela Merici, the foundress of the Ursulines. Angela was born on March 21, 1474 at Desenzano, Lake Garda, Italy and died on January 27, 1540 in Brescia.

Angela’s parents died when she was only ten years old. Together, with her older sister, she moved to the nearby town of Salo, to live with her uncle. When her sister died quite suddenly without receiving the last sacraments, Angela was deeply upset. At the age of 15, she became a Franciscan tertiary and greatly increased her prayers and sacrifices for the repose of her sister's soul. She asked God to reveal to her the condition of her deceased sister and He answered her prayer by showing her through a vision that her sister was in Heaven.

When her uncle died, she returned to live at Desenzano to make a life for herself. She was convinced of the need for women to be educated in their faith and converted her home into a school where she daily gathered all the girls of Desenzano and taught them the basics of Christianity. It was at this time that she received a vision, which led her to found a religious order who were to devote their lives to the spiritual education of young women. The school she established at Desenzano was so successful that she was invited to the nearby city of Brescia, to establish a school there, which she accepted.

During a pilgrimage to Holy Land, while visiting Crete, Angela was struck blind. This did not interrupt her trip, however, but she continued on the journey, visiting the shrines with as much devotion and enthusiasm as if she still had her sight. On the way home, while praying before a crucifix, her sight was miraculously restored at the same place where it had been lost.

In 1525, Pope Clement VII, who had heard of her great holiness and her success as a religious teacher of young girls, invited her to remain in Rome; however, Angela returned to Brescia to live a quiet life, away from the limelight.

In 1535, Angela selected twelve women and laid the foundation of the order of the Ursulines in a small house near the Church of St. Afra in Brescia. She died only five years later. St. Angela's body is incorrupt. She was beatified in 1768 by Pope Clement XIII and canonized in 1807 by Pope Pius VII.

Patronage: She is the patron saint of physically challenged people, sick people, and of those who have lost their parents.

Quotes From St. Angela Merci:

"Disorder in society is the result of disorder in the family."

"We must give alms. Charity wins souls and draws them to virtue."

"Mothers of children, even if they have a thousand, carry each and every one fixed in their hearts, and because of the strength of their love they do not forget any of them. In fact, it seems that the more children they have the more their love and care for each one is increased." 
 

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Pro-life leaders respond to the controversial Tebow Super Bowl ad

Focus on the Family announced earlier this month that they would broadcast their first Super Bowl spot during the upcoming game on February 7 during CBS Sports' coverage of the game at Dolphin Stadium in South Florida. The 30-second ad will feature Tim Tebow, a former quarterback with the University of Florida's Gators and 2007 winner of the Heisman Trophy, along with his mother Pam.

Though Focus on the Family gave little detail about the commercial, it is has been suggested that the story will include how Tebow’s mother refused to have an abortion while she was pregnant with him despite having suffered from a life-threatening infection.

Now, pro-abortion feminist groups are complaining about the Tebow ad without ever having seen it and they are urging CBS to scrap the ad.

Via the Washington Post:

After learning of the ad late Monday, Women's Media Center (speaking on behalf of the National Organization for Women, the Feminist Majority Foundation and other organizations) asked CBS to pull the ad. It also questioned how and why the network, which used to forbid "advocacy" advertising, agreed to air Focus on the Family's spot, which is valued at $2.5 million to $3 million.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony list, defended CBS’s decision:

The head of the group opposing abortion rights said that “Women can be trusted with information and they certainly don’t need to be protected from the idea that if they have a crisis pregnancy that they can choose life.”

“What are they protecting people from?” she asked. “It is just so counter to the whole mission which is to provide women choices. This is just the one choice they can’t abide.”

Dr. Charmaine Yoest of Americans United for Life appeared this afternoon on David Shuster's show on MSNBC along with a representative of NOW to debate the pro-life television ad featuring Tim Tebow that is scheduled to air during the Super Bowl:



Notice how Shuster starts shouting at Dr. Yoest shortly after she begins talking (It's clear who's side he is on.); however, Dr. Yoest handles it with her usual grace and skill.

What is your pro-life strategy?

Fr. Frank Pavone invites you to share with him your thoughts on the most important priorities and strategies of the pro-life effort at his new website, Pro-life Strategy.

Blatant pro-Planned Parenthood bias in Catholic college’s research guides


Students at a Catholic college in Minnesota who are conducting research on contraception and sex education are steered to the web sites of Planned Parenthood and other blatantly biased sites, according to the college’s web site.

Students at St. Catherine’s College who are researching insurance coverage of contraception are directed to the web sites of the Center for Reproductive Rights, Cover My Pills, the National Organization for Women, and Planned Parenthood. They are not directed to any pro-life or Catholic sites that discuss the abortifacient nature of many contraceptives or that offer other principled objections to insurance coverage.

Likewise, students at St. Catherine’s College who are researching sex education in the schools are not directed to any Catholic, pro-life, or pro-family resources on the topic, but are instead directed to the web sites of Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS), and other sites that favor comprehensive sex education.

Founded in 1905 by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, the College of St. Catherine has 5,201 students, 3,727 of them undergraduates.

More Information:
~ Via CWN.

    Abortion groups attack faith-based charities providing support to pregnant women


    Amidst budget shortfalls and a busy legislative session, lobby groups for abortion clinics have stirred up a perfect storm for state legislators. NARAL Pro-Choice Washington and Planned Parenthood are pushing for new legislation that would place a "gag order" on faith-based charities providing free support to pregnant women. With support from a half million Washingtonians across the state, more than 45 pregnancy resource centers and medical clinics say this legislation would regulate their organizations out of existence, eliminating approximately $15 million worth of free services (annually) to women facing unplanned pregnancies. In addition, the Attorney General's Office has estimated the bill will cost Washington taxpayers more than a half million over the next four years.

    The bill "Concerning Limited Service Pregnancy Centers" (HB 2837/SB 6452) will be heard in the Senate Health and Long Term Care Committee on Wednesday, January 27 at 8:00 A.M.

    Paula Cullen, RN, former director of Life Services of Spokane, a pregnancy support medical clinic likely affected by this legislation, plans to testify at Wednesday's hearing. "This bill hurts pregnant women, plain and simple," Cullen said. "It will be critical for legislators to learn for themselves about the tremendous contribution of pregnancy centers in their districts. They will find that these entities have been serving their communities for years without complaint and play a critical role in providing a web of support to women facing unplanned pregnancies. This proposed regulation is not only unnecessary and unwarranted, but also a slap in the face to these charities that have been working so hard for so long."

    In 2009, pregnancy resource centers and medical clinics:

    ·          served over 60,000 women at no charge;

    ·          provided free practical support and social services (baby/maternity clothing, pre-natal/parenting classes, diapers, etc.) for over 34,000 women;

    ·          performed or provided over 20,000 free pregnant tests;

    ·          medical professionals performed over 6,000 free ultrasound exams for the purpose of diagnosing pregnancies and confirming viable intrauterine pregnancies;

    ·          had over 22 social service agencies in Washington State refer to them;

    ·          provided free services to men, women and teenagers totaling a value of over $15 million

    Relying primarily on donations and volunteers, pregnancy centers have been in existence for more than 25 years in Washington State. For a more in-depth look at the history and services of pregnancy centers, download the new national report, "A Passion to Serve, A Vision for Life."

    The effort is part of a nationwide campaign by advocacy groups led by the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) and Planned Parenthood to steer women to abortion providers instead of pregnancy centers for assistance with an unplanned pregnancy.

    Personhood Kansas Launches Campaign to Amend Constitution, Recognize Human Rights



    A new Kansas pro-life organization, Personhood Kansas, is seeking to partner with Christian and pro-life leaders, activists, and volunteers to form a statewide, grassroots coalition. The group was created for a single purpose—to conduct a campaign which results in the amending of the Kansas Constitution so that every child of God is protected by love and by law.

    Similar groups have sprung up in several states after a ballot measure to amend Colorado’s constitution was defeated on Election Day 2008. “The effectiveness of the personhood coalition in Colorado has really been the inspiration. They were the first to demonstrate how close we are to recognizing the personhood of the preborn,” said Keith Ashley, Personhood Kansas Petition Drive Coordinator.

    Personhood Kansas has advised the drafting of language that would recognize the right to personhood for all human beings from the biological beginning of human development. “Basic biology explains that human life begins at the moment of fertilization. This is the moment when we are no longer talking about functional parts of a woman and a man, but rather, we see a complete, genetically unique, living human being. Just like injustices in the past that relied on the ‘not all human beings are persons’ argument because of our differences such as race or gender, so too, denying the preborn full human personhood is discrimination based on an equally arbitrary human property--age,” explains Ashley.

    The organization has started a statewide petition drive with the intent to deliver the responses to the state legislature. “A two-thirds majority of both legislative houses is needed to pass the amendment and that can be a rather challenging endeavor, so it is of the utmost importance that Kansans voice their desire to see this measure passed,” said Ashley.

    The amendment process will then call for a referendum which will give Kansans an opportunity to vote the measure into law. “An advantage of a constitutional amendment is that it will be the supreme law of the state. But equally as advantageous is that the process will skip the proabortion Governor’s desk altogether and go directly to the people,” Ashley continues.

    Personhood Kansas is calling on all Christian and pro-life leaders to get involved by announcing the petition drive and collecting signatures from their churches, parishes, organizations, and events, and by networking with leaders throughout the state. Future plans include a mass emailing and calling campaign, but the group is not advising citizens to wait for instructions. Rather, they are encouraging citizens to start contacting their legislators immediately to voice their support for human personhood in Kansas.

    Saints Timothy and Titus, Bishops

    Memorial of Sts. Timothy and Titus

    St. Paul was so influential and attractive a personality that he was able to draw such different types of men as Timothy and Titus and to make them his collaborators. Timothy and Titus were converted to Christianity by St Paul, and became his companions and helpers. They were were two of the most beloved and trusted disciples of St. Paul, whom they accompanied in many of his journeys.

    Paul made both men bishops and entrusted Timothy with the care of the Christians in Ephesus, and sent Titus to Crete to look after the Christians there. He wrote them “pastoral” epistles, giving advice for pastors and people alike.

    Timothy was St. Paul's confidant. St. Timothy has been regarded by some as the "angel of the church of Ephesus", Rev 2:1-17.

    Titus was the negotiator, the one St. Paul sent to clear up misunderstandings, reconcile differences, and the one who would organize a new Church. He received a letter from St. Paul which encouraged Christians to live temperate, just, and devout lives, while awaiting the coming of Christ.

    St. Timothy was stoned to death thirty years after St. Paul's martyrdom for having denounced the worship of the goddess Diana. Tradition tells us that St. Titus died a natural death at the age of 94, having lived in the state of virginity during his whole life.

    Patronage: St. Timothy is the patron saint of intestinal disorders and stomach diseases. St. Titus is the patron of Crete.

    Collect: God our Father, you gave your saints Timothy and Titus the courage and wisdom of the apostles: may their prayers help us to live holy lives and lead us to heaven, our true home. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
     

    Miracle Accomplished

    Dear readers,

    Some of you may have wondered where I have been for the past week. A few weeks ago, I made a request for prayer and donations for my trip to Washington, D.C. to participate in: the American Life League's pro-life blog awards, their Training and Activism Week and Personhood Conference, and the 2010 March for Life. Yes, the miracle we prayed for through the intercession of St. Joseph and Our Lady of Good Remedy did indeed happen! Praise the Lord! Thank you all for your prayers and for your very generous donations. God is so good! I am thanking Him for each one of you and asking Him to bless you abundantly.

    God bless you!
    Jean

    Monday, January 18, 2010

    Registration for Free Catholic Writers Conference Online Ends Feb 15


     
    Are you a Catholic writer? Looking for an opportunity to learn more about writing and marketing, a chance to meet like-minded authors, and get an opportunity to pitch your work? Want it all for free—and without leaving your home? The Catholic Writers' Conference Online, which will be held February 26-March 5, 2010, is for you. Hurry, though—registration ends Feb 15.

    The conference is held via chats and forums at http://www.catholicwritersconference.com. Sponsored by the Catholic Writer's Guild, the online conference is free of charge and open to writers of all levels who register before February 15, 2010.

    "Each year, we have about 300 writers and around 50 presenters participate,
    " said organizer Karina Fabian. "This year, we're thrilled to have added small-group critique sessions with well-established authors and editors, plus more pitch sessions than ever before!"

    Publishers hearing pitches include well known Catholic publishers like Pauline Books and Media, large Christian publishers like Thomas Nelson, and small secular presses like White Rose. Thus far, eleven pitch sessions are scheduled, running the gamut from Christian romance to Catholic theology.

    In a new program, dozens of attendees will have the opportunity to have pieces of their work critiqued by successful editors and writers. In addition, there will be forum-based workshops and chat room presentations covering topics from dialogue to freelancing to how Catholic fiction differs from Christian fiction.

    "Even in good economic times, it's hard for writers to attend live conferences," said Fabian, "but this year, we think it's even more important to help careers by utilizing an online format. We're so grateful that our presenters are willing to share their time and talent."

    Although the conference is offered free of charge, donations are accepted; proceeds will go toward future conferences. For a $10 donation, one receives a copy of the conference e-book containing chat transcripts, forum workshop posts, handouts or informational materials from the conference. Non-Catholics may attend, as long as they respect Catholic beliefs and the conference's Catholic focus.

    To register or for more information, go to http://www.catholicwritersconference.com.

    Thousands Protest Planned Parenthood in Houston

     Via Steven Ertlet:

    Thousands
    of pro-life advocates joined together to protest the massive new abortion business in Houston, Texas that appears to be the largest abortion facility of its kind in the nation. This six-story Planned Parenthood abortion "super center" is located in the middle of four minority neighborhoods.

    The pro-life advocates -- representing people of all races -- decried Planned Parenthood for relocating to a former bank building next to three predominantly Hispanic and one African-American neighborhood.

    Local pro-life advocates said they didn't want a giant abortion business in their backyard.

    From The Houston Chronicle:

    Thousands of people from across the country are protesting at anti-abortion rally this morning near the site of a large Planned Parenthood facility on the Gulf Freeway in Houston.

    The protesters are gathering for a prayer march targeting the facility which they describe as an "abortion supercenter."



    More information:


    Thousands of Pro-Lifers Rally at Massive Planned Parenthood Abortion Facility

    Videos of Dallas Pro-Life Rally/March of 2010

     Read Matthew Warner's story Marching for Life 2010 Kicks off in Dallas at The National Catholic Register blog.

     

    Poor President! Pro-lifer heckles Obama at Coakley rally

    Yesterday Obama was holding a rally for Democrat pro-abort MA Senate candidate Martha Coakley, and a pro-life protester interrupted him and began heckling him. Obama attempts to respond and loses control of the crowd. He came out to campaign for Coakley, whom he desperately needs in office to pass his healthcare reform bill. This video really lifted my spirits as did the reports from other bloggers that Brown is way ahead of Coakley in the polls. For more information on this election, check out Thomas Peter's post Coakley, Brown, Massachusetts, Catholics, and why this all matters.



    H/T: Jill Stanek

    Fr. Frank Pavone: Dr. King's work continues in "three marvelous convergences"

     Fr. Frank Pavone describes how the week of January 18-25 brings together three powerful and related events, which result in "three marvelous convergences": the dream of Dr Martin Luther King Jr., continuing to be fulfilled  through the work of the pro-life movement, and Christians uniting in this effort.
     

    Family Research Council to host blogs for life


    Family Research Council announced today that they will hosting the fifth annual Blogs for Life, a conference for pro-life bloggers and online social media activists.


    Blogs for Life will take place on Jan. 22, which is also the day of the 27th annual March for Life in Washington D.C. Tens of thousands of pro-life supporters are expected to take part in the march protesting abortion.
    According to the FRC, Blogs for Life is a networking event and an opportunity for pro-life supporters to grow in knowledge of how to best utilize the internet to strategically promote the pro-life cause.

    The conference will include prominent pro-life speakers including FRC president Tony Perkins, Jill Stanek, Marjorie Dannenfelser of the Susan B. Anthony List, and Dr. Charmaine Yoest. 

    Speakers at Blogs for Life are scheduled to discuss opportunities for increasing pro-life support, especially in light of recent polls showing that a growing majority of Americans are identifying themselves as pro-life. The speakers will also outline strategies on how to advance the pro-life message within Congress and the White House.

    The Jan. 22 event will also be broadcast live on www.frc.org from 8:30 a.m.--11:30 a.m. ET.

    ~ Via CNA.

    Personhood Colorado Announces Roe v. Wade Memorial Press Conference with Eduardo Verastegui, Star of Bella


    Personhood Colorado announces its upcoming press conference on the Roe v. Wade Memorial featuring the star of "Bella," winner of the People's Choice Award at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival.

    Hollywood star Eduardo Verastegui will announce his support of the 2010 Colorado Personhood Amendment and comment on the recent success of Human Life Amendments in his native country of Mexico. Verastegui will also urge all Colorado voters to sign the Personhood Petition.

    Who: Eduardo Verastegui, star of film and television

    What: Personhood Colorado Press Conference

    Where: the West steps of the Colorado State Capitol

    When: Friday, January 22, 2010 at 9:00AM

    Dr. Alveda King on Martin Luther King Day: The dream includes us all, born and unborn


    Dr. Alveda King, Pastoral Associate of Priests for Life and niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., released the following comments today on the celebration of her Uncle's life.
     
    "Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke of a Beloved Community where all are treated with respect and dignity," said Dr. King. "He fought against society's exclusion of people who were treated as less than human because of their appearance. Today, we are compelled to continue Uncle Martin's fight by standing up for those who are treated as less than human because of their helplessness and inconvenience.
     
    "The unborn are as much a part of the Beloved Community as are newborns, infants, teenagers, adults, and the elderly. Too many of us speak of tolerance and inclusion, yet refuse to tolerate or include the weakest and most innocent among us in the human family. As we celebrate the life of Uncle Martin, let us renew our hearts and commit our lives to treating each other, whatever our race, status, or stage of life, as we would want to be treated. Let us let each other live."
     
    Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, will join Alveda and her family as a program participant in the Martin Luther King Jr. Annual Commemorative Service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.

    Blessed Christina Ciccarelli: prophet, healer, visionary

     Today we celebrate Blessed Christina Ciccarelli, prophet, healer, and visionary.

    Matthia Ciccarelli was born at Luco in Abruzzi, Italy. She was the youngest of six children and her father was Domenico de Pericolo. As she grew up, Matthia felt the call to a life of prayer and penance.

    She decided to become a cloistered nun. (Cloistered Nuns are nuns who live hidden from the world and spend all their time alone in silent prayer). Matthia entered the convent of St. Augustine in Aquila and took the name Sister Christina.

    Sister Christina's life as a nun was hidden and silent but the people of Aquila began to find out about the beauty of her work and the life she had chosen. She and the other nuns were bringing many blessings to them through their fervent prayers.

    Sister Christina was cloistered but she knew the needs of the poor people of her area. She and the nuns sent to them whatever they could. Sister Christina was also aware of the crosses and sufferings people experienced. She prayed and offered penances to the Lord for these people.

    Jesus blessed Sister Christina with ecstasies. On the feast of Corpus Christi, Christina was seen to float above the ground, and the image of a Host in a golden chalice radiated from her breast.

    A vision on Good Friday caused her to have invisible stigmata (the five wounds of Jesus) and the pains of Crucifixion until the next day.

    She was also blessed with the gift of prophesy and had the ability on occasion to know the future. The Lord used her to work miracles for the good of others.

    When she died on January 18, 1543, the little children of Aquila went through the streets shouting that the holy nun was dead. A large crowd of people came to honor and thank her for the gift she had been for their city.

    Although we may not be able to see the results of our prayers, the life of this cloistered nun shows us how powerful prayer can be.