Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Henry Hyde to receive Medal of Freedom for Pro-Life Leadership

In announcing Hyde as a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom to be awarded November 5, President George Bush noted his pro-life stance first. "Henry J. Hyde has served America with distinction. During his career in the House of Representatives, he was a powerful defender of life and a leading advocate for a strong national defense and for freedom around the world," said the announcement.
Hyde was the first person to win a political victory for the pro-life cause since Roe vs. Wade, with his Hyde Amendment in 1976 banning public spending on abortions.While in public office, Hyde was often described as "U.S. Roman Catholicism's most distinguished laymen."
The reputation of Henry Hyde stretches back to the genesis of the pro-life movement, and he is greatly revered. I remember his speech to reverse the Clinton veto of the partial birth abortion ban. I watched it on C-SPAN and cried.
Well done, good and faithful servant, both of your Congressional district, and of your God.
HT Lifesite

Monday, October 29, 2007

Charges against abortionist George Tiller gaining ground

During his address to the Society of Catholic Social Scientists at St John's University Law School Saturday evening, entitled, "The Catholic Public Intellectual", Fr. Richard John Neuhaus named his very short list of Catholic intellectuals. Michael Novak was on this list. along with George Weigel, and Charles Taylor.
In the Washington Post, Mr. Novak reports on the latest front of what he termed "the abortion wars".
"'Bloody Kansas'was the battleground between pro- and anti-slavery forces nearly 150 years ago, and today it is a center of abortion conflict. Though polls show that 60 percent of Kansas voters are pro-life, antiabortion activists call the state "the abortion capital of the world" -- mainly because of George Tiller. At his Wichita clinic, Tiller is one of the few doctors still performing late-term abortions in this country. "

Latin Mass attracting the young

In the diocese of Rockville Centre, which has grown to nearly 2 million Catholics, there are two main types in the Latin Masses: the older people who fondly remember it, and the young mostly homeschooling famlies full of young children who are learning to appreciate tradition. The Washington Times has an article describing this.

Urgent Message from National Right to Life

WASHINGTON (October 29, 2007) -- As early as this week, the U.S. Senate will cast an important vote on federal funding of abortion.
The Senate is expected to take up S. 1200, a bill to make extensive changes to the laws governing federal health programs for American Indians, which are administered by the Indian Health Service.
Some years ago, federal Indian Health Service (IHS) funds were used to provide abortion on demand. That is not occurring at the present, but it is necessary to amend the permanent law to ensure that it does not occur again in the future. That goal would be achieved by an amendment that pro-life Senator David Vitter (R-La.) intends to offer when the Senate takes up S. 1200.
The Vitter Amendment is similar to the Hyde Amendment, but would permanently apply to the IHS. If enacted, it would alter the basic IHS law to permanently prohibit federal funding of abortion (except to save the life of the mother, rape, or incest) in all federal Indian health programs.
For a number of senators, this will be the first time that they vote on the issue of direct federal funding of abortion. That is because the Senate has not conducted a roll call vote squarely on an amendment to prohibit direct funding of abortion procedures since 1999. (However, the Senate has voted repeatedly on related issues, such as funding for organizations that promote abortion and the use of federal military facilities for self-funded abortions.) All U.S. Senators need to hear immediately from constituents who are opposed to federal funding of abortion.

PLEASE CALL NOW!

The surest, fastest, and most helpful way to communicate with senators on this matter is to use the NRLC "Call Alert" tool on the NRLC website's Legislative Action Center, here.

This handy tool provides you with the phone numbers of your two U.S. senators, and short talking points that will help you deliver the right message. Also, the tool gives you an easy way to send NRLC an e-mail to report on what your senators' staffpersons said, if you choose to do so (this helps NRLC's lobbying efforts).
YOU CAN SEND E-MAILS TOO, BUT . . .

If you prefer to send an e-mail to your senators rather than call, NRLC has provided a suggested message that you can send with a few mouse clicks, here. However, be aware that congressional offices are receiving huge volumes of e-mail messages on many issues, and in many offices such messages may not be reviewed and counted for a considerable period of time.
To read NRLC's letter to the Senate on this issue, click here.
To review NRLC scorecards of how your senators (and House members) have voted on other key pro-life issues, click here.

Bella was number 17 at Box Office this weekend

It was right behind "Elizabeth: the Golden Age" and ahead of the film on Jesse James, and Halloween, thankfully. Not bad, considering it was only opened in 165 theatres. "Bella" will be opening in many more theateres this weekend, check the website. My little daughters loved it and weren't upset by the car accident. I enjoyed seeing it for the first time since January.

Steve Greydanus interviews the producers of "Bella"

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Goys supports "Bella"

Goya the Latino food company has sponsored "Bella".
According to Goya Foods President Robert Unanue, “Goya has chosen to take on an active role in the promotion of this film owing to its emphasis on the strength of family and tradition. Of equal importance to us was the fact that “Bella” portrays Latinos in such a positive light and of course, that food plays an integral role in the story”.
“There are few opportunities that we get as a Latin American food company to embrace such an uplifting message about Hispanics in the film medium. Bella is that rare chance to team up with a project that affirms the values and sentiment that go into the Goya Foods credo and are integral to our success. We are proud sponsors of this heartfelt and moving endeavor.”

DId you go to see Bella this weekend?

I hope you have, if not, there's still time! Here's my review on Mercatornet to motivate you.

I had the privelege of hearing Fr. Richard John Neuhaus speak on the Catholic Intellectual in Today's Society (I took notes, I'll be posting on his talk) as the closing talk of the Society of Catholic Social Scientists, the conference where I spoke about blogging's impact on society, and the power of Catholic radio.

I couldn't leave before I heard Fr. Neuhaus' talk, so immediately afterwards, I sped away to the theatre where my homeschooling friends had gone to see "Bella". I'll see it myself today.

The ladies came out with shining eyes. The men said the film ended too soon. The kids were awestruck by the powerful pro-life message, the fragility of life. And one of my friends recognized the neighborhood where the scenes' at Jose's parent's home was filmed, Belle Harbor, Queens, NY. Her niece was on the beach when the final scene was filmed, and watched "Bella" being made. Their enthusiasm was contagious, and a well-dressed Hispanic woman approached us, hearing our comments, saying, "you went in to see 'Bella'? I saw an interview on Spanish TV with Eduardo Verastegui and am here to see the film". She went on to relate that EWTN is doing a film on the New Testament with Jim Caviezel.

It seems that Catholics have embraced the medium of film

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Bella Opens this weekend

bella
Award-Winning Film BELLA Opens This Friday
click here for show times in your area
True love goes beyond romance

"Powerful and moving, a true inspiration."
CNN
Ana Maria Montero


Here is a list of the movie theatres and show times in Long Island.
BALDWIN:
Clearview Grand Ave Cinemas - 1841 Grand Ave - Baldwin:Show times Oct. 26th - 28th: 1:15, 3:30, 5:45, 8:00, 10:15
FARMINGDALE:
UA Farmingdale Stadium 10 - 20 Michael Avenue - Farmingdale:Show times Oct. 26th - 28th: 1:00, 3:20, 5:40, 8:00, 10:20
WESTBURY:
AMC Loews Raceway 10 - 1025 Corporate Drive - WestburyShowtimes Oct. 26th - 28th: 2:05, 4:30, 6:55, 9:15
WATCH THE TRAILER HERE

Catholic League: Continue to Boycott Miller Beer

MILLER'S APOLOGY IS INSULTING
Catholic League president Bill Donohue responded today to the latest news regarding Miller's sponsorship of anti-Catholicism:

"The Miller Brewing Company and the Board of Directors of the Folsom Street Fair have both issued press statements this week apologizing for the offensive Last Supper poster that was used to promote the event. As such, they have insulted Catholics one more time. Let me be specific.

"The poster was the least offensive part of this Catholic-bashing forum. What was even more offensive was the sight of Christian symbols being sold at this Miller-sponsored fair as sex toys. The obscene and blasphemous names of these vulgar sex toys are so disgusting that no mainstream newspaper would print them. Then there was the incredible sight of a stripper and a man dressed as Jesus hoisted in cages above a Catholic church on a Sunday. This was done to provoke, taunt and insult Catholics. And who greeted everyone at the street fair? Men dressed as nuns Had they been dressed like Al Jolson"with blackened faces"they would have been run out of town as racists.

"The Folsom Street Fair news release on this subject shows how utterly clueless its officers are. It says, "The mission is to create volunteer-driven leather events that provide the adult alternative lifestyle community with safe venues for self-expression while emphasizing freedom, fun, frolic and fetish and raising funds to benefit charity."

"To which I say: If your idea of a "safe venue" "self-expression" and "fun" includes men being beaten with chains in broad daylight, men who m--- in the street, and men who perform o s on each other in public.I have pictures of these acts, then spare Catholics of your 'fun.' Leave us out of it and you can do to each other whatever you want.

"The only thing Miller is worried about is its logo appearing on a poster for an event it could not possibly defend. Not until it pledges not to sponsor Catholic-bashing events will the Catholic League call off its boycott and its anti-Miller PR campaign. We"re like that proverbial fly who just won't go away."

Contact Miller VP Nehl Horton at horton.nehl@mbco.com
Kiera M. McCaffrey
Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights
catalyst@catholicleague.org

Here is my email to CEO Horton of Miller Beer. Feel free to use parts of it for inspiration, and add your own thoughts.

Mr Horton,

Perhaps you think Catholics are too apathetic to be offended by blasphemy, and too meek to do anything about it. WRONG!
You have aroused the ire of Dr. Bill Donohue of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.
BIG MISTAKE. He has pledged, and I join him, as a popular Catholic blogger, to either do you out of business, by boycott, or hearing your FULL APOLOGY to CHRISTIANS, and Promise to never support this fiflthy, blasphemous event again.
Over 80% of this country is Christian, and not all of us are teetotalers. We will drink other brands until you realize that to pursue a small constituency, you are sacrificing a much greater one.

Bella actor thanks prolifers who supported the movie

Eduardo Verastegui, who plays the lead role in the film and is a former star actor and singer in Mexico, says he has been "overwhelmed with joy" by the support.
In the email, Verastegui said three miracles have marked the progress of the film -- finding investors to make the movie, completing the movie itself, and winning the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival's People's Choice award.
But seeing the outpouring of support form pro-life groups is the most rewarding of all, he said.
"The most touching of all has been traveling the country and meeting all of you, and your support this week has been inspirational," he wrote.

Verastegui said hundreds of theaters showing the movie have pre-sold all of their seats to members of pro-life groups and that some organizations are buying hundreds, and even thousands of tickets, for their members.
He also said that one woman who has seen an advanced screening of the film has decided against having an abortion.
"It is a beautiful film that to me was created by something bigger than us all, and I will never forget all of the passion, support and life this film has inspired," he wrote.
He called on pro-life groups to continue promoting the movie leading up to its Friday premier. And they are doing just that.

Life News
I will mention "Bella" and show a trailer as part of my talk Saturday at the Society of Catholic Social Scientists Meeting at St. John's University Law School.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

New Blog on Adult Stem Cells

One of the biggest frustrations of mine is how the general public fails to understand the difference between adult stem cells which have cured as many as 85 diseases in laboratory trials, and do not destroy an unborn baby, and the use of embryonic stem cells which causes the death of an unborn child, and have cured absolutely no diseases to date. Adult stem cells, which may be obtained from such innocuous sources as umbilical cord blood, are approved by the Catholic Church. Embryonic stem cells are not.
My friend Monica Rafie of Be Not Afraid. net has started a group blog to raise awareness of these important differences. It's called Adult Stem Cell Awareness.

Novena to St. Philomena for "Bella" the movie

NOVENA PRAYER TO SAINT PHILOMENA
We beseech Thee, O Lord, to grant us the pardon of our sins by the intercession of Saint Philomena, virgin and martyr, who was always pleasing in Thy sight by her eminent chastity and by the profession of every virtue.
Amen.

Illustrious virgin and martyr, Saint Philomena, behold me prostrate before the throne whereupon it has pleased the Most Holy Trinity to place thee. Full of confidence in thy protection, I entreat thee to intercede for me with God, from the heights of Heaven deign to cast a glance upon thy humble client!
Spouse of Christ, sustain me in suffering, fortify me in temptation, protect me in the dangers surrounding me, obtain for me the graces necessary to me, and in particular success for the film "Bella".
Above all, assist me at the hour of my death. Saint Philomena, powerful with God, pray for us.

Amen.
O God, Most Holy Trinity, we thank Thee for the graces Thou didst bestow upon the Blessed Virgin Mary, and upon Thy handmaid Philomena, through whose intercession we implore Thy Mercy.
Amen.

Fr. Berg of the Westchester Institiute appointed to Empire State Stem Cell Board

Father Thomas Berg has been appointed to the Ethics Committee for New York's Empire State Stem Cell Board. The Board was established earlier this year to oversee $600 million in funding "for basic, applied, translational or other research and development activities that will advance scientific discoveries in fields related to stem cell biology." The Board's inaugural meeting took place yesterday.

Fr. Berg is the Executive Director of The Westchester Institute. This is the best news for New York in a long time. I will pray for Fr. Berg, as I'm sure his work with the Stem Cell Board will be quite challenging.

Operation Rescue Calls For Nationwide Suspension Of Planned Parenthood's Federal Funding In Light Of Kansas Criminal Charges

Overland Park, KS - Operation Rescue announces today that it is calling for an emergency suspension of Federal funding to all Planned Parenthood organizations nationwide in light of the recent 107 criminal charges filed against an affiliate clinic in Overland Park, Kansas, and the imminence of a grand jury investigation there.
"All Planned Parenthood organizations are required to adhere to standardized policies and procedures. If there have been 107 criminal charges after reviewing just 29 records from one year, then it is reasonable to have concern that others are also violating the law. Tax payers should not be forced to fund an organization that is operating outside the law," said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman.
Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri was charged last week with 23 felonies and 84 misdemeanors for submitting false information to the government, committing illegal abortions, and failure to determine viability for late-term abortions. These charges were based on 29 records obtained from 2003.
A
coalition of pro-life groups, including Operation Rescue, is due to submit a citizens' petition in the next few days that would compel Johnson County, Kansas, to convene a grand jury to further investigate Planned Parenthood on additional allegations of illegal activity over the past five years.
"Abortion clinics are the most unregulated, unaccountable places in the United States. It is inappropriate for Planned Parenthood to receive millions of dollars of taxpayer's money when it is unclear if they are following the law," said Newman. "Immediate emergency suspension of their funding is essential to insure the health and safety of women and unborn babies that deserve the protection of the law."
Years ago, Fr. Pavone, together with Mark Crutcher of Life Dynamics announced a policy of going to the courts to stop abortion, the way it was legalized in the first place. If we can take the funding away from Planned Parenthood, their only incentive will disappear, as those 'defenders of woman's rights' will suddenly lose interest, and abortions will be increasingly harder to obtain. It's worth a try, despite the fact that Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius and Attorney General Morrisey have pro-death records.

Fox News to air abortion documentary

The show explores the abortion issue through the eyes of three women confronting what is undoubtedly the hardest decision they've ever made," Fox News says in a preview about the program.
It will feature Kayla, a 20-year-old pregnant student deciding whether to have an abortion; Jeanne, a 30-year-old mother of five who is struggling with drug addiction; and 26-year-old Brooke who has tried desperately to conceive.
Fox News also says the program "also shows an abortion procedure."

The Life News article sounds fearful that the entire truth of abortion may not be shown, but Fox tends to be the network which shrinks least from showing the truth. I say least, because, when Matt Drudge wanted to show this picture, Fox threatened to fire him if he did, and were true to their word.

Hempstead Planned Parenthood is Affected by 40 Days for Life

Early Monday morning as the sun was rising, two pro-lifers were outside Planned Parenthood and one says, "Saturday was quieter than usual here, I saw a few couples going in, but not too many, and I didn't see the abortionists come in. Maybe there's a convention. "
Our victories are so scant around here that we can't even believe in one when we see it. The fact that few, if any, babies died last Saturday at a place where killing is a weekly routine, is WONDERFUL news - a BLESSING! !
Last night at the LI Coalition for Life meeting, a woman who has been in this battle for the preborn for 30+ years tells me that she decided Sunday to go over to the mill in Hempstead to pray for a little while. She arrived around 11:30AM to find about a half dozen women standing outside Planned Parenthood praying the rosary in Spanish.
It is TERRIFIC to have this presence and to have minorities working in their own communities. We are in such need of Spanish speaking and African American pro-lifers to stand vigil in Hempstead and participate in other prolife outreach.
It's heartening to know these committed people are keeping 40 Days for Life in their thoughts and actions. It is making a difference. And we can make even more of a difference if more people will scratch out even an hour this week to come to Planned Parenthood.
Many of your pro-life friends made a commitment for the first few weeks and kept the vigil alive. Now the babies need others to step up. Planned Parenthood is on notice that we know abortion is SO HORRIFIC that the least we can do for its victims is stand vigil for 40 days.
If you have not yet fit the vigil into your schedule, please find the time this week as the 40 Days for Life moves into it's final laps.
from Celeste Broyles, Long Island Coalition for Life

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

For all the news BEFORE it breaks. . .

. . . go to Causa Nostrae Laetitiae!
I posted on the story of Laura Smith, the Massachusetts woman who died in an abortion here. The date was September 25, and thanks to LifeNews email alerts, I reported on the story. NOW the mainstream media has finally caught up with us.

A-hem, aren't you glad you're reader of this blog?

Monday, October 22, 2007

New York Students Exposed to Sexually Graphic Brochures

New York middle school and high school students were given sexually explicit pamphlets at a recent school “wellness fair” run by the county health department. The pamphlets, intended for adults, contained graphic language and advice on heterosexual and homosexual sex.
The Westchester County Department of Health claims it was a mistake and that it has revamped distribution procedures to prevent the mistake from happening again.
“Some of these brochures had information that was not appropriate for the younger kids and we're sorry about that. That was a mistake,” County Health Commissioner Dr. Joshua Lipsman told CBS.
Parents of the Irvington school students are furious that their children were exposed and that the principal failed to take action when a student brought the brochures to his attention, CBS reported.
“Parents should have the right to review all materials that contain sexual content in the public schools,” said Linda Klepacki, sexual health analyst for Focus on the Family Action. “This is clearly a violation of parental rights.”

HT Focus on the Family
Of course it's only shocking that this trash was shown to middle school students, right? Like dispensing the birth control pill and condoms to 11 year olds in Maine. We have come to accept this travesty in high school students.

YOU be the critic! Write a review of Bella

IMDB, the Internet Movie Data Base has a link to what they call 'external reviews'.
I have written a review for "Bella" here, and I will be writing one for Mercatornet.
Anyone who has seen the movie can offer a review for a site such as "Rotten Tomatoes" simply by registering, which takes a few clicks. Help this week's pre-release buzz by adding your comments, or write your own review right after you see "Bella" this weekend.
So far, both the critics and the general public overwhelmingly love "Bella". Only a couple of jaded cynics(Slant magazine) have rejected it. Be a positive voice for "Bella".
Remember what Dr. John Seel of Walden Media told me about "Amazing Grace" exit interviews, the expensive ads only pulled in 5% of their audience, and the blogs got them a whopping 55% of their audience!

Variety.com [Robert Koehler]
Variety.com [Variety Staff]
news.com.au
Ain't It Cool News [Drew McWeeny]
The BigScreen Cinema Guide - Reader Reviews
Cinemattraction.com [Brandon Fibbs]
eye WEEKLY [Damian Rogers]
Fandango
In Contention [Gerard Kennedy]
Movie Jungle
Pegasus News [John P. Meyer]
Reel Film Reviews [David Nusair]
Rotten Tomatoes
The Phantom Tollbooth

Bella is getting some rave reviews on Fandango

You can add a review, like I did, when you've seen it, and you can pre-order tickets here.

40 Days for Life in the media

Richard W. Tabler of Knoxville Tennessee, describes how working with severely handicapped children made him pro-life, it was fatherhood which made him a pro-life activist, in this reflection on the meaning of 40 Days for Life.
The Ann Arbor Press gives a fair story to 40 Days.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Leo Severino on Life on the Rock this week

EWTN has been doing a wonderful promotion of "Bella" this week by interviewing Eduardo Verastegui on "The World Over" and Leo Severino tonight. (I have included a photo I took of Leo last January when I attended a screening of "Bella" at the Catholic Underground in Manhattan; note the pilgrim image of Our Lady of Guadalupe behind him)
Both Eduardo and Leo are part of the team of "three amigos" who, along with Director Alejandro Monteverde, took great risks by leaving lucrative careers, and began Metanoia Films.
Leo discussed with Fr. Francis the role of providence in making this film possible, how they found a financier ten days after the late Pope John Paul II blessed their effort, how the filming began on the Feast of the Assumption of Mary, how the first public screening was on the feast of the Annunciation.
This film is dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe, and Leo has asked Catholics to promote the film by buying up as many tickets as possible, with our churches, youth groups and respect life groups. But, more importantly, we are to pray. Pray that "Bella" which has already saved two babies' lives, may touch millions more, and open the way for more such films. Leo discussed his deep devotion to St Philomena. He got engaged to his new wife next to her tomb, they both wore her cord to preserve their purity during their engagement, and visited her shrine in Italy on their honeymoon three months ago.
So, Leo asks us to pick a novena and starting today, which is nine days from the opening of "Bella" on October 26, pray for the success of the film. If they do well the first weekend, other theatres will open up, and Metanoia can go on to make more beautiful films for God. They have an idea to make a film about Blessed Miguel Pro and the Mexican Martyrs of the 1920s.

So, here on this blog, I will ask you to pray a Novena to St. Philomena for this intention. Please comment below if you wish to join me in this novena.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Women Deliver" Fails to Deliver

The United Nations and their member nations have become abortion-obsessed, as you can read in this press release from C-FAM. They ignore glaring causes of death in order to push their agenda for supposed rights of the poor to abortion. It's a thinly veiled case of eugenics; they want to help the poor to exterminate themselves, by providing 'safe' abortions (no abortion is truly safe) while NOT providing life saving medical attention in childbirth, regular check-ups and vaccinations. They ignore glaring cultural issues like sex selection, which threaten women in order to inflict their immoral practices on what are traditional people trying to live by their religious belief, which, in most cases, prohibits abortion.
My obstetrician Dr. Robert Scanlon, volunteers two weeks a year in Nigeria, helping to deliver the babies of the poor. He describes his work here:
" The organization I work with is called Maternal Life International, based in Butte Montana. Our division is called AIM, which stands for aiding infants and mothers. We are located in Huntington, NY , and try to engage students to get involved.
Our foundation is rooted in human dignity, a gift that God our creator has endowed each of us with. From this foundation we build a program that teaches fertility literacy, which recognizes the value of abstinence until marriage, faithfulness in marriage and natural family planning for those who discern the need to space children. On top of this program we teach another program called Safe Passages, which provides training for maternal health care workers as well as aid to hospitals to raise their level of care. Finally, we provide funds to sponsor poor mothers so they can afford prenatal care, go to a birth center for a safe delivery, and then have their child vaccinated.
That's what we do. I will be going over in January to work at Our Lady of the Apostles in Jos Nigeria. It is at this hospital where we sponsor poor women and where we work to train midwives and physicians. While we are there we will put on a conference to train clergy and parish workers as the contraception/abortion agenda is being pushed hard in Nigeria and we hope to give people on alternative that teaches the truths of Church teaching."
Contrast Dr. Scanlon's true concern for the health of women and children to the hypocrisy of "Women Deliver" described below.

(PRESS RELEASE — C-FAM) An international conference to direct policies on maternal and child health gives scant attention to the top causes of maternal and child deaths while focusing 35 out of 98 of its sessions on 'abortion rights'. Pro-family leaders from Europe and North America will attend the Women Deliver conference in London on October 18-20 to spotlight the real needs of women and children and report on the conference’s distortions. They will be available for media during the conference. “Considering the conference’s obsession with abortion, policymakers should not rely on advice from Women Deliver,” noted Wendy Wright, President of Concerned Women for America (CWA). “If the conference truly focused on maternal and child health, it would tackle the leading maternal and child health needs as more than trivial additions.” “The best way to reduce maternal and child deaths is with skilled birth attendants and emergency obstetrics. Yet skilled birth attendants is addressed in only 6 sessions, emergency obstetrics in one,” stated Susan Yoshihara, Ph.D., Executive Vice President of Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. “Post-natal or peri-natal care, fistula, female genital mutilation, newborn health, violence against women, cancer, malaria, and failing health systems get three or fewer sessions each. The handful of panels on HIV/AIDS focuses on rights, not treatment.
No sessions address primary child health issues such as vaccine availability, clean water, sanitation, basic nutritional supplementation such as prenatal and children’s vitamins, or the training of village health workers in spotting or combating protein calorie malnutrition.” Lola Velarde, President of the Institute for Family Policy EU, stated “The medical journal Lancet reported recently on the 100 million missing girls lost to sex selection abortions and female infanticide. Not one session at Women Deliver tackles this leading cause of death of girls. Lancet’s special theme issue for Women Deliver appears to neglect its own revelations on girl-child deaths.” “We cannot reduce maternal and child deaths if policymakers rely on inaccurate information,” said Laura Knaperek, Executive Director of United Families International. “The U.S. experience shows that abortion is not safe, especially chemical abortion, which fails at least 10 percent of the time, requiring surgical abortion. Surgical abortion increases the risk of dangerous early birth in later pregnancies, infections and other complications,” said Donna Harrison, M.D., President-elect of the American Association of Pro Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists. These and other experts will be available for comment to the media.
For information contact:Austin Ruse (US) at (202) 289-2500

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Eduardo Verastegui on The World Over

Raymond Arroyo had a wonderful interview with Eduardo Verastegui on The World Over (the live program was on Friday, this was the re-run and will be seen here). His story keeps getting richer with meaning each time it is told.
I had forgotten the important role Eduardo's ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher had on his conversion. Tonight, he said that her persistent questioning of his motive for working in Hollywood, and her challenging him on how he was insulting God with how he abused his body, was the key factor in his conversion. She is a devout Catholic, and I send her my praise, as a fellow ESL teacher who also tries to be a good influence on my students. Yes, last weekend, I did show them the trailer for "Bella" in our weekly ESL class!
I hope to bring many of them to see "Bella" when it opens in two weeks. Even though their English is limited, I could see their pride in a fellow Latino who is a proud Catholic and a fine actor. Eduardo says he is tired of the media stereotype of Latinos as criminals or womanizers. He wants to help change this image, and help Americans see the truth, that Latinos are family oriented, and love children. I have known this for 20 years, I pray he succeeds.
One of the callers asked whether Eduardo knows of Theology of the Body, and plans to feature this in an upcoming film, and he answered he did understand it and how our bodies are sacred, and he has increased respect for women these last five years when he has been practicing chastity. He said that his mother, sisters and aunts are good, and wise, and hates to see women treated as objects. He wants to offer his entire self to the woman he marries, and that he will wait until he is married to do so. When he was asked how he maintains his purity, he answered that he goes to daily Mass and weekly confession.
The grace which has touched Eduardo Verastegui is truly remarkable, and it has been said, more than once that his conversion is a story which would make a great movie. Wait till he creates a wedding scene for the film, what a beautiful climatic moment that would be!

Tales from the Front Lines: 40 Days for Life

Our increased presence at Planned Parenthood in Hempstead, NY, has given some of us an opportunity to talk with and listen to local residents.
Tonight a young lady was leaving Planned Parenthood. She told us she didn't believe in abortion, was just there for personal health care. I gave her literature including a little card showing the actual size of her hands at 12 weeks in the womb. She asked if I had a DVD with pictures like that. Fortunately I had a CD in my car that she could use. We got into a discussion of baby development, which led to describing abortion then onto abstinence, self-respect, Planned Parenthood's racist eugenic foundations, post-abortion, prolife help, abortion breast cancer link, and finally encouraging her to get involved.
I've become more acutely aware of how Planned Parenthood has co-opted these communities. We could debate for days what it has that brought these people to this point. But like my father used to say when we'd see some downtrodden broken person, "There but for the grace of God go I."
Sunday, a young lady stopped on her way home from work, running over saying how she's so happy to see us and can she have some literature, she feels God is calling her to do something for this cause. She says her brother's girlfriend had an abortion and didn't tell him til it was over and now her brother is angry and her mother feels like she lost a grandchildren (she did!). And the young lady says, I have a 2 year old son and he's my life and sometimes I think what if I were someone else and I thought abortion was ok... what if I came here and did that to my son....what if I didn't care, her voice quavering. Yeah, exactly - what if... there but for the grace of God go her and her son.
Our success is baby steps of communication - keep praying and keep coming to the vigil so we're able to bridge the cultural divide and tear down the facade Planned Parenthood has built up.
And we still have 20 days to go, so who knows - we may yet see new people filling our vigil hours and churches calling on their faithful to storm heaven with the 40 Days for Life intentions.
On behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves, thank you for your commitment in however you are able to participate.
Celeste Broyles
Long Island Coaltion for Life

Catholic Fire: "Golden Compass: Agenda Unmasked": Catholic League's Response to Pullman's Ploy

Catholic Fire: "Golden Compass: Agenda Unmasked": Catholic League's Response to Pullman's Ploy

Monday, October 15, 2007

Feast of St. Teresa of Avila, Doctor of the Church



For a long time, the only thing I knew about St. Teresa of Avila was the famous story:
Once, when Teresa was travelling mounted on a donkey, she slipped off, and fell into the mud. Shaking her fist at God, she asked, "why did this happen to me, Lord?!" to which Our Lord answered, "I always treat my friends this way." A petulant Teresa retorted, "then, no wonder you have so few!"
That was enough to make me like her, but I wanted to know more, and watched the wonderful series on EWTN about her life, which is showing this month. She reformed the Carmelites in Spain, which of course, made her very unpopular, as the nuns lived very comfortably and actually entertained outside guests in luxury in the convent! St. John of the Cross was her friend, having been imprisoned by his brothers as a reward for reforming his order.
These stories give me courage by reminding me that the Church has had bad times before, and that God will send us saints to see us through. Today in Rome, the Holy Father is canonizing several saints, including Theodore Guerin. Again, see the coverage on EWTN (click on the link above to watch streaming video in case your cable system, like mine, doesn't carry EWTN).
Let 's answer the universal call to holiness, and get the most important initials in the world, the St., in front of our names!

Return of the Tabernacle update

A retired priest at St. John's informed me yesterday, that the Tabernacle must be bolted down in it's new location in the reredos, and that this, coupled with the complexities of Bishop Murphy's schedule is causing the delay in scheduling the Mass which will place Jesus back at the center of my parish church.
You are all invited to celebrate with us, whether in person, or in spirit. I will be covering it for the blog, naturally.
Meanwhile, I was at a 'Commitment Mass" last night for the new Confirmation Class. After the Mass, once again there was pandemonium in the sanctuary. No lessons learned here, despite our priest's best efforts. At an earlier Mass yesterday, a deacon discussed dress and behavior at Mass, and I had to stand on a long line to shake his hand afterward.
There is a long row to hoe teaching reverence in a culture which reveres nothing. They have their work cut out for them. Didn't Our Lady warn about this irreverance over 90 years agon in Fatima? Let's keep them in prayer.

More 40 Days for Life Success Stories

All I did was send one e-mail...Since today marks the halfway point for 40 Days for Life,I sent a quick message out to the leaders of the 80+ local 40 Days for Life campaigns, asking them to report on how their first 20 days had gone.Within hours, I already had 53 amazing reports back, andthey keep rolling in!
My first thought was that I couldn't possibly share all ofthese reports with you in one day, but as I read each one I realized that you would probably be as deeply inspired as Iwas to learn all of the wonderful ways that God is working simultaneously all across America!
Let's glorify our Heavenly Father for the bountiful blessings He is providing through 40 Days for Life.But before I share all of the success stories, I wanted topass on one additional bit of VERY exciting news... * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Earlier today, I had the great privilege of spending about 30 minutes on the phone with Catholic Bishop Samuel Aquilaof the Diocese of Fargo, North Dakota. Bishop Aquila has demonstrated courageous leadership byexample during 40 Days for Life, and he agreed to let merecord our phone conversation so he could tell all of youwhy he is so excited and committed to 40 Days for Life.The audio recording of the entire discussion is posted ontoday's blog posting and I think you will be deeply touchedand encouraged. Bishop Aquila has set a great standard forwhat it means to be a Christian leader! Listen online here. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *Now, here's what God is doing all across America in responseto YOUR prayer and fasting...
EL PASO, TEXAS:We are able to confirm 12 babies lives saved. Also, thelives of their parents were impacted. We are excited and hoping that our LORD will continue to raise up active pro-lifers. Not only have babies been saved but our own spiritual blindness has been lifted.

MARTIN COUNTY, FLORIDA: Our first 20 days have been very fulfilling. We started out not knowing what I was doing. It then started to build through the grace of God. We now have our Sidewalk Warriors at every hour that Planned Parenthood is open in Stuart, FL.The Bishop came out last Friday. We have a very diverse group. I could write volumes but I will leave you with this story. A young man and girl came up to me with tears in their eyes (They looked 16 or 17). They described how they had decided to abort their 5 month pregnancy. They saw our signs (one with a pregnancy care center and number.) They went and had a ultrasound and discovered that it was a girl.They decided at that time to keep the baby. They wanted us to know, and their words were, "Thanks for being here."

MADISON, WISCONSIN: Many people choose to ignore what happens inside abortionfacilities; 40 Days for Life has given us and others around us the opportunity to wake up and see the reality of what abortion is doing to our community. It has been a way to really rekindle pro-life passions in individuals and our community. But of course the greatest victory is doing themost Holy Will of our Father, regardless of any 'success' we might see -- as Blessed Mother Teresa says "we are notcalled to be successful we are called to be faithful."

SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA: Our total hours prayed at Special Events for first half ofthe campaign were 110 prayer hours and 210 prayer hours at the Planned Parenthood vigil site. One Church Offered its Living Rosary for an end to abortion. I believe there mayhave been two women who changed their mind about scheduling an abortion or taking "the morning after pill," and after 2 weeks Planned Parenthood started to bring clients in throughthe back door so we must be having some effect.

MORRISTOWN, NEW JERSEY:In 20 days, we've grown to 8 vigil sites in 6 counties, and expect to keep on adding two or three more each week. Several saves have been reported from two of our sites where traffic is sufficient to permit that, and the human interest stories abound. One Mom with two kids age 11 and 4 coordinates one of our sites and the children are living witnesses to life, the elder cheerfully handing out literature to people arriving for abortions and turning some of them around. Another site was manned by a loner who persisted for three long years before being joined by a local doctor, and the group now numbers 8 to 10 faithful witnesses for life. Among the first signs that we are breaking through were two young priests joining one of our vigils. At still another church, 400+ people signed up for 24/7 Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament the weekend after we began a Walk for Life from the church to Planned Parenthood every Wednesday. Earlier, they had difficulty getting enough people for one day a week. What a blessing!

WACO, TEXAS:The 40 Days for Life campaign has doubled the number of individuals participating in pro-life activities. We have six entire families signed up for the prayer vigil. One family, involved in a ministry with incarcerated youth, has the young men saying a daily prayer for life. Another deacon, working in a women's' state jail, has at least 65 women praying the rosary and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy to end abortion.

TRI-CITY, MICHIGAN:One seasoned pro life advocated has been praying on site at our local abortion mill for many years. Last Saturday, Oct.13th, Dave said he has heard of more "saves" in the last few days than in the last 6 months combined. He was also appreciative of all the support the 40 Days campaign has brought. For the first time since the campaign began one ofour local priest and five seminarians were present to praywith us at the abortion mill. Father said they will be back.

ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN:It is difficult to begin to describe the success storiesthat continue to happen at our 40 Days vigil. We are sograteful to our Lord for the babies he has saved, the women who are healing, and the brothers and sisters in Christ that continue to pour out to the vigil. One of my favorite newcomers is Juliette. She has spent an average of 15 hours a weekend out at the vigil. But that's not the amazing part. She the mother of 7 young children. But wait, that's notall. She's also 4 months pregnant. Plus, when she's not at the vigil, she often sends her husband out. 40 Days has really renewed her faith and I can see Christ alive in her. I would have gone through everything just to have one Juliette. But God has graced us with MANY Juliette's. Also, another victory is the renewed efforts of shutting Planned Parenthood down in Ann Arbor.

PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND:In Providence, the tide is turning. Support for the unborn and their families, by way of prayer commitments, simple blessings, and passers-by who take the trouble to tell us that they appreciate greatly the peaceful, prayerful manner of this campaign, regardless of their convictions regarding abortion at this time, are on the increase! PlannedParenthood's irritation over people daring to pray for anend to abortion also grows daily. Blessed be God! This campaign is advertising itself by the simple sign of prayer.People are waking up to God! They are beginning to talk toone another and to us about life. I do not doubt that theLord chose a "David & Goliath" message for Rhode Island by design. After all, the "Independent Man" stands atop our State House! In Rhode Island, our waking up is thebeginning of the end of abortion! I DO believe that the Lordwill change our hearts this year!!!

LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK: The most notable accomplishment is two possible "babysaves." Our increased vigil presence has given localresidents more opportunities to converse with us. The daily hours spent in the community has clarified the bridges weneed to build between the pro-life community and localresidents who have, for various reasons, been co-opted byPlanned Parenthood.

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA:1. At various sites it has brought together people of faithunited in a common cause; 2. Several women and men have changed their minds about abortion; 3. New faces have appeared in the pro-life work; 4. Despite some minor conflicts internal and external, the campaign continues tomarch on in holiness and fervor.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK: We have discovered that with only a handful of people, and few churches participating with us, you can still make greatstrides to promote and save life. We have been very blessedwith up to 23 Sisters of life on the streets with us inprayer. We have continued to turn around on average 2 or 3 moms from a certain abortion per day, mostly in the South Bronx. Three former abortion clinic workers, discovered uson the sidewalks (1 in the Bronx, 2 in Queens) and expressed deep regrets for their past misdeeds and two will be joining us in our work for Life. We have been able to bring out a brand new batch of ministers, and lay people, mostly new immigrants, mostly Hispanics, especially in Queens, and signed up hundreds for future outreach and sidewalk counseling.

FREDERICK, MARYLAND:The abortion site in Frederick is fairly well hidden in a medical center on a generally little traveled street. We are now covering the three times a week that abortions are done, and are increasing our presence on other days. I personally was involved in conversations with two people. The signs we held said "Women need support, not abortion." An apparentlypro-choice woman parked her car and asked us where someone could get help for a crisis pregnancy. We gave her information and the names of two pro-life support groups. We will have a public outreach on a main street near the abortion site this weekend.

FARGO, NORTH DAKOTA:So many things are happening that are simply beyond anythingwe ever comprehended. On this day 20 of the campaign, we arestanding back and looking at the miracles God is conductingin our midst. Not only have babies been saved, not only isthe body of Christ responding time and time again, not onlyare WE being changed BUT God is bringing people to us offthe streets that need ministering. Some of our peopleare going out every single day and every single night. Weare ministering not only to the abortion-minded individualsbut to many of the walking wounded that need to share theirstory. We had no surgical abortions this past week in Fargothat we know of. Glory to God! Also, we continue to seepeople from across the entire state of ND coming to theVigil in Fargo.

GREENVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA:We talked to one woman who changed her mind and chose life for herself and for her child. We talk to the abortionist and workers and are praying to get them new jobs and pray they talk to a former abortionist about getting out. Our community is growing in love with our God and with eachother and in our commitment to serve our neighbors.

SARASOTA, FLORIDA: Hundreds of people from Sarasota, Manatee, and surrounding counties already have participated in the quiet daily vigil,praying silently for an end to abortion in front of thePlanned Parenthood facility. One person plans to spend timepraying every day this coming week outside PlannedParenthood. He's Bob, a periodic visitor on vacation, allthe way from Cincinnati. If visitors do it, certainly we can. Babies are being saved from abortion and people are being educated by pro-lifers as a result of the prayer andthe work of sidewalk counselors.

COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS:There have been over 500 people come out to pray in the 1st 20 days of the campaign, with 132 at the kick off rally,over 70 at a praise & worship session, and the latest --over 170 people at a Rosary rally on Oct. 13. Volunteers stay out there rain or shine, many over 4 hours every week.People come to our office everyday to pick up yard signs,wristbands and t-shirts. We've had numerous of women callour office asking for alternatives to Planned Parenthoodbecause of the prayer presence. The amount of new peoplegetting involved has been amazing! We've also had a lot of people already wanting to go out and pray after 40 days forLife is over. God is amazing!

HAMILTON, NEW JERSEY:The 40 Days For Life Campaign has helped move hundredsof pro-lifers from the "sidelines" into the "field of play." This has certainly been the largest mobilization of pro-life"prayer warriors" in recent memory.

GRAND CHUTE, WISCONSIN:The Vigil is going well considering that we were three weekslate in starting our preparation. As of Friday, October 12,we have had over 120 persons participate in the 40 Days ForLife vigil. The Grand Chute Planned Parenthood facility hasnot done abortions since early last summer. Praise the Lord!Our Vigil is concentrating on causing that temporary closure to be permanent.

AKRON, OHIO:We've gotten many more people involved and pumped up about praying at the clinics. The clinics have certainly noticed and responded by calling in escorts. So now our prayerwitnesses feel even more engaged in the battle!

SIOUX FALLS, SOUTH DAKOTA:We are creating public awareness that abortions are beingperformed at our Planned Parenthood clinic in Sioux Falls.Many people in South Dakota are not aware of Planned Parenthood's role. Also on our second Saturday morning after the start of the 40 days we had several new ladies join usthat were post-abortive. Every time we can help another post-abortive woman heal it makes my heart happy. A hugevictory: 95% of the pro-life leaders in SD this weekend voted to start a new ballot initiative to end abortion inSouth Dakota. With 200,000 votes we can have victory which is very possible with an effective ground war. This will belike the shot heard around the world. Every participant inthe 40 Days for Life needs to be praying for SD as we onceagain take on PP and their big money machine.

DALLAS, TEXAS:River of prayer going forward from all over nation --ministering to God's Heart; incredible Opening Rally atwhich even the police were blessed; children saved from abortion -- from the second day on; many others ministered to on-site; multitudes ministered to in churches as we brought this "issue" to the forefront via this instrument(40 Days for Life); multitudes experiencing on-site ministry at abortion clinic for the first time. Churches are advertising the 40 Days for Life in their bulletins and announcing it from the pulpits like nothing I have ever seen or heard before. People are either praying inside their church, at home or at the abortion center on their assigned day of prayer. And there have been five days of 100 or more pray-ers at the abortion center in Dallas.

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA:I personally have ministered to two post-abortive fathers and two other post-abortive women. We believe there have been saves, but no one has actually kept track. 2 women were stopped from going into Planned Parenthood's "free food...free condoms!" event on Thursday as PP bused in students from Robert Morris college. President Dougherty at DuquesneUniversity pulled PP's sponsorship from their radio program.Last night we had a candlelight vigil/Jericho walk. Therewere about 25 of us and the prayer was powerful!

BUFFALO, NEW YORK:On day 2 the abortion mill's drains all clogged up andhalted the killing for 6 STRAIGHT DAYS. All the young peoplewho are coming out... High school and College students andyoung couples. They are an true blessing. We areoverwhelmingly supported by the people driving by.

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA:On day one of the campaign, several young mothers (withchildren) were interviewed by a local TV station. We havehad at least one hour of adoration every day at our church (many more hours than usual) with many participants over all. I've seen a spiritual growth and awakening about the abortion issue. The abortion facility in our communitywhich we are praying at is in a location which gets much traffic -- we have been a visible witness to many!

CENTRAL TEXAS: Liz was on the sidewalk by herself praying last Tuesday and a lady went into the abortion clinic. She had 2 young children, I believe 4 and 7ish. Apparently, the man who she is staying with doesn't want the expense of another child and she is not employed so he wants her to have an abortion. She went over to speak with Liz who listened to her story and got her phone number which she passed on to me and I passed onto a counselor at Hope Pregnancy Center. She called the woman and the next day she went to the Hope Pregnancy Center for help. She is keeping the child and Hope is assisting her. Praise God.

CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA:Our key victories have been 48 babies that have been savedand one of the abortion worker/provider asked for a bible today and took it into the clinic to share with others.

NORWICH, CONNECTICUT: A truck driver dropped of 1/2 case of water to 40 Days forLife on Oct 1 after he filled up bottled water in thebuilding. Also our local pregnancy center has seen a significant increase in abortion vulnerable and abortion minded clients as well as pregnancy tests and ultrasounds.Our nurse manager has already doubled the amount of ultrasounds she had for all of last month and it is only the 15th!! We received the exact amount, $6,500, needed to pre-screen Bella in southeastern CT! A man named Cleveland came from Bridgeport (over an hour away), stayed overnight at the Marriot around the corner from PP, and prayed with us on Oct 3 and 4. He heard about the 40 Days for Life at theRally for Liberty at the State Capital in Hartford on September 12. How awesome is this!

COLUMBUS, OHIO:We have had 100% of the the days "covered" in so-far-as having had at least one person there for some amount of time. A person who had previously had an abortion expressed great thanks and prayed with us for a bit.

WEST CHESTER, PENNSYLVANIA:We received word that a baby was saved last week. A womanhad come to the West Chester Planned Parenthood and becauseshe was unhappy with the counseling she received inside, went to talk to a priest. He "dropped everything" to help her. He connected her with an active pro-life couple who's daughter was pregnant. After seeing the ultra-sound of the daughter's baby, she decided to let her baby live. Also, I continue to be amazed at the number of people who keep showing up to pray at Planned Parenthood on their own,without having actually made a commitment to come.

CONROE, TEXAS:We are mobilizing much prayer locally and vigil hours at the Planned Parenthood clinic on Fannin. We also have stimulated letters to the editor, a kickoff of around 100 people at the County Courthouse, front page local newspaper coverage andPP's CEO and COO from Houston confrontation in the local press here.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA: On Sept. 25 we worried that we'd have to scale back ourround-the-clock vigil, but about 200 people have come out to pray and keep our vigil going 24-hours a day! We've been able to talk to a number of post-abortive women about counseling and healing programs--including one woman who between domestic violence and abortion had lost 9 children. People are waving, honking, stopping to pray with us or sing to us, bringing us coffee and pizza...just an amazing outpouring of support from the community.

HOUSTON, TEXAS:We have had reports from the 2 Crisis Pregnancy Centers thatwe refer to (we have their phone numbers on the backs of the brochures we hand out) that women are coming in with these brochures in their hands! Also, it has been obvious to those of us who come out on a regular basis that their abortion business is down. This was evidenced last week when the Stericycle truck that picks up the babies came. The driverwent into Planned Parenthood with about 8 boxes and came outwith 3. I expected him to go back in for more because he usually picks up 5-10, and he never did. Several of the new escorts told us that we were not what they expected and have been very friendly.

PORT ST. LUCIE, FLORIDA:The most incredible blessing we have witnessed during this campaign has been the number of girls who have just walkedover to us and asked which side is the right place for apregnancy test? We have never had so many turn-arounds eachday. It is surely due to the prayer and fasting of so manyfaithful people. The number of people that are being affected by God's Grace and Mercy is endless and we arehumbled every day.

TOLEDO, OHIO:We have heard of at least one baby that has been saved during our "watch"; we're being a witness to many people who might not have otherwise known that the building is an abortion center; and we're seeing a "family" grow out ofthis. Many people are telling me that they have been pro-life for so long and yet didn't know what to do. A lot of these people are excited to keep coming back to pray because incredibly what they're feeling outside the abortion center is peaceful prayerfulness! A "bubble of grace" isdefinitely covering us! This unitive power of prayer is theweapon that will bring the end to abortion!

WASHINGTON, D.C.: Things are going very well here. We have had six known saved baby's lives. We have seen many new faces at the 16th StreetPlanned Parenthood and even more than that call, e-mail, or just drop by.

PENSACOLA, FLORIDA:We have had several miracles over the past 20 days. AMS of Pensacola (a local abortion mill) has been closed for 3 weeks!! We do not know why it has been closed, only to sayit is God's miracle! Praise the Lord! Taking into consideration the average number of lives lost each week at both clinics this would mean roughly 75 lives saved over 3 weeks! Also, we have had at least 6 confirmed turn-arounds along with 5 post-abortive women coming forward looking for healing! Last Friday, the day abortions take place in Pensacola, we had the largest group of people ever gathered on a Friday morning at least in the past 12 years. The number = 35. Prior to 40 Days for Life there would be just 3- 5 gathered to defend life. God has been working miracles left and right! The miracles keep coming. 40 Days for Life has definitely increased community awareness and people that have never been involved in defending life are getting involved. In just 20 days God has done so much for our community, just because a few faithful believe that prayeris the most powerful witness. I cannot imagine the wonderful things that will happen to our community and across our country over the next 20 days.

KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE:The Diocese of Knoxville has been keeping vigil at two different abortion sites in the City of Knoxville. The response of our volunteers, the majority of whom have never done any pro-life work before, has been amazing. A local pregnancy help center said that since the campaign began,they've never been busier -- all of which they attribute to the campaign. Beginning today, we're taking our vigil to the doors of the Planned Parenthood office for Middle and East Tennessee.

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA:Planned Parenthood was closed on its regular Saturday thatthey perform abortions this past weekend. Also, PP workershave come out twice, once to take photographs and once topick up the most minute pieces of trash they could find onthe ground. We suspect they were trying to provoke us. Restassured that we continued our peaceful prayerful vigil whilemaking sure we leave have no trash for them to report to theauthorities. Last week we believe we had another save when acouple drove up to PP, the woman looking rather serious atour prayer warriors as they drove by, but came out less thana half hour later, the male smiling as he drove out of theparking lot. But I believe our biggest accomplishment isthat we have had many people come out who have never prayedat an abortion facility before as well as some how have notcome out in a long time. Some of our prayer warriors havementioned meeting people they have not seen for many years,while others have made pro-life contacts they had not knownbefore from their own parish. Last week the regular sidewalkcounselors thanked 40 Days for Life for being there and arevery appreciative to see men coming out.

SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA:The 40 Days for Life campaign is giving us little victories with much potential: Definitely more people visibly praying at Planned Parenthood and being seen by the PP staff andpassers-by; finding out that PP has a GLBT support group going for teens which we will address in the future; having a repetitive ad in the local paper is increasing awarenessof abortion to the general public.

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA:The key victories thus far in this vigil has been the growing body of Christ that is coming out to pray here in Charlotte. We have had about 70% of the total hours duringthe past 20 days covered by over 170 people made up of all ages, denominations, genders, and generations! Last week,one veteran pro-lifer was out praying and a car stopped. The young Mom told her that about 6 months ago she had planned to come to have an abortion, but she saw people out praying then (during our first 40 Days for Life) and decided to keep her child. That child was the infant in the car with the beaming and thankful Mom! Last Friday, two families of homeschoolers came to pray for the first time. While these families were out praying, one of the young moms scheduled for an abortion decided to keep her child and left the clinic. The families praying had the blessing to see thisMom make this choice for life! It was a time for thankfulness on the grounds! Two other victories have been the faithfulness of the Bound for Lifers that come nightly to stand and pray and the church, St. Thomas Aquinas, that is hoping to provide coverage for an entire day. Lastly, andmost significantly, are the pastors that have been coming to and and pray at the facility! Here in Charlotte we havebeen blessed in the first twenty days, and we stand inexpectation for what the Lord will do in the next 20!

ROCKLAND COUNTY, NEW YORK:All faiths working together including our Jewish brother sand sisters. People walking up to us and asking to join usoff the street, including a police woman who works for thevillage of Spring Valley. The owner of the building wherePlanned Parenthood is located, politely asked we move a signand we had the chance to tell her we were praying for her. Incredibly favorable press coverage!

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON:Public awareness of Planned Parenthood presence is rising,hearts are being changed and foot traffic into their offices seems lower day after day. Probably most significant is thegrowing strength and solidarity of the pro-life movement itself. Many who have never been involved in pro-life workbefore are becoming radically involved through this campaign.

SUN CITY (PHOENIX), ARIZONA:Our original "starter" group has tripled in size. We areexperiencing a wonderful collaboration of differentdenominations and organizations praying, fasting and walkingfor life. Several of us are excited about continuing tomeet, after the official campaign ends, sharing our plansfor furthering our goals to stop abortion.

COLLEGEVILLE, PENNSYLVANIA:There has been the constant awareness to the evil of PlannedParenthood that Collegeville has not seen in years. People have been praying everyday at all hours. It may not be 24hours around the clock but it is making a difference all thesame. I give thanks today for saying yes to "40 Days forLife" and I am excited to anticipate what God is going to dowith the remaining 20 days and our Victory Rally on Nov. 4!

WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA:In addition to saving lives (a handful of confirmed savesand additional turn-arounds) the blessings have been amazing. Those passing are asking where they can get abanner or something they can show that they are pro-life.Others passing stop, seeking help and consolement. Pro-lifeindividuals are coming forward for their first time tobecome involved. Some want 40 Days for Life to continue. Themovement has brought a new found hope and unity.
FALLS CHURCH, VIRGINIA:It's been fantastic since the 40 days for Life started! TheHoly Spirit is moving in a big way. First, its justwonderful to see and meet so many new people on the frontlines praying. Second, the dedication of the people who comeout is just amazing we see them taking another hour aftertheir hour is up and coming back again and again. A friendsuggested we continue praying from 7pm-9pm every day afterthe 40 days as he found it so much easier to pray the rosarywith others! We had one woman who spent the entire night outand a neighbor who joined her to keep her company. Justamazing! We have parishes who signed up in the first 20 daysscheduling another day in the second 20 days because theyreally enjoyed coming out to pray. In the past three weeks,I have seen couples arriving early Saturday morning for anabortion and leaving early before the abortionist arrived. Last week, it appeared to be the slowest day as only 3appeared to go in for an abortion. No one drove in to theentrance where I was standing where most normally come in.The prayers and witness is definitely making an impact!
SALEM, OREGON:The local Catholic Newspaper, "The Sentinel", had a storyabout the "40 Days for Life" Salem, OR vigil with the 15students from the teens for life group called "Life Savers"for two weeks running and had photos in the second article. The teens were very pleased. We also noticed that there weretwo days in two weeks that the PPH office was closed down.
EVERETT, WASHINGTON:We have sensed the hand of God on our campaign from day one,and have seen at least 3 women turn away from abortion! Godhas given us the opportunity to counsel and refer at least adozen women to pro-life pregnancy centers or post abortionhealing, offering a "choice" to women that they didn't getinside Planned Parenthood. In addition, many members of ourteam have testified of the many ways the Lord has blessedthem and how they've grown spiritually through theircommitment to pray, fast and be present at our vigil site.
SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA:There have been 600 participants so far in our continuousprayer vigil, which is a miracle! We have seen healing,hope, love, and ministry taking place. Many people whosimply came to spend an hour in prayer have told me "40Days" has changed their life. Post-abortive women (and men)who came to pray have recalled "choices" they have made andcan now find the hope, compassion, love, and healing theyneed. People who have never done anything about theirpro-life values are coming to the sidewalk for the veryfirst time, leaving touched very deeply and personally as tothe enormity and destruction of this "choice" as they seefirst hand the women going in and most especially, seeingthe same women coming out of Planned Parenthood afterward,never to be the same again. Lives have been saved asabortion appointments were canceled when the abortionist didn't arrive for work on two scheduled killing mornings.
ATLANTA, GEORGIA:At least 3 or 4 babies have been saved every week at theAtlanta Surgi Center location. Yesterday a gentleman(sidewalk counselor), holding his baby son up to the waitingroom window, caused one of the woman to abandon her abortionplan! God is good! Someone remarked, live babies are so muchbetter than posters of aborted babies!
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS:We have been wonderfully blessed with people who have nevercome out or participated in a campaign against abortion allof a sudden becoming so visibly dedicated to the cause oflife for the unborn. The community has been wonderfullysupportive as well -- honking and waving as they pass. We were able to train sidewalk counselors and have begun to seebabies being saved by our presence -- at least 1 or moreeach abortion day. Praise God -- he is so good!!!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Al Gore wins Nobel Peace Prize

Get ready for a cold spell! Al Gore has won another honor. This time, it's the Nobel Peace Prize.
Take the Global Warming Test.

Planned Parenthood is responding to 40 Days for Life

Late yesterday afternoon, the e-mails began pouringinto my inbox from pro-lifers around the country: "Have you seen this?" "They're advertising 40 Days for Life for us!" "This is the best response Planned Parenthood has to 40 Days for Life? Wow. How pathetic." "They wouldn't do this if 40 Days for Life wasn't working!"These comments were attached to forwarded copies of thelatest mass e-mail sent out by Planned Parenthood to abortion advocates across the nation.

What was all the commotion about?
You guessed it: the growing impact of 40 Days for Life!The message comes directly from Planned Parenthood'snational president, Cecile Richards. She starts off:

"From Aurora to America... The battle to open our clinic in Aurora, Illinois, might be over -- thank you for all your support -- but the war against Planned Parenthood and the women we serve continues. The anti-choice people have just begun their '40 Days for Life' campaign, and you can imagine what that means. Right now, there are picketers outside... more than 80 Planned Parenthood clinics across the country, 24 hours a day for 40 days. They're claiming it's 'the largest and longest simultaneous pro-life mobilization in American history.'"Then Richards rolls out Planned Parenthood's responseto 40 Days for Life: They created a fictional character named "Emily X" (who is supposed to represent a blend of different Planned Parenthood workers and activists) to post stories online of what it's like to work at the abortion operation.

They set up a blog to post pictures and videos of 40 Days for Life volunteers (in an apparent attempt to harass and intimidate faithful people).

They falsely characterize the motivations of 40 Days for Life volunteers.

They ask abortion advocates to participate in the tired, old "pledge-a-protester" fundraising drive.

They encourage abortion supporters to come volunteer at Planned Parenthood.

They beg abortion activists to write notes of encouragement to boost the morale of Planned Parenthood workers during 40 Days for Life.Tragically, the "Emily X" character even reveals theshame and guilt that some Planned Parenthood workersfeel about their jobs: "Last night, my mother-in-law called me at home. She told me that she just read an ad in the local paper about the '40 Days for Life' campaign. She said that she wanted to get involved, she wanted 'to get out and do something about Planned Parenthood.' See, she doesn't know that I'm a doctor at a Planned Parenthood health center. It's a part of my life that I don't share with her."

The bottom line: Planned Parenthood is investing quite a bit of energy in response to 40 Days for Life.Would they do this if the campaign wasn't hurting theirbusiness and tarnishing their public image?

Read this report I just received from a 40 Days forLife location, and YOU decide why Planned Parenthood isso worried... "Despite today's steady downpour, the sidewalk was full of people praying for LIFE today! What a beautiful sight to see sometimes 20-30 people with umbrellas and raincoats, all united in prayer to bring about conversion of our nation and an end to abortion. For those of us who have spent years at the Sidewalk all alone, having all of you there today was a miracle! Tuesday and Fridays are normally killing mornings at the downtown Planned Parenthood, but again today like last Tuesday, we never saw the abortionist arrive. The escorts were getting frustrated at the no-show, looking at their watches frequently. Last Tuesday, he didn't show up either and appointments had to be rescheduled. God is answering our prayers, so we PRAISE Him even in the storm. As you go to bed tonight, just think of those good people who will be standing in the cold rain tonight in prayer."God is certainly bigger than Planned Parenthood's $902million abortion empire......And with tens of thousands of people praying, fasting, and participating in peaceful vigils outside of Planned Parenthood offices, I believe the abortion giant now realizes that its days are numbered. One more quick thing -- I just flew back home from anexciting pro-life event in Newark, New Jersey, where Imet local 40 Days for Life leaders and volunteers anddelivered a 28-minute talk specifically about PlannedParenthood in response to this breaking news.The audio recording of the presentation has just beenuploaded on today's blog posting at:http://40daysforlife.com/blog/?p=22 <------------------I hope you take a few minutes to listen, so you can understand the growing importance this campaign has forthe future of America.

Here's today's devotional...*******************************************************

40 DAYS FOR LIFE: DAY 18, OCTOBER 13Daily Devotional by: Fr. Frank Pavone*******************************************************

INTENTION:

Pray that God will forgive our nation for inflictingpain on its youngest children

SCRIPTURE:

"Pilate...had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to becrucified. The soldiers...put a purple robe on him, thentwisted together a crown of thorns and set it onhim...Then they led him out to crucify him."-- Mark 15:15-20


REFLECTION:

Jesus endured pain for us. In reflecting on his pain,we see again the revelation of the love God has for us.Abortion, too, brings pain to our innocent brothers andsisters -- a pain we cannot imagine or understand. Weare not afraid to reflect on that pain, because ourLord has taught us to love them, and to suffer withthem. Their pain is yet another reminder that they aretruly our brothers and sisters in the one human family.Maybe that's why abortionists themselves often don'tallow themselves to think about the pain of thesechildren.Consider the following exchange that took place in U.S.District Court, Southern District of New York, betweenJudge Richard Casey and abortionist Timothy Johnson.(Johnson was testifying in the case National AbortionFederation, et. al. v. Ashcroft, which dealt with theban on partial-birth abortion.

The date was March 31,2004.):

THE COURT: If you are all finished let me just ask you a couple questions, Dr. Johnson. I heard you talk a lot today about dismemberment D&E procedure, second trimester; does the fetus feel pain?

THE WITNESS: I guess I --

THE COURT: There are studies, I'm told, that says they do. Is that correct? ...

THE WITNESS: I'm aware of fetal behavioral studies that have looked at fetal responses to noxious stimuli.

THE COURT: Does it ever cross your mind when you are doing a dismemberment?

THE WITNESS: I guess whenever I --

THE COURT: Simple question, Doctor. Does it cross your mind?

THE WITNESS: Does the fetus having pain cross your mind?

THE COURT: Yes.

THE WITNESS: No.

THE COURT: Never crossed your mind.

THE WITNESS: No.


PRAYER:

Lord, have mercy on us. Forgive our nation forinflicting pain on its youngest children. As we reflecton the pain your Son Jesus Christ endured for us, so wereflect on the pain that abortion causes the unborn.Father, let us never forget. Let our awareness of thistragedy make us all the more strong and determined tomove forward in our prayer and witness for life, untilall pain is swallowed up in the victory of theresurrection.

We pray in Jesus' mighty Name,

AMEN

Catholic Fire: The 90th Anniversary of the Sixth Apparition of Fatima#links

Catholic Fire: The 90th Anniversary of the Sixth Apparition of Fatima#links

Saturday, October 13, 2007

My daughter Gabbi has a piece in the diocesan newpaper

A new feature, a youth column has been created, and Gabbi's essay, "My Sister is Special" is the inaugural article. Can you feel my motherly pride?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Gutmacher Institute Pushing Abortion for Poor of the World

From Family Research Council
Too Much of a Bad Thing Can Hurt You Too
The U.N.'s World Health Organization (WHO) and Planned Parenthood's lobbying and "research" arm, the Guttmacher Institute, have released a predictably dishonest study in the Lancet, the world's top medical journal. The study's thrust - to expand abortion legalization and tax-funded contraception - is based on spurious estimates of abortions and rates of unsafe abortion around the world. Countries with locked-down, socialized medicine systems probably have good estimates of their abortion rate, but statistics for developing nations are fanciful. The rate of unsafe abortions is guesstimated generously (and mysteriously) by the WHO and then applied to the exaggerated abortion stats. This allows WHO-Guttmacher to announce a health need in developing nations that can be solved only by abortion legalization and more contraception. The notion that pushing abortion in poor nations will decrease maternal mortality is ideological. Surgical abortion is an invasive procedure requiring trained practitioners and specific facilities; chemical abortions (e.g., RU-486) often cause prolonged, dangerous bleeding and infection. Public health professionals have noted consistently that the best way to improve maternal morbidity and mortality in developing nations is to increase the availability and quality of obstetrical care. The study does note some actual decline in abortion in Eastern Europe, where pregnancy care centers have been active. A better consensus is that abortion, legal and illegal alike, fails to serve women and their health.

Remember that Dr. Bernard Nathanson admitted that he and Betty Friedan made up the 5,000 deaths a year by back alley abortions in order to get abortion legalized in the USA. It worked once, let's not fall for that again.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Katelyn Kampf thinks her parents are getting off too easy

Last September, Katelyn Kampf, a teenage girl from Maine who was six months pregnant, and was kidnapped by her own parents, Kampf, who tied her up, and attempted to drive her to New York State, where late term abortions are legal. She asked to be allowed to use the bathroom in New Hampshire, where she called authorities on her cell phone and was rescued.
Now her parents have struck a plea deal, and Katelyn is angry. The felony kidnapping charges are being dropped, and the Kampfs are only being charged with a misdemeanor.
"The young woman also talked about what happened that day she was abducted.
"I did end up making a run for it," Katelyn Kampf said about how she tried to flee her parents. "At one point, I ran out of the house. My father chased me down our driveway and tackled me, and I had grass stains all over, and I was screaming for help."
She also told WMTW that her mother made it clear she wanted to kill Katelyn's six-month-old unborn child at some point.
At one point, she (Lola Kampf) said something about making me have the baby and then killing it, and she would do whatever necessary to make sure the baby never came into the world," she said."

HT Life News
Here's where the advocates of 'choice' have brought us, yet where is their outcry at this grotesque violation of Katelyn's rights?
Silence.
Just what I expected, the only ones defending Katelyn's free choice to bear her child are the "enemies of choice". Is anyone surprised here?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

"'Bella' is the Fruit of Regnum Christi"

I received this email from Regnum Christi, the lay movement of the Legionaries of Christ.
Bella is an award-winning movie directed and produced by Regnum Christi members who wanted to use their talents for a noble mission.
Director Alejandro Monteverde, starring actor Eduardo Verastegui, and producer Sean Wolfington got into the film-making business for more than a profit. They wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. And so, Bella was born: a beautiful pro-humanity movie that wins respect by its own merits as a work of art, and wins hearts because it touches people on a level deeper than any argument can reach. It’s a simple story about real people with flaws, mistakes, and a tragic past who are nonetheless capable of rising to the occasion and making extraordinary decisions. It’s about people who take a risk and give love and life a chance, in spite of the past.
The Regnum Christi team behind Metanoia Films wanted to show the beauty of love and life in such a way that it would change people’s lives. What they didn’t imagine was that this movie would also save lives. So far, Bella has already given hundreds of women second thoughts about pregnancies they were thinking of terminating. After seeing the film, they took a risk and gave loveand lifea chance.
Bella has already shown its true colors in the awards it has won and in the lives it has saved. By its artistic merits alone, Bella won the People’s Choice Award at the largest film festival in the world, the Toronto International Film Festival. This is no small feat; past winners have included Life is Beautiful, American Beauty, Crouching Tiger, Hotel Rwanda, and Chariots of Fire, among others. Director Alejandro Monteverde was honored at the White House for his contribution to arts and culture, and the Smithsonian Latino Center granted him the Legacy Award for outstanding achievement. Critics note the movie’s “freshness and lack of affectation,” while it is “incredibly charming,” and “complex and sophisticated while losing none of the humor.” And there is some talk of the Oscars and Academy Awards which tend to follow past winners of the Toronto Film Festival.
But all of those awards are secondary in comparison to Bella’s true mission, which is to recall people to what is most important in life, to remind them of their own humanity and of the beauty of choosing life and learning to love. If a movie like Bella is widely viewed across the nation, it could be a significant factor in turning the tide toward a culture of life.
And that’s where we come in, as Regnum Christi members and apostles.
Our Mission to Support Bella The Regnum Christi team behind Metanoia Films is asking all Movement members to rally in support of what is really a pro-life, pro-values apostolate: they want you to share in Bella’s mission by adopting a theater and inviting everyone you know to the movie’s debut on the big screens during its opening week, which begins this October 26th. And while you’re at it, you may as well invite three other friends to adopt theaters in their own area as well. This would multiply Bella’s impact exponentially in theaters nationwide.
Adopting a theater is easier than it looks. All you have to do is go to the website and click on the ADOPT THEATER button on the home page or call 1-888-474-6025. The web page or the phone operator will help you reserve a standard 300 person theater at an average of $10 per ticket, for a total cost of $3,000.
Sound steep? Don’t worry, you can reduce costs by making a $3,000 donation to a local non-profit organization, such as your parish or section, which can then buy the tickets and help distribute them to individual buyers. The non-profit donation allows for a tax break that cuts the net cost in half. This tax break would then allow for a profit margin on ticket sales in case the section wants to use the Bella movie as a fundraiser for a local crisis pregnancy center or some other good cause.
A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words The pro-life battle has long been fought with words, and there comes a time when pictures and stories convince more deeply than rational arguments, especially on such a volatile issue as an unwanted pregnancy. Bella is a picture, a story that convinces on the level of the heart; it touches the spot where most women make their deepest decisions for or against life. The mix of simplicity, humanity, humor, and pathos makes its message even stronger; seeing this movie makes people think again about what it means to be human, and what it means to give joy to another person.
Such potential should not be squandered or left to be just a flash in the pan. The movie needs our help in order to have all the impact it could have on people’s lives, and the upcoming premiere on October 26th offers us the perfect opportunity to do just that. If Regnum Christi members, teams, and sections across North America take up the mission of promoting Bella, we will have done something significant to evangelize our country and change the tide on the culture of death. We can reach all kinds of people from all walks of life, and use this movie as an introduction to the human and Christian values that make life worth living. With intelligent promotion and good follow-up, Bella could be the perfect vehicle to reach our unchurched peers in secular society.
The Bella promotion effort could also be a great way to introduce more people to Regnum Christi; after all, as producer Sean Wolfington himself said, “Bella is the fruit of Regnum Christi” and it shows in action what the Movement is all about: evangelizing by bringing human and Gospel values to modern culture in the most effective way possible; adapting to the needs of time and place in a media-driven culture; working vertex-to-base with real artistic talent but also person-to-person on the grass roots level (get going on those ticket sales!); helping people to accomplish more by working as a team. Bella is the fruit of Regnum Christi because it fulfills our essential mission: to make the truth shine in all its beauty and to bring souls to Christ.
It is true that one swallow does not a summer make; one battle won’t win the war, and it will take a lot more than a movie to change American culture and make everyone rediscover what it means to be open to life and love. But if a movie can change or save even one lifeĆ¢€”and Bella has already saved hundreds before hitting the big screens”then it’s well worth the effort.
Call it the chance of a lifetime”yours and someone else’s.

To buy tickets and view the new trailer, visit the website