Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Pope John Paul's favorite hymn, "Pescador de Hombres"


Seldom do I hear this hymn, whether in English or Spanish (and now Polish) without tears. I first heard it in a memorial Mass for the Colombian plane crash victims of 1995, but it's more than that; the intimacy of the Lord's call to us to leave our boats and come follow Him touches me deeply. Every time. Now that I know that it was Pope John Paul's favorite hymn, I love it even more.
Spanish Lyrics
1. Tú has venido a la orilla,
no has buscado ni a sabios ni a ricos;
tan sólo quieres que yo te siga.
Estribillo
Señor, me has mirado a los ojos,
sonriendo has dicho mi nombre,
en la arena he dejado mi barca,
junto a ti buscaré otro mar.

2. Tú sabes bien lo que tengo;
en mi barca no hay oro ni espadas,
Tan sólo redes y mi trabajo.

3. Tú necesitas mis manos,
mi cansancio que a otros descanse,
Amor que quiera seguir amando.

4. Tú, pescador de otros lagos,
ansia eterna de almas que esperan,
amigo bueno, que así me llamas.
Lord, You Have Come1. Lord, you have come to the seashore,
neither searching for the rich nor the wise,
desiring only that I should follow.
Refrain
O, Lord, with your eyes set upon me,
gently smiling, you have spoken my name;
all I longed for I have found by the water,
at your side, I will seek other shores.

2. Lord, see my goods, my possessions;
in my boat you find no power, no wealth.
Will you accept, then, my nets and labor?
3. Lord, take my hands and direct them.
Help me spend myself in seeking the lost,
returning love for the love you gave me.
4. Lord, as I drift on the waters,
be the resting place of my restless heart,
my life's companion, my friend and refuge.

Spanish text: Cesáreo Gabaráin. English text: OCP. Text and music © 1979, 1987, Cesáreo Gabaráin. Published by OCP. All rights reserved.

December 19, 2012 update,


Isabelle and Ward O'Conner from Quebec, Canada have just sent me a lovely recording of this hymn with lyrics dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe, entitled,“Hymne à Notre-Dame de Guadalupe” .
 Its lovely and they promised English and Spanish versions.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A New Low


In a nation where you have to kill over two dozen people to reach the top of the mass murder list, the Newtown massacre stands out, not for the sheer number mowed down in cold blood, but for their ages. They were mostly innocent children, at the dawn of the age of reason. They never met their killer, never harmed anyone in their brief lives, these lovely little children never gave anything but sheer joy to their families who are in agony at their senseless killing.

This is a new low.

As a nation we are horrified at the grotesque image we see in this new mirror which the shooter has held up to our culture. He acted out of free will, and has faced God for his particular judgement. We do not need to condemn him, we need to ask ourselves how our culture gave rise to such a monster. One hundred years ago, there were all sorts of murderers, but none like this. People killed for money, lust, anger, power but such carnage for sheer hatred or a sick sense of pleasure at the suffering of innocents was unknown. The culture of death created Adam Lanza and we have to face up to the terrifying fact that no law we pass will prevent this tragedy from reoccurring. We can ban assault rifles, step up waiting periods and background checks, attempt to reach the mentally ill with treatment (it is estimated that 30% are not in treatment) and keep guns from them. These are all laudable goals, but they are not enough. They are merely attempting to reign in the evil which we have allowed to emerge from our callous indifference to the slaughter of 1,500 innocents which has bloodied our hands for the past 40 years. Blessed John Paul II in his 1995 Encyclical “The Gospel of Life”saw this phenomenon,
Choices once unanimously considered criminal and rejected by the common moral sense are gradually becoming socially acceptable.

The end result of this is tragic: not only is the fact of the destruction of so many human lives still to be born or in their final stage extremely grave and disturbing, but no less grave and disturbing is the fact that conscience itself, darkened as it were by such widespread conditioning, is finding it increasingly difficult to distinguish between good and evil in what concerns the basic value of human life. 
We are morally blind because we are spiritually dead. It is caused by our inattention to the things of God in our frantic pursuit of things of this world.
It’s a week away from the birth of Our Lord and Savior, and millions of Americans are frantically busy. Busy buying gifts, and preparing for the commercial side of Christmas. How many of us are preparing to receive Jesus into their hearts this Christmas? How many of us were reading the Scriptures, going to Mass and adoration, performing acts of charity, fasting and going to confession to prepare our hearts for His coming? Far too few. So many of us barely even make time for church at Christmastime, we are too busy partying. We have forgotten who we are; “By living "as if God did not exist", man not only loses sight of the mystery of God, but also of the mystery of the world and the mystery of his own being.”Gospel of Life

It is a blessing which flows from the tragedy that St Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Newtown is overflowing. That on Friday morning church bells around Connecticut will ring 26 times in Connecticut in memory of those precious lives lost to our society. We will pray for the lost, but how soon will we return to our ordinary lives where we have no time for God?My parish was overflowing after 9/11 too, but the crowds soon dissipated as we forgot the terror. We don’t approach Our Lord out of love but out of fear. He loves us enough to accept us no matter what our motivation, but we don’t allow Him to get close to us, we are afraid of being changed. Changed into people whose lives are transformed by Him.

This Christmas, before you forget about this terrible tragedy, ask Our Lord what He would have you do to be an agent of change. Permit Him to transform you by the amazing grace of the sacraments into the Mother Teresa of your town. Stay in touch with Him through prayer, give Him your free time, your time, talent and treasure. Forget your hobbies, put aside your addiction to material things which can’t make you happy, and remember this adage;

Only one life, ‘twill soon be past
only what’s done for God will last.

The only tragedy in life is to fail to become a saint. God has permitted us to be born at this time for a reason. We must seek that reason, embrace our calling to profoundly change the culture of death. Or the painful lessons of Newtown will fade away and an opportunity to take back this culture from the hands of the enemy will be lost as will the souls of millions who are blinded by the culture of death. Bookmark and Share

Thursday, December 13, 2012

I retweeted the Holy Father on 12-12-12


In those simply worded but profound tweets, I hear his voice, calm but loving, passionate about the conversion of souls yet sensitive to their free will. I am looking forward to checking up on @Pontifex every day. I read a book of daily meditations from the Holy Father, but to hear him 'live' is really thrilling.

It gave me a profound sense of participating in a global conversation in the universal Church, and even though many of the tweets seem hateful, I responded to two of them as evangelistic opportunities, and found two of the negative tweeters more open to truth that they seemed.

Here's one:

Nici Lindsay ‏@nicilind
I was blessed by the last Pope in 88. We chanted ''anti-women, anti-gay, fascist Pope go away.'' And he blessed us. Bless him. #pontifex
Leticia Velasquez ‏@CauseofourJoy
 That's what Catholics do, pray for those who hate us.#pontifex

Nici Lindsay ‏@nicilind I thought it very generous.

Leticia Velasquez ‏@CauseofourJoy You are right, he had nothing but love in his heart for you, I am sure of it. I saw JPII twice in NYC, he radiated love for me.

Here's another;

Angry Man ‏@EeroMartinez
The Pope has a twitter account? But I rather hear it from his boss, @TheTweetOfGod #pontifex #HeilGermanPope
Leticia Velasquez ‏@CauseofourJoyYou can hear from Christ, but you have to sit before Him in the Blessed Sacrament. Confession would help too.

Angry Man‏@EeroMartinez
Does god pick only the people he chooses to love? Can I have a GOD that will love me for what I am? with no conditions?
 Leticia Velasquez ‏@CauseofourJoy
 OF COURSE God loves you as you are. He sent his only Son to die on the cross for you. You must accept his love to know peace.

So, if you are inclined, use the opportunity to evangelize the Holy Father's hecklers. They are crying out for God but their mouths are so distorted by sin their cries sound discordant and bitter. But they are children crying for their Papa nevertheless, and we should help him respond in charity and truth.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Obama Crucified


Bill Donohue released the following remarks today:

Michael D’Antuono is a left-wing artist known for exploiting racial tensions (e.g, depicting George Zimmerman as a Klansman and Trayvon Martin as a generous child). But now he has succumbed to a new low.

D’Antuono’s painting of President Barack Obama with outstretched arms wearing a crown of thorns, against the backdrop of the Seal of the President of the United States, is called “Truth.” [Click here.] It is being hosted by the Bunker Hill Community College Arts Gallery in Boston, Massachusetts.

What makes this display so interesting is the flat denial of truth by so many artists and academicians, as well as their irrepressible hostility to Christianity. Yet when it comes to their savior, President Obama, they not only pivot, they proselytize.

“Truth” was supposed to make its debut on April 29, 2009 in New York’s Union Square; it was to commemorate the first 100 days of Obama’s presidency. But D’Antuono withdrew his masterpiece after being hit with angry e-mails. Now he is back, apparently thinking that after Obama won reelection, the time is ripe to witness his crucifixion. Imagine if his God had lost what our Christmas gift would look like.

It is one thing for the Italian nativity scene builder Ferrigno to include Obama as a figurine in this year’s crèche (it has regularly featured public persons such as Princess Diana), quite another for an angry artist to rip off Christian iconography for the purpose of making a cheap political statement.

I couldn't agree more, this is cheap political posturing using our most sacred images, and it is blasphemous.
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Urge your Senator to oppose ratification of CRPD

Rick and Karen Santorum are opposing the ratification of the United Nations convention  of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. They, along with Senator Lee of Utah and the Home School Legal Defense Association have read the bill and fear that it may lead to the loss of parental rights over our children with disabilities. From the Patriot Voices website.

CRPD, if ratified, threatens U.S. sovereignty and parental rights and would effectively put the U.S. under international law when it comes to parenting special needs children. One provision in the treaty would give the government, acting under U.N. instructions, the ability to determine for all children with disabilities what is best for them. It would also give the U.N. discretion over decisions about how special needs kids are educated and could potentially eliminate parental rights for the education of children with disabilities. 

Senator Lee has been instrumental in fighting the ratification of several UN Treaties, including CRPD. He authored a letter to his colleagues asking them to commit to not consider any U.N. treaties in the lame duck session. Patriot Voices, along with HSLDA and others, helped to delay consideration of CRPD before the election and is rallying its members again to stop this treaty.

Here is an action page with sample letters to your Senators, your local paper, and a petition to sign. 

When the Nazis wanted to eliminate those with disabilities in Germany, they called upon parents to voluntarily institutionalize their children. Soon the officials in charge sentenced these children to death by starvation, exposure, and gas chambers. This is the infamous T4 Program. The people trusted their government. Does our government believe in the inherent worth of our children? Rick Santorum said no tonight on Piers Morgan's Show. He said that Bella's diagnosis of trisomy 18 is deemed 'incompatible with life'. Medical professionals advised the Santorums to let Bella die. She has defied the odds, living past her fourth birthday, and the Santorums will not allow anyone to take her life, but if this treaty passes, they may have to give their lives to defend hers.
We are the ones who care for our children with love and patience, we must never surrender them to the authorities who claim to know what is best. Think of institutions in our own country like Willowbrook where children like ours were starved and neglected in filth.
Never surrender your parental rights, especially when your child is particularly vulnerable.

Update Nov 27 from Tony Perkins of  Family Research Council


Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Monday that he plans to begin floor consideration of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on Tuesday.

The United Nations' Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) would pose serious problems for the United States if it were ratified today. Though it is touted as the progeny and logical follow-up to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1991, it is in fact more of a power grab than humanitarian action.

U.S. sovereignty is at issue on a number of fronts, including that the CRPD presumes the establishment of rights contained in treaties that the United States has not ratified, including the International Covenant on Social, Economic, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). These rights are not recognized by the United States Constitution, nor are provided by existing U.S. laws - however U.S. courts could use the ratification of the CRPD to force Americans to comply with other UN treaties which are against American interests.

The original ADA equally protects the rights of all parents to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their children, regardless of the disability status of parent or child. The CRPD would take away this right, obligating our government to ensure that "in all actions concerning children with disabilities, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration." The phrase "best interests of the child" is an international law "term of art," its meaning firmly established through consistent application by other bodies, including the Committee on the Rights of the Child. As one international legal scholar explains, "Best interests provides decision and policy makers with the authority to substitute their own decisions for either the child's or the parents' provided it is based on consideration of the best interests of the child." In ratifying the CRPD, the government would apply this standard only to parents of disabled children - a position antithetical to the protection for parents provided by the ADA.

I urge you to contact your senators today, and let them know that parents of disabled children deserve the same rights as all parents.Bookmark and Share

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Our Lady of Breezy Point speaks

One of the first photographers on the scene, Frank Franklin II of The Associated Press, reached the corner of Oceanside and Gotham at 6 a.m. on Oct. 30.
Winding through the fields of blackened debris, he found himself transfixed by the statue of the Virgin Mary. Though raised by Protestant parents, Mr. Franklin attended a Catholic high school and he immediately perceived a deeper meaning.
“It’s weird how I was drawn to it,” Mr. Franklin, 40, recalled. “I’m not the most religious person in the world, but I know what those images are. When I made that frame, I knew it would resonate with people. What I couldn’t imagine was how much.”
I see it as a sign that Our Lady is praying for us. That, even this devastation can be a means of grace in our lives,and can initiate a rebirth of faith in our hearts if we heed the call to come home to the practice of our faith. It is no accident this sign came just as Catholics were facing a major election AND beginning the Year of Faith. Even a Protestant who is distant from his faith can feel it. Even the New York Times writer Samuel Freedman ( sounds like a good Jewish name) can feel it. Read the entire New York Times article here. 
Why are we not reading the signs of the times? 
I am as guilty as anyone. I should know better. 
When I was praying before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, He spoke to me, but I refused to listen until the devastating election results came in. I am no saint, but I do consider myself a practicing Catholic.

I hate to admit it, but I knew this, going into the election. I prayed before the Blessed Sacrament for an hour on election day, picturing voters touched by the grace of God which I was pleading for them, and voting pro-life. But I left thinking, "we are not ready for a revival of moral behavior and faith in this nation. We will not vote for a pro-life candidate" (assuming there was one, I am still skeptical). We need to suffer more before we are going to change.

Matthew Warner at the National Catholic Register wrote a great article in the lesson we should draw from the election here. 

If you're discouraged or think the world is upside down, I have something for you.
Whether marriage is redefined now or later, whether our religious freedom is trampled now or in 10 years, these are not at risk because politicians are getting bolder, they are at risk because our convictions are getting colder.

Guess what, regardless of who won the election, today we still have millions of babies being aborted every year. We still have 50% of marriages ending in divorce. We still have a supposedly Christian culture that has separated sex from marriage from procreation. We still have many Americans who are more likely to vote based upon peer pressure, or how nice somebody is, or their own self-interest, or by what the media told them, or by what's socially easy than they are to vote based on their own moral or religious convictions (or any economic sense). We still have lonely and suffering people in our communities who need to be loved.

Matthew is right. We Catholics have LOTS of work to do to undo the damage done by the sexual revolution. To build a Culture of Life and launch the New Springtime of Evangelization. And I am the only person who can begin this change. Waiting for politicians, priests, or even bishops to act first is a cop-out. Blaming secularists, pro-aborts, or Obama won't change anything.

 
I love this video because it features Pope John Paul and Lech Walesa who are not political leaders (Lech wasn't when he began Solidarity in a Gdansk shipyard) but they stepped out in faith, tiny Davids against the Goliath of Communism, and they suffered and fought till they won. We must follow their example for the Goliath of the Culture of Death is just as soul crushing as Communism or Hurricane Sandy was. If not more.

So must we suffer, pray, fast, fight until marriages last and babies are allowed to live. Till we have to build more churches to hold all those who want to attend daily Mass.
It will come, but Our Lord is looking at me to begin to change to set off a change reaction. What am I waiting for?


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Friday, November 09, 2012

Catholic Professor, and Protestant Pastor insist that Obama will reduce the abortion rate

Professor Schneck
The idea that all abortions are a result of economic hardship is held by many liberals including Professor Stephen Schneck at Catholic University who used it as an excuse to support Obama's re-election in an interview on "The World Over" on EWTN.
Ray Arroyo tried valiantly to make him see how Obama had increased abortions via subsidizing Planned Parenthood, ditching the Mexico City Policy and Obamacare, but he still insisted that Romneycare had reduced abortions by offering free care to pregnant women and that Obamacare would as well. Its a convenient facade to hide behind, but the professor had no hard facts to back it up and a poor knowledge of women's motivations for abortion. He certainly hadn't read this article. 
Michael New destroys Schneck and David Frum's arguments here;
Like other commentators, Frum touts Europe as a model to follow. He argues that the reason why abortion rates are lower in Germany is because they have more generous social programs. However, while the U.S abortion rate has fallen, Germany’s abortion rate has gradually increased since the early 1980s. Frum also cites the Netherlands as a country with low abortion rates. Again, despite the generous social programs, over 60 percent of pregnancies to women under 20 in the Netherlands still end in abortion. Overall, there is no body of peer reviewed research which shows that increased welfare spending reduces abortion rates. Furthermore, studies of abortion rates in the U.S. states found that the level of welfare benefits failed to have a statistically significant impact on the incidence of abortion.
Pastor Terry Graham
Changing the abortion rates has less to do with economics than culture. I was tweeting Pastor Terry Graham,  an African American minister of Team Soteria Ministries from Smyrna, Georgia who stated it plainly.

 "You have a better chance of ending FORNICATION, than ABORTION. If we deal with the root, we can stop the fruit."
Well stated, Pastor Graham, but I wonder how your support of President Obama for re-election, whose campaign ads about losing your virginity to Obama are nothing short of pornographic and whose partnership with Planned Parenthood casts doubt upon his being any kind of moral leader in sexual ethics.Here is an article which describes PP's outreach to teens, including an attempt to redeem the word slut.
Just in case you were wondering whether Planned Parenthood supports sexual promiscuity, they’ve elucidated their position: “slut” is a positive word. Their Facebook page for teenagers carries a video from MTV Voices with Francisco Ramirez, subtly titled “Sextra Credit 2.” In it, Ramirez, a gay activist, says, “A lot of people define slut as someone who has too much sex or too many partners – but according to who? The slut fairy?”
So, Pastor Graham, David Frum, and Professor Schneck, exactly whom do you think you are fooling? If you want to support Obama its your right as Americans, but your attempt to hide behind an attempt to reduce abortions to look good to the Christian community is a scandal. And now you have been exposed for the liberal phonies you are.

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Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Pope Benedict told us there would be times like this


thank you to my friend Mike Johnson who posted this on Facebook


“The church will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning. She will no longer be able to inhabit many of the edifices she built in prosperity. As the number of her adherents diminishes . . . she will lose many of her social privileges. . . As a small society, [the Church] will make much bigger demands on the initiative of her individual members…. It will be hard-going for the Church, for the process of crystallization and clarification will cost her much valuable energy. It will make her poor and cause her to become the Church of the meek . . . The process will be long and wearisome as was the road from the false progressivism on the eve of the French Revolution — when a bishop might be thought smart if he made fun of dogmas and even insinuated that the existence of God was by no means certain . . . But when the trial of this sifting is past, a great power will flow from a more spiritualized and simplified Church.

 Men in a totally planned world will find themselves unspeakably lonely. If they have completely lost sight of God, they will feel the whole horror of their poverty. Then they will discover the little flock of believers as something wholly new. They will discover it as a hope that is meant for them, an answer for which they have always been searching in secret. And so it seems certain to me that the Church is facing very hard times. The real crisis has scarcely begun. We will have to count on terrific upheavals. But I am equally certain about what will remain at the end: not the Church of the political cult, which is dead already, but the Church of faith. She may well no longer be the dominant social power to the extent that she was until recently; but she will enjoy a fresh blossoming and be seen as man’s home, where he will find life and hope beyond death.

-Fr. Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict XVI), from his book Faith and the Future

So, this election and the general decline in the Church attendance and the selling off of Church properties, the closing of schools, its all part of a plan to renew the Church spiritually and thus the entire world. Our suffering is redemptive if we offer it to God united with Christ's cross. 


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Post election reflections

My heart is as leaden as the grey skies which are blustering and threatening to once again pound our coastline, and I feel like I am attending the funeral of my homeland. So I make moves to comfort myself while the girls are at school. I am cuddling with my cats, eating chocolate and burning candles which leave a hint of Christmas in the air, and when I am done communicating online, I will pray. 
I will read the psalms of lamentation to remember how often in history, God allows us to have the leaders we beg for. Those of us who stormed Heaven, fasted and actively sought to influence others feel that our efforts were pointless against the secularization of America where half of our babies are born out of wedlock to half of the women who are unmarried and the absent men who will never raise them or support them. Where 25% of Americans do not profess a religious faith and the minority practice their faith on a weekly basis.They want their bread (highly unhealthy fattening junk food) and their circuses (wide screen TVs with immoral violent programming, and the omnipresent smart phones). They want a president who is no better than they are morally, who makes friends with the murderous terrorists and abortionists,  reassures the populace that they are victims and that the entitlement check is in the mail. A president who condones their most warped sexual proclivities and helps them avoid the consequences with contraception, abortion and treatment for the inevitable STDs.
Yes, the bishops should never have let America sink to this level. They failed, and next week in Baltimore, when they are facing destruction of all the institutions which their predecessors built in the US over past centuries, they will have to humbly admit that and make a plan to undo the damage with lack of catechesis and smiling at wrongdoing has done to the souls of American Catholics. They will regret allowing men like Biden to cloak himself in Catholicism while defying its central precepts.
But not all of them failed, and maybe, just maybe they will listen to those bishops who have been warning them to speak out. To Chaput, Paprocki, Jenky, Bruskewitz.
Let's pray for our leaders secular and religious, celebrate a holy time of thanksgiving that, despite our nation's cutting God out of political platforms, mocking in the media, killing the vulnerable unborn, elderly and infirm, and mocking the institution of marriage, He still protects us from invasion, pestilence and famine. It may not last, I think He is allowing us to self destruct as Rome did. 
We must ask His help to save us from our own wickedness and for those who understand that gravity of our situation and have worked passionately as I have to turn the tide of the culture of death, to rest a bit in the Lord, to learn from Him in prayer,  and to once again take up the weapons of the Church Militant. That is what we are here for. To fight the Culture of Death until God calls us home.
 Remember, we do win in the end.


From the USCCB website

Psalms, Chapter 37
1Of David.
Do not be provoked by evildoers;
do not envy those who do wrong.

2Like grass they wither quickly;
like green plants they wilt away.

3Trust in the LORD and do good
that you may dwell in the land and live secure.

4Find your delight in the LORD
who will give you your heart’s desire.

5Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him and he will act

6And make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
your justice like noonday.

7Be still before the LORD;
wait for him.
Do not be provoked by the prosperous,
nor by malicious schemers.

8Refrain from anger; abandon wrath;
do not be provoked; it brings only harm.

9Those who do evil will be cut off,
but those who wait for the LORD will inherit the earth.

10Wait a little, and the wicked will be no more;
look for them and they will not be there.

11But the poor will inherit the earth,
will delight in great prosperity.

12The wicked plot against the righteous
and gnash their teeth at them;

13But my Lord laughs at them,
because he sees that their day is coming.

14The wicked unsheath their swords;
they string their bows

To fell the poor and oppressed,
to slaughter those whose way is upright.

15Their swords will pierce their own hearts;
their bows will be broken.

16Better the meagerness of the righteous one
than the plenty of the wicked.

17The arms of the wicked will be broken,
while the LORD will sustain the righteous.

18The LORD knows the days of the blameless;
their heritage lasts forever.

19They will not be ashamed when times are bad;
in days of famine they will be satisfied.

20The wicked perish,
enemies of the LORD;
They shall be consumed like fattened lambs;
like smoke they disappear.

21The wicked one borrows but does not repay;
the righteous one is generous and gives.

22For those blessed by the Lord will inherit the earth,
but those accursed will be cut off.

23The valiant one whose steps are guided by the LORD,
who will delight in his way,

24May stumble, but he will never fall,
for the LORD holds his hand.

25Neither in my youth, nor now in old age
have I seen the righteous one abandoned
or his offspring begging for bread.

26All day long he is gracious and lends,
and his offspring become a blessing.

27Turn from evil and do good,
that you may be settled forever.

28For the LORD loves justice
and does not abandon the faithful.
When the unjust are destroyed,
and the offspring of the wicked cut off,

29The righteous will inherit the earth
and dwell in it forever.

30The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom;
his tongue speaks what is right.

31God’s teaching is in his heart;
his steps do not falter.

32The wicked spies on the righteous
and seeks to kill him.

33But the LORD does not abandon him in his power,
nor let him be condemned when tried.

34Wait eagerly for the LORD,
and keep his way;
He will raise you up to inherit the earth;
you will see when the wicked are cut off.

35I have seen a ruthless scoundrel,
spreading out like a green cedar.

36When I passed by again, he was gone;
though I searched, he could not be found.

37Observe the person of integrity and mark the upright;
Because there is a future for a man of peace.

38Sinners will be destroyed together;
the future of the wicked will be cut off.

39The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD,
their refuge in a time of distress.

40The LORD helps and rescues them,
rescues and saves them from the wicked,
because they take refuge in him.Bookmark and Share

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Barbara Curtis, requiescat in pace

Barbara and Jonny Curtis

Yesterday, I was devastated to learn that my mentor and friend, Barbara Curtis has gone home to her Father's House. She left us suddenly, suffering a massive stroke.
Barb and I met at  American Life League's  pro-life blog award ceremony in 2009, I was honored as a newcomer to writing, to be seen as a pro-life blogger honoree with Barb, who has written 700 articles, and a dozen books. She, however, was as excited as I was about our awards, she squeezed my hand and said, "look, those are the trophies on the table!" Barb may have been more accomplished than I but we found ourselves bonded when she returned to the Catholic Church and began corresponding. We shared writing, our Catholic faith, and special motherhood. I looked up to her as a role model of a woman who balances writing and family life. I was inspired by her unforgettable conversion story. Her large family of 12 with four sons with Down syndrome was a role model to many and was highlighted in the Washington Post . Barb was an ardent pro-lifer and compiled a photo album from each year's March for Life to make up for the lack of media coverage. She was busy but humble and never failed to answer my emails. Although we only met once in person, I consider her a friend.
My girls and I watched with tears and cheers the video of her lovely daughter Maddie's audition for American Idol which featured a moving story about the Curtis family at home and her brothers' enthusiasm at her success. Barb was trying to raise funds for Maddie's studies at Catholic University, and I know we will be taking a collection for her soon. I will post the address where donations may be sent.

Barb was kind enough to allow me to use "A Little Extra" her story about Jonny, her oldest son with Down syndrome for my book A Special Mother is Born. We were collecting notes about people who were asking for the intercession of Servant of God Dr Jerome Lejeune for their healing. Here is the beautiful tribute she wrote to Dr Lejeune last April in Celebrate Life Magazine.
Barbara did much good on earth and she will be sorely missed by we who were touched by her amazing career, but most of all by the family she created in love with her husband Tripp, however, I like to imagine Barb, on this All Saint's Day, sharing a leisurely French meal (and a bottle of wine) with the good professor as they intercede for our special needs children here on earth.

UPDATE All Soul's Day. Here is a remarkable tribute from Barbara's husband Tripp which includes her funeral plans and an address to send contributions. It is a testament to their marriage and it proves that eloquence ran on both sides of the family.

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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Doctor Warns of the Perils of Four More Years of President Obama

Dr Judy Mascolo and daughter Christina Anne Le

I first met Dr Mascolo online through my blogs and she has become a good friend and trusted physician to my family. She speaks  on Culture of Life issues and contributed her story to my book A Special Mother is Born.

As a physician I deal with what Gerard Nadal, PhD (who blogs at Coming Home) writes about every day.  I see the destruction this Culture of Death has caused to my patients and their families.  STDs, infertility that inevitably results from STDs, increased rates of breast cancer, many due to hormonal contraceptive use or abortion, broken families, children growing up without fathers, depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders I see in infertile couples and post-abortive women, the list is endless. 

In the last four years, the situation has worsened dramatically.  Planned Parenthood and its agenda has unprecedented power and influence in this administration.  Not only is this destructive agenda being forced on all Americans through Obamacare, but it is now being taught in many public schools, even as early as
kindergarten.  It is also being forced upon other nations in all parts of the world by the Administration through the State Department, and by the United Nations and their NGO's.  

Medicine has been corrupted by this agenda.  Contraception is pushed on our children at younger and younger ages by pediatricians and family physicians.  If a single person, even as young as a teenager, admits to his or her doctor that they are not sexually active and are living a chaste life, they are made to feel that this choice is deviant.  Abortion is now so commonplace,  most ob-gyn doctors cannot fathom why a woman would want to have a baby who has been prenatally diagnosed with a chromosomal abnormality or any other medical problem.  Few women can withstand the pressure they get from their doctors to abort such a pregnancy. 

In my work with St. Gerard's Center of Life, I hear every week how our girls are suffering from the Culture of Death agenda that engulfs their lives.  However this is just not limited to women in the inner city.  Almost every family in this country has been touched by abortion when almost 55 million babies have been aborted since 1973.  Lost children, brothers, sisters, grandchildren, cousins, etc.  have affected us all.  In my own family, my grandmother had an abortion long before it became legal to do so.  I know my mother spent her life mourning the loss of her sibling and conflicted as to why her mother did this.  The effect of abortion reverberates through the generations.  

Many of you already know all this because you have been working to fight against this rising tide for years, some for decades.  Please reach out to those you know who may not know this.  Ask them to educate themselves about this issue and to open their eyes to the evil that it is.  If this Administration is allowed another four years, we will have very little hope of reversing it.  I recently read that in England, the highest cause of child mortality is now abortion.  That is what we will be facing in a few short years.  A nation who kills its most vulnerable is a dead nation.  

Judy Mascolo, MD


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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Society of Catholic Social Scientists Meeting in Uniondale, NY this weekend


 I will be speaking on Down syndrome and Eugenics on Saturday morning at 10:30 at a conference at Kellenberg High School in Uniondale, NY.  

This is part of a massive two day conference at Kellenberg HS in Uniondale, on Catholic Social Science, Catholic writers and the New Evangelization. Registrations ends tomorrow Oct 25. 

See my workshop below. I will also be signing copies of "A Special Mother is Born" at the vendor tables. 

Hope to see you there, 
Leticia Velasquez
TO ACCESS COMPLETE SCHEDULE OF EVENTS, KEYNOTES, PANELISTS AND TOPICS CLICK ON:
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
 
**MASS IS SCHEDULED FOR BOTH FRIDAY AND SATURDAY
 
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PRICING: $20 PER DAY
 WITH ADDTIONAL COSTS FOR MEALS
Attendees can choose to attend one or both days and pay separately to attendany of the lunches or dinners rather than the all day Conference.
    Note: To attend Lunch or Dinner keynotes,
you must be registered for that meal
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION INCLUDING A COMPLETE LISTING OF THE CONFERENCE PROGRAM OR TO REGISTER
OR CALL             516-292-0200       EXT 200

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
Bioethics New Evangelization Initiatives
Moderator: Leonarda Capponi, RN, Our Lady of Mercy Adult Education/RCIA, catechist
 
Dr. Lisa Honkanen, Respect Life Moderator, St. Matthews Dix Hills, DRVC
"The Attack on Truth and Catholic Morality in Health Care" (10:30-10:50am)
 
Leticia Velasquez, M.A Education, Co-founder of KIDS (Keep Infants with DownsSyndrome); Blogger
"Pre-Natal Testing and Eugenics" (10:50-11:10am)

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Test of Fire - Election 2012 (Mike Huckabee)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Please support Austin Ruse's fundraiser for Down syndrome

Austin Ruse does not have a child with Down syndrome, but he works for CFAM representing Catholic family values at the United Nations. He does have a  heart for our kids.

Dear Friend,

In a little more than 72 hours I am going to ride 80 kilometers on my bike to help children with Down Syndrome. 

The charity I am riding for is called Best Buddies, which trains young people to make friends with children and adults who have Down Syndrome and other developmental disabilities. The idea is to make their lives better. 

Helping people with Down Syndrome is among the most pro-life things anyone can do. Why? Because more than 80% of unborn children diagnosed with Down Syndrome are abortion because of it!

I make this personal appeal to you because my organization (C-FAM) fully backs Best Buddies and its mission. I have formed a cycling team and four of us are making this ride. 

There is an additional reason I ask for your help with only a few days remaining before the ride. 

There is a competition to see who can raise the most money. Out for more than 2,000 people, including corporate chieftains, I have become the number one fundraiser! But my grasp is tenuous at best because the guy right behind me is a very wealthy banker and I suspect he is planning to crush me in the final days. I ask your help so this will not happen. 

Why is this important? Because my team adn I are riding as pro-lifers! As far as I know, we are the only pro-life team riding! We named our team after that great pro-life hero, Jerome Lejeune, the French geneticist who was the one who discovered the genetic markers for Down Syndrome!

Would you help us win this race? Go to www.dcchallenge2012.org/ruse and give as much as you can. Truly any amount will help! 

But, since I am going up against this rich Silicone Valley banker, I am going to need some big donations. So, if you have been so blessed materially, would you consider a $1000 donation? Or $500? Or $200? 

Please go to www.dcchallenge2012.org/ruse and help this amazing pro-life cause. 

Would you also send this note to your friends and family? 

Many thanks for your kind consideration! 
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Friday, October 12, 2012

You're not entitled to your own Church Joe!

Since Cardinal O'Connor left his pulpit in New York's St Patrick's Cathedral, pro-death Catholic politicians have had it relatively easy. He went toe to toe with Mario Cuomo in his infamous statement, "I am personally opposed to abortion but I won't impost my beliefs on anyone else." Gerladine Ferraro knew his disapproval and so did Sen Daniel Patrick Moynihan. But since then things have been a bit easier for these traitors, and they have been reviving the old NARAL talking points, "I am a good Catholic I go to Mass, but I won't impose my beliefs on another, I won't get between a woman and her doctor."

They've faced opposition to be sure, from brave prelates like Archbishop Chaput, Cardinal Dolan, and Cardinal Burke, but somehow they were lulled into thinking that they could have their pro-abortion cake and eat it too. That day may be coming to an end, thanks be to God.
The USCCB has responded to Joe Biden's deliberately misleading remarks about the HHS mandate. After all, if they are going to sue the US government, there must still be a reason, right?
I think Cardinal O'Connor is smiling down on his brother bishops today, saying, "You tell 'em, boys!"

Here is their statement.


USCCB RESPONDS TO INACCURATE STATEMENT OF FACT ON HHS MANDATE MADE DURING VICE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued the following statement, October 12.  Full text follows:

Last night, the following statement was made during the Vice Presidential debate regarding the decision of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to force virtually all employers to include sterilization and contraception, including drugs that may cause abortion, in the health insurance coverage they provide their employees:

“With regard to the assault on the Catholic Church, let me make it absolutely clear. No religious institution—Catholic or otherwise, including Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, any hospital—none has to either refer contraception, none has to pay for contraception, none has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. That is a fact. That is a fact.”

This is not a fact. The HHS mandate contains a narrow, four-part exemption for certain “religious employers.” That exemption was made final in February and does not extend to “Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, any hospital,” or any other religious charity that offers its services to all, regardless of the faith of those served.

HHS has proposed an additional “accommodation” for religious organizations like these, which HHS itself describes as “non-exempt.” That proposal does not even potentially relieve these organizations from the obligation “to pay for contraception” and “to be a vehicle to get contraception.” They will have to serve as a vehicle, because they will still be forced to provide their employees with health coverage, and that coverage will still have to include sterilization, contraception, and abortifacients. They will have to pay for these things, because the premiums that the organizations (and their employees) are required to pay will still be applied, along with other funds, to cover the cost of these drugs and surgeries.

USCCB continues to urge HHS, in the strongest possible terms, actually to eliminate the various infringements on religious freedom imposed by the mandate.

For more details, please see USCCB’s regulatory comments filed on May 15 regarding the proposed “accommodation”: www.usccb.org/about/general-counsel/rulemaking/upload/comments-on-advance-notice-of-proposed-rulemaking-on-preventive-services-12-05-15.pdf
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Keywords: vice presidential debate, HHS mandate, U.S. bishops, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, insurance plans, Catholic hospitals, charities, social services, sterilization, contraception, religious liberty, USCCB

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Laughing at the Issues



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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Catholic Moms Talk: Being part of a FAITHFUL Church

Celebrate the Year of Faith by subscribing to a new blog written by Catholic Moms like Lisa Hendey, Heidi Bratton, Dorothy Pilarski,  Kate Wicker, and yours truly under the editorial guidance of popular Catholic author and EWTN host Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle.
..

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Help Austin Ruse speak up for babies with Down syndrome


Austin Ruse, head of CFAM a Catholic pro-family group at the United Nations has an idea to help raise awareness of  Down syndrome and he needs our help. Here is his appeal. 

One of the reasons mothers abort children with Down Syndrome is fear. They fear they cannot handle the difficulties they anticipate. They fear their child's isolation and loneliness.

They may not know, not yet anyway, that children with Down Syndrome are like Angels sent into this world to teach us love! They do not know, not yet anyway, that children with Down Syndrome are life changers!

One organization was founded to assuage that fear and to teach that love.

Best Buddies Intentional was founded to build a network of love and friendship around every child and adult with Downs Syndrome. There are Best Buddies chapters in cities and schools all over the world.

On October 20 along with a few friends, I am riding my bike 50 miles from the Washington Monument out to Leesburg, Virginia in order to raise money for this worthy charity.

Will you help me?

My goal is simple. To raise more money than anyone else in the race. Why? Quite simply, if I am first, at the awards ceremony I will be handed the microphone and this is what I will say,

"Ladies and gentlemen today we rode for a worthy cause, to help those with Down Syndrome live better lives. I rode for them but I also rode for all those unborn children who were aborted simply because they were diagnosed in utero with Down Syndrome. Eighty percent of them do not make it out of the womb alive. Today we rode for the living, but I ask you to remember all those Angels who were taken from us."

Will you help me make that speech?

I have raised $7,200 so far. I am in fourth place. I anticipate I will need $13,000 more to win and to make that speech. Will you please go to my personal donations page and give as much as you are able?

Here is the web site: http://www.dcchallenge2012.org/ruse

No donation is too small, but I need some really big ones, too!

Please pray for this ride and for this effort.

Yours sincerely,

Austin Ruse
President/C-FAM
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Monday, September 17, 2012

Is Christ calling you to be His bride?


Let's take a few minutes to inspire hope in a world which is in darkness.
Religious sisters give hope to the world that we are destined for Eternity with Christ, that this fallen world is merely a shadow of the coming glory. Here is a new project aimed at asking single women if they are indeed being called to the consecrated life.


Imagine Sisters Announces One Rose Project


CHICAGO, Ill.--September 15, 2012 - Imagine Sisters, a new online organization founded to be the nexus for media and information about discerning a vocation as a Catholic Religious Sister, will launch its first viral vocation initiative, The One Rose Project, on October 1, 2012.

The One Rose Project invites Catholics around the globe to reach out to young women they know, personally inviting them to consider that God may be calling them to be a Religious Sister.

The campaign promotes a personal encounter on October 1, 2012--the feast of St. Therese of Liseux. Participants will invite the young woman they know to consider a call to consecrated Religious Life by giving her a single rose in the spiritual legacy of St. Therese.

Imagine Sisters has received substantial testimony that a personal invitation is incredibly powerful for young women who are open to a religious vocation. Imagine Sisters asks for prayers that this invitation will be used by God to plant the seeds of religious vocations among young women, blessing the Church with many new religious sisters.

The One Rose Project can be easily shared through social media networks, personal blogs and speaking engagements. Imagine Sisters has created a short video explaining the project, and encourages supporters to share this video as the primary means of transmitting the message virally.

In the spirit of The New Evangelization, Imagine Sisters embraces social and visual media to passionately propose the possibility of becoming a religious sister in the world today. Through the grace of God, the Imagine Sister website and Facebook interact with over 100,000 individuals each week, effectively working through the new media to reach young women around the world.

The short video may be found at the following address: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPxYW4HiHsc
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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

To Sr SimoneCampbell, Prof Schenck, and Kathy Dahlkemper; Catholics who support Obama on 'pro-life' grounds


I had to watch a re-run of Ray Arroyo's interview with Prof Schenck, head of Catholics for Obama to follow his contorted logic when he and fellow Catholics Bart Stupak and Kathy Dahlkemper claim that they are supporting Obama on pro-life grounds. Sr Simone Campbell followed similar logic in her DNC speech, and I was more than upset with their misuse of logic.

I have the following challenges for Prof Schenck, Sr Campbell, Mr Stupak and Ms Dahlkemper or any Catholic who sees the Paul Ryan budget as an excuse to vote for Obama while claiming the moral high ground on life issues.

1. Prove that Romneycare and Romneycare ALONE decreased abortions;
you are drawing a conclusion without proof that other factors are not at play; increased counseling, chastity education, higher wages, better economy, etc could have caused this. Pregnancy is caused by such erroneous things as the Gloucester Pact in Massachusetts, can we say that abortion is utterly predictable as Prof Schenck claims? When you are dealing with human beings the answer is complicated. 
Its specious to assume that more Medicaid spending equals fewer abortions. Its like saying higher wages for Chicago teachers will improve the abominable reading and math scores (only 15% are on grade level). Money is not always as effective at providing the results we intend, the federal government has an abundance of examples to prove this case!

2. Prove that women seek abortions principally because they have no medical coverage.
I have counseled abortion bound women for decades, believe me sir you are oversimplifying things.We never allowed a woman to leave our CPC without assurance that she had medical coverage. Cardinal O'Connor in his day personally paid for some middle class women without insurance to give birth.

That is never cited as the top reason for abortion when opinion surveys are done. Here are the results of one survey. Note the second reason is not that the woman can't afford medical care per se, but the cost of raising the child is too high. And its only 23% of women who seek abortions. Source: Lawrence Finer, et. al, "Reasons U.S. Women Have Abortions: Quantitative and Qualitative Perspectives" Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, Vol. 37 No. 3 (Sept., 2005) p. 110
Social Reasons (given as primary reason)
- Feels unready for child/responsibility25%
- Feels she can't afford baby23%
- Has all the children she wants/Other family responsibilities19%
- Relationship problem/Single motherhood8%
- Feels she isn't mature enough7%
- Interference with education/career plans4%
- Parents/Partner wants abortion<1 br="br"> - Other reasons<6 .5=".5" div="div" total:93="total:93">

3. Can you say for sure that the Ryan budget will be adopted by Romney without any changes to the proposed cut in the increase in Medicaid spending?  IF in the unlikely scenario that Romney's version of the budget is ditched for Ryan's and after two houses of Congress finish with it, it would be unrecognizable anyway! You have picked an unsteady pole on which to hang your political hat, considering the behavior of the Congress with regard to budgets. President Obama's budget did not receive one single vote. How do you know which budget will emerge, if any?

4. If you add up all the abortions we pay for at Planned Parenthood via federal subsidies, overseas abortions via the banning of the Mexico City Policy, the abortions done via abortifacient drugs which are now mandated by the HHS, and other miscellaneous abortions Obamacare will pay for that we don't know about yet, (like when Obamacare pays for new prenatal testing which will decimate the population of babies with Down syndrome)
http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/is-the-hhs-taking-aim-at-babies-with-down-syndrome/can you really keep telling us that Obama would LOWER the abortion rate? REALLY?!
AND if the Ryan budget is NOT adopted, as Ray Arroyo assured you it would not be then your entire argument is null and void. Plus we have the statements of President Obama which show that he sees abortion as a good, he is not interested in lowering it as Bill Clinton claimed, he is a hero to the likes of NARAL and Planned Parenthood who spoke in his defense at the DNC; he is the ONLY American politician who approved after birth abortion according to the testimony of Jill Stanek. http://www.godandscience.org/doctrine/stanek.html#.UE9nhLJlTQA

 Sr SimoneCampbell, Prof Schenck, and Kathy Dahlkemper; Catholics who support Obama on 'pro-life' grounds no one who knows the issue of abortion is going to buy your argument that you support Obama on purely 'pro-life' grounds. It appears that you are simply Democrats in search of an excuse to support a man and a party you have unreasonable loyalty to. Its time to allow logic to challenge your emotional connection, its time to inform your Catholic consciences. 

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