Archive for December, 2008

Preparing for the March

December 31, 2008

In only a few weeks, the annual
March for Life
will take place in Washington, D.C.

It will be preceded by the
 National Prayer Vigil for Life.

Here are the main links about those events:

http://www.marchforlife.org

http://www.usccb.org/prolife/prayervigil/index.shtml

Overview of Events:

http://www.usccb.org/prolife/prayervigil/events.shtml

Schedules:

http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/dec/08122304.html

http://www.usccb.org/prolife/prayervigil/schedule.shtml

http://www.priestsforlife.org/roe/index.htm

Other sites:

http://www.cardinaloconnorconference.com

http://www.nationalshrine.com/site/pp.asp?c=etITK6OTG&b=108209 (Directions to the Shrine)

http://wmata.com (Public transportation in Washington, D.C.)

http://www.adw.org/service/jan22.asp (Archdiocese of Washington is hosting Youth Rally and Mass for Life)

http://www.studentsforlife.org/index.php/conferences

—————————————————————————————————–

The next link leads to an article about heroes in the pro-life movement, people who will be formally recognized during the week of the March. Perhaps you will draw some inspiration from them!

http://www.lifenews.com/nb168.html 

Pro-Life Advocates Receive Foundation Awards
for Extending Educational Work

by Paul Nowak, LifeNews.com Staff Writer
December 29, 2008

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Six pro-life heroes will receive the inaugural Life Prizes award, with a total value of $600,000, on January 23 in Washington DC. “The six winners that were chosen are examples for us and for our children of the type of initiative and action that is needed to promote life throughout our country,” said Life Prizes director Cathy Ruse. “We are thrilled with the work they have been doing and are excited to see how that work will continue.” The award and prize money will be divided among

  • the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG), an association of pro-life physicians that saves lives by remaining steadfastly committed to life within a stridently pro-abortion profession;
  • Richard Doerflinger, the Associate Director of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities;
  • Margaret “Peggy” Hartshorn, President, Heartbeat International, a preeminent network of more than 1,000 pregnancy resource centers;
  • Jill Stanek, the nurse who first publicly exposed infanticide of abortion survivors;
  • Lila Rose, founder of student pro-life organization Live Action and President of its UCLA chapter who has launched several successful, undercover investigations that exposed the racism and statutory rape cover-up by Planned Parenthood; and
  • Kay Cole James, founder and president of The Gloucester Institute, an outreach and education initiative for young African Americans and co-founder of Black Americans for Life.   . . .

Follow the link given above to read the remainder of the article. Then prayerfully take a closer look at the possibility of going to the March next month! (And if you don’t attend it in person, try to see it as well as the prayer vigil and Masses on EWTN.)

More about “Life Prizes”:

http://www.studentsforlife.org/index.php/lifeprizes

Life Prizes is a program that awards those who have succeeded in awakening the conscience of America to uphold and preserve the sanctity of human life through their leadership and advances in public advocacy, scientific research, outreach and public disclosure activities, legal action, and other noteworthy achievements. The award is named the “Norinne A. and Raymond E. Ruddy Memorial Pro-Life Prize” to memorialize Mr. and Mrs. Raymond E. Ruddy, strong believers in the pro-life cause and parents of Raymond B. Ruddy, a pro-life philanthropist who has long supported and donated to life causes and charities throughout the world. In addition to recognizing those on the front lines of saving lives and who have most significantly advanced pro-life principles and practices, the initiative seeks to encourage and inspire the next generation of youth to accomplish great things in the name of life.

http://www.lifeprizes.org/index.asp

Life Prizes is an annual prize program awarding up to $600,000 for outstanding efforts to awaken the conscience of America to the sanctity of human life through public advocacy, scientific research, outreach and public disclosure activities, legal action and other noteworthy achievements. Life Prizes is an initiative of the Gerard Health Foundation, the private charity foundation of Raymond B. and Marilyn A. Ruddy, long-time pro-life philanthropists.

The purpose of Life Prizes is two-fold: to recognize those on the front lines of the greatest human rights battle of our day, and to encourage and inspire the next generation to accomplish great things for the cause of life.

The total prize amount of $600,000 will be divided among up to 6 individuals and/or organizations chosen as the winners, and the prizes will be awarded at a ceremony on January 23, 2009 at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.

It seems that the Students for Life site has a paraphrased version of what the Life Prizes site says about its work and the award. Since I find each version helpful, I’ll leave both here for you. Much more information is available at the Life Prizes site, including details about the selection process and the winners.

Biblical clues about when human life begins

December 30, 2008

Here’s a link to an article that describes how the Gospel written by St. Luke provides clues to the point in time when a human person’s life begins.

http://www.lifenews.com/nat4676.html

I don’t know if the Church has any comment about the writer’s views, but hope that what the author wrote provides you with thoughts for reflection during this Christmas season — and on the long road ahead as our country prepares for a new administration that does not show evidence of valuing unborn human life.

Where morality and media meet

December 29, 2008

(Yes, I’m intentionally playing off the title of one of my previous posts!)

Thanks to Jayme at “Being Fed” (http://beingfed.wordpress.com) for these two stories that were catalysts for me to do more exploring recently.

http://beingfed.wordpress.com/2008/12/22/saving-lives-through-better-television/

http://beingfed.wordpress.com/2008/12/19/shocking-revelation-abortion-bad-for-women/

I happened to find them at a time when I could spend A LOT of time working on my blog, hence the new links, images, and arrangements in the sidebar. I won’t even try to recall exactly how her posts led from one thing to another, I just thought I’d make note of the connection so that if I look back in wonder I’ll have some vague recollection.

And I also want to draw attention to the great work of “Virtue Media” that I recently heard about on EWTN. The following two links are in one of Jayme’s posts, and they are part of what led me on interesting adventures in enriching my blog with new resources.

http://www.ncregister.com/site/article/16789/

http://www.virtuemedia.org/

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph – pray for us!

December 28, 2008

Today’s   Feast of the Holy Family   is one more way of celebrating the birth of Jesus. As you hopefully already knew, Christmas is not just one day of the year. In the Catholic Church it extends for eight days: the Octave of Christmas. That eight-day feast is part of the whole Christmas season, which ends on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (January 11, 2009 this time).

Here is a link to what the staff of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops put together for celebrating Advent and Christmas:

http://www.usccb.org/advent/index.shtml

You can click any of the days in the calendar and go to readings and reflections for that day. For example, today’s entry includes a link to another Web site, one that also is sponsored by the USCCB:

http://www.foryourmarriage.org

That’s a very fitting site to notice on the Feast of the Holy Family (whether you are married now or might one day be married). The “For Your Marriage” site has “Daily Marriage Tips” a fact that prompted me today to figure out how to put an RSS feed in the sidebar of this blog – another new step in my blogging adventures.

And don’t forget  about the movie “Fireproof” and all of the accompanying materials available at

http://www.fireproofmymarriage.com

On a very much related subject, here is a file that I found while looking for something else today:

http://www.hli.org/responsible_man_woman.pdf

You might want to share it with the unmarried people you know, including teens who are eager to begin dating. And that reminds me of this site, from popular guests (Jason and Crystalina Evert) on EWTN:

http://www.chastity.com

(Also known as http://www.pureloveclub.com)

Those and many other resources are available to help build holy, healthy, and happy families! But don’t forget the first and best of all resources: God! He’s available 24-7 through prayer, including through the intercession of the angels and saints who are always willing to assist us.

I just realized there is more to explain about today’s feast. Because this is the first Sunday after the first day of Christmas, it is the Feast of the Holy Family. But in other years when the 28th of December is not on a Sunday, December 28th is the Feast of the Holy Innocents (the children killed by order of King Herod after he learned of the search the wise men were making for the newborn King). Let us pray with those innocent children on behalf of all the innocent children killed in modern times by abortion and infanticide.

Here is the link to a site with further descriptions of the feasts celebrated during this holy season:

http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/activities/
view.cfm?id=996

And here are some blog posts and other Web sites that turned up with the term “Christmas octave” in a search engine. I’ve skimmed them but not read thoroughly, so please let me know if any should be removed from here:

http://www.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/Advent/christmas.html

http://orthfullycatholic.blogspot.com/2008/01/christmas-octave.html

http://wdtprs.com/blog/2008/12/wdtprs-sunday-in-the-octave-of-christmas-holy-family-2002mr/

http://www.saintmarycathedral.org/The_Octave.htm

http://www.fisheaters.com/customschristmas1.html

https://www.crossroadsinitiative.com/library_article/351/
Holy_Family_in_the_21st_Century.html

https://www.crossroadsinitiative.com/library_article/318/
The_Feast_of_the_Holy_Family.html

http://crossroadsinitiative.com/library_article/352/
Key_to_the_Twelve_Days_of_Christmas.html

http://www.catholicculture.org/culture//liturgicalyear/calendar/
day.cfm?date=2008-01-01

http://www.ourladyofsorrows.com/The12DaysofChristmas.pdf

http://catholicfire.blogspot.com/2008/12/today-is-fourth-day-of-christmas-and.html

http://www.churchyear.net/holyfamilyprayers.html

http://www.2heartsnetwork.org/HolyFamily.htm

http://www.breviary.net/ordo/ordo2008/ord0812.htm

http://www.bible.claret.org/liturgy/xmas/octavexmas.htm

http://www.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/Prayer/B2-C-1.html

http://sacredspace.ie/livingspace/C1228/

http://www.cyberfaith.com/calendar/christmas.html

http://www.catholic.org/encyclopedia/view.php?id=8631

http://www.livingbreadradio.com/news-article.php?newsid=353 
(This one borrows heavily from the Creighton University site at the beginning of this list, but does seem to have its own description of the term “octave” in the first paragraph of its page.)

Added Dec. 29: http://catholicexchange.com/2008/12/29/115026/

Unborn Jesus

December 22, 2008

Here’s a reminder about a site that is available all year long, but has a theme especially notable at this time.

http://unbornwordoftheday.com/

(I’m not pointing out any particular post there, just thought it would be good to note it before Advent ends!)

The subtitle of the site says, “Honoring the Unborn Christ Child, promoting  the Gospel of Life, one day at a time… .”

Komen connection

December 19, 2008

Hmm, had intended to publish this post nearly two weeks ago. Don’t recall what prevented that from happening, but am glad to find it.

Was looking for the articles referenced in it, because today I received an email from a fellow pro-lifer that led me to yet another sponsor of the SGKomen organization. Take a look at this link and see if you still want to use your current email provider:

http://im.live.com/Messenger/IM/Causes/Default.aspx

——————————————————————————

In searching for the Planned Parenthood articles, I found this one that reminded me of what I discovered in several stores this week:

http://www.lifenews.com/state3673.html

Komen Affiliate in California Gives Grant to Planned Parenthood Abortion Biz

by Steven Ertelt, LifeNews.com Editor
November 30, 2008

Excerpts:

Planned Parenthood watchdog group released information in August showing chapters of the Komen Race for the Cure breast cancer group gave affiliates of the national abortion business over $700,000 last fiscal year.

“This is an appalling lack of concern for the women the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation is supposed to be helping,” Silver added.

Figures from STOPP International show Komen chapters giving $711,485 from April 1, 2005 to March 31, 2006 to Planned Parenthood affiliates.

………..

Susan G. Komen for the Cure spokeswoman Rebecca Gibson previously confirmed that 19 of the 122 Komen affiliates made grants totaling $374,253 to Planned Parenthood during the 2005-2006 fiscal year.

Komen officials have dismissed the grants saying they are for breast cancer screenings, but pro-life advocates say the money is fungible and that it frees up funds Planned Parenthood could use for breast screenings but instead uses on abortions.

There are 17 statistically significant studies that show a link between abortion and breast cancer, 8 of which were conducted in the United States.

The Komen grants to Planned Parenthood prompted medical research analyst and Hispanic outreach director Eve Sanchez Silver to resign from her leadership position within Komen.

………….

She [Silver] indicated the Komen representatives also appeared to be “more concerned about assisting women after they had contracted breast cancer, than informing them to avoid breast cancer risk by avoiding abortions and having [an] early, full term pregnancy.”

See also http://www.lifenews.com/nat3849.html for the article about “released information” = Komen Gave Planned Parenthood Abortion Businesses Over $700K Last Year

And http://www.lifenews.com/nat2640.html = Komen Officials Meet Pro-Life Leaders on Abortion-Breast Cancer Link

by Steven Ertelt, LifeNews.com Editor
October 6, 2006

Excerpt:

During the meeting, Brind, the foremost authority on the breast cancer-abortion link, said Komen’s funding Planned Parenthood made no sense because abortions are one of the biggest causes of breast cancer.

He pointed out that breast cancer cases have risen 40 percent since abortion was made virtually unlimited in the 1973 Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade.

Colorado Right to Life board members Phillip Hendrix and Jo Scott and Vice President Leslie Hanks also attended the meeting and said they were grateful for the opportunity for “dialogue.”

“It is the fervent hope of Colorado Right to Life that the Susan G. Komen Foundation will take the information that Eve Silver, Dr. Brind and CRL shared, to the women who need to know,” the group said in its statement.

“Women must be told the truth about the ABC link, in order to protect themselves from this deadly disease,” the group said.

Silver resigned from Komen in September 2004 after the organization told her it would not stop funding Planned Parenthood.

“The Foundation has done so much for so many women through its programs and research grants,” Sanchez Silver told LifeNews.com at the time. “But this revelation about Planned Parenthood and [Komen], indicates a well thought out funding strategy.”

According to former Komen public relations director Kristin Kelly, Komen affiliates awarded $38.4 million in grants to support community outreach programs in 2003. That figure includes 21 grants to their local Planned Parenthood chapters totaling more than $475,000.

This week I was in several stores (I’m not a shopper, but sometimes you just have to make yourself get out there) and discovered that certain calendars are  being marketed to appeal to consumers who want to support breast cancer research. That sounds terrific, until you look at who is the recipient of those purchases: at least some funds go to the Komen Foundation!

I haven’t time to research all the options, so I don’t know how many different names might all be linked to that same foundation, but I write this to alert you to buy carefully!  A day or two after I learned about the “Pink Ribbon Collection” of calendars, I also saw that a variety of other school/office supplies from different manufacturers are also being sold with the intention of some of their proceeds going to various breast cancer research organizations.

If you have more information about this, please let me know. I wish I could spend more time on the research!

For example:

What is the evidence to prove or disprove any connection between

“The Breast Cancer Research Foundation” and

“Susan G. Komen for the Cure”?

(That second one was formerly named “Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation” according to
http://www.komenaustin.org/site/PageServer?pagename=whomain.)

Since I don’t know (yet) whether or not BCRF supports Planned Parenthood, I won’t list the corporate sponsors/partners of BCRF. But the articles at the beginning of this post show that Komen supports PP so here is the link to the corporate partners of Komen: http://ww5.komen.org/corporatepartners.aspx. It’s up to you to decide how much or how little you will support  those corporations. 

Remember, if you have more information about this subject, please let me know!!!

Dignitas Personae

December 17, 2008

The Vatican has released a new “instruction” document. The English translation of the title is “The Dignity of a Person” and the subject is bioethics.

Here is one of several places where you may read it, as well as explanatory material about it.

http://www.usccb.org/comm/Dignitaspersonae/ 
(includes a link to a Spanish translation)

An Instruction from the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) on ethical issues arising from biomedical research, provides guidance on how to respect human life and human procreation in our heavily scientific age.

That site also provides a Q & A file. Here is the first question-and-answer to help you understand the type of document:

1. What kind of document is this?

It is an “instruction” from the Catholic Church’s highest doctrinal agency, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), applying timeless moral principles to some new issues and situations arising from biotechnology. It does not declare a new infallibly defined dogma, but is approved by Pope Benedict XVI and has his authority. Like most Church teachings, its moral judgments are part of the “universal ordinary magisterium.” Catholics are called to inform their consciences with such teaching, adhering to it with “religious assent” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 892).

Whose embryonic children are they?

December 17, 2008

This post was drafted more than two months ago. Now seems the time to publish it, in light of the new document released by the Vatican.

This link is for an article titled “Irish Court Refuses Woman’s Plea for Her Own Frozen Embryos” by Kathleen Gilbert. Even though it is not a U. S. story, it describes some of the problems involved with in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Read at http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/oct/08100904.html.

Here’s a similar story, with reversed roles: “Oregon Court Orders Frozen Embryos Destroyed, Considered ‘Property Rights’ Issue” by Kathleen Gilbert. This one is in the U.S.

Read at http://catholicexchange.com/2008/10/11/114128/.

More about Our Lady of Guadalupe

December 17, 2008

Here is another view of the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. It is a photograph (i.e., rather than a painting) of the tilma. The photo is found at

http://www.sancta.org/cgi/display.nor?image=imagen_pic_300w.jpg.

 imagen_pic_300w 

That site has much information and many freely downloadable images. But one caution: there is a page that does have two images of babies after abortion. The images are about midway down (i.e., when you scroll) the page at this address:
http://www.sancta.org/patr-unb.html#prayer

They are shown with an article that describes the parallels between the human sacrifice happening in Mexico prior to Our Lady’s appearance there, and the modern day human sacrifice of abortion.

Here are tips to help you avoid seeing those images if you want to read the article and prayers on the page. (You will have to skip reading the end of the article, unless you cover the right-hand side of the screen while scrolling down.)

  • The title of the page is “Protectress of the Unborn: Our Lady of Guadalupe Versus the Culture of Death”.
  • Below the images is a section of the page with two of the many prayers available on the site. So if you click (i.e., in one of the indexes) to view the prayers named “A Prayer for Abortion Victims” or “Prayer of John Paul II for Life”, be cautious about scrolling upward on the page, if you prefer not to look at the images.

I am not aware of anywhere else on the site where you might run into that kind of graphic image. The site is definitely worth visiting, but wasn’t included in the list on Dec. 12 because it needs this caution to be stated.

Be assured that I will always try to warn you of such images when I’m aware of them. Please let me know of any that I miss. In general, though, I will avoid such sites.

But since the site sancta.org has so much beneficial material, I think the link  is worth sharing despite the portion that is difficult for some people to see. Among other reasons, I really wanted you to see as authentic an image of Our Lady on the tilma as I can possibly share with you. There are many painted representations of it and (other than visiting the actual basilica in Mexico) the only way to see it is with a photograph.

Avery Cardinal Dulles

December 15, 2008

Have only a few moments to share the news of the passing of a great theologian  born in the U.S., and a Cardinal who was a priest not a bishop. I haven’t read these articles yet, but am hoping that they are helpful:

http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/?p=1250

http://blog.acton.org/archives/2591-Avery-Cardinal-Dulles-1918-2008.html

http://www.americamagazine.org/blog/entry.cfm?blog_id=2&id=2BA12360-1438-5036-4F8113CDD9043AFB

Other information about him:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1788786/posts

http://media.www.theramonline.com/media/storage/paper1075
/news/2008/04/02/News/Avery.Cardinal.Dulles.Concludes.Tenure-3302736.shtml

More links (added Dec 28th):

http://www.usccb.org/comm/archives/2008/08-198.shtml

http://ncrcafe.org/node/2340