Category Archives: Monthly Newsletter

January 2019 Newsletter: Pro-Life is Pro-Science

Science Focus of National March for Life
This year’s March for Life plans to fortify its message with science that proves life begins at conception, and with a specific focus on stem-cell research.

“Unique from Day One: Pro-Life is Pro-Science” is the theme for the January 18th Rally and March in Washington, DC, that marks the anniversary of the Supreme Court 1973 Roe v. Wade decision which legalized abortion nationwide for all nine months of pregnancy. Rally speakers will include Ben Shapiro, editor of The Daily Wire, and Abbey Johnson, former abortion clinic worker who founded And Then There Was None. Political speakers are to be announced.

Jeanne Mancini, pres. of the March for Life, said that “our DNA is present at the moment of fertilization. Science should always be at the service of life, not the reverse. It is important to have a foundation of human dignity for any kind of research.” She called for the passage of H.R. 2918 (Patients First Act) that would require the Dept. of Health & Human Services to support research on adult stem cells, not those taken from aborted babies. David Prentice, research director of the Charlotte Lozier Institute, research arm of Susan B. Anthony List, said adult stem cells “from many different sources [e.g., umbilical cord blood]” would be a suitable replacement. [Catholic New York, 10/25/18]

Participation in the national March for Life is a once-a- year event that is unforgettable. Families, adults, teenagers, religious all make the civic and religious statement to show their opposition to the inhumane practice of abortion. Buses are being provided by hundreds of parishes for the trip to Washington. The Respect Life Office of your area diocese will provide details.

Disrespect for Life Leads to Other Problems
NY Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan recently wrote: “Drugs, war, unjust economic systems, crime, violence, oppression of people, family dysfunction & sexual abuse all start from degrading the innate value of the divine gift of human life.”

“We are pro-life, not just pro-birth. As Cardinal Terence Cooke wrote as he heroically neared his own painful death from cancer, human life is no less sacred when it is vulnerable, weak, or considered ‘inconvenient’.”

“I make no apologies for prioritizing concern for the unborn. If we get that wrong, we’re hardly credible on the other burning issues. If we allow the helpless life of the baby in the sanctuary of the mother’s womb to be thrown away, it’s tough to defend the lives of others who might be considered inconvenient or expendable.” [Catholic New York, 10/25/18]

Maternity Homes Seek to Empower Women
Trauma, homelessness, addiction, broken family life are not good conditions for birthing and raising a baby. That’s why there are over 400 maternity homes in the U.S. that offer pregnant women food, shelter, prenatal care, education and job search assistance. After their babies are born, mothers get help learning to care for an infant through post- partum, and support as they work toward finding independent housing.

Good Counsel Homes was founded by Christopher Bell in 1985 with the support of Fr. Benedict Groeschel, CFR, and now operates seven homes in four states. Sara Moran started Little Flower Maternity Home (Denver) after working at Maggie’s Place (Phoenix) & Several Sources Shelters (NJ).

Many success stories: “A lot of us made something of ourselves,” Shanika Dawson said. “I’m glad the home is still around. A lot of women have accomplished a lot after being there.”

Some crisis pregnancy centers are now opening their own maternity homes in response to the need they see among their clients. Chicago-based Aid for Women is one of 20 pregnancy help centers that offer maternity housing. The agency operates Heather’s House (Des Plaines, IL) for pregnant women and Monica’s House (Chicago) for those making the transition to independent living. [Our Sunday Visitor, 11/18/18]

Regardless of location, these homes deal with common problems faced by pregnant young women: a history of homelessness, incarceration, broken family life, broken relationships, spousal abuse, parental rejection and other trauma. Maternity homes offer these women a different path, one that could lead to a more fulfilling life for themselves and their children.

Quit!
That’s the single word filling the front of a postcard that is designed to be shared with abortion workers. The back of the card explains how And Then There Were None assists workers through a transition out of the abortion industry. The group provides job search resources, financial assistance, free legal counsel, emotional and spiritual support, and no- cost healing retreats. Nearly 500 abortion workers have walked away from the industry.

If you would like to have a set of these cards to hand to abortion facility workers outside of an abortion mill in your area, visit www.AbortionWorker.com, or #ATTWN.

NJ Campaign: Protect Babies in the Womb
Since the summer, tens of thousands of postcards have been signed and sent from Catholics for passage of the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (A-1686/S- 537).

Spearheading the campaign to save babies 20 weeks in the womb from abortion, Holly Wright said: “The 20/20 Project is a collaborative effort of many pro-life groups and individuals throughout the state to attain equal rights for babies in the womb and it is making great headway.” There is substantial medical evidence that babies in the womb feel pain by 20 weeks. The bill states: “Surgeons in the field of maternal and fetal medicine have found it necessary to sedate an unborn child to prevent the unborn child from engaging in vigorous movement in reaction to invasive surgery.”

To participate in the postcard campaign, parishioners are encouraged to meet with their pastor for permission to implement the program. They would then choose a Sunday date and have parishioners receive instruction about the project & how to sign the postcards that are provided. More information is found at www.babiesinthewombfeelpain.com. [The Beacon, Diocese of Paterson, NJ, 12/6/18]

Also, to promote the campaign, NJ drivers are encouraged to obtain & display the 20/20 magnetic decal.

Guidelines for Being a Faithful Pro-Lifer
1. Casual sex is not worth the risks

2. Unplanned pregnancy needs to be faced honestly and with loving support

3. Abortion has many bad physical & emotional effects

4. Healing is possible for those who have had an abortion

5. It is best to be chaste until marriage

6. Marriage is a sacrament between a man and a woman

7. Family planning should use natural means

8. Children are a gift from God

9. Sick or elderly people are to be given normal care and relief of pain

10. Suicide and assisted suicide are morally wrong

11. Abuse of a person by another is always wrong

12. Use of another person as an object is sinful

13. The church offers healing from the effects of all types of abuse

14. Help and protection is to be offered to all human beings, whether sick or poor or elderly or unborn “Life in all its stages is sacred and to be respected”

NFL Player Rae Carruth Released From Prison: Murdered Pregnant Girlfriend, Injuring Her Unborn Baby
Former NFL player Rae Carruth walked out of prison in October after serving 19 years for planning to kill his pregnant girlfriend and their unborn son. A former Carolina Panthers wide receiver in late 1990s, Carruth was found guilty of conspiring to murder his pregnant girlfriend, Cherica Adams, and attempting to destroy an unborn child, his son Chancellor. After being shot four times, Adams went into a coma and died a few weeks later, but doctors were able to save her son, Chancellor. He has cerebral palsy and lives with his maternal grandmother, Saundra Adams, who has devoted her life to caring for him. Chancellor’s condition is due to loss of blood and oxygen the night when his mother was shot; he also was born prematurely.

Carruth recently told reporters that he wants custody of his son, but Adams said she will fight to keep her grandson. “I’ve forgiven Rae already, but to have any type of relationship with him, there does have to be some repentance,” Adams she told reporters. “And I think this opens the door. But I can say definitively he’s not ever going to have custody of Chancellor. He will never be raised by a stranger, someone he doesn’t know and who tried to kill him.” She said her daughter refused to abort Chancellor, even though Carruth pressured her repeatedly. [M.Bilger, LifeNews.com, 10/22/18]

“Pro-life beliefs have definitely been gaining ground in recent years.” That’s what Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said in reaction to a new poll of 3,000 Americans. (Full survey results are avail-able online at TheStateOfTheology.com) The national poll found 52% of Americans agreed that abortion is a sin. Abortion opposition has increased slightly since the 2016 State of Theology survey, when 49% said abortion is a sin.

The Christian group said the survey results show some in the media continue to exaggerate Americans’ support for social liberalism, even as a large number of Americans continue to agree with Biblical ethics. Dr. Mohler said that pastors & local churches have played a big part by teaching about the sanctity of human life. Ultrasound images plainly show the humanity of the child in the womb, and they are provoking the consciences of Americans. [S. Ertelt, LifeNews.com, 10/22/18]

Edited since 2005 by Frank Tinari, Ph.D., tinarifr@shu.edu Past issues posted on the Diocese of Paterson, NJ website. To have your parish receive this newsletter each month free of charge, email your request to the editor.

November 2018 Newsletter

50th Anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s Encyclical, Humanae Vitae
[Ed. note: every month we will present excerpts from this short but incisive papal letter to all people of good will. Pope Paul VI was canonized last month.]

The transmission of human life is a most serious role in which married people collaborate freely and responsibly with God the Creator. It has always been a source of great joy to them, even though it sometimes entails many difficulties and hardships. The fulfillment of this duty has always posed problems to the conscience of married people, but the recent course of human society and the concomitant changes have provoked new questions. The Church cannot ignore these questions, for they concern matters intimately connected with the life and happiness of human beings.

  • Conjugal love is not “merely a question of natural instinct or emotional drive. It is …, above all, an act of the free will,” meant to help couples “not only to survive the joys and sorrows of daily life, but also to grow, so that husband and wife become in a way one heart and one soul, and together attain their human fulfillment.”
  • “It is a love which is total—that very special form of personal friendship in which husband and wife generously share everything, allowing no unreasonable exceptions and not thinking solely of their own convenience. Whoever really loves his partner loves not only for what he receives, but loves that partner for the partner’s own sake, content to be able to enrich the other with the gift of oneself.”
  • “Married love is also faithful and exclusive of all other, and this until death. This is how husband and wife understood it on the day on which, fully aware of what they were doing, they freely vowed themselves to one another in marriage. Though this fidelity of husband and wife sometimes presents difficulties, [it is] always honorable and meritorious. The example of countless married couples proves … that it is the source of profound and enduring happiness.”
  • “Finally, this love is … not confined wholly to the loving interchange of husband and wife; it also contrives to go beyond this to bring new life into being.” The 2nd Vatican Council states: “Marriage and conjugal love are by their nature ordained toward the procreation and education of children. Children are really the supreme gift of marriage and contribute in the highest degree to their parents’ welfare.” [Full text available online free of charge.]

“Aborting for the Reason of Race, Sex or Disability is Kind of Hitler-esque”
This was the reaction of Lake County (Indiana) pro-life group President Len Reynolds regarding an Indiana Law that prohibits such abortions and also requires abortion facilities to bury or cremate aborted babies rather than dispose of them as medical waste. “Nothing in the Constitution prohibits states from requiring health facilities to provide an element of basic human dignity in disposing of fetuses,” Attorney General Curtis Hill said in a statement.

Recent legal challenges by Planned Parenthood and the National Organization for Women have prevented the law from being implemented. Hill is now appealing to the Supreme Court for a constitutional ruling. [Dave Brooks, “Planned Parenthood Fights Law Requiring Proper Burial for Aborted Babies,” LifeNews.com, 10/22/18]

“Courage is a group of Catholics who experience same-sex attractions and who are committed to helping one another live chaste lives marked by prayer, fellowship and mutual support. EnCourage provides spiritual support for parents, spouses & other loved ones of people who are involved in homosexual relationships. [Courage International, Inc., http://couragerc.org]

“Can I Guard Myself and My Family from Inappropriate Internet Content?”
What you do online impacts your life offline. According to Covenant Eyes, that is an important reason to have internet content monitored and filtered. Their website has lots of free resources for families to review. Discover how the internet affects your life and the ones you love including cyberbullying, pornography, obsessions, new internet trends, and other issues. If you are interested in protecting your family, you could try their services free for 30 days by using the promo code Patrick. [www.covenanteyes.com]

On Election Day, we will make critical decisions about the types of leaders we will have for years to come. It is essential that we look carefully at the positions of the candidates. This step is critical in fulfilling our responsibilities as faithful citizens, as we must participate in the political process with a fully informed conscience. There are so many issues to consider: the environment, war, immigration, abortion, marriage, taxes, jobs, health care costs, poverty, homelessness, etc. Pro-life Catholics emphasize that the dignity of human life is a bedrock Christian principle: without respect for life, other issues pale in comparison. So our votes must reflect this basic concern.

Natural, Effective and Healthy Family Planning …. and It’s Free
Since 1971, the Couple to Couple League has sought to inspire, educate and support couples in family planning that is natural, effective, healthy and consistent with God’s plan for life, love and marriage.

Natural family planning (NFP) is fertility awareness which is simply knowledge of a couple’s fertility. It is a means of reading the body’s signs of fertility and infertility; applying this knowledge through the Sympto-Thermal Method (STM) which is over 99% effective. A married couple’s application of this knowledge either to try to achieve a pregnancy or to postpone a pregnancy is responsible parenthood. Practicing NFP is 100% natural: no drugs, chemicals or devices. Many today find it to be a positive & refreshing alternative to contraceptive methods. NFP honors our dignity as persons by respecting the natural rhythms and functions of the body. Many couples who use NFP speak of an increased awe and respect for femininity and their mutual fertility, and a greater sense of empowerment through self-knowledge.

Wives can avoid the risks and side effects that come with drugs and devices of contraceptive methods by choosing NFP. Because there are no potentially harmful chemicals, hormones or devices put into your body, NFP is safe. Because it does not interrupt your natural cycles and, instead, respects and informs you of your natural fertility, it is healthy. And because NFP does not involve the continual purchase of medications or devices, it is green, with no negative influence on either your body or the environment.

NFP couples tend to find that their love life improves when they make the switch from contraception. What they discover is that without artificial hormones dulling the wife’s natural sex drive, & with increased respect & communication from managing fertility together, NFP brings a spark and a sizzle that helps keep their intimacy fresh, exciting & fun. NFP couples feel more like a team that extends beyond family planning. Many couples find that NFP helps build a closer relationship to God since they are experiencing marriage as He intended. [For more info, visit www.ccli.org]

David E. Paul, “Culture War as Class War”
“The fight is over nothing less than who has the power to define reality. To lose such a fight [is] to have the weight of the dominant culture pressed firmly against you, peeling away members of your side and undermining the ability and willingness of the remainder to resist. It is to be denied access to elite institutions and networks, and to all the material and social benefits they confer. It is even to have the force of law and thus ultimately the power of the state used against you.” [First Things, Aug/Sep 2018. Author is professor, Williams College]

Entertaining Movies ….. with a Message
Whether in the theater or at home, here are films that you may not have heard much about but will find engaging and enjoyable. (Why not save the list & check-off the boxes as you see the movies?)

  • Gosnell (2018): this could still be in some theaters even though it has suffered a media blackout. Great crime drama with some great acting, based on an actual recent case tried in Philadelphia.
  • October Baby (2011): urged by her lifelong best friend Jason, Hannah, an adoptee, goes with friends on spring-break from Birmingham to New Orleans, planning to stop in Mobile where her birth certificate says she was born.
  • Unprotected (2018 documentary): #MeToo. Sexting. The hook-up culture. Teen depression. Fertility crisis. Divorce. Pornography. How did the culture become so toxic for women? Moving stories and inspiring commentary reveal the devastating effects of 50 years of the sexual revolution.
  • Bella (2006): a drama about characters, relationships and decisions. José was once a rising star with the Real Madrid soccer club before his budding career took an unexpected turn. Nina, already struggling at work, discovers that she is faced with an unwanted pregnancy.
  • Hush (2016): a dramatized documentary that gives equal coverage to pro-choice women, pro-life women and women who are concerned about themselves or their daughters achieving their reproductive goals with optimal chances for long-term health. Fascinating cultural history that has the flavor of investigative journalism.
  • Juno (2007): this outrageously offbeat comedy hit film has rare wisdom, one that knows that following your bliss is often another name for selfishness and immaturity, and the secret to lasting happiness is often a matter of taking what you have and deciding to make it work.
  • Indivisible (2018): just released is the extraordinary true story of Army Chaplain Darren Turner & his wife Heather. When war etches battle scars on their hearts, they face one more battle: the fight to save their marriage.

[Tell the editor about other life-affirming and family-supportive movie titles of which you may know.]