Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sanctuary Restoration at St Francis de Sales in Benedict, Maryland, nears completion

Some details remain for completion of the sanctuary restoration project which commenced prior to Easter this year at Saint Francis de Sales in Benedict, Maryland, such as a white cross modeled after that of the Crossland family crest as seen, for example, on the Maryland state flag which will be mounted on the pediment over the altar, the IHS monogrom within the pediment and Carrara marble flooring to be installed throughout the sanctuary.
The reredos has received a final coat of paint as seen in this photo taken today.
Special thanks to Mark Buckingham and Gardiner Hall Interiors.
This transitional photo, below, gives a wide view of the new look for the sanctuary but was taken before a finishing coat of paint on the apse wall concealed patch-painting made necessary by repairs to the foundational plaster.
The below photo taken at Christmas 2010 shows the sanctuary as it looked previously following a Rambusch remake in the 1970's.

Thanks to all financial benefactors of this project whose support will be gratefully remembered in a parish novena of Masses between Ascension and Pentecost offered for their intentions. About a tenth of the cost of the project has yet to be raised.

Donations may be sent to:
St Francis de Sales Sanctuary Renovation
PO Box 306
Benedict MD 20612

with checks made payable to Saint Francis de Sales Catholic Church.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Maryland Petition For Marriage Referendum Underway

Maryland Catholics, other Christians, and men and women of good­will are joined in an effort headed by the Maryland Marriage Alliance to gather one- third of the necessary 56,000 signatures by May 31 in or­der to successfully petition for a referendum of the unjust usurpation of their self-determination by a clutch of elected officials in Annapolis, who imposed a law conferring the status of marriage upon same- sex unions. Those who oppose God are quick to accuse as haters those Catholics and others who defend the unique status of marriage as ordained by God’s creative will and sanctified by Christ. Because of a profound lack of faith formation, many Catholics are quick to buckle under the current bar­rage of invective that is unloaded upon those who act in the legislative and political process to demand that our laws reflect God’s will and pro­tect the social good of marriage, the basic cell of society.

Why do we do this? “ The marriage covenant, by which a man and a woman form with each other an intimate communion of life and love, has been founded and endowed with its own special laws by the Cre­ator. By its very nature it is ordered to the good of the couple, as well as to the generation and education of children. Christ the Lord raised mar­riage between the baptized to the dignity of a sacrament ( cf. CIC, canon 1055 § 1; cf.
GS 48 § 1)” ( Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1660).

As witnesses for Christ we have a right to demand, to lobby, and to vote that Maryland laws reflect, support, and uphold the will of God. Marriage is not a selfish, capricious, and auto-generated coming together of any two adults; it is a state of life that is sacred, arising from the unique capability of one man and one woman to unite in a bond of love that also has the capaci­ty to generate new life. Marriage is oriented also toward the dignity of those children who may come into the world through the natural gift of the mari­tal act open to procreation shared by man-husband and woman-wife.

What this is not is judgment or condemnation of those who disagree or who do not want to obey God’s law. We teach, we witness, and we propose. We do not judge or in any way desire harm to those who op­pose us or who disagree with us. It is a libel and a judgment for those who disagree with us to accuse us of hatred. We insist to all who will listen that to propose the truth is an act of love because it is a witness to the love of God. We include in this loving witness also those who know­ingly and willingly disobey God and His holy will as expressed in na­ture and divine law and which is fulfilled in the law of Christ.

Again, marriage is not a legal or religious blessing conferred upon an inherently selfish arrangement of life between two adults but rather a unique and selfless imitation of God because it is also oriented toward the generation of children who have a right to be brought into the world by a man-father and a woman-mother. Children have a right to be raised by both a father and a mother as opposed to some other unnatural arrangement which is forced upon them by the choice of two same-sex adults.

+ + +

Prayer For Religious Liberty From Our Bishops:

Almighty God, Father of all nations, For freedom you have set us free in Christ Jesus (
Gal. 5: 1).

We praise and bless you for the gift of religious liberty, the foun­dation of human rights, justice, and the common good.

Grant to our leaders the wisdom to protect and promote our lib­erties; By your grace may we have the courage to defend them, for ourselves and for all those who live in this blessed land.

We ask this through the intercession of Mary Immaculate, our patroness, and in the name of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, with whom you live and reign, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

+ + + ( Visit Meeting Christ in the Liturgy at mcitl. blogspot. com for teach­ings from the
Catechism of the Catholic Church paired with the Scrip­tures of Holy Mass for every day of the week. Fr. Cusick blogs at APriestLife. blogspot. com and you can e- mail him at mcitl. blogspot. .)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Join the Effort to Uphold Marriage in Maryland! Sign the referendum petition at your church this weekend

Join the Effort to Uphold Marriage in Maryland!
Maryland Catholic Conference Partnering with Maryland Marriage Alliance

Maryland’s General Assembly narrowly passed legislation in February to fundamentally alter our long-standing law defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The enormous public outcry that this legislation has generated – voiced by Marylanders that span political, racial, social and religious backgrounds – demonstrates a clear need to take this issue to a vote of the people.

The Catholic Church – through the Maryland Catholic Conference – is partnering with the Maryland Marriage Alliance to petition the same-sex ‘marriage’ law to referendum and then to win at the ballot box on November 6. In 31 other states where this issue has been brought to a statewide vote, the people have voted to uphold marriage between one man and one woman.

Next Steps

Nearly 56,000 valid signatures need to be collected by June 30 in order to place this issue on the ballot in Maryland – and Catholic parishes and other faith institutions across Maryland are leading the way. The first one-third of valid signatures must be collected by May 31, with the remaining two-thirds by June 30.

What Can You Do?

• Donate to the Maryland Marriage Alliance to support upholding marriage in Maryland. (Your contribution is not tax-deductible.)
• Ask your pastor to appoint you as the Conference’s Marriage Parish Advocate.
• Help your parish with its petition drive.
Register to vote. Only registered voters can sign the petition and only registered voters can vote in November. (It can take up to three weeks to be registered once you submit your form.)

New Ways Ministry - Statement by USCCB

"No one should be misled by the claim that New Ways Ministry provides an authentic interpretation of Catholic teaching and an authentic Catholic pastoral practice. Their claim to be Catholic only confuses the faithful regarding the authentic teaching and ministry of the Church with respect to persons with a homosexual inclination."

Read statement by bishops clarifying that New Ways Ministry is not a recognized Catholic organization.

'Catholics for Equality' Not Recognized as a Catholic Organization

Donald Cardinal Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington

"In response to numerous requests for some clarification about the entity called Catholics for Equality and its relationship to the Catholic Church, this statement follows upon a study of the available material presented by the group and after attempts to communicate directly with the leader of the group. It should also be noted that Father Joseph Palacios, who claims to head this group, is not a priest of this archdiocese nor does he enjoy the faculties of the archdiocese nor have permission to exercise any ministry here."

Read entire statement.

What is Marriage

In marriage, a husband and a wife make a public and reciprocal commitment, assuming duties to society, to themselves, and to their children. Society and the law reciprocate by bestowing on traditional marriage a privileged status that recognizes the essential role that families play in society. The family, based on marriage, is a natural institution that is prior to the state. As such, the reservation of marriage to the union of one man and one woman is a fact of nature, not a social prejudice.

In recognition of the critical role marriage plays in the well being of future generations and a stable society, the Church advocates for public policies that protect traditional marriage and promote the security of the family.

Pope Benedict XVI

“Defending the institution of marriage as a social reality is ultimately a question of justice, since it entails safeguarding the good of the entire human community and the rights of parents and children alike.”

“Children are the greatest treasure and the future of every society: truly caring for them means recognizing our responsibility to teach, defend and live the moral virtues which are the key to human fulfillment.”

Address to U.S. Bishops, March 9, 2012

Poll Shows Increasing Opposition Among African-Americans to Redefining Marriage in Maryland

Despite a video campaign featuring a few elite Marylanders designed to sway grassroots opinion for same-sex marriage – especially among the African-American community – polling shows that not much has changed.

What has changed?

Support among African-Americans has fallen by eight percentage points – from 41% in favor of same-sex marriage in October 2011 to 33% in favor in this month’s poll.

Read more about the January 2012 poll

June 21 to July 4, 2012: Catholic Bishops Call For Two Weeks of Action Against Obama

Catholic Bishops Call For Two Weeks of Action Against Obama

Tuesday, 24 Apr 2012 07:40 AM

By Martin Gould

Roman Catholic leaders are calling for two weeks of public protests against President Barack Obama's policies as they intensify their argument that the administration is engaged in a war on religion.

The days between June 21 and July 4 have been set aside by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops which has sought to end the administration's contraception mandate, among other policies.

The protests against the Obama administration’s policies could be “the game-changer” in the presidential election, one leading lay churchman told Newsmax on Tuesday.

The protests, dubbed “A Fortnight for Freedom” will be an “unprecedented, aggressive attack” against policies that church leaders see as an assault on religious freedom, said Catholic Advocate chairman Deal Hudson.

Editor's Note
: Biblical Prophecies Revealed: The Second Coming of Jesus

“The bishops are seeing – rightly – a pattern of emerging of hostility towards the Catholic faith for upholding protection of the life of the unborn and because of its position on contraception,” said Hudson.

And Bill Donohue, the president of the Catholic League pointed out to Newsmax that the protests will come around the time the Supreme Court issues its judgment on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Unless the justices throw the act out completely, the protests could not be timed better, he said.

“If the individual mandate falls and the rest stands it will be more important than ever for Catholics to step forward and get involved,” said Donohue. “We will have to make the point that we are not going anywhere.”

Donohue said the mandate to make insurance companies cover not only contraceptives but abortion-inducing drugs is the key, he said. “It was done on purpose as a wedge to open the door. If we don’t fight it the next step is to force Catholic hospitals to provide abortion facilities,” he said.

“The idea that I as a Catholic should have to pay for some woman’s abortion makes me want to reach for the vomit bag.”

Donohue praised the bishops for their proactive stance “if for no other reason than to make the point that they are furious,” he said.

“Over the years there have been times when the resolve of the bishops wasn’t quite what we wanted it to be. Today that resolve is extremely strong,” he said.

The two weeks of protest has been called by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “That is not the type of body that goes out of its way to pick a fight,” Catholic Advocate’s Hudson pointed out.

“That is precisely what makes this so unusual a moment. The bishops have been provoked to such a degree that they will go to this extreme. They would prefer quiet negotiations leading to a principled compromise, instead they are talking about the probability of civil disobedience.”

Republicans are hoping the protests, planned for June and July will have a major bearing on the election which will follow four months later. They look forward to TV shots of robed priests and nuns being led away in handcuffs.

“These would be devastating images for the Obama administration,” GOP strategist Ron Bonjean told The Hill. “You have a very important religious demographic coming out in protest of Obama’s policies and being arrested for their expression.”

And Hudson agreed. When asked if the protests could be a game-changer come election time, he responded. “Potentially it could be the game-changer.

“It is a mistake to prognosticate with certainty this far out from the election, but two weeks of protest in mid-summer will help put this before the conventions and make it a major issue in the campaign.”

Hudson said Catholic Advocate has already been working in battleground states including Iowa, Ohio, North Carolina and Pennsylvania to get its message across and is about to start work in New Mexico.

“At one meeting in Des Moines, we had about 80 people and one guy sat in the corner and at the end he raised his hand and said he had been a life-long social justice Catholic – so I was getting ready for the big smackdown on all the stuff we had been doing.

“But he said, ‘I’ve just had it with Obama.’ That was a moment that really got my attention.”

The bishops outlined their plan in an April 12 statement signed by Conference general secretary, Msgr. Ronny Jenkins. The statement entitled “Our First, Most Cherished Liberty” was drawn up by the ad hoc committee for religious liberty, which includes 11 bishop members including Archbishop of Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl, one of Obama’s fiercest critics in the church.

Editor's Note: Biblical Prophecies Revealed: The Second Coming of Jesus

They called on fellow bishops to focus “all the energies the Catholic community can muster” to arrange special events to highlight the importance of defending religious liberty.

The dates were picked to run from the feast day of martyrs St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More to Independence Day. “This special period of prayer, study, catechesis, and public action would emphasize both our Christian and American heritage of liberty,” the bishops said.

“Dioceses and parishes around the country could choose a date in that period for special events that would constitute a great national campaign of teaching and witness for religious liberty.”

It referred to the mandate that church-affiliated organizations such as hospitals, schools and universities would have to provide contraceptive coverage in their employees’ insurance policies as well as state and local moves that the church says affects its freedom.

“Religious liberty is not only about our ability to go to Mass on Sunday or pray the Rosary at home,” the statement said. “It is about whether we can make our contribution to the common good of all Americans. Can we do the good works our faith calls us to do, without having to compromise that very same faith?

“What is at stake is whether America will continue to have a free, creative, and robust civil society—or whether the state alone will determine who gets to contribute to the common good, and how they get to do it.”

Hudson said that in many ways the statement itself is more important than the two weeks of action, but he accepted it would not get as much publicity.

“This is not something to get giddy about,” he said. “It would be sad if it came to priests or lay people or bishops being led away in handcuffs. What could be a sadder moment in the history of our nation than to see Catholics arrested for simply refusing to compromise on a central moral principle of their faith?”

© 2012 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Read more on Catholic Bishops Call For Two Weeks of Action Against Obama
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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sebelius Admits She’s Unaware of Top Religious Liberty Cases

When asked, "Is there a legal memo ...?" Sebelius answered, "I relied on discussions."

This morning in a hearing before the U.S. House of Representatives Education and Workforce Committee, HHS Secretary Sebelius was questioned by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) on the topic of religious liberty.

Specifically, Rep. Gowdy questioned Secretary Sebelius’ statement in her testimony indicating the careful consideration she undertook to “balance” religious liberty protections with preventive services in making the decision about the contraceptive mandate (which includes drugs that can cause abortions).

Rep. Gowdy asked the Secretary about the specifics of her “balance”. In doing so he explained three tests for legal balance, depending on the content and issues being weighed. He explained that because religious liberty is a fundamental right any decision that might violate it would require the strictest scrutiny.

Under oath, the nation’s HHS head stated that in making this decision and taking into consideration religious liberty issues, she relied on the expertise of HHS General Counsel. When questioned further about the counsel she received, the Secretary reported that guidance was provided entirely in discussion, and no legal memo was written on the topic. When asked further about her knowledge of the most significant cases related to religious liberty that have been decided by the Supreme Court, the Secretary responded that she was unaware/unfamiliar with these cases. It is a telling moment.

The full video is a must-see and just over five minutes:

DC Padres playing St. Mary’s Ryken Varsity on Sunday April 29th in Waldorf

The DC Padres, a baseball team consisting entirely of Catholic Priests and Seminarians will be playing the St. Mary’s Ryken Varsity on Sunday April 29th, @ Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf MD, the home of the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs.

The Blue Crabs play at 2pm and the Padres VS Ryken game will begin afterwards between approximately 4:30 and 5:00pm. Bishop Martin Holley will open with a prayer and throw out the first pitch.

The purpose of the game is to raise awareness and interest in the vocation to the priesthood in the context of a fun and enjoyable event.

Present this coupon flyer for:
One $5.00 General Admission Ticket (regularly $11)

***NB: Ticket good for both games, but must enter the Stadium before the 7th inning of the Blue Crabs game.

Check out the DC Padres Website for more info:

John L. Allen, Jr., on "Affirmative Orthodoxy": 'Doctor No' becomes the pope of yes

If Benedict XVI truly is a cultural warrior, he's a curiously stealth version. Quite often in the last seven years, when people expected him to come out swinging, he's pulled his punches instead. On his recent foray into Mexico, for instance, Benedict avoided any direct mention of either abortion or gay marriage, despite the fact that Mexico City is among the first jurisdictions in Latin America to legalize both.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the great "Doctor No" of the Catholic church in his quarter-century as the Vatican's doctrinal czar, has actually turned out to be the pope of what I've termed "Affirmative Orthodoxy." It's an approach to church teaching that emphasizes the Catholic "yes" -- putting the accent on what Catholicism supports and affirms rather than what it opposes and condemns.

Benedict's rhetoric, either on the hustings or in Rome, could rarely be described as "hard-hitting." Typically it's gentle, basically positive and rooted in core Christian principles and concepts rather than the issues of the day.

The pope's most detailed explanation of Affirmative Orthodoxy came in a 2006 interview with German journalists just after his visit to Valencia, Spain, for a World Congress of Families. Handicappers had anticipated a Fight-of-the-Century-style showdown with Socialist Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, who loomed as an avatar of radical secularism. Instead, Benedict accented the positive, insisting before a crowd of more than 1 million people: "Christian faith and ethics are not meant to stifle love, but to make it healthier, stronger and more truly free."

Reporters pressed Benedict to explain his approach. Here's the exchange, as it was recorded by the German radio outlet Deutsche Welle:

Question: A month ago you were in Valencia. Anyone who was listening carefully noticed how you never mentioned the words "homosexual marriage," you never spoke about abortion, or about contraception. Clearly your idea is to go around the world preaching the faith rather than as an "apostle of morality." What are your comments?

Benedict XVI: Obviously, yes. Actually I had only two opportunities to speak for 20 minutes, and when you have so little time you can't say everything you want to say about "no." Firstly you have to know what we really want, right? Christianity, Catholicism, isn't a collection of prohibitions: it's a positive option. It's very important that we look at it again because this idea has almost completely disappeared today. We've heard so much about what is not allowed that now it's time to say: we have a positive idea to offer ... I believe we need to see and reflect on the fact that it's not a Catholic invention that man and woman are made for each other, so that humanity can go on living: all cultures know this. As far as abortion is concerned, it's part of the fifth, not the sixth, commandment: "Thou shalt not kill!" We have to presume this is obvious and always stress that the human person begins in the mother's womb and remains a human person until his or her last breath. ... But all this is clearer if you say it first in a positive way.

That formula -- a tenacious defense of Catholic orthodoxy coupled with a determination to phrase it in the most positive key possible -- has run through Benedict's teaching like a scarlet thread, especially his three encyclicals.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A new dawn for the Church: "one can be of the Church and not espouse the ideas of the last Council, leaving it as an option, as the new mass" is now

"By regularizing the Society, even though the doctrinal discussions have failed, he makes it understood, in some way, that one can be of the Church and not espouse the ideas of the last Council, leaving it as an option, as the new mass has been for the past five years."

Benedict XVI: the last stage

A guest-post by Côme de Prévigny

If there is a matter that seems to be an obsession in this pontificate begun seven years ago, it is the one related to the Society of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX). Shortly following its outset, Benedict XVI met their Superior, Bp. Bernard Fellay, in his summer residence of Castel Gandolfo. That was on August 29, 2005. At that time, two communiqués, one by Rome, the other by Menzingen, indicated in unison that it had been agreed to "proceed by stages" in the resolution of problems. And the most lengthily prepared, most keenly discussed, and most vigorously contested texts of this reign were those that constituted these famous stags: the motu proprio that freed the Traditional Mass, then the removal of the excommunications of the bishops consecrated by Abp. Lefebvre.

The 264th Successor of Peter has a rendez-vous with history, come what may. He wants to fix a legacy, half-century-old, one which undoubtedly led him to give up on the Johns and the Pauls to revive the Piuses and the Leos, the Gregories and the Clements, the Innocents, and the Benedicts.Several journalists have remarked on this.

This obsession is first based on a matter of personal conscience. On May 5, 1988, following numerous meetings with Abp. Lefebvre, which had until then led the founder of the SSPX to Paul VI's office, and then to that of John Paul II, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger reached a historic agreement. The prelate from Écône signed a protocol regularizing the work that he had founded eighteen years earlier. The confidence remained feeble because he was in guard before a Curia that continued to tirelessly celebrate interreligious meetings and to forbid, throughout the world, the celebration of the Traditional Mass. Just a few words from a Cardinal would suffice to make all fall apart. That Cardinal was... Joseph Ratzinger. On the previous day, he had whispered to the Archbishop the terrible idea of having some Masses celebrated in French in Saint-Nicolas du Chardonnet, the historic Paris church of the SSPX. Then, lacking support for it, he had been unable to obtain a specific and definite date for the consecration of the bishop that had been granted. First foreseen for late June, the ceremony was postponed to the Assumption, then following summer, then to Christmas. Confidence eroded. Just before departure, the Cardinal handed to Abp. Lefebvre a model of a letter asking the Pope for forgiveness. It was the last straw. On the following day, May 6, 1988, as the Curia rushed to call journalists to announce the long-expected news, a young priest coming from Albano presented to Monsignor Joseph Clemens, secretary to the Prefect, a letter that he immediately folded again, since his emotion was so intense. The Bavarian monsignor was undoubtedly the only one to witness the distress of his countryman, the Cardinal, as he delivered to him the note by which Abp. Lefebvre reneged upon his signature. For years, the Cardinal lived with this burden, a burden which he still mentioned to a Central-European bishop shortly before ascending to the chair of Peter.

Twenty-four years later, the Cardinal reaches the helm of the Church. Things are going badly, quite badly. All that might have indicated, a quarter-century earlier, that the Traditionalist restoration would never take place has failed. Wojtylian Neo-Conservatism has run out of steam. Charismatism has not managed to revert the trend. In the old Christian nations, the churches are empty, the belltowers fall in disrepair, seminaries close down and the so-called Catholic journals barely survive. What remains is the Pope's case of conscience, with which he busies himself shortly after his election, as one of his collaborators, who had become a Cardinal himself, affirms that the Society has become "a thorn for the Church". But, with the years gone by, the evils of the post-Conciliar period are to be rooted out, as so many bad fruits that the Roman Pontiff can only remove out of fear that they will infect the whole flock. In Austria, and in some European regions, the priests revolt. In the United States, religious women join forces against Rome, all in the name of the Council. Hostile media does not hold back in order to magnify the errors of a clergy that have embraced the world so much that, in some cases, they have taken on its moral vices. The very authority of the Church is mishandled. At the sound of noses that announce every month the end of the pontificate, some dicasteries seem to act individually. Not to mention those dioceses that do not profess the Roman faith anymore. And yet a shock weapon remains for Benedict XVI, this famous affair that worries him, that of the Fraternity. Each step that had brought him closer to it has indicated, at the same time, the growth of the hatred of the adversaries and of victory over them. Pope Ratzinger mentioned it to the Bishops on March 10, 2009: "And should someone dare to approach [the Fraternity] – in this case the Pope – he too loses any right to tolerance; he too can be treated hatefully, without misgiving or restraint." Isn't there in these words of the Pope, pitted against the world, a distant echo of that appeal he launched in the beginning of his pontificate asking for prayers so that he may not flee for fear of the wolves?

Truthfully, there remains no other choice. In the spring of 2012, the determination of Benedict XVI seems to be such that the SSPX may not even have the possibility of choosing. The statute will fall upon it from above, by mutual agreement or by force. The Pope wants its regularization with a resolute will, whether or not it accepts the Council, whether or not it accepts the new mass. He undoubtedly does not share the thinking of Marcel Lefebvre and of his disciples, according to whom religious liberty lands a fatal blow on the missionary spirit. Nevertheless, he has taken the chance of opening up doctrinal discussions which, all through the Church, have opened the gates of the questioning of the contested principles of Vatican II. Is the pope truly this sure of himself? By regularizing the Society, even though the doctrinal discussions have failed, he makes it understood, in some way, that one can be of the Church and not espouse the ideas of the last Council, leaving it as an option, as the new mass has been for the past five years. What is certain, and this personal dilemma recalls it, is that the Supreme Pontiff beloieves, before God, that the title of "Catholic" cannot be refused to the work of Abp. Lefebvre. This is the only concern that inspires him.

The road is not finished. Let us recall that, in 1988, regularization had failed for problems of a canonical nature that affect mutual confidence. And everything seems to point to the fact that Bp. Fellay is more than ever decided to keep the principles claimed by Abp. Lefebvre. Only the context is different. A quarter-century ago, papal determination was not this resolute. Besides, mercy has ceded room to persistence. And now the Roman Pontiff seems to establish, more than ever, a barrier against the fruits of the marriage between the Church and the world - a union that we cannot but identify as conciliar.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Chastity speaker Leah Darrow of "America's Next Top Model" coming to Mount de Sales Academy, Catonsville, Maryland on 30 April at 7 pm

Leah Darrow, who was on America's Next Top Model is coming to Mount de Sales Academy700 Academy Road, Catonsville, Maryland 21228 this Monday night 30 April from 7 pm-9 pm.

Before her debut on the hit reality TV show, America’s Next Top Model, and the subsequent years as a professional model, Leah earned a bachelor degree in psychology from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, graduating with Magna cum Laude honors and President of the Psychology Honor Society, Psi Chi. Leah is currently working towards her Masters in Pastoral Theology, in the IPT program, at Ave Maria University. Now, as a full-time apologist for Catholic Answers, Leah brings her experience of the fashion world and the Catholic world to the masses. Leah has appeared on numerous secular and non-secular television and radio programs, including EWTN’s Life on the Rock and Faith & Culture programs. Leah, also spoke on behalf of international youth at the United Nations’ panel discussion in July of 2011. Leah speaks internationally to people of all ages on topics of mercy, conversion, human dignity, modesty and chastity. Inspired by John Paul II, Mother Teresa and Pope Benedict XVI, Leah reaches out to all those lost in sin, scared to change and offers them the lighted pathway to Christ, our Hope and our Salvation. Pope Benedict XVI said, "The world promises you comfort but you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness!” Leah inspires and challenges her audiences to accept the mercy of Christ, embrace true love, and welcome conversion Leah is also featured on!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Raising "Alleluia" Kids in a "Whatever" World

Friday, April 20, 2012 9:55 AM Comments (30)

I saw an 18 year old girl yesterday put air quotes on the word "love." She was asked by her friend if she loved her boyfriend. And she shrugged, saying, "I guess I 'love' him whatever that means" with the air quotes.

You see, she wasn't questioning her feelings for him. She was questioning the existence of love itself. And it just blew me away and I wondered what went wrong with this girl's life. She's sitting in the bleachers of her sister's softball game on a beautiful day with car keys dangling from her fingers and an IPhone in her palm and she absolutely seems hopeless.

And I don't think she's alone. I think cynicism, ironic detachment, and hopelessness are prevalent in children today. It's odd that a generation to whom has been given marvels of technological advancements, such widespread bitter unhappiness has resulted.

Plato said, "Let parents bequeath to their children not riches, but the spirit of reverence." I think it's safe to say, we've done the opposite of that.

I am raising four girls and a boy. And few things are more paramount in my mind than having them avoid the culture of cynicism that oppresses so many around them. This ironic detachment from anything scares the heck out of me.

I want kids that stop and point to a sunset. I want them to be assured that their Mom and Dad love each other and love them. I want them to be thankful to God because I don't think you can be cynical and thankful at the same time. In short, I want to raise "Alleluia" kids in a "whatever" world.

I've never seen cynicism add to a person's happiness. I think cynicism can temporarily protect you from terrible grief but it prohibits actual joy.

In this Youtube world where every kid has a camera, so many kids act like the cameras are always rolling. They don't stand, they pose.

I've watched them dance at their school dances. They don't dance with abandon. They dance to make fun of dancing in front of their friends videotaping them. They dance "the robot" to make fun of people who danced the robot or they dance like people did in the music video of the song to make fun of the video.

They say they like a movie because it was "sooooo bad" or "It's awesome in a totally stupid way."

They're not living life, they're commenting on it.

This ironic detachment is the pose of the powerless. It's the shrug of surrender because it would look uncool to actually put your arms up in surrender, except if you were making fun of people surrendering.

I don't know why this has happened but I think it has something to do with parents working so hard to provide material goodsfor their children and neglecting to pass on the things that really matter, like instilling a sense of wonder in the world and gratitude to God.

Yup. God comes into this. How could He not?

Kids are coming into a materialistic culture that calls itself spiritual but not religious which is a nice way of saying that you can do whatever you want and feel good about it. But that kind of God isn't one that's involved in your life. The kind of God who cheers your every decision isn't a God who can call you out of yourself.

And what this bequeaths to our children is the logical extension of that kind of thinking which is that they are gods. And if everyone's a god there is no god. And in a godless world, you don't just get rid of all those cumbersome "thou shall nots." You get rid of love too. Love is airquoted and reclassified as a Darwinian urge to fool us into procreating. And the continuance of love is put to a cost/benefit analysis. If there's more pain associated with love at a particular moment, maybe it's time to go elsewhere where it'll feel better. But that's not love. That's self gratification.

Maybe the ability to watch whatever they want the instant they want or being able to listen to anything they want is perhaps a corrosive and terrible thing.

I don't know all the reasons why but it seems to me that the world is sick with cynicism. The antidote, I think, is gratitude.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Troubled Fairfax, Virginia, Abortion Clinic Puts Bleeding Botched Abortion Patient in Hospital

Fairfax, Virginia - A 35-year old diabetic patient suffering from heavy bleeding after an abortion at Nova Women's Healthcare was rushed to the hospital on March 3, 2012, according to recently obtained 911 records.

Click to watch video with 911 recording

Pro-life activists were at the scene and videotaped the ambulance and fire units that responded to the 911 call and later sought the 911 records through an open records act request.

Nova Women's Healthcare has a long history of abortion injuries and standard of care violations, including the death of a patient in 2002. Its owner, Mi Yong Kim, continues to operate the abortion clinic even though she was forced to surrender her medical license in 2007.

In 1998, Kim was disciplined for failing to determine the gestational age of pregnancy for one of her abortion patients. Board documents reveal that she assumed one patient's pregnancy was 8 weeks, but in reality her baby was 26 weeks gestation. The ensuing botched abortion landed the woman in the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

In 2005, Kim was disciplined after a patient died from an air embolism during an abortion. Kim improperly sedated her patient, failing to realize that she had gone into cardiac arrest. Kim did not attempt to resuscitate her.

In 2007, the Board determined that Kim failed to provide follow-up care for her patients, kept inadequate records, and improperly dispensed and handled drugs. Under threat of revocation, Kim voluntary surrendered her medical license but continued to operate her abortion clinic.

In 2009, Kim and Nova Women's Healthcare was sued for conducting an abortion on a woman with an ectopic pregnancy. The patient was told the abortion was successful and sent home. The ectopic pregnancy later ruptured and caused a painful, life-threatening emergency for the woman.

"There can be no doubt that Kim's policies and procedures - for which she was forced to surrender her medical license - are in place at Nova and are endangering the lives and health of women every day. She has no business operating any kind of facility," said Cheryl Sullenger, Senior Policy Advisor for Operation Rescue and Pro-Life Nation. "We are filing complaints and urging the medical board and the health department to step in and close the clinic on an emergency basis in the interest of public safety."

View Nova Women's Healthcare's profile on
View Mi Yong Kim's profile on

Watch the video with 911 recording


About Operation Rescue®

Operation Rescue is one of the leading pro-life Christian activist organizations in the nation and has become a strong voice for the pro-life movement in America. Operation Rescue is now headquartered in a former abortion clinic that it bought and closed in 2006. From there, Operation Rescue launches its innovative new strategies across the nation, exposing and closing abortion clinics through peaceful, legal means. Its activities are on the cutting edge of the abortion issue, taking direct action to stop abortion and ultimately restore legal personhood to the pre-born in obedience to biblical mandates. Click here to support Operation Rescue.
About Pro-Life Nation

Pro-Life Nation is an initiative of Operation Rescue that offers a goal-oriented strategy to end abortion. For more visit and read our new booklet that details our strategy.

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Operation Rescue/Pro-Life Nation
Troy Newman
Operation Rescue/Pro-Life Nation
Cheryl Sullenger
Senior Policy Advisor

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Kamsahamnida, Dziekuje, Terima kasih, Doh je, Grazie, Tesekur, Gracias, Dank u, Shukran

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