My Writings. My Thoughts.
There are very many assaults on the Culture of Life in America in this Respect Life month of October, 2013. I am very pleased to offer you another valiant warrior working to stem the tide in California (fighting authorizing non-physicians to do abortions), Birmingham (closing abortion mills), and all over (securing freedom of speech rights near abortion mills).
Dana is the attorney President and Executive Director of Life Legal Defense Foundation, based in California. She spend her days traveling from court to court using the law to protect children and their mothers from the gross abuse of abortion and its aftermath. She will be telling us what she does and how she came to her convictions.
The Affordable Care Act is now being implemented against the wishes of many/most Americans. I’ll be asking Dana about the status of the hundreds of lawsuits that are attempting to halt this assault on our religious freedom and true health care.
James and Kathleen Littleton are the co-founders of Forming Faithful Families. They offer a parish-based multi-session program by that title. However, the program that caught my attention was their approach for encouraging married couples to be open to another child–”one more baby for Jesus”. As the Director of “One More Soul”, I’m always on the hunt for materials and ideas for helping couples be open to life. After all, if we are to have a Culture of Life, we need more LIFE–more babies–lots more.
James and Kathleen Littleton, are parents of nineteen children, fourteen living on earth, ages twenty-seven to six, and five living in heaven. (And they regretfully started their marriage out as contracepting, nominal Catholics.) They are Catholic reverts, speakers, spiritual guides, radio guests, regular columnists for Catholic.net, and co-authors of Better by the Dozen, Plus Two, subtitled Anecdotes and a Philosophy of Life from a Family of Sixteen, Better by the Dozen Plus Two, Part Two, subtitled Lessons Learned Through Loss and Leukemia by Kathleen Littleton (2012), and Healed Through Cancer by James Littleton (2012), available at their website Forming Faithful Families.
I am certain that you will find their life story fascinating. How does a couple get from a contraceptive mentality to a providential mentality culminating in 19 children? I need to know that. And, I think we all do if we are going to be evangelists in the United States of America
Steven Mosher is President of the Population Research Institute and an astute demographer who blew the whistle on China’s “one-child-policy” and forced abortion approach to implementing that policy. On today’s program he reviews his China experience as a Stanford U graduate student and then describes the research that PRI has done that raises serious questions concerning Catholic charities involvement with the US Agency for International Development (USIAD). USAID is well known to be a major promoter and distributor of birth control all over the world. Its approach to assisting poor countries is to reduce their population by coercive contraceptive and sterilization programs. PRI has uncovered strong evidence that Catholic Relief Services has collaborated with USAID in at least a few countries, accepting US Government funds and hiring promoters/distributors of intrinsic evil. Steven raises a good question—“Would the Catholic Church better serve the poor (consistent with Church teaching) by avoiding USAID funding in favor of purely charitable donations from US Catholics?”
This week is Radio Mariathon Week, so we will be partially focused on raising the funds necessary for bringing “Christian Radio into your home”, including “The Quest for a Culture of Life in America”. Our Guest this week is in fact a regular listener to this program so I can ask him what he appreciates about the “Quest” and why he encourages others to listen. David lives in North Carolina so he listens online since there are no RM stations near him.
David and his wife Meg are “promoters” of NFP for the Couple to Couple League. They understand their role as a “calling” and take it very seriously. As you might expect, they have used the Sympto-Thermal Method during their marriage, and like many/most NFP-using couples, they have many children; their 5th is due in January.
David can trace his love for the Catholic Church back to his youth on an Army base where Fr Daniel McCaffrey was Chaplain. In effect, David is a 2nd generation NFP promoter, following in the footsteps of his spiritual father–Father McCaffrey–founder of NFP Outreach.
David’s conversion to active Catholic is a sweet story of the affect of collaboration between a committed lay person (his mother) and a faithful priest/shepherd (Fr McCaffrey). I’m convinced that we need the laity and the clergy to work together to establish a Culture of Life in America and around the world. I pray that this program is helping to achieve that goal by helping our listeners find their particular role in that mission.
The US Supreme Court was recently asked to redefine marriage to include partners of the same gender. The Court’s ruling was somewhat ambiguous and thus confusing.
The issue raises serious questions about “marriage”. What is it? Who decides? Is there (or was there) a universally accepted definition? Is it important? Why?
Our Guest on “The Quest for a Culture of Life in America” is Fr Matthew Habiger, a Benedictine priest at Benedictine College, Atchison KS. Fr Matthew has a PhD in moral Theology from Catholic University of America, and travels throughout the country speaking on “God’s plan for Marriage, Spousal Love and Family” as part of the NFP Outreach apostolate. He is superbly qualified to acquaint us with the development of an authentic “marriage” definition–from God, as well as the erosion of that definition through out history.
We want to provide you with the understanding and words for explaining what marriage is and what it cannot be. There are many resources to assist you. Then we want to challenge you to spread the truth about marriage in your parishes (including your pastor), families and various other groups.
I’m completing my IL, WI, MN grand tour with this Radio Maria broadcast of “The Quest for a Culture of Life in America” from Madison WI.
Thirty-eight years ago, 5 year-old Huan Hoang, his parents and other family members, escaped South Vietnam in a leaky barge to become part of the large Vietnamese refugee program that settled in the US. Many of these families were Catholic in Vietnam and were settled here with the assistance of Catholic Social Services. Huan and his family first settled in California and then moved to Madison where he attended the U of Wisconsin and earned a BS in Pharmacy (RPh) and has been a licensed pharmacist here for 22 years with the same company.
I know of only a few pharmacies and pharmacists who will not dispense birth control pills or other means of artificial birth control. Huan will tell us of his struggle in this area and some of the ideas he is pursuing to relieve him of this moral burden, including the idea of a “Natural Law Pharmacy”. In spite of Madison’s reputation as a very liberal community (home base for the U of Wisconsin), Huan will tell us of the many Catholic resources that co-exist here and confront the strong liberal culture with a healthy and holy model for living and promoting a Culture of Life.
Huan and I hope/pray that his journey will be an inspiration to others–not only pharmacists–to align their lives with God’s plan as best encouraged by the teachings of the Catholic Church. Please pray for Huan and other health care providers as they confront the challenges of their professions.
I am on a pilgrimage this week-a pilgrimage visiting Schoenstatt Shrines in Wisconsin and Minnesota, and meeting the religious and laity who are the Schoenstatt Family. Sister Candice Fier is a Schoenstatt Movement Religious Sister. I was surprised to know of their large numbers and the variety of their ministries. Sister lives at the Sleepy Eye MN Shrine and Retreat Center, and serves the Diocese of New Ulm as Family Life Director. She is a Registered Nurse and Fertility Care Practitioner with an MS in Marriage and Family Life from the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family in WDC.
Today we will learn about Sr Candice-her origins, call to religious life, and the three prongs of her ministry:
Promotion of NFP and Natural Procreative Technology for healthy marriages and healthy women,
Marriage and Family Life projects in a large rural Midwestern diocese, and the
Schoenstatt movement mission and charisma based on a deep love of Mary.
The triennial meeting of the MWIA, Medical Women’s International Association, an organization started in 1919, was held three weeks ago in Seoul, Korea. Three AAPLOG (America Assn of Pro-Life Obstetricians & Gynecologists) women were scheduled presenters. Drs Donna Harrison, Mary Davenport, both ObGyns, and Dr. Martha Shuping, a psychiatrist flew to Seoul for the meeting, but at the last moment, they were informed their sessions would be cancelled. Why? Their presentations were cancelled because they did not support the pro-abortion ideology of the meeting’s organizers.
What happened next was quite astonishing. Be sure to listen–at radio maria.us –as Dr Mary will be our Guest on “The Quest for a Culture of Life in America” Tuesday at Noon ET.
She will describe her personal conversions to NFP-Only, Natural Procreative Technology, and the the Roman Catholic faith. She is the immediate past president of AAPLOG and can tell us about that organization.
But, we mainly want to hear how the Holy Spirit orchestrated the banning of their presentations to a small group of MWIA attendees so that their message could be heard all over the world. Lesson #1: The Holy Spirit will take the ball and run with it if allowed in the game. So, do your part–listen to that small voice encouraging you to do something that will advance the Culture of Life.
Just do it; the Holy Spirit will do most of the actual work!
Mary will synopsize the three presentations; all addressed the harm caused to women by abortion:
Donna Harrison’s presentation demonstrated that nations with laws protective of mothers and unborn babies have excellent maternal mortality statistics. Ireland is a classic example
Mary Davenport had a talk about abortion as a risk factor for pre-term birth, the cause of 15 million neonatal deaths each year internationally. Mary travels extensively to gather data and present the facts of abortions harm.
Martha Shuping had a presentation that included two case reports of women who suffered severe psychological harm from abortion, even though they had obvious risk factors that were not discussed in the informed consent process.
Alan Parker is the attorney president of San Antonio based The Justice Foundation (TJF) offering free legal representation to those whose fundamental freedoms and rights are being threatened. He serves as the lead legal counsel for Norma McCorvey (“Jane Roe” of Roe vs Wade) and Sandra Cano (“Mary Doe” of Doe vs Bolton) and is advancing the Culture of Life in America in a variety of ways, including fighting for parents rights in the education of their children.
TJF’s “Center Against Forced Abortion” offers letters to parents, fathers, and abortionists to discourage forcing or coercing girls into having an abortion. These have saved thousands of lives and can be used by you to give to a minor girl, her parents, teachers/counselors/pastors or anyone who may try to convince her to abort. She alone has the right to choose; that’s the law. The letters are available at www.TheJusticeFoundation.org.
I also expect to ask Alan about the future of abortion in America. With tougher restrictions becoming increasingly common, we are seeing more abortion facilities close each month. Are we really winning the fight for LIFE?
Another TJF project is collecting the testimonies of aborted women who wish they had NOT aborted their son or daughter. These powerful human stories are being used to convince legislators and voters that abortion should not be an option because it causes depression, grief, regret, suicide, and severe health problems for the mothers–and of course, killS their children.
I am always especially excited to be able to interview one of Christs’ Vicars here on Earth. Bishop Paprocki is the “Ordinary” for the Diocese of Springfield, the capital of Illinois, and by no means is he”ordinary”. He is probably in the best physical condition of all the US bishops. He runs marathons (18 and counting) and still plays ice hockey (goalie) on an amateur team.
He has written a book–Holy Goals for Body and Soul–that extols the virtues and demands of athletics and their application to life. It is loaded with interesting stories from sports and their practical lessons for everyday life. I highly recommend it as a gift for any athlete or sports enthusiast.
The goalie is the last line of defense, and courage is essential. So it is with a bishop, as he is the final authority for his diocese and when something is wrong, he has the responsibility to address the problem. Bishop Paprocki has taken the heat for his 2012 pastoral letter on a Catholic’s responsibility to take his/er faith into the voting booth, and he has spoken clearly in defense of marriage.
Bishop Paprocki is also a lawyer and quite willing to offer guidance to the Illinois State legislature and other state officials in Springfield. Illinois does not have a strong pro-life/family reputation [ranked 36th by Americans United for Life--www.aul.org/states/illinois], so some recent decisions are surprising. Does he see “evolving”? Is he a stimulant for evolution in Illinois?