First Missionaries of Culture Project Arrive in Greater Philadelphia area

Philadelphia has welcomed their first missionaries from the Culture Project last week. Thanks to the initiative and blessing of Archbishop Nelson Perez the City of Brotherly will welcome seven missionaries who are ready to transform the culture of Philadelphia into one that is fully alive.

Since its inception in 2014, The Culture Project is a movement of young people who speak about the message of life and love to transform every human person to be fully alive. In addition to Philadelphia, they have missionaries in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Toledo, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

The Culture Project Benefit

The organization will have a fundraiser to raise fund for their missions. You are invited to attend this event

When: November 2nd 2021 7PM-8:30 PM

Where: Eakins Room at St. Charles Seminary 100 E Wynnewood Rd Wynnewood, PA 19096

Please RSVP to Maryrose Richards MRichards@thecultureproject.org or call 215-315-7814 x 712. The deadline is Friday October 15th

You may also make a donation to the Culture Project here

SPONSOR A STUDENT TO ATTEND THE ANNUAL STAND UP FOR LIFE DINNER

With the annual dinner only weeks away, the Pro-Life Union of Greater Philadelphia is asking for you to sponsor a student or two to attend the dinner.

The cost is $50. The goal of the organization is to help students from grade school to grad school to be a part of this annual event and to be equipped with the tools to build a culture of life at their school.

For more information, please visit the link here.

LifeRunners and Padre Pio: What is the Connection?

I went to the Padre Pio Shrine in Barto, Pa seeking inspiration.

How could I summarize St Padre Pio? 

He had many spiritual gifts; the stigmata, bi-location, gifts of prophecy, and visions. Some say he was cantankerous and would throw people out of the confessional, yet pilgrims still sought him out, desiring edification. He was intense, yet known for the carefree mantra, “Pray, hope, and don’t worry.”

There is much to say about such an enigmatic man!

But while at the shrine I ran into Deb Mirenda, co-captain of the Philadelphia Chapter of Life Runners. She reminded me that Padre Pio was the patron saint of the unborn. And, as it turns out Padre Pio had an active role in the creation of Life Runners too. 

In 2006, Pat Castle, had an incredible encounter with Padre Pio, Pat was participating in the Pikes Peak Ascent race, a marathon up a mountain. Just when the going got tough, Padre Pio gave him encouraging words which strengthened his resolve to push forward, finishing the race under his goal of three hours! 

After this encounter, Pat co-founded Life Runners. Today Life Runners is the largest pro-life running/walking group in the world with 16,841 teammates in 40 nations. Teammates have the shared goal of “crossing the finish line that ends abortion.” Teammates wear bright blue shirts with the Jeremiah 1:5 message, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew You….”

The word of God on these shirts often speaks to people who happen to read them while running or walking by. 

Deb shared a few such stories; 

 “While running the Philly Marathon, Ted (my husband) was a couple miles into the early part of the race and having a lil mental convo w/ himself along the lines of: ‘why am I doing this; why did God put me here, etc. And Lo-n-behold, he feels a tap on his shoulder from another runner, “Hey, what’s this ‘Remember the Unborn’ message about?” … So they ran the next couple miles together sharing a Pro-life conversation. The guy wound up joining and has been a member of the Philly team since. 
 

Another time while a few of us were doing the Valley Forge Revolutionary 5mile Run, another runner noticed our shirts & shared with us that her mom was a young single mom when she had her & thus the Protection of Unborn Children is a very personal cause for her. She promptly joined and is a consistent teammate wearing her shirt and sharing the message.”

On another occasion, a woman saw the shirt and was inspired to join because her mother had become pregnant with her when she was just 15 years old in 1975. The woman shares, “When I run, I remember that some people advised my Mom to have an abortion. I’m grateful that she and my Dad wanted me to be born, even though the pregnancy was unplanned. They married in the summer of 1975 and celebrated their 46th wedding anniversary in July.”

Such beautiful stories of the power of the word of God to evangelize! And as Catholics, we often forget that many people are hungry and looking for faith. If we make ourselves available we allow the holy spirit to use us. Padre Pio was a man that engaged in a spiritual battle every day. His weapons were prayer, the sacraments, and the rosary. 

As we begin this 40 days for Life in Philadelphia we are called to engage in this battle too. But Life Runners proves that fighting for life can be fun! And we don’t engage in culture wars alone. We need teammates.

Padre Pio said his ministry would begin after his death. And he seems to be good on his word. I think if there is one thing to add to his “Pray, hope, don’t worry” it might just be and get moving

Interested in joining Life Runners? Visit: www. LifeRunners.org. 

Running is Optional! But jerseys are required and Faith/prayer is necessary!

Watch an interview with Pat Castle about his encounter here; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0f_dRVoUl1c

Here is also an article I wrote about the Liferunners Chapter in Philadelphia during the 20216 Philadelphia marathon.

Pro-Lifers Counter “Women’s March” Nationwide

September has been a tumultuous month for the debate on abortion. It all began with the Texas heartbeat taking effect on September 1st. Even the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the law citing the 10th amendment.

Later, a radical bill was passed by the House of Representatives that would reverse all pro-life laws passed on state level making abortion federal law.

As the potential of Roe v Wade case being reversed by the Supreme Court, with a hearing and arguments taking place in DC on December 1st, the flop of an event called “Women’s March took place in several cities across the United States on Saturday, October 2nd.

As always, college students and young adults assembled to counter the event. Here are some takeaways from several who were on the frontlines.

Grace Rykaczewski- Washington, DC

Students for Life had a strong showing in DC. Grace was one of the student activists present. She shared three takeaways:

  1. There was a shocking amount of aggression from pro abortion men towards pro-life women at a “WOMEN’S MARCH”. Ironic. I witnessed a man trying to grab a bull horn out of a young pro-life woman’s hands.
  2. They didn’t really call it the women’s march this year, they called it the rally for Abortion Justice which is so fitting because it has never been a “Women’s March” it’s always been a pro-abortion March. Since the very first one pro-life organizations, even pro-life feminist organizations were disinvited from the March. How can it be a women’s March if they disinvite half of women??
  3. It’s terrible that the women’s march completely ignores all other women’s issues. We didn’t see a single sign about women in Afghanistan, women being raped or the wage gap. Nothing. All abortion related signs and shirts.
  4. they held a prayer rally… the pro-aborts. Idk who they thought they were praying to but not my God…

Titus Folks

The big thing Titus witnessed while in Indianapolis is how the pro-aborts were not open to dialogue or understanding a view that is opposite to them. Him and along with seven high schools and colleges were at hand. Despite the wet weather and losing their voices from chanting, they were all present to give a voice to the voiceless.

For Mallory Finch of Charlotte, NC she was disappointed that these women have believed the lie being sold by our culture. The women of the Women’s March have boiled women’s rights down to abortion. They rebranded the Women’s March to be the Abortion Justice.

After talking to a few of the women (that actually had conversations and weren’t just yelling in my face) many of them really weren’t educated. Many of these women don’t know what abortion really is. Also many of these women aren’t aware of the other many things we do as prolifers. Some of the women were shocked when we started talking about Pregnancy Help Centers and our petitions for Paid Family Leave for Moms and Dads.

For Anna Gidish, President and Foundress of Lehigh Valley Pro-Life Future, she uses the opportunity to help pregnant women receive access to abortion alternatives. She shares:

“One woman stopped us before all the Women’s March protesters got there. (We decided to get there early and take their spot!) She angrily asked Maria and Olivia, if you have time to protest, why don’t you spend time giving real resources to women. Her tune changed after Maria and Olivia actually discussed Standing With You and our local pregnancy center. She was 5 months pregnant and her baby’s father just walked out on them recently. Maria was able to offer a blessing bag she had in her car from when she was outside Planned Parenthood the day before. The woman was so grateful for the resources. Whether she already intended to choose life before or not… I am not sure, BUT she did say that she believes it is in “providence” that she does choose life for her child! Another woman walked by and said she liked what we were doing during the counter-protest. I ran up to her and talked to her about the resources we offer in the community. She told me she was pregnant and the father wanted her to have an abortion. She said she didn’t want an abortion, though. I checked with her to see what she needed. She said she would reach out via Standing With You, if she needs help!”

Theses were just the many testimonies from the now of the pro-life movement. Some have diverse backgrounds, yet they have one goal: make abortion unthinkable because it hurts women.

To view photo galleries from Saturday’s counter demonstration around the country, click here

Abortion March Counter Demonstration Photo Gallery

Here are photos from several locations that were used with permission from those who were present.

COMING SOON TO BOOKSHELVES NEAR YOU: ABBY JOHNSON’S TEN YEARS OF PRO-LIFE INVOLVEMENT

Many may recall Abby Johnson’s memoir Unplanned that became to focus of her Walk Away story from the abortion industry. It was also turned into a movie in 2019 that got many people talking and brought her story to life.

During the state March for Life in Harrisburg, PA, it was revealed that Abby Johnson will pick up right where she left off from her debut book.

In her forthcoming novel, Fierce Mercy Abby will reflect on her first decade of her involvement in the pro-life movement while also sharing lessons that can be applied in everyday life,

The book is set to be released in March of 2022, but you can pre-order it here.

Respect Life March and Rally with Rev. Clenard Childress

We are just days away from the Fall 2021 Rally in Philadelphia.

Back by popular demand is Rev. Clenard Childress who highlighted the closing Fall 2020 rally last year.

The day will include a rally outside of the Philadelphia Women’s Center (777 Appletree).

The event will follow with a peaceful procession to Liberty Bell.

All are encouraged to attend a bring a friend or two. Make your voices heard.

OCTOBER TO-DO LIST

It is the tenth month of the year. 2021 is winding down. We are seeing various displays of pumpkin spice themes, Halloween commercials, and even people flocking to the farms for apple picking and pumpkin.

As we begin a new month, let us continue to recommit ourselves to defending life from womb to tomb.

Here are events and things that can be done in October

  1. Attend the friend for life workshop.
  2. Attend the Fall Rally
  3. Participate in 40 Days for Life campaign near you
  4. Hold a Holy Hour for Life at your church
  5. Collect donations for your local pro-life group
  6. Host a screening of Roe V Wade at your church
  7. Donate $50 to ensure a student to attend the annual Stand Up for Life Dinner this coming November.
  8. Recruit new members for your group
  9. Have a pro-life display at church event

GENERATION LIFE CELEBRATES 20 YEARS

For the last twenty years, Generation Life has changed the hearts and minds of half a million young people throughout the greater Philadelphia area and beyond.

On a beautiful fall evening at The Inn at Villanova, 200 supporters gathered to reminisce, celebrate, and hope to equip the organization to continue to fight for love and life.

Kim Savage opened the evening by sharing how far the organization has come since its humble beginnings on the campus of Villanova University, which later grew into sharing chastity in the classrooms, early involvements outside of abortion facilities, and in time beach outreaches.

Those gathered saw a few videos that recapped the last twenty years of the organization while also hearing from past and current staff and volunteers what the organization has done and meant to them.

Fr. Joe Zaleski, the president of the organization, has asked everyone to continue donating to the organization as an anonymous donor wishes to match every money donated to the organization in the near future.

You may do so by donating to the organization here.

#GivingTuesday Preview

Giving Tuesday will be held on Tuesday, November 30th. Do not forget to support pro-life charities in your community and across the country.

Here is a list of national and local groups you can support

National

Students for Life of America

The Culture Project

Democrats for Life

Live Action

Life Runners

Susan B Anthony List

Save the Storks

CatholicVote

40 Days for Life

Local

Generation Life

Hope Pregnancy Center

Legacy of Life

St. Raymond Nonnatus Foundation

Alpha Pregnancy