The Senate Bill Women’s Health Protection Act was defeated today. Along with 50 republicans that stopped it from codifying Roe v Wade into federal law, one lone Democrat crossed party aisles to prevent this so-called “healthcare bill” from being passed… Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
The bill would’ve wiped out 500 pro-life bills passed on the state level while expanding abortion to the point of coercing medical staff against their moral conscience and even allowing non-medically licensed people to perform the procedure.
We have another pro-life victory, despite a deadlock in the senate and a razor-thin pro-death majority in the House of Representatives.
Pray. Fast. Hold the line. Hold your elected officials accountable. We’re not done yet.
Bear in mind, that this debate will be decided when we make abortion unthinkable and it begins in our community. Continue changing hearts and minds.
On Wednesday, the pro-life community has learned of the tragic loss of Vicki Thorn, foundress of Project Rachel, at the age of 72.
She shared her first indirect encountered when a friend needed help. “All I could do was just love her and be present to her, and make sure she was OK,” Thorn would recall years later. “But it was a life-changing experience for me, in understanding that abortion was not a non-event, that it left enormous footprints in someone’s life, and enormous pain.”
In 1984, Thorn founded Project Rachel while working for the Respect Life Office in Milwaukee. The idea of her ministry came from Jeremiah 31:25, which reads, “In Ramah is heard the sound of sobbing, bitter weeping! Rachel mourns for her children, she refuses to be consoled for her children — they are no more!”
In his statement on the tragic loss of Vicki Thorn, Archbishop Listecki recalled that “Vicki’s life was dedicated to a single mission; caring for men and women wounded by abortion. As the founder of Project Rachel, she single-handedly created a post-abortion healing ministry at a time when none existed,”
In 2021, Vicki Thorn received Evangelium Vitae Medal from the University of Notre Dame. View the presentation here.
Today, Project Rachel is flourishing through a majority of Archdioceses throughout the United States and in 25 additional countries.
More information about Project Rachel is available on the ministry’s USCCB’s website, or by calling 888-456-HOPE (4673).
Once again, we are mourning the loss of one of our pro-life warriors. Betty Maier left us on Sunday, March 6th to join the many of our pro-life community who have gone before her. Betty and her husband, Dave, could be found on Saturday mornings (and other days of the week) praying and offering help to women in front of the Planned Parenthood (formerly the Northeast Women’s Center) on Comly Road.
In the 1980’s when Sister Maryanne Regensburger and I decided to open another (but much needed) maternity home in SE Pennsylvania, I asked Dave and Betty to be part of this new ministry. Without hesitation, they both agreed and were a very large part of our new program, Guiding Star Ministries. With the help of Betty and Dave, we established a Board of Directors, a Mission Statement, and met with Monsignor Charles Devlin, the Vicar for our area of Philadelphia at that time, for his guidance. Monsignor Devlin was very enthusiastic about our mission and paved the way for our Board to meet with the Archdiocese to see about getting an empty convent to use.
After a presentation at St. Jude’s parish in Chalfont, we were directed by Jennette Wynn, Respect Life Committee Co-Ordinator of St. Jude’s, to St. Benedict’s parish in the Germantown area of Philly (where Betty and Dave lived). Father Moore, pastor of St. Benedict’s was excited about this program, and after discussing it with the few nuns who were living there, graciously gave us the convent to begin our ministry. These nuns made arrangements to move to St. Raymond’s convent, a neighboring parish.
Betty was a great inspiration to everyone. She was always there to offer her guidance and support for our program, and to everyone in the pro-life movement. She will be greatly missed not only by her family, but by those of us who worked with her to end the killing of God’s precious little ones. I’m not sure if she was ever recognized for her untiring pro-life work here on earth, but I’m certain in heaven she will be. Rest in peace, Betty, good and faithful servant!
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked for donations to be send to the following in Betty’s memory: Guiding Star Ministries, 1940 E. Chelten Ave., Phila., PA 19138; Legacy of Life, 25 S. Main St., #217, Yardley, PA 19067 or AlphaCare, 3807 Lancaster Ave., Phila., PA 19104, would be appreciated.
Below is more information on Betty from Mike McMonagle, President of the Pro-Life Coalition of Pennsylvania.
For many years, Betty Maier served as a highly faithful and effective pro-life activist in our area’s pro-life movement. On Sunday, March 6, 2022 Betty died at Jefferson Torresdale Hospital after a prolonged illness. Her husband Dave and some of their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren gathered around her in prayer and song (Amazing Grace) at the time of her death.
Betty Maier (née Walton) grew up in Germantown in St. Francis Parish and became a Registered Nurse through then St. Joseph Hospital. She and Dave married in 1955 and were blessed with seven children, 18 grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren.
Because of their Catholic Faith, Dave and Betty became intensely involved in the Philadelphia area pro-life movement through many activities. They engaged in faithful sidewalk counseling prayer vigils at the Planned Parenthood abortion chamber on Comly Road and provided tremendous leadership for Guiding Star Ministries Maternity Home at the former St. Benedict Convent in Germantown.
On social media, Dr. Monique Ruberu and Marlene Downing shared some great news.The first is shared by Monique.
Nine months ago, a scared young girl went into 777 Appletree and took an abortion pill. She later regretted this choice and called the abortion center to find out if anything could be done… they told her to go to the ER… the ER had no help for her, but while she sat there she desperately searched the web and came across Marlene Downing who was the Hope Pregnancy Center Director. Marlene took the late-night call and called me… at 10 o’clock at night I told that girl to meet me at my office… I took Marlene with me on the phone for safety since I had never met anyone this late alone in my office…
The minute I laid eyes on her I knew I had nothing to worry about… this sweet mama was nothing but love.
I gave her her 1st progesterone shot and arranged to follow up… prayed with her and Marlene….
Soon after I met her to do an ultrasound and make sure the sweet baby was still alive and she was. We went for lunch to celebrate that day!
Today is a joyous day. I have to tell the story even though my beautiful friend Monique did an amazing job telling it.
I was given permission by the mom to educate you all on the miracle that took place in a beautiful mother’s life.
Let me first start out by saying that Dr. Ruberu, myself, and countless others live a life of servitude to mothers and babies daily. It is our mission to assist and love not only the babies but the mothers. We have so many stories left untold because it’s not at all about recognition of us but leading lives that represent our father in Heaven. We take this very seriously.
BUT … this story holds so many layers that need to be told because telling it can be educational and a saving grace for others.
Last year I was the director of Hope pregnancy center. I took after-hours calls. It didn’t matter where I was..driving, grocery store, in bed in the middle of the night I answer the phone calls directed from the center to my personal line.
This time I was headed to the grocery store and the phone rang. I answered. On the other line was a young woman asking if this was a place that she can call to speak to someone about abortion. I responded that we don’t do abortions but I would love to talk to her before she makes that decision. She said I’m looking for someone to help me. She said she took the abortion pill and regrets taking it.
My heart dropped because of the life or death reality of the matter but I was excited that she called. There were a few things that I needed to know first. One -When did she take the pill ( a mother has 72hrs to change her mind to increase the chances of saving the life of her baby)
She said that she would. I told her to call the hotline and call me back once she’s spoken with them.
I continued into the store, got my groceries, and headed home. She was on my mind the entire time but I didn’t want to interrupt the process so I waited to call back. An hour went by I called her back. I asked what happened when she called the hotline. She said because she had a peanut allergy they couldn’t subscribe the pill to reverse it but she may be able to go to the ER to get a shot. The shot would not affect her allergy. So I said I highly doubt that they will help in the ER but I told her to let me know when she sees a doctor there. In the meantime I called the only person that I could 100% count on to do everything she could possibly do in this situation Monique Ruberu I told Dr. Ruberu what was going on, she said “see what the doctors say in the ER and I will talk to my husband in case I have to shoot over to my office. “ I said awesome I’ll call you back.
I waited for the young woman to call, no call so I called her and asked what was going on. She said the ER doctors didn’t want to give her the shot… I asked her how far she was from Dr. Ruberu’s office. She put it in her GPS .. she was exactly 16 minutes away! I called Dr. Ruberu and stayed on the phone with her until she got to the office because after all I never met the young woman and she never met her to be there at 10pm in the dark of the night.
When the young woman arrived Dr. Ruberu and I was already praying for the baby over the phone and it was now my time to hang up knowing that everyone was safe and things were moving forward.
Later that night I got a text thanking me for introducing her to Dr. Ruberu. She felt so much better knowing that there was a chance her baby would live.
Later that week there was a follow-up visit to check the heartbeat the heartbeat was strong! So we all went out to eat to celebrate life! (Picture above)
I continued to pray and talk to the young woman about concerns at home in early pregnancy. There came a time of hardship when she needed an immediate place to stay. I contacted Wendy Stanton and Pat Stanton of Our Lady’s House maternity home and they prepared a room for her. She stayed the majority of her pregnancy there and was later transferred to another Maternity care Facility.
During her stay, city life Church reached out to Hope Pregnancy Center to sponsor a baby shower. I worked with Trish to organize the shower. It was awesome. It was there that the beautiful young woman got most of what she needed to prepare for life as a new mom! (Picture below)
The same night we threw the baby shower, my mother passed away of Cancer. I worked and directed the center all of that day knowing my mother was in the hospital not doing well and helped set up and throw the baby shower. The last person left at 7:45.. I got in my car at 8:15pm at 8:20pm I received a phone call from my brother telling me that my mom didn’t make it.
So at the celebration of life, God saw fit to take one. He is beautiful in ALL things.
The care for this mom and baby will continue. Our relationship is more than an experience .. she is truly like family. She is a beautiful young lady, she loves God and that’s why she changed her mind. She said that she knew something wasn’t right and she had to fix it.
Here is the last thing I want to say. BE AVAILABLE… Had I not picked up the call, had doctor Ruberu chosen to stay in the comfort of her home, had Pat and Wendy not opened their home, had we not prayed… that beautiful baby would not BE HERE.
God has a plan and purpose for you that includes others around you. Don’t be selfish.. Don’t grow weary in well-doing.
OH, AND ANOTHER THING- Women do regret abortion so we won’t stop talking about it and educating everyone on resources and ways to overcome it.
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!
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.
I was so saddened the other day when I opened Facebook to find a message from Judy’s husband, Paul, telling us that that Judy had passed away. I know she was on Facebook posting the day before, so it was truly a shock to hear.
Judy was a true pro-life warrior. I only knew Judy through Facebook, but her posts, especially her poems certainly touched me, and I felt that I knew her my whole life. If you’ve ever read any of her poems, you know she was very close to Our Lord. Below are a few of her pro-life poems. I’ve included a link to her page on Facebook, God’s poetry, here so you can read more of her work.
Some things to keep in mind when planning your trip:
Keep checking the March for Life Foundation’s website for event before, during, and after the March for Life
Plan ahead to book your hotel before all rooms are filled whether traveling alone or with a small or large group
Local pro-lifers invite to pray outside of DC Planned Parenthood the morning of the march and the next day from 9AM to noon
There are two conferences if traveling with your college or high school group. One is hosted by Students for Life of America and another to be hosted by Georgetown Right to Life. More information will be available at a later time when released.
Don’t forget to start planning to attend the annual event. More details will be passed on as it becomes available.