4 Percent of Sermons Mention Abortion, New Study Finds

“Even though he gave quotable sermons addressing abortions, my priest was urged to avoid the subject by people. Sad!”

Black Pastor Preaching

Abortion is one issue that pastors avoid including in their sermons.  Following is an article by Michael Foust of Christian Headlines on the Pew Research Center. 

About one in five churches across the United States during the spring of 2019 heard a sermon mentioning abortion, according to a new Pew Research Center survey that showed a disparity between evangelical and mainline churches on the issue.

Nineteen percent of churches heard at least one sermon mentioning abortion, with evangelical Protestant (22 percent), Catholic (19 percent) and historically black Protestant churches (18 percent) being the most likely to include a sermon on abortion during the study period and mainline churches (10 percent) the least likely.

Most sermons were in opposition to abortion, Pew said.

Overall, 4 percent of all sermons in U.S. churches mentioned abortion during the study period, including 4 percent of evangelical sermons, 5 percent of Catholic sermons and 3 percent of sermons in historically black Protestant churches. Two percent of sermons in mainline Protestant churches mentioned abortion.

The survey examined online sermons from more than 6,400 U.S. churches between April 7 and June 1, 2019. The survey period did not include what often is called Sanctity of Human Life Sunday or Pro-Life Sunday, an annual day in January when sermons on abortion are more common.

“While the database is not representative of all U.S. Christian sermons, it offers a window into what many Americans hear each week from the pulpit,” Pew’s Dennis Quinn wrote in an online analysis.

Meanwhile, sermons that mention abortion rarely dwell on the topic but instead mention it in only one segment of the sermon: “three-quarters of all sermons that mention abortion do so in just one segment,” according to Pew. (Pew divided sermons into 250-word segments.)

Churches with fewer members also were more likely to hear about abortion in a sermon. Although 21 percent of churches with fewer than 200 members heard at least one sermon mentioning abortion during the study period, that percentage fell to 17 percent among churches with more than 200 members.

The Pew data sparked a variety of responses on social media.

Christian Headlines continues here 

Blogger’s Comment: It’s extremely disappointing that pastors avoid the issue of abortion. Many are fearful of offending or losing church members. They don’t understand how many women sitting in their pews are suffering from the pain and regret of aborting their baby. A survey from 2015 indicated 70 percent of women who had abortions identify as Christians.

For women in a crisis pregnancy, their church should be the first place they turn to for help. Brochures should be available about crisis pregnancy centers. They provide counseling, ultrasounds, housing and education before and after their baby is born, some for up to two years such as Legacy of Life. Hotline numbers to access counseling and locations of care pregnancy centers should be published in church bulletins. The National Right to Life  hotline is available 24/7.

Rachel’s Vineyard ministers to post-abortive mothers and fathers, siblings and grandparents through weekend retreats.  Silent No More reaches out to those suffering grief and regret after abortion by offering after-care abortion programs. 

By remaining silent, pastors miss the opportunity to minister the love of Jesus to a teen or young woman in a crisis pregnancy. They also fail to share messages of God’s mercy, forgiveness and healing to post-abortive moms.  

Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat Scheduled for April 3 – 5, 2020 has been Canceled

The following is from Evelyn Walsh, Director of Rachel’s Vineyard in Doylestown, Pennsylvania regarding the cancellation of their April retreat as well as the cancellation of retreats around the world due to the coronavirus. 

Rachaels Vineyard

I’ve reached out to many of you already, but I thought I should contact the rest of the group to tell you that COVID-19 is responsible for cancelling our Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat this April 3rd to the 5th.  As a matter of fact, the National Rachel’s Vineyard office cancelled ALL retreats around the world for the months of March and April.  As much as this breaks my heart to cancel, I can’t help but to think that even through this difficult and uncertain time, God has a plan in all of this for us.

Through the blessing of our connectivity through the internet, we are able to participate in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, pray the rosary with others, and meet and talk with friends and family on so many other web platforms.  After the rosary last night with Meghan Cokeley, Vince and I met with other Archdiocesan Choir members on Zoom to sing Evening Prayers.  How oddly fun that was!  It made my heart smile.  Tonight the Charismatic Prayer group at the Shrine will have another Zoom meeting at 7:00pm.  We are definitely a resourceful bunch!  If anything, we do have so much more time now to pray and get closer to God in a multitude of ways.  (Surely, the old-fashioned way is still the best. 😉

I had hoped to reschedule this spring retreat to another weekend, but unfortunately the Ave Maria Retreat House is booked solid for this year and the next.  We do have our fall retreat booked for the weekend of October 2 – 4, 2020 and God-willing I look forward to your prayers and support then.  Please do pray that those suffering and wounded souls looking forward to this April retreat and all retreats in the future will be comforted by our prayers and intentions for them.

God bless you.  Stay safe and healthy and be at peace.

Sobbing- 40 Days Reflection

From an email blast sent out by Dr.Monique Ruberu.

Today while Pat was present at the vigils he witnessed something that always leaves a knot in our stomachs….

A man drove up with a blonde girl… she was sobbing and crying. He signed her in and he left her… sobbing inside … she went upstairs…

sadly if she went through with the procedure today will not be her last day of grief… please pray for her.
We have all heard stories that got up off the bed at the last moment and I pray that this was her story as well… all I know is that your willingness to be there… to witness brings honor to the child she is carrying.  That small innocent babe is acknowledged by your presence.. you pray for that child, that child is known and loved by you. And one day when you enter into heaven these children you witnessed will be present to welcome you.

thank you. Thank you. Thank you. 
please help us fill the remaining hours

Monday 3/9: 12th and locust: 1,3

Tues 3/10: 12th and locust: 12,1,2,3,4

Wed 3/11: 777 appletree: 12,1,2

Thurs 3/12: 777 Appletree: 8,11,12,1,2

Friday 3/13: 777 Appletree: 12,1,2

 

A special Valentine’s Day prayer for women whose hearts are broken over abortion

The following is from Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation.  

I will never forget the time when I was a radio reporter and I decided to do a feature on Valentine’s Day.

I arranged to visit a second-grade class at a local elementary school to record their impressions of the holiday. As I took out my microphone and tape recorder, the children gathered around me at lightning speed. They were eager to give their reflections of Valentine’s Day. In that moment, I just felt surrounded by love.

I remember my own excitement as a grade school student anticipating Valentine’s Day. My mother believed in celebrating to the hilt, so the day was filled with cards, gifts, cake, hors’ d’oeuvres, and even flaming cherries jubilee. Again, growing up, I always felt great love on Valentine’s Day.

It seems to me that the national public policy which permits abortion on demand erases a great deal of love from our lives. That is because it eliminates the children who carefully craft those handmade Valentine’s and whisper “I love you” at times of great grace.

Just think if we were to make a Valentine for every child lost to abortion, and for each woman who grieves a child that abortion has taken. The cards could stretch to the heavens and back.

I believe that every woman who was coerced into abortion knows what she is missing—an irreplaceable child with a boundless capacity to love. How sad that a woman could be driven to surrender the one who would love her the most.

Michelle Williams vs Leah Darrow

The talk of the town in the past two days has been Michelle Williams. Truthfully, Rick Gervais deserves a Golden Globe for his epic speech to scare the elite liberals of Hollywood.

One speech that has offended many women that evening came from actress Michelle Williams. In her acceptance speech, she cowardly made the false correlation between her professional decisions and her personal decisions claiming that “Because as women and as girls, things can happen to our bodies that are not our choice.” She continues, “I’ve tried my very best to live a life of my own making and not just a series of events that happened to me, but one that I could stand back and look at and recognize my handwriting all over—sometimes messy and scrawling, sometimes careful and precise, but one that I had carved with my own hand. And I wouldn’t have been able to do this without employing a woman’s right to choose: to choose when to have my children, and with whom.”

Clearly, this line is in the guise of a woman’s right to choose an abortion to fulfill a selfish need. I beg to answer the question that has she ever met women who once had an abortion and later in life regretting that fateful decision that has left them scarred, broken, and filled with a hole in their heart.

Leah Darrow

Leah Darrow

A woman that I believe Williams can learn from is a former runway model who is now an evangelist and sought-after speaker, Leah Darrow. Like Williams, Darrow is a celebrity. She was a contestant for America’s Next Top Model. She recalled how she had a road to Damascus experience, which led her back to the Catholic Church. She shares more about it also in her ground-breaking book, The Other Side of Beauty.

After hearing about the news of Williams and ready to give birth to her fifth child, Leah took it to Instagram to slam Michelle Williams for not only her speech but also how being a mom does not keep women from achieving their dreams. Instead, Leah shares the fact that authentic womanhood makes women better moms every time they give their yes to life.

As of today, Leah is now a proud mom of five beautiful children and the wife of a veteran and firefighter. Leah’s “yes” can teach women that choosing to be a mother to one, two, or even fifteen children does not derail us from our dreams and ambitions. Rather, you are willing to sacrifice the things of the world for the sake of your salvation and your family.

The things of the world cannot help you make achievements. Instead, they leave a deeper hole in our hearts. God calls us to something that is bigger than what the world proposes. He calls us to love those around us and to sacrifice the things that give us pleasure for his greater glory.

On behalf of Voices for Life, we congratulate Leah Darrow and her family on the birth of Valor Joseph who was born on the feast of the epiphany. We thank you for your testimony and hope you inspire other women to follow Christ and her mother by saying “yes” to his will.

A Pro-Life To-Do List

To do list

 

For the past few years, I took time on my Facebook page to reveal some of the things I hope to accomplish or do in a given new year. It can be challenging, but at the same time, it can help you to do new or accomplish things that you’ve always wanted to cross off.

As a pro-lifer, you may be on the same boat as I am. You may be asking yourself what you can do in the New Year to be a better pro-lifer or go into the unknown. To help you get a jump start on your pro-life to-do list, I came up with 10 things you can do as a pro-lifer.

  1. Host a screening of a pro-life themed movie. Unplanned took the world by storm and there is no question that many groups want to show movies like the world phenom of 2019. Cinema is a powerful medium to convey the message of life.
  2. Take part in a 40 Days for Life campaign (February 26th thru April 5th, 2020 and again the fall from September 23rd to November 1st). Be on the lookout once registration for vigil hours become available.
  3. Have a mass or Holy Hour offered for an end to the scourge of abortion or the conversion of those involved with the diabolical industry.
  4. Brush up on apologetics. It may be one thing to think you know it all. It’s another if you educate on what to say to those who may not know the issue at hand. Some people to learn from are Stephanie Gray and Trent Horn. Using their experience, they share the dos and don’ts in conveying the pro-life message to an individual or group.
  5. Volunteer at a pregnancy resource or crisis center. Many of them are not too far from a Planned Parenthood facility. these facilities need additional help with tasks like answering calls, taking inventory, and even being a support to vulnerable women. Side note: consider helping one raise funds for an ultrasound machine.
  6. Take part in prayer vigils. Yes, this may be scary, but we have been reminded 365 times in the Bible to not be afraid. If you can muster the courage every day to be present, your reward will be heaven. Don’t know what to say or do? Here’s a blog post for that. Here’s a post on prayers to recite in front of the facilities.
  7. Donate or raise funds for pro-life organizations. A previous blog post breaks down different groups that may help you decide who you can send your donation. If you want to go towards a fundraiser route, you might want to consider having a quizzo night, have someone teach ballroom dancing, or arts and craft and sell them with proceeds going to a pro-life organization of your choosing.
  8. Attend a rally. One of the most common events you can attend is the March for Life in DC, Chicago,  or West Coast area (San Francisco or L.A. areas). You may also want to consider attending one on the state level. (Pennsylvania will host their inaugural state march on May 18th, 2020.
  9. Attend a pro-life seminar near you or on a national scale. Dr. Monique Ruberu and Richara Krajewski will be speaking at the annual National Pro-Life Summit on January 25th in Washington, DC. Secure your spot today.
  10. Recruit more people to join the pro-life cause. Visit parishes, have displays on your campus, invite a pro-life speaker to your classroom, and learn more about how you can

We Can Help You – And We Will

The following is by Tom Stevens, President and CEO of the Pro-Life Union of Greater Philadelphia from their August newsletter.  If you or someone you know are pregnant and in need of help or experienced an abortion and would like to speak to someone, please contact one of the Hotline numbers listed in the image in this post or call 610-626-4006; text 484-451-8104. 

End of Blog post

Oftentimes when standing outside abortion centers, as we reach out to women (and men), we say, “You don’t have to do this— there’s help! There are options, information, support, assistance, housing, community, clothing, counseling, as well as other forms of help.  We want to help you and we want to help your baby. There’s no problem or difficulty so insurmountable that you can’t overcome it. You are stronger than you think you are!” We can truly help…and we will.

Jhanee was one example. She was living in a friend’s van while putting herself through school. She was pregnant and in need of help. She heard about our maternity home, Guiding Star (it could have just as easily been another home for pregnant moms such as Cradle of Hope, Our Lady’s House, Mother’s Home, etc.). She  met with the Guiding Star director and when there was room, Jhanee moved in and expressed how the home really helped her. Two years later she’s independent, working, living in an apartment, and raising her 10 month old child. Later Jhanee contacted us because her employer cut her hours and she was having troubles paying rent that month. We had her complete a ‘rental assistance’ application and state her need (including her plan to not continue to be in this situation). While Jhanee was visiting our office to receive a check for rental assistance made out to her landlord, she mentioned that she had no furniture in her apartment. Two days later someone called me and said she wanted to donate furniture to the Pro-Life Union. I said, “Thank You, Lord!”—I know someone who needs some furniture. Pro-Life Union board member, Patrick Stanton, and a moving company delivered it to her apartment.

That’s what we call the Continuum of Care. If a mother is unexpectedly pregnant, homeless, or in some other challenging situation, we say, “We can help.” And we do help. She gains housing at Guiding Star (or some other home), support, counseling, parenting classes, community, and other ways of assistance. Then she moves into independent living and we stay in contact. If she needs help again, she will know where to turn.

Article continues here 

What You Can Do to Save Lives!

Below is commentary by Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation.  
There are many women out there who are hurting because of a decision they made or one that was made for them.  As Maria reminds us, there are many alternatives out there to help women heal after an abortion and many pregnancy help centers ready to help women who are facing a difficult decision. 
Please take a moment to read Maria’s article  and if you know someone who needs help, please offer that help to them in a loving, compassionate way.  I’ve listed links to a few pregnancy help centers and post-abortive groups below.  
You could be the One
By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation
Whenever I contemplate the effect of abortion on women, I think of a friend I will refer to as “Jessica.”
A boyfriend pressured Jessica into an abortion when she was a young teenager. She felt she had no say in the matter, and she believed she was powerless.
Years after that tragic event, she firmly believes that if a single person had supported a decision for life on the day of abortion, her baby would not have died.
A noteworthy national poll bears that out. The survey of post-abortive women indicated that the vast majority of respondents would have decided against abortion if just one person had offered support. Just one!

Read more

Help Centers 

CareNet – use this link to find a CareNet Center in your area.
United States Pregnancy Help Centers – use link to find help centers in your area
In Southeast Pennsylvania, use this link provided by the Pro-life Union of Greater Philadelphia to find pregnancy help centers, maternity homes, adoption services and post-abortion help.
For post-abortive care nationally, use this link provided by Hope After Abortion.
Sidewalk Servants is a project of the Pro-Life Union of Greater Philadelphia.  This program’s aim is to  educate volunteers on the best way to offer help to women who are contemplating abortions.

Eucharistic Adoration – Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat – September 20 – 22, 2019

The following was sent to me from Evelyn Walsh, Director of Rachel’s Vineyard in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.  

If you know someone who could benefit from this retreat, please pass this information on to them.   If you live in the area, please try to make some time for  the Perpetual Adoration from the  Friday, September 20th until Sunday the 22nd.  Information as well as contact information is listed in the post below. The National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa is located at 654 Ferry Rd, Doylestown, PA 18901. (map) 

Rachels Vineyard

I am pleased to announce that we have another Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat scheduled for the weekend of September 20 – 22, 2019 at Our Lady of Czestochowa.  Jesus waits for us all in the Blessed Sacrament, we will have Perpetual Adoration from the beginning of our post-abortive healing retreat on Friday, September 20th until it ends on Sunday the 22nd.  The team and participants are eternally grateful to you for taking the time to pray for our intentions as the hard work of reconciling with God and accepting His graces and forgiveness occurs during that weekend.

If it’s possible for you to come to the Ave Maria Retreat House and spend a Holy Hour with Our Lord during our retreat, please contact Deb Nerviano at 484-432-0622 or dnerviano@live.com.  She is looking forward to hearing from you.  As we get closer to the retreat she will advise you as to what the door code number will be.  If you are new to the retreat house, the Adoration Chapel is on the second floor.  The chapel is directly above our meeting room and I can assure you that your prayers are felt flowing down upon us.  The enemy is not pleased with the beautiful healing that occurs during this retreat.  Your prayers are an integral part of each participant feeling renewed, refreshed and healed by His love.

You have my utmost gratitude for your prayers.  Please consider praying for the intentions of this Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat even though you may not be available to come to the retreat house chapel to pray.  Start praying even today to encourage anyone who is anxious about attending that weekend to find the courage to call me soon.  As of today, we’re more than half full.  It’s very common to receive registrations at the last minute due to the content and nature of this retreat.  You may even know of someone in need of post-abortive healing.  I look forward to hearing from them.

As always, we love to receive your special treats such as cookies, brownies, (sweets of any kind really, and healthier appetizers (hummus, veggies or fruits perhaps) to offer during our breaks throughout the weekend.  If you would like to drop some goodies off, please contact me as to what it is so that I can keep a list.  And, if it’s on your heart and you have the means to donate financially to offer scholarships to those in need it would be most helpful.  May God bless you for your generosity.

For more information or to register, please contact Evelyn Walsh at 215-317-5752.

 

Eucharistic Adoration to be Included for Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat on June 7 – 9, 2019

 

from Evelyn Walsh, Director, Rachel’s Vineyard

I am pleased to tell you that we are now offering the Rachel’s Vineyard post-abortive healing retreat at Our Lady of Czestochowa in the Spanish language.  Our very first entirely Spanish language retreat is quickly approaching the weekend of June 7 – 9, 2019.  Praise God that our registration is just about full!

Could I ask you to consider praying for every member of our team as well as the participants who intend to join us that weekend?  Even now they need your prayers to maintain their courage to attend this retreat.  We all fall prey to our minds working very hard to convince us that doing something difficult but has the potential to be good for us can be a very scary thing.  We can even talk ourselves out of it to only regret that decision later.  Feel free to pass this prayer request on to those you know who understand how important this retreat is.  Please pray that Our Lord comforts the participants in their decision to seek God in His Mercy and Forgiveness.

Eucharistic Adoration

I will be coordinating the Eucharistic Adoration hours for this retreat (since I’m not fluent in Spanish).  I have several team members joining us from New York to facilitate this retreat and I will be learning much from them.  So, please call or email me if you can schedule an hour or more with Our Lord in the chapel at the Ave Maria Retreat House at the Shrine during the weekend of June 7th to the 9th during the retreat.  I trust that you know how much your time and effort is appreciated by everyone involved with this beautiful retreat.

And, as always, if you feel inclined to send along some food donations for our break times we would all love it!  I am always so humbled by your generosity.  Just contact me at some point to tell me what you plan to bring.  One last thought, you can imagine that this particular population of the church may not have the financial means to typically attend a weekend retreat for any reason let alone for something so personally healing.  If it’s on your heart to donate any small sum for their benefit we would be eternally grateful.

To donate to help in running this retreat, especially to offer scholarships to those in need, please email evelynwalsh59@gmail.com for more information. May God bless you for your generosity.