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.

 

 

Post-abortion retreats offer healing in multiple languages

*The following is an article from Catholicphilly.com written on Thursday, May 9th by Kevin Burke, Sr. regarding Rachel’s Vineyard. This has been republished with his permission.

A renowned post-abortion healing ministry recently marked its first decade in residence at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Doylestown.

Rachel’s Vineyard, a weekend retreat model developed by psychologist Theresa Karminski Burke, offers participants the opportunity to reflect on their abortions through group activities, discussion, and prayer. Founded in 1995, the outreach – now a ministry of Priests for Life – features over 1,000 retreats per year in 49 states and 70 countries.

Last month local site leader Evelyn Walsh and her team of volunteers celebrated the 10th anniversary of their first-weekend retreat for abortion healing at the shrine.

The group has now expanded its program to include sessions in three languages: English, Polish and Spanish.

“We were so happy to offer this first retreat in the native tongue of the pilgrims who visit this Polish shrine,” said Walsh, whose family has worshiped and volunteered at Our Lady of Czestochowa since 1963.

The Polish team had been preparing for a number of years to conduct the retreats, which have drawn attendees from a number of states throughout the Northeast. During one such gathering, attendees from both the Polish- and English-speaking retreat groups joined each other for spiritual exercises, liturgies, and meals.

(Related: Post-abortion healing ministries transform grief into grace.)

In the process, women and men from both groups discovered that despite their differences in language and culture, they shared similar spiritual and emotional wounds from their abortion experience.

“They were deeply touched by the consolation and peace of our merciful Lord,” said Walsh.

The Polish outreach is “a little flicker of a flame,” she added, noting that as word spreads, her group expects a “growing demand for our retreats.”

Walsh also said that the shrine’s clergy, who are Polish-speaking members of the Pauline Fathers and Brothers, welcome the multilingual sessions, which take place at the shrine’s Ave Maria Retreat House.

The shrine’s first Rachel’s Vineyard retreat in Spanish will take place from June 7-9, facilitated by a ministry team from Long Island, New York.

Three of the shrine’s English retreat team members are fluent in Spanish and will also be part of the team. In addition, the group is collaborating with Estela Reyes-Bugg from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Project Rachel to expand the outreach to Spanish-speaking women and men in the area.

(Related: Couple shows the path to life on journey of healing from abortion.)

Walsh said that the retreats also invite clergy, counselors and new team members to experience the weekend program and see if they are called to serve in the ministry. Rather than simply observe, each prospective team member must enter fully into the weekend activities.

“Even if they have no personal involvement in abortion, they bring the abortion loss of a family member, their role in friend or family member’s abortion, or some other personal loss, so they have an experiential understanding of this amazing retreat process,” said Walsh. “This is very important preparation for service in the Lord’s vineyard.”

Walsh said that the retreats are “an intimate encounter with the Lord Jesus” through Scripture, eucharistic adoration and “the spirit of love and compassion (that) deeply touches those who attend.”

In turn, she said, attendees “want to share the Good News” with others, which “has fed the growth of our Rachel’s Vineyard ministry at the shrine.”

***

For more information about the Rachel’s Vineyard Ministry at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Doylestown, contact Evelyn at 215-317-5752 or by email at evelynwalsh59@gmail.com, or visit the website of the Rachel’s Vineyard group at the shrine. All inquiries are strictly confidential.

Rachel’s Vineyard Retreats for Healing After Abortion

 

from Evelyn Walsh, Director, Rachel’s Vineyard

Rachels Vineyard

Rachel’s Vineyard is an extraordinary opportunity for any person who struggles with emotional and spiritual pain of past abortion(s). The weekend is a unique and effective process designed specifically to help you experience the mercy and compassion of God. There are many exercises to help you grieve your loss and an opportunity to understand and release the deep feelings of anger, shame, guilt, and grief that frequently accompanies an abortion experience. This process is extremely helpful for those who struggle with forgiving themselves or others. The weekend will help your soul find a voice, and transform the pain of the past into hope. Rachel’s Vineyard is a “therapy for the soul” which combines a unique and creative process for psychological and spiritual healing.

Rachel’s Vineyard Ministries will be hosting a Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat for Healing after Abortion on September 20 – 22, 2019. 

This weekend retreat will be held in Doylestown, PA at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa.

For more information please call Evelyn at (215) 317-5752.

This retreat will also be offered in the Polish language the same weekend. Please call 201-754-8201 or email kontakt@winnicaracheli.org to register. Read more about our retreat online at www.rachelsvineyard.org

All requests are strictly confidential.

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.