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.

 

Pro-Life Summer Reading List

It is that time of the year where we all go to the beach, the mountains, take a flight to another city, picnic in the middle of nowhere, and going where the roads will lead us.

I have put together a top 10 (plus a few honorable mentions) pro-life summer reading list that can help keep promoting and learning from many pro-life heroes of the past while also polishing up on pro-life dialogue and also learning how to defend life form the moment conception until natural death.

Meanwhile, reading about how prominent pro-choice figures walked to the other side and build a culture of life. Not only did I include anti-abortion stories, but I have included books that cover every life issue. After all, we must be consistent if we are pro-life by remembering the marginalized, victims of war, immigrant, and even wrongly convicted criminals imprisoned and or on death row.

1) Persuasive Pro-Life Trent Horn

Published in 2014 and using his first-hand experience during campus visits, CatholicAnswers.com’s own Trent Horn shares first hand some of the dos and don’ts in engaging and challenging pro-choicers’ viewpoints.

2) Unplanned Abby Johnson

Once a rising star for Planned Parenthood, Abby Johnson saw firsthand a defenseless life being killed by an ultrasound-guided abortion in 2009. She recalled the times she saw volunteers for 40 Days for Life pray in front of her work at Bryan, TX. It would soon lead her to be a pro-life advocate and a Catholic convert.

3) Single Candles Brendan Lyons

West Chester, PA native Brendan Lyons writes a series of narratives from a chain of events that link several characters, all of whom demonstrate compassion and bravery in their commitment to the sanctity of life. In one piece, a senator defies his own political party; in another, a neonatal surgeon is asked to compromise her principles. Although the stories are fictional, the passion that informs the characters’ conviction is very real.

4) Rising with Roses Monique Ruberu

Dr. Monique Ruberu thought she was pro-life until she realized that she was prescribed birth control. Because of the help of many pro-lifers in Philadelphia, she reverted back to her Catholic faith and now promotes Natural Family Planning.

5) A Voice for Victoria: A memoir of healing from post-abortion trauma- Geraldine F Jacobs

A Voice for Victoria shares the author’s journey toward understanding how childhood messages and current events played a part in her abortion decision and path to healing from post-abortion trauma through God’s forgiveness.

6) The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia Neil Gorsuch

Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch thoroughly assesses the strengths and weaknesses of leading contemporary ethical arguments for assisted suicide and euthanasia. He would argue against the legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide while using Netherlands and Oregon as prime examples. 

7) Johnny Got His Gun Dalton Trumbo

This anti-war novel, written in 1938, shares how a WWI soldier who wakes up from his hospital bed with no limbs and half destroyed face. After his wishes of showing the country of the horrors of wars, he reflects on the realities and myths of war.

8) All Quiet on the Western Front-  Erich Maria Remarque

A German veteran of WW1 recounts the physical and mental stress while fighting in the war. It also shares how to detach from civilian life they were following the war’s end. 

9) Racketeer For Life Joe Scheidler

A former monk recalls his early involvement in the pro-life movement. He has debated media personalities, politicians, abortion workers, and even fought the culture of death at the Supreme Court.

10) Gosnell: The Untold Story of America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer- Ann McElhinney

Ann McElhinney details everything that happens inside of Kermit Gosnell’s house of horrors in the Mantua neighborhood of West Philadelphia. Even advocates on both sides were horrified at the heinous committed by the most notorious serial killer of the abortion industry.

Honorable mention:

Love Unleashes Life Stephanie Gray

Stephanie offers a fresh approach to abortion dialogue. This time reaching the heart and minds of abortion-minded people.

You Carried Me: A Daughter’s Memoir Melissa Ohden

Melissa Ohden shares first hand how she survived a saline abortion attempt. Learning at the age of fourteen, she went on a journey to search for her biological parents. She would soon have a change of heart.

Bernard Nathanson

Aborting America- shares how he changed his views on abortion.

The Hand of God- Dr. Nathanson hared how he found God and began promoting life after performing 61,000 abortions, including his own son.

The Anti-Mary Exposed: Rescuing the Culture from Toxic Femininity- Carrie Gress

It’s been 50 years, if not more since liberal feminism has given way to the slippery slope to our culture. The author exposes liberal feminism and how it has destroyed marriages, families, and even the use of sex.

40 Days for Life- David Bereit

Started as a small group outside of the Planned Parenthood in Bryan, TX, this life-changing endeavor recalls how it has converted workers, changed hearts, and shut the doors of abortion facilities with prayer, love, and fasting.

Humanae Vitae- Pope Paul VI

Written in 1968 and celebrating over 50 years, the encyclical Humanae Vitae is an eye-opening read written by Pope Paul VI as he foretells the repercussions of a society that accepts sexual promiscuity, abortion-on-demand, and artificial birth control.

Hard list to put together, for sure. However, there are many pro-life books to read such as anything written by Scott Klusendorf, Ron Paul, Fr. Frank Pavone, Janet Morena, Janet Smith and so many more.

Pro-Life Essay Contest for local students

Are you a student, or know of students, who would like some spending money this summer? If you have an interest in the right to life, then write for cash!

The Respect Life Committee of Saint Maria Goretti Parish is sponsoring an essay contest for Greater Philadelphia region middle school and high school students!

This year’s essay question is: “What are your thoughts on abortion after a baby’s heartbeat can be detected?”

Judging will be based on Judeo-Christian Ethics relevant to this subject.

Current federal law prohibits destroying the egg of a bald eagle with the punishment of several thousand dollars or a year in jail. Florida law prohibits taking or destroying the eggs of sea turtles. If there are protections for animals, should there also be the same (or more) protections for human beings? Express your personal opinion according to your USA Constitutional rights of free speech.

There are two divisions:

  • Junior Division—Any student in grades 6 through 8
  • Senior Division—Any student in grades 9 through 12

Each division will be awarded the following cash prizes by June 15th:  

  • 1st Prize—$300
  • 2nd Prize—$200
  • 3rd Prize—$100

Word Count:

  • Junior Division—Essays should be 500 words or less.
  • Senior Division—Essays should be 1,000 words or less.

How to Submit Your Essay:

Mail or send your entry to St. Maria Goretti’s parish office address:

Saint Maria Goretti
Attention: Respect Life Committee
1601 Derstine Rd.
Hatfield, PA 19440

Note: Please include your name, grade and contact information.

Questions?

If you have any questions, please contact Bob McCormick by email at bobmcc52@verizon.net.

 

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.

 

 

Rosary Campaign for Rep. Brian Sims Conversion

*The following is from an email sent out by Judie Brown from American Life League. It is republished with their permission.

We invite you to join American Life League president, Judie Brown, to pray the rosary on this page. She will be dedicating it to the conversion of Pennsylvania representative Brian Sims and for the protection of those praying in front of abortion mills.

This week we witnessed blatant and hateful attacks on peaceful protesters in front of a Pennsylvania Planned Parenthood facility. Sims, an elected official, berated a woman for simply praying the rosary. Catholics and Christians are being directly attacked for standing up for babies and their mothers.

Someone, as tormented as Sims, needs as many rosaries as he can get.

Local Author Shares ProLife Conviction with Book

The following is a profile article I have written about Brendan Lyons, the author of Single Candles. The profile was published in March 2017, He currently resides in West Chester with his wife, Elise.  This has been approved by the writer of the profile that was originally written for CatholicPhilly.com.

Brendan Lyons always thought he was pro-life — until he met fellow advocates who were even more ardent about the cause.

The encounters spurred the Downingtown author to write “Single Candles,” a collection of short stories on the challenge to respect life in a culture of death.

The narratives form a chain of events that link several characters, all of whom demonstrate compassion and bravery in their commitment to the sanctity of life.

In one piece, a senator defies his own political party; in another, a neonatal surgeon is asked to compromise her principles.

Although the stories are fictional, the passion that informs the characters’ conviction is very real.

“When people see others actively fighting for what they believe in, it inspires them,” Lyons said.

A Villanova University graduate, Lyons wanted to use his writing talents for more than class assignments. His stories have allowed him to explore his convictions in greater depth while fulfilling his calling.

“I’ve learned how satisfying it is to use your gifts to serve the Lord,” Lyons said.

Lyons hopes to inspire young people to witness to the sanctity of life, despite ridicule and rejection.

“Even one person speaking for life — lighting a single candle — can start to change the world and push away the darkness,” he said.

A parishioner of St. Joseph in Downingtown, Lyons seeks to double the impact of his book by donating the proceeds of its sales to Birthright of West Chester, a crisis pregnancy support center.

“(Birthright) provides vital services for mothers and children in need that are hard to find,” Lyons said. “Places like that are the key to ending abortion.”

You can purchase your copy of the book today here: Single Candles Vol. 1

Single Candles

Divine Mercy Novena Day Two

Second Day
“Today bring to Me the Souls of Priests and Religious and immerse them in My unfathomable mercy. It was they who gave me the strength to endure My bitter Passion. Through them as through channels, My mercy flows out upon mankind.”

Most Merciful Jesus, from whom comes all that is good, increase Your grace in men and women consecrated to Your service,* that they may perform worthy works of mercy; and that all who see them may glorify the Father of Mercy who is in heaven.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the company of chosen ones in Your vineyard — upon the souls of priests and religious; and endow them with the strength of Your blessing. For the love of the Heart of Your Son in which they are enfolded, impart to them Your power and light, that they may be able to guide others in the way of salvation and with one voice sing praise to Your boundless mercy for ages without end. Amen.

* In the original text, Saint Faustina uses the pronoun “us” since she was offering this prayer as a consecrated religious sister. The wording adapted here is intended to make the prayer suitable for universal use.

Divine Mercy Novena Day One

First Day
Today bring to Me all mankind, especially all sinners,

and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. In this way you will console Me in the bitter grief into which the loss of souls plunges Me.”

Most Merciful Jesus, whose very nature it is to have compassion on us and to forgive us, do not look upon our sins but upon our trust which we place in Your infinite goodness. Receive us all into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart, and never let us escape from It. We beg this of You by Your love which unites You to the Father and the Holy Spirit.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon all mankind and especially upon poor sinners, all enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion show us Your mercy, that we may praise the omnipotence of Your mercy for ever and ever. Amen.

How to Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet

1. Begin with the Sign of the Cross,

You expired, Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth for souls, and the ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world. O Fount of Life, unfathomable Divine Mercy, envelop the whole world and empty Yourself out upon us.

(Repeat three times)
O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of mercy for us, I trust in You!

1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and The Apostles Creed.

2. Then on the Our Father Beads say the following:
Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

3. On the 10 Hail Mary Beads say the following:
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

(Repeat step 2 and 3 for all five decades).

4. Conclude with (three times):
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Closing Prayer (optional)

Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion — inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself. Amen

Thanks to “Unplanned” Release; Rise in Calls to Abortion Pill Reversal Hotline

The following article was originally written by Christine Rouselle Catholic News Agency on Tuesday, April 9th. It is republished with her permission.

The release and success of the pro-life film “Unplanned” is being credited with an uptick in women seeking information on reversing chemical abortions.

Abortion Pill Rescue Network, run by Heartbeat International’s Option Line, has seen a recent spike in calls from women seeking to reverse their abortions since the film’s release.

Following the release of “Unplanned” in theaters on March 29, the hotline registered a 30 percent increase in calls compared to a normal weekend.

Andrea Trudden, the director of communications and marketing for Heartbeat International, told CNA that the sudden surge of interest was “definitely very interesting.”

“We do believe that [the sudden surge] was attributed to Unplanned, specifically.”

Calls to the hotline have been both from women inquiring about reversing their abortions, and from people interested in learning more about abortion pill reversal and how they can spread the word, said Trudden.

“Unplanned” tells the story of former Planned Parenthood Clinic Director Abby Johnson’s ideological transformation into a pro-life advocate.

In the film, Johnson’s own chemical abortion is featured on screen, and on-screen dialogue explains how such abortions can be reversed. A number shown on screen at the end of the film connects viewers with various resources, including the Abortion Pill Rescue Network.

The APRN was founded in 2012 and merged into Heartbeat International last year. The spike in interest following the release of “Unplanned” is part of a trend of continually rising interest.

With Heartbeat International’s involvement, a live chat feature was introduced to the APRN website. Since that addition, the group says it has seen the number of calls per month quadruple.

Trudden explained to CNA that calls to the APRN hotline have to be screened, but that women are then connected to medical professionals who can work with a caller to reverse the effects of the abortion pill.

A chemical abortion is a two-step process that involves the ingestion of two drugs: mifepristone and misoprostol. The first drug, mifepristone, effectively starves the unborn baby by blocking the effects of the hormone progesterone. The second drug, misoprostol, is taken up to two days later and induces labor.

The abortion can be reversed after a woman takes mifepristone, but before she takes misoprostol—though this must be done quickly, Trudden explained.

If an ultrasound confirms the unborn baby is still viable, the mother is given a large dose of progesterone to reverse the effects of mifepristone, with additional doses of progesterone needed throughout the first trimester.

As part of the process, APRN also refers all women to a help center for support throughout the remainder of the pregnancy.

Trudden told CNA that there’s a “64-68 percent success rate” for women seeking to reverse their chemical abortions.

A study of successfully reversed abortions indicated good health outcomes for the children, Trudden said, with no increase in birth defects and even an overall lower preterm delivery rate than the general population.

Since 2012, when the APRN was established, more than 500 babies have been born after their abortions were reversed. Trudden told CNA that there are currently 150 women expecting babies in the near future after reversing their abortions.

Chuck Kozelman, co-writer and director of “Unplanned,” called the increase in the number of women seeking to reverse their abortions “wonderful.”

“We are in a moment of heightened awareness that abortion is the termination of a human being,” Kozelman told CNA.

“Many women who have chosen abortion wish they could go back and change their decision. What we’re seeing is that many of the women who still are capable of reversing that decision are doing so, and we think it’s wonderful.”

From Judging to Loving: Reflection on 5th Sunday of Lent’s Gospel

The 5th Sunday of Lent had a timing gospel that makes us think about how we can best approach women who enter an abortion facility. But most important of all, the way we encounter the workers.

Here’s the gospel reading (Note: Some heard a different reading if your parish had candidates in the RCIA program):

Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
But early in the morning, he arrived again in the temple area,
and all the people started coming to him,
and he sat down and taught them.
Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman
who had been caught in adultery
and made her stand in the middle.
They said to him,
“Teacher, this woman was caught
in the very act of committing adultery.
Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women.
So what do you say?”
They said this to test him,
so that they could have some charge to bring against him.
Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger.
But when they continued asking him,
he straightened up and said to them,
“Let the one among you who is without sin
be the first to throw a stone at her.”
Again he bent down and wrote on the ground.
And in response, they went away one by one,
beginning with the elders.
So he was left alone with the woman before him.
Then Jesus straightened up and said to her,
“Woman, where are they?
Has no one condemned you?”
She replied, “No one, sir.”
Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.”

The gospel reading is refreshing as we see once again the message of mercy. Jesus did not care what kind of a person the woman was. All he did was he showed love and mercy for her actions. He even drew on the ground while the Pharisees told him what she has done. His response? He asked them to cast the first stone. One by one they walked away and knew that they were judging.

Pro-lifers need to be more loving and less judging. Love conquers our judgments. If we show love and not care about the kind of a person he or she is, it can speak volume in our encounters. I have seen some people walk up to or shout at people and judge them as a whole, and they get judged in return. Not only does it happen to women going into the facility but also the workers. It is clear to me that we don’t deserve judgment from anyone else but God. People need love, not presumptive judgment.  Humility is the virtue we strongly need if we want to conquer our presumptions and pride. We are not perfect. At the same time, we don’t know everything and we must be willing to admit it.

Instead of casting our stones, let us cast mercy and love to the people we encounter.