Pro-Life Report

 

Children: ‘the greatest blessing’

Children are never a “mistake” and no sacrifice is too great for an adult to make so that children can feel their worth, Pope Francis said.

During his weekly general audience recently in St. Peter’s Square, the pope continued his series of talks about the family, dedicating a second catechesis to children. He described the great suffering and difficulties many children around the world experience as “a Passion.”

Children are the greatest blessing God has bestowed upon men and women, he said. Yet, many children are “rejected, abandoned, robbed of their childhood and of their future,” the pope noted, adding that it is “shameful” when people say it is “a mistake” to bring a child into the world.

“Please, let’s not unload our faults on children,” he said. “children are never ‘a mistake.’” The hunger, poverty, fragility and ignorance of some children “are not mistakes” but “only reasons for us to love them even more with more generosity,” he said.

Pope Francis wondered aloud about the value of international declarations of human and children’s rights if children are then punished for the mistakes of adults.

 

Glimmers of hope in state legislation opposing abortion:

“The place you change America isn’t in Washington. It’s in the states … That’s how we’ll change the life debate. It will be at the state level. Different states doing this, making very positive key changes until it can migrate to the federal level. And a court case can get up to the Supreme Court and Roe v. Wade be overturned. Which will ultimately happen. We have to keep pushing at these state levels.”

— Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback -NRTL Conv.2012)

Check out some of these state legislative actions (National Right to Life.com).

  1. Protecting Pain-capable unborn children.
  2. Parental involvement laws.
  3. A woman’s right to know: Ultrasound laws.
  4. Web-cam abortion bans.
  5. Prohibiting tax-funded abortion
  6. Unborn victims of violence.

Pray for the unborn and for respect for life from birth to natural death!

Pro-Life Report

Pro_Life Poster

 

Edward J. Wallace, Chairman

 

Welcoming the Unborn “Stranger” Among Us:

Recent issues of both Time and Newsweek seem to point to a majority of Americans finally coming around to realize that life begins at conception. Of course, this has been the teaching of the Catholic Church all along. One can only hope this is a sign that American society may be beginning to welcome the “stranger” who is the infant in the womb to the category of human personhood, acknowledging the human dignity and civil rights denied the infant in the womb by Roe v. Wade in 1973.

Roe v. Wade made the fetus out to be a predator, a threat to family happiness, another potential mouth to feed who might hamper the health and well being of other family members already there. There would simply not be enough food and clothing and square footage of housing space to accommodate one more human being. The infant in the womb, the stranger in our midst, must go.

A friend of mine described a great success story he witnessed at a pro-life prayer vigil in front of an abortion clinic. There, he saw a pregnant woman guided away from the destruction of the infant in her womb by another woman, patiently holding a picture of a beautiful baby. Their conversation led the expectant mother to decide to investigate alternatives to abortion with the people at another clinic, a pro-life clinic.

That second woman overcame fear of the unknown with an attitude of welcome – and saved a life. May our time in prayer help us to contemplate the face of Christ in the unborn, and to see that in the unseen infant is a stranger who longs to be welcomed into our world. (An excerpt from When Did We See You, Lord, by Bishop Robert Baker and the late Fr. Benedict Groeschel).

 

Prayer:
God, our Father, You are the author of life and the defender and protector of the innocent and defenseless human life in the womb. Help us to welcome that most unwelcome of strangers in our American society, the innocent unborn. Help us, Lord, to see children as the joy of our lives…not hindrances, enemies, obstacles, or strangers.

JOIN OTHER HIBERNIANS IN THE RIGHT TO LIFE MARCH IN WASHINGTON, DC ON THURSDAY, JANUARY 22, 2015

Pro-Life

Life March

By Edward J. Wallace

On Jan. 28, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act; Cardinal O’Malley of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities had urged the full House to support H. R. 7. Focus now turns to the U.S. Senate, where Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) and 25 co-sponsors have introduced the companion measure (S.946). (Sen. Wicker’s bill does not include the text of the Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act, which was added to the House bill.) The bill would place in permanent law a consistent policy that the federal government should not use tax dollars to support or promote elective abortion. Since 1976, this principle has been embodied in the Hyde amendment to annual appropriations bills funding the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and in numerous similar provisions governing a wide range of domestic and foreign programs. There has long been popular and congressional agreement in favor of this policy, and recent polls continue to show a majority of Americans agree that the government should not be funding abortions.

Contact your senators by phone: Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at: 202-224-3121 and urge your senator to please co-sponsor and support the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. (S.946). Our tax dollars should not be used to fund or promote abortion.

Washington, DC Hibernian Pro-Life March for Life:   SAVE THE DATE!

When:  Thursday, January 22, 2015

What:  Pro-Life Breakfast at Irish Channel Restaurant @ 9:00 AM  (Approx. $20);  Mass – St. Mary, Mother of God which is near the restaurant – 12:00 pm.

Where:  Rallying point for Hibernians – Northeast corner of 7th St & Penn Ave.

GAR Memorial on Penn Ave. Bring your banners, wear your sashes.

Meet up at 12:30 PM to join the march.

Who: Any Hibernians (officers and members) AOH & LAOH who respect life should make every effort to join the Pro-Life March for Life in Wash, DC on 1/22/15.

Hotel: Fairfield Inn & Suites 500 H Street NW, Washington, DC/Downtown

Reservations: 202-289-5959;  Ask for Special AOH and/or senior discount or group rate

Director Jere Cole

It’s that time of year again! September is officially here. For some of you, that might not mean too much if you have been working and living life somewhat “normally” over the last few months. But for many of you, September brings with it a sense of newness, of renewal, of fresh beginnings. As the summer comes to a close, you may have children or grandchildren who have headed back to a new school year. You, yourself, may be a teacher or the teachers in your family have been prepping and preparing for the beginning of the school year. New programs may be starting in your town or at your church. Outside, even the environment has a sense of freshness to it. The air has already been getting cooler and we already have experienced a few mornings that have boasted crisp, autumn air!

This sense of renewal and beginning is refreshing! And it is one that we should attempt to harness in our own lives. As we continue our journey into the meaning of pro-life, this time of the year is an appropriate one to think about what pro-life means for our own lives. How does pro-life intersect with your life? By this question, I do not mean what activities are you involved in that support pro-life. If pro-life means that “every human life is sacred from conception to natural death” and “life and dignity of every person must be respected and protected at every stage and in every condition” (www.usccb.org), how are we respecting and protecting our very own lives at every stage and condition? The mandate for pro-life is not just a mandate for how we treat others, but it is a mandate for how we treat ourselves as well.

This mandate for pro-life in our own lives is reminiscent of Jesus’ statement in the Gospel of John: The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10) Jesus tells us not that he has come just to give us life; he has come to give us life to the full.  I don’t know about you, but if I can have “life to the full,” then I want it! So how do we start to live a life to the full?

One of the practices that is beneficial in living life to the full is St. Ignatius of Loyola’s “Discernment of the Spirits.” While he was convalescing from battle injuries, St. Ignatius noticed different “interior movements” as he imagined his future. He believed that these interior movements were caused by both good and evil spirits. Being able to discern them was a way to understand God’s will or desire for us in our lives. He named these movements “consolation and desolation.” There were times that St. Ignatius felt very on fire with God’s love that he was impelled to praise, love and serve God and others. He called this a movement of “spiritual consolation.” In contrast, “spiritual desolation was a time that his soul felt in heavy darkness or turmoil. It was a time when he felt assaulted by doubts, temptations or preoccupations. During these times, he often felt cut off from others and from God.

We all have times of consolation and desolation in our lives. Part of living life to the full is to recognize these times. Where are these movements coming from and where are they leading you? The more we can discern these movements and the more we can recognize where they are coming from, the better we will understand how they all fit together and the better we will understand how to live life to the full. Take some time over the next month and try it. Where do you feel consolation and desolation in your life? Where is it coming from and where is it leading you? How can you use this knowledge to live life to the full? Blessings to you as your seek life to the full!

Director Jere Cole

When Hard Work Spills Into Lost Perspective

            Together this year, we have been seeking to understand how to promote and create a pro-life atmosphere amidst very realistic and serious issues in our current culture.  These issues – such as abortion and immigration – are so important because the way we approach them truly can decide whether or not we are promoting life….or opposing, if we are stifling life.

How, you ask, can we be stifling life?  After all, we care about these issues because we believe in life.  We promote these issues because we believe that life is important and should be treated as such.  We work on these issues because we believe that we are called as human beings to protect the sanctity and uniqueness of life that is given to us.  So, how is it possible that we can be stifling life?

Just like anything else that we truly care about in life, sometimes we get so involved in an issue, we spend so much time working on it, and our hearts are so fixed on making sure that the “right” thing gets done, that we lose our perspective on why we are fighting for this issue in the first place.  Sometimes, the “what” overshadows the “why?”  What are we going to do?  What is the outcome?  What is our next step?  The “what” is not bad by any means.  We need to act, we need to be proactive.  But, if the “why” is not clear and is not the basis of what we are doing, it is so easy to lose perspective in our desire to support pro-life.

So then, the important question is: Why are we promoting these issues?  The Conference of Catholic Bishops states that our role is to protect and nurture human life at every stage of its existence.  That is a good start.  But let’s look at something that Jesus says in the Gospel of John.  In John 10:10, Jesus says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

Jesus came so that all people would have life, and not only life, but life to the full.  His desire, God’s desire, is that all people would have abundant life….life that is overflowing.  Abundant life is God’s will for his people.  Broken life, therefore, is contrary to God’s will for us.  This is so important to remember, especially when working on pro-life issues.  When we promote life, it should be in a way that stimulates abundant life.  Because when our efforts steal and kill and destroy life, it is not God’s true desire for us.

So, as we continue to journey through these issues, let’s also ask ourselves these important questions: Is this making people more whole and healthy?  Is this helping people to heal?  Is this creating a life that is more abundant and overflowing?  Because that is God’s ultimate desire for all of us.

 

Director Jere Cole

“THE SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE”

 

One of the most controversial issues in the conversation about life is the use of the death penalty.  Is the death penalty a violation of the sanctity of life?  Or is it a necessity to the governance of our modern day society?  How do we go about building a framework to think about and to discuss the issue of the death penalty?

Let’s look at some statistics regarding the death penalty in the United States.

  • There are currently 33 states that have a death penalty and 17 states that do not.
  • There have been 1320 executions in the United States since 1976.
  • In 96% of states where there have been reviews of race and the death penalty, there was a pattern of either race-of-victim or race-of-defendant discrimination, or both.
  • A report by the National Research Council, titled Deterrence and the Death Penalty, stated that studies claiming that the death penalty has a deterrent effect on murder rates are “fundamentally flawed “and should not be used when making policy decisions (2012).
  • A new study in California revealed that the cost of the death penalty in the state has been over $4 billion since 1978. (Alarcon & Mitchell, 2011).
  • In Maryland, an average death penalty case resulting in a death sentence costs approximately $3 million.

Taken from http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/documents/FactSheet.pdf

So the death penalty ends lives, has racial undertones attached to it, is expensive, and is not proven to deter violence and murder in the states where it is in force.

These statistics are important to remember when building a framework for discussing the death penalty.  But, as Christians and as Catholics, our framework must also look to the basics of the biblical story: the sanctity of human life and the Kingdom of God’s emphasis on justice.  In the beginning of the Bible, humans are made in the image of God.  Therefore, all human life is sacred.  The Kingdom of God is present to protect the sanctity of human life and provide justice for all human beings.

What does this mean for the people of God?  If we are Jesus’ hands and feet, if our purpose is to build the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven, then it is our responsibility to protect the sanctity of human life and to provide justice for all human beings.  The question then becomes, is retribution the way to protect human life and to provide justice?  Or does justice, according to the biblical story, have more of an entity of grace attached to it?  If we are a community that truly desires to promote human dignity at all stages of life, these are questions that are important to think and to pray about.

 

Director’s Report

Brothers I had the honor and privilege to be at a presentation to honor Brother Jerry Kelley first Past President of the Bishop Patrick Lynch Division, the first County President in South Carolina, and State Project Saint Patrick Chairman. Jerry was made President Emeritus for the duration of his membership in the Division at a very moving ceremony. Also in attendance were Father Ronald Cellini Division Chaplain and new member Father Paul Mac Neil, past State President Neil Diamond, State Vice President Jim Nettles.

We are in the process of starting more Divisions in the South I hope to be traveling to Louisiana and Texas to find out what we have to do in order to create more Divisions there.

I had the opportunity to meet Irish Consul General Paul Gleeson at a reception in his honor and we will be meeting again when he goes to George Southern University to meet with the students and professor who are a part of the Irish studies program at the University.

January 24 is the Pro life march in Washington DC and I hope to see many of our Brothers at the march. We need to remember WHAT WE CHOOSE TO DO OR NOT TO DO ABOUT RIGHT TO LIFE WILL IMPACT LIVES FOR GENERATIONS – TAKE ACTION NOW.

May the Hand of a Friend Always be Near You.

Pro-Life

Brother Hibernians I would like to thank you for your caring and your prayers as I deal with the death of my Daughter which happened very suddenly as I was on my way to the Convention in Cincinnati. As you all know at this point I had to leave the convention so that I could do whatever it required to get my daughter home. I spoke to the National President Seamus Boyle and he assured me that it would be all right for me to leave. Fr. Gerry Reagan and Jim Lawracy filled in for me at the state caucus and South Carolina State President Len Byrne stood in for me at the swearing in ceremony from what I understand they did a great job. I would like to thank them all. I would also like to thank my fellow Hibernians for having the trust and confidence in voting for me even though I was not present at the election. I will strive to live up to their expectations.

As we move forward, I hope we are able to bring the South back into the limelight .We have too many bright stars down here to sit and go stagnant. I will be calling on every one of them to work with me to make things happen. Thank you for your support as we work to fulfill the ideals of our order: Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity.

I want to call to your attention an event coming in early October and hope you can attend in your area. On Sunday, October 3, 2010 from 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. STAND UP FOR LIFE, a silent pro-life vigil, will be held in Huntington, NY at the intersection of Rt. 25 and Rt. 110, and, in Manorville, NY at Long Island Expressway, Exit 70 South, along both sides of County Rd. 111. Rain or shine. Signs provided. 1400 similar events, called Life Chains, will take place across the U.S. To find the location nearest you go to www.lifechain.net.  These events are sponsored by the Long Island Coalition for Life. Call 631-754-9141/ 631-243-1435. National Coordinator: Royce Dunn 530-674-5068.

May the hand of a friend always be near you.

Pro-Life

This month, I thought I’d take a break from my usual discussion of public policy issues related to abortion and other Pro-Life causes, and focus instead on two very special programs.

There is no doubt in my mind, that the road to ending abortion on demand in the United States will be long and hard. A vital component of that fight is to make sure that we reach out to young people. It is not just important to engage young people in the realm of ideas, but also to ensure that those kids, who agree that we must have a pro-life future in this country, are well trained to continue the fight in generations to come.

When I was a teacher I once invited a Catholic Priest to speak to my class about Pro-Life issues. I also invited a representative of the opposite opinion. What was most fascinating to me was how readily the young people I taught at the time responded to the Priest’s pro-life message of hope, and not to the legal minutiae being offered by the opposition. The simple truth that, we are discussing a baby, and that it could never be acceptable to harm a baby, was most effective.

This leads me to discussing two programs that will go along way to making sure that the next generation of pro-life activists is ready. Starting at the end of June and through August 6th, the National Right to Life Committee runs its Academy in Washington D.C. This very successful program was developed in 2007 with the goal of providing young people with the tools necessary to battle for life on a college campus or in a Congressional office. The Academy provides a rigorous pro-life academic curriculum that covers issues from ethics to biology, as well as critiquing pro-abortion arguments and debating pro-life issues.

In New York, the State AOH has partnered with New York State Right To life, to offer a similar program called Camp Esther. Now in its second year this program looks to duplicate some of the goals of the Right to Life Academy on the State level, but over a much shorter, three-day period. In addition, the camp offers fun activities for kids, akin to a summer camp. It involves training, motivation and fun.

These are exactly the kind of programs that we need to support if we are to continue and win the fight against the culture of death in the coming years. The Life Academy has a tuition cost of $3,200 per person, and Camp Esther between $100 – $150. If you want to learn more about these programs please visit:

http://www.nrlc.org/Academy/AboutUs.html to find out more about Life Academy

http://www.nysrighttolife.org/ to find out more about Camp Esther.

Also, consider a donation, these programs could very much use it, and our cause would be strengthened by it.

Pro-Life Report

The stunning turn of events in the recent Massachusetts special Senate election, has had a major impact on events in Washington DC. In my last column I was convinced that the Senate Health Care bill that did not include the proper protections against Federal Funding of abortion would pass. Now, that seems in real doubt. Congressional leaders are trying hard to convince Representative Bart Stupak to allow the Senate Health Care bill to pass in the House and only then would Congress take up the question of Federal funding for abortion under a separate bill. It is important that Congressman Stupak not take this course. The reason is that although a separate bill may pass the house, it is less likely to do so in the Senate, where it will take 60 votes to even get it to the floor. Please call Congressman Stupak to thank him for his past support on this issue and to urge him to stick to his guns in regard to insisting that his language preventing Federal funding of abortion remains in any health care bill that passes the house. This is vitally important!

I also want to take a moment to thank all of those who attended the March for Life on January 22nd. I was very impressed with the strong AOH turnout from all over the country. AOH President Boyle and LAOH President Ryan offered strong words of support, and reaffirmed our Order’s commitment to the unborn. As we celebrate the feast day of Ireland’s patron Saint, we must never forget the importance of our faith and its precepts to the history and the future of our Order. Judging from the turnout at the march our members strongly support this commitment.

As we move into the spring you will receive correspondence from me, in relation to a number of pro-life youth programs that we need your support for. These include both national programs and programs in various states. We will never win the fight to protect life if we do not educate our young people. Your support of these programs will make sure that we do not fail in this endeavor.

Please also feel free to reach out to me, if you need any more information or assistance in relation to Pro-Life issues. My office is only as strong as the grassroots network of members who believe in our cause and alert us to issues of interest. I look forward to continuing to serve you.  I can be reached at mnelligan73@gmail.com