Thank you, women who are mothers! You have sheltered human beings within yourselves in a unique experience of joy and travail. This experience makes you become God’s own smile upon the newborn child, the one who guides your child’s first steps, who helps it to grow and who is the anchor as the child makes its way along the journey of life
Pope John Paul II’s letter to women for Beijing Conference July 1995
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“Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy that a child has been born into the world.” – John 16:21
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We have followed the trials and joys of Chen Guangcheg, the blind Chinese activist since we heard what happened when the Hollywood actor, Christian Bale tried to visit him when Chen was being held under house arrest in China, a couple of years ago.
Chen’s life and freedom have been under the spotlight as he escaped from China and found safety in America. He has stood up against the violation of human rights and rights of the unborn through much personal cost to himself, his immediate family and his extended family. Through his willingness to risk this safety he has put the international spotlight on the many human rights abuses that continue in China including the one child policy. No longer can the world say it doesn’t know what is going on in China in this area.
Now on a visit to Britain this week we hear he was honored in receiving the first ever Westminster Award for his contribution to “human rights, human life and human dignity” by the V All-Party Parliamentary Pro-life Group, and the Right to Life Charitable Trust on Monday. Read the full story at http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/blind-chinese-human-rights-activist-receives-pro-life-award-at-uk-house-of including how Chen is challenging David Cameron to stand up to Beijing and look at a list he has handed over with the names of Chinese officials he is accusing of being complicit in human rights abuses.
We in the prolife movement applaud him and pray that his efforts to highlight the Chinese situation will come to fruition.
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We would love you to support our next Clothes Sales where we sell second hand clothes, shoes, dvds, and bric-a-brac. It’s a chance to raise some much needed cash aswell as a wee social get together for those people who can manage to come along. The sale is being held in Saturday 25th May 2013 12noon – 4pm.
Please come and help us raise as much money as possible and bring your friends. See you there.
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Let’s remind ourselves of what we are protecting…
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The choice to adopt is a wonderful one and we are always looking for ways to promote adoption especially in the face of so much abortion. The other angle to the decision to adoption is when couples decide to adopt babies from a foreign country who are disabled in some way and therefore less likely to be adopted at all. This is exactly what the American actor, Jim Caviezel and his wife, Kerri have done. Jim starred as Christ in The Passion and has always been unafraid to express his Catholic faith and prolife views which is such a breath of fresh air in Hollywood where actors go with what’s expected of them no matter the morality of the situation.
Liveaction.com reported his adoption like this,
Their first adopted child, Bo, came to the Caviezels after a traumatic first five years of life. The little boy had a brain tumor and had been abandoned before he was taken in by an orphanage and subsequently adopted by his loving parents. Bo is a remarkably boisterous child and with the love he has received from Jim and Kerri it is hard to believe that just a few short years ago he was struggling to survive in a hostile environment.
Also five years old at the time of her adoption, the Caviezels second child, Lynn, has a lot in common with her brother. She was also from China, and suffered from a brain tumor. Although the Caviezels were originally offered a healthy infant, they knew that the young girl’s chances for finding a loving adoptive home were slimmer and so they welcomed her into their family.
Caring for children with special medical needs is a challenge that many doctors recommend be avoided by opting for abortion. But the Caviezels stand as witnesses that beautiful families can be formed out of unexpected and imperfect circumstances, such as medical problems that require much love and care to overcome.
When asked how becoming a father had affected him, Caviezel told Catholic Digest, “Even though they’re adopted, it’s as strong as any instinct. That’s what blew me away. I always thought if I adopted that I wouldn’t have the same feeling [as I would] if they were genetically my own children. Nothing could be further from the truth.”
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As announced last weekend by Pope Francis, the celebration of Evangelium Vitae on June 15-16th 2013, will be an opportunity for him to speak on this most critical of topics - life, from conception to natural death. To alert the world through word, talks and events across the weekend.
Rev Geno Sylvia, the official for the Pontifical for Promoting New Evangelization told Lifesitenews.com more about what to expect,
The whole idea for this Evangelium Vitae weekend is showing the absolute importance of the sanctity of all life from conception to natural death in the mission of the New Evangelization,” he said. “That the most basic of all rights – the right to life – has got to be promoted, has got to be protected and thus is an essential part of the New Evangelization.
The initiative for the weekend as part of the Year of Faith, had already been planned by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. However, Fr. Sylva told LifeSiteNews that “Pope Francis has been so supportive and excited about following through with this event.” Speaking of Pope Francis’ former life as Cardinal in Argentina, Fr. Sylva noted, “We know how strongly he’s spoken about the life issues.” He added that, as Pope, “this is going to be his opportunity to speak about this more.”
Places can be booked at The Year of Faith website, http://www.annusfidei.va/content/novaevangelizatio/en/eventi/giornataevangeliumvitae.html where there is more information on the itinerary.
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In the year 1400, a young man came to the door of the largest hospital in Siena. A plague was raging through the city so horrible that as many as twenty people died each day just in the hospital alone. And many of the people who died were those who were needed to tend the ill. It was a desperate situation — more and more people were falling ill and fewer and fewer people were there to help them.
The twenty-year-old man who stood there had not come because he was ill but because he wanted to help. And he brought not new patients but young men like himself willing to tend the dying. For four months Bernardine and his companions worked day and night not only to comfort the patients but to organize and clean the hospital. Only at the end of the plague did Bernardine himself fall ill — of exhaustion.
But that was Bernardine’s way — whatever he did, he put his whole self into it. Immediately after he recovered he was back caring for the sick — but this time, he was responsible not for a whole hospital but one person — an invalid aunt. Yet for fourteen months she got his full attention. Throughout his life, he put as much energy into caring for one person as for hundreds, as much commitment into converting one citizen as to preaching to a whole city.
After his aunt died, Bernardine started to think about where his life should be going. The son of a noble family, he had been orphaned at seven and raised by an aunt. We are told as a young person that he hated indecent talk so much that he would blush when he heard it. Even his schoolmates hesitated to make him so uncomfortable but apparently one adult citizen thought it would be a great joke to needle Bernardine. In a public marketplace he stopped Bernardine and started to talk to him in a shameful way. But if he had thought to get away with his cruel trick, he was surprised when Bernardine slapped him in the face. The man slunk away, shamed in front of the very crowd he’d been trying to impress.
Bernardine, who had come to Siena to study, threw himself into prayer and fasting to discover what God wanted him to do. One might have expected him to continue his work with the sick but in 1403 he joined the Franciscans and in 1404 he was ordained a priest.
The Franciscans were known as missionary preachers, but Bernardine did very little preaching with because of a voice that was weak and hoarse. For twelve years he remained in the background, his energies going to prayer or to his own spiritual conversion and preparation.
At the end of that time, he went to Milan on a mission. When he got up to preach his voice was strong and commanding and his words so convincing that the crowd would not let him leave unless he promised to come back.
Thus began the missionary life of the one whom Pope Pius II called a second Paul. As usual, Bernardine through his whole self, body and soul, into his new career. He crisscrossed Italy on foot, preaching for hours at a time, several times a day. We are told he preached on punishment for sin as well as reward for virtue but focusing in the end on the mercy of Jesus and the love of Mary. His special devotion was to the Holy Name of Jesus.
Some who were jealous denounced him to the pope by saying he preached superstition. Silenced for a short while, Bernardine was soon cleared and back to preaching.
Bernardine refused several cities that wanted him as bishop but he was unable to avoid being named vicar general of his order. All his energy during that period went to renewing the original spirit of the order.
Soon, however, Bernardine heard the call to go back to preaching which consumed his last days. As a matter of fact, even when it was clear he was dying, he preached fifty consecutive days. He died in 1444 when he was almost 64 years old.
Saint Bernardine of Siena, words were very important to you. You spent most of your life speaking the golden words of Jesus’ mercy and his Holy Name. And you abhorred words that were shameful. Pray for us that we may always choose to speak Jesus’ name with reverence and choose words of love over words of shame. Amen
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