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Lunch with Bishop Wack

Lunch with the BishopCindy and I had Lunch with the Bishop yesterday. That is with our Bishop, Most Reverend William A. Wack, CSC. This annual event provides a great opportunity to raise funds for Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida. We can make a donation while also having a very good lunch catered locally by Classic City Catering.

You can provide your support easily and online. CCNF provides a variety of services which includes pregnancy and adoption services.

Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida serves, empowers, and advocates for impoverished and vulnerable families and individuals of any race, religion or national origin across the Florida Panhandle.

We are a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) charitable organization that helps to rebuild lives, each and every day.

We proudly carry out the social mission of the Catholic Church throughout 18 counties in the Florida Panhandle.

Just Vote No on Florida Amendment 4

Vote No on Amendment 4On the ballot is the Florida’s Abortion Amendment. The bishops in Florida say it best.

“We urge all Floridians of goodwill to stand against the legalization of late-term abortion and oppose the abortion amendment. In doing so, we will not only protect the weakest, most innocent, and defenseless of human life among us but also countless women throughout the state from the harms of abortion,” said the bishops of Florida in their statement on Amendment 4. You can read the full proposed amendment here.

In my parish we have the Veronica Guild with contains 6 different teams. I serve on the one Honoring Life. So, for us this is just what we are all about. We honor life in all its stages. And, of course, abortion is a big part of our efforts. There is more information on it here.

Father and maker of all, you adorn all creation with splendor and beauty, and fashion human lives in your image and likeness. Awaken in every heart reverence for the work of your hands, and renew among your people a readiness to nurture and sustain your precious gift of life. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever. Amen (USCCB)

Veronica Guild Honoring Life – With Bishop William Wack

Bishop William WackThe Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel in Pensacola, FL has many ministries. Relatively new is the Veronica Guild which contains several active teams, one of which is Honoring Life. “Promoting a reverence and respect for the dignity of human life in all its forms as being created in the Image and Likeness of God.”

I am a member of this team and throughout the year, each Friday of our Holy Hour prior to Mass we celebrate Fridays for Life. And the last Friday of each month a team member leads a rosary for life at 11:30am. In addition to these things we are having several meditations on life during the year. The first one was this past Friday when our own Bishop William Wack not only provided a meditation, “Loving Care for the elders among us and the gift of the Sacrament of Anointing,” but he also celebrated the Mass following it.

In his talk he referred to the recent publication of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith’s Declaration “Dignitas Infinita” on Human Dignity. It is long but he recommends taking the time to read it because it focusing on many issues facing our world today when it comes to respecting life. You can find the recording of the Holy Hour, Talk and Mass on the church YouTube channel here. You can fast forward to Bishop Wack’s talk if you would like.

Council 8589 Concludes Record Baby Bottle Drive

KofC Baby Bottle DriveIt has been a challenging year for many non-profits as inflation has taken made it difficult for people to continue regular donations. My Knights council did a great job though in collecting donations for our support for life.

Knights of Columbus council 8589, Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel, raised a record $5721.41 in the annual Baby Bottle Drive this year. The Council presented a check to the Alpha Center, a pregnancy support service offering alternatives to abortion. Pictured is Fr. Joe Fowler, Rector and Pastor and left to right, Chuck Zimmerman, Council Lecturer/Program Director, Mary Thomas, Alpha Center and Mark Fanfalone, Council Financial Secretary.

2022 Knights of Columbus Silver Rose Program

Silver Rose ProgramThis past Saturday morning the Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel, Pensacola, hosted a Knights of Columbus display and ceremony of the Silver Rose program. There are several silver roses that travel around the country. In this case, our Florida member hands off the silver rose to a member in Alabama who will take it to the next stop.

The Silver Rose program demonstrates the unity between Knights of Columbus in Canada, the United States and Mexico, through a series of prayer services promoting the dignity of all human life and honoring Our Lady.

Each year, from early March through mid-December, Silver Roses are stewarded by Knights of Columbus councils along routes from Canada to Mexico. Every stop the Silver Rose makes throughout the pilgrimage is a rosary-centered occasion for Knights, parishioners and community members to pray for respect for life, for the spiritual renewal of each nation, and for the advancement of the message of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

The Silver Rose Program began in 1960, when the first rose – a real, live one – was blessed by a bishop in Ontario. The rose then traveled to New York and then to Texas where it was taken across the border into Mexico. The rose ended its pilgrimage at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Monterrey on Dec. 12, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. To better ensure future annual trips, a silver rose was ultimately made. Today, due to the popularity of the program throughout the North American continent, eight silver roses travel unique routes.

You can find more information here. Perhaps your local council can be selected for a stop on the annual pilgrimage. Thanks to Bob Pappas we have lots of photos of this event you can find here.

COVID-19 Stay at Home Effects

As we continue to live under stay at home orders of various kinds and locations I have been thinking more and more about the damage to people’s emotions, especially those who suffer from depression and anxiety. I’m concerned about our loss of jobs and liberties too.

But before you think I don’t care about every human life I can assure you nothing could be further from the truth. However, we live with death around us everywhere in the world. Abortion is the most extreme example. Terrorism, suicide, vehicle crashes and a variety of diseases like heart disease and cancer, are not new.

I don’t even pretend to be an “expert” on this COVID-19 virus as so many proclaim loudly on social media. But, the more and more data I see and hear make me doubt that our governments have made a good decision to essentially shut us down. Even experts who are doctors contradict each other.

I’m not afraid of the future though, because of my faith in Jesus. But besides the people who have died of this virus I am also concerned about all the people who are now un-employed, the businesses who are out of business or soon will be, the people who are shut in from their loved ones or not allowed to see them, the people sick with other diseases or injuries who are not allowed to see their family. I think we will look back on this as a very dark spot on the history of our country and culture.

I’d like to think more positive about “getting back to normal,” but I doubt that will happen. In some ways there might be some good that will come from what we’ve been through but that will only happen if people make real changes in their lives, permanent changes. You can probably think of a lot of examples for this. Will it happen? IDK. But I sure hope so.

Holy Mary, our hope and seat of wisdom, pray for us!

Happy Baby

CruzIs it really possible that anyone could look at a picture of a smiling baby and somehow still think that abortion is okay? Must be but I can’t fathom it.

This is my grandson and a pic that got texted in this morning. His great grandmother is visiting this weekend. We wish we could be there!

I have this picture already set at the unlock screen on my iPhone. Every time I turn my phone on I see him and I can’t help but smile back. It’s very uplifting. I recommend it.

Visualizing 55 Million Babies Aborted

Happy St. Vincent, Deacon & Martyr, memorial day.

Sadly, today is also the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision. St. Vincent, please intercede for us!

There are estimates that 55 million babies have been killed by abortion during this time. That’s an unfathomable number that I can’t wrap my mind around. Abortion takes an innocent life, a human life. It doesn’t make the news. But a few people killed in a war zone will. I weep for them too. I always wonder how we as a society can allow this to continue.

To help visualize this huge number Oregon Right to Life has posted a video on YouTube that tries to help.

Since abortion was legalized in 1973 by the Roe v. Wade decision, over 55 million developing babies have died through abortion. Fifty-five million is a big number and hard to visualize.

To commemorate the lives that were lost, one million deaths are remembered at the tolling of each bell and states begin to disappear to represent the numbers of children who have disappeared.

There is so much that has been written on this subject that I don’t know what to add. I spent two years working with the Vitae Caring Foundation which did ground breaking research into the emotional reasons why a woman would have an abortion. I spoke to groups all over the country and am glad to have had that opportunity. As the founder of Vitae once told me, “It will drive you crazy if you dwell on it.” It, being abortion in this country. So many human lives taken away from us. It is enough to drive you crazy. But we can pray harder and not be afraid to speak out in support of unborn babies. I pledge to do so.

March for Life Time

It’s time again for the March for Life. This will be the 39th time this event has been held in the nation’s Capitol. Wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t need to do it again?

Unfortunately, I don’t have that expectation. The culture of life is not alive and well enough in this country, but we should never give up hope. I really believe we need to continue to change hearts and minds. Then maybe the laws will change. Maybe people will give up the ridiculous idea that having an abortion or using contraception is just a “health choice.”

Last week our so very mis-guided Washington administration basically re-affirmed a rule that would require health insurers to “provide preventive health services.” Convenient way of saying abortion and contraception. I really think they use these words to cover their shame as much as try to hide the truth from people.

So, let’s keep praying for the unborn and those who never even have a chance to be conceived. And those who support the atrocity of taking innocent human life.

Pro-Life In Nebraska

Sen. Tom CarlsonI am attending the Animal Agriculture Alliance Stakeholders Summit in Arlington, VA for my business. One of the speakers was Nebraska state Senator Tom Carlson. I thought you might be interested in a comment he made in an interview I did with him. At the conference we’re talking about animal rights activists who claim to care about the humane care of animals when in reality they have an agenda to eliminate the use of animals as food. Senator Carlson made a comparison of their agenda with human abortion where there is no middle ground on what is humane. He is unashamedly pro-life and I wish we had more of them in elected office!

You can listen to my interview with Sen. Carlson here: Sen. Tom Carlson Comment

Remembering Roe v. Wade

March For LifeThe 2011 March For Life will be taking place tomorrow in Washington, DC, as have others around the country this weekend including here in Jefferson City, MO. This is to mark the anniversary of the legalization of abortion in America. Since then the estimate is at about 52 million abortions performed. It will drive you crazy if you think about it. 52 million people killed in our country outside of any other type of death (accident, defense of country in military, etc.). It’s too big a number for me to wrap my mind around. And most of those performed just to keep from having the “inconvenience” of a child. It’s the most severe form of birth control.

The recent horror story in Philadelphia with the abortion doctor who is now being charged with multiple accounts of murder contains all the elements of what make abortion so incredibly horrible. You can read the details for yourself. Just do a Google search for it. This story should be the top one in the news but guess what? It’s not. Our news folks are more interested in what President O is going to say about the economy. Yeah. That’s more important than human life.

What it means is that we need to continue to pray and especially for our lawmakers, women facing tough choices and those who have had an abortion. I would like to think this will change in our country some day. I keep praying that it will.

Thoughts On Abortion

“If you really stop and think about all the children that have been killed by abortion it will make you crazy.” That’s a quote I’ll never forget from a pro-life leader I worked with years ago. It’s true. It is hard to imagine how many babies have never been born and how many are killed every day, primarily for “convenience.” Have you ever sat down and meditated on this? Ask yourself what it means for all of us. I know all the abortion supporter’s arguments about a woman’s right to choose but the consequences of contraception and abortion go way beyond that.

We’re all tied together spiritually which is why something as gravely wrong as abortion affects us all. It’s pretty easy to understand how an abortion can have an immediate affect on the family members of the woman having the abortion and the man/father of the baby. It shouldn’t be hard therefore to see a connection to all of us. And if you factor in how many millions of babies that have been killed in just the last 30 years there is an extreme amount of impact on all of us. None of it is positive.

This has been on my mind after reading an on a website that was supposedly written by a woman about having an abortion. She didn’t like it but had it done because she decided she wasn’t ready to be a mother. Her casual attitude about having innocuous sex after an involuntary sexual hiatus was disturbing enough. What really got me though was the comments written in about how brave and courageous she was. I don’t know about you but I would be very skeptical of anything that’s written anonymously on the internet. But if it was a truthful story it is as disturbing as many of the comments that people wrote on the site.

The man who shared the quote I opened with agreed with me that we can’t let the thought of how many babies have been killed by abortion discourage us or keep us from doing what we can to encourage a culture of life. I really believe we need to encourage people to return to God who is the only source of answers on this and any other issue. The removal of faith from our society is more at the core of why abortion was ever legalized and why it has grown so tremendously in just a few decades than that all of the sudden a woman’s right to choose became necessary. I have known a number of women who have had one or more abortions. I don’t personally know what went through their mind at the time of the abortion but I do know they regret it. I will continue to pray for a culture of life, for all who have made this choice and the souls of the babies who have never been born.

Shrine of the Holy Innocents

It looks like the Shrine of the Holy Innocents is open. While I was searching for information about Divine Mercy Sunday I came across this announcement from the Marians of the Immaculate Conception who manage the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, MA. The property where it sits is called Eden Hill.

The new shrine is contained within the lower level of the Mother of Mercy Outdoor Shrine known best as the location of the Sacred Liturgy during Divine Mercy Sunday and other special events. The new shrine, said Fr. Anthony, is like “the womb” of the outdoor shrine.

“That’s why it’s hidden,” he said. “It’s a sacred place of prayer, mercy, and hope where the children are safe within the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

“I know the Lord wants this,” he said.

Susan Wills, assistant director for education and outreach and secretariat of pro-life activities for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the shrine emphasizes a crucial role of the Church in ministering to those who suffer the most painful loss: the loss of a child.

A life-size statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe had just been installed days prior. Upon the wall were colorful glass tiles, which will soon contain a growing list of etched names memorializing children who died from abortion, through miscarriage, who were stillborn, or who died from any cause at a young age.

The “Tebow Ad”, Parts 1 and 2

In case you missed them. Here’s the first Focus on the Family that aired during the Super Bowl pre-game show – very classy:

And here is the ad that aired during the first quarter of the game. LOL, think N.O.W. will start complaining that the ad promotes violence against women? Well done!:

Both ads are also available on the Focus on the Family website, which features a more in-depth interview with Tim’s parents Bob and Pam and their choice for life.

You can read my final thoughts on the “controversial” commercial over at Reflections of a Paralytic.

40 Days For Life

40-days-lifeThis morning after Mass we had a table set up with brochures and signup sheets for the 40 Days For Life campaign. The next campaign is coming up soon.

From February 17 through March 28, teams in 156 cities from coast to coast in the United States plus four Canadian provinces and three Australian states will take part in this mission.

40 Days for Life is a community-based campaign that draws attention to the evil of abortion through the use of a three-point program:

* Prayer and fasting
* Constant vigil
* Community outreach

40 Days for Life takes a determined, peaceful approach to showing local communities the consequences of abortion in their own neighborhoods, for their own friends and families. It puts into action a desire to cooperate with God in the carrying out of His plan for the end of abortion in America.

The 40-day campaign tracks Biblical history, where God used 40-day periods to transform individuals, communities … and the entire world. From Noah in the flood to Moses on the mountain to the disciples after Christ’s resurrection, it is clear that God sees the transformative value of His people accepting and meeting a 40-day challenge.