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Restoring Respect for Life

I am writing you today, Wednesday the 23rd of Mary’s month of May, still reflective and prayerful for a Spiritually positive outcome in the Republic of Ireland national vote this coming Friday (5-35-18). A “Yes” vote will repeal its constitutional protection of a preborn right to life. For hundreds of years, considered the “most Catholic of countries”, Ireland’s faith has been severely eroded by immigration coupled with a heightening of economic success and affluence, brought about by their 1973 membership in the European Union. For example, between 1973 and 2015 Ireland received over €74.3 billion from the EU, while only contributing €32 billion to the EU budget. In my short lifetime I’ve come to realize that faith flourishes in poverty and languishes in prosperity. Economic consequences notwithstanding, the potential tragedy (that will be known when this is read, as the vote will have taken place), of yet another country legalizing the evil of abortion, primarily due to either ignorance and apathy or a downright evil and sinful disregard (and refutation) of our Creator’s Commandment … Thou shall not kill!”

The pro-death advocates are telling us… “It’s a human rights issue.” When on earth did humans ever have the right to end the life of another? Please continue to pray, not only for Ireland, but for our own country, and for a continued increase in public awareness of the barbarity and cruelty that we have allowed, unchecked, to be a civilly lawful execution of undesired children for 45 years. Let us all check our own consciences before we castigate the Irish citizens. What have we done during these 45 years, to bring about the end to legal abortion in our land of the free? And consider also, like him or not, in your lifetime, have you witnessed any other President of our country, who has done more to increase the protection of life for the pre-born, than the incumbent? And with this current positive, “pro-life political climate”, what, if anything have each of us done (or committed to do) to take full advantage of the possibility of overturning the egregious Roe v. Wade Decision that civilly legalized abortion? Sadly, many of the politicians that were elected because of the pro-life platform of their party, are not so fully committed to life and have unfortunately made progress on many important pro-life efforts (like defunding the giant baby executioners, Planned Parenthood) very difficult, if not futile.

There are several subjects I would like to write about today. However, I do not want to let this recent international focus on the Respect for Life pass by without reflecting inwardly on the critical importance of the need for all of us Catholic Christians to find a way to take an active part in restoring respect for life to a top priority. Internationally, we have the Irish referendum on abortion and the recent English execution of one year old, Alfie Evans. Restoring respect for life should never be considered less important than any other social justice issue, as important as each of them are. Protection for the environment, protection for animals, poverty, inequality, climate change…while all of them are important, none of them have any benefit for those who are denied the most sacred of social justices…the Sacred Right to Life. As St. Mother Teresa cautioned us, “If we can accept that a mother can kill her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?” And how prophetic she was, with the tragic shootings that have proliferated, when she warned: “Any country that accepts abortion, is not teaching its people to love, but to use violence to get what they want.” Please take to heart the importance of our genuine concern, marked with our prayerful and constructive action, to once again protect the life of the unborn in our nation, under God.

Our Respect-Life Coordinator, Pat Antoniello, has stepped down due to her move to South Florida to be with family members. I have previously, in my after-Mass comments, made note of this and thanked and complemented Pat on her fine work, and made a petition for parishioners to consider coming forward to continue to energize this most important parish ministry. My goal, as it is for all of our ministries, is to set up what I referred to as “tri-chairpersons.” We have done this in several ministries which alleviates any undue pressure on any one individual. Two parishioners, long-time respect-life committee member, Dan Seicker, and Beth Dickie, have volunteered for two of those tri-chair positions, and I thank them profoundly. As you read this, please give consideration to stepping forward to be that third leader. There is a special Respect-Life Coordinator Commissioning Mass by our Bishop, to be held on Saturday morning June 16th in the Historic Church at St. Joseph’s parish. I would love to have our third respect life leader be included in that ceremony.

Whether you become that leader, or simply commit to become a valuable ministry member, your contributions will be not only greatly appreciated by me, but by Our Lord and Savior as well. I pray that many of our Parish families will take this responsibility to stand up for the life of our un-born to heart. This Ministry will also be focusing on becoming involved with the tremendously helpful, reparative, and healing accompaniment of Rachel’s Vineyard Retreats for those who have suffered the spiritual and psychological anguish of an abortion. I am deeply involved in this ministry and would love to have your caring assistance. Let me hear from you if you have felt moved to become more active in defense of Life.

Yours in the name of Jesus, born of the most Blessed Mother,