Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pro Life Mass October 27 2012 Annunciation of the Lord Parish





Photos I took at the Pro Life Mass at Annunciation of the Lord Parish on Saturday October 27, 2912.. I made a slide show with liturgical music from the Saint Louis Jesuits in the background

THE PILGRIMAGE OF MASSES 
The Holy Catholic Church has been continually teaching us, and Common Sense agrees, that abortion is the gravest crime of modern society! But Mother Church is ever ready to provide healing and peace and to point to the solutions. John Paul II and our modern Popes have called for CONVERSION from the culture of death to the Culture of Life.

Our continuing Pilgrimage of Masses provides us all with opportunities to focus on this ON GOING conversion of each one of us, not just "those out there" but also "the person in the mirror". Thus you and I will be able to awake each morning and "report for duty" in the Vineyard of God our Father with the words of Samuel on our lips and in our hearts: "Here I am Lord (I have come to do your will!"

In paragraph 88 of Pope John Paul ll's "Evangelium Vitae", he recommends the establishment of "Pro-Life Centres." These will help to reduce the threat to Life throughout its spectrum. There are Pro-Life Centres in the USA ( Washington DC and New York ), but we need to focus anew on this prophetic call of the late Pontiff. This "focus" necessarily begins with prayer (Come Holy Spirit) and study before the work begins. So opening Pro-Life Centres for Ottawa and other cities of the world are not easy targets!
HENCE, THE NEED FOR THE PILGRIMAGE OF MASSES.

 The Mass intentions, therefore, will be:

(1)  Conversion from the culture of death to The Culture of Life

(2)  The end of abortion worldwide

(3)  Opening of Pro-Life Centres in all cities of the world, including Ottawa
THE PILGRIMAGE CONTINUES




Sunday, October 21, 2012

Canonization of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha

Beatified by Blessed John Paul II in 1980, Kateri Tekakwitha was proclaimed the first Native woman saint by Pope Benedict XVI on October 21, 2012.


Run With Life: What it means to be pro-life

Run With Life: What it means to be pro-life: Father Jerry's homily on Oct 7 tells us about being pro-life on both ends of the life continuum. After Motion-312 was defeated, Father Jer...

Saturday, October 20, 2012

EWTN Live - 2012-10-17 - Douglas Bushman, STL - What is the Year of Faith?



from EWTN

with Father Mitch Pacwa S.J

and special guest Mr. Douglas Bushman


1...Knowing Our Faith Better,

2...Conversion,

3....Witness of Joy


The starting point for our faith about the Church is the Creed. We believe in One, Holy, Catholic and apostolic Church and so any Theology of the Church has to begin there and this is what Pope Benedict is calling us to rediscover. When you read all he has written about the year of faith he uses many verbs with re to rediscover the profound sources of our faith especially the Creed. That's the first part to understanding our faith better and there is no better source than the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It is perhaps the greatest fruit of the second Vatican Council and the Pontificat of John Paul II. From the one to whom more is given, more will be required. Therefore the more we fully understand our faith the more we are accountable and this leads to conversion. This leads to making all the efforts we can make to live up to our deeper understanding of what God has revealed. Metanoia the Greek word for conversion means changing the way that we think; to think the way God thinks. The third step is when sin is rooted out of our lives and Christ reigns more fully in our hearts, we will think, speak and act more like Jesus and this is very good for the world who is in desperate need of Jesus: for everyone who is looking for the meaning and purpose of their lives, for everyone who has an aspiration to live and authentic meaningful existence Jesus is the answer. Well, how are they going to hear about Him? They are going to hear about him from his Disciples who have already discovered His message that His truth sets us free. So the final stage after knowing our faith better, after our conversion, is the Witness of Joy: the witness of a fully human life in Christ Joy is the state we experience when we are in the possession of the pearl of great price........


Friday, October 19, 2012

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pro Life Stewardship - written by Father Jim Whalen - Priests for Life Canada Newsletter - 2005 Issue 3


PRO-LIFE STEWARDSHIP
by Fr. Jim Whalen
Priests for Life Newsletter Issue 3 - 2005

Fr. Jim Whalen, who was one of the greatest Canadian advocates for life.died suddenly on Sunday, February 24, 2008, at the age of 68.while conducting a Pro-Life Parish Mission in Thorold, ON
 

Stewardship is not an option for pro-life disciples. It is a necessity. It means responding to a personal call to “choose life” and imitate Christ, no matter what the cost. Catholics have a duty to be stewards of human life - Jesus did not hesitate to carry out His mission and expects no less from his followers: “I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly...” (Jn 10:10). Living as a pro-life steward means collaborating with God in His work of creation and cooperating with God in His work of redemption. A pro-life Christian steward is one who recognizes, receives, and respects God’s gifts of life thankfully - taking care, cherishing them in a responsible and accountable manner, sharing them in love and justice with others, and returning them with increase to the ‘Giver of Life’. A pro-life steward recognizes God as the origin of life, the giver of freedom, and the source of all they have, are, and will be. Once human beings have accepted their lives as gifts, the Spirit can use them as instruments to spread the ‘Gospel of Life’.

It is difficult to be a pro-life steward in the ‘Culture of Death’ society that surrounds and suffocates us. The contraceptive mentality we live in is due largely to the strong influences of materialism, relativism, hedonism, individualism, and consumerism. There is a strong tendency to marginalize faith, confining it to hearts and homes, excluding it from the media and marketplace, from where policy is often formed, where many acquire their view of life and its meaning. There is a lack of charity, a lack of love, and a selfishness which pervades our world. There are extreme disparities in wealth and power that hinder unity and communion. There is a need for solidarity and contributive justice, for the measurement of productivity by fulfillment of basic needs, employment levels, patterns of discrimination, and a sense of community. There is a persistence of religious conflicts and divisions. There is a need for mercy, forgiveness, and truth,
Stewardship of life, the Lord’s way, is not about comfortable living, feeling good, or pleasant experiences. It means surrendering ourselves through grace and choice.

 

It is not an illusion.

It is not cheap grace.

It is real.

It is costly.

It is demanding. 

 


We become stewards of life by grace, starting with our Baptism, which makes us into a royal priesthood and members of God’s family. This means sharing in the priestly work of Jesus and acting on His behalf. This means imitating Him. “For in Him all the fullness was pleased to dwell, and through Him to reconcile all things for Him, making peace by the blood of His Cross” (Col 1:19-20). It means putting aside the desire for possession, control and domination. It means seeking grace because it confers true liberation and eternal life. It also means the condemnation of sin and reparation: living a life of grace, reaching out, and accepting the call to greater conversion. It means accepting the divine mandate given to our first parents: “Be fertile and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it” (Gen 1:28). We are challenged to work, to cultivate, and to care for the gifts of creation, for life, and all living things. This is fundamental to our human vocation and necessary for human happiness and fulfillment. Vatican II emphasizes our task - the surpassing ministry of safeguarding life: “From the moment of its conception, life must be guarded with the greatest care...” (Gaudium et Spes, #51).


The principle of stewardship applies to all believers. In this age of unbelief we are asked to follow Christ, step by step, in the service of human life: “Each one of you has received a special grace, so, like good stewards responsible for all these different graces of God, put yourselves at the service of others” (1 Pet 4:10). We must give to God all that is due to Him. We must in charity and justice give to human persons all that is due to them. This means not only giving of ourselves and embracing pro-life discipleship whole-heartedly and cheerfully, but also in realizing our responsibility, we must also give the full amount for which we are accountable. “I will demand an account of every man’s life from his fellowmen” (Gen 9:5).

As stewards our first and foremost responsibility is to give ourselves - our lives. Jesus made this very clear: “Whoever shall save his life [live for self], shall lose it, but whoever shall lose his life [live for Christ and neighbour] for My sake and the Gospel’s, the same shall save it [in following Christ]” (Mk 8:34-35).
Pro-life stewardship means giving priority to God and our neighbor. The Holy Scriptures point us in the right direction:

- Loving God and others ( Deut 6:5).
- Be found faithful (l Cor 4:2).
- Choose Life (Deut 30:19).
- Pray constantly (1 Thess 5:17).
- To Evangelize (Mt 28:19:20).
- Seek justice (Zeph 2:3).
- Put self on the altar of sacrifice (Rom l2:1).
- Be holy (l Thess 4:3).
- Resist and oppose evil to the point of shedding blood (Heb 12:4).
- Be forgiving (Eph 4:32).
- Imitate Mary’s Fiat (Lk l:38).

After Jesus, it is Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Queen and Mother of the Americas, Mother of Life, Star of the New Evangelization, Patroness of Life, who, by her example, teaches the meaning of stewardship. The essential elements are found in her life. She responded generously, creatively, and prudently to God’s call and gifts. She understood her role as handmaid in terms of service and fidelity. As Mother she was the first Protectrix of Jesus in the womb, and this continued on into infancy, childhood, and then adulthood - until the agony of Christ’s Passion and Death (Jn 19:25). As ‘Mother of the Church’ (Pope Paul VI, Discourse, 1964), Mary’s stewardship is articulated in the Constitution on the Church (Lumen Gentium). She is “clearly the Mother of the members of Christ” (#53). She is invoked in the Church under these titles: Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatix (#62). Pope John Paul II explained her role in Redemptoris Mater: “Mary is one of the first who believed and precisely with her faith, as Spouse and Mother, she wishes to act upon all those who entrust themselves to her as children” (#46).
The pro-life disciple is called to share all he or she possesses as gifts and blessings with others for the sake of the Kingdom of God. Good stewards of life live with joy and gratitude for what they have received, living in communion with Christ and the Spirit and strive through diligence and hard work to multiply these blessings so as to offer them back to the Father. They have come to realize and understand their personal responsibility: “To each individual a manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit” (l Cor 12:7).


Pro-life stewardship is a position of trustworthiness and faithfulness. In many cases it is a matter of life or death choices. Of necessity, it implies competence and commitment to God and our neighbours. It involves proper use of initiative, talents, and abilities. It also means hard work and tremendous efforts. At times it includes taking appropriate risks courageously. It means accepting a sense of responsibility for one’s personal development: spiritual dimension, discipleship, etc.; for relationships within the family, the workplace and the wider community: follow the ‘Golden Rule’; for certain entrusted material, financial possessions, and resources: keeping promises, fulfilling expectations, loyalty, integrity, etc.


Catholics advocate that pro-life stewardship be Trinitarian, Eucharistic, Scriptural, Marian, and Magisterial. It means giving thanks to God for the gifts received and sharing them with others, “leading to works of charity and mutual help, as well as to missionary activity and to different forms of Christian witness” (Vatican II, Presbyterorum Ordinis, #6). It means living the fundamental pattern of stewards: “Serve one another through love..., bear one another’s burdens, and so you will fulfil the law of Christ” (Gal 5:13; 6:2). It means service of life by doing all for Jesus, through Mary, by doing all with Jesus and Mary (True Devotion, St Louis de Montfort).

 

 

Pro-life stewards are called to share the life of the Blessed Trinity: “Go, therefore, make disciples of all the nations: baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28:19). Pro-life disciples model their lives on their Master, Jesus Christ, who said: “I have come not to be served but to serve and to give my life as a ransom for many” (Mt 20:28). +

NOTES: Information & Research

Stewardship, a Disciple’s Response, U.S.C.C.C.B. Publishing, 10th Anniversary Edition, Washington, DC, No. 5-465, 80 pp.

 

To be a Christian Steward, Summary U.S. Bishops’ Pastoral Letter on Stewardship, U.S.C.C.C.B. Publishing, No 568-2, 16 pp.


Go and Make Disciples, Evangelization Strategy, U.S. Catholic Bishops, No. 5-475, 104 pp.


Principles for Life, Robert Boyd, 1995, Chapter 12, Stewardship, pp. 109-114. +

 

40 Days for Life - Midpoint Rally at Ground Zero -Sunday October 14, 2012







40 Days for Life Ottawa

 
-Midpoint Rally -
October 14, 2012, 7:00PM
Photos and Speeches
 
Photos compliments of Paul Lauzon
 
 



 


 
Marcel Dion Leading Evening Prayer




Archbishop Terrence Prendergast 
 
 
 
 
Deacon Charles Fink
 
 
 
 
Jennifer Snell 
 
 
 
Doris Gagnon 
 
 
 
John Pacheco







Speeches
 
 
Archbishop Terrence Prendergast
Blessed Mother Teresa once said: "Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat."
We are halfway through the 40 Days for Life Campaign here in Ottawa. It is a good time to reflect on why we are doing what we are doing. This Christian witness is not about gender politics, or social activism or pushing a religious agenda onto a secular society.
Some people, perhaps many people, might think that these issues are behind the campaign but it is really something simpler, more important than these things.

At the heart of this campaign is love. It is love and care for the vulnerable that motivates us to stand outside in often blustery, inclement Fall weather in downtown Ottawa. It is love for women and their unborn children, that motivates us to be a witness to the value of human life and the great blessing and dignity of motherhood.

Elements in society today treat the gift of new life in the womb as a ‘medical condition,’ an intrusion into the private realm of personal autonomy, a potential problem that needs a radical solution.

But we know that new life is a gift; each pre-born human person is a unique expression of God’s love and His ongoing, creative work in the world. Even when children come into existence in difficult circumstances, we need to recognize that they are a gift.

The work of witnessing to the value of human life is difficult. It is not always popular and our motivation for advocating and witnessing to the value of human life is often misunderstood.

We do not always see the results of this witness. Sometimes we know that the 40 Days for Life Campaign has touched a heart or saved a life but I suspect many more hearts are softened, eyes opened and minds begin questioning than we suspect and know. It is important for us to continue this witness with love in our hearts and peace on our lips confident that what we are doing, with the help of God’s grace, matters. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to soften hearts and reorient positions in this great work for life.

Recently a Member of Provincial Parliament has suggested that to be opposed to abortion and to be pro-life—to be in favour of the protection of life from the first moment of conception in the womb—is a form of bullying and therefore is “misogynistic”—that is hateful of women and, further, that such teaching ought not to be part of the moral teaching characteristic of our Catholic schools. In effect, the suggestion is that Catholic teaching on this point should be forbidden in publicly-funded Catholic schools. While people of other faiths and no faith are pro-life, the protection of the vulnerable, including those conceived in the womb is authentic Catholic doctrine and has its place in Catholic schools.

I am reminded of the words of a martyr-priest, whose feast falls in the Jesuit Ordo today but is not observed because of the Lord’s Day: they offer an apt analogy for our times:

‘In all that concerns the king, I will be slavishly obedient; if any attack his temporal power, I will shed my last drop of blood for him. But in the things of spiritual jurisdiction which a king unjustly seizes I cannot and must not obey.’
~ St. John Ogilvie
We witness through prayers, fasting, words of counsel, support and encouragement and simply by our presence. We must remember that our task is not to be successful but to be faithful. Blessed Mother Teresa reminds us: "We cannot do great things on this Earth, only small things with great love."

May God bless and sustain you and may Our Blessed Mother be your constant companion and intercessor.


Deacon Chuck Fink:


During this year of faith, as the Deacon of the mass, I am dismissing the congregation using the words: ‘Go and announce the gospel of the Lord’. This is my plea to you, to take the word which has just been proclaimed to you and proclaim it to your friends, neighbours, fellow workers, and even from the rooftops if you are so inclined.

As JP II said, “Do not be afraid to go out on the streets and into public places, like the first apostles who preached Christ and the Good News of salvation in the squares of the cities, towns and villages. This is no time to be ashamed of the Gospel. It is the time to preach it from the rooftops.”

During this 40 days for life campaign we are giving you the opportunity to proclaim the word of God on one of the busiest streets in Ottawa during the busiest time of the day.
This has a threefold effect:

1) God is present in His Word. When we proclaim his word in a venue such as this, He is with us and the enemy will flee allowing our work to bear fruit. And it brings a sense of peace to the area. Since we began this component of the campaign, there have been no violent events as in the past – and we pray it remains peaceful.

2) The spoken word may touch the heart of someone passing by who may have never heard the gospel and wants to hear more; or if a lady is walking into the abortion clinic and hears the word of God, she may have a change of heart. We may never know the fruits of our work. Only God knows the true impact of what is being done here. For us, we are just humble disciples answering his call and praying for His will to be done. We have faith that it is being done.

3) It allows each of us the opportunity to develop the courage to proclaim the word in public; and hopefully to take away our fear of taking a stand that goes against popular opinion; thereby preparing us to boldly defend the church’s teaching on issues such as abortion, euthanasia, same sex marriage, etc. instead of shying away from the discussion.

Today’s Gospel reminds us of the difficulty many of us have in accepting god’s invitation to do His work: The young man, in the gospel, truly wanted to know what he must do, over and above what he was already doing, to inherit eternal life and Jesus told him to sell all that he had, give the money to the poor and follow him. But because the man was so burdened with his possessions, he would not do what Jesus asked of him, even though, in his heart, this is was his true desire. God has placed that same desire in each of our hearts but Satan has a way of finding one of our weaknesses to tie us down and keep us from serving our Lord.

There is an important message in this Gospel that can probably be carried throughout the year of faith and that message is ‘Let Go’.
Let go of the fears that are keeping you from Proclaiming the Gospel,
Let go of the fears that prevent you from going against the grain in your conversations with others about abortion and other Church teachings.
Let go of the things that are preventing you from utilizing your God-given gifts to serve the Lord. Jesus is calling us to action.

If abortion is to be ended and society’s moral compass realigned to accept the natural law, then it will be accomplished by those who say yes to Jesus and no to the burdens that are holding us back. 
My friends, the Church is under attack. We can see it in how government is forcing immoral policy in our schools. We can see it in how they are refusing to acknowledge the existence of human life in the womb. We can see it in the US where immoral policies are being dictated to Catholic hospitals and other organizations. The list goes on. Our voices must be loud. We must be convincing, and our methods must be intelligent and well planned if we are to sway public opinion and turn the moral tide.

Please continue to pray. Remember, that with the Lord, all things are possible.
If anyone wishes to sign up to proclaim the word, there are still many slots available. Simply go to the Ottawa 40 days for Life website, click on proclamation and let me know by email or by phone which slot you would like to take.

Blessings to you all.

John Pacheco:
...This particular water attraction featured a huge barrel of water suspended about 20 feet off the ground and slightly tilted to one side. As the water
circulated around this attraction, it would funnel through a little pipe just above this huge barrel of water.
As the water would collect in this barrel, you could see that the barrel would slowly start to tilt more and more to the ground. As the seconds and minutes went by, you could also see what was going to happen to the water when it reached a critical mass.
And sure enough, when that critical mass was reached, the entire barrel of water emptied down on the gleeful and ecstatic children below.
My dear friends, that is what is happening here at Ground Zero. For every prayer and sacrifice that we make here on these grounds is like a drop of water into that barrel.
We might not see any tilting of the vat. It might take some time, but rest assured that every prayer is being registered, every sacrifice is being counted, and every converted heart is bringing that barrel closer to turning over.
The critical mass is coming. It's inevitable. It's going to happen. And when it does, we will experience even a greater joy and excitement than those children did when the water splashed down on their heads.
Long Haul
When we first started 40 Days, I think some of us were hopeful we could shut down this clinic in a couple of campaigns, but I think we all understand that we're in this for the long haul.
And it's not just about shutting down this clinic which is really only a symptom of the greater sickness in our culture which is despair and apathy to unborn life.
We have to cure that before we can really achieve the victory.
Now many of you may think that a woman who choose not to go for an abortion as a result of our efforts here is a great victory, and indeed it is, but as bold as this sounds, a believer like us who chooses to participate in our Campaign who did not previously is almost as great a victory because it adds one more soldier is Jesus' army against abortion. Let me share with you an email I received this weekend which testifies to this:








I was one of those people. You know the ones walking by, heads down, reciting to themselves “Don’t make eye contact” over and over. I didn’t want to know. I didn’t want to intrude in people’s lives. If women wanted to choose, let them, it wasn’t for me to tell them they couldn’t. Then something happened. I’m not sure what, but over the last year my eyes were opened, and because of that, so was my heart. When the 40 Days for Life started, I initially thought “I can’t do that, it’s downtown, it’s gonna be cold, parking’s a pain”. Then I realized that I was thinking like my old self. Yes, it was cold, yes, parking was a pain, and, yes, it was an hour. An hour out of my day, my year, my life. An hour can seem like a lifetime. But the fact is, it’s an hour some may never experience. It really wasn’t too much. It went quickly, and if any lives were saved, if it got even one person thinking, fantastic. Am I going down again? You bet.
You see, folks, this is indeed a great victory because it shows progress amongst our own Faith community who need to be awakened like this woman was. On this sacred ground we are standing to convert not only the culture of death but also those believers among us who need encouragement - because we cannot win this fight until the Church - its pewsitters and its leaders - is fully converted to the Gospel of Life.

Friday, October 12, 2012

40 Days for Life in Ottawa - October 12 2012

 The students of Saint Paul University were covering the times on the vigil roster today and when I arrived around 11,  Father Adrian was  proclaiming the Word.  During the 40 Days for Life here in Ottawa, the Bible is proclaimed between 11:00 AM and 1:00PM. 
In spite of the really cold temperature and heavy winds there were six people present when I was there.

for greater detail see Father Adrian's blog
http://adriansharp.wordpress.com/2012/10/13/day-18-of-the-40-days-for-life/

Also here is an excellent article written by Father James Whalen 
on Pro Life Stewardship
 
Fr. Jim Whalen, Former National Director of Priests for Life Canada died suddenly while conducting a Pro-Life Parish Mission  On Sunday, February 24, 2008, at the age of 68. 

PRO-LIFE STEWARDSHIP 
by Fr. Jim Whalen
Priests for Life Newsletter Issue 3 - 2005
Stewardship is not an option for pro-life disciples. It is a necessity. It means responding to a personal call to “choose life” and imitate Christ, no matter what the cost. Catholics have a duty to be stewards of human life - Jesus did not hesitate to carry out His mission and expects no less from his followers: “I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly...” (Jn 10:10). Living as a pro-life steward means collaborating with God in His work of creation and cooperating with God in His work of redemption. A pro-life Christian steward is one who recognizes, receives, and respects God’s gifts of life thankfully - taking care, cherishing them in a responsible and accountable manner, sharing them in love and justice with others, and returning them with increase to the ‘Giver of Life’. A pro-life steward recognizes God as the origin of life, the giver of freedom, and the source of all they have, are, and will be. Once human beings have accepted their lives as gifts, the Spirit can use them as instruments to spread the ‘Gospel of Life’.

It is difficult to be a pro-life steward in the ‘Culture of Death’ society that surrounds and suffocates us. The contraceptive mentality we live in is due largely to the strong influences of materialism, relativism, hedonism, individualism, and consumerism. There is a strong tendency to marginalize faith, confining it to hearts and homes, excluding it from the media and marketplace, from where policy is often formed, where many acquire their view of life and its meaning. There is a lack of charity, a lack of love, and a selfishness which pervades our world. There are extreme disparities in wealth and power that hinder unity and communion. There is a need for solidarity and contributive justice, for the measurement of productivity by fulfillment of basic needs, employment levels, patterns of discrimination, and a sense of community. There is a persistence of religious conflicts and divisions. There is a need for mercy, forgiveness, and truth,
Stewardship of life, the Lord’s way, is not about comfortable living, feeling good, or pleasant experiences. It means surrendering ourselves through grace and choice.

We become stewards of life by grace, starting with our Baptism, which makes us into a royal priesthood and members of God’s family. This means sharing in the priestly work of Jesus and acting on His behalf. This means imitating Him. “For in Him all the fullness was pleased to dwell, and through Him to reconcile all things for Him, making peace by the blood of His Cross” (Col 1:19-20). It means putting aside the desire for possession, control and domination. It means seeking grace because it confers true liberation and eternal life. It also means the condemnation of sin and reparation: living a life of grace, reaching out, and accepting the call to greater conversion. It means accepting the divine mandate given to our first parents: “Be fertile and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it” (Gen 1:28). We are challenged to work, to cultivate, and to care for the gifts of creation, for life, and all living things. This is fundamental to our human vocation and necessary for human happiness and fulfillment. Vatican II emphasizes our task - the surpassing ministry of safeguarding life: “From the moment of its conception, life must be guarded with the greatest care...” (Gaudium et Spes, #51).

The principle of stewardship applies to all believers. In this age of unbelief we are asked to follow Christ, step by step, in the service of human life: “Each one of you has received a special grace, so, like good stewards responsible for all these different graces of God, put yourselves at the service of others” (1 Pet 4:10). We must give to God all that is due to Him. We must in charity and justice give to human persons all that is due to them. This means not only giving of ourselves and embracing pro-life discipleship whole-heartedly and cheerfully, but also in realizing our responsibility, we must also give the full amount for which we are accountable. “I will demand an account of every man’s life from his fellowmen” (Gen 9:5).

As stewards our first and foremost responsibility is to give ourselves - our lives. Jesus made this very clear: “Whoever shall save his life [live for self], shall lose it, but whoever shall lose his life [live for Christ and neighbour] for My sake and the Gospel’s, the same shall save it [in following Christ]” (Mk 8:34-35).
Pro-life stewardship means giving priority to God and our neighbor. The Holy Scriptures point us in the right direction:

- Loving God and others ( Deut 6:5).
- Be found faithful (l Cor 4:2).
- Choose Life (Deut 30:19).
- Pray constantly (1 Thess 5:17).
- To Evangelize (Mt 28:19:20).
- Seek justice (Zeph 2:3).
- Put self on the altar of sacrifice (Rom l2:1).
- Be holy (l Thess 4:3).
- Resist and oppose evil to the point of shedding blood (Heb 12:4).
- Be forgiving (Eph 4:32).
- Imitate Mary’s Fiat (Lk l:38).

After Jesus, it is Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Queen and Mother of the Americas, Mother of Life, Star of the New Evangelization, Patroness of Life, who, by her example, teaches the meaning of stewardship. The essential elements are found in her life. She responded generously, creatively, and prudently to God’s call and gifts. She understood her role as handmaid in terms of service and fidelity. As Mother she was the first Protectrix of Jesus in the womb, and this continued on into infancy, childhood, and then adulthood - until the agony of Christ’s Passion and Death (Jn 19:25). As ‘Mother of the Church’ (Pope Paul VI, Discourse, 1964), Mary’s stewardship is articulated in the Constitution on the Church (Lumen Gentium). She is “clearly the Mother of the members of Christ” (#53). She is invoked in the Church under these titles: Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatix (#62). Pope John Paul II explained her role in Redemptoris Mater: “Mary is one of the first who believed and precisely with her faith, as Spouse and Mother, she wishes to act upon all those who entrust themselves to her as children” (#46).
The pro-life disciple is called to share all he or she possesses as gifts and blessings with others for the sake of the Kingdom of God. Good stewards of life live with joy and gratitude for what they have received, living in communion with Christ and the Spirit and strive through diligence and hard work to multiply these blessings so as to offer them back to the Father. They have come to realize and understand their personal responsibility: “To each individual a manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit” (l Cor 12:7).

Pro-life stewardship is a position of trustworthiness and faithfulness. In many cases it is a matter of life or death choices. Of necessity, it implies competence and commitment to God and our neighbours. It involves proper use of initiative, talents, and abilities. It also means hard work and tremendous efforts. At times it includes taking appropriate risks courageously. It means accepting a sense of responsibility for one’s personal development: spiritual dimension, discipleship, etc.; for relationships within the family, the workplace and the wider community: follow the ‘Golden Rule’; for certain entrusted material, financial possessions, and resources: keeping promises, fulfilling expectations, loyalty, integrity, etc.

Catholics advocate that pro-life stewardship be Trinitarian, Eucharistic, Scriptural, Marian, and Magisterial. It means giving thanks to God for the gifts received and sharing them with others, “leading to works of charity and mutual help, as well as to missionary activity and to different forms of Christian witness” (Vatican II, Presbyterorum Ordinis, #6). It means living the fundamental pattern of stewards: “Serve one another through love..., bear one another’s burdens, and so you will fulfil the law of Christ” (Gal 5:13; 6:2). It means service of life by doing all for Jesus, through Mary, by doing all with Jesus and Mary (True Devotion, St Louis de Montfort).
 
One method of pro-life stewardship is to volunteer
for pro-life work. These are some of the Board Members
and volunteers of Priests for Life Canada at a recent
appreciation luncheon (June 2005).
 
Pro-life stewards are called to share the life of the Blessed Trinity: “Go, therefore, make disciples of all the nations: baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28:19). Pro-life disciples model their lives on their Master, Jesus Christ, who said: “I have come not to be served but to serve and to give my life as a ransom for many” (Mt 20:28). +

NOTES: Information & Research
Stewardship, a Disciple’s Response, U.S.C.C.C.B. Publishing, 10th Anniversary Edition, Washington, DC, No. 5-465, 80 pp. See: www.usccb.org/publishing.
To be a Christian Steward, Summary U.S. Bishops’ Pastoral Letter on Stewardship, U.S.C.C.C.B. Publishing, No 568-2, 16 pp. See: www.usccb.org/publishing.

Go and Make Disciples, Evangelization Strategy, U.S. Catholic Bishops, No. 5-475, 104 pp. See: www.usccb.org/publishing.
Principles for Life, Robert Boyd, 1995, Chapter 12, Stewardship, pp. 109-114. +

Thursday, October 4, 2012

40 Days for Life Campaign - Annunciation of the Lord Parish prays for an end to abortion


Today parishioners of the Annunciation of the Lord Parish in Ottawa were at ground zero to pray for an end to abortion.  Many from across the city came to pray with us including Frances and Eileen who are there almost every day. There were about 4 to 6 people per hour and at one point during the proclamation of the Word there were 18 present. Both Our priests Father Jerry Gauvreau C.C. and Father Yves Marchildon C.C. were there as well as Jorge who is a Seminarian with the Companions of the Cross.
I strongly believe that our very good participation today was largely due to the strong support of our two priests.  Father Jerry gave a strong pro life homily two weeks ago at all our masses and invited us all to participate in this important event.

I also noticed more support from passers by than other years. I think this is catching on. Thank you Lord!

Thank you to our parish reps; Melanie, Theresa and Lois and a special thanks to all who came out today!
 
from Father Jerry's homily - Sept 23 2012
 
We cannot be silent any longer – it’s time to be Pro-Life in this culture of death – and don’t let anyone tell you to mind our own business, because this is our business – as Christians and as Catholics, the child in the womb is our responsibility .  
 
 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Senator St. Germain's Senate statement on Rona Ambrose' Freedom of expression

Senator St. Germain just made the following statement in the Senate on October 2, 2012:
Honourable Senators,
Freedom of expression is a right often taken for granted.
As Parliamentarians, we enjoy the use of this right – free from hindrance – every day throughout the discourse of our debates and though other channels of communication.
as representatives of the public, We are responsible to uphold this right, and protect its value.
Last week in the other place this coveted right was under siege after being exercised by the Honourable Rona Ambrose during a free vote.
The issue of Ms. Ambrose’s vote in favour of Motion 312 goes beyond the subject matter of the Motion its self.
The outcry from the folks condemning her democratic action only highlights the ugly truth in this country that freedom of expression does not exist in the face of intolerance.
The opinions expressed by these special interest groups toward the actions of Ms. Ambrose are rather disingenuous.
They fail to realize that tolerance is a two way street.
During my nearly 30 years as a Parliamentarian, never once did I regret my decision to exercise my right to stand up for what I believed in.
And I defended my decisions against dissenting opinions, as was my right to do so - - - as much as it was their right to disagree with me.
But never once was I condemned or cast as morally void for having excised my right to vote freely.
Honourable Senators, whether we agree or disagree with the issue at hand, Ms. Ambrose should be congratulated - not condemned - for having the courage of her convictions to stand up and freely vote her conscience.
As a Member of Parliament, her actions rightly represent the essence of our democratic society.

Pro Life Homily September 23, 2012 - Father Jerry Gauvreau Companions of the Cross


Pro Life Homily September 2012
Father Jerry Gauvreau  C.C

 
 So you’ll notice that by looking at this week’s bulletin that there’s a couple of pro- life events coming up, so this is probably just as good as any Sunday to talk about abortion, pro - life movement.  Certainly the readings can tie in to all this for sure.
 
If you look at Campaign Life Coalition web site they report that: abortion is legal in Canada throughout all 9 months of pregnancy – for any reason .
 
And when you read about the definition of the types of abortion performed, especially what partial birth abortion is really all about, I don’t know how anyone can still come away and be pro-choice.  Plain and simple, abortion is murder.
 
Our Catechism, paragraph 2270 very clearly teaches us that: human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of  his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person…
 
This past Friday in the House of Commons, MP Mr. Stephen Woodworth proposed to the members of Parliament a bill commonly referred to as Motion 312 – you may have heard  of  it last spring – we knew this was coming.
 
In Motion 312 he urges Members of Parliament to call on a study of when human life begins – If scientific evidence tells us that our legal definition of who is a human being is wrong, is it right for us to ignore it? – He asks  “why would anyone oppose a respectful dialogue to gather evidence on such an important law?”
 
So Friday night I called his office and just left him a message supporting him, blessing him, telling him I was praying for him, thanking him for having the courage to put this Motion forward.
 
Campaign Life Coalition’s President Mr. Jim Hughes says, “Motion 312 calls for parliament to evaluate an outdated 400 year old law that denies modern scientific evidence that proves that life begins at conception.”
In my own personal research, over and over and over again, it shows that scientific studies have proven that within weeks of Conception a baby’s heart can be detected – in less than 2 months all vital organs are present in the baby which is a real person – not a blob of tissue.
 
The vote on Motion 312 will be held most likely this coming Wednesday, the Feast of St. Jean de Brebeuf and the Holy Canadian Martyrs – St Jean de Brebeuf  had his heart cut out and eaten by the Iroquois , tortured ; they saw his courage and they wanted it.
 
So if the Motion  is defeated I would just like Mr. Harper to know as well as all the Members of Parliament that the Pro-Life Movement is not going away – we’re here to stay, we’re in your face – we’re  going to be around  a lot longer than any of  us will and any of them.  The Pro-Life Movement has courage; catch it!
 
We cannot be silent any longer – it’s time to be Pro-Life in this culture of death – and don’t let anyone tell you to mind our own business, because this is our business – as Christians and as Catholics, the child in the womb is our responsibility.
 ( CC#2270 )  - Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception…
 
A few years ago Archbishop Adam Exner said the same thing : He said it’s time to stop making excuses.  It’s time to stop being afraid of what others will think when we stand up for what is right. It’s time to challenge the status quo. It’s time to put our faith into action. It’s time to be Pro-Life in private and in public. A child is not a problem to be eliminated but a gift always to be cherished …
 
And just this week in the news, I’m not sure if you read about it, but there ‘s a lot of articles about Justin Beiber’s mother .  I’m not sure, did anybody hear her story?  She’s come out with a book but she admitted that when she got pregnant with Justin she considered having an abortion.  Everybody told her to.  She was 17, a messed up kid, on drugs and alcohol  - but in her heart she knew it was wrong – I think in her heart she knew a child is not a problem to be eliminated but a gift always to be cherished.
 
And just last year, you might remember Justin himself was asked about abortion and he said  “I really don’t believe in abortion – I think the unborn child is a human being”  – he took a lot of  flack for that statement: God bless him!
 
Fr. Frank Pavone, Founder of Priests’ for Life says he received a letter one time from a lady who told him that planned parenthood told her that her pregnancy was a blob of tissue as easily removable as a wart.  “No one told me I was killing a human being or spoke to me about adoption or single parenting.”
 
You may have heard the story of an NHL goalie named  Justin Pogge.   When his mother became pregnant she was going to jump off a bridge, but she felt her baby kick - and she changed her mind – a lump of tissue does not kick.  A baby is not a problem to be eliminated but a gift from God !
 
Last May, many of you know I was on a Marian pilgrimage in Medugorje and it was at the same time when we were holding the Pro-Life week here in Ottawa.  And during the annual March for Life here in Ottawa  - I followed it closely through the internet – but close to 20,000 people participated, marching through the streets of Ottawa bringing the Pro-Life message into the very heart of Parliament Hill.
 
And while in Medugorje I heard a story, first hand account from a gentleman who told me how an abortion  doctor from the Ukraine visited Medugorje, well you know the only reason she went was because it was a free trip  - check things out. So, one day she hikes up apparition hill where Our Blessed Mother is said to have first appeared and when she got up there she looked around , she had a vision of every child’s skull and bones that she had murdered through abortion over the last forty  years. Today, they are bringing more and more doctors over there for retreats; pro life retreats.
 
In 1994 Mother Teresa  said, “ I feel the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion because it’s a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child¼if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child how can we tell people not to kill one another? “
 
By abortion the mother does not learn to love but kills even her own child to solve her problems. And by abortion the father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. The father is likely to put others in the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion. Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love but to use violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion¼


 


So what are some other powerful Pro - Life Movements and Campaigns that are happening these days ?  Well, I have already mentioned March for Life.  Many parishes have a Letter writing campaigns to their members of parliament and the prime minister.  I wrote my first one when I was about 8 or 9 years old. I remember being at the kitchen table and specifically asking my father, “what’s abortion?”  I didn’t have a clue. He said, “the Government  kills babies.”
 
So recently I came across a beautiful story. It’s called  The Letters for Life Story, and  this was initiated by a seventeen  year old girl by the name of Alexandra  ( if I pronounce her last name right ) Jezierski.
See, she was disappointed in the fact that Prime Minister Harper doesn’t even have the courage to open up and discuss the abortion issue.
So last spring she started a letter writing Campaign in the hopes that MP’s would receive 100,000 letters that speak out against the evils of abortion. As the Letter writing Campaign progressed she turned the Campaign towards supporting Mr. Woodworth’s Motion 312. Then they teamed up with MP Postcard Campaign which was doing something very similar. Every letter written and every postcard sent to MP’s was to act as a voice for every child that will be aborted in Canada this year. Over 100,000 letters and postcards , tens of thousands of which are still being sorted through the Post Office.  Because of a back log, they may not make it to the offices of the MP’s because of a shortage of man power. So today is a good day to pray, the day saint Anthony died: get em delivered
 
Over 100,00 letters and postcards each representing a  child of God who will be aborted in Canada this year – 100,000 aborted children in which you and I and every Member of Parliament are responsible for their well being and protection.
 
So moving  on we have also 40 Days for Life. Put your hands up it you’ve heard of 40 Days for Life. Quite a few of you: alright! Check this story out.
40 Days for Life is an International Campaign of prayer and peaceful witness outside abortion facilities to highlight and defeat abortion for what it is – murder of babies who have no voice.
 
The first 40 Days for Life was held in Texas back in 2004
A local Pro-Life group prayed for an answer about how to reduce abortion in their area – and this is what the Lord revealed to them: 40 days, prayerful witness for life.
 
The Campaign came together in a matter of weeks. A thousand people came forward to participate and their prayers led to a twenty eight per cent  decline in abortions in that community.
 
So here we are 12 years later: 40 Days for Life is spreading : this Fall, next week actually, there are 316 locations holding 40 Days for Life prayer  campaigns. Across the United States – forty nine States are involved
Here is Canada , seven provinces – which includes eighteen cities right here in Ontario: Ottawa is one of them. But they’re also being held in England, Spain, Australia and for the first time -Uganda –
 
So are they making any difference? Well, a little bit of research tells me that some abortion workers have quit their jobs and are now Pro-Life, twenty four abortion facilities have closed and organizers of 40Days for Life show that close to 6,000 babies have been saved. It’s a beautiful number, even at one would make it all worthwhile, even if one child was saved
 
So the sixth 40 Days for Life begins in Ottawa this Wednesday, the same day interestingly enough that Motion 312 will be voted upon. And our parish will be on site as we were last year for one day. Our day this years is Thursday, Oct 4th  and there are sign up sheets in the Narthex – So I want to really encourage you to come out.
 
As well as next Sunday afternoon is the twenty eight Annual Life Chain  from 2:00 to 3:00 at the corner of Montreal Road and Saint Laurent Boulevard. We’ll meet in the parking lot here about 1:40 to car pool down so again, please join us.  We can make a difference: together we can make a difference to be a voice for an aborted child, even one who may be threatened by abortion.


 

This whole issue of abortion ; our Late Holy Father John Paul II says the Church is aware of the many factors which may have influenced your decision and She does not doubt that in many cases it was painful and even a shattering decision . The wound in your heart may not yet have healed . Certainly what happened was and remains terribly wrong but do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope. God the Father of Mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

 

So in closing I’d like to just encourage all of you to fast and pray for the  Life Chain next Sunday that the Lord will touch many hearts, and also during the 40 Days for Life prayer campaigns going on across Canada, the United States and other countries.

 

Know today’s readings are very powerful and in the Gospel Jesus says, as he took a child among him, taking it in his arms he said: “whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me…”