Friday, November 7, 2014

Spirit and Life: A Pivotal Opportunity to Rally in Defense of Life


While it's great news that substantial political pro-life victories were won in the mid-term elections, we must now ask ourselves, "What do these victories mean for the protection of human life and family?"

Pope Saint John Paul II inspires and instructs us in this opportune and pivotal moment to rally in defense of life:
"What is urgently called for is a general mobilization of consciences and a united ethical effort to activate a great campaign in support of life" (Evangelium vitae, #95).
As I said last week, voting is a critical Catholic obligation based on permanent, non-negotiable moral and ethical principles that affirm a Culture of Life. Now that we have expressed our pro-life voices on the ballot, we must mobilize our efforts to fight swiftly and efficaciously the aggressive assault on women, pre-born children, youth, families, and marriage.
We must dismantle the anti-life media myth regarding the "War on Women;" combat the perverse sexual agenda in our educational institutions; oppose language and action that distorts the sanctity and sacrament of marriage between one man and one woman; defund completely Planned Parenthood, one of the largest global providers of abortion services; and withdraw financial support from USAID programs which endorse intrinsically evil agendas abroad that include contraception, abortion, sterilization, and same-sex unions (conveniently and newly-coined as "gender-neutral").

I propose the following actions:
  1. Hold political leaders accountable for decisions that will protect and defend Life and Family. Our part doesn't end with the success of elections. It's true that recent regimes exercising egregious political power have encouraged and supported devastating anti-life policies. A truly authentic response is to encourage our leaders to defend life from conception to natural death. We must take an active role in corresponding with leaders in all branches of government, remind them continually of every individual's inalienable right to life. We must unite in our demands for just decision-making based on these permanent, non-negotiable principles.
  1. Openly "defend life" in professional and personal spheres of influence. Such a conversation might be downright disagreeable to many, but the conversation is necessary to turn the tide of hearts and minds. We all know people who seem completely numb to the violence, the moral decay that thwarts a Culture of Life:

    Abortion -- approximately 3,000 babies aborted every day in America,
    Euthanasia/Assisted Suicide -- the sad, selfish act that takes away the gift of life, even in the midst of suffering and uncertainty, and
    Murder -- cities and suburbs riddled with senseless and reckless killing.
The message is simple and clear: every life has value; no life is dispensable. Under this fostering premise, "Apostles of Life" will emerge as future generations who embrace and share pro-life attitudes to love, respect, and defend life and family in every society.
With renewed purpose, let's bring the "defend life" conversation to all spheres of our lives, transforming hearts to love life with openness to the salvific message as Pope Saint John Paul II exhorts:
"The issue of morality is one which deeply touches every person; it involves all people, even those who do not know Christ and his Gospel or God himself. It is precisely on the path of the moral life that the way of salvation is open to all." (Veritatis splendor, #3)
Our mobilization efforts must be intent on morally educating our leaders, fellow citizens, and future generations to respect the most valuable resource on earth: the life of every individual. This united effort will be, undoubtedly, one of the best ways to influence culture and build healthy societies -- civilizations of life and love.
As an educational apostolate for 40 years, this has been HLI's strategy. Pray that our life-saving mission to protect life and family will continue to gain more successful victories for Christ. Pray, also, that all pro-life individuals will rally together and defend life long after this election season!
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Shenan J. Boquet
President, Human Life International

Pro-Life Passion Leads Former HLI Staff Member to Postulancy
by Krista Schmid Thomas
On Hollywood Avenue in the Bronx, New York, a growing community of women religious serve an order with a charism for life. One of our own, Theresa Tolpa, who worked for Human Life International from 2008-2011, has entered the Sisters of Life as a discerning postulant. She will live with fellow postulants at the St. Frances de Chantal Convent during her formation before she takes first vows.
This isn't the first time Teri has lived in community since she left her home in Northern Virginia. In July of this year she completed a year of service with Christ in the City, a Catholic evangelization mission in Denver, Colorado, which puts Catholic social teaching into action through communal life, prayer, and intellectual and spiritual formation. -more-
From Ocean to Ocean

by Krista Schmid Thomas
Logging some 50,000 miles across North America in defense of life, the Black Madonna recently concluded a 14-month global prayer pilgrimage in Phoenix, Arizona. An outdoor Mass attended by 1,000 faithful was held on Saturday, November 1, 2014, at Our Lady of Czestochowa parish in Phoenix, Arizona. 
"Having traveled with Our Lady of Czestochowa and having seen the profound effect she has had across the United States and Canada," Father West stated, "I can say that through Our Lady of Czestochowa, the Lord, as He has done so often in the past, is doing great things at many levels. Indeed, only God can heal and reverse the catastrophe that has befallen societies that have embraced abortion and other assaults on life. He continues to call us to join in the fight through the intercession of Our Lady." -more-
Celebrating Mass at Maggie's Place, part of the culminating O2O's farewell festivities: (Left to right:) Deacon James Danovich, Bishop Thomas Olmsted, and Fr. West
Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of the Diocese of Phoenix, with Deacon James Danovich and Father Peter West, celebrated Mass at Maggie's Place to honor the Black Madonna's pilgrimage to North America in defense of life and family.