September 4, 2016
by Diana Jelen - Respect Life Coordinator
By the Grace of God and for the purpose of the glory of Jesus Christ, I greet you on this day of the canonization of Mother Teresa, now St. Teresa of Calcutta. It’s been quite a long time since my last entry on the Respect Life page, and that is unfortunate because things have started to pile up and there is so very much to do. I am not like St. Teresa. When I am overwhelmed with the task ahead of me, I tend to procrastinate, maybe go grab a glass of soda, some chips and ah, now it’s time to take a little walk, and then oh, let’s see what’s on Facebook. In contrast I give you St. Teresa. “Well they just kicked me out of the convent. Time to hit the streets and start working, and working, and working.” “But Mother Teresa, you need hundreds of documents and permissions and signatures to start a charity that helps the poor, the sick and the orphans.” Her response was to keep working and praying and loving. “Mother Teresa, you need thousands and thousands of dollars to build a convent, school and hospital.”…work, pray, love. “Mother Teresa, the secular press is trying to bring you to ruin with false accusations.”…work, pray, love.
Ok, so I’m not Mother Teresa. Back to reality. Much to do. Here’s my to-do list.
Rachel Ministries offers the Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat. This is a weekend retreat for the purpose of healing after an abortion. It is available for women AND men who have been involved in abortion and long for reconciliation and peace. The director is a very loving, easy-going gal who is also post-abortive. They also offer Spanish retreats and non-denominational retreats. For more information, click on the Rachel’s Vineyard link in the sidebar or on the document under "Documents".
Some of the 2016 retreat dates:
The 40 Days for Life is a focused pro-life effort that consists of:
It is a three point program working to end abortion in the United States and now, the world. Bishop Olson will be speaking at our Fort Worth Kickoff Rally.
Date, time and location:
September 28th at 7:00 pm. at the Ft. Worth Planned Parenthood location.
6464 John Ryan Drive. You can sign up for a spot on the prayer and witness schedule online at www.40daysfortworth.com.
By the way, I am aware that there is a Planned Parenthood right here in Denton. We have not yet organized efforts to include it in our 40 Days, but you can certainly pray in front of it. Pray in your own home. However you choose to pray, God will hear, and as you know, with God all things are possible.
This is our Denton Event. It will be the easiest for you, requiring only 1.5 hours of your time, although I can assure you, it’s a major thing to plan. All you have to do is show up. Signs will be provided for you.
Date, time and location:
October 2, 2016 starting at 2:00 pm. till 3:30 in Denton, TX, at the Corner of University Drive and Carroll Street. We will gather on the sidewalk in front of Kroger and will spread out along University on both sides of the street. We will be peacefully praying and holding signs that say “Pray to End Abortion”, “Abortion Hurts Women” and other signs proclaiming a truthful, sincere pro-life message.
There will be a Mass held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in downtown Ft. Worth in honor of those who died before baptism, either by miscarriage, still-birth or abortion. This is a beautiful liturgy and we encourage everyone to attend, to pray for the babies and to support their grieving parents. There is no one who comes into this world unnoticed by God. “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I consecrated you.” --Jeremiah 1:5
Date, time and location:
Saturday, October 8, 2016 at 10 am.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral, 1206 Throckmorton, Fort Worth, TX 76102.
There is an Annual Lock-in for Life All youth in the diocese are welcome. This is an over-night event for teens 8-12th grade to experience pro-life talks, all night fun and celebrating the gift of LIFE!
Date, time and location:
Saturday, November 12th starting at 5:00 pm.
St. Bartholomew Church, 3601 Altamesa Blvd, Fort Worth, TX 76133
Here’s more information: http://fwdioc.org/lockin-for-life.
Then things really start to heat up. Just a brief overview of the beginning months of 2017.
1-14-17 The North Texas March for Life - An all-day event - Dallas
1-23-17 The Respect Life Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral - Fort Worth.
1-27-17 The March for Life in Washington. If you can’t go, watch it on EWTN. If you can’t watch it, record it. Use technology.
1-28-17 Rally for Life - Austin. Every year, there’s a delegation from the Fort Worth Diocese attending this. We depart from Elizabeth Ann Seton in Keller.
In February, the 40 Days for Life begins again at Lent. It happens twice a year.
By the way, I almost forgot to mention, somewhere in November there is this presidential election thing happening. Make sure you are registered to vote and that you do exercise your right to vote, and that you do so with a well-formed conscience. See the sidebar for literature about faithful citizenship. It is comforting to know that a Catholic vote, cast by a voter with a well-formed conscience is always a pro-life vote.
Sanctuary of Hope for a Culture of Life has recently changed locations. They are now located at 1100 N. Bonnie Brae Street, Denton, TX. And they are currently doing a capital campaign to raise money to get their new facility up an running. If you’d like to donate money, just click Loreto House in the sidebar and go to the donations tab. I believe they are very close to their goal but they’re not quite there and could use your help.
The Diocese of Fort Worth now has Gabriel Angel training available in Spanish! Click the Gabriel Project link in the sidebar for more information.
If you read my last article from 2014 (see below), you will know that our Texas Congress made great strides in favor of women’s health and life in our Second Special Legislative Session of 2013. Then earlier this year, June 2016, the U. S. Supreme Court struck down those laws for which we worked and fought so hard. It’s funny, although the present administration is working fiercely against our pro-life progress, we are still seeing abortion mills shutting down across the country. That just goes to show you who’s in charge, now and always, and He doesn’t reside in Washington.
But there’s work to do, much work. If you’re wondering, I will be at several, not all of these events. Please talk to me personally about any of them. If only we could all be like St. Teresa and just jump right in...work, pray, love, and leave the rest up to God.
Yours Always in Christ,
Here in Texas, we have just recently made tremendous strides forward in our fight to defend the unborn. Here is what we’ve gained.
July 18th, 2013 Texas House Bill 2 was passed by the 83rd Legislative 2nd Special Session. The Senate approved the bill making abortion illegal after 20 weeks of pregnancy because of fetal pain. Also abortion facilities are now held accountable for meeting the same basic health and safety standards as ambulatory surgical centers. Also, abortion inducing drugs may not be administered by anyone other than a licensed physician, and that physician must disclose to the patient all side effects of the drug and must make him/herself available after administering the drugs in event of complications. http://legiscan.com/TX/bill/HB2/2013/X2
Also in Texas, despite insurmountable odds, including lawsuits by Planned Parenthood and blackmail by our current federal administration, the governor of Texas signed into law SB 7, a healthcare measure revoking the taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood abortion mills.
Because of this new legislation, one third of all Texas abortion mills have closed. This is very good news, but the fight is not over by any means. There is still much work to be done. Here are some of the challenges that remain.
As Catholics, we cannot be satisfied with simply “reducing abortion.” We must work to utterly end abortion, to literally change the culture. As Catholics we must engage social issues with unity and in accord with Church teaching.
As I continue to work this issue, I’m reminded of Gideon from the Book of Judges (Ch. 7). Gideon prepared a great army and arrayed for battle, equally matched with the advancing Midianites. Then the Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many. Send some of your soldiers home lest you say that it was by your own hand that the battle was won. I will save you and deliver Midian into your power.”
Do we tend to despair, thinking that Roe v Wade will never be overturned? Or worse yet, have we joined the other side, rationalizing that their cause is sad but just? Do we forget that God is in charge?
Ours is not a God of despair. Every pro-life effort we make as a community will be made with love and accompanied by prayer. It is God who will move the mountain called “the culture of death”. It is God who will overturn Roe v Wade. It is God who will heal our land.
So what do we do? We practice our faith according to the Catechism, we stay connected to social issues, we vote solidly for pro-life candidates, and we march. Next month (January) is the time for marching. There are local and national marches for Life. I would like to see Immaculate Conception Catholic Church be involved in those marches along with St. Mark parish.
March for Life
Mass for Life
Fort Worth Diocese Mass:
Jan 23, 2017 – 7:00 PM St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
I will keep you posted on march details by bulletin announcement. If you decide not to actively participate in these marches, at least be aware that they’re going on, spread the word through Facebook, and tune in to KATH 910 AM radio or watch EWTN for coverage of the big one in Washington.
Thank you for supporting life.
Father, all life is in Your care. You have entrusted us to one another, that we may show our brothers and sisters the same love You have for us. We pray, then, for the least among us, the children in the womb. Protect them from the violence of abortion. Save them from death. Give new hope to their parents, that they may turn away from the desperate act of abortion. Grant conversion to the abortionist and to the staff. Show us how we are to respond to the bloodshed in our midst, and lead us to the day when these places of death will be transformed into havens of life. Guard us with your joy and your peace, for in You, life is victorious. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.