April 2021
Visit our website www.drvclife.org
Highlights of this newsletter:
  • On Human Dignity
  • News in our Office
  • New Threats to Human Life and Dignity

Dear Friends for Life,

Happy Easter to All!  

“We are called to live our Catholic Faith heroically. Even the weakest person receives the grace from Christ to live the truth in love.”—Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke

ON HUMAN DIGNITY

During this joyous season, it is good to reflect on how God’s infinite love for us is manifested in its fullness in the Crucifixion, death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. And in this, Easter so distinctively highlights the primary source of our true human dignity: we are created in the Image of God and made for eternal communion with Him. Even when humankind had fallen, God sent His Son to redeem us—because He loves us so much, because He wants us in Heaven to share in His eternal glory! God is Love, and in a way unlike any other creature, we are made in His Image, to love, for Love. Therefore, this innate human dignity is very special and indeed, inviolable—that is, sacred, immeasurably precious, and inalienable.

But others see human dignity in a different light: a secular perspective in which dignity corresponds directly to observable, even measurable, traits or qualities. Very often, dignity is used as a synonym for functional independence and autonomy, placing an existential premium on the ability to care for and make decisions for oneself. This, however, is in complete contradistinction to the dignity we understand from a Christian perspective, because the secular type of dignity is one that can be degraded, one that can be lost, and one that can be assigned by others (including the State) to determine one’s value, even one’s worthiness to live. Read more
We have launched our new website. We hope it will become a valuable tool for you on matters of human life, family, and bioethics with information on upcoming events, important materials on various life issues, links to Church documents, archives of our newsletters, pregnancy support resources, etc.
+ PRAYER
“Pray without ceasing.” 1 Th. 5:17 
Choose Life
Monsignor Ellsworth Walden, pastor of St. Patrick R.C. Church in Smithtown, witnessing in front of Planned Parenthood.
May our words and actions give life, no matter what the cost or how great the sacrifice.

“Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” These words were spoken by Martin Luther King, Jr. and quoted many times as the civil rights movement he was a key part of sought an end to prejudice and persecution of black people in our nation. In the Gospel, (John 8:31-42), Jesus speaks these words: “If the Son frees you then you will truly be free.” He is speaking these words to those who oppose Him and are trying to get rid of Him. It is literally impossible to be truly free without faith in Jesus and love for Him. Read more
PRAYER FOR RELIGIOUS LIBERTY 
(USCCB)

Msgr Walden offers this prayer for our nation and freedom, from the bishops of our country.

O God our Creator, from your provident hand we have received our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. You have called us as your people and given us the right and the duty to worship you, the only true God, and your Son, Jesus Christ. Through the power and working of your Holy Spirit, you call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world, bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel to every corner of society. 

We ask you to bless us in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty. Give us the strength of mind and heart to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened; give us courage in making our voices heard on behalf of the rights of your Church and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith. 

Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father, a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters gathered in your Church in this decisive hour in the history of our nation, so that, with every trial withstood and every danger overcome—for the sake of our children, our grandchildren, and all who come after us—this great land will always be “one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
HAPPY AND BLESSED EASTER
Pope Francis’ Easter Blessing
In his Easter blessing, Pope Francis called on humanity to unite in solidarity and look to the risen Christ for hope amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“Today the Church’s proclamation echoes throughout the world: ‘Jesus Christ is risen!’ – ‘He is truly risen,’” Pope Francis said on April 12.
“The Risen Lord is also the Crucified One … In his glorious body he bears indelible wounds: wounds that have become windows of hope. Let us turn our gaze to him, that he may heal the wounds of an afflicted humanity,” the pope said in an nearly empty St. Peter’s Basilica.
+ EDUCATION
“Holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.” Tit. 1:9
A Bit of Bioethics
Countering Catholic Misinformation About Vaccines
Making Sense of Bioethics Column #189 for March, 2021
A priest recently mentioned to me that he was not planning to get the COVID-19 vaccine. He told me he was concerned that RNA vaccines could alter our DNA and he heard there were also risks to fertility.

I replied that those particular concerns were unsubstantiated, and not scientifically correct, and encouraged him to be vigilant about various forms of misinformation, including “Catholic” misinformation that can spread rapidly on social media.

In a January 2021 article in Crisis Magazine, for example, AnnaMaria Cardinalli repeats several errors regarding a cell line widely used in vaccine production and research. Her comments appear to be based on a problematic LifeSite News interview by John Henry Westen with former graduate student Pamela Acker:

“Acker speaks about her research into the HEK-293 cell line specifically and talks about the number that’s at the end of that cell line name. ‘HEK’ stands for Human Embryonic Kidney and the ‘293’ actually reveals the number of experiments that a specific researcher did to develop that cell line. ‘It doesn’t mean there were two hundred and ninety-three abortions, but for two hundred and ninety-three experiments, you would certainly need far more than one abortion. We are talking probably hundreds of abortions,’ Acker shares.”
TAKE ACTION 
Take action on public policy matters in New York State through the New York State Catholic Conference's Catholic Action Network (CAN) .
See below for a list of current issues for you to learn more and to take action.
+ WITNESS 
“All whatsoever you do in word or in work, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” Col. 3:17  
Message from Shawn Carney, President of 40 Days for Life:
Three attacks on women and children

The most pro-abortion government in U.S. history just launched three direct attacks on abortion vulnerable moms and babies:

  1. Mail-Order Abortions
  2. Funding for Abortion Sales Agencies
  3. Packing the Supreme Court

These decisions are a disaster for women and children. I break them down on today's video blog.
Closing of 40 Days for Life Spring Campaign on Long Island
 Hempstead 
 All Glory and Honor to God. We had an amazing Spring 40 Days for Life campaign!!
Thanks to sidewalk counselors and prayer warriors, three women went to the Pregnancy Center for pregnancy tests, in which two were abortion vulnerable and one was undecided on keeping the baby. All were sent to Mercy Hospital for sonograms and counseled on the help available to them, etc. Please keep these women in your prayers. Additionally, three other women went to the pregnancy center for baby items.
    Overall, the 40 Days for Life Campaign resulted in four baby saves (that we know of) seven pregnancy tests and fourteen baby items referrals!
On Saturday March 27th, approximately sixty prayer warriors attended the 40 Days for Life closing Rosary/Divine Mercy service, led by Fr. Liam McDonald in front of the Hempstead Planned Parenthood. It was a powerful and grace filled experience.
A man leaving Planned Parenthood prayed with us and spoke to a sidewalk counselor about a past abortion. Afterwards, the man said he will go to confession along with his wife.
Please continue to pray in front of the Hempstead Planned Parenthood. Your presence is a powerful Pro-life witness to the community, Planned Parenthood employees and the abortion minded mothers entering Planned Parenthood. You’re also giving dignity to the unborn babies being aborted, someone loved and cared about them to be there.


Smithtown
Dear Friends in Christ,

Thank you for your prayers and sacrifices during this Lenten 40 Days for Life peaceful prayer vigil! 

This year’s 40 Days for Life campaign in Smithtown was impacted by the ongoing socio-political turmoil and uncertainty as was the entire world.
But Our Lord is faithful and so are our volunteers! To everyone who participated on site or elsewhere: THANK YOU!
Events
National March for Life Day, Friday, Jan. 29th – Dozens of volunteers endured temperatures in the mid-teens to pray for the babies at risk for abortion, and those who had died at the vigil site in the morning and early afternoon. Another group arrived at the Hour of Mercy, 3:00 pm, to pray. This day was actually prior to the beginning of the campaign but represented an opportunity to encourage new people.

Sunday, February 14th - About 130 Catholics participated in our 40 Days for Life opening Mass at St. Patrick R.C. Church in Smithtown. Monsignor Ellsworth Walden presided and gave an inspirational message during his homily. Signs and literature were handed out after the Mass.
On Saturday, March 27th, about 70 volunteers and parishioners attended our closing Holy Mass at St. Anthony of Padua RC Church in East Northport. Later at the vigil site, about 35 people prayed the Stations of the Cross for Life. Many arrived early or stayed later to continue their prayers.

On Sunday, March 28th, about 25 of our faithful volunteers prayed the rosary, Divine Mercy Chaplet and other prayers at the vigil site from 6:00-7:00 pm for our Final Hour. We were especially pleased that Monsignor Walden, Father Abraham and five other religious joined us! Read more
+ SUPPORT AND SERVICE
"The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.' Mt 25:40
Experience a new approach to women’s health care
The Gianna Center is a medical practice dedicated to empowering women with a restorative, scientifically based method for treating, monitoring, and maintaining their health.
  • Infertility
  • Menstrual cycle abnormalities
  • Endometriosis and painful periods
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
  • Hormonal abnormalities
  • Menopausal therapy
  • Creighton Model FertilityCare System™
  • (Natural family planning)
  • NaProTECHNOLOGY™ medical
  • and surgical consultations
  • General gynecological care
  • Women’s general medical care
Gianna Center of Long Island
661 Deer Park Avenue
Babylon, NY 11702
631-376-3232

The Gianna Center, Rockville Centre
1000 North Village Avenue, Rockville Centre, NY 11570
516-705-1148

Gianna Center of New York City
15 East 40th Street, Suite 101
New York, NY 10016
212-481-1219
WOMEN’S HEALTH SERIES
Over the last year, we have worked closely with fertility educator Jamey Hutchinson, BSN CFCP CFCE, of the Gianna Center. Our goal is to collaborate on programs that promote the dignity of women’s health and fertility as God intended, to bring information to you through our newsletter and website, and to expand on resources available to our community.

We are so pleased to extend our collaboration to the founders of a local chapter of Students for Life America—two wonderful Stony Brook University students, Sonali George and Shyna Quadras. The energy they bring to our efforts is explosive! In this, we are proud to announce a three-part series on women’s health and fertility issues (healthy cycles, menstrual symptoms, and fertility apps/health monitoring) for April. We hope you will join this webinar and/or share this event information with young women you know. This knowledge is empowering not only for basic health but also for developing an understanding of the true gift of God’s design for the human body.
POST-ABORTION MINISTRY
Project Rachel Hope After Abortion
Do you know someone who is suffering abortion loss? Project Rachel is a ministry about finding hope and healing after abortion.
Forgiveness
“But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope.” The Gospel of Life
Abortion is often thought of by those who have procured one as the “unforgivable sin.” There is a belief that there is no way God could possibly forgive such an act. This leaves those who have an abortion feeling doomed to hell with no way back.
Feeling alienated from God and without hope of reconciliation has left many in the Catholic faith too terrified to confess, and convinced that their perceptions are truth. In addition, the ever-present manifestation of guilt and shame felt by post abortive people, and the reluctance of society and the Church to address their pain, only exacerbates it. Read more
Project Rachel Hope After Abortion  website, call the DRVC Project Rachel confidential phoneline: 1-888-456-HOPE(se habla espanol) 
1-516-766-2538, email  projectrachel@drvc.org to begin healing after abortion loss. 
En Español:  Esperanzaposaborto.org
If you need help please call our help line and someone will be happy to give some counsel over the phone to calm any fears or anxieties.
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Contact Us
Lisa A. Honkanen, M.D. – Director
lhonkanen@drvc.org, 516-678-5800 Ext. 381
 
Donna Crean – Assistant Director/Project Rachel Coordinator
dcrean@drvc.org, 516 678 5800 Ext. 626

Jamey Hutchinson BSN CFCP CFCE Educational Liaison to
Gianna Center for Women's Health & Fertility
631-376-3232
50 North Park Ave. Rockville Ctr., NY 11570
Additional Informational Websites
THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR CONTINUED MISSION TO SERVE LIFE!