April 2020
Visit our website respectlife.drvc.org
Alleluia! He is risen!

Dear Friends for Life,

I pray that all of you are safe and healthy, celebrating a very special Easter Week.

The last few weeks of our Lenten journey and more have been nothing short of surreal as we each have navigated uncharted territory dictated by the measures taken to mitigate transmission of the COVID-19 virus. We all went into “lockdown mode” and disrupted everything we know of modern-day life – going to school, to work, to the grocery store, even to church. But we did it to save lives, for the sake of the other.

Nevertheless, these efforts have been a great sacrifice on many levels and the hardship experienced financially, socially, and psychologically will linger. It is most providential, though, that on the glorious Feast of Easter itself we finally see a glimmer of hope on the horizon of this pandemic. It calls to mind the words of Pope St. John Paul II, “Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.”
Prayerful Witness on the Feast of the Annunciation
Before the governmental ban of large gatherings, on March 25th, the Feast of the Annunciation, the day to honor the unborn, I went with a few people to pray outside Planned Parenthood.

By the grace of God, we had the opportunity to speak to five people. We only had the chance to speak to one person before she entered the clinic. It appeared as though she thought about what we shared and may have reconsidered having an abortion. I am not sure. She was with a friend who brought her there. He was trying to convince her the whole way there not to go through with it. She was crying so I tried to stay distant and talk with her. In the end, she wanted to go inside anyway. The young man was distraught. We did not speak again. God only knows what happened but we continue to pray for this young woman.

The rest of the people we spoke with were now post abortive with a lot of pain. It was heartbreaking. One mother was driving out and stopped and thanked us for what we were doing. We were praying the rosary. I said, “Why did you thank us?” She said she brought her daughter there and did not know they did abortions in this place. I asked why her daughter was inside, she said she didn't know. She described a complicated, multi-generational family situation. Continue reading
Mt. 3:12 God uses His winnowing fan, to separate the wheat from the chaff. This is what can be happening during this pandemic. We pray that many will grow closer to God.
Message from Shawn Carney, Founder of 40 Days for Life!

Prayer is the foundation of our mission and your prayers really do make a difference. Please keep the efforts of 40 Days for Life in your prayers and for an end to abortion. As an organization grounded in prayer, your prayers are essential to the mission of 40 Days For Life.

Thank you so much for your prayers and all you do to save lives!
40 Days for Life support team!

Divine Mercy Transforms the Despair of Abortion
By Donna Crean

I want to share with you some thoughts on the role of despair and forgiveness in the lives of women who have had an abortion. A woman shared with me the following: “Over ten years ago, I myself was in despair, facing a major dilemma after making numerous bad choices. Like many women deciding whether or not to have an abortion, I felt trapped by the circumstances around me.”

There are many interior struggles a woman contemplating abortion goes through; one being the maternal desire to raise and nurture the child. On the other hand, she may fear that if she does not abort the child, she will lose something-her boyfriend, the love of her parents, or her security.

Fifteen years ago, I was facilitating a healing retreat for post abortion and, an elderly woman of 80 years, broke down as she entered the retreat house and fell to the floor in the pain of why she was there. As she told me the following story, tears starting streaming down her cheeks:

"When I was twenty years old, I became pregnant by my husband. I have carried this for many years. I have carried the pain of this for 60 years and never told a soul. I never told him I was pregnant and that I had an abortion. Even today, I carry the guilt and shame of knowing I killed my own child. Do you think God will forgive me?"
For me, it was an experience I will never forget.  Read more
Living from the Womb to the Empty Tomb
“An Easter Reflection”

By Victoria Hamilton, Intern/Volunteer
There is joy to be found in the empty tomb, my brothers and sisters.

 I’ve known about the resurrection of Jesus from the dead from my earliest CCD classes, yet I’ve never really knew about the joy that comes from the reality of the resurrection until now. I’ve come to learn that there is a fundamental difference between knowing about something and then allowing that reality and that knowledge to penetrate your heart.
There’s a major difference between knowing about the empty tomb and seeing the empty tomb for yourself, and I can say with a deep conviction that I have seen the empty tomb. The reality of the resurrection and the joy that flows from it had been abstract ideas for me for the longest time. At a time like this, such truths can appear to be far from the reality that we face today as the faithful around us are dying alone in hospital beds left and right without the dignity of a proper burial. How can someone possibly find joy in such dark times? Read more

O Blessed Mother, you received the good news of the Incarnation of Christ, your Son, with faith and trust. Grant your protection to all pregnant mothers facing difficulties.
Guide us as we strive to make our parish communities places of welcome and assistance for mothers in need. Help us become instruments of God’s love and compassion.

Mary, Mother of the Church, graciously help us build a culture of life and a civilization of love, together with all people of good will, to the praise and glory of God, the Creator and lover of life.

Our Focus on Eternal Life, in the Life of God. “The Better Part"
By: Father Rob Ketcham, priest and pastor of Christ the King Roman Catholic Church on Long Island.
Take action on public policy matters in New York State through the New York State Catholic Conference's Catholic Action Network (CAN) .
Take action on legislative issues through the The National Committee for a Human Life Amendment (NCHLA)
See below for a list of current issues for you to learn more and to take action.
Assisted Suicide Update
This month’s video vignette is very short but just as important regarding a specific way that assisted suicide laws affect everyone. When the state recognizes assisted suicide as a valid “treatment option,” insurance companies can exploit the cost savings of a lethal prescription over covering the cost of expensive but life-extending treatments. Barbara Wagner’s story is one among many. Even when a state law forbids an insurance company from limiting covered treatment options to assisted suicide alone, there can be perverse coverage rules (such as high co-pays, etc.) that can be coercive, especially to those patients who are economically challenged.
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.

For more information, visit the Project Rachel Hope
After Abortion   website , call the Respect Life Office's 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
Next Opportunity for Prayer and Healing
Day of Prayer and Healing for Women

Saturday, November 7, 2020
All reservations and information will remain confidential.
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.
The Gianna Center of Long Island and New York City. Providing care for women's and families via Telehealth during coronavirus outbreak.
For more information:
Gabriel's Courage
Catholic Health Services 
Is your doctor recommending a abortion or termination due to adverse prenatal diagnosis? You are not alone. We are here to help. Abortion is not your only option. 
Support, information & encouragement for carrying your baby to term with an adverse prenatal diagnosis. There are few things more frightening in life than finding out your baby may not be healthy. The fear of the unknown and the pressure to terminate can be intense. You are not alone. More information
Perinatal Mood Disorders
Catholic Health Services 
Supporting mothers who are coping with depression or anxiety during pregnancy or after the birth of her birth. Perinatal mood and anxiety disorder is the leading medical complication related to childbearing.
For more information contact
(631) 376- HOPE or email circleofhope@chsli.org
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Contact Us
Lisa A. Honkanen , M.D. – Director
lhonkanen@drvc.org , 516-678-5800 Ext. 381
Donna Crean – Assistant Director/Program Coordinator
dcrean@drvc.org , 516 678 5800 Ext. 626

Patricia Fox – Project Rachel Coordinator
pfox@drvc.org , 516-678-5800 Ext. 222
50 North Park Ave. Rockville Ctr., NY 11570
Additional Informational Websites