It was such a joy to see so many of you at the 23rd Annual Bishop's Pro-Life Dinner. And thanks to the efforts of so many devoted friends of life, like yourself, the event raised funds critically needed to continue our life-saving mission. If you or anyone you know did not have a chance to go or give at the sold-out dinner, they can see pictures, videos and more from the night plus have an opportunity to continue to support the mission at
As we welcome May flowers, we have many opportunities to remember and celebrate the beauty of life. Not only is May Mary's month, it is when we celebrate all the mothers in our lives on May 8. You can remember the special mothers in your life with an eCard
, benefitting the CPLC's
Adopt a Hopeful program
On May 15, we invite you to gather to honor hundreds of precious souls at the annual
Cemetery of the Innocents Graveside Memorial
. We also have a special reason this month to offer prayers of thanksgiving for the demolition of Routh Street abortion facility completed on April 28, the Feast Day of St. Gianna Beretta Molla. I know so many of you were among the prayer presence outside this facility for many years, and share our great joy that this place where so many children were lost and women hurt is finally no more!
As we plan for the months ahead, I hope to see you all on May 14 at our next bilingual
Parish Pro-Life Coordinators Meeting
at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton's Faith Formation Building,
3100 Spring Creek Rd, Plano
. The room location is the gym. Please
remember to return the Bishop's Dinner yard signs from your parish at this meeting.
And don't forget - early bird registration for the first-ever national Pro-Life Women's conference ends on May 18. This conference hosted by Abby Johnson's And Then There Were None will feature an incredible speaker line-up, including Leah Jacobson, Chair of The Guiding Star Project; Serrin Foster, President of Feminists for Life; and Star Parker, founder and President of Center for Urban Renewal and Education, as well as our own Aurora Tinajero and Eileen Kuhlmann who will be presenting in the Spanish-track. More information and registration is available at prolifewomen.com. A bilingual flyer for the event can be found here. Please spread the word and don't delay!
Please also mark your calendars for the following additional events in May:
Finally, we would greatly appreciate if you would help spread the word about our annual Pro-Life Boot Camp for high school students on July 22-26
. We are only offering
one session this year
, so youth should register as soon as possible before it fills up. (Camps have sold-out for 6 years straight!). College students and adults are also welcome as Junior Staff and Chaperones. Discounted registration for the camp is now open at prolifedallas.org/bootcamp through June 15.
As I was writing this letter, Pope Francis published
The Joy of Love
While this document is 261 pages long, I did find an excellent summary by George Weigel. Here are some highlights of the summary:
Pope Francis's catalogue of the cultural factors gnawing away at marriage and the family is comprehensive and, it seems to me, acute. It includes "extreme individualism," the "pace of life" that militates against decisions for permanent relationships, and the mantra of "choice" as the highest of human goods, all of which lead to "an inability to give oneself generously to others." Confused ideas of freedom - "that each individual can act arbitrarily, as if there were no truths, values, and principles to provide guidance, and [the notion that] everything is possible and permissible" - intensify the crisis. The Pope cautions against a Church "on the defensive, wasting pastoral energy on denouncing a decadent world without being proactive in proposing ways of finding true happiness." Which is true enough, in those sectors of the Church, rare in my experience, where such doom-saying is the plat du jour. But then Francis himself goes on to deplore the "narcissism" that "makes people incapable of looking beyond themselves," which is surely one major factor in the contemporary meltdown of marriage and the family. So, too, he writes, is that "great poverty of contemporary culture" which is "loneliness, arising from the absence of God in a person's life and the fragility of relationships."
The Christian family, the pope writes, "can be fully understood only in the light of the Father's infinite love revealed in Christ, who gave himself for our sake and who continues to live in our midst . . . at the heart of so many love stories." This means that the Christian family is, was, and always will be countercultural: not to be different for difference's sake, but to offer a model of a nobler way of living. That way is rooted in God's original plan for humanity and reaches its perfection in "marriage and the family . . . redeemed by Christ and restored in the image of the Holy Trinity, the mystery from which all true love flows."
Amoris Laeticia's celebration of the gift of children also includes what may be Pope Francis's most ringing affirmation, the right to life of the unborn: "I feel it urgent to state that, if the family is the sanctuary of life, the place where life is conceived and cared for, it is a horrendous contradiction when it becomes a place where life is rejected and destroyed. So great is the value of a human life, and so inalienable the right to life of an innocent child growing in its mother's womb, that no alleged right to one's own body can justify a decision to terminate that life, which is an end in itself and which can never be considered the 'property' of another human being."
Let us continue to pray for Our Holy Father, Pope Francis
Thanks for all you do for Life. God bless, and I look forward to seeing you all on May 14!
CPLC Director of Parish Coordination