Greetings and blessings to you. It's that time again . . . the 40 Days for Life-Dallas Vigil Calendar has opened! And we are depending on you to help us cover Southwestern - one of the only two remaining abortion facilities in Dallas - in constant prayer for 40 days from September 23 to November 1. This year's vigil will once again be 24/7, so now would be a great time to partner with your parish Men's Group or Knights Council to adopt a full day (or 2!) of prayer. Click here for the adopted day Vigil Calendar, and email Susan Platt at email@example.com to reserve your parish's day(s). And be sure to save the date for the Kickoff Rally on September 22 at Gaston Christian Center (formerly Gaston Oaks Baptist Church across from the vigil site). A flyer is available here and more information is coming soon at www.prolifedallas.org/40days.
While we are gearing up for 40 Days for Life, we have some very special events this month reaching out to those among us who have suffering hearts:
On August 15, a Mass of Remembrance for Children -- the first of its kind in the Diocese of Dallas -- will be celebrated at the Guadalupe Cathedral, including a special blessing for parents of children lost before birth by stillbirth, miscarriage, or abortion, as well as for parents of children lost for any reason after birth. August 15 is also our annual commissioning of all dedicated Parish Pro-Life Coordinators. We will begin with breakfast at 8:30 a.m., followed by the Quarterly Parish Pro-Life Coordinators Meeting at 9:00 a.m. We will break at 10:00 to attend the Mass and then resume our meeting after Mass. Please send a parish representative if you are not able to attend.
There is also still room on the upcoming Rachel's Vineyard™ Retreat this month, offering hope and healing to women and men suffering from a past abortion. To learn more, visit www.racheldallas.org. In the words of one retreatant: "On the Rachel's Vineyard Retreat, I experienced real healing for the first time. And the journey continues -- in group support, prayer groups, and retreats. All of which would not have happened as profoundly as it has without the retreat." You can continue to follow her journey on Facebook here or on Instagram here.
Also this month are two training opportunities - a Gabriel Angel Training on August 22 and 29 at All Saints in Dallas and a Speakers Bureau Training Workshop on August 29 at St. Monica in Dallas.
But that's not all! As we turn the corner to September, we have two more exciting firsts!
On September 9, Pasos por la Vida -- the first Spanish-speaking public witness in defense of LIFE -- will begin with 8:00 a.m. Mass at Nuestra Señora del Pilar in Dallas and end with a rally in Westmoreland Park (families should bring sack lunches). For more information, call 972-264-1711 (volante en español).
And on September 12, the CPLC is so excited to support the groundbreaking conference -- Enhancing Patient-Centered Reproductive Healthcare: Understanding and Addressing Unmet Ethical and Clinical Concerns sponsored by the Catholic Physicians Guild. The conference will feature international experts in the medical and mental health effects of abortion as well as natural fertility options, including former abortionist, now chairman of Divine Mercy Care, Dr. John Bruchalski, OB/GYN. Please spread the word about this conference to healthcare professionals (continuing education credits available), clergy and students (who can attend for free!), and anyone else who is interested in learning more about these important topics (including you!). A flyer is available here. Learn more and register at www.donoharmconference.org by August 31 for the best price!
Also in September is our annual CPLC Classic / Bishop's Cup Pro-Life Charity Golf Tournament on September 21 at Hackberry Creek Country Club in Las Colinas. Whether you are a golfer (or know a golfer) or a business person interested in supporting life, it is a great opportunity for both! Visit www.prolifedallas.org/golf for more information about the tournament and sponsorship opportunities or contact Tamara Baril at firstname.lastname@example.org or 214-842-1100.
Before we close out August, we will also celebrate Our Lady on the Solemnity of the Assumption on August 15 and her Queenship on August 22, as well as two saints on August 31: Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. The actions of these two influential Jewish leaders give insight into the charismatic power of Jesus and his teachings - and the risks that could be involved in following him.
Joseph was a respected, wealthy civic leader who had become a disciple of Jesus. Following the death of Jesus, Joseph obtained Jesus' body from Pilate, wrapped it in fine linen and buried it. For these reasons Joseph is considered the patron saint of funeral directors and pallbearers. More important is the courage Joseph showed in asking Pilate for Jesus' body. Jesus was a condemned criminal who had been publicly executed. According to some legends, Joseph was punished and imprisoned for such a bold act.
Nicodemus was a Pharisee and, like Joseph, an important Jew at the time of Jesus. We know from John's Gospel that he secretly approached Jesus at night, in order to better understand his teachings about the kingdom. Later, he spoke up for Jesus at the time of his arrest and assisted in Jesus' burial. We know little else about Nicodemus, only that he took risks to seek and believe the truth. This is a lesson for us all. Let us pray for the intercession of these two saints and ask for the same courage they demonstrated as we continue to fight for the Culture of Life.
Finally, I'd like to extend a special thank you to all who were able to join us for the powerful Mass of Thanksgiving and Closing Memorial Service on July 11 at the forever-closed former Routh Street abortion facility. (Click here to view photos.) We will keep you posted as we learn more about when it, too, will be "leveled to the ground, without a trace". And be sure to follow the CPLC's eAlerts as the exposé on the horrors of Planned Parenthood continues to unfold. The Texas Bishops and Cardinal O'Malley have issued strong statements against the great evil committed by Planned Parenthood (available at the preceding links). As always, the arms of the Church are wide open for all who have suffered from or been involved with abortion.
Thanks for all you do for life, and God bless!
Director of Parish Coordination
P.S. On August 7-8, the second annual Mission 24 will occur at the Guadalupe Cathedral with hundreds offering up 24 hours of prayer and praise. Please join us in prayer for the intention of life from 8 to 9 p.m. on Friday evening and for those suffering from the burden of a past abortion from 3 to 4 p.m. on Saturday. More info here.