Summer Edition July/August 2022

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Highlights of this newsletter:

  • Public Policy Update
  • Are We Blameless?
  • Eucharistic Revival
  • Pray without Ceasing

August 2022

Dear Friends for Life,

PUBLIC POLICY UPDATE

“Remember this and never forget it: Even if it should seem at times that everything is collapsing, nothing is collapsing at all, because God doesn’t lose battles.” 

~ St. Josemaria Escriva

Since the Dobbs v. Jacksondecision was announced, overturningRoe v. Wade, it seems there has been an unrelenting onslaught against life, morals and conscience – a veritable dismantling of all that holds what is right and proper. A short list highlighting some of these new, revised or proposed rules, regulations, legislation, etc. (and focusing only on the federal level) includes:

  • On July 8, 2022, President Biden signed the Executive Order on Protecting Access to Reproductive Healthcare Services. This order protects and promotes access to abortion and contraception, encourages pro bono legal assistance for those seeking or providing abortions, and will increase security measures for clinics, pharmacies and other entities involved with abortion-related procedures and medications, among other things.


  • In a letter to health care providers on July 11, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra, directed that enforcement of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) would pre-empt state laws that ban abortion, if a physician determined that a direct abortion would stabilize a patient presenting to an Emergency Department. This re-interpretation of EMTALA explicitly does not limit the definition of emergency medical conditions to which this would apply and implies that abortion is a routine solution to pregnancy complications—one that sees a singular patient, not two (that is, mother and child). Violations could result in loss of Medicare contracts and other monetary penalties.


  • On July 13, the Office of Civil Rights in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued “guidance” to U.S. pharmacies indicating strong repercussions for actions construed to discriminate based on sex and/or disability such as advising about or not supplying a particular drug known (and intended) to cause direct abortion. Of note in the text, there is a deliberate effort to conflate miscarriage with direct abortion activities and to combine approved and unapproved medication uses, as well as an unusual emphasis on the autonomy of the prescriber and obligation of the pharmacy to fill a prescription—even one that might violate the conscience of the pharmacist (a most ironic position after opposite policies were enforced for specific prescribed treatments during the pandemic).


  • On July 15, the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2022 (H.R. 8296) passed the House for the second time (a similar bill was passed in September 2021). This bill codifies abortion in federal law, allowing abortion on demand through the entire nine months of pregnancy and eliminates reasonable safeguards such as waiting periods, parental notifications, health and safety requirements for a facility performing abortions, etc. It would likely invalidate conscience protections for health care providers, employers and insurers as well. Read more

Checkout New Resources on Our Website: 


Fatherhood Resources: Fatherhood

Same Sex Attraction/Gender Identity Discordance: Same Sex Attraction & Gender Identity Discordance Educational Resources

Supreme Court Decision Roe v Wade Overturned and Bishops Statements: Dobbs v. Jackson  

+ PRAYER
“Pray without ceasing.” 1 Th. 5:17 

Practical Things Moving Forward After Roe

Excerpts from Fr Tom Fusco’s (Pastor, Our Lady of Victory, Floral Park) homily from July 4, 2022.

Thanks be to God for answering our prayers. 49 plus years prayers have been offered for the overturning of the ill-considered 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade. Thanks be to God the Supreme Court has corrected its previous error. There has never been a right to abortion in our Constitution – and six of the current Supreme Court justices have finally identified what everyone knew to be true. So since it’s not in the Constitution, the decision should be left to individual States and the legislative process to decide.


But while we can and should take the time to celebrate this accomplishment and give thanks to those whose commitment and perseverance made this possible – Respect Life committees, those who walked in the Annual March For Life, the Sisters of Life, the front-line pro-lifers, including our own parishioners – the issue is in no way settled.


I would like to offer five very practical things we can do to move forward:


First, continue to pray. In particular I pray for the softening of the hearts of those who are so filled with rage against the Church and those who want to protect unborn life. How sad it is that our Police Department felt it was necessary to have a police car parked outside our church this weekend as a deterrent to potential rage because of general threats against the Churches. I appreciate the Police Department’s vigilance – but how sad it is that it was necessary. But we will not be intimidat- ed by threats, those threats are a form of terrorism. And we will never give in to that!


In fact, I actually see their threats as a badge of honor – if the Church becomes the target of abortionists’ rage, it means the Church is seen as a defender of unborn life – and that’s a good thing, that’s a badge of honor – no matter what the pro-abortionists think..

Read more


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 “In the Womb I Knew You” Blog by: Rick Hinshaw

www.rickhinshaw.com

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,

before you were born I dedicated you.”


“For you are my hope, O Lord;

my trust, O God, from my youth.

On you I depend from birth;

from my mother’s womb you are my strength.”


“Whoever has ears ought to hear.”


As I read these words and put them together from each of last Wednesday’s Scripture passages, I thought of some comments from Archbishop Joseph Naumann, former chairman of pro-life activities for the U.S. Bishops.


Archbishop Naumann was lamenting how, in the pro-abortion media’s hysteria against the overturning of Roe v. Wade, there is virtually no mention of the child in the womb. It is as though this human entity does not exist—when in fact, of course, it is precisely the existence of this living child that makes abortion such a seething controversy.


“It’s no surprise,” the archbishop said recently in response to a question from Christine Persichette, anchor for the nightly Currents News program produced by DeSales Media for the Brooklyn Diocese. “It has been that way for 50 years,” with media, politicians, and the abortion lobby framing this as solely a “women’s rights” issue, with complete disregard for the other life involved.


Of course, thanks to modern technology’s development of ultrasound imaging, unborn children today bear powerful witness to their own existence, seeming to cry out, “Here I am! Do not deny me.”


But for people of faith, it is in these Scripture readings that we hear the cry of the most vulnerable the unborn.


Through Jeremiah, God proclaims that He has a purpose for every human life from the first moment He wills us into existence: 


“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,

before you were born I dedicated you.”


Then Psalm 71 gives voice to the child in utero, affirming that he or she is immersed in God’s infinite love, and surrounded by His divine protection: 


“On you I depend from birth;

from my mother’s womb you are my strength.”


And finally, in the last words of the Gospel from Matthew, Jesus instructs us not to turn away from those who give voice to the Word of God, be they His prophets or His beloved children:


“Whoever has ears,” Jesus tells us, “ought to hear.”


And today, regarding the beautiful reality of God’s precious, pre-born children, whoever has eyes, ought to see.

+ 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

A Great Nation Begins to Come to Its Senses

April 2022

This past weekend in Houston, I had the opportunity to speak at a religious liberty conference about transgender issues, homosexuality and contraception. The conference happened to open on the same day that the Dobbs decision overturning Roe vs. Wade was released by the Supreme Court.

 

There was a noticeable “buzz” in the air because of the Court’s decision. Whenever a speaker would mention the ruling, spontaneous applause would erupt from the audience. Young and middle-aged conference attendees, most of whom had grown up with Roe vs. Wade, couldn’t recall a time in their lives when abortion-on-demand had not been legal in all states. There was a strong sentiment that because of the decision, we had reached a turning point as a society, with an onerous weight finally being lifted from the conscience of the nation.

 

Abortion-on-demand was the law of our land for nearly a half-century, ending the lives of more than 63 million vulnerable unborn humans. Because of judicial brute force for five decades, the moral sense and reasoning ability of many citizens was weakened, with many Americans growing accustomed to the ongoing practice. A number of other nations also legalized abortion, following our troublesome lead.  Read more

NEW UPDATED RESOURCES:
NEW!
FAQ on COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate Exemptions
TAKE ACTION 
Take action on legislative issues through the No Taxpayer Abortion Website

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.
Take action on legislative issues through the The National Committee for a Human Life Amendment (NCHLA)
+ 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  

Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat

“Being a Cyrenian for Others”

By Deacon Matt Yellico

You’re never as close to another as when you suffer together. Sharing a burden with someone is often a blessing in disguise. We don’t realize the gift we are given until after the sorrowful moment has passed. Saint Simon of Cyrene was entrusted with helping Jesus carry a burden too heavy for us. In a similar way I was blessed to be trusted to walk with people who still suffer the horrible effects of abortion on their lives and to see the damage abortion has caused to individuals, marriages and families.

    About a month and a half ago I went on a Rachel‘s Vineyard Retreat. It was a three day weekend retreat for women and men who have been wounded by abortion. A number of the participants were women who have had an abortion, but there were other men and women who were there because a family member experienced the effects of abortion. As with many new experiences and when meeting new people, there was a sense of caution at the beginning of the retreat. As the weekend progressed, through the well-thought-out dialogue and shared experiences, we began to develop a deeper and deeper respect for one another. This opened the way for us to feel safe telling our stories. Knowing we were with friends we could trust that were also looking to have their pains, sufferings and wounds, caused by abortion, attended to by others who respected each other and understood the priceless value of each person present helped us nurture close nonjudgmental relationships. Read more

An Enormous Difference for the Good

Dear Friends:


 I first met Christopher Bell back in the 1970s. I was in the seminary and working as a volunteer at Covenant House. Chris Bell was already a leading figure at Covenant House and making an enormous difference for the good. 


 His work for homeless young people at Covenant House also opened his eyes to the great need for providing a positive alternative to those who were expecting a child but did not have the means and structure to support that decision. And from that recognition of need, Chris began the ministry which is today called Good Counsel Homes. Providing loving alternative for women who choose not to abort, but to bring forth their often-unintended children. His homes for Moms and their babies have been incredibly effective.


 Recently, Senator Elizabeth Warren, a strident and bellicose supporter of abortion, condemned these alternatives to abortion. Her reasoning was both flawed and wildly unkind. Christopher Bell, one of the most decent Christians you're likely to meet wrote a reasoned response to the Senator from Massachusetts which was published by The Wall Street Journal. I offer it here as further evidence that pro-lifers not only seek to see the choice to abort ended but are also dedicated to offering life-giving love and support to both moms and their children. Please read this important piece by Chris Bell.


 Thanks for your consideration.


 In the Lord of Life and Love,

 Msgr. Jim Lisante, 

Pastor, Our Lady of Lourdes, Massapequa


Read more

Elizabeth Warren Smears Pro-Life Charities

By Christopher Bell  

Reprinted from the July 05, 2022 edition of The Wall Street Journal

Sen. Elizabeth Warren last week called for the federal government to “crack down” on crisis pregnancy centers and maternity homes such as Good Counsel, the one I founded in New Jersey in 1985. In the 37 years I’ve been working with homeless women, pregnant mothers and babies, I’ve seen how the media smears the pro-life movement. They say we don’t care about women. They say we love children only before they’re born and, in Ms. Warren’s words, that we “mislead and deceive” women into having babies they don’t want. She may believe that, but it isn’t true.


At Good Counsel, like many similar organizations throughout the country, we take in any pregnant woman in need. Most come from broken or dysfunctional homes and have nowhere else to go. They are welcome to stay with us for a year or longer. During that time, we help them develop child-rearing skills. We also provide budgeting and vocational assistance, nutritional advice and tips for a healthy lifestyle. Many women choose to work or go back to school. Our staff babysits—free of charge—while new moms begin to build a résumé. We do everything we can to help connect women to resources and support.


It isn’t easy. We have a curfew and a policy against alcohol and drug use. But every line is drawn with compassion and mercy.


 Want to talk about deception? Many of the women who come to us have been told—by doctors, high-school counselors and social-service organizations—that abortion is their only option. They are told that having a baby means they’ll never finish school and won’t have a career. None of this is true, but I hear it every day. Read more


Shock value is no substitute for compassion...but it's all the abortion industry has.

With Roe v. Wade on the ash heap of history, abortion advocates are resorting to outrageous rhetorical attacks against pro-lifers.


During my recent debate on the BBC, an abortion supporter made two ridiculous accusations:


  1. Pro-lifers want to force their religion on women who get abortions.
  2. Pro-lifers don't care about rape victims.


These emotionally charged talking points are meant to distract from the reality that every abortion kills an innocent child. On today's video blog, I share how to respond--effectively and compassionately.


Shawn Carney, President/CEO


Help close the NEXT abortion facility by taking these three steps:

  1. Apply to lead the September 28-November 6 40 Days for Life campaign where you live: 40daysforlife.com/apply
  2. Find your closest 40 Days for Life 365 vigil and sign up to pray: 40daysforlife.com/365
  3. 3. Learn how to empower abortion-minded moms to choose life by signing up for Sidewalk Outreach training through 40 Days for Life University: 40daysforlife.com/sidewalkoutreachapplication


PRAISE GOD! We are so grateful for the graces and blessings for all the devoted people in the 40 Days for Life Campaigns. 

+ 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

PRAY

Our Father, 3 Hail Mary’s, Glory Be


REFLECT

As we celebrate our nation’s independence last month, we rejoice that states now have the freedom to protect pre-born life in all its stages. We offer thanksgiving for the nearly 50 years of prayer, sacrifice, and service of all who have helped to bring about this victory. Above all, we praise God, and ask for His help in creating a culture in our country that truly cherishes, protects, and supports His precious gift of human life. As Catholics, we recognize that legal protection must be accompanied by care for mothers and their children. Over the past 50 years, so many in the Church and in the pro-life movement have tirelessly served pre-born children and their moms through pregnancy care centers and other services. And we each have the opportunity to consider how we can accompany women who are pregnant or parenting in difficult circumstances.


The Church likewise recognizes the incalculable damage that legalized abortion continues to leave in its wake. Just as the Church is here for women who are facing difficult pregnancies or struggling to provide for their children, it also continues to reach out to women and men after an abortion who find themselves in emotional and spiritual turmoil.

 Project Rachel Ministry offers confidential, compassionate help to bring forgiveness, hope and healing to women and men after involvement in an abortion. We pray that all who suffer in silence and isolation due to abortion will find the courage to reach out for help and find peace in the healing love of Christ.

ACT (choose one)


  • Pray the Litany of the Most Precious Blood (usccb.org/prayers/litany-most-precious-blood) for this month’s intention. Ask Jesus, through the power of His precious blood, to transform the culture of death into a culture of life.
  • Read this brief article to learn how you can start building a culture of life today: respectlife.org/culture-of-life.
  • Offer some other sacrifice or prayer that you feel called to do for this month’s intention



ONE STEP FURTHER

Learn more about the U.S. bishops’ commitment to mothers and children in their statement, “Standing with Moms in Need”: bit.ly/standing-with-moms.


Monthly Prayer Guides

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POST-ABORTION MINISTRY

PROJECT RACHEL 

Sincere Repentance and God’s Mercy 

My name is Brianna* and I give thanks to God that He has given me a very blessed family. I am a mother of four and have been blessed with a very good and understanding husband. I lived a life of sin, where I fell into the deepest part of a black hole in which the Lord in His mercy pulled me out of. 


Now my present life is a blessing, full of peace and freedom, thanks to the healing experience I lived during Rachel’s Vineyard.


A few years ago, I had my first encounter with the Lord and that meeting changed my life, before I was a "Catholic" person. I say Catholic because my parents baptized me and I was confirmed, but from then on it was in name only because I was not practicing my faith and I wasn’t going to Mass nor receiving the Eucharist. 


I give thanks to God for calling me back to the Church through the blessing of making the Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat. I was able to confess my sins that had been haunting me for many years, especially the one that broke my heart and soul, my abortion. Before the retreat I was living together with my partner and was not married. After the retreat I went my parish priest and by the grace of God my husband and I were married. The fruits of the retreat were just pouring out one after the other.  


I had been invited several times to go on the retreat and I really did not see that it was necessary since I had been on other retreats and I really did not see how this one would help me.


One day in the prayer group that I belong to, I gave my testimony of my very dark past and of God's mercy and when I mentioned about how many children I had, a great pain came over me. I felt as if my life of sin and God's forgiveness that the Lord given me was like a trophy I had earned, it was not a sincere repentance. I felt like I was bragging about the mercy of God, and at that moment I realized that something was going on inside of me that was not good. I started to meditate at that moment, and I felt that something was wrong inside of me. I was repeating 10 or 20 times the same testimony and I was always talking about the mercy of God as it was something to brag about, but inside of myself I was not feeling this forgiveness that I so desperately needed. Read more

YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

Please Call For Information About The Next Rachel’s Vineyard Healing Retreat!

This retreat is not only for women. Men, grandparents and siblings are welcome to come and receive God’s Grace, Mercy and Healing!

Do you know someone who is suffering after an abortion experience?

Project Rachel is a ministry about finding hope and healing after abortion.
It’s normal to grieve a pregnancy loss, including the loss of a child by abortion. It can form a hole in one’s heart, a hole so deep that sometimes it seems nothing can fill the emptiness.

You are not alone…
COME BACK TO LOVE AND MERCY! JESUS AWAITS YOU!
Project Rachel confidential phoneline:  1-516-766-2538 (se habla espanol)
Toll Free number: 1-888-456-HOPE
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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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

992 No Village Ave . Rockville Ctr., NY 11570

www.drvclife.org

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THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR CONTINUED MISSION TO SERVE LIFE!