Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Patricia Heaton gives matching funds to Reece's Rainbow

As anyone who reads this blog knows, Reece's Rainbow is one of my favorite charities. When I think of how poorly children with Down syndrome are treated in foreign orphanages, it breaks my heart. Anything I can do to help them by means of the internet, I do, since there is a shortage of Down syndrome children available for adoption in the US, with 600 approved families on a waiting list.
All you have to do to raise money for Reece's Rainbow is become their follower on Twitter.

Actress Patricia Heaton is donating $1 to every person who follows Reece's Rainbow on Twitter!  This is her response to Kirill's situation!

Please stand with the IDSC for Life, who have been following Reece's Rainbow for a long time now, and follow along with us!  Stand up and be counted!

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Monday, March 28, 2011

The National Institute of Health wants to know if you want Down syndrome research funding

The NIH has decided to gather info (Request for Information or RFI) regarding an interest in Ds research, data base and bio bank.  They want to receive responses by April 1, 2011, in order to decide if there is enough interest to move in that direction.  We feel this is clearly a move in the right direction and would love for you to send your email of support.  You can write your own or simply modify the wording in the first sentence....As a friend(uncle, relative, etc) of a child with Down syndrome who has five siblings, .....  

FYI, the majority of individuals with Ds start with Alzheimer-like symptoms in their 40s.  This will dramatically impact the entire family and there is currently a human clinical trial being conducted on just this topic.  Of course the majority of funding is through private donations, so to have the support of NIH in funding Ds research more fairly (currently Ds is the most common genetic chromosomal abnormality, yet it is funded by far the lowest) hopefully more breakthroughs will be found to improve cognition and delay the later loss.

 If you do write an email please send to:   dsrdrfi@mail.nih.gov and cc: nihresponse@globaldownsyndrome.org   with subject:  RESPONSE TO NIH DOWN SYNDROME RESEARCH DATABASE & BIOBANK RFI

Please pass along to anyone else who may be willing to send an email. 

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The Story of the Trapp Family Singers had its beginnings with St Rupert

It kept me sane when it seemed that all tradition in the Catholic Church was lost in the 1970's. Maria Von Trapp, in this book, told the story behind "The Sound of Music" one of the most beloved films of all time, which came out in 1966 when I was four. I still remember seeing the gazebo scene in the theater. It was the last Catholic film before the sexual revolution destroyed Hollywood, and Catholics became laughingstocks instead of inspirations for good family films. I read the book many times, drawing strength from the holy and happy family life Maria describes, and the power of Catholic Culture lived in the Domestic Church to catechize the young. They lived Lent and Easter so deeply in Austria, not to mention Christmas. And everywhere, you find magnificent Latin hymns, no "Do Re Mi" for them! Their financial crisis became the means of blessing, Fr Wasner moved into their home, and made a chapel where he celebrated daily Mass, and soon found he was living with a choir made up of one family. There are no accidents in God's world! Read this wonderful book for the full story.
I followed the book to find Nonnberg, high on a hill overlooking the town of Salzburg the year Maria died,  and attended Mass with the nuns (was I surprised to see after the Mass was over, that it was funeral Mass for a nun, the coffin was behind the grille until she was carried out to the cemetery!) then I walked down the outside stairs where Maria sang "I Have Confidence" in the film but where she really must have walked to get to the bus to the Von Trapp home. I took the same bus to Aigen  Maria mentioned in the book, where I found the Von Trapp mansion, on, where else, Georg Von Trapp Strasse! The family couldn't bear to live in the home after learning that it was commandeered by Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler, so they donated it to a religious order who uses it as a seminary, and a seminarian invited me to tour the gardens.
It was a dream come true, and I had no idea I owed the entire experience to St Rupert! Read the Catholic Jedi Academy's post on him here. 
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Friday, March 25, 2011

Crossroads Show taping at our house

I am setting up a shot for the camera of Crossroads Magazine, the Archdiocese of Hartford Office of   Radio and Television's weekly program of good news. They are filming me at work on the blog, to give a sample of my daily life. They have been following Christina through the woods to see the chicken coop, and the shrine, to play with our Retriever, Molly and pet the cats. Viewers will get a delightful peek into the happy life of a nine year old girl with Down syndrome.
 Christina loves the camera, and we have been fighting her to get me on camera for  the interview! I admit she is cuter, but Mom has to have her say as well! Gabbi did wonderfully on her segment of the interview, which no longer surprises me, after all, it was her second TV interview this w
eek! My family is becoming skilled at sharing the joy of loving Christina with the world. I am so proud of them.
We enjoyed our two hours working with Jason and Sarah who are professional yet real, fun but hard working. We are really looking forward to the airing of our show. Jason invited us to attend Mass in the studio someday.
I will keep you informed about showtimes. We apologize for not taking photos, we were very busy helping to set up shots.
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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Our video is featured in Spero News!

We were delighted to find our video "An Extra Special Missionary" featured by Spero News.
Read the article here
Thanks to this and our good friends online, we are in third place and rising in the People's Choice Awards!
Voting continues until May 1, each family (computer) gets one vote.
Tonight we are taping a show on "The Face of Pro-life" about making the video. We'll post the show when its done.

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Monday, March 21, 2011

World Down Syndrome Day; An Extra Special Missionary

That's the title of the documentary Gabriela my 17 year old made to describe the missionary spirit in her sister Christina with Down syndrome. She spreads God's love everywhere she goes just by being who she is.
Watch the film on the Goodness Reigns website  here, and, if you like it, please vote for it in the People's Choice Competition.
Happy World Down syndrome day!
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Friday, March 18, 2011

Dr Lejeune quotes in preparation for World Down Syndrome Day

I will be sharing 21 quotes from the man who discovered the cause of Down syndrome,  Dr Jerome Lejeune in preparation for World Down Syndrome Day, March 21. His faith and wisdom come through the translation.
Here is today's quote,
" Human genetics can be summarized in this basic creed.
In the beginning is the message, and the message is in life, and the message is life.
And if the message is a human message,then the life is a human life".

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

San Padraig

 This St Patrick's Day,. May God keep the Irish holy and free, wise enough to reject the scourge of abortion which has afflicted this country. May St Patrick intercede to protect his people from domination from European Union which seeks to impose the Culture of Death. Support Youth Defence, the Irish Pro-life Organization which fights to keep Ireland abortion-free. They are on Life on the Rock this week on EWTN. 

My Corned Beef is on the boil, my Irish Soda Bread is filling the house with its fragrance as it rises in my oven, and my little girl is enjoying our CCC video, "Patrick, Shepherd of the Emerald Isle". Buy it here. 
Listen to Ag Criost an Siol and see if you agree about its rare beauty. 
Even before I saw this translation, I knew this was a song of longing for intimacy with Christ in Heaven. It's a blessing to be a daughter of St Patrick. My Grandma Helen Heslin is from Mohill, Co. Leitrim. From Grams did I inherit a passion about music, poetry and the Catholic faith.May I be worthy of the fine legacy she and my mother left me. 
Te mor gra, Grams, and Mom, I'll see you in the Paradise of Graces.

Ag Criost an Siol
Ag Críost an síol
Ag Críost an fómhar
I n-iothalainn dégo dtugtar sinn

Christ's is the Seed
Christ's is the Harvest
Into God's barn
May we be brought.

Ag Críost an mhuir
Ag Críost an t-iasc
i liontaibh dégo gcastar sinn

Christ's is the sea
Christ's is the fish
In the nets of God
May we be caught.

O fhás go haois is ó aois go básdo
dhá láimh a Críostanall tharainn

From Birth to age
and from age to death,
May your two arms,
O Christ, be around us.

O bhás go críochní
críoch ach ath-fhá

From Death to the end
Not the end but a rebirth,

I bPárrthas na
nGrást go rabhaimíd

In the Paradise of Graces
May we be.

Happy Ninth Birthday to Princess Christina

 Christina turned nine on Monday. Here are the photos of our celebration. I had great difficulty with this birthday, nine is no longer  a little girl, and she is growing up.The good news it that this year, we have finally mastered potty training, and our letters, and numbers,  and new words she has learned come home each day in her backpack. She  is making great strides, but a mother's heart is always torn when she sees a vulnerable child head out towards an unforgiving world, where she is surely going to receive rejection along with her triumphs.
 This is where I need the Blessed Mother to walk along with me, she knows how to watch a child take abuse at the hands of world while she remained sorrowfully silent. And pray. And trust that God is ultimately in charge of her future.
Her day was joyful. She has wonderful, green and white cupcakes, 24 of them accompany her to school. Put together by our friend Irina, they spelled. H-a-p-p-y  B-i-r-t-h-d-a-y  C-h-r-i-s-t-i-n-a one letter apiece.
She received the crown she is wearing, each teacher gave her a birthday card, and each of her bus riders wished her "Happy Birthday" as they entered the bus, thanks to a loving bus driver!
My difficulty in choosing a gift for her was this; in many ways, she is still a Kindergartener, thus I bought her dolls for her Fisher Price Dollhouse, a Daddy and daughter doll, since she is obviously Daddy's girl. Then, Grandpa bought her a CD player so the big girl in her which wants to act like her big sisters with their Ipods, can follow her favorite Disney movie theme songs and Veggie Tale songs downloaded from Itunes.
She is a unique blend of baby and tween, my beautiful nine year old, and is giving her mother's heart a lot of growing pains. But then again, there is no better way to grow than my expanding. My heart is full of gratitude to God for all He has taught me through her.

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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Our Lenten resolutions are bearing fruit already

Today we began our Lenten routine two days early; as a family, we're planning on daily Mass and rosary, no sweets (except Sundays of course) and exercise every single day to help me overcome my diabetes and back spasms. A tough routine, but we trust that God's grace will help.
 We're following Coach Danny Abramowitz's (from EWTN's "Crossing the Goal" show )advice of giving God 30/30 minutes each, of prayer and workout each day.
We plan to offer up the sacrifice this will cause for priests and conversion and today at Mass we saw the first fruits of our resolution. We attended our  Monday night Miraculous Medal Novena Mass.
And a small miracle occurred in our family
Christina, with Down syndrome,  has had difficulty accepting the Host since her First Holy Communion last summer, she is not used to the papery texture and has given it back to me before,in my hand twice, where I quickly consumed it,  causing me to despair of her ever receiving, but tonight, she indicated that she was ready to receive, and since daily Masses are smaller, we had the time to explain to our patient pastor that she was ready for her third communion. She took the Host and consumed it completely, went back to the pew beaming,  for prayer and promptly requested a party! Christina had a chocolate chip cookie and tea party in honor of her Third Holy Communion.
Deo Gratias!
I hope and pray that the habit of Daily Mass will create a lifelong taste, both spiritual and physical in my daughter for the Bread of Life. Please pray with me that it does for all our children.
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Assistant Teacher with Down syndrome brings gifts to children

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Monday, March 7, 2011

Interview with Dr Jerome Lejeune's daughter

It was one of the greatest honors of my life to meet Clara Lejeune Gaymard, daughter and biographer of my great hero, Servant of God Dr Jerome Lejeune.Dr Lejeune is the father of modern genetics who discovered that the cause of Down syndrome was Trisomy 21, or three copies of the 21st chromosome. He spent his entire life dedicated to finding the cure for Trisomy 21 in order to save them from the tragic abortion rate of 92%. 

Mrs Lejeune Gaymard is an international businesswoman, travelling the world for GE while raising nine children. Her wonderful book "Life is a Blessing" is now availalble from the National Catholic Bioethics Center e-store.
Here is the interview at the National Catholic Register.

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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Biological Happening or a Future for Mankind? E

While doing research for my entry on the man who discovered what causes Down syndrome, the famed Father of Modern Genetics, Dr Jerome Lejeune, for the Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought, I came across a treasure trove of videos of his speeches. I will be posting them here on the blog so you can see what a wonderful man he is.
Listen to his logic, his humor and his faith that God's marvelous plan for man is revealed in His tiniest human beings.
Servant of God, Dr Jerome Lejeune, pray for us!

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Faith and Family Magazine hosts "Mom's Day Away" Retreat

Faith & Family Magazine Hosts “Mom’s Day Away” April Retreat
Registration is now open for this event in Stoneham, Massachusetts

New London, Conn. (March 2, 2011) —Faith and Family magazine has been inspiring Catholic family life, and Catholic moms in particular, both in print and at their vibrant website www.faithandfamilylive.com for many years. Now, Catholic moms are invited to this inaugural live event scheduled for Saturday April 2, 2011, at St. Patrick’s Parish Hall in Stoneham, MA, 8am - 5pm.

This Moms-only “day away” is designed to inspire and energize mothers for their important work as they joyfully celebrate their Catholic Faith with other Catholic moms. Moms will be spiritually “pampered” with prayer, socialization, relaxation, and inspirational talks.

This event allows mothers to share wisdom and inspiration with sisters-in-Christ who are walking the same faith journey. Featured presenters are well-known Catholic Mom bloggers and authors:

- Danielle Bean, editor of Faith and Family, and author of three books on the subject of mothering, including her latest, Small Steps for Catholic Moms (Circle Press, 2010).
- Rachel Balducci, blogger at Faith and Family and Testosterhome, and author of How to Tuck in a Super Hero, and Other Delightful Mysteries of Raising Boys, (Revell, 2010).
- Jennifer Fulwiler, blogger at Conversion Diary, and at the National Catholic Register. 

Schedule for Sat. April 2, 2011: Doors open, 8am. Conference hours 9am - 4pm. Attendees are invited to attend the Parish Vigil Mass at 4pm. Morning break and lunch is included in conference fee.

Cost & Registration: $40.00 per person, seating limited to 200.
Online ticket sales only at: http://faithandfamily.eventbrite.com/ 

Faith & Family welcomes Bible Toys (http://www.bibletoys.com) as the day’s sponsor.Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Our 19th anniversary dinner in Tuscany

We went for the first time to one of our biggest local attractions, where many of my family members have traveled all the way from Long Island to visit but we have ignored in nearly three years;
Mohegan Sun Casino. We chose to eat in Tuscany, a uniquely situated,  though loud restaurant in the shopping mall section.. The noise was provided by the casino's constant music, the Saturday night rowdy crowd, and the rushing waterfall behind us.Some sections of the restaurant are behind the falls, but it was very interested to dine near a waterfall, even though it was hard to speak to each other without shouting.
Hardly an intimate dinner, but the wine was good,  Francisco's swordfish was outstanding and my goat cheese Tortellini with smoked squash, honey walnut sauce was heavenly. Its a nouvelle cuisine, big plates, tiny portions place, good for the figure, but don't go there hungry.Mohegan Sun has many dining options, you can go to the all you can eat buffets, we chose atmosphere and fancy cuisine considering the occasion.. 
 We did a bit a sightseeing in the fancy shops, I bought a bar of handmade soap as a souvenir, won $10 in the slot machines (the same price as the fancy soap) and called it a night. Such passes for thrills among us old married folk! Then we came home bearing ice cream so the teens babysitting at home could celebrate our marriage with us.
It was a lovely time. Thank you God for my marriage, my home, and the blessing of family
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