Thursday, December 31, 2009

My favorite stamps

Sorry to my friends who didn't receive Christmas cards yet from me, yet. As I said in my article this month in Canticle magazine, Christmas should be celebrated for the entire season. Today is the feast of Pope St Sylvester.
I have been dealing with a bad sore throat for over a week, and no end in sight since it was diagnosed as 'viral'. I am trying to bravely swallow my home remedies of ginger tea with honey and lemon while offering it up for a holier New Year for America.
Here's a suggestion to help it be a holy new year.
Send these beautiful new stamps of Blessed Mother Teresa and make her stamp the biggest hit since the lovely Madonna and Child Christmas stamps.

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Years Resoutions you may actually keep

American Needs Fatima has a list of suggestions for making a New Year's Resolution that you will actually keep.
They are both spiritual and practical, and of course, include sharing your faith in Our Lady.

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

New pro-life blog written by Catholic doctor

Thank you Jill Stanek for encouraging Dr Gerard Nadal to begin an exceptional pro-life blog Coming Home.
Go over and enjoy his unique blend of indeputable science and unmoveable faith.
Welcome to the blogosphere, Dr Nadal.

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

A letter from God to a mother of a special needs child

This letter comes from my heart after nearly eight years of being Christina's mom.
God told me she was a gift from His hand and I am just now beginnig to realize how great a gift she is to me and my whole family.
Read it on Catholic

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Our friend in DC: Rep Cathy McMorris Rogers

Here's a list of the great things Cathy McMorris Rogers did for people with Down syndrome in Washington DC from her email. What she doesn't mention is that she is passionately pro-life and also stood up for the rights of disabled and unborn people against Obamacare on Sept 15 with Healthcare for Gunner. You can view the video here.
As we close 2009, I wanted to share my observations of the past year. It has been an exciting twelve months for the disability community. We’ve witnessed a great deal of progress in a number of areas which I’ve highlighted below.
On February 26, Congressman Ander Crenshaw introduced H.R. 1205, the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE Act). The ABLE Act is intended to give disabled individuals a savings instrument, just like existing savings accounts for college, retirement, and other normal life events. Anyone can contribute to an ABLE account and distributions can be used for education, medical and dental care, community-based support services, employment training and support, moving, and housing and transportation expenses. H.R. 1205 has 141 cosponsors, including members of both parties. Together with my colleagues, I am working to ensure its passage in 2010.

On September 23, I joined the other members of the Down Syndrome Caucus to meet with Dr. Yvonne Maddox, Deputy Director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child and Human Development (NICHD) to discuss NICHD’s funding priorities. I was extremely pleased to hear NICHD reaffirm its commitment to the short-term and long-term goals set forth in the 2008 Research Plan on Down Syndrome, particularly through NICHD’s commitment to future funding announcements for Down syndrome research over the next five years.

On September 25, I introduced the Trisomy 21 Translational Research Parity Act of 2009 with Congressman Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) and Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX). In 2000, the Children’s Health Act amended the Public Health Services Act in a number of ways, including authorizing research and surveillance for a number of conditions and disabilities such as juvenile diabetes, Fragile X, asthma, epilepsy, autism, and traumatic brain injuries. However, the amendments did not authorize the research and surveillance of Down syndrome. The Trisomy 21 Translational Research Parity Act of 2009 will bridge the critical gap that currently exists in Down syndrome research between basic medical research and cutting-edge clinical trials. The bill will recognize at least six Centers of Excellence that will be dedicated to conducting translational research and create the much-needed bio-bank and registry to assist with the Down syndrome translational research program.

On December 13, I joined with Congressman George Miller, Chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, to introduce H.R. 4247, the Preventing Harmful Restraint and Seclusion in Schools Act. There are already federal guidelines against the inappropriate use of seclusion and restraint against children in the Children’s Health Act but those have not been extended to schools. Last May, the General Accountability Office (GAO) highlighted the prevalence of seclusion and restraint in schools -- rather than employing techniques to diffuse the situation. The lack of guidance to school districts and teachers, GAO found, only exacerbated the situation. And, as I’ve looked into this, I’ve come to the conclusion that there is a lack of training; a difficult situation arises and a teacher or principal just doesn’t know what to do. The bill that I introduced with Chairman Miller gives states much-needed guidance so they can advise school districts on the best practices. In addition, the bill gives schools the resources they need to ensure that their personnel handle situations in the most positive manner possible. The bill has the bipartisan support of both parties and I’m confident of its passage in 2010.

While we still have a long way to go, for me personally, I believe this year represented a turning point in our efforts. I look forward to continuing to work with the disability community to ensure that funding and infrastructure remains a priority here in Congress.

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Monday, December 21, 2009

KIDS is on the March again!



KIDS (Keep Infants with Down Syndrome), a group of families who have children with Down syndrome, will meet for the second year in a row and walk together in the 2010 March for Life in Washington, D.C.
KIDS wants to raise awareness about the 90% abortion rate of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome, to challenge the misinformation that often leads mothers to abort their babies with Down syndrome, and to proclaim the joy their children bring to their families and communities.
DATE & TIME: Friday, January 22, 2009, 11:00 a.m. to Noon

LOCATION: National Right to Life Committee, 512 10th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.
Meet for refreshments prior to walking together in the 2010 March for Life

This event is open to individuals with Down syndrome and their families and friends.
For more information please contact Eileen Haupt or Leticia Velasquez.

Eileen Haupt
Leticia Velasquez

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

2010 ALL Pro-life blog awards

Thank you to whoever nominated Causa Nostrae Laetitiae for American Life League's 2010 Pro-life Blog Awards. I am honored to be among some of the best blogs out there, and to be nominated after winning the Pro-life Unity Award in 2009. It would be an honor to win again, though part of me wants someone else to have a turn, but I had a wonderful time at the ALL Conference last year and would welcome a return visit.

I will defer to vox populi since this year the awards are won by a popular vote, rather than a panel.

You can vote for Causa Nostrae Laetitiae here.
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The O Antiphons begin tonight; O Sapientia (O Wisdom)

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I have a new column out there

I am writing a bilingual Spanish column for Amazing

“To teach the Faith truthfully, it must be taught thrillingly,” says Lisa Mladinich, founder of, an exciting new website for Catholic catechists with an inviting format designed to encourage participation by its readers. “Our mission is to share the very best teaching methods available for transmitting pure, honest Catholicism to students of all ages. But to do that, we need help.”, loyal to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church and dedicated to the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, is designed to provide a place for Catholic catechists from all over the world to share teaching tips, insights, experiences, resources, and true inspirational stories from their classrooms, whether they teach in their homes, parishes, or schools.

Volunteer catechists write monthly or bi-monthly columns on subjects from elementary education through special needs, confirmation, chastity training, teen ministry and adult programs, like RCIA and NFP. Several of the columns are translated into Spanish and the site’s forums also include a Spanish-language section. Mladinich hopes to expand bi-lingual offerings in the future.

Other features include, “Your Galleries,” a place for sharing photos, artwork, video links and sound files related to teaching faith and morals from a Catholic perspective. Catechists and parents are invited to share digital images of theirs and their children’s faith-related arts and crafts, dramatic presentations, you-tube and audio links that teach, inspire or entertain.

A point-and-click archive of teaching ideas and stories is found under “Tips & Insights,” with categories including every grade level, sacramental and adult programs. Readers are invited to submit their tips and stories through a simple online form that makes sharing easy. The “Events” page contains an automated calendar for readers to submit their program dates and descriptions in order to publicize and promote good Catholic events more effectively. The “Speakers” page features several volunteers who also have public ministries as speakers and workshop leaders.

Other sections include charming, original Catholic cartoons by Ellen and James Hrkach, interviews with “amazing” Catholics, links to great Catholic resources, a fundraising “Store,” “Book and Product Reviews,” “Bible Stories [retold]” and favorite prayers.

Mrs. Mladinich hopes that catechists who stop by for a visit will take a few moments to share from the treasure-houses of their own personal experiences in teaching the Faith, and by sharing, strengthen the whole Church!

Lisa Mladinich, Founder
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And a child shall lead them

This has been a difficult year for Catholics. You need to read this story to restore your faith in the fact that Our Lord Jesus Christ is indeed in charge, no matter how bad it looks.
"My friend sent an email last year sharing a comment Brendan made about why he's going through this on-going battle with cancer. He told his mother that he's helping Jesus with his suffering so that more people will get into heaven."
Read the story of how this sick little boy with Down syndrome has an extraordinary relationship with Jesus.
Learn from him how to trust in God.

HT Les Femmes.

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Happy Gaudete Sunday, we're almost to Christmas!

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Eduardo Verastegui in "The Butterfly Circus"

I am reposting this to inform my readers that "The Butterfly Circus" is available on DVD. What a wonderful gift for someone you love; a short film which celebrates the gifts which God has given each of us, no matter what the world sees in us.

Go to Doorpost Films to view
this one day preview of an amazing film which will challenge your views of what a circus can be.

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Lovely Lady dressed in blue, teach us how to pray

In honor of the30th anniversary of Archbishop Fulton Sheen's entering eternity, and the feast of the Immaculate Conception, here is a poem he helped make famous.

Lovely Lady dressed in blue -------

Teach me how to pray!

God was just your little boy,

Tell me what to say!

Did you lift Him up, sometimes,

Gently on your knee?

Did you sing to Him the way

Mother does to me?

Did you hold His hand at night?

Did you ever try

Telling stories of the world?

O! And did He cry?

Do you really think He cares

If I tell Him things -------

Little things that happen? And

Do the Angels' wings

Make a noise? And can He hear

Me if I speak low?

Does He understand me now?

Tell me -------for you know.

Lovely Lady dressed in blue -------

Teach me how to pray!

God was just your little boy,

And you know the way.

Mary Dixon Thayer who wrote more than one poem for Our Lady, is the author.
This prayer-poem was popularized in the 1950s by Archbishop Fulton Sheen.
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Monday, December 7, 2009

Magdalen College at

Gabriela and I visited some friends in New Hampshire and attended a Visitor's Weekend at Magdalen College.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Off to Magdalen College for a Visitor's Weekend

Gabbi and I will be spending a Visitor's Weekend at the college.(she's a junior and just took the PSATs, where did the time go?)
 She'll be staying at the dorm, I'll be with friends nearby.  We look forward to seeing the beautiful campus, attending classes, and hearing their famous choir at Mass on Sunday. I'll be reporting on this when I return. See the Magdalen College website for more information. It's in the Newman Guide to Catholic Colleges. As I have told her for years, any college we would consider will be in this essential guide to truly Catholic institutions of higher learning.

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Fr Robert Fox dies

Fr Fox was the editor of the Immaculate Heart Messenger, and a big promoter of the Fatima message through the Fatima Family Apostolate. Rest in peace Fr Fox and pray for those of us on earth who have yet to heed Our Lady's message of prayer, fasting and  penance for the sins against her Immaculate Heart.

Yesterday, I participated in an international teleconference to promote the release of "The 13th Day". See my review here. Fr Andrew Apostoli(see photo) was on the line as well as the film's producer, directors and Fillipa Fernandez who played Lucia. We discussed the fact that the Fatima message is more relevant in our times than ever before.Not only are we in moral freefall, but our society is threatened by Muslim extremists. Fr Apostoli discussed the reverence Muslims have for Our Lady of Fatima, and his hopes that this will lead to widespread conversions. This is the answer to peace in our time!
 If Our Lord was offended by fashions and morals in 1917, can you imagine how offended He is by our society?
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Read the entire story on the National Catholic Register blog.
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