Saturday, October 29, 2011

Catholics celebrate All Hallow's Eve

As a Catholic I find Halloween, at least the way I celebrate it, with a Vigil Mass for the Feast of All Saints, and with my children dressed in costumes depicting saints, to be a very Christian celebration of the Resurrection of the Dead and the Body of Christ, the Church.
Also in the Catholic version of the Scriptures we have the book of Maccabees which affirms the Catholic practice of praying for the souls of the dead who are suffering in Purgatory. All Saints Day and the followig Feast of All Souls Day are focused on remembering that our goal is Heaven, and we have to pray for those who have gone before us to reach their Heavenly Home. We celebrate that fact by dressing as our heroes the saints who have gone to their reward in a blaze of glory. Saints are Catholic superheroes.
In these photos, Christina is dressed as St Margaret of Scotland, a queen who brought a Christian civilizing influence to her Scottish husband, King Malcolm's court, and who was known for her charity.

"II Maccabees 12:43-46:
"And making a gathering, he [Judas] sent twelve thousand drachms of silver to Jerusalem for sacrifice to be offered for the sins of the dead, thinking well and religiously concerning the resurrection, (For if he had not hoped that they that were slain should rise again, it would have seemed superfluous and vain to pray for the dead,) And because he considered that they who had fallen asleep with godliness, had great grace laid up for them. It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins."
Here's a montage of our celebration of All Hallow's Eve.

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Down Syndrome Kid Inspires With "I Survived Abortion" Sign |

Down Syndrome Kid Inspires With "I Survived Abortion" Sign |
This photo has been going viral around Facebook, spreading the message that less than 10% of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome make it to birth.

Keep it going, till these wonderful gifts of God are allowed to be born and grace the world with their gifts.
Read Kurt Kondrich's latest piece about the inalienable right to life of those with Down syndrome in Renew America. 
AND pass it on!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Congressional Down Syndrome Caucus Webinar on this link

Here are the recordings of the Down syndrome conference yesterday on Capitol Hill hosted by the Congressional Down Syndrome Caucus.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Thoughts on bearing fruit, and loss of loved ones

From the blog of my friend Dr Gerard Nadal,  Coming Home 
Note: It’s been two weeks like no other. Yesterday we had the funeral mass and burial of Jon in Warwick, NY. We also had the memorial for Kortney and Sophy in Virginia.

Today, on the Lord’s Day, we rest.

Tomorrow, all will return to our lives and a new normal, a phase of healing and living the rest of our lives marked indelibly by the searing events of the past two weeks. As we keep the Blythe, Gordon, and Scharfenberger families in our prayers.

Here’s Deacon Kandra:

By a happy coincidence, this gospel touches on a theme that was so vital to Pope John Paul. In the parable, a tree is given one more chance to bring forth good fruit. The gardener gives it that chance; he offers it the gift of mercy. John Paul, you’ll remember, was beatified on the Feast of Divine Mercy. In fact, the opening prayer for this mass begins, “Oh God, who are rich in mercy…”

My take on loss and bearing good fruit
Today we bid farewell to Sr John Baptist SCRC, a beautiful nun who was only 50 years old of cancer, and dozens of people have come to her beside to pray one last time with Sister whose tender blue eyes and ever-present smile reflected Heaven.
My 14 year old daughter Bella was musing on what a shame is was that good people like Jon, Kortney and Sr John Baptist go home so young. We were peeling apples for a pie at the kitchen table. Suddenly she picked up an apple and said with a smile, “God always picks the ripe apples!”
Jon, Kortney and Sr John Baptist have accomplished their purpose in this life. No, we’re not satisfied, we wanted Jon to save more babies, either marry or go into the priesthood, and we know Benjamin Gordon wanted to raise his unborn daughter Sofy with his new wife Kortney. 

We wanted Sr John Baptist to beam her radiant smile at us, take our hands, as she always did, and reassure us that “this too will pass” as we mourn her death.

But these three have accomplished their life’s mission, sanctity. This is our mission as well, we are all called to be saints, these three were ‘ripe’ in that they were already full of God’s grace and love, and ready to go home. That is why the pain felt at their loss is so keen. The loss of their sweetness seems unbearable and unjust. 

We mustn’t begrudge God His excellent taste in wanting to pick the ripe apples. After all, they drew their sweetness from Him. 

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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Celebrate the Feast of Blessed John Paul II with a new DVD series

Review of John Paul II; The Man, The Pope, and His Message
By Alberto Michelini
Leticia Velasquez
Catholic Media Review.
Volume 8 I Am Your Voice: The Pope on Human Rights
Catholics have long enjoyed the work of papal videographer, Alberto Michelini. Now under a special arrangement with the Vatican, what was formerly available on video has been converted to a four DVD set containing five hours of dramatic documentary footage, organized by topic into ten 30 minute films. Each film focuses on a different aspect of the pontificate of Blessed John Paul; including youth, children, the poor, the family, Marian devotion, historic events, a day in the papal apartments, and the working world. The series is available in English, French, and Spanish.  The companion website for this DVD set has free downloads of companion discussion guides for leaders and participants for each volume with tools for group discussion. This makes this series an ideal tool for teachers to use in Catholic school, CCD, and parish adult ed programs. Study groups could use these films in private homes. Homeschooling mothers from the JPII Generation will find this ideal for teaching their children about the legacy of Blessed John Paul.

Volume 8 “I Am Your Voice” is the powerful film on human rights; Pope John Paul is seen interacting with and addressing poor, sick and persecuted people from every corner of the globe.  A heartbreaking cry of misery is documented in this film; from the slums of Latin America and Calcutta, the prairies of Canada, the plazas of South Korea, the Australian Outback, the savannahs of Africa, and the shipyards of Gdansk. The desperation of the members of the human family who are callously denied basic human dignity are heard by the man who himself suffered under two oppressive regimes.  South Americans who are living forsaken in squalid slums while neighbors enjoy luxury, occupying land was stolen from them. African lepers whom the government has forgotten, living in filth, workers who are deprived of just wages and political freedom, aboriginal tribes whose numbers are decimated yet remain proud of their culture. The Pope listens to their pleas with love and tells them “The Church hears your voice”
He responds to such pain with tears of compassion, embracing the disconsolate and dying, and railing with righteous indignation at the perpetrators of injustice at the rich who ignore the hunger of the poor, and the violence between protesters and police in Chile while he shouts to the multitude, “Love is stronger, Love is stronger!” John Paul speaks unflinchingly in defense of human rights at the United Nations in 1979, attempting to awaken the powerful of the world from the somnolence of egotism. He prays with profound sorrow at the grave of murdered Polish priest and Solidarity activist Fr Jerzy Popieluszko. Not taking sides for political purposes, as he is often accused of doing, the Pope is consistently on the side of the downtrodden, pointing out that the Church cannot be silent when human dignity is at stake.
During this moving footage, the narrator adds context to the scenes, and quotes from John Paul’s numerous encyclicals dealing with social justice; allowing viewers to grow in understanding of the Church’s position on human rights issues, as a preferential option for the poor,  while avoiding the errors of Liberation Theology. He says that Christ came that we might have life abundantly, yet does not favor one political solution over another, rather, he attempts to stir the consciences of those in charge of the world’s economic systems, both left and right. For this he receives criticism for “dabbling in politics”.
Today there are protests of increasing intensity around the world, expressing frustration with injustices both political and economic. The Holy Father addressed this in his speech at the United Nations in 1979 when he said, “wars develop when inalienable rights are violated.” His warning was fulfilling the prophetic duty of the Church, to be the voice of the oppressed. He exclaims “the Church cannot be silent when human dignity is at stake”. One of the most emotionally charged moments of this documentary is when John Paul II upbraids his fellow Poles in 1991 in Kielce when he reminds them, shortly after the Solidarity Movement brought freedom to those behind the Iron Curtain and there  was a movement to tell the Church to get out of politics with regard to abortion. He reminded his countrymen that a child is a gift from God.
No human being is forgotten in John Paul’s passionate defense of the dignity of mankind from birth to natural death. These films are compellingly narrated using the best of John Paul II’s encyclicals to educate the public about why Pope John Paul is called the Great and why millions attended his funeral shouting “Santo Subito!”
Don’t miss this outstanding series which offers an unparalleled opportunity to relive this extraordinary pontificate, and grow in your appreciation of the historical legacy of soon to be St John Paul.
In the spirit of the Gospel as well as out selfless Pope, It is “better to give than to receive”, CCC of AMERICA is hosting a contest: JPII They Love You. People who go to the Pope Series website to complete a brief web form in order to enter someone of their choosing to win a DVD set (valued at $49.99). They will have only 50 words or less to say why they are entering that particular friend, relative, neighbor, CCD teacher, Priest, etc to win a copy of the series.
More information may be found at this website;

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A little Down syndrome beauty

I just discovered a stunning blogspot from a German photographer, Connie Wenk,  who like me, finds the beauty of those with T21 absolutely irresistible!
 Its called That Little Extra, and they have a calendar!

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

I will be calling in on the Health Matters radio show with Dr Delgado

"Health Matters" with Dr. George Delgado M.D., F.A.A.F.P. of Culture of Life Family Services (COLF's) (every 3rd Thursday)
Join Dr Delgado every third Thursday as he discusses health issues from a Catholic pro-life perspective. During the program, please call in with your health questions:             760 931 1604      and Dr Delgado will address them. Every Third Thursday, the doctor is in. 

Dr. George Delgado is the medical director of Culture of Life Family Health Care. He practices family medicine, providing medical care that is faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church for newborns, children and adults. Dr. Delgado is an NFP Medical Consultant trained in NaProTechnology. Additionally, he and the other members of the staff are available to counsel women who are in crisis pregnancies. Dr. Delgado received his medical degree from the University of California, Davis and completed his residency at Santa Monica Hospital/UCLA. He is board certified in family medicine and in hospice and palliative medicine. Dr. Delgado is a Voluntary Associate Clinical Professor at UCSD School of Medicine.

Please call in tonight between 6 and 7PM Pacific Time with your questions and comments. Dr Delgado is discussing pre-natal testing and raising a child with special needs. The number is 760-931-1604
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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

MaterniT21 threatens to extinguish the Down syndrome population

This is the point of view I explore in my article in the National Catholic Register on this new prenatal screening test for Down syndrome which was released this week.

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Pre-orders for my book "A Special Mother is Born" are now being accepted!

Great news for those of you who have been wondering when the books will be available!
WestBow Press has informed me that my books are coming within three weeks!

I am taking  pre-orders here on my blog, as well as on my other blogs, Causa Nostrae Laetitiae, Keep Infants with Down Syndrome, and Catholic Media Review.

Just click the paypal button in the margin on the right, leave your shipping information and your payment of $22.50 ($19.95 plus $2.55 shipping for a total of $22.50) by credit or debit  and I will ship your book to your home in one month.

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