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These Stone Walls: The Saints of Divine Mercy

The Divine Mercy Canonization of Saint John Paul II

The Divine Mercy Canonization of Saint John Paul II s

By the dawn of the 21st Century, Karol Wojtyla was dubbed “John Paul the Great” by many. On Divine Mercy Sunday, the Church confirms what the world already knew.

Two names are added to the Communion of Saints on Divine Mercy Sunday 2014, and midway through this second decade of the 21st Century, one of them still looms large in the living memory of millions, Catholics and not. I must write especially of Saint John Paul II because his Holy Father-hood is like a set of bookends framing my life as a priest. I have written of him before, and of the origin of his being dubbed “John Paul the Great” for his monumental impact on the state of world affairs.

That post was “The Beatification of Pope John Paul II” and it began, ironically enough, in the era in which Angelo Roncali became Pope John XXIII. I described that era, and all that it entailed for the Church in the lives of millions, in the first of a two-part 2012 post entitled “Vatican II Turns Fifty: Catholic in an Age of Discontent.” It’s also an ironic twist that John XXIII was beatified by John Paul II, but on this Divine Mercy Sunday they are canonized together. So in a sense, this tribute to one is a profound bow to the sainthood of both.

I don’t want to begin with the negative, but sometimes it’s best to just get the detractors out of the way. The Media Report had an article about the recent PBS Frontline presentation entitled “Secrets of the Vatican.” The Frontline piece was co-produced for PBS by Jason Berry, and it was clear, for those who would see, that the agenda behind it had nothing to do with protecting children from sexual abuse.

The triple crown PBS and Jason Berry aimed for was Holy Week, Easter, and the Divine Mercy Canonization of Pope John Paul II. One prisoner who watched it thinking it might be a tour of the Vatican Museum called it “Jason Berry’s hatchet job on the Catholic Church.” Had PBS settled on that more honest title, its ratings might have been higher. The timing of such productions is carefully synchronized, of course, to coincide with any big Catholic news coming out of Rome.

As the Canonization of these two 20th Century popes made headlines, so did the efforts to defame them. I wrote of the timing of such ploys just after Holy Week a few years ago in “Breaking News: I Got Stoned With the Pope!” The papal media target then was Benedict the Beloved, and as that post revealed, it has become a tradition of sorts in modern media to deck the halls with anti-Catholic slurs during the seasons of both Christmas and Easter. The strategy is that if enough mud can be thrown during times when Catholics on the fence assess their faith, some will ultimately abandon it.

It must be terribly frustrating for those behind such campaigns that at Easter this year, tens of thousands of adults thinking for themselves in the U.S. alone were received into the Catholic faith. Thousands more returned after decades away. TSW readers heard from one two weeks ago in “Coming Home to the Catholic Faith I Left Behind.” Will such stories find their way into Jason Berry’s next PBS Holy Week special? Don’t count on it! But there is now a far more important story to tell.


The summer of 1978 was a strange one for me. I had graduated early that summer from Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire. A life-changing discernment to leave the Capuchin order to become a diocesan priest had culminated in sweeping change for me that summer. I became a priesthood candidate for the Diocese of Manchester and was assigned to commence graduate studies toward M. Div. and S.T.M. degrees at St. Mary Seminary & University in Baltimore, Maryland, a Pontifical Institute and the nation’s oldest Roman Catholic seminary. It was a summer of transition, and in the background of its whirlwind of change for me was the death of Pope Paul VI and the election of Albino Luciani, Archbishop of Venice, who became Pope John Paul.

Thirty-three days later, on the morning of September 28, 1978, came a knock on my seminary room door. “The Pope has died,” said an unidentified voice on the other side. “Um . . . that was a month ago,” I responded. “No,” said the voice, “the NEW Pope has died.” I never knew who the voice was, but as I made my way through the cavernous corridors toward class that morning the shock of the story was everywhere.

Eighteen days later, on October 16, 1978, the same Conclave of papal electors, who chose the first Pope John Paul just 51 days before, elected a successor. Karol Jozef Wojtyla, Archbishop of Krakow, Poland, became the first non-Italian pope since 1522. He took the name, John Paul II in honor of the first whose reign was the shortest in Church history. The new pope was 58 years old, spoke 14 languages, and would reign for 27 years – one of the longest in Church history – until his death on April 2, 2005.

With my nose buried in a textbook when that knock came on my door in 1978, I had no way to know of the long, twisted road upon which priesthood would take me. I instantly remembered that day as though yesterday, however, when 27 years later on April 2, 2005, a knock came on my cell door as a prisoner’s voice reported the news: “The Pope has died.” In between these two events, Pope John Paul the Great visited 129 countries, beatified 1, 342 souls, canonized 483 saints, promulgated 14 encyclicals, and in his spare time he dismantled the Soviet Union, tore down the Berlin Wall, and brought European Communism to its knees.

Pope John Paul II Communism

Is that last point an exaggeration? Not according to the KGB. The Catholic press is filled this week with accounts of the legacies of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II, but for the latter, at least, the secular media has also been filled with tributes to him, and foremost among these is John Paul’s role in the collapse of the Soviet Union. I rely on some of these tributes more than I do the Catholic press for this post because we might expect all but chronically dissenting Catholics to hold John Paul in high regard. The key to his witness, however, is found elsewhere.

One such source is a superb book by Eric Metaxas ( entitled Seven Men and the Secret of their Greatness (Thomas Nelson, 2013). Seven Men is a profile in courage with subjects chosen by Eric Metaxas because they were exemplars of manhood, bravery, and public witness to the courage of their convictions. Among them for this prolific and highly regarded non-Catholic writer of Pope John Paul II:

“Of all the men in this book, there is only one who has come to be called ‘the Great.’ John Paul the Great . . . . The man whom the Polish authorities once regarded as harmless became one of the key figures in the collapse of communism across Europe.” (Eric Metaxas, pp. 141, 157)

The threat this pope posed to the communist agenda did not go unnoticed by the KGB. In “The Enduring Legacy of John Paul II” (Catalyst, December 2010) Ronald Rychlak chronicled Soviet KGB involvement in the assassination attempts, first of John Paul’s reputation and character, and then of John Paul himself. Reviewing Witness to Hope (HarperCollins 1999), George Weigel’s magisterial biography of Pope John Paul II, Ronald Rychlak described the KGB anxiety about this pope:

“Within months of his election, John Paul II ignited a revolution of conscience in Poland and it ultimately led to the collapse of European Communism and the demise of the Soviet Union.” (Ronald Rychlak, Catalyst)

I also wrote of the story of KGB targeting of both Pope John Paul II and Pope Pius XII in “Hitler’s Pope, Nazi Crimes, an The New York Times.” I was not at all alone in seeing the great thorn in the side that Pope John Paul had courageously become for communism and its intent to dominate Europe, and then the world. In “Popes, Atheists and Freedom” (WSJ, December 30, 2010) Daniel Henninger wrote of Pope John Paul’s courageous confrontation with the Soviet Union:

“In 1984, after John Paul had completed two pastoral pilgrimages to Communist Poland, a conference was convened by members of the KGB, Warsaw Pack, and Cuban intelligence services. Its purpose: to discuss joint measures for combating the ‘subversive activities’ of the Vatican.”


I sometimes think that I am among the priesthood’s worst skeptics. I write of measurable things, after all: history and science, the Voyager Spacecraft among the stars, and the Higgs Boson God Particle. If someone told me when I was ordained 32 years ago that I would one day be writing about a connection between Pope John Paul and the Miracle of Fatima, I would not have believed it.

It was Father Michael Gaitley, MIC, who opened my eyes. The great Marian author of 33 Days to Morning Glory wrote something about John Paul II that did more than open my eyes. It shook my world. What follows is a summary.

In 1917, during World War I, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal. I have always accepted this because the Church accepts it, but I have also always tried not to think too much about it. No, it’s much worse than that. I once, as a much younger priest, scoffed at it all. I kept my scoffing to myself, but the whole story of Fatima was reduced in my mind to a lot of pre-scientific nonsense.

It was Mary herself who straightened me out, aided somewhat by Father Michael Gaitley. I wrote about some of this in “Behold Your Mother! 33 Days to Morning Glory.” I wrote that Father Gaitley’s presentation on Pope John Paul II was powerful and compelling.

The first vision at Fatima took place at 5:00 PM on Mary 13, 1917. After the prophesies about the conversion of Russia, the child visionaries saw a “bishop dressed in white” who “would suffer much and then be shot and killed.” This became known as the last secret of Fatima, and was kept hidden, for a time, by the Church.

Pope John Paul II ShotExactly 64 years later, on May 13, 1981 at exactly 5:00 PM, Pope John Paul II was shot four times as he blessed the crowds in St. Peter’s Square. On of those bullets would have surely killed him had it not missed his abdominal artery by a tiny fraction of an inch. John Paul attributed the guidance of this bullet to the hand of Our Lady of Fatima.

The Soviet Empire was created in the aftermath of the 1917 Russian Revolution, and it became the largest nation on Earth. In his 1948 book, The Gathering Storm, Winston Churchill wrote of a proposal to the ruthless Soviet leader, Joseph Stalin. The proposal was that the Soviet Union should not suppress Catholicism, but should rather encourage it in order to build a relationship with the Pope. “The Pope?” Stalin famously retorted. “How many divisions has he got?”

That conversation took place on May 13, 1935, 46 years to the day before the Soviet Union tried to eliminate Pope John Paul II because he became communism’s biggest obstacle in all of Europe. The Pope survived. Stalin’s successors in the Soviet Union learned the answers to his questions far too late for their own survival.

As a wise friend once said to me, “There are no coincidences, only signs.” My scientific mind could still have dismissed all this had I not witnessed what up to then I thought to be impossible: the 1989 fall of the Soviet Empire and the collapse of communism in Europe. On November 9, 1989, thousands danced upon the Berlin Wall before it finally crumbled. I scoffed no longer, and took out my rosary.

Karol Wojtyla was ordained a priest on All Saints Day, 1946, and is now in their company. As a priest and bishop, he studied Sister Faustina’s Diary and promoted her devotion to Divine Mercy, and later her cause for sainthood. He once wrote that as a priest he always felt spiritually close to Sister Faustina. Karol Jozef Wojtyla surrendered his Earthly life on the Vigil of Divine Mercy Sunday, 2005.

St. Pope John Paul II

Saint John Paul the Great, pray for us.

thermometerEditors’s Note: a continued thanks to TSW readers for their generosity in responding to Ryan MacDonald’s appeal to help with the legal costs, at the Federal level. We haven’t reached our goal yet, so please share this link to Ryan’s news alert post!

The post The Divine Mercy Canonization of Saint John Paul II appeared first on These Stone Walls.


Heroic News: “In pro-life cases involving ‘Obamacare’ abortion funding, Supreme Court has free speech concerns” plus 5 more


In pro-life cases involving ‘Obamacare’ abortion funding, Supreme Court has free speech concerns

An Ohio law that was used to stifle the political speech of a pro-life group appears in jeopardy Tuesday after the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in the case of Susan B. Anthony List vs. Driehaus.

TV show declines model who wanted to abort her baby to appear on program

Celebrity “reality shows” ordinarily take to controversy like a duck to water. But it was not long after a pregnant aspiring model said she would abort to increase her chances of appearing on “Celebrity Big Brother” than the British television program insisted Josie Cunningham would not appear.

Fed. judge rules Ohio must follow other states’ “gay marriage” laws instead of its own

According to a federal judge Monday in Henry v. Himes, the U.S. Constitution now requires that the laws of one state automatically supersede those of Ohio, whether or not Ohio approves. Same-sex “marriage” licenses from any jurisdiction are now valid in Ohio.

Pro-life display vandalized at George Washington University

A school-sanctioned memorial display for victims of abortion at George Washington University was the target of several acts of vandalism by supporters of abortion last week, according to a report at

Unborn child has ‘inalienable’ right to life ‘at all stages of development’: Alabama Supreme Court

Children in the womb should have the same legal standing as other children, the Supreme Court of Alabama ruled Friday.

China’s child porn purge

The Chinese government has shut down thousands of websites and social media sites in a bid to purge the internet of online pornography, it was revealed today.


Father Ed is Desperate


Opus Bono Sacerdotii: Work for the Good of the Priesthood

This is URGENT:

We just got a call from a retired Catholic priest who is in desperate need of $1,800 for past due bills. Father Ed asked us if we could help him right away before they shut off his utilities. We DO NOT have the funds available for him right now, so if you could make a donation today to help him, it would be greatly appreciated!

Please donate now to help Father Ed at

or by mailing a check to:

Opus Bono Sacerdotii
PO Box 663, Oxford, MI 48371

Thank you for responding to this urgent need for Father Ed, my phone number is below if you have any questions.


Pete Ferrara
Opus Bono Sacerdotii
(313) 937-6305

Opus Bono Sacerdotii is an IRS approved 501c3 nonprofit organization founded in 2002 for the care of Catholic priests. All donations are tax-deductible in the USA.


Mary TV Daily Reflection 4/23/2014

(c) Mary TV 2014


April 23, 2014

Easter Wednesday

Divine Mercy Novena Day 6


Dear Family of Mary!


This day of the novena is one of my most favorite. I love it that Jesus values the humble, the meek, and the childlike. No other leader in the history of man has valued these attributes or held them as examples of holiness. We have an awesome God!!


St. Faustina wrote:


When I started the Holy Hour, I wanted to immerse myself in the agony of Jesus in the Garden of Olives. Then I heard a voice in my soul: Meditate on the mystery of the Incarnation. And suddenly the Infant Jesus appeared before me, radiant with beauty. He told me how much God is pleased with simplicity in a soul. Although My greatness is beyond understanding, I commune only with those who are little. I demand of you a childlike spirit. (332, Diary)



Sixth Day

Today bring to Me the Meek and Humble Souls and the Souls of  Little Children, and immerse them in My mercy. These souls most closely resemble My Heart. They strengthened Me during My bitter agony. I saw them as earthly Angels, who will keep vigil at My altars. I pour out upon them whole torrents of grace. I favor humble souls with My confidence.  


Most Merciful Jesus, You yourself have said, “Learn from Me for I am meek and humble of heart.” Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart all meek and humble souls and the souls of little children. These souls send all heaven into ecstasy and they are the heavenly Father’s favorites. They are a sweet-smelling bouquet before the throne of God; God Himself takes delight in their fragrance. These souls have a permanent abode in Your Most Compassionate Heart, O Jesus, and they unceasingly sing out a hymn of love and mercy.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon meek souls, upon humble souls, and upon little children who are enfolded in the abode which is the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls bear the closest resemblance to Your Son. Their fragrance rises from the earth and reaches Your very throne. Father of mercy and of all goodness, I beg You by the love You bear these souls and by the delight You take in them: Bless the whole world, that all souls together may sing out the praises of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen.


Let us pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy!


Our Lady of Medjugorje has said:


“Dear children; In this holy time of joyful expectation, God has chosen you little ones to realize His great intentions. My children, be humble. Through your humility, God, with His wisdom, will make of your souls a chosen home. You will illuminate it with good works and thus, with an open heart, you will welcome the birth of my Son in all of His generous love. Thank you dear children.” (December 2, 2008)



Pope John Paul II wrote about humility and mercy in this way (Dives In Misericordia n 6):


What took place in the relationship between the father and the son [the parable of the prodigal son] in Christ’s parable is not to be evaluated “from the outside.” Our prejudices about mercy are mostly the result of appraising them only from the outside. At times it happens that by following this method of evaluation we see in mercy above all a relationship of inequality between the one offering it and the one receiving it. And, in consequence, we are quick to deduce that mercy belittles the receiver, that it offends the dignity of man. The parable of the prodigal son shows that the reality is different: the relationship of mercy is based on the common experience of that good which is man, on the common experience of the dignity that is proper to him. This common experience makes the prodigal son begin to see himself and his actions in their full truth (this vision in truth is a genuine form of humility); on the other hand, for this very reason he becomes a particular good for his father: the father sees so clearly the good which has been achieved thanks to a mysterious radiation of truth and love, that he seems to forget all the evil which the son had committed.


The parable of the prodigal son expresses in a simple but profound way the reality of conversion. Conversion is the most concrete expression of the working of love and of the presence of mercy in the human world. The true and proper meaning of mercy does not consist only in looking, however penetratingly and compassionately, at moral, physical or material evil: mercy is manifested in its true and proper aspect when it restores to value, promotes and draws good from all the forms of evil existing in the world and in man. Understood in this way, mercy constitutes the fundamental content of the messianic message of Christ and the constitutive power of His mission. His disciples and followers understood and practiced mercy in the same way. Mercy never ceased to reveal itself, in their hearts and in their actions, as an especially creative proof of the love which does not allow itself to be “conquered by evil,” but overcomes “evil with good.” The genuine face of mercy has to be ever revealed anew. In spite of many prejudices, mercy seems particularly necessary for our times.


Just as the prodigal son acquired humility when he discovered the truth about himself and his father, and returned home to the merciful love that awaited him, so will that same truth bring us back to the Father. Humble souls become heaven, because mercy dwells within them.


Let us pray to Blessed John Paul II:


O Blessed Trinity, we thank You for having graced the Church with Blessed John Paul II and for allowing the tenderness of Your Fatherly care, the glory of the Cross of Christ, and the splendor of the Spirit of love, to shine through him. Trusting fully in Your infinite mercy and in the maternal Intercession of Mary, he has given us a living image of Jesus the Good Shepherd, and has shown us that holiness is the necessary measure of ordinary Christian life and is the way of achieving eternal communion with You. Grant us, by his intercession, and according to Your will, the graces we implore, knowing that he will soon be numbered among Your saints. Amen.   


In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!

Cathy Nolan

(c)Mary TV 2014 

“Medjugorje is the spiritual center of the world.”
Blessed John Paul II
Be connected!


LifeNews Pro-Life News Report 4/22/14 Pro-Life News Report
Tuesday, April 22, 2014

For pro-life news updated throughout the day, visit

Current Headlines

Top Stories
• Woman Who Killed Her Seven Babies and Packed Them in Boxes Appears in Court
• TV Show Declines Model Who Wanted Abortion so She Could Appear on Program

A Cruel Internet Bully Called This Boy With Down Syndrome Ugly, His Mom’s Reaction is Priceless
What Would You Say if You Sat Next to an Abortionist on a Plane? Here’s What I Did

More Pro-Life News

• Woman Born Without Fingers Is A Master Goldsmith
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• Five Videos That Show Abortion Ends the Lives of Real Human Beings
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• Nearly 1,000 Texas Women Hospitalized Every Year After Botched Abortions
• Supreme Court Will Decide if Pro-Life Groups Can be Censored for Telling the Truth

• Billionaire Susan Pritzker Hosting Swanky “Abortion Party” Fundraiser for Planned Parethood

• GOP Should Not Boot Pro-Lifers: New Poll Shows 74% of Republicans Want Abortion Limits
China’s One-Child Policy Resulting in International Sex Slavery, Selling Women as Brides
• Parents Who Let Internet Poll Decide Their Baby’s Name Reject the Shocking Result

• Ethical Concerns Surrounding Three Parent Embryos Raised on Capitol Hill
• Abortion Clincs Offer Discounts for Aborting Baby Earlier in Pregnancy, That Doesn’t Help Poor Women
• Abortion Oligarchy: Rich Americans More Likely to Support Abortion Than Poor
Letter Asks New Brunswick Not to Fund Abortions With Tax Money

WE NEED YOUR HELP! LifeNews is 83% of the way towards our April $50,000 fundraising goal. Please help us with a donation!

Woman Who Killed Her Seven Babies and Packed Them in Boxes Appears in Court
The woman who allegedly killed seven of her babies and packed six of them in cardboard boxes appeared in court and told the judge her in case that she is broke. Meanwhile, prosecutors are seeking more time to fashion their case against Megan Huntsman.

Police believe Megan Huntsman, 39, gave birth to the babies then killed them over the past decade and they arrested her on Saturday after the grisly discovery.

TV Show Declines Model Who Wanted Abortion so She Could Appear on Program
Celebrity “reality shows” ordinarily take to controversy like a duck to water. But it was not long after a pregnant….aspiring model…said she would abort to increase her chances of appearing on “Celebrity Big Brother” than the British television program insisted Josie Cunningham would not appear.

It all started when Cunningham insisted to the Sunday Mirror that prior to becoming pregnant, she’d been on the short list to appear in the upcoming season’s edition of Celebrity Big Brother (“Big Brother,” for short).

A Cruel Internet Bully Called This Boy With Down Syndrome Ugly, His Mom’s Reaction is Priceless
For children growing up, there is little that cuts to the emotional core like a bully calling them “ugly.” It’s a crass attack that usually reveals more about the insecurities of the bully than the beauty of the child being bullied.

But it leaves a lasting impression for young children. Self-esteem issues, the loss of self-worth and a degradation of the beauty God gave each unique human being he created. Overall, it’s a loss of the celebration of the beauty of life.

What Would You Say if You Sat Next to an Abortionist on a Plane? Here’s What I Did
When you are working or volunteering in the pro-life movement day in and day out, we can easily get consumed by the big picture and lose sight of what is happening every day in the nation’s abortion mills. Working in the pro-life movement can sometimes make us too immune to the killing. We worry about money, politics, and metrics and we get bummed by our lack of sleep and time away from family.

But then you sit next to a late term abortionist…

Woman Born Without Fingers Is A Master Goldsmith
Annette Gabbedey is a 48-year-old master goldsmith who has been practicing her craft for over 20 years. Even though she was born without fingers, she isn’t disabled and wonders how people with fingers manage without them getting in the way.

annetteThe talented jeweller has found her own way to make miniature masterpieces worth thousands of pounds — despite being born with no fingers.

Obama’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program Gives Millions to Planned Parenthood
When President Obama said that he did not want his daughters punished with a pregnancy- he wasn’t kidding.

Perhaps that was the motivation behind his creation of the The Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) a government agency and division of the Health and Human Services Department.

Five Videos That Show Abortion Ends the Lives of Real Human Beings
Note: There are no graphic images of abortion in the videos included below.

In today’s modern age, it’s difficult to avoid the fact that unborn human beings are alive, growing, unique individuals – from the very first moment they come into existence. Yet some still manage to close their eyes to reality. It’s important to understand the things we claim to support. It’s essential to be aware of all the facts, not just the ones that seem to support our position.

Man Apprehended Who Raped 13-Year-Old, Took Her for Abortion to Cover His Crime
In September, Allen County Right to Life filed a consumer complaint with the Indiana Medical Licensing Board against the abortionist, Dr. Ulrich Klopfer, in Fort Wayne, because Klopfer performed an abortions on a 13-year-old girl and didn’t report the abuse as required by Indiana Law.

Nearly 1,000 Texas Women Hospitalized Every Year After Botched Abortions
A decision of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals allowing the State of Texas to enforce a controversial abortion law passed last year reveals that abortion complications that require emergency hospitalization are higher than thought, and raise the concerns that the true number of serious abortion-related injuries and maternal deaths are being kept from the public.

Supreme Court Will Decide if Pro-Life Groups Can be Censored for Telling the Truth
This morning the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Susan B. Anthony List v. Steve Driehaus.

Billionaire Susan Pritzker Hosting Swanky “Abortion Party” Fundraiser for Planned Parethood
The nation’s largest abortion chain is throwing a huge fundraiser at Chicago’s Navy Pier tomorrow, April 23, and the Pro-Life Action League will be there to expose their true agenda.

GOP Should Not Boot Pro-Lifers: New Poll Shows 74% of Republicans Want Abortion Limits
A new national poll responding to a decision by the Nevada GOP to drop its pro-life plank from its party platform shows most Republicans and Republican-leaning independents favor more limits on abortion.

China’s One-Child Policy Resulting in International Sex Slavery, Selling Women as Brides
The one-child policy in China has resulted in more than just forced abortions and sterilizations — it has led to massive cases of child trafficking as families attempt to buy children. It’s also leading to international sex slavery rings and selling women as brides.

Looking for an inspiring and motivating speaker for your pro-life event in 2014? Don’t have much to spend on a high-priced speaker costing several thousand dollars? Contact LifeNews at about having LifeNews Editor Steven Ertelt speak at your event.

Parents Who Let Internet Poll Decide Their Baby’s Name Reject the Shocking Result
Would you let people on the Internet vote in a poll to decide the name of your newborn baby?

Ethical Concerns Surrounding Three Parent Embryos Raised on Capitol Hill
Last month, an FDA Advisory Committee held a hearing examining mitochondrial disease prevention with the creation of three-parent embryos.

Abortion Clincs Offer Discounts for Aborting Baby Earlier in Pregnancy, That Doesn’t Help Poor Women
Recently, we’ve been reading a lot about how closing unsafe abortion mills will put poor women at “risk” in Ohio.

Abortion Oligarchy: Rich Americans More Likely to Support Abortion Than Poor
Last week, the media exploded with the news that the United States is not a democracy, but an oligarchy.

Letter Asks New Brunswick Not to Fund Abortions With Tax Money
On the heels of the announcement that New Brunswick’s only private abortion clinic will be closing in July, over 125 respected physicians, lawyers, family organizations, and individuals have signed a public letter sent to New Brunswick Premier, Mr. David Alward.




Heroic News: “Billionaire political donor wants GOP to go gay” plus 7 more


Billionaire political donor wants GOP to go gay

Billionaire Republican donor Paul Singer, long known for opposing legislation that increases the regulatory burden on American businesses, has brought together a bipartisan coalition that aims to move the GOP to push homosexual “rights.”

Harold Shipman: Euthanasia without request or consent

The Press Association reports that a recent two-part documentary marking ten years since the suicide of serial killer Dr. Harold Shipman refers to his actions as “euthanasia.”

Father-Son Duo Celebrates 37 Years of Inspiring Teamwork With Final Boston Marathon

In 1962, Dick and Judy Hoyt welcomed their son, Rick, into an unsuspecting world — a world that would forever be changed by their presence and sacrifice. Because of complications with his birth, Rick was diagnosed as a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy.

Devout Catholics Have Better Sex, Study Says

Devout, married Catholics have the best sex of any demographic group, the Family Research Council said at an event Wednesday, pointing to a collection of studies from the last several decades.

Cardinal Dolan blesses pregnant mothers, unborn babies

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York blessed 30 expectant mothers and their unborn children in a recent Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, offering a message of hope and love.

Huge crowd prays Good Friday rosary at AZ Planned Parenthood

Carrying rosaries, pushing babies in strollers and bearing images of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Catholics from throughout the Diocese of Phoenix gathered in front of a Planned Parenthood clinic in a Glendale neighborhood Good Friday.

‘Exit International’ euthanasia members accused of possessing suicide drug

Members of the voluntary euthanasia group Exit International have been targeted by police in Western Australia over the drug Nembutal.

Penn. suit challenging gay ‘marriage’ ban up for decision

Attorneys representing 11 couples who are challenging the state ban on gay “marriage” on Monday filed a motion asking a federal judge to decide the case rather than wait for a trial.


Mary’s Shelter April 2014 Newsletter!

color logo web
April 2014
An Update from the Executive Director
 I don’t think there is a week or month that goes by at Mary’s Shelter where we don’t all look at each other and say, “wow, that was a busy time.”  Sometimes there are trials and sometimes there are moments of pure joy.  Every child born into our homes brings that joy in a big way.  No matter what is going on, everyone stops and rejoices in each birth.  We celebrate the beauty and dignity of each and every life in our homes.

This past month was made special with other great blessings.  Our Bishop Loverde came on a very rainy Saturday afternoon and Blessed our newest home.  He met moms and held babies.  It was a very special day, one that will never be forgotten.   Another Mary’s Shelter baby was baptized this month, and new  babies were born.  Waiting to see what next month brings.  Thank you all for the love, prayers and support!

God Bless
Kathleen Wilson, Director

“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” – Mother Teresa

An easy, no cost way to donate!
Now you can donate just by shopping on Amazon!
 The best part-it will not cost you a cent,
 however, 0.5 percent of your total bill will be donated to our homes.
It’s easy to do, go to click on donations, scroll down, click on the Amazon button and shop from there.
Happy Shopping and Giving!




Our New Baby!


It’s a Girl!
Born: April 10. 2014

Weight: 7 lb. 11 oz.
21.5 inches
Resident Interview – “Anne”

Our youngest resident is Anne.  She is just 18 years old and became a first time mom this past week to a beautiful baby girl. She is determined to be a great mom and a successful provider for her family.  Feeling all the prayers for this family.
How did hear about Mary’s Shelter and how long have you been a resident? 
I heard about Mary’s Shelter by calling churches trying to get help and the last church I called gave me Mary’s Shelters number so I called. I’ve been a resident since February.
What was the process like to enter into the Mary’s Shelter program? 
The process to enter into these homes was very simple and wonderful because the Director is such a great person.
Why were you in need of shelter?
I was in  need of shelter because I was living place to place and had a baby on the way.  I wanted help so badly.  I called so I wouldn’t be in the streets.

What are your plans for your future?
My plans for the future are to get my GED, move into my own apartment, get my license and go to college to get my CNA.   After that I want to get my RN. I hope and pray I get a job soon.

While at Mary’s Shelter, how will you work towards making those plans a reality?
By enrolling in a GED program at ERI, which I have been setting up.  I’m also studying for my drivers license.  I will put my name on the waiting list for  apartments.  I have put in job applications and called to try to get interviews.  After my 6 weeks post baby, I may have a job set up, hopefully.

Tell us the best part about being at Mary’s Shelter and the most difficult part.
The best part is being stable, safe and having a great Director.  Also, being independent and not having to worry about where I’m going to sleep at night. The difficult part, actually I would say I don’t know because I feel there is not anything difficult about being here.

Tell us a little about your daughter.My daughter is such a good baby. She is so beautiful and healthy. She is a blessing. My daughter loves to try and hold her own bottle, it’s so cute.
Now that you are a mom, how has your life changed?
My life has changed by being a mom because I have someone to love, support, encourage and take care of.  My life has changed for the better.  All I dream about is getting my GED, license, to have my own place and go to college to show my daughter a great life. I have grown up so much.  Being at Mary’s Shelter has helped me to become an independent, successful person and I’m so thankful for Mary’s Shelter.
Volunteer Interview - Joanne Baker    

My name is JoAnne Baker.  My husband, Steve and I moved to the Hartwood area with our two children, Johnny and Alli, in 1989.  Steve was in the Marine Corps at the time and I got a teaching job in Stafford County shortly after we arrived.  Our children are now 28 and 25 and will both be married by the time this is printed, Alli is getting married in Charleston, SC on April 26.  I retired last June after 27 years in education; the last eight years I was the principal of Rocky Run Elementary School.
How did you hear about Mary’s Shelter?
In the fall my church distributed the Parish Ministry Catalogue and I was intrigued by the Mary’s Shelter Ministry.  I attended my first volunteer meeting in January and met with the young woman I mentor shortly after that.
What inspired you to begin volunteering?
My volunteer spirit came from my mother who was a girl scout leader, PTA President, Eucharistic Minister, and jumped in to help whenever the call came. After retirement, I knew that I wanted to do something meaningful to give back to the community.  I signed up to teach CCD at Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception, where I am a parishioner.

You are a mentor to one of our residents, how has that experience been so far?
It has only been two short months since I began mentoring and it is quite fulfilling. The young woman is a first time mom and has no family in the United States.  It has been my pleasure to pick her and her baby up for church each Sunday.  I’ve also had the opportunity to go with her to the grocery store and to Social Services a few times.  As time goes on we are understanding each other more (she is still learning to speak English).  She was thrilled when I brought her a copy of the Catholic Herald and when I brought her a carton of eggs fresh from our farm.

As the young mom you work with is a first time mother and has no family in this country, the need for someone to be there for her was even greater than usual.    How has the bond you have together grown over time?

Our bond has grown in that we are more comfortable with each other and she seems to feel at ease in calling me.  The language barrier has slowly been easing as we learn to understand each other.  We enjoy talking about our respective families.  When I told her that my daughter is getting married in two weeks she told me that she will pray to Jesus for a sunny day.
What are the rewards of not only mentoring to a young mom, but also to showing her she is worthy of time and love? 
What rewards do you receive?
The rewards of mentoring are many.  Having worked in a service industry (education) for 27 years, it is important to me that I give back.  My family has been richly blessed by God, and it blesses me more to share in those blessings.  When I see the smiles of the young woman I mentor it warms my heart.  Of course, I also adore babies and holding a little one is one of God’s greatest blessings.

What would you tell someone else who is looking to volunteer at Mary’s Shelter?

Volunteering at Mary’s Shelter is truly an enriching experience.  I would recommend it to anyone looking to make a difference in the life of a young woman and her child(ren).
Our Volunteers are a very important, integral part of this ministry.  If you are interested in volunteering, or looking for information about volunteer opportunities, please email Theresa, our Volunteer Coordinator, at:
Thank you!
A special thank you to Bishop Loverde for coming to our homes to offer a House Blessing and Dedication.  He was so kind and gracious.   Many of our residents, as well as a house full of guest, were given the opportunity of meeting with him.  It was a great day! 

A shout out to Regina Hiney for not only showing up monthly to volunteer as our Book Club teacher, but for taking on all the arrangements, driving and responsibilities of having Little Miss Jasmine baptized!


Thank you to Jessica Stewart for the box of toys donated for the monthly baby celebration hosted by Kara Horne (and thanks to Cathy Davis for all the doula support shown at those celebrations.)


Thank you to the Knights of Columbus of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception for hosting a dinner and donating the proceeds to our ministry.  Lot’s of great food and hard work.

and……..thank you to the Hibernians for hosting the St. Patrick’s Day breakfast at St. Mary, great food, great time, generous donations!
Thanks so much to Sue Ottman and the Bible Study Group for the donation of household items and the very much appreciated Target Gift Cards.
A very big thank you to Matt Britton and Hugh Brown  for overseeing the donation, storage and drop off of dolls – lot’s and lot’s of dolls – so appreciated!


A heartfelt  thank you to all who donate in any and all ways to Mary’s Shelter.
Thank you to Hunter Keiser for choosing Mary’s Shelter for his Eagle Scout project and donating tons of cleaning supplies – with all the families living at our homes, and our strict cleaning policies, these were very well received!


Hunter Keiser, from Boy Scout Troop 179, coordinated a “Cleaning Supply Donation Drive” to benefit Mary’s Shelter as his Eagle Scout project.  Hunter is a parishioner of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception.  He put out donation boxes at the St. Mary Parish Life Center and the Massad Branch of the YMCA, where he works as a Lifeguard.  He promoted the drive to the Religious Education classes at St. Mary, the Council of Catholic Women, St. Mary Preschool, YMCA patrons, and friends and family through social media.  His project provided several months’ worth of bathroom and kitchen cleaning supplies, trash bags, toilet paper, and laundry detergent to the shelter, which operates four homes.

Thank you to those who have dropped donations of clothing, baby supplies and so much more off at our homes.  We love the donations and seeing you!
Our Wish List!


If you’d like to make a donation of material goods to Mary’s Shelter, here is a list of our current needs: 
If you find it in your heart to host a baby shower or conduct a drive for us, please email Monika, our Donations Coordinator, for more information!  
Fulfill the Promise Campaign
Are you a part of the Mary’s Shelter family? Our Fulfill the Promise campaign asks for just a small monthly donation. Could you commit to $20 a month to fund Mary’s Shelter?

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309 Hawke Street, Fredericksburg VA 22401


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