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Gay old Italy

Rome’s center-left mayor on Saturday recognized the validity of 16 gay “marriages” performed outside Italy, the first such ceremony in the capital, sparking an angry reaction from the interior minister and the Catholic Church.
Catholic Synod’s final report nuanced on homosexuality, other issues

The synod’s final report, released Saturday, presents substantial changes with respect to the much discussed midterm report, especially regarding homosexual persons and the divorced and remarried.


Steady as She Goes


I have spent the day mostly in prayer, listening, speaking with my spiritual director, praying, going to Mass, listening some more… and these are the thoughts and words which have been coming to me since I wrote The Synod and the Spirit.


Published in: | on October 18th, 2014 | Comments are Closed » Print This Post Print This Post

40 Days for Life

Dear Deacon John,


40 Days for Life is based in the grass roots … where abortions actually take place. Our headquarters team takes great joy in meeting and praying with as many campaign volunteers as possible because the end of abortion starts at the local level.

Steve Karlen, our North American outreach director, has already visited at least 20 vigil locations this fall … with many more stops scheduled before November 2.

Every visit reveals the power of prayer and what is at stake in every abortion. As Steve reports from a recent trip, when a mom chooses life for her baby, that baby grows up to be very thankful … even 38 years later.


Overland Park, Kansas



Wendy, the local leader in Overland Park, shared a story about how 40 Days for Life connects with people and builds community

A man walked up to Mike, one of the volunteers, to thank him for being there. The man said that 38 years ago, his mother and grandmother had scheduled an abortion – an abortion that would have taken place if it had not been for the people on the sidewalk that day.


The man was especially thankful for that … because he was the baby that was saved!

On another occasion, a woman approached the volunteers to tell a different sort of story. Ten years ago, she had a baby who died shortly after birth. She told the vigil participants that in her case, abortion would have been “easier” on her and the baby.

“This young mother had four small children with her, but was still very obviously in pain from the experience ten years ago,” Wendy said. “The counselors on the sidewalk listened with empathy and tried to tell her that she made the right decision. She left without changing her mind, but she nonetheless saw a witness of God’s love.


Sioux Falls, South Dakota



It’s campaign number eight in Sioux Falls … a location that’s notable because this vigil takes place in front of the last remaining abortion facility in South Dakota.

Cathy, the campaign leader in Sioux Falls, shared the good news that a baby was saved from abortion through the prayers of the volunteers.

She was also excited that 27 members of a youth group, along with their leaders, came from the communities of Flandreau and Elkton to pray at the vigil. That’s roughly an hour away from Sioux Falls.

“The momentum is really building here,” Cathy said, “and I can’t wait to share our next victory with you.”


Fayetteville, Arkansas



When I arrived at the vigil in Fayetteville, there were a bunch of people out praying. A director from a local pregnancy center came out for my visit, which provided an opportunity for Julia, the local 40 Days for Life campaign leader, to network with the center.

I’ve known Julia since I met her in Florida back in 2010. I’ve had great respect for her as she’s never been afraid to roll up her sleeves and do whatever necessary to help the pre-born and their mothers.

She’s got a tremendous heart for the mission and has helped saved babies in New York City and Eastern Pennsylvania … and has now settled in Northwest Arkansas where she’s brought her life-saving gifts to Fayetteville.


Thanks again to Steve Karlen for today’s update!



Here’s today’s devotional from Vera Faith Lord, director of the Alpha/Omega Life Ministry.

Day 26 intention

That those who have forgotten their purpose may discover it in God and therefore have the courage to choose life.



These all wait for you, that you may give them their food in due season, what you give them they gather in; you open your hand they are filled with good. You hide your face, they are troubled; you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust. You send forth your Spirit, they are created; and you renew the face of the earth.

— Psalm 104:27-30



“I am a feather on the breath of God.”

As the quote above portrays, we are upheld by the power and purpose of God. Our very existence on earth, from our body’s first breath to its last, when we leave it to return home, is our Father’s choice and happens only by His willing to do so.

He who created the universe also created that which is “me.” I do not have a soul; I am a soul, as well as a body. My entire purpose in this life is to find my way back to my Creator.



Beloved Father, remind us today that there is no truth but you. Do not let us fall prey to the evil one’s lie that we may choose death. Remind us right now that you, who created all life, are in control of all life, and let us know right now that you who created all life, are in control of all life, and let us choose life always.

Father, please let us hear your voice more today than yesterday. Keep lighting the pathway home, for us and for all who participate in this 40 Days for Life campaign. Father, we’re on our way. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.


Printable devotional

To download today’s devotional as a formatted, printable PDF to share with friends:

For Life,
 Shawn Carney


Campaign Director

40 Days for Life


3-parent embryo development ‘unethical,’ could result in disabled babies
98 years, 6.6 million aborted babies: happy birthday, Planned Parenthood


Margaret Sanger Deutsch: Margaret Sanger (* 1879)

Margaret Sanger Deutsch: Margaret Sanger (* 1879) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Parenthood, the nation’s biggest abortion business, is celebrating its 98th birthday today and the abortion giant has done over 6.6 million abortions since Roe v. Wade, more than any other abortion company.

The Synod and the Spirit

AS I wrote in my daily Mass meditation today (see here), there is a certain panic in some quarters of the Church on the heels of the Synod’s somewhat abstract post discussion report (relatio post disceptationem). People are asking, “What are the bishops doing in Rome? What is the Pope doing?” But the real question is what is the Holy Spirit doing? For the Spirit is the one Jesus sent to “teach you all truth.” The Spirit is our advocate, our help, our consoler, our strength, our wisdom… but also the one who convicts, enlightens, and exposes our hearts so that we have the opportunity to always move deeper toward the truth that sets us free.

My spiritual director asked me to begin sharing thoughts on the Synod. And so, I want to reflect in a broader sense on what is happening, touching on various themes that I will address more specifically in the days ahead. There are so many nuances that it is impossible to speak of them in one place without writing a book. So I am going to do this in bits and bites, and more frequently, since I know you don’t have time to read long treatises. But I pray you take a few minutes each day to reflect with me now on what the Spirit is saying to the Church at this hour, asking the Lord to give us the wisdom we need to be faithful to His voice.

The perfect place to begin is in today’s Gospel…


Published in: | on October 17th, 2014 |

40 Days for Life

Dear Deacon John,


Recently I visited a few 40 Days for Life campaigns that really show how God uses the simple things to make a difference — and sometimes all it takes is for you to just show up!

The mere sight of a person standing in silent prayer can speak volumes to a young woman who has been told that abortion will solve her problems. When they see that someone is praying – for them and their babies – it can make all the difference in the world.

Most of the time, we don’t see that difference right away. But other times, it can become clear a week, month or even a year later … like I found out during my stop in Indianapolis.


Indianapolis, Indiana



It was cold and rainy, but still it was an enthusiastic campaign in Indianapolis in front of a Planned Parenthood facility where an estimated half of Indiana’s abortions are done.

While I was speaking to the crowd, a woman drove up. She had seen a large number of people out praying and said, “I need to share something with you.”

The woman then thanked volunteers for being out at the vigil. She said that she was on her way to have an abortion at that Planned Parenthood last year during the 40 Days for Life campaign … but couldn’t go through with it after seeing volunteers praying at the abortion center.


She said she drove on by, never went back, and now has a beautiful son who was sitting in the back seat of her car.



Linda, who is helping lead the 40 Days for Life campaign, was so excited to see how God used their presence last year without them knowing until recently exactly how He was doing that.

Stories like this remind us that the cold and the rain are worth enduring when there are lives at stake. Praise God for this mom’s courage … and her willingness to share her story with those who were out praying for her.


Robbinsdale, Minnesota



Steve Karlen, our North American outreach director, and I had a chance to visit with the 40 Days for Life team in Robbinsdale. It’s the first campaign there. Here’s a quick story about how their presence on the sidewalk is already making a difference.

A young woman walked up to a couple of vigil participants who were praying and holding signs. She said she was there for an abortion … but the volunteers sensed she really didn’t want to go through with it.

The counselors talked to her about the positive choices she could make – and noted there was a pregnancy help center right across the street from the abortion facility.

As they walked with her to the pregnancy center, they learned more about her. She’s a single mother with other children … and the baby’s father is not around to help. She said the main reason she was drawn to abortion is her financial situation – she said she couldn’t afford to raise another child.

She kept asking about adoption. Please keep this young mom in your prayers!

Here’s today’s devotional from Rev. J. Kirk van der Swaagh of the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference.


Day 25 intention

We pray for the conversion of all those who refuse to acknowledge that human life belongs only to God.



Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”

— Jeremiah 1:4-5



To be or not to be? There is no question!

The question of “being” is something philosophers have long pondered.

What is the meaning of being and what is the source? In the passage before us, we have our answer. We have being because we are known by God.

For God to declare that he knows and sets apart the prophet Jeremiah even before he is conceived indicates that our being rests in God’s own being. Because He is and because He wills we, therefore, are and do.

The Apostle Paul says as much when he declares before the philosophers of his day, “In Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28).

One of the tragedies of the abortion culture is that life in the womb has been so heartbreakingly devalued. To embrace the arguments of the “pro-choice” crowd one must conclude that the child in the womb doesn’t exist, isn’t there, has no being.

But nothing could be further from the truth. That child is known by God and, as such, has being.



Lord God, we confess that in You we live and move and have our being. Because You are, we are. May we find grace from You to affirm the being of every human and may we labor to make this truth known to the world around us. Amen.


Printable devotional

To download today’s devotional as a formatted, printable PDF to share with friends:


For Life,
 Shawn Carney


Campaign Director

40 Days for Life


National Right to Life News
October 2014 Issue

The print version of National Right to Life News is back as a monthly PDF publication. You will hear from us every time the NRL News is published with some of the top stories linking back to the original PDF file.

NJ Board of Medical Examiners permanently revokes notorious abortionist’s medical license

The board cited Brigham for a bistate abortion practice where he would induce “fetal demise” in New Jersey but deliver the dead baby in Maryland. Read More

Fewer than 17 days until Election Day

By the time most of our NRL News readers begin to devour the October digital edition, there will be only 17 days—408 hours—until the mid-term elections. Read More

Make our Founding Fathers Proud

Are you ready?? Are you as excited as I am to learn the results of the elections just around the corner?? Will Harry Reid be able to maintain his grip on a pro-abortion majority in the Senate, or will pro-lifers control both the House and the Senate?? Read More

Couple celebrates brief life of baby born with anencephaly

Okay, before you read this, please make sure you have a box of Kleenex nearby. The story of Jenna Gassew and Dan Healy and their son Shane Michael will make you cry but it will also make you marvel that a couple this young could be so wise beyond their years. Read More

Obama approval numbers continue to tumble

Obama approval numbers continue to tumble in new Washington Post-ABC News poll, political landscape “tilts” toward GOP Read More

Mother refuses to abort, “miracle baby” doing fine

Nope, no way. The news was bad about their unborn baby—there was no amniotic fluid around her—but Leanne and Chris Duffield were having none of the doctors’ recommendations that they “terminate” their unborn daughter, Willow. Read More

Compassion & Choices uses tragedy to promote its assisted suicide agenda

Like most people, I suspect, I have a multitude of reactions to news that a 29-year-old woman is teaming up with Compassion & Choices to use her own assisted suicide to help convince the state of California to open the door currently closed to assisted suicide. Read More

Woman sees ultrasound, realizes she’s pregnant with “a little person”

“I was on this incredible high, like I saw the head and the little shoulders and then I came home and I suddenly
crashed because I thought, there was this little person, I mean, it looked like a little person.” Read More

National Right to Life, 512 10th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004, USA


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