In a few days we will celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Like every Feast, it is a celebration of Jesus Christ. This feast shows us that because of her unique role as his mother, Mary received from Jesus a full share, body and soul, in his victory over death. The feast is a reminder that in Christ, we all will share resurrection of the body.
Mary has it now, because in the human family, which God decided to join, there can be no closer bond than mother and child. They belong together; their destinies are intertwined.
That is one of the central messages of the pro-life movement. To love and care for a mother necessarily means protecting, loving, and caring for her child. Mothers can never benefit from the destruction of their children.
Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.
So many pro-life leaders I know, including myself, have been falsely accused in public of advocating or even doing violence. Pregnancy centers, which compassionately serve parents and their babies every day, have been falsely accused of deceiving the public. Activists who try to change the laws have been falsely accused of opposing democracy.
The litany goes on and on, and proves that pro-life people are living this beatitude. They should rejoice, for their reward in heaven indeed is great. The children, who cannot know how much pro-life people love them, cannot repay them. They will be repaid in the resurrection of the just.
The 2011 International Rachel’s Vineyard Leadership Training Conference at the Malvern Retreat Center in Pennsylvania is slated for July 17-21. Rachel’s Vineyard has been offering such Leadership Conferences throughout the United States as well as in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, England and Ireland since 1999. This year’s world conference will be the largest to date with several hundred participants coming from throughout the world. Rachel’s Vineyard is currently growing or germinating in 35 countries and in 15 languages. It’s quite obvious that Rachel’s Vineyard is a dramatic movement of the Holy Spirit, which has inspired over 8,000 volunteers throughout the world.
Every year, the Rachel’s Vineyard Leadership Conference presents speakers who provide a wide range of interesting and helpful topics to assist Rachel’s Vineyard leaders from across the globe with new skills and strategies to engage in successful post-abortion ministry. This year, the speakers include the founders of Rachel’s Vineyard Dr. Theresa Burke and Kevin Burke, MSS/LSW. We are honored to host the Most Reverend David Choby, Bishop of Nashville, TN and the Pastoral Director and chair of Rachel’s Vineyard, Fr. Frank Pavone. Other speakers include Monsignor Michael Magee, Msgr. Mike Mannion, Dr. Cynthia Dillard, Dr. Karen Stevenson, Eugenia Hadley among many other talented and experienced professionals and pastors.
The theme of this year’s conference is Disciples of Love, Witnesses of Hope. We are pleased to offer a special track for the regional coordinators of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign featuring co-founders Janet Morana and Georgette Forney. Teresa Tomeo will provide media training on the media influence on the culture of death. They will offer specific training for regional coordinators that will include classes on public speaking, media, healing workshops, and more! Another unique addition to the conference this year is an optional day trip to the Amish Country for a tour of a Jewish temple replica and a magnificent Theatre Production of “The Story of Joseph” at the Site and Sound Theater in Lancaster.
This year’s conference participants are coming from far and wide, representing many states and countries, including Australia, Canada, Uganda, Jamaica, and Singapore. This is the first year that RV has had to, regrettably, turn attendees away. With such a large and diverse group joining together next week, speakers and attendees will be sure to inspire each other with new ideas, information, and strategies to assist and rejuvenate them in their vocation to do God’s work of healing in post-abortive women and men and building a Culture of Life.
For more information on this topic, please contact Kathleen Corrigan or Amanda Miner at
The Holy Spirit is God, and all He does and speaks to us is consistent with what God the Father and God the Son have done and spoken. In the sixteenth chapter of John’s Gospel we read these words of Jesus, “He will not speak on His own, but will speak only what He hears…because He will have received from me what He will announce to you.” And in John 14 we read, “The Holy Spirit…will…remind you of all that I told you.” Everything the Holy Spirit will ever say to us, individually or as a Church, will always reinforce the Gospel of Life. No disciple can claim the “freedom of the Spirit” to contradict the commandments, including that which forbids the killing of the innocent, whether born or unborn.