Hundreds of people in our nation have worked in the abortion industry, whether in Planned Parenthood or in any of the many independent killing centers, and have stopped doing so because of a moral conversion. We at Priests for Life minister to many of them. And what is the first thing that they need? They need healing. The guided effort to face what they have done and to find spiritual and psychological wholeness must be their first activity and responsibility. Only after this crucial process and careful discernment with the help of the pro-life community should those who so desire begin to share their story on the speaking circuit. Let’s pray for all those who have performed abortion, and for their healing and peace. Find out more at priestsforlife.org.
Aerosmith singer and “American Idol” judge Steven Tyler has written and spoken about the son he lost to abortion in the 1970s. The baby’s mother was Julia Holcomb, a young woman who was 16 years old when she became Tyler’s legal ward and went to live with him in Boston.
After Kevin Burke, full-time pastoral associate of Priests for Life and co-founder of Rachel’s Vineyard, wrote about Tyler’s abortion experience in a piece published May 4th in National Review Online, Julia contacted Burke to say that for years, she has been looking for a way to respond to the many published accounts of their relationship, most recently in Tyler’s autobiography, Does the Noise in My Head Bother You? The compassion with which Burke wrote about Tyler as a post-abortive father prompted her to entrust her own story to his care.
On May 24th, in an essay published on LifeSiteNews.com, the former Julia Holcomb gives a behind-the-scenes look at life with a rock legend, including a harrowing account of a near-fatal apartment fire and the abortion.
“My National Review article on post-abortive father Steven Tyler and his high visibility as an Idol judge, with a new autobiography and song just released, provide a providential opportunity for Julia to share her experience of the dramatic events that took place during her three-year, live-in relationship with Tyler,” Burke said. “This is an intense and at times frightening and disturbing journey…but in the end it is an inspirational story of hope and healing. Julia is a woman of great courage and faith and it has truly been a blessing and a privilege to be entrusted with her story.”
Father Frank Pavone said, “Julia’s story of redemption and the incredible turnaround she has seen in her life should serve as a powerful witness to women who are still struggling with their own abortions.”
“Forgiveness and healing are available for all women and men who have had their children aborted, for every abortionist, for every abortion clinic worker,” Father Pavone said. “Julia’s story should serve as an invitation for each one of them to face the truth about abortion, and to seek healing.”
Read Julia’s incredible story at:
Burke’s original story on Steven Tyler can be found at:
At the end of February I was privileged to be welcomed at the Vatican as a new member of the Pontifical Academy for Life. Established in 1994 by Pope John Paul II, this body has “the specific task to study and provide information and training about the principal problems of law and biomedicine pertaining to the promotion and protection of life, especially in the direct relationship they have with Christian morality.”
In our General Assembly meeting this year, we addressed in depth the theme of post-abortion healing. Two other members of our Priests for Life team were also invited: Janet Morana, co-founder of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, and Dr. Theresa Burke, who founded Rachel’s Vineyard.
The group met with Pope Benedict, who said in his address, “It is necessary to provide the necessary help to women who sadly have already taken recourse to abortion, and who now experience all its moral and existential tragedy. There are many initiatives, at the diocesan level or through individual volunteer entities, which offer psychological and spiritual support for a complete human recovery. The solidarity of the Christian community cannot give up this type of co-responsibility.”
He also had strong words about the responsibilities of doctors:
“Doctors cannot fail to defend against the deception of the conscience of many women who think they will find in abortion the solution to family, economic, social difficulties or to the problems of health of their children. Especially in this last situation, the woman is convinced, often by the doctors themselves, that abortion represents not only a licit moral choice, but that in addition it is a necessary “therapeutic” act”.
He also said doctors are to “Continue affirming that abortion does not resolve anything, but that it kills the child, destroys the woman and blinds the conscience of the child’s father, often ruining family life.”
The Pope expanded on the idea of fathers by saying:
“It would be useful to focus attention on the fathers of the children, who often abandon pregnant women. It is the duty of the moral conscience to discern good from evil in the different situations of existence.”
While men can’t have abortions, they do commit the sin of abortion. The “abandonment” of which the Pope speaks often consists in the man saying it is the woman’s choice. This makes her feel alone and desperate, and increases the temptation to abort. The man, instead, is called to stand with the woman and the baby and say, “we can do the right thing.”
Finally, the Pope reminded us all that “It is necessary that the whole of society defend the right to life of the conceived and the true good of the woman, who never, under any circumstance, will be fulfilled in the choice of abortion.”
As one of many entities of the Vatican – essentially a bioethics council for the Pope and the Church — the Academy for Life represents a key concern of the Church. You can follow its activities and publications at www.AcademiaVita.org.
On March 19th, the Church celebrates the Feast of Her patron, St. Joseph. Though not the biological father of Jesus, Who was born of a virgin, Joseph was His protector and the faithful husband of Mary. Joseph is a model for all fathers today. Essential to fatherhood is the protection of one’s children. One of the main reasons for abortion is that the mother does not experience the supportive, faithful encouragement of the baby’s father. Often, the only “choice” in the matter is the abortion that the father forces on the mother. At other times, fathers tried to stop the abortion, but the law excludes them from the final decision about the abortion.
Men do suffer grief after the abortion of their child. Healing programs are available for these fathers. Contact priestsforlife.org for more information.
For some 18 years, under the leadership of Canadian psychiatrist Dr. Philip Ney, the Society of Centurions has existed to provide a mutually encouraging fellowship of those who have used their professional skills to kill children by abortion, but now have ceased to do so.
Like the Centurion who, upon taking part in the death of Jesus, repented and declared, “Surely, this was an innocent man,” so the Centurions of today, having partaken in the deaths of unborn children, have repented and declared, “Surely, these were innocent lives.”
But what happens next?
These individuals need healing, and a helping hand to walk the difficult path of re-humanizing the children they killed by re-humanizing themselves. The Society of Centurions provides this path to healing through powerful seminars that gather and guide such former abortion providers.
Priests for Life is playing a key role in announcing and fostering this healing. We invite those who are in the abortion industry to come out. We invite those who have come out of the abortion industry to contact us and to discuss their options for healing and wholeness.
We also invite those who know anyone who may benefit from the Centurions to likewise contact us.
And let’s pray for all these men and women, that the peace of Christ may be theirs.
Today is the Feast of St. Faustina, to whom Jesus revealed the wonders of divine mercy.
Many of you pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Did you know that this prayer was given to St. Faustina especially because of the sin of abortion? God revealed to her that because of this evil, the world needs His mercy more than ever. He even permitted St. Faustina to suffer special pains, representing the pain of abortion. In 2003, Pope John Paul II, who had a deep personal devotion to the Divine Mercy, issued a special papal blessing to all who pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for an end to abortion, for mothers who abort, and for the conversion of abortionists. You can obtain the full text of the blessing at priestsforlife.org.
On September 29, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. Raphael means “God Heals.” This is the angel of whom we read in the book of Tobit, whose father was healed of blindness through the angel’s help.
Today, let’s pray to Raphael to heal the many wounds caused by abortion in our world, and to bring those who have committed abortion to the peace and forgiveness of Christ.
Let’s also ask Raphael’s intercession to heal the blindness of all who think it is OK to let children in the womb be ripped apart by abortion, or who are not motivated to do something to save these vulnerable lives.
Raphael the Archangel, bring God’s healing to our nation, that we may become a culture of life.
In the Lord’s prayer, we ask that we may be forgiven our sins “as we forgive those who sin against us.” We are asking the Lord to use us as an example of how readily and generously He should forgive our sins.
He is more eager to forgive our sins than we are. This should not only give us confidence, but should help us inspire confidence in those who despair. One of the hardest sins to confess is abortion. And even there, the Lord is ready to pour out His mercy on those who repent.
Nothing can minimize the horror of abortion, and nothing can justify it. Yet countless people come each day to the cross where they find that even this sin is washed away in the Blood of Christ.
Today we celebrate the Birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We rejoice that this woman was chosen by God to be His own mother.
In our day, we need Mary’s presence and example more than ever, because so many mothers are afraid to be mothers, and so many opinion-makers in our society have forgotten what motherhood really means.
Let’s honor Mary today by offering special prayers for all who are pregnant and afraid, especially those tempted to abort their child. Pray that they find new hope and strength in the one who said “Yes” to God’s plan.
Pray also for those who have aborted their children. Pray that on this day, Mary herself will comfort them, and point them to her Son, in whom there is forgiveness and life.
The Christian Faith advances through testimony. Jesus gives testimony to the Father; the Apostles give testimony to the Resurrection; Paul gives testimony to his conversion; Augustine gives testimony in his Confessions; you and I give and receive the testimony of how Jesus changes the lives He enters. That is why the Silent No More Awareness Campaign is so powerful and necessary. Men and women wounded by abortion and then healed are speaking out about the lie of abortion and the power of Jesus. They are giving testimony to why life must be protected. The power of their testimony is calling many to repentance and healing. If you feel called to give a testimony about your abortion, or know someone else who does, contact us at priestsforlife.org.