Archive for the ‘Motherhood’ Category

Today is the Feast of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

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.

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The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Today we observe the Queenship of Mary, acknowledging that the highest place that any creature holds in heaven is occupied by a woman and a mother. To be pro-life is to be pro-woman, and Mary the Mother of God is an example and inspiration for all women about how to embrace the vocation of motherhood, facing the unexpected and the unplanned with faith, courage, and joy.

Mary sums up her life in one word, “Fiat,” which means “Let it be done.” That’s what she said to the angel who told her she would be the Mother of God.

The pro-life movement is about helping mothers to say “Fiat,” helping them to love the child within them and to make the sacrifices that child deserves from us all. Mary, our Queen, pray for all mothers today.

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The Destinies of Mother & Child are Intertwined

Friday, August 12th, 2011

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.

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Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Friday, August 5th, 2011


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.

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The Daughter of St. Gianna Molla recently visited Priests for Life

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

On her first trip to the United States, the youngest daughter of Saint Gianna Beretta Molla visited the headquarters of Priests for Life in New York. St. Gianna died in 1962, just six days after giving birth to this daughter, Gianna Emanuela. St. Gianna, who was a physician, had a benign tumor, but insisted that the life of her child be preserved, even at the risk of losing her own. This act of self-sacrifice was the culmination of an entire life lived in the clear conviction that every human life is of unspeakable value, and is worth our sacrifice and protection. In her visit to Priests for Life, Gianna Emanuela thanked all pro-life activists for the work they do and invited them to take courage from the example of her saint mother.

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Saint’s daughter declares, “My mom’s life has been a hymn to life!”

Monday, July 11th, 2011

STATEN ISLAND, NY – Dr. Gianna Emanuela Molla began her first visit to the United States with a visit to the New York headquarters of Priests for Life on Monday, July 11th, to enshrine a photo and relic of her mother, St. Gianna Molla, a patron saint of the pro-life movement.

“God loved my mother very much,” Dr. Molla said while addressing the staff of the Catholic, pro-life ministry, but she added that “God chose her among many saint mothers. There must be many saint mothers in Paradise.”

St. Gianna Beretta Molla was a physician who grew up near Milan. When she and her husband, Pietro, were expecting their fourth child, St. Gianna learned she had a tumor in her uterus. She decided against a hysterectomy that would have saved her life but killed her unborn child. Gianna Emanuela was born April 21, 1962. Her mother died on April 28.

“I would not be here with you if I had not been loved so much,” said Dr. Molla, who lives near Milan.

Dr. Molla spoke of her mother’s upbringing in a very religious family. St. Gianna was the 10th of 13 children, five of whom died in childhood. Her younger sister became a nun and two brothers became priests. One of them, Father Alberto Maria Beretta, has been declared a “Servant of God” in the cause for canonization.

St. Gianna, born in 1922, was a deeply religious young woman who chose to become a physician because she saw it “as the most effective means of apostolate,” according to her daughter.

“All my mom’s life has been a hymn to life,” Dr. Molla said. “She died in the same exemplary way she lived. Her holiness represents something extraordinary…a holiness in which everyone can feel at home.”

Accompanied by Thomas McKenna, founder of the St. Gianna Physicians Guild, and Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, Dr. Molla hung a photo of her mother holding her sister, Mariolina, in the lobby of Priests for Life headquarters. Below the photo is a relic of St. Gianna – a piece of cloth from a garment worn by the saint.

The St. Gianna Physicians Guild encourages doctors to become pro-life advocates. McKenna said the guild enshrines photos and relics of St. Gianna in medical offices, and encourages doctors to become members. A lapel pin from the guild is often a conversation starter for a doctor and his or her colleagues. If someone asks about the pin “all you do is tell the story” of St. Gianna’s life and sacrificial death, he said. Father Pavone and Janet Morana, executive director of Priests for Life, were made honorary members of the guild.

“We need to show that faith and morality go together” for doctors, McKenna said.

Speaking of St. Gianna during Mass in the Priests for Life chapel, Father Pavone said, “the act of sacrifice she made at the end of her life was not an isolated act,” but the culmination of a life of piety.

In a homily focused on Jesus’ words “This is My body,” Father Pavone said that many mothers today say, “This is my body, I can do what I want, even if it means killing the baby. St. Gianna said, ‘this is my body, given to you.’ “

Dr. Molla said she came to know her mother through the memories of her father, who died last year at the age of 98. She was taught not to feel guilt over her mother’s death, and her siblings were reassured that the mother who was taken from them would have died for them as well.

“My mother chose to risk her life for me, but she always hoped God would save her life, too,” Dr. Molla said. “God prepared for my mother a bigger design. I am happy to share my mother with all those persons who are in difficulty.”

Dr. Molla will speak at events in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California and Nebraska. On July 23, she will participate in a conference in Kansas City, MO, organized by the St. Gianna Physicians Guild to address end-of-life issues.

For more information on her visit, please visit www.stgiannaphysicians.org.

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

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Room at the Inn

Monday, June 20th, 2011

Because so many young women feel forced to choose between their baby and their education, an organization called Room at the Inn is building the nation’s first college-based maternity and after-care facility, providing pregnant college women with the option of continuing their education while having their baby. This center will be built on the grounds of Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, North Carolina, where the Benedictine Monks donated the land. I am privileged to be speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony this morning. The moms will have the help of a twenty-four hour professional staff and a caring and supportive environment before, during and after their pregnancy, while being just moments away from the classes they can take, with credits transferable to their own college or university. This can be a model for similar initiatives nationwide.

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Abortion Shatters a Sacred Boundary

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

The Ninth and Tenth Commandments forbid us to covet what belongs to our neighbor, whether it be his spouse or his possessions. This commandment, in other words, requires us to limit our desires by respecting the boundaries between what is ours and what isn’t.

That is a sacred boundary that is completely shattered by abortion. The boundary between what is the mother’s and what is the child’s completely disappears. Some, for instance, will justify abortion because the mother has to get on with her life, but so does the child.

Some will justify it because the mother has freedom not to be burdened, but so does the child. And in denying that the child has the same freedom she claims to have, she destroys the meaning and foundation of her own.

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Miscarriage

Monday, June 6th, 2011

The wound comes from well-meaning people. “Well, it wasn’t that far along.” “You can always have another child.” “Lots of people go through this.”

Miscarriage is a tragedy that so many people misunderstand. They are not quite sure how to console a friend or relative who has suffered this loss.

While there are no magic formulas, there is one fundamental truth that needs to stay front and center: a miscarriage is the loss of a child who is just as real and has just as much value as any other child of any age. A woman who has a miscarriage is a parent who has lost a child, as is the father of the child as well.

In a society which continues to have a legal and cultural blind spot for the unborn, many suffer from the illusion that miscarriage doesn’t grieve a parent as much as the loss of, well, a “real child,” and that is precisely what hurts so much. We can never console someone in grief if we imply, even remotely, that the person they lost wasn’t real.

Dr. Byron Calhoun, President of the American Association of Pro-life Ob-Gyns, has observed that prior to 1970, the loss of a child before or during birth was often treated in medical literature as a “non-event,” but that now there is a growing awareness of the grief associated with such loss. In fact, Dr. Calhoun has developed a hospice program for unborn children.

As the medical community advances in sensitivity and understanding of these points, so must we all. Our love, our compassion, our sharing in the grief of such losses, can bring healing to the parents who have suffered miscarriage. The naming of these children who have died is one significant way of acknowledging their reality. The counting of these children matters too, so that if a parent is asked how many children he/she has, the child who died before birth is counted as one of them.

I recall the first pro-life billboard that we set up in 1990 here in our community of Staten Island, New York. It depicted a developing unborn child. One of the first phone calls I received about it was from a woman who had lost a child by miscarriage. “I can’t tell you how consoling your billboard is to me. Thank you.” That was all she said.

Perhaps the reason it was consoling was that someone was saying publicly what she knew privately: that was a real child. The life of that child matters, no matter how short it was. The death of that child matters, no matter how many may not cry. And the love I have for that child matters, even if nobody else knows.

Lord, comfort all parents who grieve the loss of their children of any age. Take them into Your loving arms, and give us strength until the day You give them back to us in heaven. Amen.

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The Visitation of Mary

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

In the first chapter of Luke, we read, “When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!’”

This is a marvelous encounter of two unborn children, one of whom was the Lord and the other the one who would announce Him to the world. Both of them had been specially announced and named by angels who appeared to their parents. Clearly, God gives us a calling before our birth, and is the One who prepares us for that calling. He has a relationship with children in the womb, and became one Himself. Why, then, should we be afraid to defend them and speak up for them?

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