Letter of Farewell
Dear members of Quebec Life Coalition,
After five months of working here, the end of my term is shortly approaching. Prior to departing I would like to say a few things…
First of all, thank-you to all of my colleagues at Quebec Life Coalition! Though the battle against abortion is a tough and challenging one, the charming, joyful, and hopeful spirit of all of you has helped keep me strong amidst the difficulties that we encounter in the pro-life field. It has been a pleasure working with you.
To all members and donors whom I have met: I will always remember your smiling faces, your endurance and faith, as well as your dedication to the pro-life cause. I hope you continue to attend the Quebec Life Coalition events and spread awareness of the injustice of abortion to those around you. I want to thank-you for all your acts of kindness and generosity.
I have learned so much over the course of the past five months, but what has shaped me far more than the knowledge acquired are the personal stories of pro-life warriors, post-abortion testifiers, couples and families, previous abortion industry employees, converters to the Christian faith, and all those whose lives reflect love, courage, and faith (and there are so many of you!).
Finally, I can assure you that the pro-life cause will always be in my heart and I will continue to do the best that I can to defend the lives of the unborn. I will be starting a program in Education in Ottawa this September and I look forward to joining the Students for Life club at the University of Ottawa.
I leave you with a prayer, one that I find helpful in times of discouragement or distress:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.
- Proverbs 3 : 5-6
God bless all of you! Stay strong!
-Agnès Colantuoni1 reaction
"Warriors of Life" picket in front of the Russian Consulate in Montreal
Last Saturday June 2nd at 1pm there was a pro-life gathering in front of the Russian Consulate (3685 Avenue de Musée) in Montreal in support of the “Warriors of Life” campaign to end abortion.
The "Warriors of Life" is an international anti-abortion movement whose campaign aims to prohibit abortions in Russia, Ukraine, USA, Poland, and Canada.
On June 1st 2012, the “Warriors of Life” picketed in front of the United Nations Headquarters in New-York. The same day (June 1st) the Center for Bioethical Reform organized a picket in front of the Russian Embassy in Washington, DC to support the letter that the “Warriors of Life” wrote to Vladimir Putin "requesting an Institutional Court investigation into the legality of abortion-permitting clauses. According to the legal analysis done by 'Warriors of Life', these clauses are unconstitutional."
Due to the poor weather conditions, the gathering in Montreal in front of the Russian Consulate was not as large as I expected. We were a group of five people. The organizer brought several images of aborted children with slogans in French, English, and Russian stating “Abortion – Genocide.” Together, we wore those images around our necks and stood in the rain facing the oncoming traffic.
This was the first time that I held signs with photos of aborted children in front of the public. I have spoken to several people about the use of graphic images, and, needless to say, the opinions are diverging (even within the pro-life field).
On the one hand, some claim the images are shocking, violent, and disrespectful both to the public and to the babies whose bodies are being displayed.
However, one must consider the fruits of such an act to decide whether it is worth it or not. Does displaying abortion imagery reveal the truth to those who are “pro-choice”? Are photos an unparalleled way to convey the horrors of abortion? Can lives be saved by doing this?
I think the answer to all these questions are yes, yes, and yes again. Every day in the news we are shown shocking photos of dead civilians, starving children, diseased people, road accidents, and other brutal acts. Advertising campaigns against smoking display awful images to warn people against the dangers of cigarettes. Museums in memory of the Holocaust show photos of its victims in order to inform people of the extreme violence that was done against humanity.
These photos impact us at an emotional level that cannot be attained through words alone. When one talks about the dismemberment of fetal body parts, does it compare in the least to the photographs we see of an aborted child? Upon recognizing the arms, legs, organs, and face of that little child, everyone is faced with the reality of abortion just as it is (no Photoshop used here!) I invite you to read these two articles in defense of the use of graphic images:
1) “Defending the use of Graphic Images” by the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform
2) "The use of graphic images: Re-thinking pro-life strategy” by Priests for Life
The second article also includes a list of historical examples of the use of graphic images in other social reform movements. I hope the people that turned and saw our abortion signs on Saturday remain shocked by our images. In the same way, I believe all pro-lifers should be shocked time and time again that such atrocities continue to exist (and are even encouraged) in our society. Sometimes I forget that the work we do involves a constant defense against the murder of innocent infants- seeing the bodies of these little children reminds me that the work is not over and that we cannot be idle while these crimes continue to occur on a daily basis.Be the first to comment.
Happy Feast of the Visitation!
Today, May 31st, some Christians celebrate the Feast of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary to her cousin Elizabeth. Here is the Gospel reading from Lk 1:39-56
Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, "Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled."
And Mary said: "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. He has shown the strength of his arm, he has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he has remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children for ever."
Even before birth, Jesus was already bringing life and joy to Elizabeth, her son John, and the Virgin Mary. John the Baptist "leaped for joy" upon Mary's arrival.
Notice that Elizabeth tells Mary "Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb." She is the first to recognize Mary as the Mother of God. The beauty of this day is that a wonderful encounter took place between four souls- one that gave happiness and hope to everyone.
Following Elizabeth's example, I pray that expectant mothers be filled with the same courage and faith as her. Following Mary's example, I wish that all women be filled with the grace of accepting God's will and trusting His plan, especially when faced with a difficult pregnancy.
Happy Feast of the Visitation!Be the first to comment.
The Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians does NOT support Euthanasia or Assisted Suicide
From the blog of Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, I bring you this good news:
The Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians (CSPCP) recently published a paper opposing the legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide and instead promoting the development of palliative care in Canada.
A survey of the CSPCP also shows that a majority of its members do not support euthanasia or assisted suicide.
CSPCA Euthanasia Survey Results
The Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians (CSPCP) represents nearly 300 member physicians who provide care to the dying. Our mission is to advance the quality of life of our patients and their families. The survey used the definitions and glossary of the Quebec National Assembly for clarification and standardization.
Definitions are as follows:
Euthanasia - "An act that consists of deliberately causing the death of another person to put an end to that person's suffering."
Assisted Suicide - "The act of helping someone commit suicide by providing the means or the information on how to proceed, or both."
Almost half (46%) of CSPCP members responded to the survey, and the overwhelming majority were OPPOSED to the legalization of euthanasia (88%) or assisted suicide (80%).
* 90% of responding members would not be willing to participate in the act of euthanasia.
* 83% of responding members would not be willing to aid in assisted suicide.
Based upon the survey results, the Canadian Society of Palliative Care. Physicians strongly oppose the legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide at this time, and most of its members are unwilling to participate in euthanasia or assisted suicide.
Thank God for the decision of the Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians! We need more doctors that adhere to the values of compassion and care.Be the first to comment.
March for Life Youth Conference on Friday, May 11th, 2012!
To all Montreal Youth: come to Ottawa for this year’s exciting Youth Conference!
Location:Hampton Inn Ottawa, 100 Coventry Road There will be fantastic pro-life speakers, workshops, and opportunities to meet with other youth.
To sign-up please contact 416-204-9749 or e-mail [email protected]
Registration: $45/ per person (call for special group rates)
Breakfast, lunch and one coffee break included.
Schedule of events
7:30AM- Mass (Hampton Inn)
8- 8:30AM- Registration & Breakfast
8:30- 8:45AM- Music (by Gethsemane Ministries) and Welcome by John-Henry Westen,Editor and Co-Founder of LifeSite News
8:45- 9:30AM- Plenary Address, Alissa Golob, Campaign Life Coalition Youth
9:30-10:15AM- WORKSHOP (choose one of four amazing workshops to learn more about various topics pro-lifers are faced with today in an intimate and interactive setting. To see the list of speakers and topics click here)
10:15- 10:45AM- Coffee Break
10:45- 11:30AM- WORKSHOP 11:30- 12:30PM- Plenary Address, Pam Stenzel, Chastity and Motivational Speaker,Founder of Enlighten Communications
12:30- 1:30PM- LUNCH
1:30- 2:15PM- Plenary Address, Fr. Bouquet, President of Human Life International
2:15- 2:30PM- Wrap-Up
PLEASE JOIN US FOR THIS GREAT EVENT!!!Be the first to comment.
Important announcement: change in departure time for bus to Ottawa on May 10th!
For the March for Life on May 10th, Quebec Life Coalition has decided to accelerate its bus departure to Ottawa.
Please note the following changes: we will leave from Central Station at 7 a.m., and there will be a second stop at Fairview Shopping Centre at 7:30 a.m. Thank-you!
Thursday, May 10, 2012
--7a.m.: departure by bus for Ottawa (point of departure: Central Station, 895, de la Gauchetière West, Montréal, QC, H3B 4G1).
--7:30a.m.: second point of departure at Fairview Shopping Centre (6815 TransCanada Highway, Pointe-Claire, QC, H9R 1C4).Be the first to comment.
Pro-Life Triduum: May 8, 9, and 10, 2012!
The Triduum is three days of prayer, reflection and action for the cause of Life and Family, en route to the May 10 March for Life in Ottawa. JOIN US FOR A WONDERFUL CELEBRATION OF LIFE! “Building a Culture of Life and Family in Canada"
Join the event on Facebook »»
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
•6:30 to 7:30p.m.: Rosary & Adoration at the chapel of the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Mary (80 Laurier Avenue East, Montréal, QC, H2T 1E8).
•7:30p.m.: Mass at the chapel of the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Mary (80 Laurier Avenue East, Montréal, QC, H2T 1E8).
•8:30p.m.: Eucharistic Procession (led by Father Couturier & Father Boquet, president of Human Life International) around Park Lahaie (1 Saint Joseph Boulevard East, Montréal, QC, H2T 1H2).
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
•11:30 –1:30p.m.: Lunch for priests of Montreal with presentations by Father Boquet , Raymond de Souza, & Brigitte Bédard (Buffet Vichy, 7205 Newman Boulevard, Montréal, QC, H8N 2K3 – parking included). Buffet menu.
•4p.m.: Adoration at St. Patrick’s Basilica (454 René Lévesque Boulevard West, Montréal, QC, H2Z 1A7).
•5:15p.m.: Mass at St. Patrick’s Basilica (454 René Lévesque Boulevard West, Montréal, QC, H2Z 1A7).
•6p.m.: Pizzeria Dinner with presentations by Father Boquet , Raymond de Souza, & Brigitte Bédard (Restaurant Il Focolaio, 1223 rue du Square-Phillips, Montreal, QC, H3B 3E9). À la carte menu.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
•7a.m.: departure by bus for Ottawa* (point of departure: Central Station, 895, de la Gauchetière West, Montréal, QC, H3B 4G1).
•7:30a.m.: second point of departure at Fairview Shopping Centre (6815 TransCanada Highway, Pointe-Claire, QC, H9R 1C4).
•10 a.m.: bilingual mass at Notre-Dame Cathedral (385 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, ON, K1N 1J9).
•12:00p.m. : gathering on Parliament Hill
•1:30p.m.: March for Life
•4:30p.m.: return trip to Montreal *To purchase bus tickets to Ottawa, please contact 514-344-2686. The cost for the round-trip ticket is $30.
MEET THE SPEAKERS!
Brigitte Bédard is an independent journalist, researcher, and speaker. How can modern feminism be liberated of its erroneous conception of women? Interest in the history of feminism brings us face to face with the problems of modern feminism – an ideology which imprisons women by imposing its values, conception and customs on women first and then on the entire society.
Father Shenan Boquet:
Father Shenan Boquet is president of Human Life International, the largest international pro-life organization in the world. Father Boquet has given numerous presentations and conferences on the dignity of the human being, the nature of marriage, social justice, and moral theology. He has led retreats and educational seminars on the Theology of the Body, the Bible, and other theological subjects. Father Boquet has appeared on EWTN and Ave Maria Radio.
Raymond de Souza:
Raymond de Souza is the founder and director of Saint Gabriel Communications, Australia's first international outreach to promote Catholic apologetics. He is the program director for Portuguese speaking countries for Human Life International - HLI - and of the Sacred Heart Legion in the United States. As an internationally renowned speaker, Raymond has given more than 2,000 talks over twenty-five years in defence of Catholic social teaching and apologetics. Raymond and his wife Theresa have been blessed with eight children.Be the first to comment.
How safe is abortion? Visit Abortionsafety.com
I invite you all to visit a new US pro-life site, abortionsafety.com. I am impressed with the work that has gone into collecting data for this site. Abortionsafety.com seeks to raise awareness of the risks and dangers of abortion for women. The site includes a compilation of many abortion malpractice cases recorded across the United States.
Women considering abortion should take a look at this site beforehand as it highlights many of the potential problems following abortion. The website includes a map of the United States- you can click on the state you live on or may travel to for an abortion to check if any of the clinics or doctors in the area have been accused of malpractice.
Abortionsafety.com also discusses alternatives to abortions and makes references to organizations that can help you locate a pregnancy resource centre across the U.S. Now if only there were something like this in Quebec...
More than ever, Quebec needs Quebec Life Coalition. This spring, Quebec Life Coalition needs you. Thank-you for making a donation.Be the first to comment.
Pregnancy Centre in Chateauguay: Spring Give-Away Event on April 14th, 2012
A special notification for all mothers and pregnant women in Chateauguay, Québec:
The local pregnancy center, Options, will be giving out clothing for children aged 0-3, baby supplies, toys, and maternity clothes to pregnant women and mothers in need on April 14th, 2012, between 10a.m. and 1p.m.
Their address is 25 Anjou Boulevard, Chateauguay. First-come, first served There will be coffee and cookies. For more information please call 450-699-4357.Be the first to comment.
Two former sex workers speak up against the legalization of brothels
Today in the Montreal Gazette an article was published presenting the viewpoints of two former sex workers in response to Ontario's recent brothel ruling.
Though the feminists' camp is split on the issue of prostitution, I think it is important to listen attentively to the testimonies of these women who admit having been hurt and victimized by prostitution.
“This isn’t a choice and it’s not a job,” said Julie (not her real name). “There’s no more security in doing this inside a bordello.”
"The violence against women is not on the street, it’s between four walls,” said Marie. “There are escort services, massage parlours, all operating now with organized crime and street gangs. Bordellos will be the same.”
Notice that Marie (not her real name) clearly calls prostitution "violence against women." The fact that Marie and Julie had to appear incognito infront of the press, covered with hats and sunglasses, reveals that these women feel imminent danger of harrassment and stigma.
The issue with legalizing bordellos is not only that it will fail to protect women from sexual predators - it will also give power to the consumers, making them feel that they have a right to use the bodies of others for their own pleasure, thereby giving them greater authority to abuse the 'commodity' they have paid for.
Finally, Marie and Julie both emphasized the fact that bordellos will lure in a great number of young girls which may dramatically increase the number of underage prostitutes.
"Bordellos will attract the young, the thin, the cute – and the laws making solicitation a crime will still target the older, less attractive women on the street", Marie said.
“Minors are going to still be in prostitution and their numbers will increase,” said Julie, who was a sex worker from 16 to 18.
I thank these two women for voicing their concerns and expressing the pain of their personal experiences. I hope that more women (and men) who have suffered from the damage of prostitution will speak up against this terrible issue which scars our society.Be the first to comment.