What a rich and blessed legacy we have!
Granted, these past months, our attention may have been less on the more sublime matters of our faith and spiritual tradition than on worldly events, such as:
- The events surrounding the US presidential election;
- The Great Reset; and
- The Coronavirus and talk surrounding its lethality, its treatment, public policy response.
Yes, these and other similar events can obscure this legacy. Yet is our age any different from previous ones with their own distractions?
By legacy, I am thinking of our rich faith tradition, which has been handed down to us through the centuries.
Consider the visual arts. Our museums, our churches, and our Christmas cards all depict the wonder of our redemption. The nativity, for instance, has inspired a hoard of artists to represent the birth of Our Lord Jesus, a vulnerable infant child.
A second example of this legacy is the written record amassed over the centuries.
Many theologians, poets, historians and others have been effected by the birth in Bethlehem and the subsequent life of Jesus Christ, to encourage others in writing to lead moral lives and to share the good news of God made flesh.
Consider, for example, the following passage from a contemporary writer:
I heard a saying which has often been repeated in recent years, “We have not to fear a strong Islam in Europe but a weak Christianity.” This is our problem. … our answer to Islam must be to increase our convictions in the Catholic faith, to nurture a virtuous and chaste life, faith in the uniqueness of Christ, in the reality that there is no other way to salvation outside the Church, and that all who are not Christians and who are Islamic have to know Christ and, by God’s grace, freely accept Him. It is our duty to tell them this with love, not with violence; with love, but with conviction. We have to be deeply convinced Christians. We have to foster and nourish in ourselves the spirit of martyrdom, and develop the beauty of a chaste and virtuous life. One of the best and most efficacious means of radiating the Catholic faith and of evangelizing is given when our young people, our families, or priests radiate integrity of the moral life. - Bishop Athanasius Schneider. Christus Vincit.
*** To Quebec residents, for any donation of $100 or more, I will gladly mail you, as a gift, a copy of Mgr. Schneider's Christus Vincit: Christ's Triumph Over the Darkness of the Age.***
I find this passage relevant not only in my defense of the unborn child but also in regards to the Christian apologetics for not infrequently I exchange with pedestrians on matters of faith when I pray near the abortion facilities downtown.
For instance, you may be surprised how often I am told by the people I meet that Muslims and Christians worship the same God.
I try “with love, not with violence; with love, but with conviction” to profess the triune nature of God. Jesus is not a prophet but the second person of the divine trinity.
Next, I can identify with “the spirit of martyrdom” as I take a public stand for life and faith.
In these instances, a "beauty" settles over me; i pray “radiating integrity of the moral life.”
This holiday period, a time when we meet and exchange with near and dear ones, I wish you a renewed joy contemplating Our Lord’s rich legacy and allowing this truth radiate its beauty to those about you.
p.s. Many of you support us, either occasionally or on a regular basis. Your aid permits our efforts to foster a culture of life. All are welcomed during this Advent/Christmas period to express this support again. During this fundraising campaign, we have so far received 1,880$ towards our 7,500$ goal. Thank you!1 reaction
Quebec Commissioner of Health, Joanne Castonguay (Photo : Twitter)
By email and mail
November 18, 2020, +JMJ+
880, chemin Sainte-Foy, suite 4.40
I am writing to you as President of the Campagne Québec-Vie / Quebec Life Coalition, a non-profit association that aims to make its contribution so that Quebec can once again become a Christian society that protects faith, family, and life, from conception to natural death.
I learned from an article in La Presse that the Minister of Health, Christian Dubé, had mandated you “to examine the performance of the health network, especially elder care, during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic” and that this study would be similar to a commission of inquiry, less punitive powers.
Your mandate as defined by Mr. Dubé suggests that this spring’s fatalities are all caused by the coronavirus, and that your work will consist solely of identifying gaps in the health care system that would explain why our seniors and other vulnerable people have not been sufficiently protected from a deadly virus. However, we believe that this assumption of a very lethal virus from which we would not have been sufficiently protected is not the only one, nor even the most probable one. We are therefore writing to encourage you to consider, in your report, other scenarios that would better account for the increase in “all-cause mortality” observed in Quebec this spring.
In our opinion, the vulnerable people who died in Quebec this spring in unusually high numbers are not only, or even for the most part, dead from a virus with a case-fatality rate close to that of a strong seasonal flu; they mostly died for other reasons, including the following:
- Gross neglect caused in part by an acute labour shortage in long-term care facilities, which was in large part the result of a media scare campaign that created panic among long-term care employees; 
- A stressful situation caused by isolation and other health measures, weakening the immune system of people who are already very fragile, and making them more likely to succumb to what in normal times amount to relatively benign illnesses; 
- A triage policy for seniors, denying them, during the crisis, access to hospital services that were normally available to them; 
- Contamination of senior care facilities by sick elderly people who have been evacuated from hospitals (to “free up” 7,000 beds, including those of 1,400 patients who were still sick), in anticipation of a “wave” of “higher priority” patients that never materialized; 
- A suspension of several surgeries and other interventions, again in order to “free up” beds to deal with the crisis; a pause in care that may have indirectly caused several deaths this spring; and 
- The establishment of euthanasia-like protocols. 
Commissioner, you will be required to table a report on how the crisis was managed by the end of summer 2021. We believe that the credibility of your report can only be strengthened if you do not stick to the implicit assumption imposed by government authorities that the emergency measures put in place this spring including the lockdown have “saved lives”. It is our earnest hope that your report will take into account the aforementioned hypothesis, which we believe is more plausible, that health measures, far from having protected the population, actually contributed to the hecatomb : by stressing our seniors, resulting in a fall of their immune systems; by exposing them to patients expelled from hospitals and laden with nosocomial viral loads; by isolating them and making them lose their will to live; by causing their famine and dehydration in care homes from which a large number of long-term care center employees fled in panic because of the fear-mongering campaign by government authorities and the media, and finally by euthanizing them under the guise of “palliative care” made necessary by lack of access to hospital care.
Commissioner, a huge task lies ahead of you. We wish you all the courage and strength you need to successfully complete it. It goes without saying that in addition to offering you our logistical support in your endeavours, we are committed to praying for you and your team, hoping that your work will bear fruit, not only for the sake of the Quebec health care system, but also so that justice will be done for elderly and vulnerable people for whom the deaths this spring were in many cases perfectly preventable.
Georges Buscemi, president
Quebec Life Coalition
This letter has been published on the Campagne Québec-Vie / Quebec Life Coalition website (https://en.cqv.qc.ca) and sent to various organizations and media.
Electronic copies of this letter were also sent to the following individuals:
- Marguerite Blais, Minister responsible for Seniors and Informal Caregivers ([email protected])
- Pascale Descary, Chief Coroner ([email protected])
- Christian Dubé, Minister of Health ([email protected])
- Christian Lépine, Archbishop of Montreal
- Alex Schadenberg, President of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
- Dr. Patrick Vinay, President of Living with Dignity
 Source: https://www.lapresse.ca/ actualites/2020-08-19/ covid-19-la-commissaire-a-la-sante-fera-enquete.php, consulted on November 18, 2020.
 According to the data from the Institut de la statistique du Québec (see https://www.stat.gouv.qc.ca /statistiques/population-demographie/ deces-mortalite/nombre-hebdomadaire-deces_an.html, consulted on November 18, 2020), there was indeed excess mortality in spring 2020 in Quebec. In fact, from year to year we observe a seasonal cycle of death rates, with the rate increasing in winter (with the flu season and other respiratory diseases) and decreasing in summer. In Quebec, approximately 1300 people die each week (186 per day). In 2020 this fluctuating and seasonal mortality rate drastically increased in April, which coincides with the Covid 19 crisis in the province. It is therefore tempting to conclude that these deaths were caused by the coronavirus. However, in our opinion, this is an erroneous conclusion, as we will explain later.
 The mortality rate from seasonal influenza is estimated to be 1 in 1000 affected people (see: Fauci, Lane and Redfield , online at: https://www.nejm.org /doi/full/10.1056/ NEJMe2002387, accessed Nov. 18, 2020) while the median covid 19 infection fatality rate is between 2 and 3 in a thousand, according to Ioannidis, John PA (2020), online at : https://www.who.int/bulletin/ online_first/ BLT.20.265892.pdf; accessed November 18, 2020 (Back-up link, here).
 There are good reasons to believe that the official figure of 6,710 deaths “due” to Covid 19 as of November 18, 2020, is significantly inflated. For more information on this “statistical inflation”, read the comments of Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi, Dr. Horacio Arruda, etc., quoted in the following article, from the section entitled Gonflage statistique des décès dus au covid ?: https://www.cqv.qc.ca/ libre_opinion_sur_la_pandemie_2020 - gonflage, consulted on November 18, 2020.
 Among many examples, there is the situation at the Herron and Sainte-Dorothée residences, as described in this article from the Journal de Montréal: https://www.journaldemontreal.com/ 2020/09/23/ les-problemes-de-personnel-ont-engendre-lhecatombe, consulted on November 18, 2020. Another example from the documentary Mourir dans l’angle mort produced by Radio-Canada, which described the situation in the Herron residence as follows: “31 deaths, but, above all, residents found lying in their feces, without care, dehydrated and starved due to a lack of staff. (This quote ends at 9 minutes 42 seconds in the documentary available at the following address: https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=S8dhFPfTWP4, consulted on November 18, 2020.)
 On the significant impacts of stress on mortality observed during spring 2020 in different communities, see Rancourt, Denis (June 2020) : https://www.researchgate.net/publication/ 341832637_All-cause_mortality_during_COVID-19_ No_plague_and_a_likely_signature_of_mass_ homicide_by_government_response, consulted on November 18, 2020. This article has been translated in French here: https://lesakerfrancophone.fr/ mortalite-toutes-causes-confondues- pendant-la-covid-19, consulted on November 18, 2020.
 An example of such a protocol can be found here: https://www.lapresse.ca/ covid-19/2020-04-18/ un-plan-de-triage-pour-faire-les-choix-dechirants, consulted on November 18, 2020.
 At the beginning of the crisis, Health Minister Danielle McCann announced having “freed up” 7,000 beds, including 1,400 patients sent to CHSLDs and other institutions, thereby exposing thousands of vulnerable people to contagious, nosocomial and other diseases. See Mourir dans l’angle mort at 1:49 : https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=S8dhFPfTWP4, consulted on November 18, 2020)
 Many Western jurisdictions, in Canada, Sweden, and France, have implemented long-term care facility protocols in times of pandemic that are, in reality, disguised forms of euthanasia. See the following articles for Canada: https://www.cqv.qc.ca/ mort_de_faim_et_de_soif_a_cause_des_mesures_ anticoronavirus, Sweden: https://www.cqv.qc.ca/suede_euthanasie_ dans_les_maisons_pour_personnes_agees_protocoles_eugeniques, and France: https://www.medias- presse.info/gouvernement-et-coronavirus-ouverture-a-leuthanasie-deguisee-en- recommandant-des-usages-letaux-du-rivotril/119441/, each consulted on November 18, 2020.1 reaction
15 Hearing this, one of his fellow guests said to him, Blessed is the man who shall feast in the kingdom of God. 16 He (Jesus) answered him thus, There was a man that gave a great supper, and sent out many invitations. 17 And when the time came for his supper, he sent one of his own servants telling the invited guests to come, for all was now ready. 18 And all of them, with one accord, began making excuses. I have bought a farm, the first said to him, and I must needs go and look over it; I pray thee, count me excused. 19 And another said, I have bought five pair of oxen, and I am on my way to make trial of them; I pray thee, count me excused. 20 And another said, I have married a wife, and so I am unable to come. 21 The servant came back and told his master all this, whereupon the host fell into a rage, and said to his servant, Quick, go out into the streets and lanes of the city; bring in the poor, the cripples, the blind and the lame. 22 And when the servant told him, Sir, all has been done according to thy command, but there is room left still, 23 the master said to the servant, Go out into the highways and the hedge-rows, and give them no choice but to come in, that so my house may be filled. 24 I tell you, none of those who were first invited shall taste of my supper. (Luke 14:15-24)
This Gospel passage reminds me of the just completed Forty Days for Life prayer vigil for the end of abortion.
The Quebec Life Coalition has consistently organized 40-day vigils since the spring of 2009 - one during Lent and the other straddling the month of October, the month dedicated to the holy rosary.
Much like the host of the great supper in the above passage, the QLC has sent out many invitations for persons and groups to join us for the purpose of witnessing for life.
Again, much like the scriptural passage many have not heeded our invitations, for one reason or another.
As servants at our Lord’s table, we trust in His Providential care for us and for all His little ones.
Much like the servants in the Gospel passage, into the streets and dark spaces of Montreal we went and invited others.
As the twelve hour per day “40-Day for Life” vigil ends, so resumes the two-hour per day Vigil 365, our continuous presence at the intersection Berri and St-Catherine Streets, in downtown Montreal, where five abortion facilities are situated in close proximity.
On one day, I witnessed three women entering a building suspected of were heading to the abortion facility.
The great supper mentioned by the evangelist Luke refers to the heavenly banquet that awaits us all if and only if we heed the invitation.
Our presence, our signs, our cross all beckon pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists alike to share in this banquet.
… bring in the poor, the cripples, the blind and the lame.
Joyfully our voices are being heard and acted upon by others... the homeless in the area.
- Francis, young and homeless, came to humbly honour our six-foot cross.
- Pierre, homeless, who carries the entirety of his possessions in an army surplus bag and who begs at the entrance of the Metro entrance, day after day, has shared his alms with those of us present.
- Gabrielle, who offers her charms, brims with joy as I give her a Miraculous Medal.
- Karen, homeless, rushes over to him to kiss me, joyful that a motorist had stopped to give her a $20 bill.
- Claudi and Lucie, both homeless and have a walking impairments, come to see us regularly to ask for alms and to chat.
These are the treasures of the Church who have accepted Our Lord’s invitation to the great supper.
Yet, Scripture tells that there are still places left to be filled.
Do you wish to partake of it? Do you know someone who can be invited?
Our Lord wishes that his house be filled. What is stopping each one of us to fulfill our Delight’s wishes?
Your brother in Christ Jesus,
Quebec Life Coalition
p.s. The Quebec Life Coalition depends entirely on the good will of our readers to continue our work. If you living circumstances permit, kindly consider making a financial gift.1 reaction
The Lord encounters us ever anew, through the eyes of the men and women who reflect his presence.
- Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s Deus Caritas est.
In last month’s newsletter, I wrote to you about our low turnaround rate while sidewalk counselling in downtown Montreal. Most women and couples who come to the abortion facilities either dismiss our intercession or are unaware of it and carry through with their abortion.
Since this publication of that newsletter, I have received many heartening responses - by phone, email, or snail mail. Thank you to all those who called and wrote consoling and supportive words.
In addition to these, Our Lord has consoled me in yet another way.
Shortly after the publication of that newsletter, I came across an article by the Italian actor Pietro Sarubbi, who portrayed Barabbas in Mel Gibson’s film “The Passion of the Christ”. ("He played Barabbas to Jim Caviezel's Christ and the encounter changed his life")
Sarubbi’s message is timely as it illustrates how God uses eye contact to touch souls.
Writing about the scene in which he, in the role of Barabbas, briefly meets Jesus’ eyes just before descending the stairs after being released by Pilate, he shares:
While I was playing Barabbas, the Holy Spirit used one man to look at another man. Now it’s clear to me; it was perturbing and unsettling then... Later on, I read (Pope Emeritus) Benedict XVI’s encyclical Deus Caritas Est, in which there’s a phrase that expressed very clearly what had also happened to me: "The Lord encounters us ever anew, through the eyes of the men and women who reflect his presence."
The Italian actor and teacher then adds:
This is precisely God’s method: to look at people through the eyes of other people. This explained what was inexplicable to me; I could not imagine that a simple actor playing Jesus could look at me in a way that turned my soul upside-down. From that moment on there was a change in my personal, human, and professional life, because when you’re captivated, you’re captivated in every way.
Sarubbi's experience encourages me to become docile to Our Lord and so allow the women and couples I meet to be captivated by Him and be transformed.
And transformed to what? Sarubbi continues:
And from that moment on an entirely human challenge begins, because there’s no magic wand that transforms you; you remain exactly who you were, but you fall in love with Christ, and your life becomes an attempt to live up to that love. You remain with your sin and your smallness, but you’re enriched by the hope that through prayer you can walk without fear in a new direction.
Allowing the women and couples through me to encounter Christ and so bring love into their lives in hope and in a new direction.
Lord, may we be ever humble to allow you to increase in us so this he transformative love fosters a culture of life.
Yours in Christ Jesus,
Quebec Life CoalitionBe the first to comment.
Dear Friends of Life,
I trust you and your loved ones are doing well.
I need to make a candid admission.
I’m pretty unsuccessful at what I am doing.
I am referring here to the sidewalk work of convincing women and couples to forego their appointment to abort their child.
My mentor, Msgr. Philip Reilly, founder of Helpers’ of God’s Precious Infants, in Brooklyn, NY, was able to convince between 6 and 7 women out of every ten he met to keep their child!
On the other hand, I average between one and two… per year!
Given that I am present daily outside two abortion facilities, year-round, my stats are anemic, to be kind.
The following incident is typical. While praying with a partner, I noticed a young couple, early to mid-twenties, walking along St-Catherine Street eastward, approaching us, on the opposite side of the street, the side the court injunction prevents us from crossing onto. A handsome couple – the man bearded, tall and broad shouldered and she, smaller, petite.
My intuition alerted me correctly as subsequently the couple ended their walk outside the building in which the Morgentaler facility is located. There, they stopped, hugged one another, went their separate ways – she inside and he, continuing his walk down Berri Street towards René-Lévesque Blvd.
I am getting ahead of myself. As the couple was walking eastward along St-Catherine street towards the intersection with Berri Street and were not quite level with us, I greeted them with a wave of my hand and then in their direction flashed the sign strung around my neck and resting on my chest, the one promoting the pregnancy help service.
The couple noticed. First the gentleman and then the young woman looked at me and then the sign, exchanged a few words between themselves. That was about all.
No passion. Had there been some passion, some outburst of indignation at my presence, at my gall to “interfere” in their private lives, then I would have felt some hope for saving the life of the unborn child.
No passion, only indifference. Their hearts had turned to stone.
Having done the humanly possible and failing, I knelt, calling upon God to spare this couple from the grief and regret over a choice they can never reverse, and to preserve the life of the innocent unborn child.
The traffic light changed, the couple crossed the street and continued their way towards the abortion facility. During the rest of their walk, one then the other looked back in my direction, she more so than him.
Variations of this scenario happen daily.
I need your help in two ways:
- Pray that God blesses these encounters with special graces to soften hearts and
- Send me your prayer needs.
Concerning the latter, I believe that by bringing these your spiritual needs to modern day Calvary, grace will flow in ways that are both mysterious and miraculous. What do you think?
My personal email address is noted below and I will keep these confidential.
We form part of a mystical body. Let us support one another in prayer during this earthly pilgrimage.
Yours in Christ Jesus
p.s. Your financial support helps us continue this ministry. Thank you.Be the first to comment.
Vigil 365 Update - Great News! A Turn-around! This past week, while praying near two local abortion facilities, we met and spoke with a couple scheduled to abort their child. After our exchange, they decided otherwise. Today their child lives. Awesome! Please, keep this couple in your prayers.
Did you happen to notice a few weeks ago a huge sigh of relief?
I cannot be certain, but I believe it came from Montrealers responding to Premier François Legault’s announcement that the confinement measures were being relaxed.
The timing could not have been better coinciding with the warming weather and our desire to go outdoors to enjoy the wonders of spring in good conscience: longer daylight hours, blossoming tulips and lilacs, the verdant landscape, and … rainbows. We were blessed.
This reprieve is that much sweeter as it contrasts with not only with the harsh sanitary measures we have just lived through, but also the tragedy befallen our elderly.
The 70+ crowd suffered much these past few months in nursing homes. Understaffed wards, undernourished and dehydrated, poor hygienic care, solitary confinement are among the litanies of sorrows they underwent. Many of them died.
Though controversy surrounds the numbers of those who perished due to Covid19, none exist about the suffering and deaths experienced by our elderly. Righteous anger has been expressed by both the public and the media and our governments are only beginning to redress these wrongs.
Those of us trying to establish a culture of life are encouraged by the calls to help these vulnerable people. Yet, at the same time, we cannot help but wonder why another vulnerable group is subject to indifference and injustice.
Women who are either post-abortive or wrongly thinking of aborting their child are being denied important truths about abortion.
Will a society that awakens to its neglect of its elderly continue to neglect the harm that abortion does to women?
Abortion does harm women. Researchers are steadily producing new studies showing the adverse complications that abortion has on women.
Why are the media not producing these findings? Why are our governments not legislating against abortion?
Women are exploited when they are not told the truth when they go into an abortion facility.
Women are exploited when society, the media, social services, and our political leaders – deny or are unwilling to deal with the science of abortion.
The documentary Hush illustrates these points.
Producer Punam Kumar Gill sought to sort out for herself the conflicting claims she heard about the impact of abortion on women.
Ms. Gill who describes herself as pro-information, focuses on three critical health issues for women – breast cancer, premature births, and psychological damage.
This past January, while in Washington, D.C., I saw a twenty-minute segment and was impressed by its professional quality. Computer generated images illustrated the growth of the lactic cells during pregnancy and the dangers of an artificial interruption due to abortion. It explained how immature lactic cells could then mutate into cancerous cells.
The documentary provides scientific information, permitting women to reflect on the consequences of abortion. A preview as well as the full film may be seen here.
I intend to purchase several copies to offer to those of you who wish to buy a copy. Also, I would like to arrange a community screening; please contact me using the return coupon and self-address return envelop in either case.
This way, as in the situation with our elderly, we can work to bring to light an important injustice.
p.s. If you can, please consider supporting our work with a one-time gift, a regular monthly gift, or a planned gift. Thank you.Be the first to comment.
I trust you and your loved ones are having a blessed Easter season.
And quite an Easter season, it has been… and continues to be.
Constraints have been placed on our movements. We all need to stand two meters apart from one another; many have lost jobs; and most are restrained by stay-at-home orders.
Yet our most important movement goes unhindered - our walk with Our Redeemer and his Blessed Mother.
This movement takes on an additional significance in the month of May as we honour our earthly mothers as well as our Heavenly Mother.
Pope Francis has shown us the way by introducing two prayers for this purpose, asking that we add these in combination with our recitation of the Holy Rosary. Also, the bishops’ conferences in both Canada and the U.S. have likewise honoured the Mother of Our Lord by inviting all bishops of both countries to reconsecrate their dioceses to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church.
Deservingly she is our mother. Selflessly she gave of herself from the moment she accepted to take on the role of being His mother, enduring many sorrows along the way – Simeon’s prophesy, the flight into Egypt, the three-day separation, His passion and death on the cross, the pieta, and His entombment.
Today our prayers are very much needed for all mothers to be similarly disposed to their children and to their families, a disposition that is direly needed as the following illustrates.
“The Anxiety about aborting alone in these pandemic times.”
The above headline appeared in a web story covering the experience of three women bemoaning their fate of not being permitted to abort their children with the reassuring presence of someone dear to them.
Background: The current social conditions' emphasis on hygiene have led abortion facilities to limit access solely to those using their services.
“I have an appointment tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. Going in alone and having to do the surgery alone is quite worrisome. I’m very anxious, I’m unable to sleep at night. It plays in my head, wondering how it will turn out,” said one woman.
Another woman, having experienced a previous abortion while being accompanied, immediately picked up on the different atmosphere in the waiting room. “There was some sadness. Having an abortion is an emotional experience, we experience trauma every time. It certainly helps having someone there with you.”
Finally, a third shared that “it’s not fun to go there alone. My partner, he has to wait in the car. He can’t go into the clinic. I don’t know what to expect. It’s the unknown. I have a lot of anxiety.”
These candid statements are quite disturbing. It shows a shunted sensitivity, excluding the tragic fate of their unborn child.
Why this dissonance in these women and in our society?
The story concludes in pretty much the way it began, misplacing the real tragedy of their experience. “We started talking among ourselves. There was a kind of solidarity that came out that, to be all women together. In the recovery room we also helped each other, we said to ourselves: “it’s normal for you to feel like that.” It’s reassuring to connect with each other.”
Two portraits of motherhood.
We have two portraits of motherhood: the blessed mother who with her fiat at the annunciation accompanies her son in His journey of redemption, embracing moments of joy and suffering and then these women whose superficial path and sense of malaise covers their sensitivity to the real tragedy and the real roots of their turmoil - the destruction of their unborn child.
May the culture of abundant life established by Our Lord find root in them.
Regular participant at the National March for Life in Ottawa, Montreal's Archbishop His Grace Christian Lépine is commemorating the National March for Life in two ways. In addition to celebrating a mass for the dignity of human life this Thursday morning on Salt & Light at 8 a.m., he has issued a three-minute bilingual video on the topic. For further information regarding the mass clic here or to view the video, clic here.
Be the first to comment.
Blessed Easter and Easter season greetings to one and all.
For good or ill, the COVID-19 pandemic is certainly shaping our lives.
First, it influenced our Lenten passage. It compelled all of us to deepen the appreciation of our faith – from the cessation of faith services and access to the sacraments, to the closing of churches entirely, and finally to the interruption of all public assemblies including faith-based gatherings.
Fortunately for the Quebec Life Coalition, our biannual 40 day prayer vigil for the end of abortion was in line with the government March 24, 2020, decree on restrictions as it reaches out to a vulnerable group - i.e., prenatal and postnatal women.
We at QLC believe that prayer outside an abortion facility is a vital service. We persevered in this observance, being present daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. We welcomed over a hundred different people over the span of the forty days, totaling over 450 separate visits of volunteers to pray and bring the pro-life message at the corner of St. Catherine and Berri Streets.
The pandemic will also shape our Easter passage.
In Quebec, our civic and religious authorities have imposed bans on public gatherings until the day after Easter, Sunday, April 12, 2020. And, earlier in the week, I learned that the ban has been extended for three additional weeks.
Faithful to these constraints, the faithful are persevering in their walk with Our Lord. For instance, I received three separate invitations to pray. First, a friend invited me to participate in a Jericho – a seven day prayer vigil wherein a certain prayer is recited daily, except the last day when it said seven times. Next, I was reminded of the Divine Mercy novena set to begin on Good Friday, April 10, 2020. Lastly, yet another a friend has asked me to recite the year-long Fifteen Prayers of Saint Bridget of Sweden.
Is the Isolation restriction necessary?
I raise the question for two reasons. First, a media news service, l’Agence Science-Presse (ASP), has ranked the severity of the coronavirus between that of the seasonal common cold and the Spanish flu of 1918.
Citing a South Korean study, the press release states that of the 140,000 Koreans tested for COVID-19, 6088 were confirmed carrying the virus and 6048 had recovered. Number crunching these figures shows a 99.4% recovery rate (or a 0.6 % morbidity rate).
The ASP then observes that the death rate from the common cold annually experienced by Americans is about 0.1%.
The same figures for the Spanish Flu (aka the 1918 flu pandemic) varied greatly from country to country with certain countries like Ireland experiencing a rate of 10%.
How severe the virus is in Quebec remains unknown for lack of figures. We do not know the number of people tested for the virus; the number infected; and the number who have died "from" the virus (versus having died "with" the virus).
Secondly, there is the advice of Dr. Dave Price, medical doctor at the Weill-Cornell Hospital in Manhattan. This 1400 bed hospital has turned its entire attention over these past weeks over to caring for people infected with COVID-19.
According to Dr. Price, respecting the following four rules will protect 99 % of the people from contracting the virus:
- Be aware of where you place your hands and use hand sanitizers liberally;
- Avoid hand to face contact;
- Medical masks are useful only if it helps in accomplishing the rule 3; and
- Distant yourselves from one another.
Interesting, Dr. Price does not advocate social isolation as our local leaders do.
Why is that? Should we not favour the experience of a doctor who works daily on the front lines or our leaders, the same leaders who have advocate a redefinition of marriage, who classify abortion as an essential service, who are increasing the criteria permitting our fellow citizens to end their lives through Medical Aid in Dying?
We pray that Our Lord, the chief advocates of a culture of life, awaken our leaders to a change of heart about the importance of life.
Be the first to comment.
Montreal’s 23rd prayer vigil for the end of abortion is underway.
At its outset, Our Lord has given three signs urging us onward.
First, at the opening mass, held at the cathedral, the Gospel reading from the evangelist Mark has Our Lord asking us to welcome his little ones.
They came to Capernaum, and when he was in the house he asked them, ‘What were you arguing about on the road?’ They said nothing because they had been arguing which of them was the greatest. So he sat down, called the Twelve to him and said, ‘If anyone wants to be first, he must make himself last of all and servant of all.’ He then took a little child, set him in front of them, put his arms round him, and said to them, ‘Anyone who welcomes one of these little children in my name, welcomes me; and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.’ (Mark 9:32-36).
And who are these little ones? Children, yes, but not only. Rather all those whom society rejects - the unborn child, the elderly, the demented, the many marginalized.
Joining us at the corner of St. Catherine and Berri Streets to stand and pray in solidarity with Christ’s little ones, from Ash Wednesday, February 26, 2020 to Palm Sunday, April 5, 2020, (the the Berri-UQAM metro station), daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. is a visible sign of caring. For additional information, call either (514) 344-2686 or (438) 930-8643.
Public witness is important.
Yes, praying individually or among peers, in a church or in a private home, is a worthy discipline during Lent as well as at other periods of the year.
AND public witness, at a busy thoroughfare, is another worthy discipline affirming life to persons unaware or in denial about God and unborn life. Our presence, our being seen plants seeds in the minds of our fellow citizens about the importance of life.
We need you, the unborn need you to be at the vigil location!
There is another important reason to show up - we save more lives than we realize. Abortion industry figures reveal that 75% of abortion appointments are cancelled when persons are praying outside an abortion facility.
The prayer vigil runs daily through Palm Sunday, April 5, 2020, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., at 505 Saint-Catherine Street East, metro Berri-UQAM.
The second of Our Lord’s three signs urging us onward came on the very first day of the vigil.
While awaiting the arrival of the metro, a young man angrily gestured towards me and the five-foot cross I was carrying and, further, as we exited the train at the same stop, he approached me and slapped the signs I was carrying out of my hand.
Doing Our Lord’s work, in this case defending the defenseless, entails engaging in the spiritual battle. We need to be prepared and armed as the apostle Paul emphasizes in his letter to Ephesians, chapter 6.
At times speaking gently to an angry person is our tool while at other times, responding with patience.
Again on the first day one of the prayer volunteers showed great patience. A young man either intoxicated or under the influence of narcotics or both, became belligerent when refused to be given an alms. His ire was provoked when he received the words that “Jesus loves him.” He became aggressive and remained so until police officers arrived to restore order.
The final of the three signs were the couples seen leaving the abortion facilities.
As we vigilate, I see the pedestrian traffic approaching the two abortion facilities located nearby. I notice couples and women entering and leaving the buildings several hours apart and wonder whether they have undergone abortions.
The Lenten season is upon us. Our faith tradition encourages us to pray, fast, and give alms.
Unborn life needs the support of your time.
Quebec Life Coalition
Along with Quebec Life Coalition President Mr. Georges Buscemi, I attended this year’s National March for Life and related events January 23-26, 2020, in Washington, D.C., and am blessed by the experience.
The U.S. National March for Life began in 1974, the year after the American Supreme Court legalized abortion nationwide in the Roe vs. Wade decision.
The four days and three nights in the American capital permitted us to visit with many people working diligently in the American pro-life movement, learning from their efforts and catching their enthousiasm.
An example of the latter occurred at the National Pro-Life Summit.
The National Pro-Life Summit, which takes place the day after the National March for Life, exists to equip and mobilize pro-lifers of all ages to engage in their communities to make abortion unthinkable and illegal.
Attendees heard many active in the pro-life movement describe their work in presentations fifteen to twenty minutes in length. Presenters included David Daleiden, from the Centre for Medical Progress; former Planned Parenthood Director Abby Johnson; Charlotte Pence, daughter of U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence; and many more.
Two themes ran through these talks – the conviction that Roe v Wade will be overturned, and the importance of being compassionate when helping women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy.
This optimism and enthusiasm were in part due to the presence of American President Donald Trump the day of the march, the first President to attend. He gave the inaugural speech to a larger than customary crowd of marchers.
Back to Reality - Despite the unbridled hope, the visit to D.C. also reminded Georges and me of the current reality that needs to be traversed.
Prior to attending the Pro-Life Summit, we accompanied our host to the local Planned Parenthood abortion facility where twice a week she volunteers as a sidewalk counsellor.
Sidewalk counseling refers to the practice of standing on the sidewalk outside an abortion facility in order to bring the message of life and hope and to speak of alternatives to abortion minded women and couples going inside. Some sidewalk counselors also do post-abortion counselling.
Unlike here in Quebec, where the law prevents us from getting within 50 meters of the abortion facility, in D.C. no such distance exists, pro-lifers can stand on the doorstep. Georges and I saw women and couples file in and out, a sign of the killing of the innocent that continues in our societies.
Our four days and three nights in the U.S. capitol were a tremendous blessing. We attended an exposition with upwards of seventy groups active in the pro-life ministry, stayed with a faith-based lay community, prayed with well over 5000 others at the Basilica National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception the morning of the march, marched with well over 300 000 people through the streets of D.C., heard testimonies of regret from women having had an abortion, prayed outside an abortion facility, and attended a Youth Conference.
As the start of Lent season is almost upon us (Ash Wednesday falls on February 26, 2020), why not add to your Lenten observance prayers of reparation for the crime of abortion.
Our prayer vigil for the end of abortion – 40 Days for Life, will begin on this same day.
With Our Lord at side and in union with the saints and angels, let us rout by the dark forces in this spiritual battle for life.
p.s. Your prayerful and financial gifts are always a welcomed sign of your support and an encouraging gesture to us.Be the first to comment.