Here at the Quebec Life Coalition - QLC, 2012 promises to be a busy year for all of us, full of events and activities promoting the cause of life in La Belle Province of Quebec.
Yes, that's right, for ALL of us, - those of us here in the office as well as those of you who support us through your time and prayers. Together we will be making our society, our cities a more humane place to live.
This goal will become more apparent as you read further about the series of events we are actively promoting. So sit back, remove your shoes and have a gander at what is in store and see how you can participate.
As disregard for the live of the unborn is the most in flagrant attack going-on in our society, our activities are biased in this respect.
For example, this month, we have begun to do direct intervention for the cause of the unborn. We have taken to the sidewalks outside a local abortion facility in an effort to stop the killing. Through our prayers and, whenever possible, peaceful intervention, we hope to offer a word of hope to and change the heart of the women who are thinking of aborting their infants.
This initiative is new with QLC, as we hope to build on the success that other communities have had in doing so.
As our familiar prayer site on St-Joseph Blvd. has a municipal ordinance preventing us from approaching any of the abortion facility's clients, we have relocated to one that does not have this interdiction.
More to follow.
40 DAYS FOR LIFE
A second activity, one also supportive of the weakest member of our society, will be our 40-day prayer vigils. As in 2011, the QLC is coordinating two public displays.
Of these, National campaign coordinator, David Bereit rightly calls these vigils successful as his figures attest:
1633 individual campaigns have taken place in 422 cities across all 50 American states and 13 countries;
More than 500 000 people have joined together in an historic display of unity to pray and fast for an end to abortion;
More than 14 000 church congregations have participated in the 40 Days for Life campaigns;
More than 1800 news stories have been featured in newspapers, magazines, radio shows and TV programs;
Reports document 5045 lived spared from abortion – and those are jus the one we know about;
Thousands of women and men have been spared from the tragic effects of abortion, and many have stepped forward to begin post-abortion healing and recovery;
61 abortion workers have quit their jobs and walked away from the abortion industry;
19 abortion facilities have shut down following local 40 Days for Life campaigns outside their doors.
Here in Montreal, we are currently preparing for our seventh vigil. This will coincide, as in years past, with the Lenten period - beginning Ash Wednesday - February 22, and concluding Sunday, April 1. Our first planning is only a few weeks away.
A planning meeting is Wednesday, January 18. Check of website or call our office for more details.
TOLL-FREE HELP LINE
These two examples dove tail well with an initiative begun in 2011 – The Help Line. This tool-free telephone number, suitable for both English and French-speaking Quebecers, provides confidential referral services to pregnant girls.
Call Toll Free:
By dialing one number, a woman undergoing a crisis in her pregnancy may receive valuable referral information. Questions about her health, governmental services, lodging, and other matters are answered by a caring, compassionate knowledgeable person.
Also, maybe the caller simply needs somebody to talk with or to be listened to. This too is available and is province-wide.
This QLC is the first pro-life francophone in all of North America providing this service.
In May, our focus at the QLC turns to the annual National March for Life Ottawa, scheduled for Thursday, May 12.
Organizers began meeting as early as this past September to work out the details of the event. There are two components to it – one local and the other in Ottawa.
National March for Life Ottawa
On Thursday, we then all head off to Ottawa. As in years past, the QLC will charter a bus. Particulars for the departure remain to be determined. Safe to say, that we have pick-ups from two locations – downtown and Fairview Shopping centre.
May is also the month of our yearly congress. In years these have been daylong events set in Quebec City. Plenary sessions, guest speakers and closing banquet are typical features found.
Details will follow.
WALK WITH CHRIST / WALK FOR CHRIST
The first Saturday of June is the date for the second annual Walk with Christ. This ecumenical event attracted a thousand participants last year. QLC as last year are involved in the planning of this event. Last year we car pooled to the event; we will do likewise this year unless numbers warrant the need for chartering a bus.
The event is featured on Facebook as are updates. Search under "Marche Chrétienne".
Another one of our regular involvements is the annual Life Chain. The first Sunday of every year over 15 000 communities across North America gather in solidarity to pray for the unborn. For an hour or so, signs in hands, posted intermittently along busy thoroughfares, we prayerfully stand in vigil.Be the first to comment.
The following trailer comes to us complements of Canada Silent No More, an organization founded in 2004 by Denise Mountenay with the purpose of helping victims of abortion. More information about their purpose may be found here.
Listen to testimonies from women damaged by legal abortions.
See evidence on how abortions are hurting women physically and psychologically... worldwide studies expose the link to depression, substance abuse, suicides, sterility, pre-term births in subsequent pregnancies and Breast Cancer!
Hear doctors testify on the fact that abortion is more harmful to women then giving birth to their children.
So why are we PAYING for this procedure that harms women and children?
We are sending copies to every MP and some MLA's...Can you help us finance this project? Go to www.canadasilentnomore.com and give to promote LIFE and HEALTH for women & children. Rev. 12:11,12, Prov. 31:8...Be the first to comment.
I’m writing to solicit your prayers… on three fronts.
First, Denise (I've modified the names in this blog to maintain confidentiality) emailed us with kudos for our toll-free telephone line. She recently came across it and regrets that she had not seen a year ago, when she was pregnant. At time, pressured by family and others, she aborted her child, a decision that she painfully regrets . Please keep her in your prayer intentions.
Also, Jay called our office this morning seeking support. His girl-friend found out yesterday that she is pregnant and aborting their child is a possibility, despite the fact that Jay and his family want the pregnancy to continue. Yesterday she has belligerent with him and has isolated herself. Also, the start of an out-of-province internship is weighing on her. Your prayers for both Jay and his girl-friend are needed.
Finally, we welcome your prayers regarding a larger project. Next Monday the pastoral council at the Marian shrine Our Lady of the Cap – Trois-Rivières, will be convening in a special session to discuss whether to designate itself as a prayer centre for post-abortive women.
Aspects of this ministry include becoming a depository for post-abortive stories and a healing ministry. The agenda also includes sponsoring a national prayer campaign for post-abortive women.
A prayer of the following form will also be discussed:
Prayer for the Respect of Truth and Life
O Most Holy Virgin Mary, your Divine Son Jesus forgave the adulterous woman as the crowd was about to stone her. The Word incarnate protected her with the words “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”
Blessed Mother, we men and women wish to follow in Your Son's footsteps both in praying and in deed for the cause of Truth and Life. In the image of Our Lord Jesus, with open arms we lovingly welcome all those who have participated in the interruption life at a time when Love and Truth was absent from their lives.
Blessed Mother, this fault afflicts their consciences and causes undue suffering. We humbly ask you to intercede with you Divine Son Jesus that He shed upon them the light of his mercy through reconciliation with your Church.
We solicit your prayers and sacrifices on these three fronts.
- Denise has expressed a desire to do volunteer work with us. Further she has ok'ed the suggestion of sharing her story, whether on-line or elsewhere. Once I translate her testimony, I'll post it.
- A follow-up telephone call to the young man - Jay, whose girl-friend was thinking of having an abortion did not reveal any hopeful sign. She has remained uncommunicative with him. What news he has is through a mutual friend. The latter informs him that she has gone on her intership and an abortion is most likely. We continue our prayers for her (and him) as she deals with the after-effects of abortion.
- Finally regarding the marian sanctuary in Cap-de-la-Madeline, the discussion on whether to include in its apostolate a ministry to post-abortive women has been tabled to its next meeting - February 23, 2012. Your prayers in this matter, as in the others, are requested.
Over the past few days a couple of articles have appeared stirring on Parliament Hill the embers of the abortion debate. These are:
- On Tuesday the following story care out: "Canadian MP calls for debate in Parliament". Click here to read more about the views of Jeff Watson member of parliament for Essex, on this topic.
- Also on Tuesday, we find the similar view in "Evangelical leaders call on Canadian Parliament to open abortion debate."
In addition to these are two others that treat the issue in Prince Edward Island.
- "P.E.I. pro-life group kicks off 'show the truth' campaign" discusses the work that pro-lifers are doing to address misinformation on the topic.
- And finally, a CBC report on the same topic is available here.
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Click here to catch Msgr. Cyprien Lacroix, archbishop of Quebec City, being interviewed and addressing issues related to promoting a culture of life.
The Primate of Canada emphasized that parochial and sacremental tasks are needed to foster a more Christ-centered view which in turn will bring about greater respect for life in our society.
The hour-long interview was conducted by Fathers Tom Lynch and John Lemire, animators at Priests for Life Canada. The Priest for Life Canada home page may be found here.
This is part of an on-going series that interviews movers and shakers of the canadian pro-life movement. Previous guests include Alex Schadenberg (Managing Director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition), Michele Smillie (Respect Life Office of the Archdiocese of Vancouver), and Monica Roddis (Life Canada). These and other interviews may be found here.
The live radio broadcast is done on the first Tuesday of each month, airing on Rado Teopoli - 530 AM. On the other hand, the recording may be heard at any time thereafter.
Free CD recordings are also available and may be useful for instructional purposes.
Enjoy.Be the first to comment.
As we celebrate the arrival of the Christ Child, it is also with delight that we learn and welcome the news of the first infants born in 2012.
Montreal beats out other communities from across Canada. Yet to whom attribute the distinction remains uncertain.
At a quarter of a second past midnight, Tyler Sephen Wilson saw the light of day at the Royal Victoria Hospital. His parents - Teresa Howick Wilson and Andrew Wilson, were thinking of spending a quiet evening at home in front of the TV to welcome 2012. Not so, instead they found themselves welcoming not only the new year but also their third child - in additon to a three year-old son and a six year-old daughter.
At about the same time and a little east, Isabel Palacios was giving birth to her second child. Nurses at the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital with iphone in hand noted that Jose Palacia Zapata arrived shortly after his infant peer on the slopes of Mont-Royal - at two seconds into the new year.
As the clocks are not synchronised, it is difficult to decide which of the two boys gets the title of Canada's first born.
Meanwhile on the northern side of the Mont-Royal, at Saint Mary’s Hospital Centre, Montreal was being graced by the arrival of yet another infant. At four seconds past the stroke of midnight, the daughter of Ms. Mathanakala Theivendran and Sivakumar Sivapatham was born, a healthy 5 pounds, 4 ounces.
Mothers and infants in all cases are doing well.
The following listing of the new births from across the country comes from Global News:
|Royal Victoria||12:00:0025 a.m.||Tyler Stephen Wilson|
|Maisonneuve-Rosemoint||12:00:02 a.m.||Jose Palacio Zapata|
|St.Mary's||12:04 a.m.||daughter of Ms. M. Theivendran|
|Quebec City||12:02 a.m.||James Ouellet-Sénéchal|
|Medicine Hat||12:04 a.m.||Grace Olivia Ketcheson|
|Edmonton||12:04 a.m.||Alyza Venice Badival|
|Toronto||12:01 a.m.||Ming-Shio Zhang|
|Winnipeg||12:09 a.m.||Noah Nicholas Nehemiah Ishalook|
|Saskatoon||12:13 a.m.||Kostya Sorokotiaguine|
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The text below was taken from Kozlowska, Alicja. "Love One Another" magazine. 20th issue, Dec., 2011. Pp. 33-37.
Bernard Nathanson (1926-2011), a university professor at Cornell and a professed atheist, was one of the world's leading pro-abortionists. He relentlessly pursued the legalization of accessible and low-cost abortion in the United States. In 1968, Nathanson became founding member of the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL). He ran the biggest abortion clinic in the States and claimed responsibility for 75,000 abortions. He later confessed that this number included his own unborn child whom he killed with his own hands. Buh there took place in Nathanson's life a miraculous change of heart and mind. The world's most prominent abortionist became a leading defender of the lives of unborn children. After many years of preparation, he was baptized into the Catholic Church.
Family home and school
His father, a professor of medicine and the son of Jewish migrants, had rejected Orthodox Judaism as a student. He did not believe in god, but only in a “superior power” (Nathanson, B. The Hand of God: A Journey from Death to Life by the Abortion Doctor who Changed His Mind. Washington, DC: Regnery, 2001, 109). His father’s nihilistic attitude and beliefs, which he instilled in his son, left a lasting impression on Bernard’s life and personality. Bernard grew up in a home in which the Jewish faith was not practiced, although its customs and traditions were maintained. His father’s hatred for Bernard’s mother further exacerbated the situation at home.
Bernard’s parents sent him to one of New York’s best schools (Columbia Grammar School), which was attended by children of the wealthiest Jewish families. Like his father whom he looked up to, Bernard rejected religion, believing it to be a useless complication in life – a millstone. Despite his lack of faith, Bernard’s father insisted he attend Hebrew school three times a week. There he learned Hebraic prayers by heart and became convinced that the Jewish religion was stern and unforgiving. “My childhood image of God,” he reflected years later, “was like the brooding, majestic, full-bearded figure of Michelangelo’s Moses. There he sat hunched, pondering my fate and on the point of pronouncing his inevitably damning judgment. This was my Jewish God: massive, leonine, and forbidding. (What a revelation it was to me when out of sheer frustration and boredom, while serving in the United Sates Air Force, I began attending an evening Bible study course and discovered that the New Testament God was a loving, gentle, and all-forgiving figure – one in whom I would seek, and ultimately find, the forgiveness I had pursued so hopelessly, for so long)” (27).
He began his studies at the prestigious McGill Medical School in 1945. In his fourth year, he was greatly impressed by a professor of psychiatry, Karl Stern. Stern was a wonderful teacher and distinguished scholar, and he was also a Jew. Nathanson worshipped him, impressed by his outstanding lectures and serenity of manner. He was unaware then that Stern had converted to Roman Catholicism in 1943, after years of contemplation, analysis, and reading. Stern described his experience of conversion in The Pillar of Fire, published in 1951. Nathanson was shocked when he read the book for the first time in 1974. The autobiography contributed significantly to his conversion to Catholicism. In the last chapter, Stern explains to his brother, an orthodox Jew, why he became a Catholic: “The Church is unchanging in her teaching. There is only one supernatural truth, just as there is only one scientific truth. What the law of Progress is for the perfection of matter, the law of Preservation is for spiritual matters. I remember when I showed you the papal encyclical about he Nazis. You were quite impressed, and you said: ‘It is as if it had been written in the first century.’ That’s just the point!” (44).
The satanic world of abortion
At a university ball in the autumn of 1945, Bernard met the captivating and innocent seventeen-year-old Ruth. They fell in love at first sight. They spent more and more time together and talked of marriage. Ruth fell pregnant. The pregnancy destroyed the lovers’ idyll. They did not want the child and decided to “do away” with it. After searching for a while, they eventually found an abortionist, who in the privacy of his clinic secretly performed the operation. Abortion was then still illegal. Once the child had been killed, Bernard and Ruth behaved like co-conspirators in an unimaginable crime that could not be mentioned. Years later Bernard recalled, “I am sure – despite her brave face, her loyalty, and love, her pragmatic evaluation of the whole sorrowful gestalt – I am sure that in some melancholy corridor of her mind lurked the questions: Why didn’t he marry me? Why couldn’t we have had this baby? Why should I have had to imperil my life and my future children for the sake of his convenience and academic schedule? Will God punish me for what I have done by making me barren?” (57)
For Bernard, questions of a religious nature were of no consequence at this time. He writes, the “stiff-necked Jewish atheist was already freezing into his mold” (58). He worried exclusively about Ruth’s health and future reproductive ability. They soon parted. This experience was Nathanson’s first journey into the “satanic world of abortion” (58).
In the mid-sixties, Bernard finished his residency in obstetrics and gynecology, and he stood at the threshold of a highly promising career. He already had two broken marriages behind him, both destroyed – as he later admitted – by his “own selfish egoism and inability to love” (58). He impregnated a woman who loved him very much. She begged him to let her keep the pregnancy and to have child. Nathanson was adamant: he demanded that she terminate the pregnancy because he could not afford to support a child, and that if she did not, he would not marry her. He suggested that he would personally abort the child. He terminated its life very professionally. He had no pangs of conscience, not even the shadow of a doubt that he was doing wrong. He was a doctor-abortionist and he had done his job well.
Before performing an abortion, neither Nathanson nor other doctors informed their patient of the risks attached of this procedure. After his conversion, he wrote: “now it turns out there may be a relationship between abortion and breast cancer; thousands of women have indeed been rendered sterile in the aftermath of a botched abortion; and the death rate of women seeking abortion after the thirteenth week exceeds that of childbirth. The arrogance of those practicing medicine has always been recognized as an ugly appendage of the profession, but the massive hubris of the abortionist was and continue to be astonishing.
“For every then thousand Ruths there is one abortionist: icy; conscienceless; remorselessly perverting his medical skills; defiling his ethical charge; and helping – nay seducing, with his clinical calm, his oh-so-comforting professionalism – women into the act that comes closes (sic) to self-slaughter. It is no accident that the next step in the perverse mutation of medical skills is to be played where the physicians are endowed by the state to assist, always in the name of compassion, in the act of suicide. How the world would have been changed had some misguided ‘expert’ in the calculus of suffering climbed up on the cross and fed Jesus a dose of hemlock within an hour of his crucifixion” (61-2).
In 1968, Dr. Nathanson became a founding member of the National Abortion Rights Action League, whose mission was to legalize abortion in the USA. After the legalization of abortion in the state of New York in 1970, Nathanson was nominated director of the biggest abortion clinic in the world. He admitted responsibility for performing 75,000 abortions. In an article written shortly before his conversion, Confession of an Ex-Abortionist, he described the tactics used by himself and his NARAL colleagues (and other pro-abortionists worldwide) to bring down all laws restricting abortion in the United States of America. We need to remember that in the sixties most Americans were against abortion. Within five years, thanks to an intensive marketing campaign, the specialist at NARAL succeeded in convincing the U.S. Supreme Court to legalize abortion on demand until the ninth moth of pregnancy.
“How did we do this? It is important to understand the tactics involved, because these tactics have been used throughout the western world with one permutation or another , in order to change abortion law” (Mallon J. Bernard Nathanson. 2009.).
The first tactical measure determining success consisted in convincing the media that the acceptance of abortion was a sign of enlightened liberalism. They knew public opinion polls would not support them. So they fabricated data based on fictitious polls: they informed the media that, according to the most recent polls, 60 percent of Americans were in favor of abortion; they reported as fact that 10,000 women were dying annually as a result of illegal abortions (the actual figure was 200 - 250) and that over a million of women were undergoing illegal abortions each year (the actual number was about 100,000). The continual and blatant repetition of big lies by the public media succeeds in convincing listeners. This propaganda campaign proved very effective. In just fiver years NARAL managed to convince a majority of society that abortion should be legalized a s quickly as possible.
The second tactical measure consisted in playing the so-called “Catholic card”. They continually vilified the Catholic church and its socially backward ideas, describing the Church hierarchy as hypocritical villains who opposed abortion in an effort to limit freedom of choice. This theme was repeated constantly. They fed the media various lies, such as, “Everyone knows that the clergy oppose abortion. Most lay Catholics favor abortion.”
The third measure was to make the propaganda campaign more believable by suppressing scientific evidence that human life began at conception. NARAL insisted that it was “impossible to determine when life begins; that the question – was - a theological or moral or philosophical one, anything but a scientific one. Fetology – the study of the beginnings of human life – makes it undeniably evident that life begins at conception and requires all the protection and safeguards that any of us enjoy”. ” (Mallon J. Bernard Nathanson. 2009.)
Nathanson writes, “As I look back across the twenty-five years separating me from that revolting extravaganza playing itself out on the bodies of pregnant women and their slaughtered babies, I am struck by the uncritical nature of the task we had set for ourselves, by the moral and spiritual vacuum at the core of this fantastic operation, by our unquestioned certainty on the high level of moral rectitude on which we operated. And yet, the thing was so obviously sordid. Why couldn’t we make the link between the ethical and the moral, between the shoddy practices and shabby practitioners, the evident greed and callous motivations: between the crassness of the enterprise and those involved in it, between all these ethical indictors and the grotesque immorality of the act itself?” (106)
In 1973, Nathanson became head of the obstetrics departent in St. Luke's hospital in New York. For the first time ultrasound equipment was installed there – an advanced technology that allowed the observation and examination of the fetus inside the mother’s womb. Ultrasound opened a whole new world to Nathanson. The gynecologist said, “For the first time we could really see the human fetus, measure it, observe it, watch it, and indeed bond with it and love it” (125). Ultrasound images made an incredibly strong impression on the viewer. With the introduction of ultrasound, Nathanson’s attitude to the human fetus changed radically: “With ultrasound technology we could not only know that the fetus was a functioning organism, but we could also measure its vital functions; we could weigh it and estimate its age, watch it swallow and urinate, view it in its sleeping and waking states and watch it move itself as purposefully as a newborn” (146). From then on, Nathanson was no longer convinced that abortions should be provided on demand. He dramatically cut down the number of procedures to those cases that he believed were medically justified. He performed his last abortion in 1979.
By 1984 he was starting to seriously question abortion. He wanted to know what actually happened during abortions. He had carried out so many of them - but always blindly, mechanically, thoughtlessly. He would insert an instrument into a uterus, turn on a machine, and it would proceed to suction out various shards of tissue. He needed to know what really went on. So he asked his friend Jay, who carried out twenty abortions a day, to switch on the ultrasound during the procedure and to record it. The friend carried out his request diligently. when he two men viewed the tapes in the editing studio they were so shocked that Jay vowed he would never again perform another abortion. "I was shaken to the very roots of my soul by what I had seen," Nathanson later wrote (141). For the first time he had witnessed the events that took place during an abortion and knew it for what it really was. The tapes were professionally reworked to create the film The Silent Scream. It was a documentary on a macabre crime committed against a most innocent and defenseless being. It showed a twelve-week old child in its mother's womb attempting to defend itself against an instrument that crushed it and tore it to pieces and another that suctioned it out. The film premiered in Florida on January 3, 1985; it caused a sensation.
Liberals were up in arms since the documentary was a great threat to the pro-abortion campaign. The liberal media tried to block any attempt at making the truth available to the wider American community. Televison networks refused to air the film, nor would they sell airtime for advertisements praising pro-life choices. Here was clear proof of the extent to which the media was dominated by people on the side of the culture of death.
Scientific facts opened Nathanson's heart; he accepted the incontrovertible truth that human life began at conception and that every termination of pregnancy was the murder of an innocent and defenseless human being. Dr. Nathanson changed his views on abortion on the basis of scientific considerations, not religious ones.
The road to the Catholic Church
Bernard Nathanson's spiritual journey towards a belief in God was a very difficult one. To start with, he discovered that human life was sacred from conception to natural death; only later did he come to believe in God's existence. "I was not seeking anything spiritual; my desires have been - for the most part - earthly and of the flesh, my goals concrete and tangible - and readily liquefiable into cash. To make matters worse, I was openly contemptuous of all this as a stiff-backed Jewish atheist" (187). The period 1978-1988 was a particularly trying period in his life. "I would wake up each morning at four or five o'clock, staring into the darkness, hoping (but not praying yet) that there would flash forth in the gloom the news of my acquittal before some invisible tribunal. After a period of fruitless waiting, I would turn on my bedside lamp, pick up the literature of sin (by this time I had accumulated a substantial store of it), and reread passages from St. Augustine's Confessions (a staple), Dostoevsky, Paul Tillich, Kierkegaard, Niebuhr, and even Lewis Mumford and Waldo Frank" (188).
Thoughts of suicide visited him more and more often. He could not bear the weight of his sins, particularly the thousands of abortions of innocent children. He tried treating his spiritual pain and despair with tranquilizers, alcohol, self-help books, and psychiatric counseling. Nothing helped. At the same time, he was becoming more involved with the pro-life movement. He lectured throughout the United States, wrote books, and became politically active. At pro-life rallies he would make it clear to the audience and organizers that the only thing uniting him and them was their shared opposition to abortion; on the question of belief in God, he remained aloof.
During these rallies and protests held in front of the abortion clinics, he could not help noticing an indefinable air of selflessness permeating the crowd. Though surrounded by police cordons, the faces of those gathered and praying there radiated pure love. They prayed tirelessly and kept reminding one another of the absolute prohibition against violence. "It was, I suppose, the sheer intensity of the love and prayer that astonished me; they prayed for the unborn babies, for the confused and frightened pregnant women, and for the doctors and nurses in the clinic. They even prayed fo the police and the media who were covering the event. They prayed for each other, but never for themselves. And I wondered: how can these people give of themselves for a constituency that is (and always will be) mute, invisible, and unable to than them?" (192).
The example given by these people led Nathanson to seriously entertain the possibility of God's existence. For the first time in his life, he writes, he began to consider the existence of God - " a god who problematically had led me through the proverbial circles of hell, only to show me the way to redemption and mercy through His grace. The thought violated every eighteenth-century certainty I had cherished; it instantly converted my past into a vile bog of sin and evil; it indicted me and convicted me of high crimes... and simultaneously - miraculously - if held out ... the growing belief that Someone had died for my sins - two millennia ago" (193-4).
Before embarking on a spiritual journey in seach of God, he began voraciously to read the autobiographies of great Catholic converts, inclusing Malcolm Muggeridge, Cardinal Newman, Graham Greene, as well as those of other orthodox Christians, such as C.S. Lewis, Walker Percy, and others. Yet he most closely identiied himself with the experience of his professor, Karl Stern, who described his fascinating spiritual journey in The Pillar of Fire. Nathanson admitted to being reduced to tears at each rereading of Stern's autobiography. "It has been my fate to wander the globe in serach of the One without Whom I am doomed, but now I seize the hem of His garment in desperation, in terror, in celestial access to the purest need I have every known. My thoughts return to the hero of my medical school years, Karl Stern, who was undergoing a spiritual metamorphosis at the very time he was instructing me in the arts of the mind, its orders, and its sources, and the words he wrote in a letter to his brother: 'And there was no doubt about it - toward Him we had been running, or from Him we had been running away, but all the time He had been in the center of things.. " (196).
Nathanson was aware that many people in the pro-life movement were praying for him. The spiritual change came about gently and naturally, bringing him relief and an inner peace. He began weekly sessions with Father McCloskey, who became his spiritual guide along the hard paths of faith. He publically spoke of his decision to convert to Catholicism in 1994. Cardinal J. O'Connor baptized him on December 9, 1996 at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York. Nathanson's Jewish friends welcomed his decision. Dr. Nathanson said, "In accepting Christ, I cherish even more the fact that I belong to the Jewish culture, people, and tradition. That will never change, and it is a source of great pride." From then on, he went to Holy Mass regularly, received the sacrament of confession frequently, and led a deep prayer life. In his role as a scientist - at countless conferences and in his books and films - he gave withness to the sanctity of human life, which is as sacred as God Himself, the giver of life. No one has the right to take another's life. The conversion of Dr. Bernard Nathanson, world-renowed abortionist and stiff-backed atheist turned devout Catholic and leading defender of the lives of unborn children, is undoubtedly one of the greatest conversions of the twentieth century.
When he visited Poland on October 10, 1996, he made a passionate apeal to Polish parliamentarians at a press conference at the Porczynski Gallery: "I beg you: do not take a single step in the directon of liberalizing abortion! History will never forgive you, I warn you: do not make the same mistakes we made in America. A vote for abortion is also a vote for euthanasia, for the killing of the aged, the crippled and terminally ill, for genetic experiments. It is the first step on a slippery slope, and at the bottom of it is the total dehumanization of life - the valley of death."
Editor's note: Dr. Nathanson passed away on February 21, 2011Be the first to comment.
Stephen Woodworth, MP for Kitchener-Centre, is calling for a debate on abortion. His comments were picked up yesterday by various media - see here for the Globe's story and here for the same of LifeSiteNews.com.
Further, if you wish to add your voice to Woodworth's, either via petition or by contacting your member of parliament, click here for more details.
It may be a good idea to do so, considering the Prime Minisiter, Mr. Harper, appears adamant at not opening the debate.
Recall: Canada has no legislation preventing a woman from terminating a pregnancy, at any time. This contrasts with many countries that haves placed limits. In England, for example, abortions are not permitted after 22 weeks after conception.
Woodworth is the fourth federal conservative to have voiced in recent times that Canada ought to revisit its legislation regarding the unborn.Be the first to comment.
We have come to the last week of our Advent Funding Drive. We are still somewhat far from our goal, but we still have time. First off, however, I would like to thank all who have given so far: your contributions will be put to great use in the year to come. And Lord knows there's a lot of work to do !
Recent events are reminiscent of a plot line from an apocalyptic tale. A Cardinal affirms right to life of the unborn and the local legislature retorts affirming the woman’s right to choose to kill her child in a 119 – 0 vote. This is the same legislature that affirms same-sex marriage and the right to adoption for same-sex partners, the same government that does away the teaching of Christian heritage by imposing a relativistic curriculum in our schools and in our day-cares, the same government that fully subsidizes artificial conception, contraception, fertilization and penalizes stay-at-home mothers. Orwellian Fiction? No, just Quebec society, circa 2011.
The family is attacked as are values for life. Yet the situation is not hopeless. A dedicated movement, of which the Quebec Life Coalition is part, is actively countering this nihilistic trend. How?
- We keep you abreast of these and other transgressions;
- We invite to participate in our public displays of protest;
- We petition authorities with our concerns;
- We annually organize conferences with key speakers for life;
- We network with like-minded people within and outside of Quebec.
Your role in all of this is important. Your prayers, presence and monetary support can all contribute in the outcome, as it has already done. As an old African proverb says, If you want to go quickly, go alone; but if you want to go far, go together.
So, to support life, the family, and the entirety of our society, we need to remain united and so move forward and grow. Thereby we will be able to establish a society of justice and respect for all people, from the womb to the tomb.
To this end, we call upon your help. Your continued prayers support us in immeasurably and inestimably. Your presence on our petitions or at our events lends witness to the other members of our society to important values. Finally, your financial contributions permit us to operate our offices and programs.
We need to work together in this. This is so particularly as another menace is at the gates: Though assisted-suicide was initially thumped in our legislature, it will surely rear its ugly head again and again and again until it forms part of the landscape, as it has in other nations. Will you fight with us to see that this does not occur?
Working together, we at the Quebec Life Coalition believe that 2012 will be a pivotal year in many of these areas. Thank you for your continued support.
Quebec Life Coalition
I wish to give birthday greetings to two important women in my life, both of whom are celebrating important milestones over the next few days. My mom is turning 90 on Sunday and Ms. Charlotte L'Heureux, 70 on Monday.
Charlotte is well known for her active, and often vocal, presence at our events, particularly the 40 Days for Life vigils. She is among a handful who has participated in all six Montreal vigils. God willing, she will be equally active this coming spring 2012 for the seventh.
It seems appropriate to share an amusing incident involving her who few, if any, are aware of and is indicative of her feisty and prayerful character on behalf on the unborn.
Near the end of this past vigil, she and I were praying at the site during the early morning hours. (Typically, we two frequently did the weekday 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. shift.) At about 8:30 a.m., a pro-abortion supporter familiar to us appeared with her home-made sign. This in itself was unusual because of the early hour; though dedicated to their cause, inclimate weather, cold temps, and early hours are usually deterents for them making an appearance at the vigil location. So we were both surprised.
Could this be a change in their approach to our presence, we wondered. We thought so, until a reporter showed up. What followed in the next fifteen or so minutes what a staged interview and photo op. I say "staged" for reasons soon to be understood.
As the two were preparing to leave and the reporter had not shown any sign of speaking with us, Charlotte sought her out. Until then she and I had kept a discrete distance from the other two. I presumed Charlotte wanted to express her two cents on the issue.
From afar I could tell things were not going the way she had hoped. Charlottle appeared flummoxed. She came back pretty miffed, uttering "biaisée" - i.e. biased. She huffed how the reporter did not want to interview her and told her that she did not believe in the viability of the unborn, referring to the fetus in derisive manner.
As a woman whose faith many can attest to, she looked squarely at me and urged me to prayer before she became any more angry.
May God bless you, Charlotte. Friend and foe, love you.
The other birthday celebrant is my dear mother. As already noted, she will celebrate the big 9-0 on Sunday.
How can I render justice to this woman, to you, my reader? Impossible. Mother, grand-mother, and great-grandmother, she is. Woman-of-faith, housewife, financially savy, the list can go on.
I owe my scholarly bent to her and to my dad my contemplative side, yet she is quite prayerful, though more cartesian than John of the Cross.
Her keen mind and physical health is something for all of us to hope for at her age. Thank you, God, for such a fine and dedicated mother.
Bonne fête, maman.Be the first to comment.