IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT, Resources, Freedom, and Hope
My Dear Friends in Christ,
Greetings to you, and peace in our Lord Jesus Christ. There's a great deal to cover in this newsletter, but be sure to read all the way to the end for an
about the future of the Respect Life Office here in the Diocese of Eastern Washington. Rest assured, I'll try to make the road to the end interesting.
As we celebrate Armed Forces Week this month, I find myself thinking about Freedom. It's a word that gets thrown around on a regular basis in this country, but I often think that perhaps we use the wrong definition. Our modern world tends to define Freedom as "I get to do what I want." The problem with this definition is that, to put it bluntly, it's wrong. According to this definition, it's an act of Freedom if I take meth because "I chose to, and I wanted to." However, anyone who's ever been addicted to
will tell you that there's nothing "Free" about throwing my life away if I choose to take meth.
So what is Freedom then? For that, we must turn to an older definition: "Freedom is choosing the Good until it becomes first possible, and then effortless." To put it another way, it's Freedom
something; Freedom to be the best versions of ourselves; Freedom from that which threatens our fundamental human rights; Freedom to live life to the fullest; Freedom which glorifies God because, in the words of St. Irenaeus, "The glory of God is man fully alive."
For generations, brave men and women have fought and died to uphold this Freedom. They sacrifice their youth, their time, their health, and their day-to-day liberties; some even make the ultimate sacrifice. They do this so that we might live in a land Free from tyranny, where we have the Freedom to live our lives to the fullest and to protect the Freedoms of others.
So I ask you: Do we make the most of this Freedom?
I am a student of military history. I am proud of the Armed Forces of our nation, who follow a legacy of noble warriors which stretches back to Biblical times. I am honored to live in the country they sacrifice so much to defend... and I am ashamed that our country fails to defend its children from itself. While soldiers fight and bleed to defend Freedom, we deny the most basic of Freedoms, that of Life itself, to the most vulnerable of amongst us. It moves me to tears even as I write this.
But I will not make the mistake of giving into despair. Why? Because too many brave souls have offered themselves up to the cause of Freedom for us to allow their sacrifices to be wasted. And it is not just our military which has made this offering, but civilians as well - people like
who have fought for Life in the trenches of legislation, street corners, and daily acts of compassion. God promises us, "See, I am coming soon; my reward is with me, to repay according to everyone’s work," (Rev. 22:12). God shall not allow Justice to be absent from we who pray, work, and sacrifice for Truth. We shall not fail in our quest to restore this most basic Freedom to our country, for God is with us, our stronghold and our shield.
Jesus Christ has conquered death. The victory is ours. Death just doesn't know it yet. Here below are signs of this great victory:
Tops the Charts
The movie the Pro-Choice media didn't want to air hit top 5 in its opening weekend and maintained
in the top 10 the following weekend; an impressive feat for any movie, but stunning for a Pro-Life film. Who knows how many hearts and minds have already been changed?
It's worth mentioning that, around the time
was making waves in theaters, the
40 Days for Life Campaign
that inspired it had already
saved 374 lives!
And they were just getting started!
A great part of the movie's success is likely down to how honest it is. It shows the real people, both good and bad, on both sides of the abortion debate, neither sanctifying the Pro-Life movement nor demonizing Pro-Choicers. It's also brave enough to show exactly how ugly abortion really is.
The rawness of the film has already begun to advance the debate. As
Bishop Baron puts it
, "In 1850, lots of good and thoughtful people defended the institution of slavery. Now, only insane people would. In 2019, lots of decent and thoughtful people defend the pro-choice position. One can only hope that these recent laws, and this viscerally disturbing film, will hasten the day when only insane people would."
echoed the sentiment, noting that the success of
which only trailed mega-budget films like
in the box office, "demonstrates just how much demand there is for continuing the conversation on a more personal and human level."
Ohio. Georgia. Missouri. South Carolina. Alabama. The list goes on. All around the country, states are fighting to pass bills which protect the lives of unborn children as soon as heartbeats are detected. From
's Gov. DeWine signing the protections into law in April to Georgia's boldness to the
Senate passing their bill just today, the Pro-Life cause is advancing all across the nation. While there is still vast room for improvement on all fronts and while some legislation is less than perfect, these recent successes, especially after such debacles as New York's policy of infanticide, are tremendously heartening.
Healing After Abortion, Homilies and Ministry
Pro-Lifers are often accused of only caring about the child. Sadly, that has sometimes been the case. But to be truly Pro-Life is to care about the child
the mother; in fact, for
who has been involved. That includes caring for those who are post-abortive: mothers, fathers, grandparents, siblings, friends, even abortion providers. It is vitally important that such compassion be shown on all levels, including the pulpit.
The USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities has published
these Project Rachel resources
to help bring the ministry of post-abortion healing to the pulpit. Follow this link to see more about
, and this link for
Rachel's Vineyard Spokane
Final Announcement: Change and Goodbyes
One of the fundamental realities of life is change. Sometimes the changes which come aren't the ones we hope for, but we take comfort in knowing that all is within God's permissive will.
In April I was informed that, due to financial and organizational considerations, the position of Respect Life Office Coordinator will not be continuing in our diocese.
I don’t know what the future will hold for the Respect Life Office and the Committee, and I don’t have the answers to the questions you no doubt have.
I'm very sad that it's come to this. I have loved this ministry, and it tears me up to leave it. It’s been a privilege to work with all of you; we have accomplished so much in such a short amount of time, and I am proud of what we have done together. I can only hope and pray that the many seeds we have planted will continue to bear fruit in spite of this.
And, as I am now without employment, I would be grateful if you were to keep me informed of any prospects you become aware of via my personal email, listed below.
We must always remember that God knows and plans for all things which befall us. Whatever comes from this, I know that He will bring forth blessings.
May God bless and keep you all, my brothers and sisters, and may we never lose heart! Victory is ours in Jesus Christ, and nothing can change that! It has been my honor to serve with all of you!
on Thursday, May 16, 2019 at 3:28PM