Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Saint Juan Diego

 I took this from the Archbishop's Blog

Today's liturgical optional memorial is not found in our missals as it is of recent origin. His canonization by John Paul II took place a few days after the Holy Father concluded Toronto, Canada's World Youth Day, on July 31, 2002 in Mexico City.

Today's feast anticipates the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on Saturday, a day of prayer acknowledging the spirituality of the Native Peoples of America.

St. Juan Diego was born in 1474 in Cuauhtitlan, located 20 kilometers north of Mexico City.

On December 9, 1531, a native Mexican named Juan Diego rose before dawn to walk fifteen miles to daily Mass in what is now Mexico City. Juan lived a simple life as a weaver, farmer, and laborer. That morning, as Juan passed Tepeyac Hill, he heard music and saw a glowing cloud encircled by a rainbow.

A woman's voice called him to the top of the hill. There he saw a beautiful young woman dressed like an Aztec princess. She said she was the Virgin Mary and asked Juan to tell the bishop to build a church on that site. She said, "I vividly desire that a church be built on this site, so that in it I can be present and give my love, compassion, help, and defense, for I am your most devoted mother . . . to hear your laments and to remedy all your miseries, pains, and sufferings."

The bishop was kind but skeptical. He asked Juan to bring proof of the Lady's identity. Before Juan could go back to the Lady, he found out his uncle was dying. Hurrying to get a priest, Juan missed his meeting with the Lady. The Lady, however, met him on his path and told him that his uncle had been cured.

She then told Juan to climb to the top of the hill where they first met. Juan was shocked to find flowers growing in the frozen soil. He gathered them in his cloak and took them at once to the bishop.

Juan told the bishop what had happened and opened his cloak. The flowers that fell to the ground were Castilian roses (which were not grown in Mexico). But the bishop's eyes were on the glowing image of the Lady imprinted inside Juan's cloak.

Soon after, a church was built on the site where our Lady appeared, and thousands converted to Christianity. Our Lady of Guadalupe was declared the patroness of the Americas.

He died on May 30, 1548, at the age of 74.

Juan Diego deeply loved the Holy Eucharist, and by special permission of the Bishop he received Holy Communion three times a week, a highly unusual occurrence in those times.

Pope John Paul II praised Juan Diego for his simple faith nourished by catechesis and pictured him (who said to the Blessed Virgin Mary: “I am a nobody, I am a small rope, a tiny ladder, the tail end, a leaf”) as a model of humility for all of us.

Pope John Paul II's homily during Juan Diego's canonization

I thank you, Father ... that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, for such was your gracious will" (Mt 11:25-26).

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
These words of Jesus in today's Gospel are a special invitation to us to praise and thank God for the gift of the first indigenous Saint of the American Continent.

With deep joy I have come on pilgrimage to this Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Marian heart of Mexico and of America, to proclaim the holiness of Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin, the simple, humble Indian who contemplated the sweet and serene face of Our Lady of Tepeyac, so dear to the people of Mexico....
Today I address a very affectionate greeting to the many indigenous people who have come from the different regions of the country, representing the various ethnic groups and cultures which make up the rich, multifaceted Mexican reality. The Pope expresses his closeness to them, his deep respect and admiration, and receives them fraternally in the Lord's name.

What was Juan Diego like? Why did God look upon him? The Book of Sirach, as we have heard, teaches us that God alone "is mighty; he is glorified by the humble" (cf. Sir 3:20). Saint Paul's words, also proclaimed at this celebration, shed light on the divine way of bringing about salvation: "God chose what is low and despised in the world ... so that no human being might boast in the presence of God" (1 Cor 1:28,29).
It is moving to read the accounts of Guadalupe, sensitively written and steeped in tenderness. In them the Virgin Mary, the handmaid "who glorified the Lord" (Lk 1:46), reveals herself to Juan Diego as the Mother of the true God. As a sign, she gives him precious roses, and as he shows them to the Bishop, he discovers the blessed image of Our Lady imprinted on his tilma.

"The Guadalupe Event," as the Mexican Episcopate has pointed out, "meant the beginning of evangelization with a vitality that surpassed all expectations. Christ's message, through his Mother, took up the central elements of the indigenous culture, purified them and gave them the definitive sense of salvation" (14 May 2002, No. 8).

Consequently Guadalupe and Juan Diego have a deep ecclesial and missionary meaning and are a model of perfectly inculturated evangelization.

"The Lord looks down from heaven, he sees all the sons of men" (Ps 33:13), we recited with the Psalmist, once again confessing our faith in God, who makes no distinctions of race or culture.

In accepting the Christian message without forgoing his indigenous identity, Juan Diego discovered the profound truth of the new humanity, in which all are called to be children of God. Thus he facilitated the fruitful meeting of two worlds and became the catalyst for the new Mexican identity, closely united to Our Lady of Guadalupe, whose mestizo face expresses her spiritual motherhood which embraces all Mexicans.
This is why the witness of his life must continue to be the inspiration for the building up of the Mexican nation, encouraging brotherhood among all its children and ever helping to reconcile Mexico with its origins, values, and traditions.

The noble task of building a better Mexico, with greater justice and solidarity, demands the cooperation of all. In particular, it is necessary today to support the indigenous peoples in their legitimate aspirations, respecting and defending the authentic values of each ethnic group. Mexico needs its indigenous peoples and these peoples need Mexico!

Beloved bothers and sisters of every ethnic background of Mexico and America, today, in praising the Indian Juan Diego, I want to express to all of you the closeness of the Church and the Pope, embracing you with love and encouraging you to overcome with hope the difficult times you are going through.
At this decisive moment in Mexico's history, having already crossed the threshold of the new millennium, I entrust to the powerful intercession of Saint Juan Diego the joys and hopes, the fears and anxieties of the beloved Mexican people, whom I carry in my heart.

Blessed Juan Diego, a good, Christian Indian, whom simple people have always considered a saint! We ask you to accompany the Church on her pilgrimage in Mexico, so that she may be more evangelizing and more missionary each day. Encourage the Bishops, support the priests, inspire new and holy vocations, help all those who give their lives to the cause of Christ and the spread of his Kingdom.

Happy Juan Diego, true and faithful man! We entrust to you our lay brothers and sisters so that, feeling the call to holiness, they may imbue every area of social life with the spirit of the Gospel. Bless families, strengthen spouses in their marriage, sustain the efforts of parents to give their children a Christian upbringing. Look with favor upon the pain of those who are suffering in body or in spirit, on those afflicted by poverty, loneliness, marginalization, or ignorance. May all people, civic leaders and ordinary citizens, always act in accordance with the demands of justice and with respect for the dignity of each person, so that in this way peace may be reinforced.

Beloved Juan Diego, "the talking eagle"! Show us the way that leads to the "Dark Virgin" of Tepeyac, that she may receive us in the depths of her heart, for she is the loving, compassionate Mother who guides us to the true God. Amen

Saturday, December 5, 2009

75th Anniversary of the Legion of Mary in Ontario

We began with the rosary at approx 10:40 am today followed by mass celebrated by His Grace, Archbishop Terrence Prendergast at Saint Patrick Basilica here in Ottawa. There were about 200 in attendance and that included about thirty Legionaries who took a bus from Kingston. Celebrating with the Bishop were at least eight priests and Deacon Scheer who is the Spiritual Director of Our lady of Victory Praesidium . Among the priests were Monsignor Richard Siok Pastor of Saint Patrick Basilica, Father Anthony Hannon, Spiritual Director of the Legion of Mary in Ontario, Monsignor Latour from Annunciation of the Lord Parish who is the Spiritual Director of Morning Star Praesidium, Father Boyd from the Good Shepherd Parish, and Father McEvoy who has led many Legion of Mary Retreats over the years.

After mass we met in the SCAVI for a wonderful reception .  Father Anthony Hannon led the Angelus after which we had a delicious sit down lunch. The afternoon included interesting displays of the Legion of Mary over the years: numerous photographs and stories etc. and because Our Lady of Victory Praesidium was celebrating their 70th Anniversary of their Praesidium they had their own beautiful display of events past and present. Sister Marilyn welcomed us all and thanked the Bishop and made special mention of our heroic elderly Legionaries.

Marilyn mentioned that one of our Legion Pillars, Dorothy Harris of Morning Star Praesidium, Annunciation of the Lord Parish, was in the Legion since 1933. In fact When Dorothy joined the Legion in London England it was Frank Duff who opened her Praesidium which coincidentally was also called Morning Star. After lunch, members of Our Lady of Guadalupe Praesidium of the Good Shepherd Parish sang the song "Our lady of Guadalupe" This Praesidium  is indeed the "new kid on the block".
It was established by Jennifer Snell formerly of Morning Star and members held their first meeting October 2 of this year.  It was a wonderful afternoon and when the Kingston visitors were getting ready to make their way back home, Marilyn gave them copies of the Legion songs to sing on the bus. But before the bus left Marilyn grabbed her guitar, boarded the bus and gave them a great send off  by leading  "All Is In the Hands of Mary" as everyone happily joined in. Thank you to all who made this such a joyous day and thank you Mary!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Praying for Priests

We should always be praying for our priests but in this Year for Priests I think we should try a little harder to do so. Below is the link to a website on which is featured a prayer kit  to encourage people to pray for a priest.  To date, they  have mailed out over 2,000 prayer kits all over the world. Many of them have gone to Canada.  I encourage you to take a look at the website.  And for more information and prayers check out this page on my website  God bless!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Miracle: Planned Parenthood director resigns her job and converts!

I must share this story with you because it is so inspiring, and to see God working like this fills me with such hope and joy!

Often people think that their prayers are not answered or "how can my witness and prayers make a difference?" Not only are lives saved when a conversion like this happens but souls are saved and that is the most important thing. The miracle is that the director of the Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Bryan/College Station, Texas -- where 40 Days for Life first began -- has resigned her job, experienced a profound conversion, and joined the pro-life efforts. See the story at,2933,571215,00.html and Life site News

The following quotation is taken from an allocutio by Father Bede McGregor Spiritual Director to Concilium, International Headquarters of the Legion of Mary:
"There is no greater charity than to pray and work ceaselessly for the salvation of souls. 'Vocation to the apostolate begins the moment you realize that apart from the salvation of souls nothing else in life matters very much.'"

Thank you to all of you who who participate in this heroic life and soul saving effort and God bless you for the terrific work you do for HIM!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Annunciation of the Lord Parish Vigil at 65 Bank Street

Thank you to all who participated. Our Parish day of prayer started at 7:00am and concluded at 7:00 pm. During that time at least 70 parishioners from Annunciation parish here in Ottawa endured the cold rainy weather and courageously witnessed to the Gospel of Life by prayers fasting and silent witness at the Ottawa abortion site at 65 Bank Street. May our Good Lord Bless you all for the good work you do for Him.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Summary of Sept 10th 40 days for Life Information Meeting at St. Patrick's Basilica

for a summary on the meeting please visit my website at

Well-Known Local Pro-Life Activist Gunned Down in Michigan

Well, this is a very sad story indeed from Lifesite news. I wonder if the pro abortion people will condemn the killing. So far I haven't heard much about it from our mainstream media.

In the wake of the tragedy, Fr. Pavone of Priests for Life told that he hoped to see “a strong expression of indignation from the pro-abortion community, just like there was a strong expression of indignation from the pro-life community at the killing of Dr. Tiller.”

Secondly, Fr. Pavone called for “a renewal of unity within the pro-life community, coming to one another’s assistance supporting one another, and by no means allowing fear or intimidation to have any role in our lives, but rather to move forward in peaceful organized ways to stand against this evil of abortion.”

Please read more from lifesitenews below

By Kathleen Gilbert

OWOSSO, Michigan, September 11, 2009 ( - Jim Pouillon, the pro-life activist shot and killed outside a high school in Owosso Friday morning, is being remembered today by friends as a peaceful and dedicated defender of the unborn. Those who knew him say that, in the face of the frequent physical harassment and death threats aimed at him for his pro-life work, the veteran pro-lifer always responded with charity.

According to friends, Pouillon, 63, was a born-again Christian and longtime resident of Owosso. They say he was divorced, with a son and a daughter as well as grandchildren. (LSN) spoke with Cal Zastrow, a longtime friend of Pouillon's, who described the pro-life activist as "one of the most loving, compassionate people, peaceful people I've ever met in my life."

Zastrow says Pouillon began his pro-life work with the rescue movement spearheaded by Operation Rescue in Atlanta, Georgia in 1988, and has been active ever since.

"He was 100% non-violent. He never threatened anyone. He never condoned violence ever," said Zastrow.

While known to travel to pro-life events throughout the country, Pouillon's most frequent method of witnessing was by holding signs on the street corners in his hometown. And that was what he was doing when he was gunned down this morning - holding a sign depicting the beaming face of a newborn baby, with the word "LIFE" superimposed.

In his hometown, residents grew to expect the large bearded man, sitting in a lawn chair and holding pro-life signs with images of babies or aborted children. Suffering from weak lungs compromised by smoking earlier in life, he depended on a portable oxygen tank.

Occasionally, as he was doing this morning, Pouillon was known to stand near Owosso high school to discuss abortion with the students there.

He became known, after at least fifteen years of steady witnessing in Owosso, as "Jim the sign guy" or "the abortion sign guy," a ubiquitous presence that always drew reactions, whether of praise, anger, or hatred.

Various sources have described Pouillon as the frequent target of screaming, spitting, and even throwing fruit. Zastrow said that he and Pouillon often received verbal abuse and death threats from passersby.

But, he would just "smile and laugh, and say 'Thank you, Jesus,'" Zastrow said of his friend. He noted that he and Pouillon had been physically assaulted on separate occasions "for peacefully praying and witnessing."

"He would say, 'God forgive you, I bless you,'" he added.

Court records published by local news reports show that Pouillon has been cited on charges connected to his pro-life activities, mostly minor infringements related to property laws, many of which were dismissed. In 2000, Pouillon was found guilty for stalking - a charge Zastrow says was unjustly brought against the veteran pro-lifer.

"Once they lied about him and put him in jail for stalking, and they said he threatened somebody, but it wasn't true," said Zastrow. "He never threatened anybody."

Zastrow expressed concern that media reports would portray Pouillon as violent. "He never was," said Zastrow. "He's America's first peaceful pro-life rescuer martyr."

Pastor Matt Trewhella of the Missionaries of the Preborn described his friend of 7 years as "so soft-spoken, but persevering, faithful." Trewhella said Pouillon began his ministry after he saw images of unborn children killed by abortion.

"He was moved with compassion and decided he had to speak up for them," said the pastor. "He was a good man."

Operation Rescue president Troy Newman told LSN that Pouillon, who participated in Operation Rescue, was a "dear friend" and "always an encourager."

"He's the sort of guy who always gives you a big bear hug, tells you he loves you," said Newman. "I know he was always out on the street carrying a sign whether it was the dead of winter, or the middle of summer.

Newman said Pouillon's faithfulness was evidenced by the way he died. "He was faithfully out on the street holding a sign in the middle of the week with a beautiful picture of a baby and it said 'life' on it. 'Life,' and a picture of a baby. And he was shot down for it," said Newman.

"If the purveyors of death think this is going to stop us, they're absolutely dead wrong," said Newman. "History is replete with martyrs who have stood sacrificially and even given their own lives so that others may live. And that has always been the premise of the pro-life movement, and we will continue steadfast marching forward in that direction.

"Was he a perfect man? No, none of us are. But he stood faithful to the end."

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Exposing Coercion: Pregnant Women Stand Up

Ann Lowrey Forster discovered she was pregnant in the fall of her sophomore year in college.

Watch "Exposing Coercion: Pregnant Women Stand Up" to find out how her loneliness, anger, and sense of betrayal turned into indignation, then a defiant drive to succeed.

Women's voices in the health care debate from Silent no More Awareness Campaign

Women's voices in the health care debate from Silent no More Awareness Campaign with a message from Father Frank Pavone: Janet Morana, Georgette Forney, and Fr. Frank Pavone bring to the health care reform debate the voices of women harmed by abortion. Please watch this video">

Sunday, August 23, 2009

LEGION OF MARY PILGRIMAGE to Our Lady of the Cape and Saint Anne de Beaupre 1-3 August 2009

My friend Jennifer has been orgainizing the Legion of Mary Pilgrimage to our Lady of the Cape and Saint Anne de Beaupre for the past three years. This year's pilgrimage, which took place during the first weekend in August, was a wonderful occasion, and so abounding in God's blessings and Grace, that I want to share the weekend with you. Below is the transcript of Jennifer's summary that she wrote for the Senatus of Ontario.

The 2009 pilgrimage of the Legion of Mary, Senatus of Ontario was held in memory of Brother Tony Corrigan. Br Tony was a long time legionary and dedicated pilgrim who died in Kingston, Ontario on 15th August 2008, the feast of our Lady of the Assumption, just eleven days following his return from the 2008 pilgrimage.
On Saturday 1st August, 2009, three buses carrying 141 pilgrims, including Father Anthony Hannon the Spiritual Director for the Senatus of Ontario departed the Ottawa Diocesan Centre en route the Shrines of the Sacred Heart in Montreal , our Lady of the Cape in Trois Rivieres , St. Anne de Beaupre in Quebec City and the Shrine of Blessed Father Frederic in Trois Rivieres . For the 63rd consecutive year, the Legion of Mary pilgrimage was completed and is considered very successful!
I wish to extend my heartfelt thanks to the bus supervisors, Marilyn Montminy, Anne Stewart, Leslie Anne Juneau (who filled in for Wayne Smith) and Maureen Ward who filled in for Leslie Anne for the trip to St. Anne de Beaupre. Although Wayne was unable to attend this year he dedicated many hours to receiving pilgrim enquiries and collecting their payments. The bus supervisors spend many hours answering enquiries, mailing information, collecting money and that is only the beginning of their work. The real work starts on the first day of the pilgrimage as they meet 46 pilgrims who are intent on finding their favoured seat on the bus. Without the dedication of bus supervisors, the pilgrimage could not unfold with the proficiency that it does. As customary, forty eight hours prior to departure there were some last minute surprises. Fortunately there was a waiting list and with a few adjustments, vacancies were short lived. This year there were broken bones, a serious viral illness, a funeral to attend, a dental emergency, and a car accident; even Father Hannon almost had to cancel due to scheduling problems.
Before departing, Father Hannon boarded each bus to pray over the pilgrims and the bus driver and then to bless all on board. I always wonder how our faith and prayerful journeys impact the drivers. Throughout the three days, bus supervisors include the driver in prayer intentions. The first order of business, after departure, is to recite the rosary, imploring Our Blessed Mother to protect us as we travel to the shrines in Quebec. Hymns are sung where we praise and worship God and honour Our Blessed Mother Mary. Videos are also viewed while en route; this year all pilgrims saw the latest Legion video: Meet the Legion. Pro life movies ‘Bella’ and the beautiful in utero development story ‘Baby Steps’ were included in the on board entertainment. The pamphlet “Why I love the Legion” is distributed to non legion pilgrims. The annual pilgrimage is an opportunity to promote membership in the Legion of Mary and to evangelize. I believe Frank Duff would agree that the pilgrimage is a great form of Legion work.
The first stop was at the Shrine of the Sacred Heart in Montreal where we were met by Father Manuel. We remained at this shrine where we enjoyed lunch on the grounds. Some lucky pilgrims shared home baked carrots muffins prepared early on the morning of departure by Sister Dorothy Harris (Morning Star Praesidium) who will celebrate her 93rd birthday this month and 77 years as a legion member.
The Shrine of the Sacred Heart is nestled in Montreal and provides a setting of serenity and beauty. The outdoor Stations of the Cross, the Scala Santa with its magnificent carving of the Last Supper, the Grotto of Lourdes and the Padre-Pio Chapel are just a few of the sacred places to visit on the grounds.
When we arrived in Trois Rivieres, the staff at the Madonna Hotel at Our Lady of the Cape greeted us and made our arrival seem like a blessing. Both Father Oulette and Father Dunston welcomed us to the Cape. It was very special that Father Hannon was with us as we were met by Fathers Oulette and Dunston. After checking baggage into our cozy rooms, we gathered for Mary’s outdoor Stations of the Cross, led by the faithful Mrs. Burns. During dinner, fellow pilgrim friends from Bellville, Ontario arrived and old friendships were renewed. A special mention is made that Maureen Ward’s uncle Frank Maloney and his wife Patricia are faithful pilgrims with the Bellville group. Maureen’s uncle is increasingly becoming “Uncle Frank” to many Legion of Mary pilgrims.
Following the opportunity to receive the sacrament of reconciliation, and to attend mass on Saturday evening, we experienced the beautiful and sacred candlelight procession at the Cape. Dorothy Harris, although not able to walk in the procession can always be spotted wearing a gorgeous hat and singing from a bench along the route. Ceremonially, I take the honour of giving my candle to Dorothy and asking her to wait until her friends from Morning Star Praesidium meet her for the stroll back to the Madonna Hotel. Once back at the hotel, a good nights’ rest followed and prepared the pilgrims for an early Sunday morning start.
Following Sunday morning mass, most pilgrims boarded buses and travelled to St. Anne d’Beaupre. This is always a special place to honour St. Anne, our heavenly grandmother. This shrine, now over 350 years old is a very special place for many pilgrims. Amongst my friends, I am aware of two miracles that happened at St. Anne de Beaupre. Whilst at the Shrine, I lit candles of thanksgiving for both friends. Construction traffic on the return trip slowed us down somewhat but supper was still waiting for us upon our return at the Cape. The delay was seen as an opportunity to pray, to sing, to sing more and to view movies.
After dinner, a huge number of pilgrims gathered in the magnificent Basilica for adoration; we were led in prayerful song by Father Oulette. Once again the evening was adorned with our second candle light procession. It is worthy to note that rain held off until late evening with pilgrims safely back at the Madonna Hotel.
On Monday morning Father Oulette met with us and introduced Father De lafontaine, the new director of Our Lady of the Cape Shrine. Father welcomed the pilgrims; he thanked us for coming and reminded us of the importance of our presence at the shrine. Father Oulette and Mrs. Burns briefed us on the history of the Cape and we viewed an historic video depicting the history of the Cape. Just before morning mass, a group photo (enclosure) was taken with pilgrims in the sanctuary of the old chapel where Our Lady of the Cape smiles on us. Mass was celebrated by Father Dunstan. Prior to departure a healing service was held in the old chapel. During the service the Blessed Sacrament was exposed, we sang hymns of praise and each pilgrim was individually blessed by either Father Oulette or Father Dunstan. Soon after the healing service pilgrims boarded buses and departed for the Shrine of Blessed Father Frederic.
Again this year, were blessed that M. Jean Normandin, a long time friend of Our Lady of the Cape accompanied us to Trois Rivieres to the church where the body of Blessed Father Frederic is resting. Jean recounted many interesting facts about Blessed Father Frederic and shared how he has been present and involved at significant events related to Father Frederic’s history. Thanks to Jean, pilgrims had the opportunity to reverence the tomb and a first class relic of Blessed Father Frederic. We are indebted to Jean for taking his time to accompany the Legion of Mary pilgrims to the tomb of Blessed Father Ferderic and to share information about the life of this holy Priest.
The buses arrived at the Ottawa Diocesan Centre on schedule at 6:30 PM and thus the 63rd annual pilgrimage was completed. In view of this summer’s record rainfall, we were blessed that the rain we did receive over the weekend did not interfere with our outdoor activities.

Respectfully submitted,
Jennifer Snell, Pilgrimage Coordinator

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sisters of the Queenship of Mary

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Queenship of Mary.
If you go to our Archbishop's blog he will tell you more about this beautiful Feast.

Also you will learn about the Sisters of The Queenship of Mary, an aspiring religious community of women under the guidance of Alice Fougere from Halifax, Nova Scotia. They are a small group of dedicated women who are living a common life in Ottawa, with the hope of eventually becoming a community of apostolic life. I praise and thank God for the good work of these beautiful sisters. Last week when I attended mass at Notre Dame Cathedral I had the privilege of talking with them. I had met two of the Sisters last year during the 40 Days for Life Campaign. On more than one occasion we prayed together at the Ottawa abortion site. May our good Lord bless them and I ask Mother Mary to continue to guide and protect them in their beautiful work in the Lord's vineyard.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Paula's Response to Somerville

It's a good thing we're so ugly! We are original antiquities and are so not perfect that perhaps we are more valuable than we think. I guess deep down, I'm glad I have ugly and painful legs!

I remember growing up in Hull envying the Lamarres (as an example) because they had wall-to-wall carpet and I was "like Oh my God, we only have ugly wood floors and they have a beautiful rug in their living room"......... What do most builders and restorers do with an old house today???.....they look for the original hardwood floor buried beneath ugly worn out synthetic wall-to-wall carpet from the 60's!!! "Who would dream of covering up hardwood" they would say.

No wonder we loved our parents soooooo much. They were old and wrinkly antiques. Daddy even walked like the leaning tower of Pisa.....he was SO "imperfect". Hmmmmmm.

Sorry daddy for ever thinking that your beautiful hardwood floors that you so painstakingly put down at 10 Isabelle while on your hands and knees, were anything less than perfect!

And I have "ugly" homemade knitted mittens that mom made me about a 100 years ago. I wondered why I loved them so much, the "pointed" tips that I always was so embarrassed about.......sorry mom.

I want a copy of this ummmmmbelievable book Patty.


My sister Pat's response to Somerville's Article

I read Margaret Sommerville's article "The flawed quest for perfection" in the Citizen today, the same day I spent my lunch hour outside at work reading "the Shack". This book is so freaking good (as I sat outside at lunch with the tears streaming down my imperfect face blowing my imperfect nose and my human crying condition and the balled up kleenexes). I am buying 5 more copies of it and will give/lend it out to you/my girls/whomever. It is fiction but it is so ummmmmbelievable. This book is so good because the whole point of it is to make us mere imperfect humans better understand the nature of suffering, sort of through God's point of view. I don't think we will ever completely understand the nature of suffering until we sit across the breakfast table with God, but this book makes it as close to a real imperfect human's ability to comprehend that I have read yet. And it does it in very simple language so any imperfect human being can understand it. You don't have to have a face lift, or a flat stomach, you can even be ugly. It doesn't matter. You will still understand it. And that is where Margaret is so right in her article, why can't we just leave the human condition alone? Why can't we just keep our wrinkles and our imperfections and ugly bodies, our inconvenient babies and our troublesome old people alone? This is where science has caused us difficulty in that it lets us think we can play God and not depend on God.

Great Article in today's Ottawa Citizen by Margaret Somerville

The Flawed Quest for Perfection by Margaret Somerville, Citizen Special, August 7, 2009 Technology can eliminate many human imperfections, but we risk losing that messy quality that is the essence of our humanness

Terri Schiavo's death not peaceful, says brother

Terri Schiavo's death not peaceful, says brother In his keynote to the 26th National Conference of Lutherans For Life (LFL), July 24-25 in St. Louis, Bobby Schindler said his sister, Terri Schindler Schiavo, did not die a peaceful death as her husband had said.Terri Schiavo's 2005 starvation was "the most heinous, barbaric thing I ever had to witness," Bobby Schindler told the 26th National Conference of Lutherans For Life. for more information see

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Rain and crows

It wasn't the rain that woke me up but the crows talking to each other ouside our bedroom window. Did you know that crows swoop down to where you are if you happen to be in their territory? Actually I never had that experience but Mike told me that on at least two occasions this happened to him. I suppose the bird is watching from above and perceives that you are too close to his nest of little ones so his warning is a swoosh down to where you are and back up again lightly brushing your clothes as he leaves. Anyways there were two crow ouside our bedroom window talking for about 20 minutes. One was very close by but the other was probably perched on a tree somewhere on another street. One would squawk then the other would do the same. Sometimes one squawk, somethimes more. And they always responded to the other. And the funny thing is when the birds woke Mike up and we started to discuss this strange crow language ouside our bedroom window then strangely enough it seemed to stop. Actually our crow moved somewhere else because we could faintly hear this eerie crow conversation far off in the distance. Maybe they thought we were eavesdropping.

Anyways it was time to get up and retreive the newspaper from the back steps. Good thing we have a carport, the rain was coming down in buckets. I like the sound of the rain. There is something peaceful about rain falling. When Debbie, Chris and John were little I use to dress them up in their rain coats and go for walks in the rain. They loved the puddles. Mind you it has been a rather soggy summer and I suppose for avid outdoor enthusiasts the amount of rain we have had might put a damper on things. But look at the bright side. No need to water the lawn. The flowers look great! Weeds too!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Selected reflections on Caritas in Veritate

And from Stan Siok I received this

Selected reflections on Caritas in Veritate

On July 7th, Pope Benedict XVI released Caritas in Veritate, a sweeping encyclical that seeks to make the Catholic Church’s social stance abundantly clear on everything from sound economic practice to population control. Below are a few selected reflections of this enormously rich document:
· Catholic World Report asked a group of leading Catholic intellectuals to reflect on the encyclical, its place in the larger body of Catholic social teaching, and Pope Benedict's vision of a well-ordered and just society.
J. Brian Benestad, Francis J. Beckwith, Father Joseph Fessio, S.J., Richard Garnett, Thomas S. Hibbs, Paul Kengor, George Neumayr, Joseph Pearce, Tracey Rowland, Father James V. Schall, and Rev. Robert A. Sirico share their thoughts on Caritas in Veritate, below. Visit:
· The Encyclical’s evident pro-life stand is clarified by Fr. Frank Pavone. Click on:

· From a Canadian perspective, Michael O’Brien, our reputed writer and thinker offers his summary, and easily refutes D &P’s selective and myopic interpenetration of this comprehensive document. Visit:


RE. caritas-in-veritate

My sister Pat has already read the Pope's new Encyclical . She sent Barb, Paula and me this in an e-mail the other day

I have read the Pope's new encyclical which I found quite good, albeit a hard slog in some places (especially the introduction). It's about 40 some pages long. But I thought that a couple of sections at the end were very pertinant to the entire pro-life conversation, including faith and reason--as all of this relates to technology. Here are those parts, and I have also included the link to the encyclical itself,


74. A particularly crucial battleground in today's cultural struggle between the supremacy of technology and human moral responsibility is the field of bioethics, where the very possibility of integral human development is radically called into question. In this most delicate and critical area, the fundamental question asserts itself force-fully: is man the product of his own labours or does he depend on God? Scientific discoveries in this field and the possibilities of technological intervention seem so advanced as to force a choice between two types of reasoning: reason open to transcendence or reason closed within immanence. We are presented with a clear either/ or. Yet the rationality of a self-centred use of technology proves to be irrational because it implies a decisive rejection of meaning and value. It is no coincidence that closing the door to transcendence brings one up short against a difficulty: how could being emerge from nothing, how could intelligence be born from chance?[153] Faced with these dramatic questions, reason and faith can come to each other's assistance. Only together will they save man. Entranced by an exclusive reliance on technology, reason without faith is doomed to flounder in an illusion of its own omnipotence. Faith without reason risks being cut off from everyday life[154].
75. Paul VI had already recognized and drawn attention to the global dimension of the social question[155]. Following his lead, we need to affirm today that the social question has become a radically anthropological question, in the sense that it concerns not just how life is conceived but also how it is manipulated, as bio-technology places it increasingly under man's control. In vitro fertilization, embryo research, the possibility of manufacturing clones and human hybrids: all this is now emerging and being promoted in today's highly disillusioned culture, which believes it has mastered every mystery, because the origin of life is now within our grasp. Here we see the clearest expression of technology's supremacy. In this type of culture, the conscience is simply invited to take note of technological possibilities. Yet we must not underestimate the disturbing scenarios that threaten our future, or the powerful new instruments that the “culture of death” has at its disposal. To the tragic and widespread scourge of abortion we may well have to add in the future — indeed it is already surreptiously present — the systematic eugenic programming of births. At the other end of the spectrum, a pro-euthanasia mindset is making inroads as an equally damaging assertion of control over life that under certain circumstances is deemed no longer worth living. Underlying these scenarios are cultural viewpoints that deny human dignity. These practices in turn foster a materialistic and mechanistic understanding of human life. Who could measure the negative effects of this kind of mentality for development? How can we be surprised by the indifference shown towards situations of human degradation, when such indifference extends even to our attitude towards what is and is not human? What is astonishing is the arbitrary and selective determination of what to put forward today as worthy of respect. Insignificant matters are considered shocking, yet unprecedented injustices seem to be widely tolerated. While the poor of the world continue knocking on the doors of the rich, the world of affluence runs the risk of no longer hearing those knocks, on account of a conscience that can no longer distinguish what is human. God reveals man to himself; reason and faith work hand in hand to demonstrate to us what is good, provided we want to see it; the natural law, in which creative Reason shines forth, reveals our greatness, but also our wretchedness insofar as we fail to recognize the call to moral truth.
76. One aspect of the contemporary technological mindset is the tendency to consider the problems and emotions of the interior life from a purely psychological point of view, even to the point of neurological reductionism. In this way man's interiority is emptied of its meaning and gradually our awareness of the human soul's ontological depths, as probed by the saints, is lost. The question of development is closely bound up with our understanding of the human soul, insofar as we often reduce the self to the psyche and confuse the soul's health with emotional well-being. These over-simplifications stem from a profound failure to understand the spiritual life, and they obscure the fact that the development of individuals and peoples depends partly on the resolution of problems of a spiritual nature. Development must include not just material growth but also spiritual growth, since the human person is a “unity of body and soul”[156], born of God's creative love and destined for eternal life. The human being develops when he grows in the spirit, when his soul comes to know itself and the truths that God has implanted deep within, when he enters into dialogue with himself and his Creator. When he is far away from God, man is unsettled and ill at ease. Social and psychological alienation and the many neuroses that afflict affluent societies are attributable in part to spiritual factors. A prosperous society, highly developed in material terms but weighing heavily on the soul, is not of itself conducive to authentic development. The new forms of slavery to drugs and the lack of hope into which so many people fall can be explained not only in sociological and psychological terms but also in essentially spiritual terms. The emptiness in which the soul feels abandoned, despite the availability of countless therapies for body and psyche, leads to suffering. There cannot be holistic development and universal common good unless people's spiritual and moral welfare is taken into account, considered in their totality as body and soul.
77. The supremacy of technology tends to prevent people from recognizing anything that cannot be explained in terms of matter alone. Yet everyone experiences the many immaterial and spiritual dimensions of life. Knowing is not simply a material act, since the object that is known always conceals something beyond the empirical datum. All our knowledge, even the most simple, is always a minor miracle, since it can never be fully explained by the material instruments that we apply to it. In every truth there is something more than we would have expected, in the love that we receive there is always an element that surprises us. We should never cease to marvel at these things. In all knowledge and in every act of love the human soul experiences something “over and above”, which seems very much like a gift that we receive, or a height to which we are raised. The development of individuals and peoples is likewise located on a height, if we consider the spiritual dimension that must be present if such development is to be authentic. It requires new eyes and a new heart, capable of rising above a materialistic vision of human events, capable of glimpsing in development the “beyond” that technology cannot give. By following this path, it is possible to pursue the integral human development that takes its direction from the driving force of charity in truth.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Helping People Die Well

A link to an interview of Dr. Jose Pereira who is in charge of palliative care at the University of Ottawa. Dr. Pereira had spent 3 years as a palliative care specialist in Switzerland and explains how assisted suicide completely changed the application of end-of-life care in Switzerland.
In this video Helping People Die Well Dr. Jose Pereira tells of the slippery slope of assisted suicide.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Press Release - Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) Opposes Bill C-384

18 June 2009
For Immediate Release
Winnipeg—The COUNCIL OF CANADIANS WITH DISABILITIES (CCD) believes that everyone who supports disability rights should oppose Bill C-384 which would legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide and put Canadians with disabilities at risk! CCD is a national human rights organization of persons with disabilities working for an accessible and inclusive Canada.
C-384, the private member’s bill to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada received its first reading last month. Bill C-384 was introduced by the Bloc Québécois Member of Parliament - Francine Lalonde. This is Lalonde’s third attempt to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada.
Bill C-384 legalizes euthanasia by amending section 222 of the Criminal Code and it legalizes assisted suicide by amending section 241 of the Criminal Code.
“Called the “Right to Die with Dignity” Act, this bill threatens the lives of Canadians with disabilities. Its selling points are the notions of “dignity,” and “suffering.” However, the bill never explains what these terms mean. How do we measure dignity? What is suffering?” states Rhonda Wiebe, Co-Chair of CCD’s Ending of Life Ethics Committee. These terms are based more on social values than scientific ones, but this bill proposes that a “medical” and “legal” solution be the remedy for people whose lives are not “dignified” and who “suffer.”

“Living without dignity and suffering are common misperceptions that able-bodied Canadians have about the lives of their fellow citizens with disabilities. Bill C-384 does nothing to protect those who find themselves socially devalued in these ways,” states Dean Richert, Co-Chair of CCD’s Ending of Life Ethics Committee.

Social support and meaningful involvement in the community are more important for the well-being of people with disabilities than the severity of their disabilities. Assisted suicide is not a free choice as long as they are denied adequate healthcare, affordable personal assistance in their communities, and equal access to social structures and systems.


For More Information Contact:

Rhonda Wiebe—204-779-4493
Dean Richert—204-951-6273
Laurie Beachell—204-947-0303

Euthanasia Prevention Coalition response to Bill C-384

I recently received this very important e-mail from Alex Schadenberg Director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition. Please read

From: Alex Schadenberg
Sent: Thursday, June 18, 2009 4:51 PM
Subject: Responses to Bill C-384

Please consider supporting the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition campaign to Stop Bill C-384.
You can send an email to the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition at and we will forward it to your member of parliament.
You can donate by paypal at:
Please read the material and decide how you can help EPC Stop Bill C-384. We have also attached the press release from the Council of Canadians with Disabilities.

Euthanasia Prevention Coalition response to Bill C-384
On May 13, 2009 Francine Lalonde MP (BQ - La Pointe-de-l’Île) introduced private members bill Bill C-384: An Act to amend the Criminal Code (right to die with dignity).
Bill C-384 would legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada for people who experience physical or mental pain or people who are terminally ill.
The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) needs our supporters to meet with their member of parliament (MP) during the summer months to dispel the myths about the Bill, to explain our talking points about the bill, and to find out the exact position of your MP on the issues.
When you meet with your MP it is good to go with a friend or another member of the group that you are representing. Your MP will recognize the importance of the meeting when you are not alone and/or representing a community group.
It is important to meet with your MP during the summer simply because they will be in the community and available to meet with constituents.
At the end of the meeting, we have a questionnaire that you can ask your MP to fill out in order to determine their position on the issue.
Please contact EPC for a copy of the questionnaire.
Please send EPC the comments by your MP during the meeting. We need to know the position of every MP.
If you are unable to meet with your MP we would then ask that you send a letter to your member MP and/or organize a postcard campaign in your community or group.
We have a sample letter to your MP on our website at Please, if possible, make minor adjustments to the sample letter to ensure that your MP doesn’t view your letter as a form letter.
Hand-written letters are more effective than postcards, but since many people will only respond in a simple manner, the postcards indicate to your MP that many people in their riding are opposed to Bill C-384.
The postcard campaign should be co-ordinated in September or October due to the fact that the first hour of debate on Bill C-384 will take place in late September.
EPC sends out the postcards for a donation of $10 per 100 postcards + postage.
EPC is also designing a website to Stop Bill C-384. It will include all information, news articles and up-to-date responses to the Bill.
We will defeat Bill C-384 if we work together and recognize that there are common issues for all people.
For more information, or to keep up-to-date on the issues related to Bill C-384 go to our website at:

Bill C-384 - Dispelling the myths.
During the debate surrounding Bill C-407 debate we found that there were common myths that were promoted by the media and the Dying with Dignity - euthanasia lobby. EPC expects that similar myths will be promoted during the Bill C-384 debate. These are the five most common myths.
Myth #1: This bill is about a right to die with dignity.
Truth: This bill does not create a right to die with dignity, in fact it is not about dying with dignity or palliative care, it is about giving the power to a physician to directly and intentionally cause the death of individuals.
This bill is about allowing a medical practitioners to be directly and intentionally cause the death of another person by lethal injection.
Myth #2: This bill legalizes assisted suicide.
Truth: Bill C-384 amends section 222 and 241 of the Criminal Code
This bill legalizes euthanasia and assisted suicide.
Myth #3: This bill is limited to terminally ill people.
Truth: Bill C-384 states that people who experience physical or mental pain or terminally ill would be eligible for euthanasia or assisted suicide.
This bill also allows people who experience chronic physical and mental pain to die by lethal injection and it does not define terminally ill.
Myth #4: This bill is limited to competent people who are not depressed.
Truth: This bill measures competency based on "appearing to be lucid". To appear to be lucid does not mean a person is actually competent, only that they appear to be.
This bill is not limited to people who are actually lucid and would allow people who experience chronic depression to die by euthanasia or assisted suicide.
Myth #5: This bill is not a threat to the lives of people with disabilities or other vulnerable people.
Truth: This bill allows euthanasia and assisted suicide for people with chronic physical or mental pain, based on whether or not they "appear to be lucid". Many people with disabilities experience chronic physical or mental pain.
This bill directly threatens the lives of vulnerable people with disabilities especially when the medical practitioner, has a negative perception of disability. It allows euthanasia for physical and mental pain and it does not define terminally ill.

Bill C-384 - Talking Points
When communicating with a Member of Parliament it is important to focus on the main points of concern. Bill C-384 is a dangerous bill. There is nothing redeeming or worth amending in this bill. Nonetheless, we need to remain focused on why the bill is so bad.
Bill C-384 legalizes euthanasia and assisted suicide.
Euthanasia is the act of one person directly and intentionally causing the death of another person, usually through medical means. In the case of euthanasia it represents one person doing the act to the other person, usually by lethal injection.
Assisted Suicide is when one person is directly and intentionally involved with causing the death of another person. In the case of assisted suicide it represents one person aiding, abetting or counselling the suicide death of the other person.
Main Points:
Point #1 - Bill C-384 is not about a right to die with dignity. The bill does not create greater access to excellent end-of-life care and it doesn’t create a right to die.
Bill C-384 gives a medical practitioner the right to directly and intentionally cause the death of another person.
Point #2 - Bill C-384 is not about creating more end-of-life choices for the terminally ill.
Bill C-384 does not promote palliative care, it does not enhance services for people with disabilities or chronic conditions. Bill C-384 is about giving medical practitioners the right to directly and intentionally cause the death of another person by lethal injection.
Point #3 - Bill C-384 doesn’t provide any effective safeguards for vulnerable people. Consider the following:
Bill C-384 is not limited to the terminally ill, but permits people with chronic physical or mental pain to die by lethal injection.
Bill C-384 does not define terminally ill.
Bill C-384 defines competency based on "appearing to be lucid". It does not require a person to actually be lucid.
Bill C-384 permits medical practitioners to lethally inject people who are incompetent, so long as they stated their intentions while "appearing to be lucid".
Bill C-384 does not require that individuals try effective treatments before receiving a lethal injection.
Bill C-384 permits people with chronic depression to die by lethal injection, even when they have rejected effective treatments.
Bill C-384 permits foreign suicide tourists to die by lethal injection in Canada.
STOP Bill C-384

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Letter to Dr. Dawkins from my sister

Dear Dr. Dawkins, I wanted to thank you for your book the "God Delusion". If you had not written this book, I most probably would have not had the following experience. First of all, I haven't actually read your book, but recently my daughter and I were having a discussion about faith and why I believed in God. She recently graduated with a biology degree and we had quite the conversation about my faith, about you, and what you believe, based on what she knows about your book. Just after this discussion, one of my sisters told me about a lecture she had attended, given by Dr. Lau from Ottawa here where I live. I listened to Dr. Lau's talks and have been going through his slides with a fine tooth comb. I must tell you that Dr. Lau's talk has not only confirmed for me why I believe in God, but they also have made me literally excited about my Catholic faith. Dr. Lau's talks are based on your book, physics, biology, logic, scientists and many philosophers including St. Thomas Aquinas, one of the greatest philosophers mankind has ever known. Without your book, Dr. Lau would not have ever given this series of lectures (as there would have been no need to ), and I would never have benefited from them. I am quite sincere when I say thank you for writing this book. I am sure I am not the only Christian who has benefited from it, albeit as a result of unintended consequences. In fact it begs the question, have non-believers also been converted to Christianity because of your book?

Patricia Maloney,
Ottawa, ON

Monday, June 15, 2009

Happy Anniversary Mike

I can't believe it is 41 years today. I love you Mike.

Thank you everybody for all the good wishes. Mike took me to Al's Steak House for dinner and this is something that has become a tradition on our Anniversary. It's not cheap at Al's but you certainly get a mouth watering steak and their salad dressing is really good too.
Moe Moe


Given by Dr. Tim Lau at St. Augustine Parish, February 5th, 12th and 19th, 2009
Dr Lau is the vice-chair of the Ottawa Catholic Physicians Guild and the Interim President of the newly formed Canadian Federation of Catholic Physicians’ Societies.

With the rise of militant Atheism in the last few years, Dr Lau’s lecture series comes at a very opportune time. He illustrates the limitations of the scientific/ reductionist approach in explaining reality, and makes rational arguments as to why an all-powerful and all-knowing God makes sense. This series will provide believing Christians clear reasons to refute the rhetoric of modern Atheists.
for links to Dr. Lau's talks click here

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Soccer in Orleans and Lacrosse in Navan

How does our daughter Debbie do it? Last night Daniel had a soccer game in Convent Glen at 6:30 and Matthew had a Lacrosse game at 7:30 at the Navan Arena

I decided to accompany them. Two boys, two games, both on the same night and not that closely situated to one another. Debbie brought us all to Orleans to watch part of Daniel's game before departing to Navan. However, shortly after arriving she gets a phone call from leo saying that he is looking through the window of their house and sees Matthews bag with his equipment on the lawn in front of their house. Oops! By then Sean had arrived to watch Daniel's game. The plan being that he would stay with Daniel and take him home of course.

So back we went to retrieve the bag and head off to Navan . We stopped at Tim Horton's on the way for drinks and arrived at the Arena around 7:25. AnywaysI enjoyed the game. First Lacrosse game I had ever seen. What a work out though! Matthew seemed absolutely pooped after wards. Good stuff Matthew. You too Daniel!

So this goes on every week, twice a week because there are practices once a week as well. I must say that it's much easier being a grandmother.

Weekend in Gananoque with my sisters

What a great time gals. Thanks!!!

Pat picked me up Friday around noon and from my place we proceeded to Osgoode where we met Paula and Barbara. After going to the bathroom and grabbing a cup of very strong coffee we proceeded caravan style to the cabin we rented just outside of Gananoque. We arrived shortly after three and after emptying the cars it dawned on us just how much stuff we had when the two bedrooms, living room and kitchen looked lived in already and we had enough food for a week.

The cabin was really nice and we had a fairly good view of the Saint Lawrence River. We had lots of fun lots to eat and we all let our hair down which incidentally isn't exactly hard to do since we are the Maloneys.

On Saturday we drove into the town, after making a short unexpected jaunt on the much dreaded highway 401 and went down to the waterfront and enjoyed ice cream cones which were a treat from Barbie.

Afterwards we went to mass at Saint John Catholic Church located nearby. And what a surprise it was to see Father Keyes assisting at mass. After mass we had a short visit with our dear Father Keyes whom we have all known and loved since his days as pastor of Saint Anne's Parish in Lanark. Father now resides in a Retirement Home in Gananoque.

After mass we went back to our cabin and we had a great barbecue complete with Birthday brownies for Paula and a crazy sing-a-long! OH what a night!

Pat and I left Sunday and Barb and Paula came home yesterday. We had a wonderful weekend. Thank you God!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Oh what a beautiful day and all that jazz!

I just got home from a really enjoyable outing with our son and his wife and their two little tykes. John and Chantel thought they would try their hand in growing some tomatoes this spring so we drove to Laport Gardens in Cumberland to get some plants. It was so quiet compared to what it usually is like there at this time of year. I guess waiting til the middle of the week rather than going on the Sunday afternoon of the long weekend was a good plan. After picking up a few assorted plants we took a drive up Trim road to investigate a really neat playground that our daughter Debbie took her kids to a few times last year. I happened to tag along on one occasion and was quite impressed by this playground and picnic area which is located at the intersection of Trim and Millennium Drive. We didn't stay because it had been raining but it is certainly worth a trip back.

Afterwards, we drove to Place D'Orleans for lunch and then I took Baillee our three year old grand daughter to the playground beside the food court while John Chantel and Emilee ( 10 months) went shopping. Bailee enjoyed herself sooooooo much and so did I. Watching her play is such a delightful experience. At one point a little boy, perhaps a few months younger than she, lost his shoe on the slide. Baillee immediately retrieved it and returned it to his foot. A little while later I saw her hug a little kid who was crying and take the hand of another one who needed help manoeuvering one of the climbers. What a delightful little girl.

When her parents and little sister returned it was time to leave. Now that part was not exactly to Bailee's liking; however Chantel did manage to convince her it was time to go, without too many tears being shed.

We left the shopping Center to the beautiful sunshine outside. Ahh, what a great day and all that jazz!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Annual March for Life, Thursday March 14, 2009

My sister Pat and I met our friend Jennifer at Saint Patrick Basilica for the Mass at 10:00.

The celebrant was Bishop Plouffe of Sault Saint Marie. He gave a terrific homily. He said being pro life is not just a cause, it is a calling. We are men and women who are called to be artisans of a culture of life. We know in our hearts that human life is to be respected because it is sacred, because we are made in God's likeness. It is not mere religious opinion. Upholding the right to life is speaking up for a basic fundamental human right. We are called to give our lives so others may live, not counting the cost and not afraid to acknowledge the truth. Our vocation is love and it is by our love that we will win the hearts of others and the world will come to know the truth.

There were many other priests concelebrating mass including pastor Monsignor Martineau and assistant pastor Lindsay Harrison. Among the visiting priests was Father Anthony Hannon, the spiritual director of the legion of Mary in Ontario.

After mass, the three of us had lunch at 240 Sparks Street before proceeding to Parliament Hill. The rain had started and continued til about 3:00PM We listened to the uplifting speeches of the MPs before heading over to the eternal flame at 1:00 Pm to meet with the Priests for Life. We met a few French speaking people from St. Hyacinthe. My French is not very good but I did manage to carry on a sort of conversation with them as well as take a few pictures of them sitting in front of the flame before the battery died on my camera.

Then I ran into Deacon Lee Winchester and around the same time I saw Father Tom Lynch who is the director of Priests for Life and Fathers Larry McCormick and Paul Burchat also of Priests for Life. We joined with the priests for the March. The rain grew heavier and the wind was very strong at times but it did not deter the more than ten thousand peaceful and joyful participants in this annual event. And there were so many youth! I think this is what give me so much hope each year. Every year there are more and more of our young people.

Along the way we met many of our Bishops and it was just so wonderful to see so many of them this year. After silently and prayerfully passing the abortion clinic at 65 Bank Street we returned to Parliament Hill to hear the poignant speeches of the many women and men of Silent no More. It was three o'clock the hour of mercy and the rain had stopped.

After that the three of us met Barb our other sister who works in the West Block and we all headed out for dinner at Darcy Mcgee's a good old irish Pub on Elgin Street. It was a great day and we had lot's to talk about

To see some of the photos and links to news stories please visit my website March for Life 2009

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Violation of Freedom of Speech and Media Bias

For those of you who know me I think you know that one of my biggest pet peeves is the bias of our main stream media outlets. Well , because the Annual March for Life is coming up in a couple of days I thought it would be a good time to resurrect an article I wrote three years ago which I sent to approximately a dozen mainstream Canadian newspapers including The Ottawa Citizen and the Ottawa Sun. All of them ignored the article.

To the Editor

A few weeks ago I had a short discussion with a dinner guest re. Carleton University’s decision to ban pro-life groups on campus. The person believed that this was probably not a bad idea "because we are dealing with some very violent people here." I continued the conversation in an attempt to explain that to be Pro Life is to have the firm belief that all human life from the moment of conception until natural death is sacred and must be protected. Violent acts are contrary to what it is to be pro-life. Later on that evening I pondered this discussion.. False and biased news reports, will obviously result in conclusions that are inaccurate. Misuse of language can certainly taint one’s thinking. If one believes that human life is sacred and must be protected, we are often referred to as being "anti-choice," which in itself has a negative connotation. Sometimes we are called rabid anti-choicers, anti woman, fascists, bigots, etc.

I have never seen a pro-life person who wasn’t peaceful and joyful too for that matter.. We advocate for the most vulnerable human beings; those that society regards as disposable. It is the hope that we are saving lives that sustains our efforts and gives us peace and joy.

Incidentally, I do believe in choice. I call it free will. But some choices are immoral, like a man’s choice to rape a woman, or a parent’s choice to sexually abuse a child, or a thief’s choice to rob a bank. So, I’m "anti-choice" on rape, sexual abuse and bank robbery. How come no one complains about that?

I have attended The National March for Life on Parliament Hill each Spring for many years and the participants are always peaceful. Last year we were blessed to have many members of Silent No More: women who deeply regretted their decision to have an abortion. Each one of them said that if they had known the truth, they would never have had the abortion.

After the speeches on the Hill, the crowd of 5,000 walked peacefully past Henry Morgantaler’s abortion clinic on Bank Street

The Life Chain is an Annual Pro-Life Event and it is always peaceful. One hour on a Sunday afternoon, we silently stand at different major intersections throughout Canada, holding signs such as Abortion hurts women, Abortion kills babies, Choose Adoption, Choose Life etc.

Dr. Angela Lanfranchi gave an excellent presentation on the abortion -breast cancer link, here in Ottawa last year. Dr. Lanfranchi is one of the co-founders of the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute and a member of Physicians for Life. Her presentation was ignored by our local media. Don’t women have a right to know the facts?

Bobby Schindler’s compelling and eloquent talk at Saint Paul's University here in Ottawa last spring, on the last days and the agonizing death of his sister Teri Schiavo’s had no local coverage either.

And what about the high statistics of depression, suicide, drug use and even murder associated with women who have had abortions? You won’t read about that in your local newspaper.

The site of The 2005 National Pro-Life Conference in Montreal had to be changed at the last minute because of threats to Saint Joseph’s Oratory. Demonstrators against the Conference handed out condoms to passers-by labeled the body of Christ. They held a sign that said If only Mary ( the mother of Jesus ) had known about abortion. Protesters also pummeled one officer to the ground. For more information on this event
For some more examples of pro-abortion violence

We are one of the few countries without an abortion law and we have no protection for unborn victims of violence either. When Edmonton Woman Olivia Talbot, who was six months pregnant, was shot in the abdomen last year, two lives were lost, but many other lives were shattered. The man responsible was only charged with the murder of Olivia and not her son baby Lane. MP Leon Benoit’s Private Member’s Bill which would protect unborn victim’s of violence was deemed unconstitutional by then Justice Minister Vic Toeus . You would think there would be a public outcry but there wasn’t.
It seems that every time someone questions the high number of abortions or publicly states that they believe that life is sacred, there is an uproar by feminist "pro choice" groups who will cry foul, that someone even dares to have an opinion other than theirs. What are they afraid of anyways? It is a sad reflection on our supposedly tolerant society to see the discouragement of open honest and intellectual discussion in the very place that it is needed the most ( Universities) When the Truth is suppressed it follows that justice will be too.

footnote: eventually Catholic Insight did publish a portion of this article as a letter to the editor

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Happy Birthday Debbie

Believe it or not it seems like only yesterday that I gave birth to you, my one and only little baby girl. You were just so cute. I won't give your age away Deb but even though you have come a long way you are just as cute today as you were then. Oh incidentally you share a birthday with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Just a little bit of birthday trivia. Hope you have a great day and you blow out all the candles.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Kyle

Our oldest grandson turns 16 today. Wow! I can hardly believe it. It seems like only yesterday that you were in diapers Kyle. Well you have come a long way and grandpa and I love you so much and are so proud of you . I ask God to bless you today and may he guide you in all your endeavors.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Feast of Mercy / Second Sunday of Easter

I am always in awe of God's goodness and today is a reminder of just how good He always is to me. In spite of the fact that I am a sinner and that for my sins he died the most horrible death possible, still he loves me and shows me His mercy time and time again. No matter how many times I fall down he reaches out to me with his merciful love. I need only to repent of my sins and show His mercy to others. This message of God's mercy was made known to a saintly Polish nun around 1930.

from Saint sister Maria Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938)
The Lord Jesus entrusted a great mission to a Polish nun, sister Maria Faustina Kowalska, from the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy, Saint Faustina, who had complete trust in God - to proclaim His message of mercy to the whole world. Her mission was to introduce new prayers and forms of devotion to the Divine Mercy, which are to remind us of the forgotten truth of our faith - of God’s merciful love for every person. In the message, Merciful God reveals Jesus Christ the Savior, as the Father of love and Divine Mercy, especially to the most unfortunate, faulted and sinful.

Pope John Paul II chose the occasion of St. Faustina's canonization on April 30, 2000, to declare the Second Sunday of Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday for the universal Church. The Great Mercy Pope died on April 2, 2005, at 9:37 p.m., which was the vigil of Divine Mercy Sunday that year, as thousands of the faithful prayed the Rosary in Saint Peter’s Square — thus ending a reign of more than a quarter century. The Holy Father‘s last gift to the Church was the Regina Caeli Message he had written in advance for Divine Mercy Sunday, April 3 (the Second Sunday of Easter). It seems prophetic to me that our saintly former Pontiff was called home on the eve of the Feast of Mercy. Below is the Vatican link to the homily of Pope Benedict on Mercy Sunday last year
St Peter's SquareWednesday, 2 April 2008

For more information on Sister Faustina and the Divine Mercy message please go to this link on my website

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Frances Wilkinson letter to the Ottawa Citizen

Letter-writer Frances Wilkinson draws on her own personal experience and her beliefs to urge women to reconsider their choice of having an abortion.

Dr. Bernard Nathanson's film "The Silent Scream" referred to in the letter below can be viewed at:

The Gianna Jessen film can be viewed at:

March 25th at the Abortion site in Ottawa

Yesterday, March 25 was the Feast of the Annunciation, and I wanted to pray at the abortion site ( 65 Bank Street) before attending Mass at 8:00 AM at Saint Pat's. I arrived there shortly after seven to see at least a dozen others there, most of them youth. It was bitterly cold and so I was glad I didn't pay any attention to the weatherman's forecast of a warm day. The wind blew the new sign down a couple of times so eventually one of the young women stood next to it to keep it in place. The young man standing next to me introduced himself as Dustin and said that he was a CCO member. He told me that the majority of the youth were from the pro life youth group at Ottawa University and every Wednesday morning they come to pray at the site. God bless them! I looked at their faces as they stood side by side shivering and praying silently. They all have such a look of peace and hope. There is no question about it!

Before long more youth dropped by after attending 7:00 AM mass at Saint Patick Basilica. When I left for mass around 8:00 I counted at least 12 young people. I thank God for our youth! They are our hope for the future! As I hurried over to mass, I thought how my parish of the Annunciation has been blessed by the good work of our own young people. At the mid point rally on March 19 all of the members of our parish NET Team braved the bitter cold weather across the street from the coldest part of the city.

After Mass I stayed and prayed for a while and then went back to the site to pray. The crowd had dwindled but there were still a couple of others including the man who walks up and down the sidewalk praying the rosary in front of the abortuary. Usually he is with another man but yesterday he was alone. There was a man in a wheelchair who went up and down the sidewalk bearing witness as well, alternating between sides of the street. After I was there for a while, Liz from Saint Clement and Sue from my parish dropped by to pray so the three of us said the rosary together. I left around 10:20 with a feeling of hope and gratitude.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Prayer Initiative at St. Patrick Basilica, Ottawa, ON

7:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.
St. Pats has kindly reserved a special pew in the church for a 40 Day for Life prayer initiative. It is our goal during the time the church is open, which also coincides with the time the abortion clinic is open, to have continual quiet prayer in front of the BLESSED SACRAMENT for the intentions of the campaign.
Our special focus is that we might be faithful and pleasing to God by saving the physical lives of God’s precious infants through the spiritual conversion of their mothers and fathers, for the abortionist and their staff, for our politicians and for all who through indifference do nothing to try to stop abortion. Our prayers also provide spiritual and moral support for our sidewalk counsellors at the vigil site. Our prayers are also to provide a personal love to God’s infants who will die that day at 65 Bank Street.
It is our hope that the regular weekday parishioners of St. Pats, as well as those who are unable to be at the vigil site, or those taking part in the vigil but who want to spend some time before or after, in front of the Blessed sacrament, will help with this initiative. No sign-up necessary.
As Catholics, we believe the most powerful prayer in the world is EUCHARISTIC PRAYER, prayer during the sacrifice of the Mass, prayer after receiving Holy Communion, and prayer to our risen saviour in His real but hidden presence in the Blessed Sacrament.

1:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M. in Scavi
The battle against abortion is a spiritual battle. To be effective in this battle, we need to know the nature of the battle and follow the battle plan, using the weapons given us, while being aware of the strategy of the enemy. The victory is ours but we must take it. With this in mind, we will be offering a video daily during the weekdays at 1:00 pm in the Scavi. The focus will be on Mary, The Eucharist, The Rosary, Prayer, Fasting, Adoration, the Saints etc., linking these with the call to The 40 Days for Life campaign. See website for video schedule.


Monday, February 23, 2009

Sunday Vespers before the beginning of the 40 Days for Life Campaign

I was at Vespers at Saint Patrick Basilica last night and it was very uplifting to see about 300 in attendance. Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast gave a terrific homily on prayer and repentance and the call to conversion

homily of his Grace Archbishop Terrence Prendergast
Sunday before Ash Wednesday
- Vespers—February 22, 2009
St. Patrick's Basilica—Ottawa, Ontario

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, S.J.,speaks on Saint Paul

Year of St. Paul series of monthly articles to celebrate the Year of St. Paul. Each month, Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, S.J., a noted Scripture scholar, will highlight a different aspect of Paul’s writings and times.
A Celebration of the Life of Saint Paul
Epistle to Romans contains Paul's theological legacy
Pauline Morality: Thoughtful Worship
The Self Emptying of Jesus
Christ's Coming In Glory
The Complex Nature of the End Times God's Son, born of a woman
The Conversion of Saint Paul
The theology of the body
Dying and Rising with Christ
The Catholic Register 2008 © The Catholic Register

Saint Paul A Convinced Apostle

I attended a wonderful silent retreat on the weekend and I am still in awe of how spiritually rich an event this was. The retreat leader was Father Kenneth Leblanc LC a very holy and humble priest and a brilliant speaker. The theme of the retreat was "Saint Paul, A convinced Apostle" There were eight meditations in all including the Interior Life, Prayer and Paul's Conversion. Indeed we are temples of the Holy Spirit and God lives in us by Grace. Do I use my body to give Glory of God? Do others encounter God is me?

To commemorate the birth of the Apostle to the Gentiles, Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed this Year a Jubilee Year to the Apostle Paul: from 28 June 2008 to 29 June 2009. "Saint Paul's Spirituality is based on prayer and is mission oriented" said Father Kenneth.

Father Kenneth said that during at least 20 of Benedict's audiences since the beginning of the Pauline Year, the pope spoke passionately on Saint Paul and calls us to be apostles like Paul ; to work for the salvation of souls and to become holy, because, as Christians, we are all called to be co-workers in the kingdom of God and to be saints.

For more on Saint Paul and the Pauline Year go to this link

"....that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
(Ephesians 3:17–19).

12 year old speaks out on the issue of abortion

12-year-old "Lia" of Toronto has become a star at her school and on Youtube with her five-minute pro-life speech, crafted for a school competition. Despite discouragement and outright opposition, Lia's presentation was so well done that she reportedly won the contest she was told she would be disqualified from, due to the "controversial"message of her speech. The speech is available in its entirety on Youtube, where it has been viewed over 100,000 times and sparked a heated discussion.
click here for video of lia's entire speech 12 year old speaks out on the issue of abortion
See complete story on Lifesite News

Monday, February 9, 2009

Pregnancy Support Centers

To contact a pregnancy helping agency in your area please call 1-800-395-HELP (4357)

Pregnancy Support Centers

Excellent Homily on Prayer and Fasting, By Father Paul Burchat from Priests for Life


By Father Paul Burchat from Priests for Life

This is a simple review of some of the basics concerning these two topics. I will start with prayer. One of if not the simplest and best place to read about prayer is in the fourth section of the Catechism. There are as many ways to define prayer, as there are ways of praying. Quoting the Little Flower the Catechism says, "prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy" (2558). That is not necessarily the most perfect definition of prayer but it certainly is a very good one. Prayer of course is a means to an end it is not an end in itself. The end is a deeper, ongoing union with God and prayer as much as anything is what accomplishes this. I make this point because some people can become attached to their form of prayer or style of prayer and miss the real point of it. They have a set routine of prayer and can feel distressed if for some reason that pattern is disrupted. At this point it is not so much God they are seeking but the self-satisfaction of having stuck to their routine. They do all the "right" things and miss the goal. In light of this we begin to see that prayer is a dynamic and not a static reality. Ultimately it is God who invites and stimulates us to pray. Our desire for God is the result of God's desire for us. And as with any relationship the one we have with God will change and mature as time goes by. As such how we pray will change with time as well. So we should not be surprised if our prayer routine, which at one time seemed to work so well becomes dry and unappealing. It usually means that God wants to show us more sides of himself and to enter into a new phase of the relationship he has with us. That entails allowing the old form of prayer to "dry up" so we can replace it with another. You could compare this to communicating with your child. If you are still talking to your son or daughter when they are twenty as you did when they were one year old something is very wrong. Of course sometimes no matter what we do prayer can stay dry and this is God's way of testing us to see if we will stay faithful and whether or not we are really seeking him or just the consolations that can come with prayer.
Prayer is to the soul as food is to the body. If my soul is to stay healthy I need to pray, otherwise my spirit can become sick and listless. "Humility is the foundation of prayer" (CCC 2559). Real prayer demands I understand how utterly dependent I am on God. Without this I may be talking to God but I am not praying. And of course more than anything else or should I say anyone else, prayer is meant to change me not other people. As a result of praying for others they may change for the better, but even if they don't (at least from my perspective) I should be changing for the better. If I am praying for others but expecting that I will stay the same I am undermining my efforts. Therefore there is no such thing as wasted prayer. My prayer may or may not help others but it can always help me. There is also no such thing as an unanswered prayer. Every one of my prayers has been answered. I just didn't always like the answer I got. God tells me what I need to hear not what I want to hear.
There are many styles and forms of prayer: vocal, meditative, contemplative, praise, adoration, thanksgiving, sacramental, intercessory, prayers of petition, etc. etc. Where does one begin? We begin with whatever works. There really is no right or wrong way to pray. In fact there is only one wrong thing we can do in prayer, i.e. stop praying. Apart from this the field is wide open and no matter how we pray good things are going to happen, at least to us. I did not say easy things but good things. However none of this can happen without self-discipline. If we are to develop a mature life of prayer and a stable relationship with God self-discipline is absolutely indispensable. We are fooling ourselves to think otherwise. You don't develop a solid friendship with anyone unless you put the time in with him or her and it is no different with God.
There are difficulties in prayer of course; the most common is getting distracted. When this happens we should not spend much if any time in trying to track down the cause or source of the distraction much less exert any effort in trying to expel it, as this would only increase the power it has over us. We should merely return to prayer as soon as possible (CCC 2729).
Fasting is limiting the amount of food eaten. Abstinence on the other hand is completely eliminating a particular foodstuff from the diet such as meat, dairy products or what have you. Practically speaking the Church understands fasting to entail the eating of only one full meal a day and cutting back on the portions at the other meals. Fasting is not done only by religious people or for religious reasons. People will abstain from certain foods or cut back on their quantities for a variety of reasons. Dieting is a form of fasting, which is done for the purpose of losing weight and with the intention of improving one's health and/or appearance. Some people may be allergic to certain foods and need to eliminate them entirely from their diet. When the primary intention is for the sake of appearance then the underlying reason is either to enhance ones' self-esteem, to engage our narcissistic or hedonistic tendencies or some combination of these. If people are ill or preparing for surgery there may a need to fast or stop eating altogether for a period of time. Others may fast as a means of protest or to further some ideological vision or goal. The Church on the other hand asks us to fast not because she considers certain foods evil but for sound spiritual reasons. The sacrifices we undergo by fasting, as we unite them to our Lord's passion and cross, are a means of doing penance for our sins and the sins of others and thus help to further the salvation of the world. From her perspective fasting helps to curtail our self-indulgence and to tame or mortify our appetites with the ultimate goal of enhancing our spiritual growth. Fasting is one of the three primary forms of penance which the Church has always put forth for our consideration; the other two being prayer and almsgiving. Ash Wednesday and Good Friday of course are obligatory days of fast and abstinence from meat. All the Fridays of the year (which are not Solemnities) are obligatory days of penance and we certainly are free to abstain from meat on that day, but here in Canada we may substitute some other form of penance such as acts of piety or charity for abstaining from meat. This then is the sense in which the Church understands fasting and why.

For more articles and homilies on prayer and fasting please check this link
Prayer and Fasting: