MINISTRY TO COUPLES WHO CHOSE ABORTION AFTER ADVERSE DIAGNOSIS

My last blog, was about couples who have an adverse diagnosis about their unborn child and the support available for couples who decide to carry their child to term. It came from an article in the December CATHOLIC DIGEST. This Article was also in the DIGEST.

THERE IS ALSO SUPPORT FOR THOSE WHO CHOSE ABORTION.  Theresa Bonapartis never planned on counseling couples shattered by abortion. She had enough on her plate–she was raising two young boys alone, pursuing her degree in drug and alcohol abuse counseling, and simply trying to keep it all together.  But this is where God led her more than 20 years ago, after a long, painful journey caused by her own abortion.  “It has been astruggle for me, but through much prayer, counseling and a devotion to the divine mercy of God.  I have found peace.  Healing has been, more than anything, a spiritual battle with Satan. He tried to exert his power over me and fling his lies at me at every turn, but with a trained counselor, good spiritual direction and endless prayer, healing came.”

Theresa posted this as part of her testimony on LUMINA’S WEBSITE, a post aabortion ministry of COOD COUNSEL HOMES AND HOPE FOR BABIES AND MOTHER.  FATHER benedict Groeschel, CFR and Christopher Bell founded the charitable organization, which offers retreats, training, and prayer services for men and women who are post-abortive.  Theresa is the director of LUMINA and the co-creator with the Sisters of Life of Entering Canaan, a post-abortive retreat ministry used in dioceses across the country.

“WE MINISTER TO ALL POST-ABORTIVE PEOPLE. Over  the years I began reaching people who had abortions after a poor prenatal diagnosis.”  These calls became so common that Theresa knew there was a need to reach out to such couples. Through LUMINA, Theresa runs separate retreats designed specifically for those who have aborted after an adverse prenatal diagnosis.

“Obviously they were planning to have the children.  Most of them were rushed into a decision by medical professionals.  Their dreams are shattered.  They’re shocked from the diagnosis, and they give in to abortion.” Theresa explains.  According to the National Catholic Partnership on Disability, up to 90 percent of couples abort children after receiving a prenatal diagnosis of a disability.

“Nobody is saying it’s easy.  It’s horrible.  But abortion only makes it worse. It doesn’t change the situation; it just adds another layer of trauma,” she adds.  “Sooner or later it catches up with everyone.  I have had women in theri 90’s call for help.  PRAISE GOD. HE is merciful and forgiving and patient.  There is always hope.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION: ON OBTAINING SUPPORT CONTACT LUMINA, Hope and Healing after Abortion, A post-abortion ministry & referral network.  http://www.postabortionhelp.org/pah.

They will help provide support and refer you to someone in your area.

LOVE, LOSS, AND COURAGE-THE DECISION TO CARRY A BABY TO TERM

ARTICLE  from the December CATHOLIC DIGEST by Carolee McGrath.  I just read this article and wanted to post the help available for parents who are told by their doctors that there is something wrong with their child and they should abort.

This article is about several couples who upon being told their child would not live, or were told by their doctor that “a diagnosis like this is incompatible with life. Then there was a long pause and he said, ‘So the next steps would be to schedule a time for you to come in for the procedure.’ Their doctor got very short with them and could not believe they would want to carry their baby to term.”

For all these couples, it was pretty much the same thing, everyone assumed they would abort since their baby wasn’t perfect, and would be ill or die shortly after birth.  They all said the same thing, THEY NEEDED SUPPORT TO HELP THEM THROUGH. For Steve and Annmarie while some people questioned and even criticized their decision to have their baby, Angelica, they said “God guided them to Isaiah’s Promise, an organization that supports parents who choose life after receiving a similar diagnosis.  The founder of Isaiah’s Promise, who had experienced the same grief, responded with immediate help for the couple.”

“SUPPORTING PARENTS CARRYING TO TERM IS A PRIVILEGE. BEING A PART OF ANY BABY’S STORY IS A GIFT, AND WHEN A PRENATAL DIAGNOSIS GIVES THE INDICATION THAT A LIFE MAY BE ESPECIALLY FRAIL OR BRIEF, EVERY MOMENT BECOMES MORE PRECIOUS.,” Tracy of BE NOT AFRAID said.

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Come to find out there are several organization ready to support parents who make the correct but tough decision to carry their baby to term. Here is a list:

ISAIAH’S PROMISE, STARTED IN 1996. IN THE WASHINGTON, DC AREA.

BE NOT AFRAID,A CATHOLIC NON-PROFIT LAUCHED BY THREE MOTHERS IN 2009 IN THE DIOCESE OF CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA.

MY CHILD MY GIFT IN THE DIOCESE OF PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND. STARTED BY MADELINE NUGENT.

Also: books written by women with the same experiences:

MY CHILD, MY GIFT: A POSITIVE RESPONSE TO SERIOUS PRENATAL DIAGNOSIS. by Madeline Nugent of  Rhode Island

FOR THE LOVE OF ANGELA, written by Nancy Mayer-Whittington who began Isaiah’s Promise.

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I hope that this information will help women and couples who have to make these kinds of decisions and give them the support they need. If you want to help or start a group in your area, You could contact one of these groups.  The article mentions that there are several other groups and Tracy Winsor of Be Not Afraid, in Charlotte, North Carolina, also refers couples to other groups.

OPERATION NAME: INHERENT RESOLVE

Article from VFW magazine by Janie Blankenship and Tim Dyhouse. called: FANATIC TERRORISTS.

THIS IS THE NAME GIVEN BY THE PENTAGON TO OUR TROUPS GOING TO IRAQ AND WHEREEVER THIS TIME TO FIGHT ISIS AND OTHER TERRORISTS GROUPS. IT APPLIES TO:  Iraq AND Syria, AND ALSO Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Saudi Arabie, United Arab Emirates and Offshore-Persian gulf, Red Sea and eastern Mediterranean Sea. Effective June 15, 2014 troops in these areas will be eligible for the Terrorism Expeditionary Medal. This covers the current campaign of military actions against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The Senate Intelligence Committee puts ISIS strength at between 30,000 and 50,000 men. ISIS calls for the killing of “unbelievers” to purify the community of the faithful.” According to Prof. Bernard Haykel, a scholar at Princeton…”For al Qaeda, violence is a means to an end; for ISIS, it is an end in itself.”ISIS followers believe that anyone–even an Islamist-who supports an elected or secular government is an unbeliever and subject to beheading.

“This is ‘you join us, or you are against us, and we finish you,'” Prof. Emad Shahin, who teaches Islam and politics at Georgetown Univ. told the NEW YORK TIMES. “It is not al Qaeda, but far to its right.”

————————————Who is in the ISIS Fight?  The Air Force has been the main player during the air campaign against ISIS. Perhaps the most significant development from an equipment standpoint is deployment of the F-22 Raptor. The F-22 a radar-evading $412 million fighter, was left out of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. In this campaign, which began Sept. 23, it participated in the second wave of bombing attacks over northern Syria. Other Air Force planes include the B-1B bomber, F-15E Strike Eagle, F16 Falcon and AC-130 gunships.

The Navy also provides firepower.  It committed three ships to the fight early on…………………Army aviators also have a hand in the campaign.  In July the Pentagon sent and unspecified number of AH-64 to Baghdad to protect the U.S. Embassy. Armed with cannons and Hellfire missiles, the gunshps are used for relatively close combat.”

The article goes on to mention drones and then talks about the ground troups…”On the ground there were 3,100 U.S. troops expected in Iraq in January. Some 755 GI’s already provided security assistance at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, the airport and the U.S. consulate in Irbil.  Some 289 special ops troops were split into three groups: 112 at the Joint Operations Center, Baghdad, 87 at the JOC in IRBIL and 90 serving as advisors to the Iraq Security Forces.  Another 475 GI’s were ordered to Iraq on Sept 10……………….Finally, the newly created 2,300 member Marine crisis-response unit, based in Kuwait….”  They expect 10,000 of our troops to be there at year-end.

“The U.S. has used bases in five countries around the Middle East to launch its campaign against ISIS……………………”All of these efforts come with a high price tag to the U.S. military had spent $1.1 billion in its campaign against ISIS. According to the Pentagon, air operations were costing $8.3 million a day.  To break it down even further, it cost $55,000 an hour to fly the B-2 Stealth Bomber from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri.  Joint Direct Attack Munition smart bombs are $40,000 apiece-in just one attack 18 were used.  Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles cost $1.1 million apiece. Should the war against ISIS continue for just one year, the U.S. could be looking at a cost of at least $3.7 billion.  “If airstrikes in Syria and Iraq continue for as long as the President predicts, they will eventually cost tens of billions of dollars,” Loren Thompson, the military analyst for the Lexington Institute told USA TODAY. “The price of munitions is just one part of the bill.  Thousands of personnel are engaged in sustaining aircraft, flying drones and operating warships in the region.”

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There are differing opinions on how to go on from here. Some new lawmakers, vets from Iraq and Afghanistan on arming Syrian rebels but all agree that more force is needed to deal with ISIS. “We need to crush ISIS< not work on training more Islamic radicals.” Duncan Hunter, R-Calif told AP.

Bing West, War Correspondent,…said”A fiercer war lies ahead. The public will be supportive if–and only–if our political and military leadership explain the stakes and display the warrior-resolve to destroy the Islamist army.  When you go to war, kill the opponent, Crush the body and spirit until he is destroyed.”  “One of the lessons of Afghanistan and Iraq is to fully commit to victory with sufficient focus, effort, material support and troop levels to assure victory or do not act at all.  Middling solutions have cost us much in blood and treasure over the last dozen years.  Against ISIS, America is, once again, taking a middling approach bound to be prolonged and indecisive.”  Chris Miller, Army Vet, 2 tours…Now you know where the military budget money goes.

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So there it is.  If we are going to do, we need to do it right for once, and actually win.  And if we do that the Military Budget is going to have to remain as it is or increase.

Ths article did not mention the coalition forces.

SAINT AGNES-THE LEGEND

Agnes is said to have been martyred in 304 at the age of thirteen, when her spurned suitors turned her over to Roman authorities.

The LEGEND OF SAINT AGNES is one of the oldest in Christianity, and one that has had a great impact on sacred an secular literature up to modern times.  Saint Jerome, writing in the fourth century, claimed that in his day the fame of Saint Agnes had spread to all the nations, and that homilies and hymns and poetry and prose had effusively honored her in various languages.  Her youth and beauty, her innocence and heroism in defending her chastity all fueled the drama of her clash with imperial Roman authority in the waning days of its pagan dominion.

Saint Augustine says that Agnes was only thirteen years of age when in AD 304 she rejected the advances of Eutropius, the son of the prefect of Rome.  One Day while riding through the city, Eutropius fell into lust at first sight and decided that Agnes must be his at all costs.  So he presented her with gold and gems……and asked her parents for her hand in marriage.  But Agnes rejected him and his gifts with such eloquence and determination it is no surprise that she has joined iconic status as a female in command of both her faith and her body. “Be gone, tempter!” she declared, “I am already betrothed to a lover……..(she was talking about Jesus)

He took to his bed, told his father he must have Agnes.  His father became angry and checked on Agnes. He found that Agnes was a Christian from birth and the Object of her affections was none other than Jesus Christ. Since Christians were threatened with death, he threatened her with torture and death, if she did not offer homage to the gods of Rome. He planned to mock her virginity and vanquish her resistance. He ordered her to be publicly dragged naked to a house of prostitution, where she would be exposed to outrageous degradations. When the guards stripped her of her garments and she saw herself exposed, she bent her head down in meek shame and prayed.  For it was then that heaven intervened and answered Agnes’ prayer.  To the shock of the crowd her hair miraculously grew to cover her nakedness.  And when she was imprisoned in the house of infamy, an angel appeared and clothed her in a white protective garment.

The legend says the Eutroplus attempted to rape her while she was imprisoned and vulnerable. But he was struck down by the angel.  Saint Ambrose records that “she went to her place of execution more cheerfully than others go to their weddings.”

She was a martyr for her religion and her beliefs. She chose to die instead of lose her virginity to someone she did not love. She remembered she was a child of God, made in His image and likeness.  She is the patron saint of young women.