From the New Encyclical: Protecting Nature – Protecting Life

Pope Francis“Since everything is related, concern for the protection of nature is also incompatible with the justification of abortion. How can we genuinely teach the importance of concern for other vulnerable beings, however troublesome or inconvenient they may be, if we fail to protect a human embryo, even when its presence is uncomfortable and creates difficulties? If personal and social sensitivity towards the acceptance of the new life is lost, then other forms of acceptance that are valuable for society also wither away (120).”

“To blame population growth instead of extreme and selective consumerism on the part of some, is one way of refusing to face the issues (50).”

— Pope Francis, Laudato Si, June 18, 2015

Assisted Suicide Bill Re-Introduced in NY Senate

The bill to legalize physician-assisted suicide in New York is back.

We breathed a sigh of relief when its sponsor withdrew it a month ago, but now — here it is again, with a new sponsor, Republican Senator John Bonacic, who is from the Middletown area. And its supporters are planning to slip it through in the flurry of legislation that gets taken up in the last days of the session.

They actually have three days to accomplish this. The session ends June 17.

Hastened death is an unnecessary act of harm fraught with dangers. Please check out this message from  New York State Right to Life about how this bill targets people at their most vulnerable time.

Right now, the Senate is adjourned and will reconvene on Monday, June 15. Please call today or Monday or send an email message over the weekend to your state senator and ask him to stand firm against this bill which asks our doctors to kill. Vote NO on bill S-5814.

Senator Bill Larkin (Haverstraw & Stony Point)
Phone: (518) 455-2770
Or click here to send email

Senator David Carlucci (rest of Rockland)
Phone: 518-455-2991
Or click here to send email

Chris Bell, Fr. Andrew Apostoli Honored at Triune Charity Ball

At the podium, Fr. Andrew Apostoli, CFR, Grand Knight John Rio, and Good Counsel Home's Chris Bell at the Triune Council #2052 96th Anniversary Charity Ball.

At the podium, Fr. Andrew Apostoli, CFR, Grand Knight John Rio, and Good Counsel Home’s Chris Bell at the Triune Council #2052 96th Anniversary Charity Ball.

The Knights of Columbus Triune Council #2052 celebrated their 96th anniversary with a Charity Ball, held at the Colonial Manor in Norwood, N.J., on June 5. The event honored Fr. Andrew Apostoli, CFR, and Chris Bell of Good Counsel Homes for their dedicated years of service to so many ministries.

Knights of Columbus 4th Degree Honor Guard

Knights of Columbus 4th Degree Honor Guard

Grand Knight John Rio welcomed the guests and presented the honorees, who were escorted into the ballroom by the 4th Degree Knights of Columbus Honor Guard.

The program opened with the introduction of Fr. Apostoli by Fr. Frank Samoylo, longtime Rockland County resident, now pastor of St. Columbanus parish in Cortlandt Manor, and one of last year’s co-honorees for his work with the prolife movement.

Fr. Andrew is a member and co-founder of the Community of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. He is a frequent host on the Eternal Word Television Network. Ordained in 1967 by Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, the famous preacher and TV pioneer of the 1950s, Fr. Andrew  now works to advance the cause of the canonization of the bishop, whom he called a “great man who touched many hearts.”

In his talk, Fr. Andrew described some of the miracles attributed to the bishop, and asked the guests to pray for him to be declared a saint.

Fr. Andrew also spoke of his great devotion to Our Lady of Fatima and urged the audience to heed the Fatima message to pray the Rosary, which he said is “powerful enough to stop wars and bring peace,” and protect the Christian culture now beset by abortion, euthanasia, and attacks on religious freedom and marriage.

Fr. Apostoli, Richard Bruno, and Chris Bell

Fr. Apostoli, Richard Bruno, and Chris Bell

Next at the podium was Richard Bruno, coordinator of the Our Lady of Guadalupe Rosarians, who introduced Chris Bell, co-founder of the Good Counsel Homes for Babies and Mothers, and welcomed Chris’ wife, Joan Andrews Bell, who has been on the front lines of the prolife movement for decades,  and their son, Emiliano.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Good Counsel Homes, founded by Chris and Fr. Benedict Groeschel in 1985 to serve homeless, pregnant and parenting mothers and their babies.

Chris Bell -- A truly dedicated Apostle for Life

Chris Bell — A truly dedicated Apostle for Life

Chris began by thanking the prolife people of Rockland for their efforts to save unborn babies. He noted that over the years from the “rescues” in the 1980s — peaceful sit-ins blocking the doors of abortion clinics led by the Vicar of Rockland Msgr. Harrington  — to today’s 40 Days of Life vigils,  the number of  facilities in the county that provide surgical abortions declined from six to zero.

He also pointed out that Rockland has the lowest abortion rate in all the counties that comprise the Archdiocese of New York and attributed this to prayer and the Blessed Sacrament.

Many women who seek abortion do so under great pressure and despair, Chris said, and told the audience that many of the women who come to Good Counsel seeking help have had previous abortions because at the time, they said, it seemed they didn’t have a choice.

Good Counsel Homes offers them the choice of life for their babies and provides a program called Lumina to help women who have had abortions to heal. God’s mercy is infinite, Chris said, and to share that mercy and love of Christ with those in need is the mission of Good Counsel.

The final speaker of the evening was Rockland County Supervisor Ed Day who presented certificates of appreciation on behalf of the people of Rockland to the Triune Council’s honorees and to Good Counsel Homes on the occasion of their 30th anniversary.


Liz O’Brien, chair of Rockland Right to Life, with Fr. Andrew and Chris Bell.

The program ended with the announcement of the council’s Knight of the Year: Kevin McGovern.

Rev. Gerry Deponai, pastor of St. Anthony’s Church in Nanuet and the chaplain emeritus of the Triune Council, said of Chris and Fr. Andrew, “The Triune Council is deeply honored to acknowledge and honor these two dedicated man of the Church!

Our Church, our nation, and the cause of life have been blesssed with their charisms.”

Photos below courtesy of Frank Traina




U.S. Senate to Introduce Bill Banning Abortion After 20 Weeks

UPDATE:  THE BILL WAS INTRODUCED ON JUNE 11. See statement from National Right to Life President Carol Tobias here.

In the wake of similar legislation which passed the U.S. House of Representatives on May 13, the Senate plans to introduce a bill this week to extend protection to unborn children who are at least 20 weeks beyond fertilization.

The bill, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, is being introduced by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and the National Right to Life Committee is urging other senators to sign on as co-sponsors.

In a letter sent to all senators on June 1, the National RTL Committee wrote:

It is now commonplace to read about evidence that, by 20 weeks fetal age and even earlier, an unborn child responds to many forms of stimuli, including music and the mother’s voice. Claims that the same child is nevertheless insensible to the violence done to her body during an abortion should engender strong skepticism. Abortions at this stage are performed using a variety of techniques, but most often by a method in which the unborn child’s arms and legs are twisted off by brute manual force, using a long stainless steel clamping tool. A medical illustration of this common method is posted here.

This bill will save thousands of lives annually. While opponents of the ban on late-term abortions say the procedure is rare, there are 275 facilities in America that offer abortions past 20 weeks.

Wednesday: Historic Vote to Ban Painful, Late Abortions

UnbornPain050815On Wednesday, May 13, the U.S. House of Representatives will take up a landmark pro-life bill that, if enacted, will save thousands of unborn children each year from a painful death.

The bill, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, would protect unborn children from abortion, beginning at 20 weeks – nationwide.   By this point in development (and indeed even earlier), the unborn child is capable of experiencing great pain during an abortion.  This federal bill was developed on the basis of model legislation developed by National Right to Life, which has been enacted so far in 11 states.

Please email, call, or write to Nita Lowey, who represents Rockland in the House of Representatives. Ask her to please vote for H.R36, Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.

You can briefly cite one of the reasons from “Fetal Pain: The Evidence,” from the Doctors on Fetal Pain website.

To send an email to Rep. Lowey click here

Phone:  202-225-6506

Rep. Nita Lowey
2365 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515