Attempt to Undo the ‘Hobby Lobby’ Decision Fails

imagesToday, by a vote of 56-43, the U.S. Senate did not take up a bill (S.2578, the so-called “Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act’) that would have overriden all federal laws  protecting the rights of conscience and freedom of religion regarding health coverage mandates.

If such a bill passes into law, it would, in effect, repeal the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” and overturn last month’s Supreme Court ruling that struck down the Obamacare mandate that required religious, family-owned corporations such as Hobby Lobby to include contraceptive/abortifacient coverage in employee health insurance.

The two senators from New York, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand voted in favor of this bill and even co-sponsored it.

Here’s why defeating S.2578 is vitally important to prolifers.

Senate Dems Launch Push for “Most Radical Pro-abortion Bill Ever

WASHINGTON – Four months before the mid-term congressional election, Senate Democrats are pushing into the national spotlight “the most radical pro-abortion bill ever considered by Congress,” said Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of state right-to-life organizations.

Tobias was one of two non-congressional witnesses who testified against the so-called “Women’s Health Protection Act” (S. 1696), at a hearing before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee this morning.

“This bill is really about just one thing: it seeks to strip away from elected lawmakers the ability to provide even the most minimal protections for unborn children, at any stage of their pre-natal development,” Tobias told the committee. “Calling the bill the ‘Abortion Without Limits Until Birth Act’ would be more in line with truth-in-advertising standards.”  Continue reading

1st Monday Mass for Life

L1210449The Catholic Prolife Vicariate of Rockland holds a mass for life on the first Monday of each month at St. Francis of Assisi Church at 128 Parrott Rd. in West Nyack at 7:30 p.m.  The next mass is July 7. Everyone is welcome to come to celebrate mass and pray for an end to abortion and all your prolife intentions.

Music for the mass will be provided by Frank D’Amato from Spring Valley. Frank helped lead the singing at the recent July 4 Mass for Life and for America at the Marian Shrine. He has volunteered to offer his musical talents (singing and guitar) to any group that is planning a prolife or prayer event. You can contact him at 845-507-2580.

 

Morning of Prayer on July 4th

On Independence Day, Catholic prolifers gathered for the annual morning of prayer for Life and for America at the Marian Shrine in Stony Point, sponsored by the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants and the Rockland County Catholic Coalition.

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Mass concelebrants Fathers Joseph Kuzhichalil, Brendan Gormley, and Nicholas Callahan

The Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and the recitation of the Rosary was followed by Mass concelebrated by Father Brendan Gormley of St. Barnabas in the Bronx, Father Joseph Kuzhichalil of St. Margaret’s in Pearl River, and Father Nicholas Callahan, who is serving at St. Catherine’s in Blauvelt while on summer break from his studies of canon law in Rome.

Lector Richard Bruno

Lector Richard Bruno

In his homily, Father Brendan spoke of the importance of those most valuable things which do not belong solely to us and have been entrusted to us to hand down: the gifts of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

These treasures must be defended, often at great cost. Father read the “Letter to Jackie,” a letter from Navy Lt. Cmdr. John Shay to his 5-year-old son during the early days of World War II.

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Father Joseph reading the Gospel.

Shay, knowing he may not live to see his son grow up, speaks to the child in a letter to tell him all the important things he wants him to know. He tells  the boy that he  lives in a land of great freedom and opportunity, that he should study hard and get all the education he can, play fair, try to win but be a good loser, never be a quitter, and follow the advice of those who love him because they’ll never let him down.

Shay tells his son to love and stay close to his mother and love his grandparents and aunts, and never forget his dad.

Sadly, Shay was killed in action shortly after writing his letter. But among the advice this brave man left was this, a message for all of us on Independence Day and always: Be a good Catholic  – and you can’t help being a good American.

The lector for the mass was Richard Bruno. The music was provided by Eileen Peterson, Monica Peterson-St. John, and Frank D’Amato.

Frank D'Amato, Monica Peterson St. John, and Eileen Peterson

Frank D’Amato, Monica Peterson St. John, and Eileen Peterson

Judy Murray, Jeanmarie Grahn, Terry Anselmi, Liz O'Brien, and Ginny Gulesian

Judy Murray, Jeanmarie Grahn, Terry Anselmi, Liz O’Brien, and Ginny Gulezian

Joe Clohosey and Tony Bosico

Joe Clohosey and Tony Bosico

Supreme Court Affirms Religious Freedom

In the “Hobby Lobby” case, the Supreme Court today struck down the Obamacare requirement that religious owners of family-owned corporations must include no-cost contraceptive/abortifacient coverage in employee health insurance.

From The Washington Post (July 8)
A Good Day for Hobby Lobby, the Little Sisters of the Poor, and Mr. Muhammed Too

From The Becket Fund, counsel for Hobby Lobby
Supreme Court Victory for Hobby Lobby and Religious Freedom

From The Hill, Helen Alvare
After Hobby Lobby, What’s Next? (the question of the Little Sisters of the Poor and nonprofit ministries)

From National Right to Life Committee
Analysis and implications of the Hobby Lobby decision. Religious employers are hardly out of the woods yet.

Supreme Court Strikes Down Law Prohibiting Prolife Free Speech

imagesA great victory for Life and for America! In a unanimous decision today, the Supreme Court struck down a Massachusetts buffer zone law prohibiting pro-life free speech outside abortion clinics.

Mark Rienzi, professor of constitutional law at Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law and lead counsel for the sidewalk counselor who brought the suit stated: “Americans have the freedom to talk to whomever they please on public sidewalks. That includes peaceful pro-lifers like Eleanor McCullen, who just wants to offer information and help to women who would like it. The Supreme Court has affirmed a critical freedom that has been an essential part of American life since the nation’s founding.”  Read more here.

And don’t miss Sean Miller’s blog about what it’s like to be a sidewalk counselor.

Sidewalk Counseling

Guest blogger Sean Miller

Guest blogger Sean Miller

For the past two decades, blogger Sean Miller has counseled at a number of abortion mills in New Jersey. In this post, he shares what he has learned about sidewalk counseling, “the delicate balancing act between urgency and gentleness.”

“Sidewalk Counseling”

Sidewalk counseling outside an abortion clinic – human lives are at stake, and you’re on the front lines. You may be the last lifeline of hope for a pregnant woman as she approaches the building to abort her child. She and those with her tend to be in a fragile state, wrestling with conflicting emotions. Things can happen quickly.

Knowing what to say and how to say it is of utmost importance. It can make the difference between a person accepting your help or walking away.

If you’re considering becoming a part of this important work, I’d like to share with you a few of the important things I’ve learned. I’ve been counseling for 20 years now. And just like anything else, the more experience one has … well, it never gets easy, but it does get less difficult.

The Approach

How should you approach a couple who are seeking an abortion?

First, It’s important to understand where they’re coming from. Their emotions are in turmoil, overwhelming and volatile.

Internally, they’ve been going through a battle between what they’re tempted to do and what they should do. And now that they’ve decided to come to the abortion facility, many of them feel the question of whether or not to go through with the abortion has been resolved.

At this point, they just want to get this experience over with quickly so that they can get on with their lives and forget about the entire ordeal.

But, to their surprise, they see individuals on the sidewalk who appear to be standing in their way. A bunch of “religious zealots,” they think, who only want to harass them and make them feel guilty and add to the heavy burden that rests on their shoulders.

So how should we, the sidewalk counselors, respond?  Continue reading