We Are AM, We Stand For Life

Albertus 3 On Tuesday, April 1, the students and teachers of Albertus Magnus High School in Bardonia held their first Life Chain on school grounds along Route 304. Standing with them were Sr. Nancy Richter, Prolife Club moderator, Joe Troy, principal, and Fr. Frank Samoylo, AM graduate and now pastor of St. Columbanus in Cortlandt Manor.

The Our Lady of Guadalupe Rosarians and others came to show their support. Here is a slideshow.

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Life Chain — A First for Albertus Magnus

AM 1st LIFE Chain-1This week, the epicenter of pro-life action in Rockland will be Albertus Magnus High School in Bardonia, as the students hold their first-ever Life Chain on Tuesday, April 1.

The Pro-Life Generation will be standing up for Life on the lawn of the school that fronts Route 304 from 3 to 5 p.m.  If you’re driving by, be sure to give them a big smile and a thumbs-up.

The Life Chain movement was started over 25 years ago as a way for  communities to witness to the respect for life and pray for an end to abortion.

Each year the first Sunday in October — designated as Respect Life Sunday — Life Chains are held across the nation. In Rockland, several hundred people come each year to line the sidewalks at the interesection of Route 59 and Middletown Road.

Although the Albertus Magnus-based Life Chain this spring is something new, the students are not strangers to the program. For years, their Pro-Life Club has attended the Rockland Life Chain, and last autumn they were the largest group in attendance. You’ll find some photos of them at that event here.

Albertus Magnus High School students and the Pro-life Club moderator, Sr. Nancy Richter, at the October 2013 Life Chain in Rockland.

Albertus Magnus High School students, with the Pro-Life Club moderator, Sr. Nancy Richter, at the October 2013 Life Chain in Rockland.

The Life Chain: 200+ Proclaim Message of Life

Students from Albertus Magnus HIgh School display their message for LIFE.

Students from Albertus Magnus HIgh School display their message for LIFE.

In spite of gray skies, a constant mist, and the threat of showers, over 200 Rocklanders gathered at the intersection of Route 59 and Middletown Rd. on Sunday, Oct. 6, for the 21st annual Life Chain.

The Rockland Life Chain was one of 29 being held simultaneously today in the boroughs of New York City and the lower Hudson Valley. Hundreds were held across the United States and in Canada. Continue reading

Be Part of the Life Chain — Sunday, Oct. 6

The 21st annual Rockland Life Chain will take place on Sunday, Oct. 6, from 2 to 3:30 at the intersection of Route 59 and Middletown Road in Nanuet.

The Life Chain is a peaceful, prayerful public witness of prolife individuals praying for our nation and for an end to abortion. This year it is being held in memory of the late John Davidson, of Congers, a longtime defender of the right to life.  John passed away on June 16, 2013.


John Davidson

John praying the Rosary at the 40 Days for Life.

John was a regular with the Our Lady of Guadalupe Rosarians, who pray every Saturday morning at 11 a.m. year round outside the Planned Parenthood office in Spring Valley.

Also, for six years — from the fall of 2007 until the spring of 2013 —  he participated in the 40 Days for Life, taking numerous hours fasting and praying to end abortion.

John was born in October 1933, in the heart of the Depression. He experienced  hard times. His father, out of work and ill, became hospitalized for tuberculosis, and his mother, Josephine O’Leary Davidson, became the breadwinner. With an outstanding score on the Civil Service Exam she landed a job of toll collector on the George Washington Bridge. She worked there until the end of World War II and then obtained a permanent position with the New York City Transit Authority.

Determined to meet the challenges he had to face, John took to education like a duck to water. He graduated from Sacred Heart grammar school in 1947, and his hard work paid off with a bachelor’s degree from Manhattan College in 1975, a master’s degree in English from Fordham University, a PhD in Administration from St. John’s University, and a JD from Pace University Law School in 1982. He was admitted to the bar in 1985.

In 1956 John’s  education was interrupted when he was drafted into the Army, where he served as a paratrooper. He later joined the Army Reserves as a second lieutenant and advanced through the ranks,   eventually retiring with the rank of Brigadier General.

In 1960 John met the love of his life, Kathleen Patricia McNally, a registered nurse. They were married in August 1961. John and Pat had four children: Kathy Patricia, Siobhan Mary, John Joseph III, and Joseph Dignam Davidson. John lost his beloved wife of 46 years on St. Patrick’s Day 2007.

John was a life-long educator. In 1960 he began teaching English at Lawrence High School in Cedarhurst, N.Y. In 1969 he was assistant principal of Lincoln Junior High School. In 1970 he became principal of the Academy of the Sacred Heart of Mary, in the Inwood section of the Upper Bronx. In 1971 he served as an assistant principal in Pittsfield, MA. Two years later returned to New York to be  assistant principal of Clarkstown North High School in New City. John held that position for 17 years until his retirement in 2000. Then he was elected to the Clarkstown School Board in 2001, becoming its president in 2006. He retired in 2012.

Also close to John’s heart throughout his life was the Knights of Columbus. John became a Knight in 1966 and received his Fourth  Degree in 1967 in Oceanside, N.Y. When he returned to Rockland County,  he joined the Cardinal McCloskey Council and the Joyce Kilmer Assembly 698. He was one of the founders of the  Pope John XXIII council 7104 in Congers and was elected that council’s first Grand Knight. He has also held the offices of District Deputy, Faithful Navigator of Assemly 698, Past Association Chairman, and Commander of the Honor Guard, which he considered  the “singular honor of his life.”

We thank the Knights of Columbus Triune Council 2052 for providing the information for this tribute.

The Spirit of the Life Chain

October 6, 2013 will be  21st time that the Life Chain has been held in Rockland County. Here are some of the photos from past years, which we feel best exemplify the spirit of the Life Chain. Vote for your favorite in the poll below. And remember, this year’s Life Chain is this Sunday, Oct. 6, from 2:00 to 3:30 pm.

Students from Albertus Magnus High School Stand Up for Life
AM prolife group

John and Pam Barnhardt Family — Jesus Loves the Little Children
Barnhardt Family

Saint Joseph’s Church Youth Group — Always Faithful!
SJ youth group

The Sisters of Life on Route 59
Sisters Life

God Loves the Mother, Father, and the Child

The Natural Choice is Life
Natural choice is life

Life Chain Time in Rockland — Oct. 6

IMG_4158Life Chains are peaceful, prayerful public witnesses of prolife advocates standing together in prayer for an end to abortion and offering a message of compassion and healing for all suffering as a result of abortion.

This year, the 21st Rockland Life Chain again will be held at the intersection of Route 59 and Middleton Ave. on Oct. 6, Respect Life Sunday, 2 to 3:30 pm. There will be 29 Life Chains taking place simultaneously in surrounding counties in New York City and the Hudson Valley.

If you feel the inspiration to do something to help end abortion, but the March for Life in Washington, D.C., in January is too cold or far away, this is the place to come.  Continue reading

Respect Life Month — Being Prolife

imagesThere’s no one season for being prolife. No one thing we do.

Rather, it’s a daily commitment that rises from our belief in the sacredness of life, the dignity of every human being. It leads us along a path of service toward others, especially the most vulnerable and those most in need. It causes us to become involved, to share, to pray, and to stand up and speak out when necessary.

Yet the month of October — Respect Life Month — is a special time to deepen our insight of what being prolife is all about. It’s highlighted by liturgies in our churches and observances in the public square. We gather in prayer services and protests, we join in discussions and song.

We’re drawn to events that bring us together because it’s with others that we find our strength. By sharing the sorrows, the uncertainties, the joys, and the exhilaration of the prolife mission we find the place where the courage comes from, and the hope, and the inspiration to keep on going in the year to come.

Will you join us? Here is a short list of some of the events going on in and around Rockland during Respect Life Month 2013. Please select one (or several) that seem right for you — and come! You’ll be glad you did!

More information about each event will be appearing on this site as we get closer to the date. So please check back. If your group or church is doing anything for Respect Life month, please let us know so we can post it on this site and pass the word along. Email: RocklandRTL@optonline.net.

National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children
Sept. 14 at 5 pm (before the 5:30 pm. Mass)
Garden of Innocence
South side of St. Mary of the Assumption Church
46 Conklin Ave., Haverstraw

40 Days for Life — Opening Ceremony
Sept. 25 at 3 pm
Perelman Drive, Spring Valley (on public property, near the Planned Parenthood office)

40 Days for Life 
Sept. 25 and daily for the next six weeks
9 am to 5 pm (and overnight at the Adoration Chapel of St. Gregory Barbarigo in Garnerville)
Perelman Drive, Spring Valley (on public property, near the Planned Parenthood office)

The Manhattan Declaration Returns Home
Sept. 25, 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Columbia University
525 W. 120th St., NYC
Join Timothy Cardinal Dolan for an interfaith prayer service and religious liberty forum

21st Rockland County Life Chain
Oct. 6, 2:00 to 3:30 pm
Intersection of Route 59 and Middletown Road, Nanuet

Good Counsel Communion Breakfast
Oct. 12 at 9:15 am (Mass followed by breakfast)
Marian Shrine, 147 Filor’s Lane, Stony Point
to benefit the Spring Valley Good Counsel home

New York State Right to Life Convention
Oct. 19
Holiday Inn in Oneonta, NY

Concert for Life
Nov. 21 at 7 pm (free, donation requested)
Albertus Magnus High School  [CORRECTION — not the Marian Shrine this year]
to benefit the Spring Valley Good Counsel home

Pro-Life Rocklanders Unite in Life Chain

Albertus Magnus High School students on Route 59 at the Life Chain.

The 19th annual Rockland Life Chain was held on Respect Life Sunday, Oct. 2, at the intersection of Route 59 and Middletown Rd. in Nanuet.

This year the Life Chain was held in memory of Barbara (Betty) Braun, who spoke out bravely and eloquently for the unborn for decades. She was one of the founding members and president of the Rockland County  Catholic Coalition. Betty passed away last spring, and everyone is invited to her memorial mass on Oct. 7 at St. Francis Church in West Nyack at 7 pm. Continue reading