‘America, God Shed His Grace on Thee’

Margie Michael

Margie Fitton, co-founder of the Rockland Right to Life Committee, and her son, Michael, were among the worshippers at the morning of prayer for Life and America.

Starting the July 4th Independence Day holiday with a morning of prayer for our nation has become a tradition at the Mary Help of Christians Chapel at the Marian Shrine in Stony Point. With plenty of time left in the day for barbecues and fireworks, hundreds first come here to ask God for his blessing and healing for America, its leaders and its people, and to pray  for a restoration of respect for the gift of Life.

The morning included mass, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and recitation of the rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet. The concelebrants were three priests who are known for their prolife efforts in Rockland: Fr. Nicholas Callahan, formerly of St. Catherine’s in Blauvelt and now studying canon law in Rome, Fr. Brendan Gormley of St.Anthony’s in Yonkers, and Fr. John Wilson of St. Gregory’s in Garnerville.


Fr. Brendan Gormley and Fr. Nicholas Callahan

Wilson Eileen

Newly-ordained priest Fr. John Wilson gives Eileen Peterson his “first blessing.”

The main celebrant and homilist was Fr. Nicholas who spoke about why the prolife movement has reason for hope, even in the face of  recent Supreme Court rulings against us. Drawing a comparison between the impact of death and horror on the battlefield and the response to the slaughter of millions by abortion,  he said that there eventually comes a point of great “discouragement and exhaustion” against the familiarity of “blood, futility, suffering, and death.” That happens, he said,  because we are made to love life, and it’s “what the human soul wants to have.” There will be a turning point where the cause for life will prevail.

And also, he noted, from a theological point of view, the battle against evil has already been  won on the Cross, where we find in Christ the “grace to repair every heart and heal every wound.”

At the end of mass, the crowd lined up in the vestibule to receive the “first blessing” from Fr. John Wilson, who was  recently ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of New York.

This annual morning of prayer, sponsored by the Rockland County Catholic Coalition and the Helpers of Gods’ Precious Infants, has  become an occasion where many who have spent decades in the prolife movement get the chance to see each other again. Margie Fitton, co-founder of Rockland Right to Life and past president,  was among the worshippers. Eileen Peterson was organist and led the choir.



Rose Mass Celebrated at St. Anthony’s

L1230179Jan. 22, the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion in America in 1973, was marked by a Rose Mass held at St. Anthony’s Church in Nanuet.

The main celebrant was Rev. Gerry Deponai, pastor of St. Anthony’s. The two concelebrants were Msgr. Emmet  Nevin, pastor of St. Aedan’s in Pearl River and Dean of Rockland County, and Rev. Joseph LaMorte, pastor of St. Gregory Barbarigo Church in Garnerville.

The Rose Mass, held each year on Jan. 22, is a special prolife mass for eighth graders from the county’s Catholic elementary schools. This year the mass was attended by students from St. Anthony’s, St. Gregory’s, Sacred Heart in Suffern, St. Paul’s in Congers, and St. Margaret’s in Pearl River, along with Novitiate sisters from the Sisters of Life in Montebello, and the public.

A vase of long-stemmed, red roses stood on a table near the altar. “The rose,” Fr. Gerry said in his homily, “reminds us of the power of God, who gives us love and beauty.”

“We pray,” he continued, “that each and every human conceived will have the chance for life and the chance to bloom into the person God wants them to be.”

Rocklanders Join in Nationwide Day of Protest Against Planned Parenthood

L1220609-eProlife advocates in Rockland County gathered today for a prayer rally outside the Spring Valley Planned Parenthood office on Perlman Drive. The event was sponsored by The Our Lady of Guadalupe Rosarians in solidarity with similar rallies, vigils, and protests being held in over 300 cities around the country today in the wake of the release of shocking undercover videos showing the abortion giant to be involved in the business of selling fetal body parts.

L1220637As reported by LifeNews, the online prolife news site, organizer Eric Scheidler of the Pro-Life Action League said, “These videos are exposing the American people to the truth about Planned Parenthood and the truth about abortion. How can you deny the humanity of a tiny person whose body parts are being harvested for medical use? Worse yet, how can you make jokes about it, like the Planned Parenthood doctors do in these videos? It’s time to cease all taxpayer funding of this corrupt organization.”

The program in Rockland began with prayer petitions for the unborn, those considering abortion, and those working for the abortion industry, and for the continued strength and commitment for all in the prolife movement. This was followed by the recitation of the Holy Rosary led by Deacon Rob Pang from St. John’s Church in Piermont and others.

Hundreds of cars passed the prayer site with its many signs bearing prolife messages during the course of the two-hour vigil.

Eileen Peterson, the coordinator of Rockland’s 40 Days for Life campaign, noted that, appropriately, this day — August 22 — was the “Feast of the Queenship of Mary” and also the sixth anniversary of the death of Msgr. John Harrington, former vicar of Rockland and prolife leader, who was arrested several times for peaceably trying to save unborn babies and who was instrumental in closing an abortion clinic that used to exist in the county.

L1220620-eThe vigil concluded with a prayer led by Richard Bruno, of the Our Lady of Guadalupe Rosarians, consecrating to Our Lady all efforts to end abortion and the culture of death fostered by Planned Parenthood.and similar organizations.


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July 4, 2015 — God Bless America!

Worshippers at the Mass for Life and America: (from left) Cathy Skae, Margaret Hamilton, Deacon Gene Hamilton, Jeanmarie Grahn, Ginny Gulezian, and Terry Anselmi

Worshippers at the Mass for Life and America: (from left) Cathy Skae, Margaret Hamilton, Deacon Gene Hamilton, Jeanmarie Grahn, Ginny Gulezian, and Terry Anselmi

The annual 4th of July morning of prayer for Life and for America was held at the Marian Shrine (The Salesian National Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians) at Stony Point yesterday. The Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament was followed by Mass at noon. Concelebrants were Fr. Brendan Gormley, of St. Barnabas in the Bronx, and Fr. Nicholas Callahan, formerly of St. Catherine’s in Blauvelt and now studying canon law in Rome.  While serving in Rockland, both priests were  active in the prolife movement here.

Also part of the morning of prayer were Fr. John Palatucci and seminarian John Wilson from St. Paul’s in Congers. Mr. Wilson is slated to be ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of New York next year.

L1220470In his homily, Fr. Brendan noted that the greatest challenge of our spiritual life is to “become who we are” — and that is the Body of Christ. Nobody’s quite there yet, he said, but the way to acheive this goal is to give God permission to take over and lead us — by prayer, fasting, and giving up some of the harmless things that nevertheless distract us from Him.

Likewise, with America, Fr. Brendan continued. It is our great and beloved country, but it’s not perfect either, having moved God aside to allow secularism to substitute for God’s truth.

But in spite of our country’s failings — among which are the 53 million unborn children who have been have been aborted since 1973 — we must remember that God is still in charge and that He will triumph, he said.

Keeping in mind the two great miracles of God’s love for us, his resurrection to new life and the gift of Himself through the Eucharist, and with the help of his faithful mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, we can become the people we were called to be — and the nation we were meant to be, Father Brendan concluded.

This morning of prayer was sponsored by the Rockland County Catholic Coalition and the Helpers of Gods’ Precious Infants. Eileen Peterson was organist and cantor.

July 4 — Prayer for Life and for Our Nation

images-1A morning of prayer for life and for America will be held at the Marian Shrine in Stony Point on July 4. Fathers Brendan Gormley, John Palatucci, and Nicholas Callahan will lead the prayers and offer Mass.

10:00  a.m.  Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, rosary, and prayer

12:00  p.m.  Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

~~ Sponsored by the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants and the Rockland Catholic Coalition. All are welcome

40 Days for Life Begins Again on Feb. 18

securedownload-4240 Days for Life is 40 consecutive days of 24/7 prayer, fasting, and peaceful public vigil outside a local abortion clinic or Planned Parenthood office. In Rockland, the site is Perlman Drive in Spring Valley, on public property, outside the mall where Planned is. The vigil begins on Feb. 18 at 3 p.m., and ends of March 29.

The goal is to turn hearts and minds, with God’s help, toward an awareness that all life is a sacred gift, and thus bring an end to abortion.

This mobilization of people of all faiths takes place twice a year across America and  27 countries worldwide. Over half a million people have participated, and over 10,000 babies, who might have been aborted, were saved.

Please give some thought to being part of this campaign this time. If you have been away, please come back. We need you. And, more importantly, the babies need you.

You’re asked to sign up for 1 hour a week, any time between 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., to pray on Perlman Drive. You may pray in any way you choose. If you are only available in the evening, the 40 Days continues overnight from 6 p.m. to 9 a.m. in the Perpetual Adoration Chapel or St. Gregory Barbarigo Church in Garnerville.

Check out some of the links below, which will give you an idea of what the 40 Days in Rockland is like.

For more information on how to participate, please e-mail RachelMinister1@aol.com or call 845-492-6709.

40 Days of Life: Day 1 — Prayer Power (2/25/12)

40 Days for Life — Week 3 (3/26/14)

40 Days of Life — Closing Ceremony (3/27/13)

Night of Prayer for Life — Dec. 8-9

imagesPlease come join in prayer for the protection of all human life during the National Night of Prayer for LIfe, Dec. 8-9.

During the Hour of Unity, 12:00 a.m. to 1 a.m., EST, we will be united with churches across the country in prayer to end abortion.

This event is sponsored by the Rockland County Catholic Coalition. In Rockland services will be held at:

St. Francis of Assisi in West Nyack
Dec. 8 — 9 p.m. until 1 a.m., with closing Mass at midnight. Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament starts at 9 p.m.

St. Gregory Barbarigo in Garnerville
Dec. 8 — prayer from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. (Dec. 9) in the Adoration Chapel