‘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.

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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.

 

Local Writer Publishes Prolife Book

Cover imageSean Miller, a guest blogger for this website, recently published his first book, Full of Life, a collection of prolife writings. It became available on Amazon last week.

The book is meant to celebrate the Gift of Life and to provide inspiration and encouragement for all of us to stand up for life and support those in need – both the unborn baby and the mothers and fathers of the child.

Many of you know Sean, who’s been active in the prolife movement since 1994. He’s from “over the border” in Bergen County, but frequently works closely with prolife groups here in Rockland.

His 21 essays originally appeared on this website, but Full of Life presents them in one source. The essays are not intended to be biographical, but if you read them all you’ll find insights into the heart of a man who journeyed from mixed feelings about abortion as a college student to the front lines of the struggle – the sidewalk outside the abortion clinic where he strives – with never-failing love, compassion, and gentleness – to be a “last lifeline of hope” for a desperate pregnant woman about to enter its doors.

Knights Share Christmas Spirit

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Santa Claus was a welcome guest at the McCloskey #4565 Council of the Knights of Columbus’ Christmas party.

At their annual Christmas parties, two Rockland councils of the Knights of Columbus — Triune Council #2052 in Pearl River and  John Cardinal McCloskey 4565 in West Nyack —  continued their holiday tradition of presenting prolife and other charities with donations to support their good works.

Triune donations

At the Triune Council #2052 Christmas Party: Augustine Paul (accepting donation for the Fr. J.B.M. Upper Primary School), Peg Beirne (Rockland Catholic Coalition). Joe Quattrocchi (Good Counsel Homes), Liz O’Brien (Rockland Right to Life), Karin Lancellotti (Birthright), Cathy McGovern (COPS Barn), Kevin McGovern, Grand Knight, Dee DeFelice, Financial Secretary, Joe Jacob (Little Servants of Divine Providence), and John Rio (Salesian Missions) and Past Grand Knight. Photo by Frank Traina

The Triune party was was held at Toner Hall at St. Margaret’s Church in Pearl River on Dec. 14

Among the local prolife groups receiving gifts from the Knights were the Rockland Right to Life Committee, Birthright of Rockland,  Good Counsel Homes in Spring Valley, and the Sisters of Life. Continue reading

Sr. Nancy Richter Honored at Concert for Life

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Chris Bell, Exec. Director of Good Counsel Homes, presents award to Sr. Nancy Richter. Host Steve Possell at podium.

Sr. Nancy Richter, OP, a dedicated prolife leader, who is moderator of the Albertus Magnus High School Pro-Life Club, was recently honored at the annual Concert for Life, at the school on Dec. 5.

Sr. Nancy, a Dominican Sister of Sparkill,  is currently in charge of the Albert Magnus Campus Ministry. She works to foster among her students an appreciation of the sanctity of life at all stages. The Pro-Life Club’s projects include a student-organized  Life Chain outside their school on Route 304 in Bardonia, annual trips to the March for Life in Washington, D.C., and a Christmas fundraiser for Good Counsel. They’ve also been the largest single group in attendance at the Respect Life Sunday Life Chain on Route 59 in Nanuet for many years. Continue reading

Triune K of C Brings Hope at Christmas

Triune Christmas

Representatives of organizations receiving checks at the Triune Council’s Christmas party (left to right): Chet Nawoichyk (The Fisher Foundation), Joseph Jacob (Providence Home), Peggy Beirne (Rockland Catholic Coalition), Liz O’Brien (Rockland Right to Life Committee), John Rio (Grand Knight), Karin Lancelotti (Birthright of Rockland), Nannette Morris (Good Counsel Home, Spring Valley), and Fr. Gerry Deponai (St. Anthony’s School). ~~ Photo by Frank Traina

At their annual Christmas party on Dec. 16, Triune Council #2052 of the Knights of Columbus in Pearl River again showed their commitment to protect all human life by presenting generous Christmas gifts to organization who work in behalf of the unborn, mothers and children in need of help, school children, the orphaned, the sick, and the disabled.

Grand Knight John Rio made the presentations to The Rockland Right to Life Committee, Birthright of Rockland, The Rockland Catholic Coalition, the Good Counsel Home in Spring Valley, the Fisher House Foundation, Providence Home, and St. Margaret’s and St. Anthony’s schools.

Providence Home is an orphanage run by the Little Servants of Divine Providence Charitable Society in Kerala State, India. Many of the children taken in by the sisters are handicapped or had been abandoned because they had birth defects.

Past Grand Knight Chet Nawoichyk described Fischer House as a Ronald McDonald House for the military. It provides nearby housing for military families when a loved one is hospitalized for illness, disease, and injury.

McCloskey Knights Celebrate Christmas with Charity and Good Will

Hugh Delargy, District Deputy, Mary Loftus, Rockland RTL treasurer, Msgr. Edward Weber, McCloskey Council chaplain, Liz O'Brien, Rockland RTL chairman, and Arthur Saladino, Grand Knight

John Cardinal McCloskey Council Knights of Columbus and officers of Rockland Right to Life: Hugh Delargy (K of C District Deputy), Mary Loftus (Rockland RTL treasurer), Msgr. Edward Weber (McCloskey Council chaplain), Liz O’Brien (Rockland RTL chair), and Arthur Saladino (Grand Knight)

The John Cardinal McCloskey Council, No. 4565, of the Knights of Columbus presented Christmas checks to several local organizations at their December social meeting held at St. Francis of Assisi School in West Nyack on Dec. 17.

Among the recipients of the Knights’ generosity were the Rockland Right to LIfe Committee, Birthright of Rockland, Good Counsel Homes, the Sisters of LIfe, Jawonio, Camp Venture, and archdiocesan seminarians.