Sunday, July 31, 2011

Lively Summer Months

Hi everyone!

After a beautiful (and hot!) summer full of fun things to do, things are starting to gear back up for big pro-life events this Fall. In this post, check out pro-life events coming up soon, resources for you and your group, legislative action opportunities, and summaries from several groups who have recently had meetings and have a lot of good ideas for the coming year. Keep up the great work, and, if you can, get involved with these great events!

Help Brainstorm about a Respect Life Educational Training Day

Wendy Solawetz is looking for people who can help plan an education/training day for the diocesan pro-lifers, priests and religious, and anyone who is interested. If you can help either by being part of the official planning group or by e-mailing her ideas, contact Wendy at or 515-237-5082.

The first planning meeting will be: Thursday August 4, 2011 at 12 pm. Brown bag lunch – Drinks Provided. Meet at the Catholic Pastoral Center, 601 Grand Ave. Des Moines. Come with ideas about the best day and time to reach out to the most people (fitting it around the priests’ yearly training), the best locations, speakers you want to hear from, funding, and what topics you want covered.

This training day would be a good opportunity to learn about the most effective ways to make an impact, as well as to enjoy time together. If you can help at all, please let Wendy know.

Agape Crisis Pregnancy Clinic – Need Maternity Clothes + Advertising Parenting Classes

The St. Theresa Pro Life Committee is collecting maternity clothing for the Agape Pregnancy Center. Agape is an organization that helps women to make a decision to give their child life and to either raise the child (with the assistance of parenting classes held at the Agape office) or to place the child for adoption. Agape provides a free maternity clothing boutique for the women. The boutique is in great need of some nice, up-to-date maternity clothes. If you have any clothing to donate, please call Theresa Dowd at 306-1227. Thanks so much.

Also, please invite women (and men) you meet through pro-life ministries to Agape’s parenting classes:

Do you know someone who has chosen to carry their baby to term and might benefit from parenting classes? Agape Pregnancy Center's next parenting sessions begin Thursday, September 8, 2011. Once each week for six weeks from 7-8pm, the sessions cover topics such as Infant CPR, Nutrition while Pregnant, Labor and Delivery, and much, much more. Parenting Class students also earn "AGAPE Bucks" at each class which can be spent at Agape's Basement sales. Both moms and dads are encouraged to attend. Call Agape (255-0243) to learn more or to sign up!

Informed Choices Medical Clinic Fundraiser

We hope you will join us for a Fundraiser DINNER DANCE on Saturday, September 24, 2011, sponsored by the Central Iowa Knights of Columbus, to benefit the clinic. $50 per plate: Choice of Ribeye Dinner or Meatless Lasagna Dinner, with Salad, Vegetables, and Garlic Mashed Potatoes.

See a live demonstration of the new state-of-the-art ultrasound machine purchased for the clinic by the Central Iowa Knights of Columbus.

Location: St. Thomas Aquinas Parish Center 210 R63 Indianola, IA 50125. Make your reservations or get more information by calling Jenny Condon, Clinic Director, at 515.440.2273.

Please share this invitation with your friends and family.

Learning Opportunity

The Davenport diocese is putting on an Institute for Social Action. This year the meeting will be held in Iowa City on October 8th. Please save the date. The speaker sounds interesting and will focus on Respect for Life and Dignity of the Human Person: Basis of All Social Concerns. As someone who has been involved with Social Concerns and Pro-Life efforts throughout college and since then, the gap that sometimes exists between the two ministries can be frustrating. This may be a chance to help bridge that gap, and bring life issues up as a vital part of Catholic Social Justice.

Basic Details: Saturday, October 8, 2011, at St. Patrick Church, Iowa City, 4330 St. Patrick Dr. Iowa City, IA. The keynote speaker will be Mrs. Helene E. Paharik, MA, Director of the Dept. of Human Dignity, Secretariat for Evangelization & Social Concerns from the Diocese of Pittsburgh. The public is invited to attend. The Iowa Institute for Social Action is sponsored by the Catholic dioceses of Iowa and the Iowa Catholic Conference.

Registration and more details are available at

Interesting Pro-Life Resources

I get sent some interesting resources, especially a variety of pro-life websites which could be helpful to you or someone you know. Thank you to Rachel Peller, Jo Chafen, and Mary Beth Beacom for these. Check them out if you have some free time.

A Cry Without A Voice – A beautiful website about how college student, Krissi Vasquez, began to collect 3500 baby shoes to display on the Washington, DC Mall to show how our nation's children's destinies are affected by abortion. The shoes have made an impact on people across the country, and even outside the US. They also have a photo gallery of some of the shoes.

Abortion is the Unchoice: Unwanted, Unsafe, Unfair – This is a very good website about the prevalence of women being coerced or forced into having an abortion. It discusses this as a human rights abuse. It would be good to memorize some of the statistics on their homepage.

Pro-Life News Site – Daily news, articles, links, and information on life issues in the news and politics.

Life Decisions International – On their home page they have lists of some major corporations who provide significant financial support to Planned Parenthood, as well as another list of major corporations who support embryonic stem cell research. Consider using your hard-earned money with other businesses.

Melissa Ohden’s Story – St. Augustin’s is considering bringing back Melissa to speak (she recently spoke at the Iowans for Life dinner). As a 24-week-old baby in her mother’s womb, she survived 5 days of saline injections intended to kill her. When she survived, she was adopted. Now she speaks internationally and shares about hope and forgiveness in painful circumstances. Check out her incredible story and beautiful website here:

Pro-Life Legislation

Great news! Kansas is becoming the first abortion-free state in the nation, after the last abortion mill failed it’s health inspection to meet basic health requirements for a surgical facility. More and more evidence that it’s more about the money than caring about women. There will be more political back and forth, but we can enjoy the current success!

More details at:

Action Alert: Contact your representative and ask them to respect the rights of healthcare workers to act according to their conscience (so they are not forced to give out artificial birth control or the “morning after” pill and other similar pills which cause abortions).

NCHLA's updated alert urging support for HR 1179:

Iowa Catholic Conference Legislative Network: Review of this session

If you followed the progress of the pro-life bills, and e-mailed and called your senators and representatives – good job! Keep it up! There were definite signs of hope since pro-life legislation was brought up more than usual this session, even though none of the pro-life bills passed because of the party split between the Iowa House and the Senate. We just need to keep working, praying, and trying to educate people about the truth!

St. Augustin Respect Life Committee

St. Augustin had a great meeting with over 15 people there to help plan their year of pro-life events. I look forward to seeing more of these impressive plans for pro-life activities for the year as more groups complete their planning meeting. Definitely pay attention to these yearly plans, and consider supporting other local pro-life groups by combining forces, publicizing one of their events at your church, or get their advice on doing a similar event at your parish.

St. Augustin Pro-Life Committee 2011-2012 Plans

- Mary Beth Beacom is setting up a St. Augustin parish LifeNews blog

- Awesome idea! This Fall, St. Augustin’s is starting up the Elizabeth Ministry International program at their parish. This program promotes healing from miscarriage, by pairing women who have recently gone through miscarriage, with women mentors who have been through the same thing. If you know someone who is struggling with miscarriage, let her know that there is a resource in town to help!

Check out the website at:

- They are putting up a bulletin board which will have information about new baptisms posted

- Establish garden/memorial for babies lost to abortion at their parish which will have a statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe or our Lady of Kebeho. They will coordinate this with their parish Knights of Columbus.

- They are looking into becoming a Project Gabriel parish, but are looking for a person who would be willing to coordinate it.

- They are establishing a weekly FAMILY pro-life Rosary - in conjunction with Altar and Rosary Society. This will be done in conjunction with “7:30 Sundays” Adoration for Life. Rosary at 7:00 in Adoration followed by silent Adoration.

- They are selling rosaries to benefit pro-life causes.


September – Baby bottle fundraiser to support Pro-life charity. They are borrowing bottles from St. Theresa’s Respect Life group. If you would like to do a baby bottle fundraiser – talk to the St. Theresa’s Respect Life group to use the bottles.


1.) October 2nd: Life Chain along Merle Hay Road at 2:00 p.m. Make your own ENCOURAGING sign, and stand prayerfully with entire family shoulder to shoulder with other parishes and faiths to pray in support of Life.

2.) Speaker after masses on each of four weekends. They are setting this up so parents will have the opportunity to send their kids to children’s liturgy of the word during the talks. They will also set up a pro-life display table during this month.

3.) Arrange for speakers to give age-appropriate, pro-life presentations to classes at St. Augustin school. DCHS Students for Life members will probably come speak to the junior high students. They may also do a pro-life contest in coordination with the presentations.

4.) Potentially, make DVDs/books of Abby Johnson’s conversion story available to St. Augustin households.

November – November 13 2-4 pm, Help with St. Theresa’s Adoption Sunday - promote and bring treats.

December – Have Al Reynolds speak + Adoration.

1.) Families will hand out pro-life bumper stickers.

2.) Diocesan pro-life mass tentatively scheduled for Friday, January 20 at St. Francis of Assisi – promote and attend

3.) Bring in a Pro-life speaker (maybe Melissa Ohden?) They would like to collaborate with another parish on this. Contact Mary Beth if you are interested!

February – Have high school students who attended the March for Life speak after Masses.

1.) 40 Days for Life, beginning on Ash Wednesday.

2.) Seasoned Citizen Dinner – Very cute idea! This is a dinner for the elderly of the parish to show them how respected they deserve to be. A special dinner is served, with groups playing music in the background. It was a big success last year, and this year they will do it again, but will probably be doing an even more extensive program of music, etc.

April - Beginning of spiritual adoption program for parishioners (with “birth” at Christmas)

May - Living rosary with Altar and Rosary Society, including First Communion families.

Please email Mary Beth Beacom at, if you would like to get involved with any of their impressive projects.

Holy Trinity Respect Life

Recent and Upcoming Events:

- They did coffee and doughnuts at their parish, and brought Jenny Condon in to offer information about Informed Choices Medical Clinic.

- They will be helping Pro-Life groups at their booths at the Iowa State Fair

- They will be helping promote an NFP class at their parish

- They will be doing a book drive for the IRTL Book Sale

- Looking into doing 40 Days for life, a baby bottle fundraiser or diaper drive, and a spiritual adoption program at their parish

For more information, contact Chris Lang at

Christ the King Respect Life Committee

Recent and Upcoming Events:

- Looking into doing a baby bottle fund raiser, Marilyn Sharp has some bottles that are not able to be used by Gabriel Project, she will donate these to the group.

- Keep in contact with the parish - Respect Life Blurb each month

- Helped with Iowans for L.I.F.E. annual dinner, and transporting people there

- They will have an information booth at the Sweet Corn Festival with food

- Looking into fundraising options this Fall

Their next Respect Life meeting will be held August 24th in the library.

E-mail Jo Chafen at for information or to find out how to get involved.

St. Joseph Respect Life Committee

Recent and Upcoming Events:

- Will be showing the DVD “Blood Money” a powerful expose on the abortion business – just working out the details, maybe with DCHS Students for Life.

- They are considering partnering with their parish Social Concerns group to offer a series of talks on Faithful Citizenship at their parish. Maybe Tom Chapman could come speak for this. Then they could follow up with a small box in the bulletin with information about Catholic faith and voting.

- They will be hosting a breakfast fundraiser for the Informed Choices Medical Clinic, with help from their parish Knights of Columbus. Freewill donations will go to the Clinic. The breakfast will be on December 18th.

- They are looking into providing NFP classes at their parish or finding ways to publicize it more. There are classes throughout the diocese, but would like it to be more visible and available at St. Joseph.

- They will participate in the Life Chain October 2nd 2-3:30.

- They have Respect Life facts in their bulletins, and will use that to get information out about Informed Choices Clinic.

- Fr. Zach Kautzky – a young, very pro-life priest, has podcasts. They would like to share one of his podcasts at their movie night.

- Their next meeting is will be Saturday, Aug. 27th, at 9am.

For more information, e-mail Jill Snell at

ISU Students for Life – Ames

Here is the calendar this Fall for the ISU Students for Life group. Consider attending Kim Lehman’s presentation on August 25 at Drake.

July 16 : Iowans for LIFE Annual Dinner (Urbandale)

August 5 : Sidewalk Counseling Symposium (Minneapolis)

August 12 - 20 : Iowa State Fair with Pro-Life groups (Des Moines)

August 25 : Attend Kim Lehman’s talk on "How to Make the Argument for Life" (Drake, Des Moines)

September 27 - October 1 : Help at the IRTL Book Sale (Des Moines)

September 28 - November 6 : 40 Days for Life Fall Campaign (National)

October 2 : Life Chain on ISU Campus

January 21 - 25 : March for Life Road Trip (Washington DC)

Priests for Life

Priests for Life does a good job of offering resources to pro-lifers, as well as having super-easy action alerts on life issues (prepared e-mails and the ability to save your information for future pro-life action). Consider joining their e-mail list for action alerts at:

View Fr. Frank Pavone’s latest YouTube video at on which he talks about political responsibility.

Order your free prayer cards now for the Assumption Novena for Life beginning on August 7. Find the novena and order the prayer cards by going to

Baby Joseph Back Home: No Tubes, No Machines!

Priests for Life was recently in the news, for helping Canadian baby Joseph. After bringing him to the US for treatment, he is currently breathing on his own and doing well! Thanks again to Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center in St Louis, to Kalitta MedFlight for the medical flights, and to all those who have donated to help us cover the cost of Baby Joseph’s care. We still need your assistance. To donate and to receive updates, go to

Prayer Intentions

Please join our Facebook prayer cause at

July intention: That the nation's celebration of independence may turn its thoughts to securing the freedoms and rights of the unborn.

August intention: For God's blessing upon pro-life associations of young people throughout the world.

Pro-Life Novenas

Please join us at in praying and promoting the following Novenas:

August 7-15, 2011: Assumption Novena

August 28 – Sept 5, 2011: Novena to Blessed Mother Teresa

Priests for Life Announces Vote Pro-life Coalition

“It is never too early to prepare and mobilize to elect pro-life candidates. Therefore, Priests for Life is once again announcing the ‘Vote Pro-life Coalition,’ which will unite organizations, Churches, and activists across the country to make a difference at the voting booth for the cause of life,” Fr. Frank Pavone recently announced. “You can sign up at, and you will hear about various resources, activities, webcasts, and ways you can help in the months to come.”

Media Resources:

Defending Life: Watch on EWTN every Thursday at 11:00pm and every Saturday at 2:30 am. Listen on EWTN Radio every Friday at 1am, Saturday at 6:30pm and Sunday at 5am. For more information go to EWTN's website: Look under the Television or Radio tabs.

Priests for Life

God bless you all and your work!

Rachel : )