Sunday, August 28, 2011

Things Are Heating Up!

Even as the August heat starts to tone down, things are heating up for the year as far as pro-life activities go. Local pro-life groups have big plans for the coming Fall – educational events, prayer, and service that will surely influence and inspire our culture. October is Respect Life month, and it is particularly jam-packed with events! So grab your calendar, and save the dates for several of the events coming this Fall.

This will be a long post, so take a break if you need to, and come back later to finish reading everything. I don’t feel too bad about the length though - you kind of brought this on yourself since you and your pro-life groups are staying so active with prayer, education, and service to women and unborn children. Keep it up! And get excited and energized to make a difference this year!

Rachel : )

Diocesan Respect Life Meeting

Come to the Diocesan Respect Life Meeting on Tuesday September 6, 6:00 p.m. This is a wonderful opportunity to network with other pro-life groups, get support for your group’s projects and events, and feel the support of other passionate pro-lifers. The meeting will take place at St. Pius X Catholic Church, 3663 66th St. Urbandale, IA, 50322.

1st Respect Life Retreat Day

Save the date for our diocese’s first Respect Life Retreat Day! It will be held at Christ the King Church on November 5th, 2011. This day will be for you and your pro-life group to get new ideas, learn more about the most effective ways to promote the pro-life cause, and be renewed in the company of other beautiful people like yourself : ) I hope you can attend. More details to come in future blogs…

Life Chain: Sunday, October 2 2:00 – 3:30 PM

Join pro-lifers from Central Iowa for the twenty-second annual Life Chain on Sunday,October 2nd from 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. We will take a peaceful, prayerful stand for the life of preborn children. We will line Merle Hay Road, as we spend the time in prayer and a silent, but visible, witness for life. Parking and signs will be available at First Assembly of God Church - 2725 Merle Hay Road. We pray for sunny skies, however Life Chain will take place regardless of the weather conditions. Stand with us as we give glory to our Creator and thank Him for the lives of the born and the preborn!

[The Life Chain extends all the way down Merle Hay to St. Theresa’s Parish at 1230 Merle Hay Rd. Des Moines, IA 50311 – at the intersection at Merle Hay Road and University. The St. Theresa’s Pro-Life group meets there for Life Chain, and there are plenty of parking spots and signs there also. Last year we were joined by the Basilica’s Pro-Life group, and the Dowling Catholic Students for Life group. Feel free to join us!]

40 Days for Life

YOU Can Help Save Lives!

Join us September 28 to November 6, as Des Moines will be one of more than 239 cities that will join together for one of the largest and longest coordinated pro-life mobilizations in history - the 40 Days for Life campaign. 40 Days for Life is a focused pro-life effort that consists of: 40 days of prayer and fasting, peaceful vigil, and community outreach.

Take a Stand for Life

While all aspects of 40 Days for Life are crucial in our effort to end abortion, the most visible component is the peaceful prayer vigil outside the local abortion or Planned Parenthood facility. You can help make a life-saving impact by joining your local vigil at one of the 4 local Planned Parenthood’s who participate in chemical and/or surgical abortions:

Planned Parenthood of The Heartland
Rosenfield Health Center
1000 E. Army Post Road
Des Moines

Planned Parenthood of The Heartland
Ankeny Health Center
704 N. Ankeny Blvd.

Planned Parenthood
Susan Knapp Health Center
2304 University Avenue
Des Moines

Planned Parenthood
10534 New York Avenue

Sign up to participate in our local 40 Days for Life vigil by clicking the "Vigil Schedule" link at the top of this page. or by e-mailing Michelle Schadler at (she was in charge of the Spring campaign, and hopefully is in charge of the Fall campaign also).

Action Alert: As you prepare to help with 40 Days for Life in your group, think about how your group can be most effective and most visible. Try to first fill up the schedule with prayer hours during the day when Planned Parenthood is open, and women may be coming in for abortions and people driving past. Make day hours a priority if possible.

Choose to do a prayer vigil at a convenient location close to your church family (out of the four above), so that more people can participate.

Another good idea is offering Adoration at your church, especially during the night hours (where people may be more comfortable praying at night, and it may be warm enough for young children and older adults). God bless your efforts!

IRTL Pro-Life Book Sale

The Book Sale, with proceeds going to assist pro-life pregnancy centers in Iowa, is scheduled just before Planned Parenthood’s fund raising book sale, to provide book-lovers with a pro-life alternative. There are thousands of used books, home school material, DVDs, CDs, Videos, Craft/Cooking magazines/games and puzzles and much more – all at recession friendly prices! [I highly recommend this – each Fall and Spring you can find my family and I at the book sale adding to our collection of children’s books at 50 cents a book!]

The Fall IRTL Book Sale – NEW LOCATION!
September 27-October 1, 2011
Jordan Park Camp Building (Just west of the Historical Jordan House)
2251 Fuller Road, West Des Moines, IA 50265

Opening Night, Tuesday, September 27, 4:00 pm -9:00 pm
Admission: Adults $5.00 (To use a book scanner $10.00) Children 17 and under FREE

Free Admission All These Days:
Wednesday, September 28: 9:00 am to 9:00 pm
Thursday, September 29: 9:00 am to 9:00 pm
Friday, September 30: 9:00 am to 9:00 pm
Saturday, October 1: 8:00 am - 3:00 pm

Help them spread the word! Download the Fall Book Sale flyer here.

For more information on how to donate books or how to volunteer at the book sale, go to Any other questions? Contact Rhonda Phillips at 515.205.8024 or e-mail her at

Parish Pro-Life Updates

All Saint’s Prolife Group

Their group is growing! Congratulations to them! Their plans for the Fall:

- Praying a pro-life rosary at Masses on the weekend of October 1-2.

- Book Drive for Pro-Life Booksale: They will have a book drop during the weekends of September 10th and 17th. They will also be asking Father if they can keep a discreet book drop up year round.

- Diapers for Donuts Fundraiser: On October 1-2, the group will collect diapers, money, and baby items, such as Pack-n-plays, etc., in exchange for donuts. The diapers and baby stuff will be donated to St. Mary’s.

- Life Chain: They will be organizing a group to go to the Life Chain. They may have people at the Diapers for Donuts fundraiser help make signs for the Life Chain volunteers.

- Respect Life Month: October is Respect Life month, and they plan to educate their parish on End of Life issues. Each of the five Sundays in October, they will have an article in the church bulletin about euthanasia, terminal illness/end of life, hospice, resident advocates,
and visiting the sick and elderly.

- They are discussing whether to use their funds to bring a speaker or to send one student to the March for Life. Action Alert: The All Saint’s group may want to talk to St. Augustin’s Pro-Life group, which is looking for help to bring in a pro-life speaker to Des Moines. Contact Mary Beth Beacom, the head of St. Augustin’s Pro-Life group, at to consider that option.

- They will participate in 40 Days for Life prayer days.

- They are looking into having a weekly pro-life Bulletin Corner with quotes or information on pro-life events. Action Alert: The All Saint’s group should e-mail Lindy Ill,, who already does a weekly pro-life bulletin box at St. John’s Basilica. She is willing to e-mail her information directly to your bulletin coordinator, so it can go out to your parish too (or she can e-mail it to you, and you can forward it – as long as your parish knows that it’s coming from your pro-life group).

- Ministry Fair: August 27th and 28th, their group will take part in their parish ministry fair to let the congregation know about their activities.

For more information, contact Geneveve Loraditch at

Holy Trinity Respect Life Group

Upcoming plans:

- Volunteer, promote, and attend: Iowa Right to Life book sale on Sept. 27-Oct. 1

- Coordinate Holy Trinity prayer for 40 days for life- Sept 28-Nov. 6

- October 2nd – Participate in Life Chain

- October Diaper Drive at Holy Trinity

- Fund Raiser – Help the Knights hold a trivia/game night, with the funds going to crisis pregnancy centers. Their committee can also help out with the concession stand and in turn earn some funds for their cause. Also they will ask about getting funds from the Knights to help purchase the baby bottles and/or the spiritual adoption information.

- Spiritual Adoption – Start the program with the church and school in January, and in October finish it with a parish baby shower/birthday party for their adopted spiritual child.

- Help promote Natural Family Planning at their parish

- Baby Bottle drive in November – with funds going to help crisis pregnancy centers

- Informed Choices Medical Clinic Fundraiser – The Informed Choices clinic is hoping to do a fundraiser at 10 Des Moines parishes, raffling off a car. Tickets will be $100 each, and they are hoping to sell 500 tickets. After expenses (the car), they hope they will make $25,000 for the clinic, which is 10% of the operating costs for one year. Steve Cashman is organizing this event – if you would like your parish to be involved and would offer to help make it happen, call Steve at 515.883.0811.

- Holy Trinity will have NEW meeting times this Fall: the 3rd Monday of the month at 6:45 pm. The next meeting is MONDAY September 19th.

For more information, contact Chris Lang at

St. Joseph Meeting

- Their group will participate in Life Chain - October 2nd from 2:00 - 3:30pm

- They are teaming up with their parish Knights of Columbus, to do a fundraiser breakfast at St. Joseph's that will benefit Informed Choices Medical Clinic.

- Iowa Right to Life Book Sale – Do a parish book drive for book donations, volunteer at, and attend the sale. Tuesday, September 27 – Saturday, October 1. Free admission all except the first evening.

For more information, contact Jill Snell at

Pro-Life Legislation and News

Latin America Pressured to Liberalize Abortion Laws

Western governments are pressuring Latin American countries to liberalize their abortion laws, by using a new UN human rights process called the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). El Salvador, Costa Rica, Chile, Brazil, Bolivia, Belize, and Argentina were among the top countries recently pressured via the UPR process, as European countries recommend that these nations amend their laws concerning the “rights” to abortion and contraception. Read more here if you're interested, but please pray for these countries to stand strong in the face of political pressure.

Iowa Catholic Conference – Tom Chapman

Nationally, the biggest pro-life issue is new health care legislation which would force health care providers to offer contraceptive and abortifacient drugs. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops sharply criticized a new HHS “preventive services” mandate requiring private health plans to cover female surgical sterilization and all drugs and devices approved by the FDA as contraceptives, including drugs which can attack a developing unborn child before and after implantation in the mother’s womb. This would include Catholic social service agencies and Catholic healthcare providers, unless they stop hiring and serving non-Catholics.

“The Administration’s failure to create a meaningful conscience exemption to the preventive services mandate underscores the need for Congress to approve the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act,” the Cardinal said. That bill (H.R. 1179) would prevent mandates under the new health reform law from undermining rights of conscience.

The pro-life majority of Americans – Catholics and others – would be outraged to learn that their premiums must be used for this purpose. “HHS says the intent of its ‘preventive services’ mandate is to help ‘stop health problems before they start,’ said Cardinal DiNardo. “But pregnancy is not a disease, and children are not a ‘health problem’ – they are the next generation of Americans.”

Scientific evidence does not support a need for this new mandate. There is a body of evidence which suggests that increased access to birth control has little or no connection to fewer unintended pregnancies or abortions. See for yourself here.

To send a quick e-mail to your legislators asking them to approve the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act, go to and click on “Support Respect for Rights of Conscience Act” at the bottom left.

Pregnant and Parenting Students Access to Education Act

[I just heard about this, and it seems to be very positive – for young women who are pregnant or with small children, it is supposed to help them with childcare and other support so they can complete high school and beyond. It also encourages schools to be flexible with young mothers, allowing them understandable child-related academic breaks. Please let me know if you have more information about this legislation.]

The Pregnant and Parenting Students Access to Education Act (H.R. 2617) was reintroduced last month. H.R. 2617 is comprehensive legislation designed to improve high school graduation rates and access to postsecondary educational and career opportunities for pregnant and parenting students.

For more detailed information, click here to see a fact sheet and here for the legislative text.

For additional information about this legislation or to send a letter of support, see: Pregnant Student Help.

Straw Poll

This past month the straw poll took place in Ames, with potential presidential candidates with pro-life stances starting the journey toward the Oval Office. The top five candidates at the Straw Poll were Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum,, and Herman Cain, who have strong pro-life stances. Please continue to pay attention to the candidates, in particular their pro-life stances and voting records. Please pray and help out pro-life candidates in the important area of politics.

Interesting or Inspiring – Renew Your Pro-Life Spirit

Pro-Life Bags

David Cordaro, who is currently a senior at Dowling Catholic High School, recently had the idea for and created an organization to make pro-life shopping bags. While he was working at a Des Moines area HyVee store, a woman came through with Planned Parenthood bags. Upset, he went home and designed reuseable bags with pro-life phrases on them. Within the first month, he completely sold out. Now he ships them across the country! They’re cute, professionally done, inexpensive, make a quiet impact, and you get 5 cents off at grocery stores every time you use them. You really can’t lose. Check out the colors and phrases available at:

Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity: October 18, 2011

Priests for Life and its Youth Outreach, Stand True Ministries, are calling on students across America to participate in the “Pro-life Day of Silent Solidarity.” On October 18, people from all over this nation will give up their voices for a day in solidarity with the over 4,000 children killed and 4,000 women wounded by abortion every day. They will wear red arm bands and duct tape and carry fliers explaining why they are silent and educate others about the plight of the innocent children we are losing every day.

The Pro-life Day of Silent Solidarity is in its 6th year, and last year students from more than 4,800 campuses in 25 countries stood together in solidarity. We have heard of hundreds of young women who have cancelled abortions because of this day every year. Are you willing to give up your voice for a day for those who will never have a voice? This is very powerful national event, and would be a great activity for everyone, but especially for young people. For more details, visit this website:

Iowa Pro-Life Ranking

Americans United for Life, has rankings for the 50 states in terms of their support of life from conception to natural death. Iowa is currently ranked 34th out of 50. They give basics of where Iowa stands in legislation for different life issues, and also give recommendations on what needs to happen. Check it out here.

Did You Know Ghandi Was Pro-Life?

Pro-Life Quotes

Christine, a pro-life mother, has a blog where she posts pro-life
quotes regularly at

Informative Website – Why Prolife?

This is a great website to bookmark, and a go-to website for facts on abortion, Planned Parenthood, life in the womb, legislative issues, and others. Check it out!

The Not-So-Lazy Days of Summer with IRTL

What a great time at Iowa Right to Life! Jenifer Bowen, recently went on the road with Susan B. Anthony List, Family Research Council, and the National Organization of Marriage, and visited 22 cities in 4 days sharing about a specific threat to Iowa – webcam abortions. There are now well over two dozen Iowa Planned Parenthoods offering webcam abortions, with more planned in the coming months.

Since 2008, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland has used women in Iowa as guinea pigs for a program they are rolling out nationwide, where women are having RU-486 abortions after talking to a doctor only by webcam. This perversion of the good “tele-medicine” technology is putting women in danger and it must stop. RU-486 (Medication Abortions) take longer and are bloodier than a surgical abortion. The women take the first drug at a Planned Parenthood, then later at home, take additional drugs that will abort their baby. These abortions are more profitable for Planned Parenthood, but traumatic for women, who
will have to deal with the body of the dead baby at home.

We work tirelessly for the day when all lives are welcomed into this world. And as we do, we work to protect our women and unborn children from the devastation of abortion.

For More Information:
Jenifer Bowen
Executive Director
Iowa Right to Life

IRTL Fall Events!

Pro-Life Book Sale & 40 Days for Life – See details earlier in blog
post. This is great! Put it on your calendar!

Stride and Ride for Life
Sunday, August 28, 2011
St. Cecilia's Church, 202 North First, Panora, IA
3:00 PM Ride begins
5:00 PM Dinner at St. Cecilia's

The Stride and Ride, which is a fundraiser for Raccoon River Valley Right to Life, will begin at St. Cecilia's. Walkers or bikers will head south on the bike trail and go as far as they want before returning. There will be a meal provided at the church afterwards. For additional information, call: 641-747-8409 or 641-755-2804.

Hope Pregnancy Center Fall Banquet

With Special Guest: Gianna Jessen
Saturday, October 22, 2011 6:30 pm
Faith United Methodist Church
Highway 5 South, Centerville, IA
Individual tickets are $18
Sponsor a table of 8 for $120

Gianna is a Christian. Her life was given to her by the grace of God. She shouldn’t be walking, but more miraculous still; she should not even be alive. Gianna’s biological mother was 17 when she had a saline abortion in the third trimester. Proceeds will go to the Hope Pregnancy Center. For tickets, call: 641-856-2220

Help us spread the word! Download a flier at: Hope Banquet - Gianna.

Priests for Life

Rachel’s Vineyard Record-Breaking Leadership Conference

Some 250 Rachel’s Vineyard leaders from around the world gathered in Malvern, PA from July 17-21 for the bi-annual leadership conference. The new version of the Catholic Retreat manual was issued bearing the imprimatur of the Church. Rachel’s Vineyard operates under the umbrella of Priests for Life and is the world’s largest ministry of healing after abortion. Many dioceses use this retreat program as their official post-abortion outreach.

Pope John Paul II Bioethics Commission

The Pope John Paul II Bioethics Commission is full of scholars in virtually every field of medicine. Because “one can never obtain a morally correct answer to a [medical] problem unless one possesses and understands the correct medical science first," they do thorough research grounded in the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas and the Magisterium's teaching on the Natural Moral Law. The Commission is available to help priests and laity, and they can arrange for conference calls, webinars, consultations, and lectures for priests individually, collectively, or in their parishes/facilities. See

Prayer Intentions

We encourage you to join our Facebook prayer cause at

Pro-Life Novenas

Please join us at in praying and promoting the following Novenas, and in ordering prayer cards to be distributed in your parish, school, or organization:

October 8-16, 2011: St. Gerard Majella (Patron Saint of Pregnancy and Childbirth)

October 22–30, 2011: Novena for Priests, leading to Priesthood Sunday

Pro-Life Cruise

You are invited to join Fr. Peter West for a Biblical and Pro-Life Cruise from November 10-21, 2011. The cruise will take you to Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Dead Sea, Galilee, Cyprus, Turkey, and Greece. This will be an unforgettable experience of salvation History’s drama of life and faith. Go to or call 305-664-9202.


Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life

Note from Rachel:

You made it to then end! I told you there’s a ton of awesome pro-life stuff coming up! So keep up the great work, stay connected with other pro-lifers, and enjoy the positive fruits of your labors as we start to light up the darkness around us!

God bless your work,

Rachel Egan : )