Monday, April 30, 2012

Celebrate Life this Easter Season

The Easter season is the perfect time for us to revel in the joy of life and reflect on what we can do to protect it.  As most local parish groups prepare to take their summer break, remember that there are still some pro-life events coming up for you to enjoy!  Most importantly, during this pre-election time, please remember NOT to take a break from all of the legislative action that needs to be taken in the coming months.  You are making a difference!  Keep up the great work!


Events & News




Ruth Harbor Walk

On Saturday, May 12, from 9:30-10:30 am, there will be the annual Ruth Harbor Walk for Life.  Ruth Harbor is a house for pregnant women in difficult situations, often who have no other place to stay.  Women are supported in practical ways while they prepare to parent their child or learn more about the adoption process.

Ruth Harbor’s Walk for Life gives those who care about these young women and their babies an opportunity to help. The walk is just two miles, and begins at Ruth Harbor (534 42nd Street, Des Moines, IA 50312).  For more details, visit their website.


InnerVisions HealthCare 1st Fundraising Banquet

You are invited to the 1st Annual InnerVisions HealthCare Fundraising Banquet on Tuesday, June 5th from 7-9 pm at the Airport Holiday Inn in Des Moines (6111 Fleur Drive, Des Moines).  This banquet will support Des Moines' newest crisis pregnancy healthcare center.  The guest speaker will be Pam Tebow, the mother of NFL quarterback Tim Tebow.  The evening promises to be an informative and touching one.  I hope you will prayerfully consider attending the banquet.  Seating is limited - so I encourage you to register soon.  There is no cost to attend (but I imagine there will be a free-will offering).

You may register individually or as the host of a table if you would like to build your own table of guests.  The tables are for eight, but could fit nine or ten if you wish.  If you have questions or to rsvp, contact Jenny Condon at 515-440-2273.



Biking for Babies

There are so many people raising money for amazing things through endurance challenges, but did you know that local young people are doing this for pro-life causes?  Jimmy Becker, from Des Moines, is one of the co-founders of “Biking for Babies.”  Each year he and friend, Mike Schaefer, get a group together to cycle across a significant part of the US to fundraise for women in crisis pregnancies and groups that serve them.  This year ten young adults will cycle 1,150 miles from New Orleans to Chicago from May 21-29. As they go, they will give talks in local parishes on the dignity of life and the terrible losses from abortion.

For videos, more information about the receiving charities, the profiles of the riders, and how to donate go to
www.BikingForBabies.com or visit their Facebook page: “Biking For Babies.”  You can also contact Jimmy Becker at 515-371-2951 or jimmy@bikingforbabies.com.

Next Diocesan Respect Life Meeting

Mark your calendar for the next Diocesan Respect Life meeting on Tuesday, June 5th at 6pm at St. Pius X Parish (I’m curious if this will be changed though since it is the same date and time as the InnerVisions Banquet).  These meetings are great for providing an opportunity for effective communication, finding out about ‘best practices’ for pro-life programs your parish group is looking into, sharing ideas, and creating co-sponsored events.




Iowa “Choose Life” License Plates Now Available!

After years of effort, you can now share a positive, pro-life message with your license plate.  A special thank you to Governor Branstad, other legislators, and those who advocated for this for years.  Consider displaying your pro-life convictions on all of your vehicles… cars, trucks, boats, and motorcycles!  Each “Choose Life” license plate costs $25 or personalized plates are $50.  To get all of the details and your DOT application, contact Iowa Right to Life at 877-595-9406 or via e-mail at outreach@iowaRTL.org.

40 Days for Life Review

For the spring campaign, over 668 babies were reported spared from abortion!  And those are just the ones that we know of!  Congratulations on your effective prayerful witness.



Volunteer Opportunity at Agape Pregnancy Center

Agape Pregnancy Center is currently looking for volunteers in all areas.  These jobs could be, but are not limited to, cleaning, organizing, answering the phone, helping with “Earn While You Learn” classes, etc. They are especially in need of nurses and a doctor (preferably an Ob/Gyn or radiologist) to help when they get an ultrasound machine.  Agape is totally flexible around your schedule and you can work as little as a couple hours a month to a few hours a week… all YOUR choice.  If you are interested, please call Brenda Knollenburg at 515-255-0243.  Agape is located at 2550 MLK Pkwy.

Great Catholic Homily on the HHS Mandate

Check out this youtube video that went viral HERE.  The very truthful priest provides an energetic and direct response to the HHS mandate and President Obama’s broken promises to respect our religious liberty.



Illumination Media Opportunity

We in the Des Moines area have an incredible opportunity – Illumination Media and Heroic Media are partnering to start a pro-life media campaign in central Iowa.  These campaigns have been very effective in other parts of the country.  In central Iowa, there is a goal to have 75 pro-life billboards.  Each billboard costs $1,000.

That’s where all of our parish pro-life groups come in.  All of the funds we can raise for the effort will be matched dollar for dollar.  Illumination Media is asking parishes to help raise these funds by the Fall, with fund-raising continuing on a regular basis after that date.

Contact Janelle, Executive Director of Illumination Media, at (515) 779 -9349 or janelle@illuminationmedia.org for more information and fund-raising ideas (the pro-life heart clings, a chili cook-off, a date night, garage sales).




Legislative

Kudos!  Arizona Governor Jan Brewer just signed a late-term abortion limit at 20-weeks gestational age.

NCHLA Prepared Messages

1.) The USCCB’s partner organization, the National Committee for a Human Life Amendment, has updated its action alert on the Department of Health and Human Services’ contraceptive mandate. To read the update, go to
www.nchla.org/actiondisplay.asp?ID=292 and click the button to send a quick messsage.  The sample message is simple: “I urge you to allow all organizations and individuals to offer, sponsor and obtain health coverage that does not violate their moral and religious convictions.”

2.) Please also click the link below to send your message as feedback on the continuing new changes they try that do nothing to provide a religious exemption to the mandate: http://actions.nchla.org/link/target/nchla/5533bMqq.aspx   New messages and comments are needed before a deadline of June 19.




Iowa Catholic Conference

The Iowa legislature came within one vote last week of refusing to distribute government family planning dollars to abortion providers. The proposal would redirect such dollars to public and private clinics that provide more complete primary health care. This amendment to SF 2336, the state’s human services budget, passed the House 57-37 and failed in the Senate on a tie vote, 25-25. We believe it does not serve the common good to send taxpayer money to organizations that assist in the taking of human life.

It is anticipated that SF 2336 will bounce back and forth between the House and Senate and be assigned to a “conference committee,” which will work on a compromise bill that can be voted on by both chambers. We will continue to ask legislators to protect essential help for poor families and vulnerable children as well as include a provision to reprioritize family planning funds.

Send a message to your state legislators herehttp://capwiz.com/iowanasccd/home/  Click on the red “Take Action” text, under the “Provisions in Human Services Budget” action alert.

Religious Freedom


The USCCB has issued a call to action to defend religious liberty and urged laity to work to protect the First Freedom of the Bill of Rights. They outlined their position in “Our First, Most Cherished Freedom.”  The document can be found HERE.

The  bishops called for “A Fortnight for Freedom” during the two-week period from June 21 to July 4,  beginning with the feasts of St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher and ending with Independence Day, to focus “all the energies the Catholic community can muster” for religious liberty.

Priests for Life

Keep in your prayers the Priests for Life lawsuit and the eight other lawsuits petitioning for religious freedom in regards to the HHS mandate.



Continue to pray and take action. Blessings on your efforts!

Always,
Rachel : )