UNBORN WORD of the day


The Vision of the Magi oil on panel, Rogier van der Weyden 1399/1400 – 1464

The 3 wise men honored Unborn Jesus from afar by seeking Him and searching for Him, passionately and diligently, and by rejoicing in anticipation (Mt 2:1-10).

“Why did the Magi set off from afar to go to Bethlehem? The answer has to do with the mystery of the “star” which they saw “in the East” and which they recognized as the star of the “King of the Jews”, that is to say, the sign of the birth of the Messiah (cf. Mt 2: 2).” Pope Benedict XVI, Friday, 19 August 2005

“What amazes us each time when we listen to these words of the Magi is that they prostrated themselves before a simple baby in his mother’s arms, not in the setting of a royal palace but, on the contrary, in the poverty of a stable in Bethlehem (cf. Mt 2: 11).” Pope Benedict XVI, Saturday, 6 January 2007

Like the Magi, let us recognize that Christ came into the world as an unborn baby and a child.  The Vatican Council in Gaudium et Spes points out  “For by His incarnation the Son of God has united Himself in some fashion with every man”.  We honor our unborn and child King when we teach respect for each unborn child and pregnant mother by our example. As they fell down and worshipped – we should approach these little ones and their mothers with awe and respect no matter where we find them. As they offered gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the Christ child, we should offer our love, support, and financial assistance as needed.

Place yourselves in the School of Mary this Holy Week
April 1, 2012, 9:47 pm
Filed under: Mary, Pope Benedict XVI

Mother of the Incarnate Word by Fr. William Hart McNichols

“So much can be gained by reflecting on the way Mary learned from Jesus!

From her very first “fiat”, through the long, ordinary years of the hidden life, as she brought up Jesus, or when at Cana in Galilee she asked for the first sign, or when finally on Calvary, by the Cross, she looked on Jesus, she “learned” him moment by moment.

Firstly in faith and then in her womb, she received the Body of Jesus and then gave birth to him. Day after day, enraptured, she adored him. She served him with solicitous love, singing the Magnificat in her heart.”

Address of the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI , May 26, 2006

PRAYING THE WAY OF THE INCARNATION: Joseph’s Loving Obedience – Day 18
December 14, 2011, 10:56 pm
Filed under: Adoption, Advent, Incarnation, Pope Benedict XVI, Prayer, Unborn Jesus

St. Joseph Shadow of the Father

Painting by Fr. William McNichols


“In these days of Advent, the liturgy invites us to contemplate in a special way the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph, who lived with a unique intensity the time of waiting and preparation for the birth of Jesus. Today, I want to direct our gaze toward the figure of St. Joseph… The one who gives the most importance to the adoptive father of Jesus is the Evangelist Matthew, emphasizing that thanks to him, the Child was legally introduced into the lineage of David fulfilling the Scriptures, in which the Messiah was prophesied as the ’son of David’.”   Pope Benedict, Angelus address, December 18, 2005


O Heavenly Father, St. Joseph adopted Jesus when he was still an unborn baby. Jesus was adopted by a man so we could be adopted by You, Our God. Help me to love You today as a child loves his/her father. I want to offer my heart to You with childlike trust.

September 12, 2011, 10:36 pm
Filed under: Evangelium Vitae, Pope Benedict XVI, Prayer, Pro-life

This Sunday at Mass we heard a deep teaching of Jesus about forgiveness; Mt 18: 21-35. But look at how it all starts: “Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him?  As many as seven times?”

This is a great question! Sure, some sophisticated know-it-alls may choose to dismiss Peter’s question and demean him, but to me this was a real and legitimate question to pose to the Lord. And of course, the answer was even better, much better!!

So today, Peter’s successor the Pope, and the Bishops as well, ask God many questions and listen attentively for His wonderful guiding responses. And the laity of course prays for our Pope and Bishops, to support them in their prayers and listening before God.

A few years ago I was quite surprised when I re-read the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, issued by Vatican Council II. There was a reference that appeared several times which was at once surprising but very profound and beautiful:

“Guiding the Church in the way of all truth (cf. Jn 16:13) and unifying her in communion and in the works of ministry, he bestows upon her varied hierarchic and charismatic gifts, and in this way directs her; and he adorns her with his fruits (cf. Eph 4:11-12; I Cor 12:4; Gal 5:22).”  LG #4  Hierarchic gifts – given to the apostles and their successors for the good of the Church!

Which brings us back to Peter. It is critical to ask God the right questions, to persevere in prayer seeking the truth. Our Popes and Bishops do this. (No they haven’t been perfect – just human, but generally with wonderful results.)  A great testimony to this reality of the Church’s life is the solid defense given by the Church on behalf of unborn children.

From the 1st century A.D., when the Didache states: “You shall not put a child to death by abortion nor kill it once it is born…”, to Vatican II (Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et Spes, #51), to The Gospel of Life (Evangelium Vitae, written by John Paul II), the Church has been guided by the Holy Spirit to teach soundly on respect for human life, right from the moment of conception.

But this guidance came through prayer, asking God the right questions, like Peter did 2,000 years ago, and like Benedict XVI and his fellow Bishops do today. Last Advent, 2010, Pope Benedict introduced a profound new tradition on the eve of the first Sunday of Advent; he celebrated a Vigil for the Unborn, linking it to Advent when we contemplate Christ in the womb, about to born. Surely this too was the fruit of prayer, of seeking God’s inspiration and guidance. Thanks be to God!

“I cannot fear a God who made himself so small for me!”
June 26, 2011, 11:01 am
Filed under: Pope Benedict XVI, Quotes from Great Christians, Saints

Child Jesus

“Inseparable from the Gospel, for  St. Thérèse the Eucharist was the sacrament of Divine Love that stoops to the extreme to raise us to him. In her last Letter, on an image that represents Jesus the Child in the consecrated Host, the Saint wrote these simple words: ‘I cannot fear a God who made himself so small for me! […] I love him! In fact, he is nothing but Love and Mercy!’ (LT 266).”

Pope Benedict XVI  General Audience Wednesday, 6 April 2011

May 31, 2011, 10:25 pm
Filed under: Biblical Reflections, Mary, Pope Benedict XVI

Visitation Sand Sculpture: Artist: Daniel Glover

“Let us imagine the Virgin’s state of mind after the Annunciation, when the Angel left her. Mary found herself with a great mystery enclosed within her womb; she knew something extraordinarily unique had happened; she was aware that the last chapter of salvation history in the world had begun.

But everything around her remained as before and the village of Nazareth was completely unaware of what had happened to her.

Before worrying about herself, Mary instead thought about elderly Elizabeth, who she knew was well on in her pregnancy and, moved by the mystery of love that she had just welcomed within herself, she set out “in haste” to go to offer Elizabeth her help. This is the simple and sublime greatness of Mary!”

The Visitation and the Immaculate Heart of Mary by Pope Benedict XVI On Saturday evening, 31 May [2008], the Feast or the Visitation of the Virgin Mary.

Benedict XVI: “the mystery of the Incarnation of the Lord and the beginning of human life are intimately connected”
November 28, 2010, 8:28 pm
Filed under: Pope Benedict XVI, Prayer, Pro-life, Unborn Jesus
Pregnant virgin. In Pinacoteca, Vatican Museum

During his Homily for the Vigil of Nascent Life on November 27, Pope Benedict speaks of the connection between the unborn and Christ’s time in the womb:

“The beginning of the liturgical year helps us to relive the expectation of God made flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary, God who makes himself small, He becomes a child, it speaks to us of the coming of a God who is near, who wanted to experience the life of man, from the very beginning, to save it completely, fully. And so the mystery of the Incarnation of the Lord and the beginning of human life are intimately connected and in harmony with each other within the one saving plan of God, the Lord of life of each and every one of us. The Incarnation reveals to us, with intense light and in an amazing way, that every human life has an incomparable, a most elevated dignity.”

Later in the Homily he states:

“With regard to the embryo in the womb, science itself highlights its autonomy capable of interaction with the mother, the coordination of biological processes, the continuity of development, the growing complexity of the organism. This is not an accumulation of biological material, but a new living being, dynamic and wonderfully ordered, a new unique human being. So was Jesus in Mary’s womb, so it was for all of us in our mother’s womb. With the ancient Christian writer Tertullian we can say: ” he who will be a man is already one” (Apologeticum IX, 8), there is no reason not to consider him a person from conception.”

He closes the Homily by entrusting the unborn to Our Lady who bore Jesus, our Savior in her womb:

To the Virgin Mary, who welcomed the Son of God made man with faith, with her maternal womb, with loving care, with nurturing support and vibrant with love, we entrust our commitment and prayer in favour of unborn life .

To read the entire homily click here

Advent Prayer Vigil for all Nascent Human Life – Is your diocese participating?
November 15, 2010, 6:44 pm
Filed under: Advent, Pope Benedict XVI, Prayer

From Diocese of Witchita Website

Note: We encourage you to double check times and locations with the diocese/parish in your area.

This is a very partial list – if you know of locations that we have not been able to find please leave a comment or email us at info@unbornwordalliance.com


Time 4:30 PM Date   Saturday, Nov 27 Location   SS Simon and Jude Cathedral, Phoenix     Presiding  Most Reverend Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix


Vigil for All Nascent Human Life (Prayer)  Nov 27 Time: 7:00 PM Location: St. Brigid Roman Catholic Church 4735 Cass Street San Diego CA Prayer Service and Benediction for all Nascent Human Life.  Bishop Robert Brom Celebrant.

The Franciscan Friars of Old Mission San Luis Rey, 4050 Mission Avenue, Oceanside cordially invite the public to a Solemn Vespers service at 4 p.m. on November 27 in the Historic Mission Church marking the start of Advent and the reopening of the Church to the public for visitation and private prayer. Most Rev. Robert Brom, D.D., Bishop of San Diego, will be the celebrant. Vespers also known as “Evening Prayer,” is part of the tradition of the “Liturgy of the Hours” and provides an opportunity for communal prayer. A reception will follow in the Sacred Garden.

Vigil for All Nascent Human Life – The Pro Life community of Sacramento invites all to participate in a Prayer Service and Benediction for All Nascent Human Life Saturday, November 27, 2010 5:30 p.m., at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe 711 T Street, Sacramento CA . Bishop Soto celebrant.

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Joseph 80 S Market St, San Jose, CA Bishop Patrick J. McGrath of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Jose invites all the faithful to a special Evening Prayer November 27, 6:00pm to pray for the blessing and protection of new life in our midst.This simple prayer service will include a blessing for all expectant mothers. Expectant mothers of all ages, walks of life, and Christian traditions are especially invited to participate.

Cathedral of the Annunciation 425 West Magnolia Street Stockton, Bishop Stephen E. Blaire will be presiding – November 27, 7:30-8:30

Most Reverend George Niederauer Archbishop of San Francisco has sent a letter to the parishes of his diocese ( Archdiocese of San Francisco letter) asking each parish to participate in this worldwide celebration of prayer at their parish’s Saturday evening Vigil Mass on this First Sunday of Advent. He has suggested in the letter that: “In addition to offering your Mass intention for the protection of all newly-developing human life, you may also wish to include special prayers, the rosary, Eucharistic Adoration or other special devotions after Mass.”

– Holy Family Church , 209 E. Lomita, Glendale, CA will also join the Pope for the hour of prayer. Exposition and benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, Rosary, and prayers will begin immediately after the 5:30 PM Mass on Nov 27.

– St. Denis Catholic Community, 2151 S. Diamond Bar Blvd, Diamond Bar, California will also join Pope Benedict for the hour of prayer. Exposition and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, Rosary and prayers will be at 4:15 – 5:15 p.m., with evening Mass following at 5:30 p.m. Please join Msgr. James Loughnane and us at this vigil on November 27, 2010!

– On Saturday November 27th, Pope Benedict the XVI will celebrate a Solemn Prayer Vigil in St. Peter’s Basilica, lifting up in prayer all children living in the womb. Mother of Life Pro-Life Center will be participating in this special prayer vigil. Please join Fr. Nabil Mouannes and us, along with the universal church throughout the world, in this historic call to defend the unborn with our greatest weapon of Prayer. November 27th 6:30 p.m St Ephrem Church Mother of Life Pro-Life Center 750 Medford Street El Cajon, CA

– St. John the Baptist Church, 11150 San Pablo Ave.,  El Cerrito, CA will hold its vigil after the 5 PM mass on Sat. November 27.  Our vigil will involve benediction with prayer and the Joyful mysteries of the Rosary.

St. Peter Chanel Church 12001 E 214th Street (Hawaiian Gardens) will participate in the Vigil for all Nascent Human Life  by offering  a Rosary, Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, and Benediction following Saturday’s, November 27th, 6:00 PM Regular Vigil Mass (starting approximately 7:05 to 7:15 PM).


Vigil for All Nascent Human Life at Villa Maria Guadalupe 159 Sky Meadow Dr., Stamford, CT Saturday November 27, 2010,  4pm-5:30pm Bishop Lori will preside

Vigil for All Nascent Human Life at the Nazareth Spiritual Life Center
1428 Monroe Turnpike, Monroe, CT  Saturday November 27, 2010, 7pm-8:30pm Bishop Lori will preside

On Saturday, November 27, 2010, at 7:00 p.m., in the Cathedral of Saint Patrick, 213 Broadway, Norwich – the Most Reverend Michael R. Cote, D.D., Bishop of Norwich, will celebrate a Holy Hour for all nascent human life.


November 27 6 pm Cathedral Basilica of Immaculate Conception Denver, CO  Archbishop Chuput presiding

Bishop Michael Sheridan will celebrate the vigil ceremony in Colorado Springs, CO at St. Mary Catholic Cathedral (22 W. Kiowa St.) immediately following the 4:00 pm Mass.


The Most Rev. W. Francis Malooly, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, will preside at a special Evening Prayer and Vigil Mass for the Unborn on Saturday, November 27, 2010, at Saint Peter’s Cathedral, Sixth and West Streets in Wilmington, beginning at 4:00 p.m. The event is open to the public.


November 27th Cathedral of Saint Mary 7525 NW 2nd Avenue, Miami  5:30 pm Holy Mass for the 1st Sunday of Advent     6:30 pm Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament – Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary – Prayer of Pope John Paul II – Evangelium Vitae – Benediction – Archbishop Wenski presiding

Diocese of Venice Respect Life Office will be putting up a list soon, click here

Vigil for All Nascent Human Life will be held Saturday, Nov. 27, at 7 p.m. in the Ave Maria Oratory Ave Maria, FL with Fr. Robert Tatman presiding.


In the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory will celebrate the prayer service for all nascent human life on Saturday, Nov. 27, at 12 noon at the Cathedral of Christ the King, Atlanta, Georgia Other prayer services may be held at parishes of the archdiocese.


Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I. will be leading a vigil at Holy Name Cathedral on Saturday, November 27 at 6:30 p.m. in solidarity with the Holy Father and the faithful throughout the world.  Chicago, ILL Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament as well as a special Benediction.  Please note the date and plan to attend as we join the Vicar of Christ in demonstrating our respect for all human life.

Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Siegel will be celebrating a vigil “For All Nascent Human Life” at the Cathedral of St. Raymond Nonnatus in Joliet,Illinois on Saturday, November 27, 2010, at 7:30 pm.


On Nov. 27, St. Francis of Assisi Newman Center, 1200 W Riverside Ave., Muncie, IN will be celebrating with Exposition, Vespers and the Rosary at 6:45pm in the Worship Space (Vigil for all Nascent Human Life).


On Saturday, November 27th, Pope Benedict will preside at a “Vigil for all nascent human life,” and he has asked all bishops around the world to preside at similar celebrations in their own dioceses. Therefore, Bishop Amos will celebrate Vespers at Sacred Heart Cathedral 422-E. 10th Street, Davenport at 7:00 p.m. We are also  making available a booklet for families to use at home if they so desire.

Bishop Richard Pates invites the public to join him in a Mass and evening prayer service at St. Ambrose Cathedral 607 High Street Des Moines, IA on Nov. 27 beginning with the regularly scheduled 4 p.m. Mass. Immediately following, there will be a special evening prayer service at the cathedral with benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

Join us November 27, 7:30-8:30 p.m. at Immaculate Conception-Moville for our Vigil for All Nascent Human Life.

Nov 27 Vigil for All Human life after 4:30 Mass, St. John’s Parish 24043 302nd Place, Adel


Diocese of Wichita  WSU Newman Center 1810 N. Roosevelt  Wichita, KS  4- 7 pm Bishop Michael O Jackels presiding

Archbishop Emeritus James P. Keleher will celebrate the vigil ceremony in the Kansas City area at St. Joseph Church in Shawnee, KS (11311 Johnson Dr) at 7:00 pm on Saturday, Nov. 27th.

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann will celebrate the vigil ceremony in Topeka, KS at Assumption Church (204 SW 8th Ave) at 7:00 pm on Saturday, Nov. 27th.

November 27th, 5pm, Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Dodge City, KS  Bishop Ronald M. Gilmore, presiding.


The Pope, Prayer, and You – Pope Benedict XVI requests world-wide prayer for all nascent (starting to develop) human life on Saturday, November 27. We invite you to pray wherever you may be Thanksgiving weekend.  Archbishop Kurtz also invites you to a “Prayer Vigil for Nascent Human Life” (English and Español) on November 27 at 7:00 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Assumption, Louisville, KY.

Our celebration of the First Vespers of the First Sunday of Advent will take place at St. Agnes Church in Fort Wright, Kentucky at 7:30 p.m. I have asked priests of the diocese to join me in this celebration, and I invite all the faithful from across the Diocese to come and pray with us. Most Rev. Roger J. Foys, D.D. Bishop of Covington, KY.

You’re invited to celebrate vespers with Bishop Medley at Saint Stephen Cathedral 610 Locust Street Owensboro, KY at 6:30 pm on November 27. Vespers will be preceded by the regular 5:00 pm Mass and a short period of adoration

Next Saturday November 27 Bishop Gainer will be with us to celebrate the Vigil for All Nascent Human Life. starting with  the 5:30 p.m. Mass, followed by an  evening prayer with Adoration and Benediction.   St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, 1730 Summerhill Dr., Lexington, KY.


A Message from Archbishop Aymond, Archbishop of New Orleans – On Saturday, November 27 at St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Benedict XVI will celebrate a “Vigil for All Nascent Human Life” coinciding with first vespers of the First Sunday of Advent. Along with the Holy Father, I am encouraging all pastors to preside in analogous celebrations involving the faithful in their respective parishes. The most obvious time to take part in the vigil is at Saturday Vigil Mass. Please consider including this intention in your prayers of the faithful throughout the weekend and keep this intention in your prayers.


Special Holy Hour on November 27th at 6:30pm At the request of the Pope Benedict XVI, churches all over the world will be celebrating a “Vigil for All Nascent Human Life” coinciding with first vespers of the First Sunday of Advent on November 27th. Jesus the Divine Word Catholic Church 885 Cox Rd Huntingtown Maryland


Saturday, November 27, 2010  7 p.m. Vigil for All Human Life at its Very Beginnings St. Julie Billiart Church 494 Slocum Road  North Dartmouth Mass. Saturday, November 27, 2010 at 4:00 p.m.

Cathedral of the Holy Cross – Lower Church Boston, Mass
Prayer Vigil with Evening Prayer (Vespers),Rosary and Benediction November 27, 2010 at 4:00 p.m.Presider: Seán Cardinal O’Malley, OFM, Cap. Archbishop of Boston

All are invited to join Bishop McManus at the worldwide Vigil for All Unborn Human Life Sunday, November 28, 2010 7:00 p.m. Cathedral of St. Paul, Worcester


Join Archbishop Allen H. Vigneronin a vigil of prayer including the Liturgy of the Hours, exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction. The vigil will coincide with vespers of the First Sunday of Advent, and with reference to the approaching solemnity of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ. When: November 27th 2010 at 7:00 P.M.Where: St. John Neumann Church 44800 Warren, Canton, Michigan.

Chancellor Msgr. Steven Raica – Prayer Vigil – Sat., Nov. 27, 2010 at 7:00 pm at St. Mary Cathedral, 219 Seymour, Lansing, MI.

Bishop Walter A. Hurley – Holy Hour with exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction – Sat.,  Nov. 27, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. at Cathedral of Saint Andrew, 301 Sheldon Blvd. SE, Grand Rapids, MI

Christ the King Catholic Church, 4000 Ave Maria Dr., Ann Arbor  will have a Prayer Vigil for the Unborn on Saturday evening Nov. 27th. The vigil schedule is as follows:

  • 8 p.m.: Liturgy of the Hours Evening Prayer, followed by the Divine Mercy Chaplet
  • 9 p.m.: Stations of the Cross with Pro-Life Meditations
  • 10 p.m.: Rosary with Pro-Life Meditations
  • 11 p.m.: Charismatic prayer and intercession
  • 11:45 p.m.: Benediction

Each hour will include a time for private prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, which will be exposed in the Worship Space during the vigil. Please Note: Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in the Adoration Chapel will continue as usual.

Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Imlay City will hold a Vigil for All Nascent Human Life Saturday Nov. 27th, 6:10pm. The Vigil will include Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Vespers, the Holy Rosary, Benediction and an opportunity for Confession, with refreshments following in the hall.

Diocese of  Gaylord – Services are being planned for Saturday, November 27, 2010 at:

* St. Mary Cathedral in Gaylord (606 North Ohio Avenue)from 4:00-4:45 p.m. Bishop Bernard Hebda will preside at Evening Prayer for the First Sunday of Advent with Exposition and Benediction. Mass will begin at 5:00 p.m. and be followed by Bishop Hebda leading the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary at 6:15 p.m.

* Holy Family Parish in East Tawas (516 West Lincoln) beginning at 2:45 p.m.

* St. Bernard Parish in Alpena (322 West Chisholm) beginning at 7:00 p.m. Fr. Rolando Silva will preside.

* St. Patrick Parish in Traverse City (630 West Silver Lake Road) beginning at 7:00 p.m.

* Holy Rosary Parish in Cedar (6982 S. Schomberg Road) will follow the 4:00 Mass with a Vespers Service beginning at 5:00 p.m. Fr. Donald Libby will preside.

* St. Francis of Assisi in Lewiston (4086 Salling) beginning at 4:00 p.m.

A special service is also planned for Sunday, November 28 at:
* St. Francis Xavier in Petoskey (513 Howard Street) beginning at 7:00 p.m.

NOTE:  As services in the Diocese of Gaylord are added they will be posted at http://www.dioceseofgaylord.org/


Worldwide Prayer Vigil for the Unborn – Pope Benedict XVI has asked the entire Church to pray with him for unborn children on the eve of the New Church Year.Saturday, November 27, 6:30-9:00pm at Divine Mercy Catholic Church, 139 Mercy Dr. Faribault.

Several parishes in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis are participating in the Pope’s worldwide Prayer Vigil for All Nascent Human Life and the National Night of Prayer for Life. Click HERE for a list of parishes participating.


Bishop John R. Gaydos will lead the Diocese in Vespers Prayer on November 28th, 6:30 pm at the Cathedral of St. Joseph, 2215 West Main Stree. Jefferson City This Prayer is a Vigil for All Nascent Human Life requested by Pope Benedict XVI to be celebrated in every diocese and parish throughout the world. Prayers will include Benediction, the Rosary, and Supplication for Life. Everyone is invited to come as we begin the Advent Season by praying for all human life as we prepare for the birth of the Child Jesus on Christmas Day.

Bishop Robert Finn will celebrate the vigil ceremony in downtown Kansas City at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (416 W 12th St) at 4:00pm on Saturday, Nov. 27th.

St. Joseph parish 106 N. Meramec Ave. Clayton, Missouri will offer a holy hour for all preborn human life from 3-4 pm on November 27. . Benedict XVI  has issued a request for prayers worldwide from all pro-life people against abortion on November 27, the vigil of Advent. Confessions will follow the Holy Hour at 4 pm with the vigil mass at 5 pm.


Bishop Warfel will be celebrating a vigil at St. Ann Cathedral in Great Falls. He is asking that all parishes in the diocese consider doing a similar vigil.


St. Peter Catholic Church, 27th & Leavenworth, Omaha Vigil for Nascent Life, Sat. Nov. 27 the schedule at St. Peters will be; 6 pm  Eucharistic Exposition – 6:10-6:40 Solemn Chanted Vespers in Spanish – 6:40 pm Rosary in Spanish -7-7:15 Silent prayer – 7:15 pm Rosary in English – 7:30-8 pm  Solemn Chanted Vespers and Benediction in English


Bishop Calvo will lead us in “Vigil for All Nascent Human Life” at 7:00 p.m. St Thomas Aquinas Cathedral 310 West Second Street, Reno, Nevada

Saturday, November 27, 2010Shrine of the Most Holy Redeemer, 55 E. Reno Ave, Las Vegas, NV at 6:00pm the Diocese of Las Vegas will be holding a Pro Life Vigil consisting of Evening Prayer, a Rosary, and Benediction.  All the parishes around the world are asked by Pope Benedict XVI to participate in this vigil.

New Jersey

Bishop O’Connell will be celebrating a Mass for Life at St. James in Pennington, NJ at 5 pm on November 27th.

Diocese of Metichen New Jersey has a list of parishes that will be holding vigils click here

St. Matthias will join in this Prayer Vigil with the Holy Father following the 5:30 Mass on Sat., Nov. 27 with EVENING PRAYER AND BENEDICTION. All are welcome to join us in this worldwide prayer service. 168  John F. Kennedy Boulevard, Somerset, NJ

Nov. 27, 7:30 p.m. Vigil For All Nascent Human Life – Our Lady of Guadalupe, 135 N. White Horse Pike, Lindenwold

New York

Archdiocese of New York Family Life/Respect Life Office has put  up a list of  parishes participating in this Vigil) – click here


Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral, 2535 Collingwood Blvd, Toledo Saturday, November 27, 2010 @ 6:00 p.m. Evening Prayer and Benediction with Bishop Blair.

Catholic Diocese of Youngstown will celebrate this special vigil at St. Columba Cathedral on November 27. Bishop Murry will preside at Evening Prayer and Benediction at 4:30 p.m. Mass for the First Sunday of Advent will follow at 5:30 p.m.

Pope Benedict XVI will be celebrating a “Vigil for all nascent human life” on 27 November 2010. In the Diocese of Cleveland Bishop Lennon will be celebrating Evening Prayer I of the First Sunday of Advent in conjunction with the anticipated Mass of the First Sunday of Advent at the 4:30 p.m. Mass at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, 1007 Superior Avenue East, Cleveland, OH.

A Vigil for all Nascent Human Life Thursday, December 2, 2010 5:15pm Evening Prayer with Exposition will take place at The Athenaeum of Ohio Mount St. Mary’s Seminary Chapel of St. Gregory the Great 6616 Beechmont Avenue Cincinnati, OH


Please join Bishop Edward J. Slattery for the Nascent Vigil at Holy Family Cathedral 122 West 8th Street Tulsa on Saturday, November 27th after the 5pm Mass. This vigil will coincide with Pope Benedict’s vigil at St. Peter’s.

The Church of Saint Mary 1347 East 49 St., Tulsa, will hold this Vigil request by the Holy Father at 4:00 p.m. in the Chapel on November 27th. All are welcome and invited to participate


Vigil for all Nascent Human Life 6:30 pm in the Church.  St. Mary’s Catholic Church 501 NW 25th St. Corvallis For more info call 541-757-2788


Prayer for the Protection of Nascent Human Life, The observance at St. Peter’s Cathedral 315 Wyoming Avenue Scranton, will begin at 3:30 p.m. with the praying of the Rosary,with a special intention for the protection of all nascent life. Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, will be the celebrant of the 4 p.m. Vigil Mass. Following the Mass, the Cardinal will lead a brief prayer service at the monument to the unborn located on the grounds of the Cathedral.

Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI has asked that we join him in a Vigil for Nascent Life on Saturday evening of the first weekend of Advent. Cardinal Rigali has asked that the Holy Rosary be recited in every church one half hour before the Saturday evening Mass. Deacon Jim McAvoy will lead the Rosary in the Chapel of St. Peter’s Catholic Church 2835 Manor Rd., West Brandywine, at 4:30. Our parish will continue the experience of this event with a Holy Hour at the end of the 5:00 PM Mass. The Most Blessed Sacrament will be exposed while the Holy Rosary is recited and Benediction will complete this wonderful time of prayer

The Departments for Worship and Human Dignity are jointly organizing a diocesan celebration at Saint Paul Cathedral Pittsburgh, PA beginning with 6:00 p.m. Mass on Saturday, November 27. There will be Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament at the end of Mass, followed by organized prayer and silence, with Benediction beginning at 7:50 p.m. Bishop William Winter will preside.

Vigil for Nascent Human Life on Saturday, November 27. In response, Bishop Joseph P. McFadden will hold a vigil at Saint Patrick Cathedral Harrisburg, PA at 7:00 p.m. that day. Please come and unite with the Holy Father and our Bishop to pray for all unborn life. Please gather at St. Lawrence Chapel at 110 State Street for the one block Marian procession to the Cathedral. Free parking will be available at the South Street Parking Garage.

Pope Benedict XVI has asked that a “Vigil for All Nascent Human Life” be celebrated on The First Sunday of Advent. To fulfill the Holy Father’s request for prayer, St. Therese Church, 25 Old River Road, Wikes-Barre, PA will have a Holy Hour at Saint Therese Church on Saturday, November 27th, at 2:00 pm, in the Church. All are welcome!

Rhode Island

Nov. 27, Holy Name of Jesus Church, 99 Camp St Providence, RI will be keeping the Vigil with the Holy Father beginning at 5:00 PM following the 4 o’clock vigil Mass. Booklets will be provided for the celebration of Vespers, Rosary and Benediction. Please invite all of your family and friends.

South Dakota

Bishop Paul Swain will preside over a local vigil for all Nascent Human Life at 6 p.m., Saturday, November 27 at the current St. Joseph Cathedral 521 Duluth Ave Sioux Falls, SD  worship space (the school gym,entrance on west side of the building).


On Saturday, November 27, at St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Benedict XVI will celebrate a“Vigil for All Nascent Human Life” coinciding with the beginning of Advent. In union with the Holy Father, at 5:30pm, on Saturday, November 27, we will have Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Evening Prayer, and Benediction, followed by Mass at 6:00pm. Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 414 West Vine Avenue Knoxville.


Pope Benedict XVI Vigil for All Nascent Human Life Location: Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart 1111 Pierce St. Houston, TX Cardinal DiNardo Presiding Date: Saturday, November 27, 2010 Time: 8:30 PM

A Diocesan Day of Prayer for all Nascent [newly developing] Human Life will be celebrated by Bishop Joe Vásquez on Saturday, December 4th at 1:00 p.m. at St. Helen Parish 2700 East University Avenue,  Georgetown

The Catholic Pro-life Committee (Respect Life Ministry of the Diocese of Dallas) has a list of Parishes (about 25 parishes)  that are participating in the Vigil – Click HERE

St Dominic Village – Warren Chapel, 2401 Holcombe Boulevard Houston, TX will hold the Vigil for All Nascent Human Life on Nov. 27th after the 6 pm  Mass (Vigil and Vespers begin at 7:00 pm).


“Vigil for All Nascent Human Life” will be held at St. Joseph’s,  750 Peachtree Street, Herndon, Virginia on Saturday, November 27, 2010 at 6:15 p.m. Please plan to stay or to come after the 5 p.m. Mass for the “Vigil for All Nascent Human Life” in union with our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, and all Bishops and parishes.


The Most Reverend John Charles Wester (Salt Lake City)  sent an email forwarded by the diocesan communications director  to all monsignors, priests, and Deacons of his Diocese asking each parish to participate in this worldwide celebration of prayer at their parish’s Saturday evening Vigil Mass on this First Sunday of Advent.


There will be a Vigil for All Nascent Life on Saturday, Nov. 27, at 4 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Burlington VT


With joyful hope, Bishop Robert Morlino invites the faithful of the Diocese of Madison to observe this Vigil with him, in communion with the Holy Father, at St. Patrick’s Church of the Cathedral Parish 404 E. Main Street, Madison  on November 27, at 7 p.m. Reception following prayer vigil.

Archdiocese of Milwaukee: Archbishop Listecki will preside at Evening Prayer, Rosary and Benediction on Saturday, November 27, at 5 p.m. hosted by St. Anthony Church, Ninth & Mitchell, Milwaukee.

Next weekend we begin a new liturgical year with the First Sunday of Advent. Pope Benedict XVI is calling for a Vigil for All Nascent Human Life to be observed on Saturday evening, November 27. “Nascent” means “embryonic, growing, being born.” During Advent we recall the period when Jesus was nascent. We will observe this vigil after the 5:10 Mass on Sat. Nov. 27  with a Marian Procession, Rosary and Benediction. Please come and join us. St. Joseph the Workman Cathedral, 530 Main Street, La Crosse, WI


St. Barbara’s Catholic Church, 3rd & Absaroka Street, Powell, Wyoming will be having a vigil for All Nascent Human Life following the 5:45 pm Mass on Sat., November 27. Eucharistic Adoration, Evening Prayer, and praying the Rosary will take place.

November 15, 2010, 1:18 am
Filed under: Advent, Evangelium Vitae, Pope Benedict XVI, Prayer, Pro-life

Mary Kept All These Things and Pondered Them in Her Heart by Robert Anning Bell from Mary, The Mother of Jesus (Alice Meynell)

On the eve of the first Sunday of Advent – Saturday evening, November 27, 2010 – the Pope will lead a VIGIL FOR NASCENT HUMAN LIFE at St. Peter’s in Rome, and he has asked the world’s Bishops and priests to do the same in their own dioceses and parishes.

The Pope describes the intention of the Vigil as follows:

“The time of preparation for Holy Christmas is a favorable moment to invoke Divine protection over each human being called to existence, also as thanksgiving to God for the gift of life received from our parents.”

Americans please note the appropriate theme of thanksgiving which also relates to the national holiday weekend.

The call for this worldwide Vigil by our Pope is a breakthrough of momentous proportions for many reasons. But one not so obvious reason is that the Church tends to lean on her traditions, perhaps at times being slow to implement brand new ones. The Church has stood prophetically, time and again, for respect for human life from conception to natural death. But the Church has been slow to turn her coordinated worldwide liturgical prayer directly at the worldwide scourge of abortion. No longer!

Benedict’s Pro – Life Prayer Vigil is to prayer, what John Paul II’s encycylical Evangelium Vitae “The Gospel of Life” is to teaching. Our U.S. Chairman for the Catholic Bishops Committee on Pro – Life Activities, Cardinal DiNardo, says this Papal request is “unprecedented” – but that is an understatement.

By making this worldwide Vigil an Advent event, the Pope has now linked in our Catholic Christian consciousness the concept of the solidarity between Unborn Jesus and all unborn children.  There is no turning back now!

The Serious decline of Serious Journalism
April 11, 2010, 2:15 pm
Filed under: Pope Benedict XVI

We are changing the focus of our blog for today in an effort to provide a collection of well-written articles on the topic of child sexual abuse media coverage and attempts to smear and discredit the Pope. All sexual abuse of children was and is horrific! But a lot of the ‘reporting’ in today’s mainstream media has degenerated into agenda-driven journalism rather than fact-based journalism. One key agenda item is to destroy the Church and especially its moral teaching capabilities.

With this in mind, we are providing  articles (links) that show just how bad and misleading this reporting has been:

1. This article is written by the canonical judge in the Wisconsin case that the New York Times first broke. I found this article interesting because of how credible it is – This priest wrote it to outline how “sloppy and inaccurate” the “reporting on the Father Murphy case by the New York Times and other media outlets” was. I heard about it and had to search it out.

Update: Milwaukee church judge clarifies case of abusive priest Father Murphy

2. Here is another interesting article on the same Wisconsin abuse case by Father DeSousa – which details the facts.

A Response to the New York Times [Fr. Raymond J. de Souza]

3. On the blog (What Does Prayer Really Say) Father Z documents how the New York Times relied on a faulty translation of letters between the Vatican and the Diocese of Milwaukee in the article they wrote on the abuse case.

NYT used bad translator, made gross errors

4. Here is another interesting article by John Allen. It is called    Will Ratzinger’s Past Trump Benedict’s Present. As he gets into the article he actually shows how Pope Benedict has done more than almost any other churchman to deal forthrightly with the child abuse scandals.

Will Ratzinger’s Past Trump Benedict’s Present

5. This is an article by a Jewish Rabbi who thinks that Cardinal Ratzinger is getting unfair treatment.

Rabbi calls media coverage of Church abuse scandal one-dimensional

6. The following article does a good job of putting a context to the child abuse scandals, Sandro Magister, a veteran Vatican reporter also points out that Cardinal Ratzinger was not the person in charge of investigating these scandals until 2001.

Decoding accusations against Pope BenedictA veteran Vatican watcher describes culture of clerical sex abuse, reporting

7. George Weigel also weighs in with a Newsweek article entitled What Went Wrong.  The subtitle to his article is:  Don’t blame celibacy. To fight the plague of sexual abuse, the church needs to become more Catholic, not less.

What Went Wrong

Pope Benedict’s Good Friday Prayer: “Enable us..to love you in the unborn child.”
April 10, 2009, 4:44 pm
Filed under: Biblical Reflections, Pope Benedict XVI, Prayer, Pro-life


Today, during the Stations of the Cross , Pope Benedict prayed this prayer at the Seventh Station.

“We have faith, Lord, but not enough. Help us to have more. May we never question or mock serious things in life like a cynic. Allow us not to drift into the desert of godlessness. Enable us to perceive you in the gentle breeze, see you in street corners, love you in the unborn child.

God, enable us to understand that on Tabor or Calvary, your Son is the Lord. Robed or stripped of his garments, he is the Saviour of the world. Make us attentive to his quiet presences: in his “word”, in tabernacles, shrines, humble places, simple persons, the life of the poor, laughter of children, whispering pines, rolling hills, the tiniest living cell, the smallest atom, and the distant galaxies.

May we watch with wonder as he walks on the waters of the Rhine and the Nile and the Tanganyika.”


The Human Beings showing the most potential – Unborn Children
March 2, 2009, 5:53 pm
Filed under: Pope Benedict XVI, Pro-life


Unborn children are bursting with potential! They are vital, full of energy, hope and promise! So says the Culture of Life.

But the selfish culture of death just doesn’t see it that way. Hence the decades-long struggle for the right to life of defenseless unborn children.

In an address to the Diplomatic Corps at the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI said that “the poorest human beings are unborn children” (1/8/09). He may have been referring to their ‘poverty of (acknowledged) human rights’ which leads to a ‘poverty in human protection’.

In his January 1, 2009 annual Message for The World Day of Peace, Benedict XVI noted: “The extermination of millions of unborn children, in the name of the fight against poverty, actually constitutes the destruction of the poorest of all human beings.”

This is the contradiction of a culture of death: That the human beings with the most potential and promise are the poorest human beings of all because they have not one shred of a human right to cling to!

Mother Teresa saw the situation for what it was: “Unborn children are among the poorest of the poor. They are so close to God.”

The good news then is that God loves every innocent unborn child! As Jesus once explained:

“…do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have no more they can do…fear him who, after he has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Lk 12:4-7

St. Joseph’s Advent
December 20, 2008, 3:15 am
Filed under: Christmas, Pope Benedict XVI, Quotes from Great Christians, Unborn Jesus


On this mosaic Joseph is depicted as taking the Virgin Mary to his home.

This is one of the world famous mosaic depictions of Chora museum.*

“We should like to penetrate into those remaining six months, which Mary and Joseph spent together, before the birth of the Holy Child. Scripture is silent about them, but it is not difficult for a sanctified imagination to picture something of what was taking place…

The house at Nazareth was in very deed God’s Sanctuary, containing the Altar of Repose, where the Savior of the world was resting. Angels were in constant adoration before their King. The faithful consisted of Mary and Joseph, whose thought and conversation could be about nothing else but the Child Who was coming into the world. And who shall measure the graces and blessings, which that Child was showering upon Mary and her faithful spouse, during those months of waiting and prayer and holy converse,while they planned and arranged with such care and minuteness, as parents are wont to do, every detail connected with the birth of the firstborn?” Mother St. Paul, Ortus Christi

“Joseph realized how great was the blessing which God had bestowed upon him, a poor carpenter, in decreeing that from his house and family should come the hope and salvation and remedy of all generations and that he should be guardian and putative father of the Savior and the spouse of His blessed Mother. When a heart so pure and holy sees itself enclosed and inundated by such mysteries, what must it feel? How astonished and enraptured it must be amidst such marvels and blessings, especially since the Holy Spirit usually gives to the just an experience or taste proportionate to the knowledge which He gives them. What must have been the state of Joseph’s will when his intellect was enlightened concerning the great marvels and mysteries?”   Venerable Louis of Granada (1505-1588)

“In these last days of Advent the liturgy invites us to contemplate in a special way the Virgin Mary and St Joseph, who lived with unique intensity the period of expectation and preparation for Jesus’ birth. I would like today to turn my attention to the figure of St Joseph…

The beloved Pope John Paul II, who was very devoted to St Joseph, left us an awesome meditation dedicated to him in the Apostolic Exhortation Redemptoris Custos, “Guardian of the Redeemer”. Among the many aspects it  highlights, particular emphasis is placed on the silence of St Joseph. His is a silence permeated by contemplation of the mystery of God, in an attitude of total availability to his divine wishes. In other words, the silence of St Joseph was not the sign of an inner void, but on the contrary, of the fullness of faith he carried in his heart, and which guided each and every one of his thoughts and actions…

Let us allow ourselves to be ‘infected’ by the silence of St Joseph! We have much need of it in a world which is often too noisy, which does not encourage reflection and listening to the voice of God. In this time of preparation for Christmas, let us cultivate interior meditation to welcome and watch over Jesus in our lives.” Pope Benedict XVI, Angelus Message, Dec. 18, 2005.

* The Chora (Museum) Monastery is located in the northwest part of Istanbul, in a district called Edirnekapi. The word “Chora”, as widely accepted, means land, country, a suburb, or suburban area, and countryside in Greek language. As the building  lay outside the city walls built by emperor Constantine, it was thus named Chora. Chora also means “womb” in ancient Greek. Some historians have thought that the church might have been dedicated to Virgin Mary who gave birth to Jesus from her womb.There are two etymological approaches to  the word “Chora”  1- Geographical (land, county, suburb), 2- religious and mystical (womb).

Teacher in the Womb
October 14, 2008, 9:54 pm
Filed under: Pope Benedict XVI, Saints, Unborn Jesus

“Didn’t the Virgin Mary do the will of the Father? I mean, she believed by faith, she conceived by faith, she was chosen to be the one from whom salvation in the very midst of the human race would be born for us, she was created by Christ before Christ was created in her. Yes, of course, holy Mary did the will of the Father. And therefore it means more for Mary to have been a disciple of Christ than to have been the mother of Christ. It means more for her, an altogether greater blessing, to have been Christ’s disciple than to have been Christ’s mother. That is why Mary was blessed, because even before she gave him birth, she bore her teacher in her womb.”

From  Mary, a disciple of Christ, St. Augustine,  Sermon 72/A, 7

So much can be gained by reflecting on the way Mary learned from Jesus! From her very first “fiat”, through the long, ordinary years of the hidden life, as she brought up Jesus, or when at Cana in Galilee she asked for the first sign, or when finally on Calvary, by the Cross, she looked on Jesus, she “learned” him moment by moment. Firstly in faith and then in her womb, she received the Body of Jesus and then gave birth to him. Day after day, enraptured, she adored him. She served him with solicitous love, singing the Magnificat in her heart.

From: Pope Benedict, XVI in Poland May 26, 2006 VIAGGIO APOSTOLICO DI SUA SANTITÀ BENEDETTO XVI IN POLONIA (25-28 MAGGIO 2006) (V) , 26.05.2006

June 29, 2008, 7:03 am
Filed under: Pope Benedict XVI, Religion, Saints

The Papal Basilica Saint Paul Outside-the-Walls

Pope Benedict has inaugurated “The Year of St Paul”, beginning on June 29, 2008, at the first Vespers of the traditional Church Feast of Saints Peter and Paul. Last night I watched some of the liturgical celebrations live from the Vatican (on EWTN) to usher in this extraordinary Pauline year of grace.

In keeping with the spirit of this special day, we offer the following short quote from UNBORN JESUS OUR HOPE concerning the mystical nature of Mary’s pregnancy and words from Paul (and Peter) which help to throw light on it:

“She is the first Christian missionary. She carries the Christ across the land from this town to that. But He dwells within her ‑ within and beneath her heart. The mystery of this particular heart‑to‑Heart, body‑to‑Body communion between mother and Child, Christian and Christ, is impossible to fathom. Many years later both Saints Peter and Paul described their own sense of oneness with Christ in words that may help us in our appreciation of Mary’s experience. Reflecting on his own personal identification with Christ’s death on the cross, St. Paul would say; “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me…” (Gal 2:20).

But what of Mary’s intimate identification with our Lord’s Incarnation, the singular experience of Mary’s maternity? Her sentiments may have resembled those of St. Paul; paraphrasing now: “I have been conceived with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me…” And as each day passed, did she not sense that she was becoming, as St. Peter would later say, a partaker “of the divine nature” (II Pet 1:4)? No other human soul has experienced the wonder and grace of this mystical passage from youthful human simplicity into the eternal mystery of mothering God! Words fail us here: ” Christ is all, and in all” (Col 3:11).”

Every Christian must discover for himself or herself, and repeatedly, just how “Christ is all, and in all” for him and for her. In a unique way, during her nine month pregnancy, Mary must have pondered within her heart – in an archetypical manner – the Incarnational mystery that “Christ is all, and in all”. He certainly was “all and in all” in her! Following baptism and the onset of the life of God within each Christian soul, it is true on the spiritual level – a mystical truth and reality grasped and taught well by St Paul – that “Christ is all, and in all”! And just as the pregnant Mary saw intimate signs of Christ’s life within her own and desired to live well her nine months for Him, so too today’s Christian recognizes personal signs of Christ’s life within his or her heart and must strive to live well all his or her days for Christ.

John Paul II, “the Pope of the family”
May 19, 2008, 10:55 pm
Filed under: John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI
Benedict XVI recently called John Paul II, “the Pope of the family”. He pointed out that John Paul II said that “the future of humanity passes by way of the family.”

In Centesimus Annus 38, 39, John Paul II said:

In addition to the irrational destruction of the natural environment, we must also mention the more serious destruction of the human environment…The first and fundamental structure for “human ecology” is the family, in which man receives his first formative ideas about truth and goodness, and learns what it means to love and to be loved, and thus what it actually means to be a person. Here we mean the family founded on marriage, in which the mutual gift of self by husband and wife creates an environment in which children can be born and develop their potentialities…”

Throughout his time as Pope, John Paul II repeatedly tried to reach out to families:

Here are links to just a very few of John Paul’s writings on the Family.

Original Unity of Man and Woman
“Catechesis on the Book of Genesis”



Just days after the misguided California Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage Pope Benedict spoke out on this subject:

“The union of love, based on matrimony between a man and a woman, which makes up the family, represents a good for all society that can not be substituted by, confused with, or compared to other types of unions.”

Pope Reaffirms Truth about Marriage and Family 5/17/2008

The good news is that there is a group in California that has collected enough signatures to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot this November to overturn this ruling by the California Supreme Court. Of course, they need our help. Here is a link to an article about the current status of this proposed ballot initiative:

California court may not have the last word on marriage
by Maggie Gallagher | 16 May 2008

To see how you can help – go directly to this group’s website:

National Organization for Marriage

eucharistic consistency and the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia
May 1, 2008, 9:52 pm
Filed under: Inspirational Pro-life leaders, Pope Benedict XVI, Pro-life

Kelly Clark had an interesting post concerning the recent discussion in the news about pro-abortion politicians receiving communion. Her title was: Bishops: I know you were busy with the Papal visit and all but Communion is…serious

We thought the following quotes and links would contribute to the ongoing discussion:

The following two quotes are taken from a memorandum sent by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, in his capacity as Prefect for the Sacred Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, in June 2004 to Cardinal Theodore McCarrick (who at that time was exercising leadership in the U. S. Conference of Bishops concerning matters of domestic policy). The memorandum is entitled Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion – General Principles:

Regarding the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia, when a person’s formal cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws), his Pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist.”

Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.”

In Sacramentum Caritatis an Apostolic Exhortation issued by Pope Benedict on February 22, 2007 we find this:

“Here it is important to consider what the Synod Fathers described as Eucharistic consistency, … Evidently, this is true for all the baptized, yet it is especially incumbent upon those who, by virtue of their social or political position, must make decisions regarding fundamental values, such as respect for human life, its defense from conception to natural death, the family built upon marriage between a man and a woman, the freedom to educate one’s children and the promotion of the common good in all its forms (230). These values are not negotiable. Consequently, Catholic politicians and legislators, conscious of their grave responsibility before society, must feel particularly bound, on the basis of a properly formed conscience, to introduce and support laws inspired by values grounded in human nature (231). There is an objective connection here with the Eucharist (cf. 1 Cor 11:27-29). Bishops are bound to reaffirm constantly these values as part of their responsibility to the flock entrusted to them (232).”

Bishop Rene Henry Gracida, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, in an essay entitled A Twelve Step Program for Bishops said:

If the Penal Canons of the Code are now to be dusted off and brought out of the cupboard within which they have lain dormant for almost half-a-century, it is because the balm of mercy and discretion of measure have failed to heal the growing infection of error and scandal inside the Church and the genocide increasing daily in the world around us. The time for half-measures and fear of reprisal, loss of position, temporal advantage, or career opportunity is over – the time for action in now.”

To bring into focus the application of canon law to this topic, we highly recommend the recent scholarly article by Archbishop Raymond L. Burke entitled The Discipline Regarding the Denial of Holy Communion to Those Obstinately Persevering in Manifest Grave Sin (Periodica De Re Canonica, Vol. 96, 2007) and the interview with Archbishop Burke conducted by Barbara Kralis entitled: Archbishop Raymond L. Burke, the new ‘John Fisher’ by Barbara Kralis August 5, 2004.