Are you ready for the most impact filled 40 Days for Life campaign to hit Pensacola yet?

With the participation of our newest Bishop Gregory Parkes, clergy from various denominations, and the praying people of Pensacola, WE WILL PRAY! WE WILL FAST! WE WILL STAND PEACEFUL VIGIL! AND GOD WILL END ABORTION IN PENSACOLA!

Go to the Vigil Schedule and sign up now to stand up for life in front of Pensacola’s last remaining abortion facility from September 26 – November 4.

These are just some of the exciting events coming this fall:

  1. Kick-Off Saturday, September 22nd at 5:30 PM, St Anne Bellview Family Life Center
    Featuring Dr. Beverly McMillan, former abortion provider, now pro-life advocate
  2. Prayer vigil led by Bishop Gregory Parkes with Florida Teens For Life (Date TBD)
  3. City wide prayer vigil with several local pastors
  4. David Bereit and Shawn Carney, National Directors of 40 Days for Life, to visit Pensacola (Date TBD)
  5. And much more…..

Go to the Vigil Schedule and sign up now!

Here is a flyer to help advertise our fall Cast the Vision meeting to your pastors.

Please download, print, fax, e-mail, or share this flyer with your pastors!

Download links are below for Microsoft Word (.doc) format and PDF format.

[gview file=”http://40daysforlifepensacola.com/wp-content/uploads/40-DFL-CAST-THE-VISION-Fall-2010.pdf”]Download (DOC, 864KB) (right-click –> Save As)

Frequently Asked Questions on the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure
Originally published on June 12, 2008; Latest Revision June 4, 2010.

As the annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure approaches, some Catholics are asking the question: “Should I participate?”

The following common questions were originally addressed by Msgr. Kevin T. McMahon, former archdiocesan episcopal vicar for moral and religious matters related to health care and biotechnology, and Mrs. Christina Heddell, M.T.S., former director of the archdiocesan Respect Life Apostolate. The responses were recently updated by the current director, Mrs. Beth Lauver, based on the updated archdiocesan position statement.

Q. What is the Archdiocese of St. Louis’ official position on the annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure?

A. The archdiocese’s official position is available on the Respect Life Apostolate’s website, STLRespectLife.org. You can also request a copy of the statement by calling 314.792.7555

The statement notes that the archdiocese does not encourage participation in the race. The archdiocese has directed its parishes and institutions not to organize any group participation in the race, because such participation, although aimed at fighting breast cancer, would lend Church support to all that the Susan G. Komen for the Cure promotes or funds. The most serious problem is that, according to the last data available, some Komen affiliates provide financial support to Planned Parenthood. Susan G. Komen for the Cure-St. Louis is not one of those affiliates.

Although this money is earmarked for diagnostic testing for breast cancer, it frees up other monies which Planned Parenthood can then use for the immoral practices which are the mainstay of its operations—contraception, sterilization, and abortion. Participation by Church groups in the race would send the wrong message; namely, that support for these evil practices can be justified by the pursuit of a good cause. People would rightly ask, how evil can such things be if the Church is willing to give any support to them? To act in a way that may lead others to accept or promote evil is to give scandal, which Jesus condemns and demands that we avoid. A Church group’s participation in the race would likely be a source of grave scandal.

Q. Does the archdiocese have any other objections to Komen?

A. Yes, there are two other very serious objections: First, Komen has encouraged embryonic stem cell research by identifying it as a promising avenue in the fight against breast cancer. Obtaining embryonic stem cells requires the destruction of human embryos, which is gravely immoral and cannot be justified for any reason. Even if pluripotent stem cells (the type that are extracted from embryos) were effective in preventing, treating, or curing breast cancer, and this is a big “if,” new techniques for obtaining such cells which do not require the destruction of human embryos are now being perfected. And, adult stem cells have been used successfully in treating a number of other diseases. We encourage Komen to support stem cell research that does not involve the destruction of human life.

Second, recent studies have found a link between abortion and breast cancer, while others have found no link. More research needs to be done to settle this question, so we find Komen’s premature denial of the connection between abortion and breast cancer to be irresponsible. Although Komen may not wish to fund such research, it is wrong for it to discourage an avenue of research that may identify factors related to abortion that can be linked to this disease. Such knowledge could aid in the prevention or cure of the disease.

Q. Why is it important that the archdiocese take this position, and why is it important for Catholics to know that the Church does have a position on Komen and the race?

A. The Church has an obligation to instruct the faithful in the moral truth, so that they can form their consciences correctly. Many people in good faith support Komen not knowing about its regional support of Planned Parenthood, of its denial of abortion as a cause of breast cancer, or of its endorsement of embryonic stem cell research. These are important facts which people must consider in reaching a judgment of conscience about their own participation in the race.

Q. How should Catholics who would like to participate in the race view the position of the archdiocese?

A. It is unfortunate that Komen has become morally tainted for the previously stated reasons. The Church has encouraged Catholics to find moral ways to prevent or cure every form of human illness and disease, including breast cancer. For this reason the archdiocese has asked those who might be inclined to participate in the run to write to Komen and to urge them to change its stance on embryonic stem cell research, and to stop funding Planned Parenthood. The archdiocese also encourages the faithful to fight against breast cancer praying for its victims and continuing to seek morally licit research organizations.

Q. Do you think that the Church may appear unconcerned about those who have been affected either directly or indirectly by breast cancer?

A. Given the Church’s own involvement in research aimed at finding a cure for breast cancer and the dedication of her health care institutions to preventing and treating this disease, it would be both inaccurate and unjust to make such a claim. Almost all of us have loved ones who have suffered or died from this disease. We share Komen’s goal of preventing, treating, and curing breast cancer, and we encourage the faithful of the archdiocese to support all morally licit programs directed to this cause.

The archdiocese appreciates the tremendous contribution the Komen Foundation has made to the fight against breast cancer. We encourage Komen to cease providing funds to Planned Parenthood, to support further research on the possible connections between abortion and breast cancer, and to stop promoting embryonic stem cell research. Should Komen stop supporting such immoral practices, the Church would no longer be in the regrettable position of having to discourage participation in the race.

If Only for a Moment (a poem of healing)

They didn’t tell me you had a beating heart; they told me you were a mass of tissue.

They didn’t tell me I would cry for you 24-years later, they told me it was nothing-you were nothing.

The room was cold-so-so cold.

Just relax, they said, there’s nothing to it.

Staring in silence-screaming inside with no place to hide, nowhere to run.

Relax I say, soon you will be out having fun. Life went on-for me that is.

Would it matter if I told you your father and I married?

Is that any consolation? How many pregnancies, how many live births?

The question stings, I wonder if acid would soothe the burn.

Then one day I heard your sister’s heartbeat for the very first time;

You were just her age when yours beat for the very last time.

What have I done? In an instant, you were real.

Would it make a difference if I told you I mourn for you still?

My Lord is gracious, forgiving and kind He took you in His arms when I chose not to hold you in mine.

One hope I hold dear to my heart; that my Lord Jesus would grant me one wish-one delight.

To hold you in my arms if only for a moment and feel the love of both of you.

September 23, 2009 Dear Fathers, On this Feast of Pio of Pietrelcina, we begin the 40 Days for Life North Dakota campaign, a concerted effort of prayer, fasting and peaceful vigil with the goals of educating the public about the evil of abortion, saving lives and seeking the conversion of souls. For the third consecutive year, the Catholic faithful will join many others in prayerful witness to the dignity of all human life as we pray, 24 hours per day for 40 days, on the sidewalk outside North Dakota’s only abortion facility, the Red River Women’s Clinic at 512 1st Ave. N. in Fargo. Together we will implore our Lord to pour His mercy out upon our state to bring an end to the callous act of abortion through which more than 25 unborn babies are killed in their mothers’ wombs each week in Fargo by abortion-inducing drugs and surgical procedures. As shepherds of the faithful, we are called to imitate the sacrifices of Padre Pio who died on this date 41 years ago. The Vatican Web site notes, “Like the Apostle Paul, Padre Pio da Pietrelcina placed at the centre of his life and apostolic work the Cross of his Lord as his strength, his wisdom and his glory. Inflamed by love of Jesus Christ, he became like him in the sacrifice of himself for the salvation of the world.” Most especially in the “Year for Priests” we too are called to sacrifice – to carry the cross of Christ. With Christ we stand in prayerful witness, in the cold, the rain, the snow, enduring the glances of hatred and the words of disgust from those who do not understand. In faithful hope we pray that some will come to understand, that hearts will be transformed, unborn babies will be saved from death and parents will escape the agony of later realizing that their choice ended the life of their child. I will pray on the sidewalk in front of the abortion facility on Friday, September 25, at 11 a.m. and again on Respect Life Sunday when I lead a Eucharistic procession to the abortion facility, carrying our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament to the site of death for so many of His children. I ask that each of you schedule at least one hour of prayer outside the abortion facility during these 40 days. I realize this will require great sacrifice for some of you in terms of miles traveled and time away from other pastoral duties. Yet I am confident that much fruit will come from your time spent in conversation with God at the site of this modern day, legally protected holocaust. Please also encourage your parishioners to take up the cross of Christ for the most vulnerable among us. “For Padre Pio, faith was life: he willed everything and did everything in the light of faith. He was assiduously devoted to prayer. He passed the day and a large part of the night in conversation with God. He would say: ‘In books we seek God, in prayer we find him. Prayer is the key which opens God’s heart’” (www.vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/saints/ns_lit_doc_20020616_padre-pio_en.html). Sincerely yours in Christ, Most Reverend Samuel J. Aquila Bishop of Fargo