I expect a few hundred visitors to our parish this weekend as San Francisco hosts the annual Walk for Life West Coast. My parishioners and dear friends, Eva Muntean and Dolores Meehan, founded this magnificent witness to human life in 2004 and have managed the tens of thousands who come to our fair city every January to walk for life for the last nineteen years. In the name of God, I welcome visitors to Star of the Sea and San Francisco this week.
Guests often remark on the sixteen shrines to Our Lady (sixteen historical apparitions) along the east and west walls of our church. I’ve written small brochures describing the apparitions for each of the sixteen shrines. It has been a rewarding exercise to research and write these trifolds, sifting out the essential facts and messages of each apparition, fitting each of them into just five short pages. I just finished writing the brochure on Our lady of Manaoag (Philippines), who appeared to a poor farmer in 1602 in much the same way she appeared to Juan Diego in in 1531.
In both cases she came as a mother, giving and protecting life. In both 16th century Mexico and 17th century Philippines, human life was grievously violated. The Aztec religion practiced human sacrifice on a massive scale in Mexico; tribal warfare wasted many human lives in the Philippines, which was largely animist, seeing human life as no more sacred than that of plants and animals. Sadly, our culture has reverted to human sacrifice (aborting children to increase personal wealth) and animism (valuing very young children less than pets and whales).
God continues to send his Holy Mother to help us cherish every human life. “I am the mother of the one true God by whom all live” she told Juan Diego in 1531. She has appeared in other times and places where human life was in danger of violation — Kibeho, for example, to warn of the Rwandan genocide of 1994, or Fatima during the Great War in 1917 to warn of a “worse war to come.”
In present-day California, the war against human life has intensified with 22 million dollars poured into passing Proposition One amending the state constitution. It is now legal to kill a child up to the moment of birth without restriction, and to leave children born alive after abortion to die.
We turn to Our Lady, Mother of Life (mother of Jesus Christ, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life), with many heartfelt rosaries, as we witness to God’s gift of human life. Violating human life, we violate every other form of life, and we destroy the earth. With Oskar Schindler, who quoted an old Jewish proverb, “Whoever saves one life saves the world entire,” and Dr. Seuss’ elephant Horton, who insisted that “A person’s a person, no matter how small,” we insist that every life is a precious gift. Honoring one human life, we honor God, and we hope to live eternally with Him in heaven.
Full story on Father Illo’s Blog.
The state was consecrated to Mary a few years ago. Why didn’t that help? You think more rosaries and marches will do the trick? Maybe it’s all nonsense and if you get what you want it’s just coincidence. But in prolife matters in California, the Catholics never get their way. So just keep doin? Keep marchin? Keep prayin? And it gets worse? Think about the carbon emissions and litter caused by people traveling to the march. What’s that about? You can pray at home, you know.
Two years ago, you would have said the same thing about Roe v. Wade.
Our Church always neeeds strong clergy leadership, starting with the Holy Father, in Rome. This was irresponsibly abandoned, after Vatican II. Catholics need a thorough and honest, orthodox religious and moral training in the Catechism– no substitutions, no dumbing-down, no emotional babyishness, no foolish, babyish “psychobabble.” Everyone must be taught and encouraged to live the Christian Faith, and be a good practicing Catholic. It’s not hard. Everyone can do this! All of our priests, especially this weekend, should preach to the kids about Chastity, self-control, respect for the opposite sex, and seeing Christ in your date, seeking to protect and preserve Chastity– in yourself and in your date. They must preach about the seriousness of the holy Sacrament of Marriage. And that sex outside of Marriage is a serious Mortal Sin. They must strongly state that to kill an unborn child is a very serious Mortal Sin. Yet, if you do fall into sin– there is help! Never think of an abortion– think of adoption, if you cannot raise the child. Go to the Sacrament of Penance. Your Church will help you. All the kids need to hear and learn these things– and much more. Then, if our big Church becomes successful in Faith and Morals, someday– it will have a big influence on the world– and many millions may follow. Abortion will become practically extinct, unwanted, and unheard of. Traditional Christian Marriage and Family will again thrive and flourish!
Being a good practicing Catholic can be very hard. It is not all about not having sex outside of marriage. Lying is a sin and saying that strong clergy leadership was abandoned by the Church after Vatican II is a lie.
Our Church is successful in Faith and Morals and it has had a big influence on the world.
I do not know if Traditional Christian Marriage and Family will thrive again in the West. All you can do is live it. And pray for it.
It is still the ideal even among those who end up not being successful at it.
You are so wrong! Probably, you may be way too young to know anything about Vatican II. Before the Council, Catholics received a great deal of Catechism training, and priests, nuns, bishops, and popes all preached and lived by Church teaching. All Catholic schools, universities and seminaries also upheld Catholic teaching. There was strong Church discipline, including silencing and excommunication, of dissenters. Dissenters, however, were few, compared to today’s era. After the Council, Church discipline became very lax. Then, in the years that followed, huge problems of immorality, heresy, and apostasy exploded, everywhere in the Church, among clergy and laity.
If you were born well after the Council, there are many good books available on this problem, that you can read. One of the biggest problems with the issue of Abortion, is lack of Catholic moral and religious training, especially among the young, today. It is a well-known fact, that after the Council, many Catholic kids received very poor catechetical training. This problem exists to this day. Catholics must be correctly taught their Catechism– and know how to practice the Faith correctly. No, it is not hard– but during rough times in our lives, Christ helps us carry our little crosses courageously. Practice of any religious faith requires good training, discipline, and maturity. You must learn to follow Jesus Christ, to be truly committed to Him, to know and to practice His religion well, to seek His Salvation, won for us by dying on a terrible Cross for our sins.
You are the queen of straw men. Again.
Christ died on a terrible Cross for our sins, and opened the way to Eternal Life in Heaven for us. Many today, are dissenters, disobedient to Christ’s holy teachings. They are very foolish, and will pay a high price for refusing to listen to Him. Your “straw man” nonsense is pathetic.
Cardinal Sarah was ordained after Vatican II but I will acknowledge that it was so soon after Vatican II that it would not prove the point.
Cardinal Burke was ordained 10 years after Vatican II.
Archbishop Cordileone was ordained 20 years after the beginning of Vatican II.
I hate to pick out celebrity bishops but you can see the point.
I have had both pastors with strong leadership ability and poor leadership ability. It wasn’t the Church who made them that way.
You have no idea as to what the issue is about. As I said– since the Council, there have been many immoral, heretical dissidents in the clergy and laity, who have received very little or no Church discipline. For example– Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Pres. Joe Biden, the heretical and immoral German bishops who are pro-gay unions, Fr. Thomas Reese, S.J., Fr. James Martin, S J., many other heretical Jesuits and their heretical schools, etc. etc. Before the Council, there was more rellable, responsible Church discipline. No Catholic cleric or layman ever publicly questioned sexual sins or the sin of abortion. They would be in big trouble with the Church! Sin was sin, virtue was virtue, right was right and wrong was wrong. Today– a bad Catholic cleric or layman (Pelosi, Biden, Martin, Reese, Hollerich, Paglia, etc.) might get away with publicly proclaiming that “right is wrong,” and “wrong is right.”
straw man again.
“Strong clergy leadership was abandoned by the Church after Vatican II.”
That is your thesis. That is what you have to defend.
I think it is a false statement and a lie.
You have tried to shift the subject several times.
You do not need to answer this.
I know you can’t support it. It is a silly statement.
No “straw man,” here. Total truth. Be honest. Either you honestly accept Christ’s teachings and courageously seek to live by them– and even to die by them, if necessary — or you don’t.
What the mess? I tried to save you from embarrassing yourself.
You have no awareness at all of the fact that clerics in the Vatican decided to abandon traditional Church discipline in the years following the Council, and allow individuals — clergy and laity– more “freedom of choice.” The Code of Canon Law is no longer used uniformly, as before, Church leaders make their own decisions as to when to use it. For example, Cardinal Gregory of the Archdiocese of Washington made the decision, and publicly announced it– that he would not deny Holy Communion to pro-abort “Catholic” Pres. Biden. Most people– Catholics and non-Catholics– know about the Catholic Church’s decision to abandon uniform application of Church discipline, in the Vatican II era– very misleading, distorted, contradictory, confusing, inconsistent– and corrupt. And you don’t understand that??
A person who calls themselves a “Christian” does not play babyish, smart-aleck, grade-school games, trying to find ways to “embarrass” grown-ups. Idiotic, waste of time.
She is telling you that after Vatican II many dissident clergy taught that it was all right to use the birth control pill, and as Pope St. Paul VI warned, it led to widespread promiscuity, which brought forth many newer unknown, incurable STD’s; widespread divorce and breakups of families; rises in breast, genital and other cancers because of the misuse of bodies and poison from the Pill. The contraceptive pill is a carcinogen. Just read the label for all the medical problems to which it contributes. She is right.
There are 10 Commandments.
You can live a life of never having had sex and still go to hell if you commit other sins.
The issue here in this article, is about Pro Life and ending Abortion. All sexual sins (related to the 6th Commandment, “Thou shalt not commit adultery”) are serious sins. And Abortion is Murder (related to the 5th Commandment, “Thou shalt not kill”)– a terrible Mortal Sin! It’s all there to read, in the Catechism! Our Lady of Fatima warned, that “more souls go to Hell for sins of the flesh, than for any other!” And Our Lady desires to help all souls get to Heaven!
Every child is a special creation of God. Every child deserves to be lovingly delivered, and then adopted to a wonderful, loving family, if the mother is unable to care for the child. All evil abortuaries such as Planned Parenthood should be replaced by loving, caring Pregnancy and Birth Centers for mothers-in-need.
I have seen many devout, deeply dedicated Evangelical Christian families, as well as many Muslim and Orthodox Jewish families, who spend hours teaching their kids their religious faith, and practicing their religion together, daily. And their clergy leaders are all very serious about teaching, leading, and guiding their congregations. Catholic families in all parishes, need the same thing.
I watched a documentary about people who helped young Muslim women get out of Muslim countries because of supposed mistreatment by family. Well, when one young woman got out of the country with a boyfriend, once she crossed the border she changed into a very provocative outfit and was photographed dancing wildly in front of a restaurant among tables of people she did not even know. I thought that girl is going to get raped. Not all help is good help.
Well, there are good and bad people in all religions. I have met some very nice, devout, soft-spoken, well-educated Muslim professionals, married, with good families, who have good kids– very smart, responsible, mature for their ages, taught good values, beautiful English language skills, and high achievers in school. I have always liked the modified style of modest dress of many Muslim women, with nice outfits– either a dress or a pants outfit– and a pretty headscarf, revealing the full face. And I have appreciated, when asked, their explanations to people, of their beliefs regarding modesty. I think that standing up for modesty in a positive way, in today’s Western culture, is beautiful and necessary. I wish more Christian women would do this, and be respected, valued and appreciated by others. True feminine beauty is modest, with good values, caring for others– as in a good wife and mother.