Hope in the midst of the darkness

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“And the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.”

John 1:4-5

Friends for Life:

What a grace filled time of year! I absolutely love Advent, as we celebrate the Incarnation and prepare for Christ’s second and final return! What a joy to know that it is Christ’s light that gives us hope in the midst of the darkness around us. What a joy to know that we can have hope in every circumstance, for the light is ultimately greater than the darkness!

I pray you are able to take some extra time this Advent as we prepare for Christmas to just be with the Lord, and fan the flame within you so you can grow into maturity with Him.

As we take that extra time to pray, perhaps you are also feeling a call to give a little extra time for the poor and the cause of life as well. Follow and listen to those impulses! God is calling you to the mission field so that His light within you might illumine those dark places in our world. Thus, I wanted to invite you out tonight, Wednesday November 30th at 5:30 pm to Capital Care Abortion Facility to pray for the end of abortion, and give thanks to God for his gift of life. Capital Care’s address is: 1160 W. Sylvania Ave., Toledo and our vigil will end promptly by 6:30 pm.

If you can’t make it out tonight please consider joining us for our candlelight vigil that will be held at Capital Care as well, on Thursday December 15th, also at 5:30 pm at Capital Care. Please bring a candle from home as we will pray by candlelight in honor of the Christ Child. Please see flyers attached for that prayer vigil.

Also, I wanted to make you aware that the death penalty is slated to resume in the state of Ohio in January 2017. Please pray that God’s tenderness and mercy will be upon the victims’ families and those on death row, including Ronald Phillips who’s clemency hearing is tomorrow. If clemency is denied Mr. Phillips is scheduled to be executed on January 12th 2017. We certainly don’t condone Mr. Phillips’ horrific actions, but we certainly also pray that the mercy of God will prevail and the execution will be stayed.

Finally, don’t forget about these ongoing and upcoming events below as we look forward to advancing the mission in 2017.

For the Kingdom,

Peter

JMJ

, Dec. 15, 2016 – Candlelight Vigil for Life, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. at Capital Care abortion facility, 1160 W. Sylvania Ave., Toledo, OH. Bring a candle and join members of the Pro-Life community of Northwest Ohio for an hour of peaceful prayer as we bring the light of Christ Jesus to move the hearts and minds of all present to a deeper appreciation of the dignity of human life.

, Jan. 12, 2017 Candlelight Vigil for Life (To abolish the death penalty) Save the Date Time & Place TBD After a three-year hiatus, Ohio plans to resume executions by lethal injection on January 12. We are planning a peaceful prayer vigil so the Pro-Life community of Northwest Ohio can remind our society that we are loved not for what we do, or failed to do, but rather for who we are: sons and daughters of the living King.

 , Jan. 26 – Sat. Jan. 28, 2017 March For Life in Washington, DC. 2 busses of college students, young adults and their families will leave St. Thomas More Parish in Bowling Green, Thurs., Jan. 26th and return Sat. Jan. 28th. Catholic Charities Office for Life and Justice is leading the trip which includes one night (Fri. Jan. 27th) in a Washington D.C. hotel. For information on registration and pricing, please see attached flyers. Join us as we march for the dignity of all human life, born and unborn!

, Jan. 28, 2017 Project Rachel Healing Retreat for women suffering from a past abortion. For more information and confidential reservations, call 1-888-456-HOPE or email projectrachel@toledodiocese.org

, March 1, 2017 40 Days for Life Spring Campaign begins at 7 a.m. and continues through April 10. Pray for one hour from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. outside Capital Care Network, Toledo, OH, in a peaceful mission to end abortion in our community. For more info, call Peter Range 419.214.4933; or email prange@toledodiocese.org

Peter Range

Director of Office for Life and Justice

Catholic Charities Diocese of Toledo

1933 Spielbusch Ave.

Toledo, OH 43604

419-244-6711, ext. 4933

440-821-1533 (cell)

www.catholiccharitiesnwo.org

 

Unborn Babies in 3-D Virtual Reality

NRL News Today

Merging ultrasound and MRI researchers shows unborn babies in 3-D Virtual Reality

By Dave Andrusko

A virtual reality image of the baby at 26 weeks after combining ultrasound and MRI scans  CREDIT: RADIOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF NORTH AMERICA

Over the years I have written many times about the “old days”–back in the 1980s–and the  primitive black and white ultrasounds whose fuzziness was exceeded only by the parents’ determination to “see” arms and legs amidst a fog of blurriness.

Now their successors–3-D and 4-D color ultrasounds–are about to be themselves replaced. A group of Brazilian researchers at Rio’s Clínica de Diagnóstico Por Images have combined ultrasound and MRI technologies to allow parents to see their unborn child in 3-D virtual reality. It truly is astonishing. (A rendition can be viewed at http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/new-technology-shows-fetuses-inside-using-virtual-reality-180961193/#vilugPUtI0GYwupk.99.)

Here’s how it works, according to Alexandra Ossola:

First, technicians take a scan of the fetus as usual with ultrasound. But if a second, higher-resolution scan is needed, they might turn to MRI for more detail, which uses powerful magnets and bursts of radio waves to distinguish different types of tissues within the body. …

Once they have the scan, the researchers can use the data to make a 3D rendering of the fetus, which takes 22 seconds. Then that can then be converted to virtual reality.

The researchers have been testing their virtual reality renderings on Oculus Rift 2 headsets, which has been “wonderful”—not only is the VR image sharper and crisper than previous imaging techniques, it’s cheaper than commonly-used 3D renderings because it doesn’t have to be printed out, says Werner. Parents can see renderings of their baby anytime after the 12th week of pregnancy.

In other words, as Science Editor Sarah Knapton put it, “The 3D images are brought to life using Oculus Rift headsets.” But that’s not all.

The headsets “also play the sound of the baby’s heartbeat. Parents are able to look around their unborn child in virtual reality by moving their head.”

   But the goal is not only to help parents bond earlier with their unborn child or to educate them to the intricacies of the growing unborn child (the technology recreates the entire structure of the baby). Prof. Simon Fishel, the president of Care Fertility, told Knapton, “Anything that improves the opportunity to observe fetal health accurately is important, especially with advancing surgical technology that is now being used successfully on the fetus in the womb , where applicable.”

Reporting for StatNews, Rebecca Robbins noted that co-author Heron  Werner

an OB/GYN specializing in fetal medicine at Rio’s Clínica de Diagnóstico Por Imagem, said the technology’s greatest potential lies in helping guide medical decisions for fetuses with potential health problems.

He said the visualizations did a remarkable job capturing abnormalities like cleft lips, tumors, and hernias in utero.

As is always the case with potential breakthroughs, there are many questions to be resolved. This is expensive and would not normally be used in pregnancies thought to be progressing smoothly.

But Prof. Charles Kingsland, of the Hewitt Fertility Centre in Liverpool, may have put it best when he said,  “This clearly is an exciting piece of work with potential benefits for diagnosing more accurately, abnormalities in unborn babies with the added potential of correcting them  earlier.”

The researchers will present their work next week at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America held in Chicago and later provide a more in-depth presentation.

Source: http://www.nationalrighttolifenews.org/news/2016/11/merging-ultrasound-and-mri-researchers-shows-unborn-babies-in-3-d-virtual-reality/#.WDiKnjiQw74

Black Friday Deal From Priests For Life

Black Friday Deal from Priests for Life
Pro-Life Product Bundle
November 23, 2016

Priests for Life is offering a life-saving and inspirational product bundle at a reduced price available now through Cyber Monday, November 28. Purchase the bundle for yourself to aid in your pro-life work or buy as Christmas gifts for family and friends.

Order here…

Bundle contains the following products:

Proclaiming the Message of Life: In this book, Fr. Frank Pavone systematically guides clergy and laity alike through the pro-life themes found in the Sunday readings of all three cycles of the lectionary. Makes a great gift for a priest or deacon.

Little Star: In this touching retelling of the nativity story, best-selling author Anthony DeStefano has produced a modern Christmas classic for children.

Little Star Christmas ornament (limited supply)

Sharing Keys to Christmas CD: Father Denis Wilde, O.S.A., Associate Director of Priests for Life, has recorded this CD, a piano rendition of old favorites, carols and Christmas tunes to bring in the joy of the season of Advent and Christmas to heart and home, 11 medleys of selections familiar and beloved to all.

Pro-life Reflections For Every Day: This devotional by Fr. Frank Pavone is one of the “Spiritual Life” series that Catholic Book Publishing Company has produced for years. The book is 192 pages with a ribbon. In exchange for one minute a day, your spiritual life will be nourished throughout the day with pro-life vigor!

and a FREE autographed copy of Ending Abortion, Not Just Fighting It by Fr. Frank Pavone

A $70 value for only $50.00 including shipping & handling

Order here…

We offer various options for you to receive different emails from the different branches of our ministry. See how you can vary your preferences or unsubscribe. Remember, we want to keep you in the loop!

To contact us please email mail@priestsforlife.org

Priests for Life
PO Box 141172  Staten Island, NY  10314
718-980-4400
PriestsForLife.org

Activating the Church to end abortion

Severe Brain Injuries Should Never Be An Excuse to Starve Patients

NRL News Today

The “mystery” of severe brain injuries should never be an excuse to starve and dehydrate patients

By Dave Andrusko

the-mysteryPeriodically, the popular press will pick up on something almost as if it were a sudden revelation when in fact it’s simply been off their radar screen. “Flash! [fill in the blank].” That is the typically the case with the ‘discovery’ that some severely brain-injured patients who survive the initial trauma have been misdiagnosed.

Typically the medical staff concludes that patient “A” is so badly damaged he/she will never “wake up.” The counsel is (in that ugly, dehumanizing phrase) to “pull the plug.” And then, lo and behold, the patient does become responsive, most often because the family refuses to be bullied.

The misdiagnosis has customarily been two-fold: What condition the patient actually is in (coma, persistent vegetative state, or minimally conscious) and the likelihood that they will come out of it.

Adding drama and urgency to such “discoveries” is the genuine discovery that the patient has been hearing and processing all along! The medical staff missed the signs–or weren’t looking for them.

Here are two articles  illustrating the “discoveries.” The first–a more general overview –appeared in the Wall Street Journal. “Brain Stimulation May Give Hope to Coma Patients,” is written by Patricia Churchland, described as a neurophilosopher

The second, “How One Brain Came Back From Unconsciousness,” is by Stephen S. Hall, and deals with one young man who was in a horrific accident and whose chances to survive, let alone anything else, seemed slim and none.

As the title suggests, Mrs. Churchland is almost exclusively talking about coma. She does a very nice job explaining how neurologists are attempting to compensate for the damage done to the brain. She writes

A head injury damages the circuitry of the arousal system. Hemorrhages—that is, bleeding—are a major culprit. The pressure of blood in a closed skull can crush the delicate nerve fibers. Normally, to wake us up, the brainstem boots up the central thalamus. In some patients with minimal consciousness, disrupted wiring means the brainstem’s “wake up” signals cannot reach the central thalamus, and thus it stays quiescent. The patient’s brain is stuck in unconsciousness.

Some neurologists, such as Nicholas Schiff at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, have hoped to compensate for the missing signals by directly stimulating the central thalamus. Research with animal models has suggested this could work in humans to restore consciousness.

Less satisfying are Churchland’s conclusions, which are not as optimistic as they could have been. More important (as perhaps follows from of her gloomier assessment) she ends her essay talking about “double-digit billions” in annual costs for patients in minimally consciousness states, in coma, or in a vegetative state, a figure that could not possibly be correct.

More ominously, Churchland talks about only “modest” “quality of life” improvements “for some” using deep brain stimulation. Her last sentence is

Research will soon clarify which patients stand to benefit.

Really? If you follow the research, the overarching conclusion is that what was thought to be dogma proved to be incorrect.

And what if patients don’t “stand to benefit”? Churchland doesn’t say, but others are quick to offer a ‘solution’: starve them to death or kill them more quickly.

Stephen S. Hall’s very in-depth, very long story about Dylan Rizzo is no Pollyanna account, but it is a corrective to Churchland’ more pessimistic assessment. If you have time, please also read “People with severe dementia should be starved and dehydrated to death to save money says BMJ editorial” which is also posted at NRL News Today.

Churchland’s story is a reminder that teenagers and young adults who are injured in crashes do recover from brutal brain injuries. By contrast an older person with severe dementia will not recover his or her mental faculties.

But in either case, you don’t take away their food and fluids. That path leads  not only to death but to madness.

Source: http://www.nationalrighttolifenews.org/news/2016/11/the-mystery-of-severe-brain-injuries-should-never-be-an-excuse-to-starve-and-dehydrate-patients/#.WDh28jiQw74

Much To Be Thankful For

Ohio Right to Life

Friend —

From the de-funding of Planned Parenthood in February to a pro-life electoral sweep in November, twenty-sixteen has given Ohio Right to Life much to be thankful for.

As we count our many blessings and prayerfully consider the future of the pro-life movement, we are left in a state of total and utter gratitude—a state of Thanksgiving for you, our faithful supporters who embolden us to act for life day in and day out.

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Your support continues to assist Ohio Right to Life’s legislative and educational advocacy, helping us change hearts, change minds and save lives. The 2015 Ohio Abortion Report shows that abortions are continuing to decline in Ohio. Last year, abortions hit a new record low!

But sadly, there were still 20,976 abortions. We have a long way to go to ensuring that the right to life is protected for every unborn child. But with your help, we rest assured that together, we will end abortion and restore a culture of life.

Our team thanks you for your prayers and your faithful support this past year, and we wish you a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving.
In sincere thanks for your continued support,

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Devin Scribner
Executive Director

P.S. If you feel compelled to share your blessings with the mission and work of Ohio Right to Life, please click the donate button below to help us protect the dignity of human life in the great state of Ohio. We know that, for some, a gift of $500 or even $1,000 is not too much to ask. For others even $15 or $20 is a real sacrifice. Please know that whatever amount you can send, large or small, will make a real difference in what we are able to accomplish.

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A pro-life conversation guide for the holidays

NRL News Today

A pro-life conversation guide for the holidays

By Paul Stark

Editor’s note. Yes, it is amazing. Thanksgiving is this Thursday, yet  you already see Christmas decorations and ideas for presents. The following remains my favorite advice how to promote the cause of life in an effective and non-offensive manner. My only suggestion might be to move (7) up to (1).

~~~~~~~~~~~~

thanksgiving4The holiday dinner table offers a natural forum for congenial (hopefully!) conversation about current events and issues. Defenders of unborn human life should be prepared to take advantage of opportunities when they arise. Here are some suggestions to help you effectively discuss abortion with family members and friends who may not share the pro-life view.

(1) Know how to clarify the issue

When faced with an argument or reason for abortion, ask yourself whether it works to justify killing obvious examples of rights-bearing human beings, such as newborn babies, toddlers, teenagers and adults. If not, it assumes that the being killed by abortion, the unborn (i.e., the human embryo or “fetus”), is not an intrinsically valuable human being, like toddlers and teenagers–that is, it simply assumes the very conclusion it must defend.

For example, a woman should not have a “right to choose” to drown her toddler in the bathtub. The question at hand is whether the unborn, like a toddler, deserves full moral respect and ought not to be killed for the convenience or benefit of others. If so, killing the unborn by abortion, like killing a toddler for the same reasons, is a serious moral wrong.

(2) Know how to articulate the pro-life argument

The pro-life position is that elective abortion unjustly takes the life of an innocent human being. This position is supported by modern science (showing that what abortion kills is a human being, a member of our species) together with a foundational moral principle (the equal fundamental dignity and right to life of every member of the human family).

The science of embryology tells us that the unborn from conception is a distinct, living and whole human organism–a member of the species Homo sapiens, the same kind of being as each of us, only at a much earlier stage of development. This fact is uniformly affirmed by embryology textbooks and leading experts.

Morally, no relevant difference exists between human beings before and after birth. Unborn humans differ from older humans, such as newborns, in their size, level of development, environment and degree of dependency–remember the helpful acronym SLED–but none of those differences are significant in a way that would justify killing the former. For example, a five-year-old child lacks the physical and mental abilities of a 10-year-old, but she is no less valuable and deserving of respect and protection.

Each of us has a right to life by virtue of what (i.e., the kind of being) we are, rather than because of acquired characteristics or abilities that only some human beings have and others do not. So all human beings, including the unborn, are equal in having basic dignity and a right not to be killed without just cause.

(3) Know how to respond to common objections

Claims by abortion advocates about the number of women who died from illegal abortions are wildly overstated, as NARAL co-founder Dr. Bernard Nathanson frankly admitted. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 39 women died from illegal abortion in 1972, the year before Roe v. Wade, while 24 died from legal abortion (abortion had been legalized in some circumstances in some states). Maternal mortality improved in the decades preceding Roe as a result of advances in modern medicine having nothing to do with legal abortion.

If you cannot answer a challenge, don’t let it fluster you. Be honest and say you will get back to the challenger after thinking and reading more about the issue.

(4) Know facts about fetal development

In addition to knowing that the life of a human organism, a human being, begins at conception (see above), it is useful to know some details about the development of human beings in the womb. These facts bring home for many people the humanity of the unborn child. For example, the heart begins to beat about three weeks after conception, before many women even know they are pregnant. At about six weeks, brain waves can be detected. By 20 weeks, a wealth of evidence indicates that unborn children can experience excruciating pain.

The stunning complexity of prenatal human development is “beyond any comprehension of any existing mathematics today,” says renowned medical imaging expert and mathematician Alexander Tsiaras.

(5) Know how abortion can hurt women

The health risks of abortion, both physical and psychological, are very well documented. Familiarize yourself with a few facts.

For example, many studies suggest that abortion can increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer. Moreover, while no one ultimately regrets not having an abortion, many, many (though of course not all) women now deeply regret their decision in favor of abortion. A 2011 meta-analysis published in the prestigious British Journal of Psychiatry–“the largest quantitative estimate of mental health risks associated with abortion available in the world literature”–found an 81 percent increased risk of mental health problems among women who have had abortions.

(6) Know about alternatives to abortion and compassionate support for women

Both motherhood and adoption are ethical, life-affirming options. Some 3,000 pro-life pregnancy care centers across the United States stand ready to help pregnant women in need. Many programs are available to help women and others deal with the aftermath of abortion.

(7) Be winsome

Pro-lifers must be kind, respectful, fair-minded and willing to listen and respond thoughtfully to those who disagree. Don’t call someone “pro-abortion” in conversation, since it is usually inconsistent with how he sees his position and can turn him off to productive dialogue. Show compassion toward pregnant women facing difficult circumstances and women who have undergone abortions.

(8) Ask questions

Instead of relying just on blunt assertions–and putting the burden of proof on yourself–ask strategic questions to poke holes in someone’s position and get him thinking. Make him defend his claims. For example, if he says a baby becomes a person after birth, ask how a mere trip through the birth canal, a shift in location, can change who/what someone is or whether or not she has a right to life. If a pro-choice advocate says he is personally opposed to abortion but thinks it should remain legal, ask why he is opposed; note that the reason for personal opposition (abortion kills a human being) is precisely the reason abortion should not be permitted under law. (I recommend the “tactical approach” developed by Greg Koukl and used in Ch. 9 of Scott Klusendorf’s The Case for Life.)

You probably won’t change someone’s mind on the spot. But you can have a friendly conversation and give him or her something to think about. That should be your goal.

 

This appeared on the blog of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL), National Right to Life’s state affiliate. Paul Stark is MCCL communications associate.

Source: http://www.nationalrighttolifenews.org/news/2016/11/a-pro-life-conversation-guide-for-the-holidays-4/#.WDTPNziQw74

Every Life Update – Giving Thanks

“O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever.” – Psalm 107

 

Friends for Life:

This Thursday for Thanksgiving many of us will gather around the table with family and friends to celebrate and give thanks. Let us remember to give thanks first and foremost to God: the Author, Redeemer and Sustainer of all life. It is through His blood and now sustained by His Spirit that we are able to proclaim that the Lord “is good” and that “his steadfast love endures forever.” We thank you Abba, Father!!

Secondly, let us give thanks for those family members we will be missing this Thanksgiving: moms, dads, sons, daughters, aunts and uncles. The fact we yearn for their presence speaks to the love we encountered through them while they were here on earth. Let us give thanks that our God has not forgotten them, and that through our God they remain with us, alive, for our God is “not the God of the dead, but the living.” (Matthew 22:32)

Finally, let us give thanks for each other – all of us in the body of Christ who work for justice, who fight for life, and work to build a Kingdom centered around the One who came to set us free! So know of my thanks for you, and for your enduring commitment to the Gospel of Life!

In that spirit of thanks please continue to read below about some upcoming and continuing work for the Kingdom of God! For all you do, and for who you are: THANK YOU!

Peter Range

JMJ

Upcoming and Current Events:

Give Thanks for Life: Vigil to End Abortion – Wednesday November 30th 5:30 p.m. – Capital Care Abortion Facility, 1160 W. Sylvania Ave., Toledo Ohio. Join us as we quietly pray for an hour to give thanks for the gift of life and pray for the end of abortion at Toledo’s last remaining abortion facility.

March for Life in Washington D.C. – Friday January 27th 1:30 p.m. – The Supreme Court of the United States, Washington D.C. Join College Students, Young Adults, and the young at Heart for this year’s March for Life. Our busses will leave from St. Thomas More University Parish in Bowling Green on Thursday January 26 and return Saturday January 28th. For more information please see flyer, itinerary and bulletin attached. Registration payments due December 15th!

 Restore Culture with the Culture Project – December through May – At your church, parish, or home. Join us as we seek to restore culture by addressing human dignity and sexual integrity through the missionaries from the Culture Project. It’s not too late to schedule them, go to www.restoreculture.com today to invite them to help transform the way our young people look at the world, and themselves!

Pornography Task Force – We continue to meet monthly to address the issue of pornography in our area. We are submitting a grant to bring in a speaker for the fall of 2017 and hope to be a catalyst for change for many who are struggling in Northwest Ohio. If you would like to learn more or to join our task force email me at: prange@toledodiocese.org.

Peter Range

Director of Office for Life and Justice

Catholic Charities Diocese of Toledo

1933 Spielbusch Ave.

Toledo, OH 43604

419-244-6711, ext. 4933

440-821-1533 (cell)

 

www.catholiccharitiesnwo.org