Sunday, May 31, 2009

Happy Pentecost! A story of the Holy Spirit

This letter was submitted by a recent visitor to Sylvan Springs relating her own account of her experiences. It seems to be very fitting on this Pentecost Sunday.

The Holy Spirit is alive and working. Come Holy Spirit and dwell within us.



During a recent visit to Sylvan Springs in Rome City, I had an experience that completely overwhelmed me, and I feel like it’s meant to be shared. I had been to Sylvan Springs twice before, and have felt that there’s something there, but can’t quite describe it. This trip, I decided, was exactly what I needed to get some “alone” time for prayer. Whatever I was given on this trip, I was hoping to take back home for the good of my family. Larry gave a great talk on the history of Sylvan Springs and his part in making it what it is today. Some of the things that have happened to him are incredibly moving. Just hearing about the true power of God as He works through ordinary people, and the gifts He gives if we are willing to accept them was inspiring.

Later, as we prayed the Rosary in the chapel I told myself that this was my chance to really pray. As I had come with no kids or husband this time, I had no distractions. I wanted to take full advantage of my opportunity. As we started to pray the third decade, The Birth of Jesus, I suddenly got a chill through my entire body, followed by a feverish warmth. My first thought was “swine flu”, but that thought quickly passed. As my heart started beating harder, I had the sensation that it would pound out of my chest if it could. I envisioned it as you would see it in a cartoon, literally pushing itself out of my chest. Despite this pounding heartbeat, my breathing remained normal. I could still hear the Rosary being prayed, and could move my lips to the prayers, but no sound would come out of my mouth. I felt as if my eyes would not open, but maybe I just wasn’t trying. After the fleeting “swine flu” moment, I never had a feeling that something was medically wrong with me. I just settled into the comforting, peaceful feeling that the rhythm of the Rosary brought. At the end of the decade, it was gone; the extreme peace, the pounding heart, the inability to speak, all of it. I finished the Rosary in wonder of the experience I had just had. It was truly like nothing I had ever experienced before.

After the Rosary was finished, Irv Kloska and his wife offered to pray over anyone who wanted them to. I had seen Irv pray over people before, and knew that he had the gift of healing. I had nothing medically wrong, and had decided not to get in the way of those who really needed healing. However, something he said before praying over anyone made me change my mind. I honestly can’t remember what it even was, but it made me think that even though I had no urgent medical concerns, I definitely could use a few prayers. So I joined the large group who lined the front of the chapel. As they moved down the line, praying over everyone individually, I suddenly got the chills/fever and fierce heartbeat again. As soon as Irv’s thumbs touched my forehead, I started to sob. I told myself, “This is ridiculous. I’m not going to cry in front of all these people.” But there was nothing I could do about it. Trying to stop the crying, the heartbeat and the feverish feeling was in vain. I couldn’t (or maybe wouldn’t) open my eyes and I heard someone say either “let go” or “let it go”. In that same moment, I was totally at peace, just like during the Rosary, but apparently on the floor.

I’ve been told that I was probably “resting in the Spirit”, but I really can’t say whether that’s true or not. I had no visions or voices come to me. What I do know is that it was the most powerful, prayerful experience that I have ever had, and that I wonder what the purpose of it was. If it was to inspire others to come to Rome City and experience Sylvan Springs for themselves, then so be it. If it was for me to go home as a stronger, more faith-filled parent, then that’s okay too. Just as it’s not good to hide your light under a basket, I’ve decided on this Pentecost Day that it’s not good to hide an amazing experience with the Holy Spirit either.

Gospel
Jn 7:37-39

On the last and greatest day of the feast,
Jesus stood up and exclaimed,
"Let anyone who thirsts come to me and drink.
As Scripture says:
Rivers of living water will flow from within him who believes in me."

He said this in reference to the Spirit
that those who came to believe in him were to receive.
There was, of course, no Spirit yet,
because Jesus had not yet been glorified.

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ruth and The Girls' Road Trip to Rome City!!



Ruth Kafader developed cancer and was given a scary prognosis by the doctors. Her family asked her if there was anywhere in the world she wanted to travel to before she got too sick.

Ruth, who had recently come to know of Our Lady of America said "I want to go to Rome City."

Well, daughter Laura got busy and organized the girls into a formative road force. She rented a local lake house for a few days as well as one of those large passenger vans and they were off like a herd of turtles to Rome City.

Once there, they toured the property and learned all about how the nuns lived there and what the place was like when Sr. Mildred experienced the Our Lady of America apparitions in 1956.
The girls were able to collect lots of reference info from the tables in the back of the chapel and Nick was able to provide a very helpful historical timeline for school reports they were eager to work on.

Rosaries were prayed and intercessions from Our Blessed Mother were sought by the ladies on behalf of their mother. Ruth and the girls were prayed over and anointed in the same area where the first OLA apparitions occurred. It was a very moving moment for them.

When it was time to leave, they took whatever it was Our Lady had given them.

After two weeks, Laura writes to inform us:
"I would like to share with you that my mother's cancer has stopped "growing". The doctors have stopped her chemo and she will go for a cat scan in three weeks to determine exactly what is going on."

We're rooting for you Ruth!! Keep doing what you're doing. We hope to see you back here again real soon.


"Bring Me My Children. Bring Me ALL of My Children."

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Miraculous Images after Friday Night Rosaries

These photos were submitted by one of our visitors. They were taken on consecutive Friday evenings just after the completion of the Friday Night Rosary in the chapel. It was reported that the sun was spinning at the time of the photos.

The location of these images is directly in front of the main building on the grounds of Sylvan Springs.



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Monday, May 25, 2009

March For Life 2009

Lia became a household name in the pro-life world when she was disqualified from a public speaking contest last February. She gave her speech anyway, while still being disqualified, causing one of the judges to leave the panel before her speech even began. Controversy among the judges caused them to reverse their earlier decision to disqualify Lia and she ended up winning the contest.



“I know some people say, 'the mother has the right to abort, after all, her life is dramatically affected by having a baby,' ” she said, “but I'm asking you to think about the child's rights that were never given to it.”

“No matter what rights the woman has it does not mean we can deny the rights of the fetus,” Lia stated, eliciting cheers. “We must remember that with our rights, and with our choices, comes responsibilities, and we can't take away someone else's rights to avoid our responsibilities.”



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More Photos From The Friday Night Rosary at Sylvan Springs

"Bring Me My Children. Bring Me ALL of My Children."



These photos were taken this past Friday outside the Our Lady Mother of Mercy Chapel in Rome City, IN.

Visitors and staff reported that the sun had been spinning all afternoon until sunset.

This young girl was photographed praying the rosary on the chapel steps. Apparently, she was not praying by herself.

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Photos of Sun Spinning Taken at Sylvan Springs

We want to thank Patti for sending these photos taken from her friend's camera while they visited Sylvan Springs yesterday before the Friday Night Rosary while the sun was spinning.

It is hard to describe it to others if they have never seen it themselves.









"BRING ME MY CHILDREN. BRING ME ALL OF MY CHILDREN."

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Fr. Pavone Challenges Graduates to "Stop Counting the Cost" in Defending Cause of Life


By Kathleen Gilbert
FRONT ROYAL, Virginia, May 20, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com)


Two days before leading in prayer a handful of University of Notre Dame graduates protesting President Obama's commencement speech, Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life delivered a rousing pro-life homily at the baccalaureate Mass of Christendom College in Front Royal, Virginia. Fr. Pavone remarked on the nature of abortion, which he called "the opposite of love," and President Obama, whom he said has dishonored the presidency by supporting abortion.

Fr. Pavone introduced the question of the meaning of love with a meditation on Christ's statements, "Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends," and "I have power to lay it [my life] down, and I have power to take it up again."

The "power to lay down one's life," said Pavone, is "the power of love, the power to be able to give yourself away purposely, deliberately, knowing what you're going to lose ... because you're not focused anymore on what you're losing, you're focused on what you're giving to the other."

"This is the heart and core of the civilization of love, of the culture of life, of the meaning of being pro-life, of the meaning of social justice, and of the very meaning of service, all summed up in this power to lay our lives down for the other," he said.

"In the culture of death, we see exactly the opposite dynamic."

Pavone continued: "Love says I sacrifice myself for the good of the other person. Abortion says I sacrifice the other person for the good of myself. ...

"Right here in the Eucharist, in the center of love, where love is understood at its deepest level ... we find four words that Jesus uses to express this truth, and the same four words have been hijacked, twisted inside out and upside down by the culture of death, and those words are: 'This is my body.'

"'It's my body,' some say, 'I'll do what I want, even if it means taking the life within me. This is my body," said Pavone. "The Lord says to us today, ' ... given up for you,' and you have the power to do the same."

Fr. Pavone told the congregation that building a culture of life does not require more people, but only "people ready to take a whole lot more risk." Of those who ask him how to help stop abortion, Fr. Pavone said: "They're not asking, 'What is it that I should do?' They're asking, 'How do I find the courage to do it? Because I know that if I do it, I'm going to lose something. ...

"When we talk about abortion in the churches, what do people say? 'Oh, it's too political.' What happens when we talk about it in the political arena? 'Oh, it's too religious.' Talk about it in the world of business? 'It's bad for business.' Talk about it out in the public arena? 'It's going to harm children.'

"If abortion is so bad, where do we go to say so? And the answer is, we say so in all of those arenas, and we stop counting the cost!"


Fr. Pavone praised the example of Mary Ann Glendon, the former ambassador to the Vatican who refused Notre Dame's prestigious Laetare Award this year, in protest of President Obama's appearance at the same ceremony. Obama gave the commencement speech and received an honorary law degree.

The University of Notre Dame itself, said Fr. Pavone, failed a similar challenge to sacrifice. "They aren't taking the challenge, are they?" he asked. "The challenge is, if 'greater love than this no one has, than to be willing to lay down his own life' - well then, maybe you can lay down some prestige and disinvite the president! 'Oh, but if we do that, what will happen to us?'"

Referring to the uproar of over 80 U.S. bishops and 360,000 petitioners against the Obama honor at Notre Dame, Fr. Pavone noted: "Some people say that all of this stuff going on dishonors the office of the President of the United States.

"I have news for them. It is the president who is dishonoring the office of President of the United States by taking a pro-abortion position.

"Every elected official on any level of government who takes a position in which they fail to recognize and work for the protection of the right to life dishonors the very meaning of their office," said Pavone, "because you can't be a public servant if you fail to tell the difference between serving the public and killing the public."

Christendom president Dr. Timothy O'Donnell told LifeSiteNews.com Sunday that it was "a great grace and a great honor" to host Fr. Pavone. The school presented Fr. Pavone with its Pro Deo et Patria award at its commencement Saturday.

"His message fills us with hope and renews our zeal," O'Donnell continued, "and despite the fact that in so many ways it seems we've lost - in the government, and there's been a real assault upon the academic citadels of our Church - the fact of the matter remains there is so much good going on, and remembering always that the darkest hour is just before the dawn."

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Next Archbishop of St. Louis: No Communion for Pro-Abort Politicians


By Kathleen Gilbert
ST. LOUIS, Missouri, May 20, 2009 LifeSiteNews.com


As he prepares to take the helm of the St. Louis diocese, a position formerly held by Archbishop Raymond Burke before he was transferred to the Vatican, Archbishop-elect Robert Carlson has said he agrees with his predecessor's take on Church law, specifically that pro-abortion Catholic politicians must be denied Communion if they refuse to repent.

The St. Louis Dispatch Sunday interviewed Carlson, the current bishop of Saginaw, MI, who will be installed as St. Louis' archbishop June 10. They asked: "Do you believe Catholic politicians who support abortion rights, and who persist in doing so even after consultation with their bishop, should be denied the Eucharist if they approach to receive it?"

Carlson answered: "If I were to enter into dialogue with somebody, and after they reflect on the discussion and that person persisted, it could come to that point."

The Saginaw bishop said Archbishop Burke, who is now the head of the Apostolic Signatura in Rome, "has combined in an interesting way [canon law], and I think he does it correctly."

In February, Burke told LifeSiteNews.com that "there's not a question" whether a publicly pro-abortion politician could be admitted to Communion. According to Canon 915, "Those upon whom the penalty of excommunication or interdict has been imposed or declared, and others who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin, are not to be admitted to Holy Communion."

"The Church's law is very clear," Burke said. "The person who persists publicly in grave sin is to be denied Holy Communion, and it [canon law] doesn't say that the bishop shall decide this. It's an absolute."

Carlson noted that Burke is "not just speaking anymore as the archbishop of St. Louis, he is the prefect of the Signatura."

"It appears that's the direction the church consensus is moving towards," said Carlson. "Could we get into that situation? Yes. But at least in my own time in St. Louis, I'd like to have a crack at the dialogue first."

Questions surrounding Church law on the matter were recently stirred by remarks given by Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., who said earlier this month that he would not deny Communion to the steadfastly pro-abortion House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Wuerl said his policy stemmed from an unwillingness to wield Communion as a "weapon."

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Bishop Robert W. Finn on Obama's Notre Dame Speech

An interview with Catholic Key

Dialogue was the big theme of the Notre Dame commencement. Is it possible for the Church to dialogue on abortion?

There are many associated elements that have to do with taking care of women in distress, offering alternatives to abortion. We have to work together, discuss and study how best we can provide for the needs of women and families. How can we reduce the number of abortions? These are elements for dialogue. But the rightness or wrongness of abortion – this is an intrinsic evil. The direct taking of an innocent life can never be negotiated.

Dialogue is a means to an end. The purpose of dialogue has to be a change of heart. If I listen well and we each speak the truth, then the dialogue may have a chance of being productive. But I have to have some authentic principled goal in mind.

President Obama asked in his address, “Is it possible to join hands in common effort?” Can the Church join hands in common effort with the administration?

As a country we want to see an end to racial prejudice. We want a more secure peace in the world. We want sound economic justice for people. So we can’t give up on working with the administration.

But we’re fighting for our lives – literally. We are attempting to protect real unborn children by the thousands. We’re fighting for the right to exercise a rightly-formed conscientious difference with public policy. We shouldn’t underestimate the danger of dragging our feet in this effort, or taking a “wait and see” approach. If we are not ready to make a frontal attack on the protection of conscience rights, the overturning of Roe v’ Wade, and the primacy of authentic marriage, we will lose in these areas. I think the rug is already being pulled out from under us. If we sit back and allow ourselves to be lulled into a false sense of peace and cooperation in regards to these things, then we will lose these battles and, later, wonder why.

Without identifying any person or group, Notre Dame President Father John Jenkins in his introduction of the President warned against a tendency to “demonize each other”. Were the bishops who spoke in opposition to an honorary doctorate of law for President Obama “demonizing” him or Notre Dame?

I think the bishops (and many others) were pointing out the hurtful nature of the invitation. As I reread Fr. Jenkins’ remarks I found it fell into three parts. In the first part Fr. Jenkins himself uses a whole series of very, very hard words. He uses the words - division, pride, contempt, demonize, anger, distort, hateful, condemn, hostility. And one might wonder whether he uses these words as a kind of a caricature of the 60 to 70 bishops who have spoken out against his invitation.

The center part is all about dialogue. He uses the word dialogue, I think, six times. And he quotes it from Pope Benedict, and he quotes it from Ex Corde Ecclesiae and he quotes from the Second Vatican Council.

And in the third part, he expresses his admiration for the President. So this seems to be the way he sets up the President’s talk for him – to speak in a very negative way about anyone who appears to be contrary to the decision they made, and then to stress the primacy of dialogue, and then offer his admiration of the President. Dialogue is important, but the question is fairly raised, “May we negotiate about things that are intrinsic evils?” and I think the answer is no.

The President also spoke against reducing those with differing views to caricature. Is that what these bishops have done with regard to the President’s actions on life?

The bishops realize the very destructive decisions that President Obama promised to make concerning the life issues, and now has been making in connection with abortion and human embryonic stem cell research. This is serious business; it is about life and death. If in speaking out on these things, we are characterized as being angry or condemnatory – then so be it. Such actions are worthy of condemnation.

This is part of the scandal of Notre Dame’s invitation to the President - that it has the potential of confusing people concerning the Catholic teaching against abortion, and on the priority of abortion among other issues of public policy.

Was there an overriding message to the commencement proceedings that came through strongest?

I think the message of the day was this – that the President of Notre Dame said that they had invited the President of the United States and decided to honor him for the sake of dialogue. And then the President got up and said that the differences that we have on abortion – namely the Catholic Church’s staunch opposition to abortion and his staunch support of abortion were “irreconcilable.” And at that moment, it would seem to me that the dialogue came to a screeching halt. Father Jenkins’ expressed desire for dialogue, whether it was well-founded or justified, at that point got thrown back in his face. The President shut the door on dialogue by saying that there was not going to be any change in his position on abortion and he understood that there was not going to be any change in the Church’s position on abortion. To me, that was the lesson of the day. I am glad that Mr. Obama was so clear.

And then, amazingly, everybody gave him a standing ovation. The perception unfortunately was that this was a completely acceptable position of his and, because he is a bright and talented man, this trumps the destructive decisions that he’s making day after day.

Is President Obama’s call to work together in reducing unintended pregnancies a new way to find common ground?

I fear that the specific way that the President frames this in terms of “reducing unintended pregnancies” is through the promotion of Planned Parenthood and contraceptive services. The President has supported the Prevention First Act bill that’s going forward. This is not about abstinence education. This is about promoting contraception and giving Planned Parenthood a huge blank check. If Catholics don’t see a problem with this then I don’t think they understand the threat it represents to the meaning of marriage, to fidelity, to chastity, to the very sanctity of human life and intimate love.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Day of Prayer, Tours, and Speakers Set For Wednesday, May 20 HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO FAMILY EMERGENCY FOR ORGANIZERS

Due to a death in the family of this events organizer and one of our featured speakers, we are cancelling the speakers and special presenters previously scheduled for Wednesday of this week. We ask for your prayers for the Kloska family.

This event will be rescheduled as soon as possible.

All pilgrims are still welcome to come for tours and to pray in the chapels and on the grounds on their own.

Please email us at info@oltiv.org if you will have someone in your group with special needs or call 260-854-3525 to schedule a tour for your group.

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Archbishop Burke's Address to National Catholic Prayer Breakfast

We are bringing you the entire text of Archbishop Raymond Burke's address for the sake of bringing FULL understanding to the issues addressed.



THE TEACHINGS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH


WASHINGTON, D.C.
MAY 8, 2009
KEYNOTE ADDRESS


Introduction

1. I am deeply honored to give the Keynote Address at this annual gathering of Catholics to pray for our nation. I express my heartfelt esteem and gratitude to those who, each year, organize and support the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast.

2. The theme of this year's Breakfast is most fitting to the difficult time through which our nation is now passing. Before the fundamental and great challenges which we as a nation are facing, how better to express our patriotism than by celebrating the teachings of our Catholic faith. The most treasured gift which we as citizens of the United States of America can offer to our country is a faithful Catholic life. It is the gift which, even though it has often been misunderstood, has brought great strength to our nation, from the time of its founding. Today more than ever, our nation is in need of Catholics who know their faith deeply and express their faith, with integrity, by their daily living.

3. Although I no longer have my residence in our beloved nation, I am no less bound to practice the virtue of patriotism, taught and exemplified by Our Lord during His public ministry. It is Our Lord Who gives us, in the Church, the grace to practice patriotism as a fundamental expression of the bond of charity which we have, in Him, with our fellow citizens. From my earliest formation in the life of the faith, received at home from my parents and in the Catholic schools, it was clear to me that duty to one's nation, to one's fellow citizens, is integral to our life in Christ in the Church. In the Baltimore Catechism, the virtue of patriotism is joined with filial piety. These essentially connected virtues, in the words of the Catechism, dispose us to honor, love and respect our parents and our country (Revised Baltimore Catechism and Mass, No. 3, New York: Benziger Brothers, Inc., 1949, 1952, no. 135). Surely, the most fundamental expression of patriotism is daily prayer for our homeland, the United States of America, her citizens and her leaders. Our participation in the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast is, I trust, an extraordinary expression of the daily prayer which we all offer for our country, as good Catholics and, therefore, good citizens.

4. It pleases me that today's celebration included a presentation by Mother Shaun Vergauwen, Superior General of the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist. I have known Mother Shaun's religious congregation for all the years of my priestly life. The consecrated life of the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist is an inspired witness to the truths of our Catholic faith, especially what pertains to the Gospel of Life, and, therefore, also makes a strong contribution to the good of all citizens in our nation.


Growing Crisis in Our Nation

5. I come to you, this morning, with the deepest concern for our nation. I come to you, not as someone who stands outside of our nation but as a citizen who, with you as fellow citizens, takes responsibility for the state of our nation and, therefore, cannot remain indifferent and inactive about what most concerns the good of us all, especially those among us who are small, weak and defenseless.

6. Over the past several months, our nation has chosen a path which more completely denies any legal guarantee of the most fundamental human right, the right to life, to the innocent and defenseless unborn. Our nation, which had its beginning in the commitment to safeguard and promote the inalienable right to "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" for all, without boundary, is more and more setting arbitrary limits to her commitment (cf. The Declaration of Independence: Action of Second Continental Congress, 4 July 1776, in The Constitution of the United States with the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation, New York: Barnes and Noble Books, 2002, p. 81). Those in power now determine who will or will not be accorded the legal protection of the most fundamental right to life. First the legal protection of the right to life is denied to the unborn and, then, to those whose lives have become burdened by advanced years, special needs or serious illness, or whose lives are somehow judged to be unprofitable or unworthy.

7. What is more, those in power propose to force physicians and other healthcare professionals, in other words, those with a particular responsibility to protect and foster human life, to participate, contrary to what their conscience requires, in the destruction of unborn human lives, from the first or embryonic stage of development to the moment of birth. Our laws may soon force those who have dedicated themselves to the care of the sick and the promotion of good health to give up their noble life work, in order to be true to the most sacred dictate of their consciences. What is more, if our nation continues down the path it has taken, healthcare institutions operating in accord with the natural moral law, which teaches us that innocent human life is to be protected and fostered at all times and that it is always and everywhere evil to destroy an innocent human life, will be forced to close their doors.

8. At the same time, the fundamental society, that is, the family, upon which the life of our nation is founded and depends, is under attack by legislation which redefines marriage to include a relationship between two persons of the same sex and permits them to adopt children. In the same line, it is proposed to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. At the root of the confusion and error about marriage is the contraceptive mentality - which would have us believe that the inherently procreative nature of the conjugal union can, in practice, be mechanically or chemically eliminated, while the marital act remains unitive. It cannot be so. With unparalleled arrogance, our nation is choosing to renounce its foundation upon the faithful, indissoluble, and inherently procreative love of a man and a woman in marriage, and, in violation of what nature itself teaches us, to replace it with a so-called marital relationship, according to the definition of those who exercise the greatest power in our society.

9. The path of violation of the most fundamental human rights and of the integrity of marriage and the family, which our nation is traveling, is not accidental. It is part of the program set forth by those whom we have freely chosen to lead our nation. The part of the program in question was not unknown to us; it was announced to us beforehand and a majority of our fellow citizens, including a majority of our fellow Catholics, chose the leadership which is now implementing it with determination. For example, I refer to our President's declared support of the Freedom of Choice Act, which would make illegal any legislation restricting procured abortion; his repeal of the Mexico City Policy, permitting U.S. funding of procured abortion in other nations, together with the grant of fifty million dollars to the United Nations Fund for Population Activities which, for example, supported the Republic of China's policy of one child per family by means of government-dictated sterilization and abortion; his proposal to rescind the regulations appended to the federal Conscience Clause, which assure that, not only physicians, but also all health-care workers may refuse to provide services, information or counsel to patients regarding medications and procedures which are contrary to their conscience; his removal of limitations on federal funding of embryonic-stem-cell research, involving the wholesale destruction of human life at the embryonic stage of development; and his choice of the members of his administration, who are remarkable for the number of major officials, including several Catholics, who favor the denial of the right to life to the unborn and the violation of the integrity of marriage and the family. These are only some examples of a consistent pattern of decisions by the leadership of our nation which is taking our nation down a path which denies the fundamental right to life to the innocent and defenseless unborn and violates the fundamental integrity of the marital union and the family.

10. As Catholics, we cannot fail to note, with the greatest sadness, the number of our fellow Catholics, elected or appointed by our President to public office, who cooperate fully in the advancement of a national agenda was is anti-life and anti-family. Most recently, the appointment of a Catholic as Secretary of Health and Human Services, who has openly and persistently cooperated with the industry of procured abortion in our nation, is necessarily a source of the deepest embarrassment to Catholics and a painful reminder of the most serious responsibility of Catholics to uphold the natural moral law, which is the irreplaceable foundation of just relationships among the citizens of our nation. It grieves me to say that the support of anti-life legislation by Catholics in public office is so common that those who are not Catholic have justifiably questioned whether the Church's teaching regarding the inviolable dignity of innocent human life is firm and unchanging. It gives the impression that the Church herself can change the law which God has written on every human heart from the beginning of time and has declared in the Fifth Commandment of the Decalogue: Thou shalt not kill.

11. As is clear, the anti-life and anti-family path down which our nation is being led has repercussions for many other peoples who rely upon the United States for aid or who are influenced by the international policies upon which our nation insists. The interest of so many nations in our recent presidential election is a clear sign of the world leadership which our national leadership exercises. What those who were so enthused about the strong message of change and hope in the United States, delivered during the last election campaign, are now discovering is a consistent implementation of policies and programs which confirm and advance the culture of death, which can only finally leave our world without the great hope, described by our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI in these words:
Let us say once again: we need the greater and lesser hopes that keep us going day by day. But these are not enough without the great hope, which must surpass everything else. This great hope can only be God, who encompasses the whole of reality and who can bestow upon us what we, by ourselves, cannot attain. The fact that it comes to us as a gift is actually part of hope. God is the foundation of hope: not any god, but the God who has a human face and who has loved us to the end, each one of us and humanity in its entirety. His Kingdom is not an imaginary hereafter, situated in a future that will never arrive; his Kingdom is present wherever he is loved and wherever his love reaches us.
His love alone gives us the possibility of soberly persevering day by day, without ceasing to be spurred on by hope, in a world which by its very nature is imperfect. His love is at the same time our guarantee of the existence of what we only vaguely sense and which nevertheless, in our deepest self, we await: a life that is truly life (Pope Benedict XVI, Encyclical Letter Spe salvi, On Christian Hope, 30 November 2007, Acta Apostolicae Sedis no. 31).

The change which brings hope can only be the renewal of our nation in the divine love which respects the inviolable dignity of every human life, from the moment of its inception to the moment of natural death, and which creates and gives growth to new human life through the love of man and woman in marriage. Any hope which is incoherent with the great hope is truly illusory and can never bring forth justice and its fruit, peace, for our nation and world.


Addressing the Crisis

12. How can we as Catholics address effectively the critical situation of our nation in what pertains to the fundamental right to life and the integrity of the family? What does the virtue of patriotism, together with all of the virtues inspired by the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, require of us for the common good, for the good of the whole nation? First and foremost, it demands what we are doing this morning, that is, prayer, and the serious reflection which arises from our communion with God in prayer.

13. When Our Lord descended from the Mount of the Transfiguration, he found that his disciples had tried, without success, to help a boy afflicted by an unclean spirit. Our Lord then cast out the unclean spirit, prompting his disciples, when they were alone with Him, to ask why they had been unable to free the boy from his affliction. Our Lord responded with these words: This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer and fasting (Mk 9:29). Our Lord reminded them that the good which they wished to accomplish in the face of great evil could only be attained through prayer and fasting. In other words, evil cannot be overcome by our own forces alone, but by the grace of God which inspires and strengthens our thoughts and actions. It is Christ alone who has accomplished the victory over sin and its most evil fruit, eternal death, and it is Christ alone, in the Church, who continues to bring forth the fruits of His victory in our lives and in our world.

14. In the battle for the protection of the right to life and for the safeguarding of the integrity of marriage and the family in our nation, we are easily tempted to give way to discouragement. And it would be right to do so, if the outcome of the battle depended upon us alone. But it does not. Christ is with us always in the Church and, in a particular way, in the struggle to restore the respect for the right to life of all of our brothers and sisters, especially those who are helpless and who have the first title to our care, and to safeguard the integrity of marriage and the family. Christ Who is the Gospel of Life, encountered in prayer and through the Sacraments, will give us the strength to announce His word of life and to act upon His word of life, on behalf of all in our nation, especially those who depend upon us to care for them and protect their God-given rights.

15. If we are serious about our patriotic duty, then we must pray everyday for our leaders, especially our President, and our nation. We should also practice more fervently our fasting and abstinence for the conversion of our lives and the transformation of our society. If we want to act for the common good, the good of all, in our nation, then we will seek to convert our lives each day to Christ, especially through the Sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist. Christ desires to announce the Gospel of Life and bring about its saving effects in our nation by the complete conversion of our lives to Him for the sake of all our brothers and sisters, without boundary, and for the sake of the preservation of the sanctuary of human life, marriage and the family.

16. At various times of great crisis in our nation and in the world, the Holy Father and our Bishops have called upon all Catholics to offer special prayers for the nation and for the world. I recall so well, from my youth, the Leonine Prayers offered at the conclusion of every Mass to address the growing threat of atheistic materialism in our world. Remember, too, how Pope Saint Pius V, in 1571, called upon the whole Church to pray, especially through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, when the Christian world was under attack by the Turks. After the victory of the Battle of Lepanto, on October 7, 1571, he established October 7th as an annual feast in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary and introduced the title of Mary Help of Christians into the Litany of Loreto. In the present crisis, praying daily the Rosary for our nation and invoking daily the intercession of Mary Help of Christians will be powerful forces for the victory of life and love.

17. At every Mass, we should offer special prayers for our nation and her leaders, in order that the culture of death may be overcome and a civilization of love may be steadfastly advanced. All Catholics throughout the nation should take part in Eucharistic adoration and in the praying of the Rosary for the restoration of the respect for human life and for the safeguarding of the integrity of the family. In our prayers, we should seek, above all, the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, under her title of the Immaculate Conception. Mary Immaculate is the patroness of our nation. In a most wonderful way, she appeared, on our continent, in what is present-day Mexico City, in 1531, as the Immaculate Mother of God, in order to manifest the all-merciful love of God toward His children of America. Through her example and intercession, the Native Americans and Europeans, who were on the brink of a most deadly conflict, were brought together to form one people under her maternal care, and the widespread practice of human sacrifice among the native people was brought to an end. In our time, in many parishes and dioceses there are campaigns of prayer for our nation and her leaders. May these powerful spiritual works continue and prosper, so that, through prayer and fasting, the grave evils of contraception, procured abortion, euthanasia, the experimentation on embryonic human life, and so-called same-sex marriage may be overcome in our nation.

18. Connected with our prayer must be the thoughtful and faithful reflection upon the Church's teaching on the respect for all human life and the integrity of the family. In our homes, in our Catholic schools and universities, in parish study groups, and in everyday conversations and discussions with our neighbors, we are called to give an uncompromising witness to the Gospel of Life. Parents, parish priests and institutions of Catholic education must be aware of the constant anti-life and anti-family messages which constantly bombard us and our young people. One has only to think, for example, of the corruption of the goodness of our youth by the multi-million dollar industry of pornography, especially on the Internet. Our reflection as individuals and groups must open our eyes to the gravity of the situation in our nation, lest we fail to take responsibility for the widespread attacks on human life and the family. Our reflection must help us all and, in a particular way, our young people to see the godless secularism and relativism which underly and justify our nation's anti-life and anti-family programs, policies and laws.

19. Our encounter with the world must be clear and uncompromising. Parents must reflect in their daily living the lifelong and rich fruit of the Gospel of Life, which they are called to teach to their children. Catholic educational institutions must devote themselves ever more strenuously to the study of the truths of the faith, addressing them to the moral challenges of our time. In a culture marked by widespread and grave confusion and error about the most fundamental teachings of the moral law, our Catholic schools and universities must be beacons of truth and right conduct. Clearly, the same is true of our Catholic charitable, missionary and healthcare institutions. There can be no place in them for teaching or activities which offend the moral law. Dialogue and respect for differences are not promoted by the compromise and even violation of the natural moral law. The profound granting of an honorary doctorate at Notre Dame University to our President who is as aggressively advancing an anti-life and anti-family agenda is a source of the gravest scandal. Catholic institutions cannot offer any platform to, let alone honor, those who teach and act publicly against the moral law. In a culture which embraces an agenda of death, Catholics and Catholic institutions are necessarily counter-cultural. If we as individuals or our Catholic institutions are not willing to accept the burdens and the suffering necessarily involved in calling our culture to reform, then we are not worthy of the name Catholic.


Catholics and Public Life

20. Our prayer and conversion of life, and the serious reflection upon and study of the truths of the moral life, both as individuals and in our Catholic institutions, require that we accept our responsibility as citizens to work tirelessly to change unjust programs, policies and laws. In a nation set so firmly on a path of violation of the most fundamental moral norms, Catholics and others who adhere to the natural moral law are pressured to think that their religious commitment to the moral law as the way of seeking the good of all is a merely confessional matter which cannot have any application in public life. Apparently, a number of Catholics in public life have been so convinced. How often do we hear Catholic legislators who vote in favor of anti-life and anti-family legislation claim that they are personally opposed to what the legislation protects and fosters, but that they as public officials may not allow religious beliefs to affect their support of such legislation? How often do we hear fellow Catholics supporting candidates for office, who are anti-life and anti-family, because of political-party loyalties or for reasons of other policies and programs supported by the candidate, which they deem to be good? How often is such thinking justified by the claim that religious faith is a purely private matter and has no place in the public forum? On the contrary, the common good depends upon the active engagement of religious faith in the public forum.

21. Addressing the role of the Church in the political order, Pope Benedict XVI reminds us:

- It must not be forgotten that, when Churches or ecclesial communities intervene in public debate, expressing reservations or recalling various principles, this does not constitute a form of intolerance or interference, since such interventions are aimed solely at enlightening consciences, enabling them to act freely and responsibly, according to the true demands of justice, even when this should conflict with situations of power and personal interest (Pope Benedict XVI, Ad Congressum a Populari Europae Faction provectum, Acta Apostolicae Sedis 98 [2006], 344)."

- In his Encyclical Letter Deus caritas est, our Holy Father reminded us of the great gift of our faith which enables reason to do its work more effectively and to see its proper object more clearly (Pope Benedict XVI, Encylical Letter Deus caritas est , On Christian Love, 25 December 2005, Acta Apostolicae Sedis 98 [2006], 239, no. 28). When the Church addresses her social teaching to issues of the common good, she has no intention of giving the Church power over the State or to impose on those who do not share the faith ways of thinking and modes of conduct proper to faith (Deus caritas est, no. 28). Her aim, which is our aim as patriotic Catholics, is simply to help purify reason and to contribute, here and now, to the acknowledgment and attainment of what is just (Deus caritas est, no. 28). In addressing the critical issues of our nation, the Church and we, as her faithful sons and daughters, intervene on the basis of reason and natural law, namely, on the basis of what is in accord with the nature of every human being (Deus caritas est, no. 28).

22. Our uncompromising commitment to protect the inviolable dignity of innocent human life and to safeguard the integrity of marriage and the family are not based on peculiar confessional beliefs or practices but on the natural moral law, written on every heart and, therefore, a fundamental part of the Church's moral teaching. At the same time, what is always and everywhere evil cannot be called good for the sake of accomplishing some other good end. All of us must be concerned about a wide range of goods which are important to the life of our nation, but the concern for those goods can never justify the betrayal of the fundamental goods of life itself and the family. We must take care to uproot from our moral thinking any form of relativism, consequentialism and proportionalism, which would lead us into the error of thinking that it is sometimes right to do what is always and everywhere evil.

23. An important part of our moral reflection must include a clear understanding of the principles regarding cooperation in evil, especially by the act of voting. Too often, in our time, our inability to accomplish all that we should for the sake of the defense of the right to life and of the protection of the integrity of the family is used to justify the direct choice of a political leader who espouses a position or positions in violation of the natural moral law. The Servant of God Pope John Paul II, in his Encyclical Letter Evangelium vitae, addresses at length the question of cooperation in evil which violates the dignity of innocent human life. He offers as an example the case of a legislator who has the possibility of voting for a law which would restrict the evil of procured abortion, even though it would not eradicate it completely. He concludes that the legislator could vote for the legislation, while his own opposition to procured abortion remains clear, for his vote does not in fact represent an illicit cooperation with an unjust law, but rather a legitimate and proper attempt to limit its evil aspects (Pope John Paul II, Encylical Letter Evangelium vitae , On the Good and Inviolability of Human Life, 25 March 1995, Acta Apostolicae Sedis 87 [1995], 487, no. 73). In an analogous manner, as voters, we are often faced with a choice among candidates who do not fully oppose unjust laws. In such a case, we must choose the candidate who will most limit the evil effects of unjust laws. But, there is no element of the common good, no morally good practice, which a candidate may promote and to which a voter may be dedicated, which could justify voting for a candidate who also endorses and supports the deliberate killing of the unborn, euthanasia or the recognition of a same-sex relationship as a legal marriage. The respect for the inviolable dignity of innocent human life and for the integrity of marriage and the family are so fundamental to the common good that they cannot be subordinated to any other cause, no matter how good it may be.

24. In the present situation of our nation, a serious question has arisen about the moral obligation of Catholics to work for the overturning of the Supreme Court decisions in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. There are those who would tell us that such work is futile and, therefore, is to be abandoned, so that we can devote ourselves to help prevent individuals from choosing abortion. As Catholics, we can never cease to work for the correction of gravely unjust laws. Law is a fundamental expression of our culture and implicitly teaches citizens what is morally acceptable. Our efforts to assist those who are tempted to do what is always and everywhere wrong or are suffering from the effects of having committed a gravely immoral act, which are essential expressions of the charity which unites us as citizens of the nation, ultimately make little sense, if we remain idle regarding unjust laws and decisions of the courts regarding the same intrinsic evils. We are never justified in abandoning the work of changing legislation and of reversing decisions of the courts which are anti-life and anti-family.


Conclusion

25. As we gather this morning to pray for our nation, let us draw courage and strength from the glorious pierced Heart of Our Lord Jesus. Let us not give way to discouragement in our exercise of patriotism but rather be confident of the essential contribution which our Catholic faith makes to the life of our nation.

26. May the courage and strength which comes to us from the Sacred Heart of Jesus enlighten our minds to see more clearly the gravity of the situation of our nation and inflame our hearts to do our part to transform the life of our nation, in accord with the natural moral law, that is, with what is just and serves the good of all. Let us draw courage and strength from the Sacred Heart of Jesus through prayer and the Sacraments, especially the Sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist. May the courage and strength of Christ guide our reflection on the state of our nation and lead us to that just action, taught to us by our faith, which serves the good of all.

27. Invoking the intercession of Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of America, let us pray today and everyday that we as Catholics, true to our faith and, therefore, patriotically devoted to our nation, may promote respect for all human life, safeguard the sanctity of marriage and the family, and, thereby, foster the good of all in the nation and in the world.

Thank you. God bless you.
(Most Rev.) Raymond L. Burke
Archbishop Emeritus of Saint Louis
Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura
God bless you.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Archbishop Burke calls Notre Dame Honor of Obama "Greatest Scandal"



WASHINGTON, DC, May 8, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) -

Archbishop Raymond Burke, Prefect of the Vatican's highest court, the Apostolic Signatura, called on Catholics to "give an uncompromising witness" to the dignity of life and sharply criticized the University of Notre Dame for its planned honor for pro-abortion President Barack Obama during an address this morning to the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast.

The archbishop began his address by noting that he has "the deepest concern for our nation," and later implored Catholics to be aware of the "godless secularism and relativism" that underlie the Culture of Death. He noted that "we would be right to be discouraged if this were just up to us," and talked about the importance of Eucharistic Adoration and praying the Rosary.

Commenting on the ongoing scandal of Notre Dame's planned honor for President Obama, Archbishop Burke received a standing ovation from the crowd of more than 1,200 when he called it "rightly the source of the greatest scandal." He said that Catholic universities and schools "must be beacons of truth and right conduct."

He went on to note that if our Catholic universities are not willing to accept the suffering that is necessary to the witness of the faith "then they are not worthy of the name Catholic."

Patrick J. Reilly, president of The Cardinal Newman Society, which has been spearheading a petition effort against Notre Dame's decision, commented on Burke's remarks, saying, "The faithful in the Church and especially Catholics in America are blessed to have a shepherd such as Archbishop Burke reminding us of our responsibilities as disciples of Christ to always and everywhere proclaim the Truth."

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Our Lady of America, Pray For Us!!

Since the very beginning of our Catholic Church, Our Lady has been there for us. She still is.

Even in the midst of one of the most atrocious beatings and acts of savagery waged against Her own Divine Son, She was there. She was praying.

Our Lady has come on many occasions throughout the centuries to instill a sense of calm and renew the call to do God's Will as asked by Her Son, Jesus Christ. She has never asked for violence in resolving man's issues against man.


She has always called for prayer, most specifically, the dedicated praying of the rosary by Her children as a means of growing closer to Her Son. Here in Rome City, IN , She came as Our Lady of America and made a call for purity. We need to reflect upon what this call to "purity" asks of each of us in every facet of our daily lives.

Let us all take a moment to pray the rosary today for all the parties that will be involved in today's activities at Notre Dame University. Let us pray especially for those in law enforcement who, in performing their chosen professions, are going to be commanded to do something that may be in direct conflict with what Our Lord has asked us to do. Pray for them. Pray for the administrators who are giving the orders.

Pray for the devoted individuals who are attempting to call the world's attention to a situation that is so offensive to God's Will, they are willing to risk their own liberties to save the rest of the world from the promotion of the practice of killing our own babies. Pray that no physical conflicts or acts of abuse are made against them.

Pray for peace. Pray for justice. Pray for strength, courage, wisdom, and grace that we may all come to the full knowledge of God's Will in our lives.

Our Lady of America, Pray for us!

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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Donning Our Lady of America's Protective Armor


Dr. Alan Keyes learns more about the scientific evidence supporting the Shroud of Turin from Alex Fiato.




Dr. Keyes and Randall Terry contemplate the majesty of Our Lady of America appearing in the very spot where they are standing as they plead for Her to cover them with Her protective mantle for their mission.


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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Dr. Alan Keyes to Visit Sylvan Springs Thursday


Former Presidential candidate, Dr. Alan Keyes, along with Mr. Randall Terry and their supporters will be making a stop in Rome City on Thursday, May 7 at 12:00 to seek the intercession of Our Lady of America in their efforts to end abortion.



There will be a short prayer service in The Our Lady Mother of Mercy Chapel where the Our Lady of America apparitions and devotion all began back in 1956. All are invited to join them in these solemn prayers seeking Our Lady of America's advocacy in their mission.


For the organizers of this group, there is also the significance of these grounds having been the childhood home of Dr. Jack Willke, the founder of The National Right To Life and International Right To Life Foundations, two groups very much at the center of the worldwide abortion debate.

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

More Photos From April 27, 2009


What are these young people seeing in their photos? Look around...The orbs are everywhere!

It wasn't just a couple of cameras capturing these images. All of their cameras were full of orbs!




"Bring Me My Children. Bring Me ALL of My Children!!"

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Monday, May 4, 2009

Bishop Leonard Blair's Statement Regarding patricia Fuller and Our Lady of America Center in Fostoria, OH

STATEMENT
OF THE DIOCESE OF TOLEDO
REGARDING THE CENTER DEVOTED TO “OUR LADY OF AMERICA”
IN FOSTORIA (SENECA CO.), OHIO


In response to a number of inquiries which have been received, the Diocese of Toledo wishes to provide the following clarifications:


References have been made in promotional materials to The Our Lady of America center in Fostoria (Seneca Co.), Ohio. However, it should be noted that the Diocese of Toledo has never been asked to give, nor has it given, any approbation or recognition to the center or its activities.
References have also been made in promotional materials to “The Contemplative Sisters” of Our Lady of the Nativity Convent in Fostoria. It should be pointed out that there is no canonically recognized religious community connected with the center. There is one individual, Patricia Ann Fuller, who identifies herself as Sister Joseph Therese. She is not a member of a canonical institute of consecrated life, having been dismissed from the Society of the Precious Blood community in 1982 after she and two other sisters, now deceased, left the order to live their own contemplative way of life.

Patricia Ann Fuller maintains that she has continued to live as a Religious, and that it is her intention eventually to found a new community of women devoted to the promotion of “Our Lady of America.” At this point, no canonical steps have been requested or taken in this regard. Patricia Ann Fuller has met with Bishop Blair of Toledo and has assured him of her desire to act in full harmony with the Church.

In a letter to the Bishops of the United States dated May 31, 2007, Archbishop Raymond Burke offered his positive assessment of the history and content of devotion to Our Lady of America. The following words of Archbishop Burke have the full endorsement of Bishop Blair of Toledo: “Some have raised with me the canonical question regarding the status of Our Lady of the Nativity Convent in Seneca County, Ohio, which has been the residence of any remaining member of the suppressed contemplative branch of the Congregation of Sisters of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus. In response, I observe that the canonical question has no bearing on the devotion or its approbation.”September 10, 2008

To view the official document with seal, click here:
our%2520lady%2520of%2520america.pdf

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