The Nativity Story
Last night, I had the opportunity to watch a movie being released this weekend called "The Nativity Story."

The movie portrays the events of Mary and Joseph from the time they are engaged up to their flight into Egypt.

Bottom line: this is a movie worth seeing. Is it perfect? No, but they're is plenty to see that is good and wholesome and we can be glad that this kind of movie is being given the Hollywood treatment with a good cast, excellent scenery, good music (much of it hymns that you will recognize) and a great storyline.

The three Magi are cast as funny-wise men who make their way from the East cracking jokes and picking on each other. Herod is a typically brutal man who is obsessed with finding the promised Messiah and killing him.

I do think that the actress who played Mary could have smiled a little more. She seemed to be a bit too dour throughout and she was also a little rebellious to her parents in the beginning.

Tip to Hollywood: quit casting Archangels whose job it is to fight demons as feminine men.

The story line does move along well and the scenery certainly matches up with what we have traditionally seen and associated with this story. Joseph especially comes off very well as a rugged young man who is devoted to his wife and is willing to suffer to make her life more comfortable.

The Birth of Our Lord is presented with soaring music and is enjoyable to watch, and let's just please skip the unimportant theological argument of whether or not Mary suffered labor pains.

The Nativity Story is a good fore-runner to watching the Passion of the Christ.
Watch the 2006 Bishop's Pro-Life Dinner Video on YouTube
Don't Lose Focus
Clearly, there is a desire amongst abortion supporters to shift the focus away from abortion.

When the early debate around partial-birth abortion began in the 1990's and the images and descriptions got around and Congress began introducing evidence into the record against it, the public heard the debate, saw the images, read the testimony and duly recognized that this was something they could not live with. Hence, the ban on partial-birth abortion, which passed twice under President Clinton (who vetoed it both times) and then finally passed under President Bush.

This was a great success and a real pushing forward point forward for the pro-life movement for the simple fact that the more we expose the truth about what abortion really is, and what it really does to women, the more people we rally to our side. We know this not just from a thorough analysis of polls, but from personal experience accumulated over periods of time working in the pro-life movement.

Now we see that abortion supporters are actively working to change the focus of the debate. Aids to Senator Hillary Clinton are advising abortion-rights supporters to "change the debate on abortion away from issues such as "partial-birth abortion" to a discussion about providing safe choices for women. " Why? Because they know that abortion, as seen in its true light, hurts and does not help women and that this is becoming more clear. So they desperately desire to change the focus to something that is a little less tangible in order to maintain their power base.

Are they succeeding in this? According to Martin Gillespie, Director of Catholic Outreach for the Republican National Committee, "the issue of moral values, which was the number one concern of voters in 2004, moved to number five in importance, below Iraq, terrorism, corruption, the economy, and immigration." There may be many reasons for this drop in concern for moral values like abortion, but one of them certainly can be attributed to the work of abortion-rights groups to change the focus on the debate in the public square.

We need to redouble our efforts to keep the focus on abortion where it is easiest to see how horrible it really is, like in partial-birth abortion. Now that the Supreme Court has heard the arguments for and against the ban on partial-birth abortion, look for the abortion rights groups to shift the focus to other topics. Stay the course, don't let them pull the rug out from underneath you.

Here are some further thoughts from Fr. Frank Pavone about this same subject.
Artist in Coppell

Artist: Angelica Gonzalez, a member of LifeTeen at St. Ann's Church in Coppell.
Who's Protecting our Youth?
If you have not read this story about what a 41 year old man did to a 15 year old girl, then please stop what you are doing and read it now.

It can be difficult to get a feel for what is really going on in the world of big-abortion, but the sad, devastating reality is that older men are preying on younger women, getting them pregnant and them taking them to abortion mills to remove the evidence of their crimes.

We know this because it is well documented here. Any person, whether they consider themselves pro-life or pro-choice, should realize that this is something that cannot be tolerated anywhere in America. The fact that it does happen, coupled with the fact that those who support abortion are generally silent about this kind of cover-up, can only lead to the conclusion that we in the pro-life movement need to do more, much more to see this kind of thing eradicated.

Who is really looking out for today's young girls when they are raped and forced into abortions?
Let's Put Dallas on the Map
Last April, more than 500,000 people marched the streets of Dallas in favor of rights for immigrants in the United States. This crowd was the largest that the city had ever seen, and Dallas made national headlines with picture after picture showing long lines of people.

I was amazed at the size of the crowds and watched the TV coverage of that protest and rally with dismay. Not because of the cause for which they marched, but because there are other people whose rights are being denied, trampled on and abused who are deserving of the same types of protests and rallies as those fighting for the rights of immigrants.

I'm talking about the unborn, of course. And we now have an opportunity to take what can obviously be done, gathering huge crowds of people in favor of certain rights to try and make a point with lawmakers, and apply it to the one thing that takes more human life than anything else in the world.

Saturday, January 20th, 2007 starting at 9:00 am, you can join with thousands of others marking the 34th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision Roe V. Wade that legalized abortion on demand throughout our land. We expect several thousand to come and join with us, and we expect to make a difference. After all, if the San Francisco Walk for Life can gather more than 15,000 people to stand up for the rights of the unborn, how can Dallas do any less?
Upcoming Events at the CPLC
While there are always great events to look forward to at the Catholic Pro-Life Committee, the next few months bring those you don't want to miss.

The Holy Christ Child Luncheon and Market is THIS SATURDAY, November 18, and it is proving to be quite an event! With over 310 people already registered, a grand event for the Cause of Life can certainly be expected. This event benefits the ministries of the Catholic Pro-Life Committee and the White Rose Women’s Center.

On the evening of Saturday, December 2, Fr. Frank Pavone, Moderator General of the Apostolic Society of the Missionaries of the Gospel of Life (MEV) and National Director of Priests for Life, will be in Dallas to record a program for his TV series “Gospel of Life”! Everyone is invited to be a part of his audience, so gather your friends and family at 7:30 p.m. at St. Rita Catholic Church in Dallas.

Are you ready for the annual Roe v Wade memorial? This year, we expect several thousand people to attend the Rally & March for Life alone! At 9:00 a.m., the Roe Memorial Rosary will be prayed at Fairmount – Dallas’ and Texas’ oldest abortion center – 2921 Fairmount at Cedar Springs, before the Mass. Buses will run starting at 8:30 a.m. from the Cathedral to Fairmount, and seats will be reserved in the Cathedral for those attending the Rosary. There is free parking in the Cathedral garage. Prior to the Rally & March, Mass will be concelebrated by Bishop Charles Grahmann and Bishop Kevin Vann and diocesan clergy at 10:00 a.m. at the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe, 2215 Ross Ave. at Pearl St., Dallas. The Rally & March will start at 12:00 noon. Will you be a witness?

March 24 marks the 14th annual Bishop's Catholic Pro-Life Dinner. The dinner is one of the largest of its kind in the nation, and the funds raised at this lively and motivating event are critical for continuing our life-saving work in the diocese. All proceeds will fund the Catholic Pro-Life Committee and its nine ministries touching thousands of lives in our diocese. Stay Tuned to our our website for more information.

For more information on these and other Pro-Life events in the Dallas area, visit our website at www.prolifedallas.org.
Married Love and the Gift of Life
The USCCB issued yesterday a document titled "Married Love and the Gift of Life" at their bi-annual meeting in Baltimore.

This document is a good overview of what the Church teaches (and does not teach) about the use of contraception in marriage and how it corrupts the procreative and unitive meaning of the marriage bond.

It is a concise, non-technical, non-theological document that could be used to teach those who do not understand or have never heard what the Church teaches about contraception.

The document itself indicates this when it says that the Churches teaching on contraception is "a teaching that many couples, through no fault of their own, have not heard (or not heard in a way they could appreciate and understand)."

This important teaching affects the work we do in the pro-life movement because the widespread use of contraception leads to widespread abortion.

Our Shepherds have spoken. Let's get the word out.
"There was suffering down there. There was sickness."


Is anyone planning on returning to the abortion clinic again any time soon? Last week, I went down with my two sons, my mother, my brother, his son and the
St. Ann crew, and we were really impacted by being there.

Naomi, the Associate Director of High School Ministry for my parish, has encouraged me to go for a long time, and I am so thankful that I went. It was a very transformational moment for me. Being there had an incredible impact on Zachary too. He knew what abortion is, but to see so many people going into that clinic made it real and not something merely conceptual for him. Having Adam there allowed me to approach some of the guys who were waiting outside. I was able to tell them that they were fathers…that they had babies that wanted to live. I don't know if I was effective in what I said or if I made any difference in the lives of the people there. I do know the power in the prayer of our gathered group. I was drawn to the 5th Chapter of James;

Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone in good spirits? He should sing praise.14 Is anyone among you sick? 6 He should summon the presbyters of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint (him) with oil in the name of the Lord, 15 and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven. 7 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful. 17

Elijah was a human being like us; yet he prayed earnestly that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain upon the land. 18 Then he prayed again, and the sky gave rain and the earth produced its fruit. 19 My brothers, if anyone among you should stray from the truth and someone bring him back, 20 he should know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. 8

There was suffering down there. There was sickness. There were people who have strayed from the truth that need to be brought back. I really sensed a need for a stronger presence and witness by men…fathers. Naomi and some of the other women were so effective in their outreach to the women who were walking up. Naomi was really good in her approach to the guys too. However, I think that the best way to reach the men is to have men reaching out to them. I guarantee that when those guys saw Adam in my arms, so beautiful, so happy…so much in love with his daddy, it had an effect on them. It might not have saved a baby that day, but they saw a father with his children…loving and attempting to communicate to them in a very peaceful and non-condemning way.

I struggle when I ask myself the question, "What are you doing…that really stretches you? Are you doing everything you can???" Christ calls us to radical discipleship, and I haven't been doing all that I can. I want to do more.

Currently, I plan on going back on Saturday. I would love to form a larger group. I would love to become more effective. I want to do whatever the Lord will lead me to do if I can serve Him by reaching out to save babies. My plan is to leave at around 8:30 and stay until 10:30. Is anyone else going?


written by Philip Klement
in and email to friends
November 2, 2006

New Leader in the Pro-Life Secretariat
Russell Shaw, in an interview with Zenit, commenting on the USCCB admits that "some people in the conference say there's a lack of vision guiding the process."

Hopefully, that perceived lack of a guiding vision will end. There is great hope especially with the recent appointment of Tom Grenchik, formerly the head of the Archdiocese of Washington D.C. Pro-Life Office, as Executive Director of the USCCB Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities. Mr. Grenchik succeeds Gail Quinn who retired last August.

Mr. Grenchik has an "extraordinary record of achievement in the wide variety of issues which the Church must confront in its defense of human life and dignity," says Msgr. David Malloy, USCCB General Secretary.

The Catholic Pro-Life Committee congratulates Mr. Grenchik on his new appointment and we welcome the opportunity to work together in bringing about a Culture of Life.
Wrong on Contraception, Again
A devastating critique of a Los Angeles Times article about the possibility of the Catholic Church changing its position on the use of contraception.

Long exposure to the problems of the use of contraception have driven this culture to insist on abortion on demand. But, we can no more sustain this massive use of contraception than we can the massive numbers of abortions, more than 45 million to date. Both have side effects and after-effects that can be devastating and both are "fruits of the same tree."

As the late Pope John Paul the Great says , "such practices are rooted in a hedonistic mentality unwilling to accept responsibility in matters of sexuality, and they imply a self-centered concept of freedom, which regards procreation as an obstacle to personal fulfillment. The life which could result from a sexual encounter thus becomes an enemy to be avoided at all costs, and abortion becomes the only possible decisive response to failed contraception." (Gospel of Life, paragraph 13).

We should all read and re-read The Gospel of Life
Partial Birth Abortion at the Supreme Court
Last Wednesday, the day after the national mid-term elections, the US Supreme Court heard arguments for and against the ban on Partial Birth Abortion. For a brief history, Congress twice passed the ban in the 1990’s but was twice vetoed by President Clinton. When it was re-introduced and approved in 2003, President Bush made a big deal out of signing the ban to a crowd of about 1000 people at the Ronald Reagan building in Washington D.C.

I was fortunate enough to be in attendance at the bill-signing that day and can still recall the high energy flowing through the room. It was as if we were all thinking, “Finally! Someone who gets it!”

Like Fr. Pavone, we are cautiously optimistic that the Supreme Court will uphold the ban and regulate this gruesome procedure.

Transcripts for the hearings are available here.
A Prophet in Congress?
Representative Mike Pence, of the 6th District of Indiana, who recently announced his campaign for Republican Leader in the U.S. House of Representatives, gave a series of talks entitled “The Case for Life” on the floor of the House of Representatives.

Well worth reading, you can find the talks here.
More Sex Ed? More Contraception?
I read with interest the article by Nicholas Kristof urging President Bush to promote sex education and increase access to contraception in an effort to reduce the already high numbers of abortions performed in America.

Mr. Kristof seems to be unaware that contraceptive use is “virtually universal among women of reproductive age” and has been for a very long time (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advance Data No. 350, Dec. 10, 2004: “Use of Contraception and Use of Family Planning Services in the United States: 1982-2002.”)

Contraceptives are available, in many places for free or at low cost, to women who request them. The Alan Guttmacher Institute notes that 89% of sexually active women who are “at risk” of becoming pregnant use contraception and 98% have used it in their lifetime (Abortion in Women’s Lives, available at www.guttmacher.org.)

You would think that with such a huge number of women using contraception for such a long time that we would have seen a sharp decrease in abortions over the last several decades. But we have not.

Four noted studies indicate that increased access to contraception does not result in a decrease in the numbers of abortions performed, but in fact lead to an increase in the numbers of women who contract a sexually transmitted disease and very well may lead to an increase in the number of unintended pregnancies.

The bottom line is that abstinence is the only thing that can guarantee prevention of an unintended pregnancy or sexually transmitted disease.

How many more billions of dollars must be spent and how many years must we wait before we come to realize this essential truth?