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Archive of May 1, 2014

Ad aims to renew Catholic devotion to Eucharist

Roswell, Ga., May 1, 2014 (CNA/EWTN News) - The evangelization group Catholics Come Home has released an advertisement to encourage Catholics to find God’s peace and love in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

“Our message is simple yet clear,” said Tom Peterson, founder and president of Catholics Come Home. “Jesus is really here, and he wants to help you, now. Come home!”

Peterson told CNA April 28 that the 30-second ad aims to help people understand “that their true hope rests in Christ, and he can be found in the Eucharist at every Catholic Church.”

The ad shows a man in an ornate Catholic Church walking to an altar upon which is a monstrance with the Blessed Sacrament.

“It is here where you will find the best marriage counselor, the greatest healer, wisest teacher and closest friend,” the ad says. “It is a place where you will escape the chaos of the world, and find the lasting peace that only comes from God.”

“Jesus is personally waiting to embrace you now, with his divine mercy and healing love,” continues the ad. “Jesus is calling you home to his Sacred Heart today.”

The ad was released on Holy Thursday, April 16.

Peterson said that faithful Catholics know the Eucharist as “the source and summit of our faith.”

“Yet so many others don’t understand the sacramental graces present in worthy reception of the Eucharist!”

Catholics Come Home cited statistics from Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate which indicate that about 40 percent of Catholics do not believe in the real presence of Christ in the Sacrament.

“Catholics Come Home wants to celebrate and announce this incredible gift from our Lord, who is truly present in every Catholic Church across the globe,” Peterson said.

Peterson said Catholics Come Home plans to air the ad during upcoming diocesan campaigns in 2015 and in future national TV campaigns if donor support can be secured.

The Georgia-based organization in March launched the website GoodConfession.com to encourage Catholics to go to the Confession more often, or to return to the sacrament if they have not been in some time.

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JP2's call for new evangelization bears fruit in lay initiatives

Denver, Colo., May 1, 2014 (CNA/EWTN News) - With more than 350 lay missionaries serving on over 80 college campuses, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) has shown itself to be successful in finding new ways to bring the Gospel to the modern world.

But back in 1998, when the apostolate was barely off the ground, FOCUS founder and president Curtis Martin met with Pope John Paul II. As Martin described his vision for the budding organization, the Holy Father responded with two words: “Be soldiers.”

St. John Paul II's call-to-arms for Martin echoes his urging for all Catholics to embark on a “new evangelization.” And in the years since that call was first made, it has borne fruit across the United States through numerous lay initiatives.

“The New Evangelization is one of the enduring themes of the pontificate of Pope John Paul II,” said Douglas Bushman, a professor at the Denver-based Augustine Institute, in an April 24 interview with CNA.

“You can tell a tree by its fruit, the Lord said. As we approach 10 years since his death, publications on the new evangelization abound. Most importantly, the increasing numbers of the faithful - now many who were in their teens when he died - are being drawn to a sense of personal responsibility to engage in the new evangelization.”

One of the late Pope's most well-known references to the new evangelization comes from his 1983 address to the Latin American Episcopal Council. In light of the 500th anniversary of the evangelization of Latin America, Pope John Paul II urged bishops to embark on a “new evangelization,” which he described as “new in its ardor, its methods, in its expressions.”

Bushman suggested that John Paul II's proclamation of the new evangelization was not a change in the Catholic message, but rather a renewed way of presenting it to the modern world.

“He often quoted Matthew 13:52, about the wise scribe being compared to a head of a household who could draw out of his storehouse things both new and old,” Bushman said. “He was always faithful to divine revelation and to the entire Tradition of the Church, drawing on all the saints and the ecumenical councils, showing us how relevant they are for the 'today' of the Church.”

“At the same time, there is something 'new' in John Paul's teachings,” he said, pointing to the late Pope's revolutionary teachings on the theology of the body.

Bushman explained that St. John Paul II's vision for the new evangelization included several key parts.

“It begins with a rediscovery of the relevance of divine revelation,” he said, and from there, it discovers that Jesus Christ reveals what it means to be fully human.

“This awareness leads to conversion and the embrace of the call to holiness,” Bushman said. “Once renewed in Christ, His disciples then act as He did. They bear witness to the truth about God's merciful love to a world that is in desperate need of this mercy.”

“This witness is the essence of the new evangelization. We are called to show the world what renewed humanity looks like, what God's transforming love produces in our world.”

The founders of the Augustine Institute hoped to help make the new evangelization a reality by transforming Catholic education and forming new leaders. Established in 2005, the graduate school expresses in its mission statement a desire to “equip Catholics intellectually, spiritually, and pastorally to renew the Church and transform the world for Christ.”

The school offers M.A. programs in theology and leadership for the new evangelization.Academic Dean Christopher Blum said the majority of Augustine Institute students are already actively involved in apostolic fields and hope to bring their learning into the field “to bring the light of Christ to the world.”

The San Diego-based John Paul the Great Catholic University is another lay apostolate responding to John Paul II's call for a new evangelization, specifically through media.

“If you go to any subway, stand in any line, go to any supermarket, you see everyone on their phones, on the internet, looking up things,” said Tim Van Damm, vice president of advancement. “There are all these screens in today's world.”

“Film, media, gaming; it's such a huge part of our culture now and so we're using those technologies to evangelize and to meet people where they are.”

The university offers undergraduate programs in Communications Media and Business as well as graduate programs in film production and biblical theology.

Van Damm told CNA on April 22 that the life and legacy of John Paul II are an inspiration for the university.

“He had a massive impact on culture worldwide,” Van Damm explained. “He went out to people...and we are trying to take that model he put out there, go out to the people and impact culture.”

FOCUS similarly works to impact culture; the organization seeks to bring the new evangelization to college campuses across the U.S.

“John Paul II once said that to evangelize, you need two things; You need to know modern man and you need to know Jesus Christ,” said John Zimmer, vice president of training and formation for FOCUS. “Your job as an evangelist is to introduce modern man to Jesus. It's an introduction by a friend of both.”

Zimmer explained that these words from the late Pope encapsulate FOCUS' mission.

“We try to understand modern man, specifically on the college campus, and we desire to have a deep, interior relationship with Jesus Christ,” he said. “Then, we let the Holy Spirit do his work.”

The organization aims to introduce college students to Christ through one-on-one mentorship, as well as small groups and Bible studies. FOCUS has also recently developed its digital resources including social media and a blog.

Zimmer said the new digital effort reflects a changing culture on college campuses.

“When college students are engaged with things like Facebook and Twitter, those are different ways that they are developing friendships,” he said. “We need to be able to do that same thing.”

“We are blessed to be living in a time when the Church is really harkening back to Christ's initial call to 'Go and make disciples,” Zimmer reflected. “The Church has always done that, but I think John Paul II was prophetic in ... calling the Church back to her deepest identity, which is evangelization.”

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Baby's kick dissuades pregnant model from abortion

London, England, May 1, 2014 (CNA/EWTN News) - A 19-week pregnant model who had said she would have an abortion to further her career in U.K. reality television now says that feeling her unborn baby kick made her turn away from an abortion clinic.

“I just couldn’t do it,” Josie Cunningham told U.K. tabloid The Mirror. “I really thought I would be able to but I couldn’t. I’d felt the baby kick for the first time 24 hours earlier and I couldn’t get that feeling out of my head.”

Cunningham already has two sons, ages six and three.

“I’d forgotten what the feeling was like. It was magical. It was like the baby was telling me not to go through with it.”

She said the kick “took me totally by surprise” and was “a real boot.”

“I never imagined how hard it would be to have an abortion after that.”

Two weeks ago, the 23-year-old model had said she was a candidate to appear on the U.K. reality show Big Brother, but started considering an abortion after the show’s producers “suddenly turned cold” when they learned she was pregnant.

“This time next year I won’t have a baby. I’ll be famous instead,” she said.

Her remarks about wanting an abortion in order to pursue other offers to further her career, fanned by the media, had triggered a backlash against her in social media and criticism from other media personalities.

However, the day before her appointment, Cunningham felt the baby suddenly begin to kick. That night, she began watching videos of abortions of unborn babies close to Britain’s 24-week legal limit.

“What I saw horrified me,” Cunningham told The Mirror.

She said she felt “physically sick” in the taxi drive to the London abortion clinic the next day; she was shaking and “burst into tears.”

“I wanted to throw myself out of the moving car to get away. I had my hands on my bump and I had the strongest feeling I couldn’t let anyone take my baby away,” Cunningham said.

“As soon as I realized I was going to keep the baby, I felt happy – like a weight lifted.”

Cunningham is still angry with those who criticized her plans to have an abortion, saying “no one had the right to threaten me and publicly humiliate me the way they did.”

However, she added that her mother is supportive and excited by her decision to keep her baby.

“I lost control and I wanted to be famous so badly I lost sight of what matters,” she reflected. “I’m disgusted with myself and I’m sorry – not to the haters but to the child I’m going to have. Now I’ve made this decision I am determined to be a good mother just like I am to my other children.”

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Sarah Palin rebuked for comparing waterboarding to baptism

Indianapolis, Ind., May 1, 2014 (CNA) - Catholics and other Christians have criticized Sarah Palin’s recent comments comparing waterboarding to baptism, calling them disrespectful, irreverent, and even blasphemous.

“Not all intolerant, anti-freedom, leftist liberals are hypocrites. I'm kidding, yes, they are. And they are not right policies that poke our allies in the eye and coddle adversaries instead of putting the fear of God in our enemies. Come on! Enemies who would utterly annihilate America,” Palin said April 26 at a National Rifle Association convention in Indianapolis.

“They who’d obviously have information on plots, say to carry out jihad. Oh, but you can’t offend them, can’t make them feel uncomfortable, not even a smidgen. Well, if I were in charge, they would know that waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists.”

Edward Peters, professor of canon law at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, wrote April 29 at his blog, “In the Light of the Law,” that regardless of one’s political affiliation, Palin’s statement about baptism “should shock the conscience.”

He referred to Deacon Ed Kandra of the Brooklyn diocese, who wrote April 28 at the website Patheos that “Equating torture with baptism is extremely offensive – and, in fact, blasphemous.”

Peters suggested that Deacon Kandra “might be right” in calling her statement blasphemous, adding that “even if Palin’s words only meet the lesser standard of ‘irreverence’ toward God or holy things, they were wrong to utter and wrong to applaud.”

“I think Palin’s guardian angel … wept at her comparing baptism to waterboarding.”

Deacon Kandra said in his post that waterboarding “degrades human life” and that Palin “made a mockery of the foundational sacrament of our faith.”

“As someone who calls herself ‘pro-life,’ she should understand that we are called to respect life in all its forms, at all times, from conception to natural death. Pro-life Americans should be appalled.”

Writer and editor Rod Dreher wrote at The American Conservative that “Palin and all those who cheered her sacrilegious jibe ought to be ashamed of themselves. For us Christians, baptism is the entry into new life. Palin invoked it to celebrate torture.”

“Even if you don’t believe that waterboarding is torture, surely you agree that it should not be compared to baptism, and that such a comparison should be laughed at.”

Mollie Hemingway, a Lutheran who writes at The Federalist, said that “joking about baptism in the context of (waterboarding) suggests that we don’t think baptism is as life-giving or important as it is.”

James Arnold, editor of Alliance Alert at Alliance Defending Freedom, wrote that “comparing baptism to waterboarding – and this is, I think, regardless of your position on both the efficacy of baptism for the transference of grace and of the usefulness of waterboarding for the extraction of information – is simply disrespectful.”

At The Gospel Coalition, a group of evangelical Christians, Joe Carter wrote that it is “reprehensible” for a Christian “to compare one of the means of God's grace to an act of torture.”

He said that Palin’s position “seeks retribution and ‘dehumanizes’ our opponents in order to distance them from ourselves,” which can be “dangerous, particularly for those who must carry out the fight against terrorism.”

“In our attempts to dehumanize our enemy we end up becoming less than human ourselves. It would be a Pyrrhic victory to save civilization and lose our humanity.”

As an infant, Palin was baptized Catholic, but she was raised in and continues to attend a non-denominational ecclesial community. She is now a TV personality, but served as governor of Alaska from 2006 to 2009 and was Republican Party candidate for vice president in 2008.

After the offensive nature of her comments, she failed to apologize for the remark about baptism. Two days after the NRA convention, she posted on Facebook saying, “If some overly sensitive wusses took offense, remember the First Amendment doesn’t give you a right not to be offended.”

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Relaunch of English martyrs film brings stories to US audience

London, England, May 1, 2014 (CNA) - “Faith of Our Fathers,” a powerful 2013 film telling stories of the Catholic martyrs of the English Reformation, has been recently edited and released for an American audience by Ignatius Press.

“On the one hand in the U.K. we think that U.K.-based films or history might not have a wide appeal,” explained Christian Holden, managing director of Saint Anthony Communications, which produced the film.

“But at the same time,” he told CNA, “the heroism and the witness of these martyrs is so universal – it’s not just an issue that relates to England. That great witness of faith and courage rings true, or has resonance, with anyone, (and) with any Catholic especially.”

For some 150 years, from 1535 to 1679, hundreds of Catholics in England and Wales were martyred for the faith. In the documentary, Fr. Marcus Holden of the Southwark Archdiocese, and Fr. Nicholas Schofield, a historian and priest of the Archdiocese of Westminster, travel throughout England visiting locations associated with these martyrs.

These include monasteries destroyed by Henry VIII; a seminary on the site of St. Thomas More's home; a manor house which is home to a printing press used by St. Edmund Campion; the shrine of Our Lady of Ladyewell; Tyburn, the site in London where many martyrdoms were carried out; and several homes with priest holes and secret altars.

The film also features interviews with Bishop Terence Brain of Salford and Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster, who discusses his devotion to St. John Fisher, the only martyr-bishop of the English Reformation.

Originally 114 minutes, “Faith of Our Fathers” was edited to 95 minutes for its U.S. release by Ignatius Press. Holden said that when the San Francisco-based company was sent a review copy “they were very interested in it … but thought there were parts more pertinent to a U.K. audience.”

Holden reflected on one of the martyrs in particular who has stood out in his mind: Bl. Roger Wrenno, from Lancashire.

“He was a layman, and was found guilty of the crime of harboring a priest, and when he was sentenced to be hanged, the rope actually snapped.”

“He fell to the ground, recovered his senses, and was given the opportunity of a reprieve if only he would swear the oath of supremacy. He refused to do so, and they repaired the gallows, fetched a new rope, and he actually ran up the scaffold, which surprised everyone; they asked him, ‘Mr. Wrenno, why are you so eager to die?’ He answered, ‘If you had seen that which I had just seen, you too would be eager to die.’”

“I thought that was just such a profound story,” Holden said, “that this man had some sort of revelation at the time, at the first attempt at hanging, and he had at that point no fear of death; that was quite profound.”

“There are many of the stories … there’s not one that you wouldn’t find inspiring, (with) these brave men and women prepared to make that ultimate sacrifice for their faith.”

Fr. Holden, one of the presenters of the film, described it to CNA on its original release as “a personal search … I was looking to understand something of my own background, what it means to be English and Catholic.”

“It's quite a personal search in some ways … and it's a sort of exploration. We feel that the viewer is traveling with us.” He said that while there were scripts for the film, “we at certain moments speak quite openly of how we feel in places, and our reaction to seeing some of these sights that we'd never been to before.”

He added that the scenes are “very evocative, and the camera comes with us, and the viewer kind of feels that he's on the same journey, as well.”

Holden told CNA, in conclusion, that he is “delighted that Ignatius Press has taken it.”

“I’m passionate that these stories be told, and it’s great that it’s out there in the U.S.”

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Easter earthquake does not shake faith in Papua New Guinea

Buka, Papua New Guinea, May 1, 2014 (CNA/EWTN News) - An earthquake which struck the Papua New Guinean island of Bougainville on Holy Saturday brought chaos and destruction to persons and property, according to the local bishop.

 “I had been having a mumu meal offered by a family for Easter, but also to remember the first anniversary of my mum's death … we almost had it as a last meal,” Bishop Bernard Unabali of Bougainville said.

Mumu is a traditional Papua New Guinean means of cooking, using a rock-lined earthen pit which is then covered with banana leaves.

The April 19 quake was centered 47 miles southwest of Panguna, and had a magnitude of 7.5.

It had been preceded by a number of smaller tremors, beginning April 4, according to Bishop Unabali.

“Since then they have been felt stronger and more frequent in the southwest, especially the islands of Buin, Siwai, Bana, and Torokina … the area where the epicenter is reported to be close to.”

Two quakes on April 11 killed at least two persons.

Bishop Unabali said that the Holy Saturday earthquake caught some unawares as they returned from earlier Easter Vigils, and that at some parishes with Masses starting later due to a shortage of priests, people became trapped in the churches.

“So imagine what happened,” he said.

At some parishes, “homilies were cut short,” and “one place was at the blessing of the baptismal water and the shaking of the water had the priest baptized rather than the babies.”

Bishop Unabali was pleased to say that all of his priests remained with their people during the earthquake.

At one parish, a young girl struck her head on a brick as people were rushing out of the church, and there was a death at another parish also. Several parishes on the southern end of Bougainville island suffered extensive damage to their buildings and foundations, as well as damaged statues, tabernacles, and crucifixes.

The homes and gardens of many were destroyed by landslides.
 
At Torokina, a village on Bougainville’s central west coast, inhabitants had to move inland from the rising sea. Some rivers on the island have become filled with earth and debris from landslides.

Bishop Unabali lamented, “we do not have a diocese-level Caritas and proper set up … we are organizing to collect data through individuals from remote areas and site visits wherever possible.”

“We need to prepare ourselves first, though we may need help from outside.”

The Bougainville diocese was elevated from a vicariate apostolic in 1966. In 2012, it had 17 diocesan priests and 13 religious, and 31 parishes. 66 percent of the population of 219,000 are Catholic.

Papua New Guinea is a Melanesian nation consisting of the eastern half of the island of New Guinea, as well as numerous other, smaller, islands. It is located north of Australia and east of Indonesia.

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Courage conference to support Catholics with same-sex attractions

Philadelphia, Pa., May 1, 2014 (CNA/EWTN News) - The Courage apostolate will hold a conference at Villanova University this July to continue advancing its spiritual support for men and women with same-sex attractions who want to grow spiritually in lives of chastity.

Father Paul N. Check, Courage’s executive director, said that the gathering is “a unique event in the life of the Church.”

“The conference unites a wide range of people and experience around the person of Jesus Christ, with the strong theme of service and sacrificial love, the path to healing and to peace,” he said in an Easter letter to Courage and EnCourage members posted on the organization’s website.

Courage is a Catholic apostolate founded in 1980 to provide fellowship and support for men and women with same-sex attractions. EnCourage is its partner organization for their parents and friends.

The Courage conference will be held at Villanova University near Philadelphia from July 17-July 20. It is geared towards Courage and EnCourage members, their friends, clergy, religious and seminarians, as well as those who work in lay ministry.

The conference will include talks, workshops, social events, prayer gatherings, Mass, Eucharistic Adoration and opportunities for Confession.

Speakers include Immaculée Ilibagiza, a survivor of the Rwandan genocide; George Mason University law professor Helen Alvare; Fordham University professor Fr. Joseph Koterski, S.J.; Andrew Comiskey of Desert Stream Ministries; and Philadelphia priest Fr. Philip Bochanski, C.O.

Philadelphia’s Archbishop Charles J. Chaput will celebrate the conference’s opening Mass. Philadelphia auxiliary Bishop Daniel E. Thomas will celebrate Saturday Mass while Bishop Frank Caggiano will celebrate the Sunday Mass.

The conference will also host a showing of a new Courage documentary, “Desire of the Everlasting Hills.”

Fr. Check said the group is continuing to seek canonical status under the Holy See.
 
Another Courage conference will be held in Sydney, Australia on Sept. 27.

The registration deadline for the Philadelphia conference is July 3. Registration and more information about the Philadelphia conference is available at the Courage website www.couragerc.net.

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Loyola Marymount community objects to dean's links to abortion groups

Los Angeles, Calif., May 1, 2014 (CNA) - Loyola Marymount University’s appointment of an atheist dean with a record of service to abortion-supporting groups suggests the university may be unable to sustain its Catholic identity, one alumni group has charged.

“The current process for attracting, qualifying, and vetting candidates for senior positions, as this appointment demonstrates, is inadequate to preserve the Catholic character of Loyola Marymount University for very much longer,” the group RenewLMU said April 28.

On April 16, the Jesuit university announced the appointment of Robbin Crabtree as dean of its Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts. The position oversees bioethics, theological studies, philosophy, and Catholic studies at the university. The dean is also involved in faculty hiring decisions.

RenewLMU, a self-described group of students, alumni, faculty, donors and other university supporters concerned about the university’s Catholic mission, questioned whether Crabtree was an appropriate choice to oversee “mission critical” departments.

Loyola Marymount University President David W. Burcham, in an April 16 letter to the Board of Regents, said that criticisms of her candidacy have been “exaggerated and inaccurate.”

Crabtree is presently dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University, a Jesuit institution in Connecticut.

Her Curriculum Vitae notes her service on the advisory board and media relations committee for Planned Parenthood of Putnam County in Indiana from 1991-1993.

In 2001 and 2002, she was a member of the New Mexico group Las Adelitas Women in Politics. While Crabtree’s Curriculum Vitae describes the group as an organization to promote women’s candidates for public office in New Mexico, the group has been involved in promoting pro-abortion candidates.

Burcham said that Crabtree’s involvement with the “budding” political organization was “brief” and the organization “changed significantly” since she left it. He said her involvement with Planned Parenthood consisted of serving as an “outside consultant” to a new Planned Parenthood-sponsored women’s health center. This work was in communications “aimed at engaging underserved women in the community to increase their awareness of the clinic’s basic healthcare services.”

Burcham said the university’s only “litmus test” in hiring is that “a candidate must fully support our mission of academic excellence in the Jesuit and Marymount traditions and commit himself/herself to furthering this mission through their professional life at LMU.”

The university president’s comments were largely echoed in an April 16 letter from Father Robert V. Caro, S.J., to alumni and parents. He said that concerns being raised about Crabtree’s past associations “do not reflect her recent involvements or reputation and appear to ignore her distinguished record.”

RenewLMU objected that there is no indication that Crabtree has disavowed these groups or their philosophical positions. The group noted that the university’s mission includes the “promotion of justice” and the “service of faith.”

“If abortion is really a matter of justice and faith, and of our Jesuit and Marymount traditions, then appointing someone who has provided years of service to the largest abortion provider in the United States to oversee Bioethics, Theological Studies, and Philosophy is deeply problematic.”

The group said that Burcham would never hire someone who had served an organization that favors racial segregation and racial injustice unless that person had “radically and publicly repudiated this involvement.” It argued that the university president should not ignore the “prenatal injustice” of abortion.

Burcham’s letter also acknowledged that Crabtree has described herself as an “atheist / secular Jew.” He said she did this in the context of “saying she had found a home in Jesuit and Catholic higher education.” He said the university does not have faith requirements, an approach he described as being “in the spirit” of the Society of Jesus’ General Congregation statements about partnership between Jesuits and their colleagues of all religious beliefs or no religious belief.

“I have no doubt that Dr. Crabtree meets our sole test—being able to support and further LMU’s Jesuit/Marymount/Catholic mission and identity,” he said.

RenewLMU charged that the university “selectively withheld” information about Crabtree’s religious beliefs, saying that they were not widely known until her appointment was announced. Fr. Caro’s letter to alumni only said that she “does not share our Catholic faith.”
 
The other dean candidate finalist, Dr. Ramón Gutiérrez, had also sparked controversy. An American history professor at the University of Chicago, he served as a consultant for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America on the topic of Hispanic attitudes toward sexuality. He was also a member of the Organization of American Historians’ Committee of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Historians and Histories, which opposed a California ballot measure defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

Founded in 1911, Loyola Marymount University is located in Los Angeles. It has about 9,500 students in its undergraduate, graduate, and law school programs.

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Adoption a loving choice for children and women, activist says

Washington D.C., May 1, 2014 (CNA/EWTN News) - Adoption offers not only an opportunity for children to live, but for women to make a "loving parenting choice,” according to the founder of a pro-life organization.

"When you talk about abortion there are only two life-affirming options: either you're talking about parenting, or the loving parenting choice of adoption," Ryan Bomberger, founder of the Radiance Foundation, told CNA.

"It's an incredible parenting choice to say, 'I can't be the one for this child, but I'm going to make a loving plan for adoption.’"

The Radiance Foundation is a Virginia-based organization which educates the public on abortion and its scope, particularly within minority communities. Bomberger participated in the March for Life, a witness in Washington, D.C. that draws hundreds of thousands of people to demonstrate against abortion.

He later spoke at the March's Rose Dinner on the subject of adoption, which was the theme for the 2014 march.

He explained that the choice of adoption as a theme "is such a natural expression of who the March for Life has been for years," adding that March for Life president Jeannie Monahan "understands that defending life means you have to finish that sentence by also promoting adoption."

Bomberger noted that adoption has fallen out of favor as an option for women in difficult situations because of pressures from the abortion industry. The industry, he said "profits from one product, and that is the service of abortion," and it has an incentive to promote its product.

 "They demonize adoption all the time, and put it into people's minds all the time that somehow they're sparing themselves and their child if they choose to end that human life.”

However, he continued, talking to birth mothers and those who have been adopted fights the "lack of awareness" about adoption, and helps people to "understand the beauty that arises from adoption."

"What you'll find from birth moms all the time is that they feel blessed," Bomberger said, adding that many birth mothers are able " to finish education " and "make a plan for that child to be in a supportive and loving home."

He also pointed to his organization's new initiative, adoptedandloved.com, which features "adoptees sharing their experience of being adopted and love."

And for Bomberger, the topic of adoption is deeply personal.

"I am adopted," he said, explaining that he was adopted into a family of 15 after his mother was raped and gave him up for adoption

"We come from different backgrounds, different ethnicities, differing abilities, some of us are special needs: all of us were loved like crazy," he said of his upbringing.

His parents' love "showed us really that adoption is all about love; it's about unleashing love, unleashing hope," adding that his experience has made him "passionate" about the issue and influenced his and his wife's decision to adopt as well.

"My birth mom was raped, but her courage started an avalanche of things that she never could have expected in the middle of that pain and chaos."

He added that for Christians, adoption is a particularly important opportunity for witness.

Adoption is saying to God that "I'm going to do what you have done for every one of us” -- pointing to the adoption of all Christians into God's family through Christ.

"There is really no salvation without it."

"That's why we're passionate about all cases, because you know, there could be tragedy now, but there may be triumph tomorrow."

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31

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October 31, 2014

Friday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time

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Gospel of the Day

Lk 14:1-6

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First Reading:: Phil 1: 1-11
Gospel:: Lk 14: 1-6

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St. Romuald »

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Homily of the Day

Lk 14:1-6

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