Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Hello there!  Sorry its been a while since I updated on Gabriella;)
Not too much to report.  I'm still pregnant, and I'm getting weary of it.  I so appreciate your prayers right now!  And know that I am praying for all of you as well.
Mike and I went to the hospital on Saturday night, but were released early Sunday morning for "failure to progress".  I've had contractions on and off since then, mostly at night, leaving both (all) of us exhausted the next morning.  And of course the kids are all wild from being on such an erratic routine (if you could call it that) and they've been going to bed later and getting up earlier (this morning we went to bed at 5:30 after a night of contractions, and the kids woke up at 6:30).  I keep having signs and symptoms of being in labor, but no baby to show for it yet.  I am humbled by the false notion of "knowing what I'm doing" as this is my 5th.  I guess its yet another lesson in humility for me.
I've got a pre-natal appointment on  Thursday.  They're going to check me and then if I've still not gone into labor naturally by then, Mike and I are discerning whether or not to let them induce me.  I didn't want another induction, and its a hard decision to make.  But I have the option of laboring hard for a day, or continuing to labor on and off for many days.  I guess its really a non-thought when measured that way.  Pray that I have the grace to accept fully God's will.  Prayer intentions would be immensely helpful at this point.  If you and your loved ones have a specific request that I could carry with me on Thursday, please leave it in the com box, and I will offer my labor for your intentions (that includes if I go into labor naturally before then of course!)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Another soul gone home, leader of the pro-life movement.

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Mildred Fay Jefferson.  The following is a tribute written by Judi Brown from the American Life League.

Blue Bar
Mildred Fay Jefferson, M.D., past board member of American Life League, past president of the National Right to Life Committee, The Right to Life Crusade and recipient of 28 honorary degrees, went quietly to meet the Lord late last week at the age of 84.

Mildred Jefferson at Harvard Medical SchoolDr. Jefferson was a heroic, inspiring, yet humble, leader who made her mark on the history books in many ways-including being the first black woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School.

If you were to ask Mildred what her greatest achievement in life had been, she would have told you it was being devoted-with every fiber of her being-to the preborn babies whose lives she defended eloquently from the moment she learned about abortion in the late 1960s until the moment of her death last week.

Not a day went by without her sounding the call to stop abortion-addressing the most egregious human rights violation in the history of mankind-and doing all that was humanly possible for one strong woman to do to expose the criminal act of abortion. She often told me that she prayed daily for God to give her the strength to move forward and to ignite the spark of zealous indignation among the people of this nation so that they would carry the banner for the babies until victory was achieved.

While we cannot lay her to rest knowing that she achieved her goal, we can do so knowing that, without her, this pro-life, human rights movement would never have grown to the historic proportions it has. Nor would we be as motivated to carry on for the babies, for the Lord-their Creator-and for her.

Mildred endeared herself to countless thousands of Americans who will miss her smile, her words of leadership and guidance, her ever-wise advice and her counsel. Through our tears, however, we understand that she would not want us to dwell on her passing, but to carry the torch she lit so many years ago. And she would not want us to look back. She'd say we must always look forward to embrace the challenges that lie ahead for the preborn, the elderly and the infirm.

The world has lost a great leader the likes of which will never pass this way again. We herald her remarkable accomplishments; we celebrate her life of valor, commitment, leadership, deep faith and love; we mourn her passing and we resolve never to stop defending the children who meant the world to Mildred Fay Jefferson, M.D. She gave her life in their service; we will not let her memory die.

Monday, October 11, 2010

St. Gerard's Feast Day is October 16th!

Thank you Lacy from Catholic Icing for your excellent post on St. Gerard!

She made these incredible notecards that you can print out and send to friends and families that are expecting:

You can find them here at Lacy's blog!  Just beautiful.

And for all my dear readers, I found this prayer at Totus Tuus' blog site in her com box, and I include it as a prayer for all of you (for those who are expecting, for Moms, and for those who have asked my prayers in the next couple of weeks for loved ones)!

A Prayer to St. Gerard for Safe Delivery
O great Saint Gerard, beloved servant of Jesus Christ, perfect imitator of your meek and humble Savior, and devoted child of Mother of God, enkindle within my heart one spark of that heavenly fire of charity which glowed in your heart and made you an angel of love.

O glorious Saint Gerard, because when falsely accused of crime, you did bear, like your Divine Master, without murmur or complaint, the calumnies of wicked men, you have been raised up by God as the patron and protector of expectant mothers. Preserve me from danger and from the excessive pains accompanying childbirth, and shield the child which I now carry, that it may see the light of day and receive the purifying and life-giving waters of baptism through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

News from the Nest

My little unborn daughter, Gabriella, has dropped.  I feel like we've both become significantly lighter.  I've been getting braxton hicks contractions in the evenings (during dinner...which kind of makes 'family time' hard:)


Man have I been nesting!  I mean, I've been "polishing the china" type nesting!  Hahahah!  I made home made bread.  From scratch...With flour from a bag that didn't start as bread...LOL!  It's been wonderful....And the kids and Dad all loved the bread!:)

I'll keep you posted as we go, but know that I'm praying for you all, my dear readers (especially those who are expecting their own little miracles too!)  I don't remember my daughter dropping this early, so maybe I've got my first "early bird" on my hands.  All the others were an average of 10-12 days late.  *sigh* Thy will be done Lord.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Yet another tragic anniversary.

China's Thirty Years War Against its Own People Slated to Continue
by Steve Mosher
I was surprised when Beijing decided to celebrate (!) the thirtieth anniversary of the One-Child Policy this week. I thought, quite frankly, that the declaration of a national day of mourning would have been more appropriate.
But I was even more taken aback when the head of China's National Population and Family Planning Commission, a woman named Li Bin, announced that China would continue to enforce this same Draconian policy for “decades” to come.
Decades? This is, after all, a policy that has led to a slaughter of the innocents of Biblical proportions. Hundreds of millions of women have been forcibly aborted and sterilized. Homes have been razed, livestock confiscated, and exorbitant fines levied. In all, 400 million people are missing from the Chinese population as a result of the one-child policy. Like previous Chinese Communist Party-orchestrated disasters such as the Great Leap Forward, or the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, this policy, too, has been a disaster for the Chinese people.
I should know. I was in China when the one-child policy began 30 years ago.
What I saw then, living in an agricultural commune in rural Guangdong, rivals anything that happened in Nazi Germany. One day in 1980 several hundred young mothers, all pregnant with second or higher-order children, were ordered to attend population control meetings. There they were told that they would all have to abort their pregnancies. Those who refused were arrested for the “crime” of being pregnant and locked up until they, too, buckled under the pressure and submitted to an abortion.
At that point they were taken to the local medical clinic and given a lethal injection into their uterus. If their bodies did not expel their dead or dying babies within two days, they were subjected to a cesarean section abortion. Most horrific of all, babies born alive were killed by means of an injection of formaldehyde into the ”soft spot” on the crown of their heads. Those few women who managed to escape arrest and had their babies in secret were assessed heavy fines.
Everything that I witnessed then, from the forced abortions of women in the third-trimester of pregnancy to government-sanctioned infanticide, is still happening now. Those women who manage to avoid the dragnet by going into hiding are now subjected to even heavier fines, which currently run three to five times the family's annual income. Those who can't pay this huge amount have had their homes destroyed and their possessions and livestock confiscated.
Moreover, such a child remains a “black child,” that is, one who does not exist in the eyes of the state. Such children are nonpersons, turned away from the government clinic if they fall ill, barred from attending a government school of any kind, and not considered for any kind of government employment later in life. They are not allowed marry or start families of their own, since the government has decreed that “black children” will not be allowed to reproduce. One generation of illegals is enough.
The Chinese government, supported by foreign population control zealots, believe that its program should be held up as a population control role model for the rest of the world. In reality, it should be roundly condemned for its widespread and systematic violations of human rights, especially the rights of women.
But even those who shy away from defending China's brutal repression of its population sometimes argue in favor of the one-child policy on other grounds. China is often held up—by the UN Population Fund, for example—as a positive example of a county that has been able to slow population growth rates dramatically, and which has achieved prosperity as a result. But to praise the country that has become the ugly poster child of forced abortion and coerced sterilization for the economic growth that these inhuman policies have supposedly generated is not only inconsistent, but also wrong.
China is clearly worse off economically as a result of eliminating from its population 400 million of the most productive and enterprising people the world has ever known. China's astonishing economic performance—its annual GDP growth over the past three decades is close to 10%—is not only a tribute to the tremendous work ethic of the Chinese people, but also has led to labor shortages in China's coastal provinces. Every baby born in China today is a net economic asset. How much more would China have been able to achieve with an even larger population?
Some would argue that adding people would overburden the Chinese environment, but the PRC has been an ecological disaster zone from the time of Mao's forced-pace industrialization programs in the 1950s. The same remains true today, as the Chinese leadership remains far more concerned about the economic growth rate than about ensuring that the populace has clean air to breathe and clean water to drink. Witness the government-mandated shutdown of all factories in the Beijing region in the days leading up to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Once the athletes (and the foreign journalists) were gone, the smokestacks resumed spewing out their plumes of black smoke. Nothing had changed. This is to say that the sorry state of China's environment has far more to do with misguided political decisions, and the lack of public accountability for the actions of both government and privately owned businesses, than it does with the number of people.
The one-child policy has been a social disaster as well. Two generations of Chinese have grown up with no siblings, no cousins, and no aunts and uncles. This radical shrinking of the boundaries of the family is, in itself, is a great poverty. Then there is a problem of female infanticide and sex selective abortion, which has eliminated tens of millions of little girls from the population, leaving an equal number of young men without brides to marry. Prostitution, homosexuality, and gang activity are on the rise as a result.
Finally, there is the demographic snare that the one-child policy has set for the Chinese people. Because of the radical cutback in births, the Chinese population is aging faster than any human population in human history. The worker/dependency ratio is unsustainable. How can an only child support two parents and four grandparents in retirement? I am afraid that this will lead the Chinese government to embark upon a “one-grandparent policy” in years to come, in which tens of millions of elderly Chinese will be urged to accept euthanasia, perhaps in return for their only grandchild being allowed to go to college. Forced abortion and forced euthanasia are two sides of the same debased coin.
For all its failings, I do think that the one-child policy has served one important purpose as far as the Chinese Communist Party is concerned: It has helped to maintain the muscular rigor of the one-party dictatorship that rules China. China is a police state, after all, and such a state, to remain strong, must have something to police. Economic controls have been loosened over the past 30 years, so control over other aspects of life must be tightened. The brutal one-child policy is one consequence of such a system's relentless drive for control over people's lives.
Do I think that the Chinese Communist Party really intends to continue, as Li Bin asserts, its one-child policy “decades” into the future? Absolutely. And it will certainly never admit that the policy was a mistake. One-party dictatorships don't make mistakes of such consequence—at least if they want to stay in power.
Steven W. Mosher is the President of the Population Research Institute.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Eternal Rest Grant unto Her O Lord

In Memory of my Mother in Law, on this day, October 3, her birthday.

May the Angels lead you into Paradise.
May the Martyrs come to welcome you.
And take you to the Holy City.
The new and eternal Jerusalem.

Rest in Peace Memere.  We love you and are praying for you!


I've been cantoring for 15 years this year.  I started cantoring when I was a sophomore in High School as a volunteer in my Parish.  I've been able to help support my family through this ministry up to now.  I've sung in various settings: rowdy high school Masses, Funerals with loved ones wailing for their departed, weddings where people sat ticking the time away until they could get to the reception, regular Sunday Masses where I take it for granted that things just happen.  I've pretty much been around the block, and thought I had seen it all, and then there was tonight.

I was cantoring at my job in a Parish in our Diocese for the 5:00 Vigil Mass on Saturday evening.  I had just sung at a wedding that afternoon, and was able to come home for a 1/2 hour between "gigs" to spend a little of the beautiful afternoon with my family.  My 18 month old daughter is sick with a cold, so I was able to hold her, and tuck her in in front of a movie with a cup of juice before leaving again.  I kissed her on the forehead goodbye, and something told me to kiss my other little ones as well.  My 3 y.o. son was outside playing with walkie-talkies and handed me one which I used until we broke up our signal about a 1/4 mile from our house.  I said "Goodbye Honey, I love you.  Be good for Dad" about 10 times until that signal was lost.  I couldn't help but think in a poignant way what it would be like if those were the last words I said to him.

I got to Church, warmed up, reviewed the Psalm and Gospel Acclamation, and proceeded upstairs with the organist.  I sat down in the front of the Church, waited for the Prelude to end, and then got up to make the announcements and start the opening hymn.  I noticed him immediately.  He was across the aisle from me, two pews from the front, a man  bigger than my husband, looking very much agitated and restless.  I started singing, and he did too.  Loudly.  Screaming the lyrics.  About 1/2 step off and about 1 measure (approx. 4 words) behind me and the congregation.  I knew something was up at this point.  I ignored him, began using my internal metronome, and plowed on.  I could not outsing him and knew it was against my ministry to try, so I backed off the mic enough to keep from competing, while maintaining a steady voice to keep my organist from becoming too distracted.  I prayed my S.O.S prayer to the Holy Spirit to keep me from breaking, and forged on ahead.  We sang all the verses of the Hymn to accomodate the Procession, and it felt endless.  Something was not right about this man, and I immediately felt sympathy for him.  I tried not to let it affect me, but it was a prayer to make that happen.

The opening prayer was said, and everyone sat for the first reading.  Turning so I could focus on the ambeau, I listened to the first reading.  I was again distracted by this man, whom I could see in my periphery, swaying in his pew rocking back and forth, back and forth, and drumming his fingers violently on the pew beside him.  I saw the lector finish her reading, gave the appropriate response, waited until she returned to her seat, and then said a Hail Mary.  Usually I use this prayer as a spacer to give adequate time between the readings.  At this time, I was fervently asking for the Blessed Mother's intercession.  I got up, walked to the ambeau and began the Psalm.  When I signaled the congregation to come in, there he was again, screaming the lyrics, a half measure off.  I was grateful he was not trying to sing the verses with me (I have had that happen before too!), and I used that time to pray through the Psalm and gather strength for the refrain, ironically "If today you hear God's voice, harden not your hearts."  I finished the Psalm, and walked over to the lectern, and turned my attention back to the lector who was beginning the second reading. 

He was getting more agitated and upset, this time he began playing with something in the pocket of his hoodie sweatshirt.  He kept swaying in his pew, and began mumbling to himself.  I kept my sight on the lector, but my attention was divided.  The lector finished, returned to her seat, and my cue to start the Gospel Acclamation.  Father began the Procession and broke it to approach this man.  My heart was filled with pity when I heard him say that he just "wanted to sing" because his mother had died and he was grieving for her.  "Father, you should know her, the Mother Mary?"  I kept on singing, trying to give my organist visual clues in his "rear view mirror" to keep the acclamation music going.  Father broke with this man, and went to proclaim the Gospel.  As I stood beside the lectern listening to the Gospel, I was relieved to see this man had calmed somewhat.  And then I saw this man become agitated once again.  He began swaying in his pew, looking around him at other people, and playing with the pocket of his hoodie.  What did he have in his pocket?  What if it were a gun?  My heart froze as I saw him pull something shiny and black from out of his pocket.  "Thank you God for allowing me to kiss all my children and my husband goodbye", that was my first thought.  I made an act of contrition and prayed ardently for the state of my soul, having wished I had made it to confessions held before Mass that day.  I began to wonder what I should do.  At the close of the Gospel, and with the realization that the man had pulled out his cell phone, I made it back to my seat.  Again, I watched Father, but began to pray the "St. Michael's Prayer."  My adrenaline must have affected my unborn child, as she began to stir violently within me.  I glanced above Father's head to see the Church's statue of Madonna and child. I begged the Blessed Mother, that if I were to go today, that she would allow me to carry my unborn baby through the gates of Heaven.  The Church was silent, everyone was focused on this man, who by this time was mumbling louder and louder, he began to pull his hair, and never stopped swaying in his pew.

Suddenly, during the Intercessions, this man stopped swaying.  He became still and calm, composed even.  I could hardly breathe as I walked to the lectern to announce the Offertory Hymn.  I had a fleeting thought as to whether or not I should walk to the back of the Church and sing this hymn in the choir loft with the organist.  No, I resolved to stay, and prayed to God for all in our Church that evening.  I began to sing, and right on cue, he was singing too.  A little less scream, a little more off in timing.  I forged on ahead, composed in prayer.  I was horrified when I saw Father approach this man a second time.  The man's face turned deathly white, and then terribly red.  He began talking so vehemently that spittle was flying into Father's face.  He raised both fists and began shaking them at Father.  I watched in horror as I saw two men from the back rush to Father's side.  I thought for sure Father was going to be struck.  Again, Father quickly broke with this man to receive the Offertory gifts.  We ended the Hymn, and I turned to pray with Father.  It was then I noticed the Altar Server.  She was a small 9 y.o. girl, and she was visibly scared.  Next to the table where the cruets and such are kept for Mass, she was hovering, and staring longingly at her mother and father about 3 pews from the front, across the Aisle from this man.  I longed to reach out to her, to show her support, but I knew not to break this already distracting Mass.  I sang through the "Holy, Holy", debating in my head whether or not to kneel with this young girl in front of the Altar while she rang the bells, to show solidarity with her, and to protect her if I could.  I knew that would be a huge distraction for Father and the congregation, so I opted to kneel in my normal spot in front of the Tabernacle, behind and to the right of the Altar.  The little girl knelt and wiped away her silent tears. My heart wrenched within me to see this little one crying, and I prayed for her.  I got up to lead the Eucharistic Acclamation and the Great Amen.  This man was not kneeling, but was still again.  He wore the most sinister, twisted look upon his face.  We all stood to say the Our Father, made it through the Doxology, proceeded to the Lamb of God and the Sign of Peace.  I made a point to give peace to the little girl altar server, and she visibly calmed a bit.  The man stopped singing with me through the Lamb of God, he never opened his hymnal for the Communion Hymn, he just sat and stared violently at Father.  I noticed as I turned to announce the Communion Hymn that two police officers were standing in the back of the Church.  Obviously someone had made their way out to call them, and they stood at attention at the doors in the back.  We finished Communion, had a moment of reflection, Father made a few announcements, and gave the final blessing.  As the Procession lined up in front of the Altar, the man sent a steely gaze through Father's back.  I saw him collect saliva in his mouth, as if preparing to spit on him, thought the better of it, and let Father exit in peace.  When the Collect had departed, the man turned his attention back on me.  He continued to try to get my attention, and I avoided his gaze.  He just watched me as I finished the Hymn and then I saw him leave his pew as I was kneeling down to say the "St. Michael's Prayer".  He walked in front of me, slowing as if he wanted to say something.  I did not bring my head up to meet his gaze, and after a moment he walked out.  Noticing there were police at the back of the Church, he turned and exited out a side door.

Thanks be to God, I was able to go home and see my family for one more day.