Is there Any Greater Captivity than the Taking of Innocent Life?

For 800 years, the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary has stood in defense of human dignity when it was threatened. Today, 1.3 million pre-born babies are killed in American per year! The blood of these children cries out for justice with a cry greater than that of Cain’s blood. We read in Genesis 4:10, “The LORD said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.” NO ONE is free to ignore or silently tolerate the grave evil of abortion and it’s effects on our society.

Stephanie Gray,Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform

Knowing this Br. Daniel Bowen, O. de M., pro-life coordinator at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, organized a world renowned speaker to give a presentation at the Seminary.  Her name is Stephanie Gray and she is the Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.  She has spoken around the world on abortion and has debated abortionists, professor, and leaders in the abortion movement.  She has also spoken at various elementary, high schools and universities in North America.

Stephanie spoke to us about her work and how her organization is ending abortion in Canada through presentations and in the streets activism with abortion imagery.  Her talk at the seminary was extensively about her strategy on fighting abortion called the “Endthekilling” plan.  She also explained how to talk about abortion to others and the importance of knowledge, wisdom, and character when talking about the abortion issue.

She explained that in the past atrocities had been ended when the injustice was exposed, and the culture confronted by the injustice. As long as it remains hidden, people can ignore the horror of great atrocities such as slavery, the holocost, and race killings. Stephanie showed how images were used by abolitionists  and civil rights leaders to shake people out of their apathy. The audience “gasped” when they saw a picture of a young black boy brutally beaten in the deep South out of hatred for his race. This horrific image was disseminated throughout the United States in the 1950’s. It was this image, which Rosa Parks was thinking of when she refused to give up her bus seat to a white passenger in  Montgomery, Alabama.

We were so glad that she could take time out of her busy schedule to talk to the seminarians and laity, and to show us how to end the genocide of abortion.  The pre-born child is the most helpless person in our society, captive to the will of others, completely unable to receive the Sacraments of the Church.  We must work so that all children have equal protection in our society and we pray to St. Raymond Nonnatus, patron of pre-born children, that abortion is ended and for the repose of the souls of the fifty million children legally killed in the United States.

St. Raymond Nonnatus (not born) pray for us!

Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform

Summer time still an active time for Mercedarian Students

Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us that “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens”. The month of May ushers in a time of transition for the Mercedarian students in Philadelphia.

Br David receives his Master Degree from St Charles Borromeo Sem.

The month begins with the pressure of final exams at St Charles Borromeo Seminary and other Colleges the Friars attend. Studies can be challenging as the seminarians learn the classics such as Latin, Greek, and philosophy. As they progress in their academic formation, the friars tackle such areas as Church History, Systematic Theology, Pastoral Theology, and Sacred Scripture. Br. Dominic, a non-clerical student, completed his 3 year at Cabrini College in pursuit of a Bachelors in Secondary Education (English). Despite the rigors of final exams the friars maintain the house schedule, which includes communal prayer and meals.  The students support each other in their studies and pray as a community that the Holy Spirit grant everyone the gifts of wisdom, knowledge, and understanding.

This year the vicariate was blessed to have two friars complete their theological studies at St Charles Borromeo Seminary. Br. James Chia, O. de M. and Br. David Spencer, O. de M. began at Overbrook several years ago in the Pre-Theology program. After many years of study, prayer, and hard work they have completed their time of academic formation. On May 20th, St Charles Borromeo Seminary held its Concourses at Saint Martin’s Chapel. Br David received his Masters of Arts in Pastoral Theology. The special emphasis of his Master’s thesis was on the Liturgy and Redemption.

Soon after their studies concluded the student fulfilled their constitutional obligation by going on a weeklong retreat. The retreat master was Fr. Eugene Costa, O. de M. Fr Eugene has been the Order Novice Master for over 30 years! He has a wealth of knowledge and a great love for the Consecrated Life. Fr Eugene gave the students several conferences on Blessed John Paul II’s contribution to the theology of consecrated life. Each evening, the friars had exposition and benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. There was much time for prayer and reflection on consecration that each of them share as Mercedarians.

Now having been renewed spiritually, the simply professed prepare themselves for a busy summer. They will be getting an opportunity to visit their families for some rest and relaxation. Then, many will head to different Mercedarian parishes and houses to give assistance and get apostolic experience. The summer apostolic experience offers the students a chance to get to know the solemnly professed friars that make up the vicariate of the United States. They, also, experience the redemptive apostolates that the Order is involved in.

Truly, as the book of Ecclesiastes says, “there is a time for everything…”  For students in formation with the Mercedarians, summer offers a time to labor, a time to pray, and a time to rest. But, all time belongs to God and is given to us as a gift. May this summer’s experiences lead those in formation to see the presence of God in all each experience, each person, and each moment!