Conscience in crisis


This year we remember the landmark decision Roe v. Wade of 1973. For 42 years, the American conscience has grappled with the rightness and wrongness of abortion.

Abortion is a human rights issue. If a human being does not have the right to be born, of what use are the other rights that follow? That’s the first problem.

The right to choose does not mean the right to terminate an innocent life. The problem with “it’s a woman’s right” is that we’re saying that a mother has the right to choose to terminate the life of her pre-born child. Should she have the right to terminate the life of a child after he or she is born?

The case of rape does not hold. The father is obviously a heinous criminal, but not the child. He’s her child as well, not just the male’s child. If a parent feels that keeping such a child would do her harm, there are adoption agencies that help with this. One does not need to kill a child to get him out of one’s life.

18week

Another problem with “a woman’s right to choose” is that it strips the man of his right to be a father. The child of a good father only has a father if the woman decides to keep the child – only then the father comes into the equation. However, we’re saying that a raped woman is carrying a “scumbag’s” child. Let’s run with that for a moment. If it’s a scumbag’s child, the child fathered by the good man also has a dad. If the rapist is a parent, so is the good man. What happened to a parent’s duty to bring his children into the world?

We can’t abdicate duties, because we have the means to eliminate the obligation. Means does not make right. We have the means to blow up our planet too.

It is true that we have a duty to protect and provide for those who have been born, regardless of age, social condition and politics. The duty to protect the voiceless is not rooted in the fact that a person has been born so now we have to provide for him.

Our duty to the voiceless is grounded in our humanity. As human beings we acknowledge that other human beings have the same rights as us. They have the right to be born and the right to succeed in life. The human response is to protect those rights from the moment of conception to natural death. Abortion is not a human response. It is a response of humans. Responses of humans are acts of which a human being is capable, but they are not acts that make us better people.

baby_womb

The bible argument does not hold. The fact that Jesus never uses the term abortion does not mean that he was indifferent to it. Abortions did exist in his time. There were many other forms of evil as well.

The Gospel writers report in concepts. Jesus condemned evil, not specific acts alone. Those specific acts that the evangelists mention in the scriptures are given to the reader as examples of evil, not the only evils in the world.

The Scriptures were written as summaries of the faith of God’s people, not as comprehensive statements. If one wants to know what God revealed to man, one must look at the oral tradition as well as the written tradition. Much of what we know about moral truths was passed down from generation to generation through oral tradition. The biblical writings are synopses. We must read beyond the scriptures to fully understand what the early Jews and Christians understood, and understand it as they understood it.

BABY M-2 (2)

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La Aventura Conjunta de Franciscanos de Vida y Respeto a la Vida de la Arquidiócesis de Miami en el Apostolado de Vida.


En nuestra primera empresa conjunta, los Franciscanos de Vida y la Oficina de Respeto a la Vida de la Arquidiócesis de Miami presentó una mañana de formación para hombres que sirven en el Proyecto José, un apostolado de alcance y formación dirigido a padres que enfrentan embarazos en crisis. El Proyecto José se dirige directamente a los padres, mas incluye a las madres y a la familia a través de sesiones individuales y familiares.

Aunque no todo Franciscano de Vida es asignado al Proyecto José, a todo hermano (seglar y consagrado) se le requiere conocer todos los aspecto del trabajo pro-vida llevado a cabo por la Sociedad.

El hermano Jay, Superior de los Franciscanos de Vida y Director del Proyecto José, Arquidiócesis de Miami, dio comienzo a la mañana con una reflexión sobre la escuela franciscana de espiritualidad cristiana. Subrayó los elementos clave de nuestra espiritualidad, que la rinden el modelo más apropiado para llevar el Evangelio de la Vida a nuestros padres en nuestras circunstancias particulares: minoría, hermandad, expiación, la Cruz, Encarnación, la Trinidad, y empatía.

El hermano Chris siguió con una meditación sobre la vida y herencia de San Maximiliano Kolbe, subrayando la contribución que San Max ofreció en toda s vida al Evangelio de la Vida a través de la Inmaculada, lo que llevaría eventualmente a su martirio voluntario para salvar a un padre y mantener a una familia unida.

El padre Alfred Cioffi, profesor de biología y bioética en la Universidad St. Thomas, miembro de la Junta de Asesores de Respeto a la Vida de la Arquidiócesis de Miami, y gran amigo de los Franciscanos de Vida, ofreció una presentación sobre asuntos de final de la vida, presentación hermosa sobre los principios que todo Católico debe de tener a la mano para poder tomar decisiones morales apropiadas al lidiar con enfermedades terminales propias o de familiares.

En conclusión, la Sra. Joan Marie Crown, Directora Ejecutiva de Respeto a la Vida de la Arquidiócesis de Miami, le habló al grupo sobre los planes futuros del ministerio. Estos incluyen la inauguración de un nuevo edificio que hospedará un Centro de Embarazo, las oficinas diocesanas de Respeto a la Vida, y la oficina del hermano Jay para el Proyecto José.

Ha sido una mañana interesante. El hermano Jay recién salía del hospital después de una pelea con la neumonía, mas trajo su concentrador de oxigeno portátil e hizo lo suyo. Luego tuvo la oportunidad de pasar un tiempo junto a algunos de los hermanos y varios jóvenes que están discerniendo la vocación de hermanos consagrados en Franciscanos de Vida.

Ha sido maravilloso ver un grupo integrado de hombres que están respondiendo a la llamada de Cristo a servirle en el padre sin voz y en su hijo prenacido, ya sea como mentores laicos, como hermanos seglares, o como hermanos consagrados. Algo quedó demostrado: estos hombres son claramente hermanos los unos con los otros y con aquellos quienes Cristo les envía.

En conclusión, queremos agradecer a Mary Tate, la directora del Centro de Ayuda de Embarazo North Dade de la Arquidiócesis de Miami, por acoger el evento esta mañana. Mary dedicó el tiempo libre de su Sábado para pasar la mañana con nosotros. Como siempre, el amor de Mary para quienes no tienen voz, para el ministerio, y para los hermanos, se transmite a través del brillo de sus ojos, de su cariño, de su sentido del humor, y de su paciencia con todos nosotros. Ella es como la mamá que los Franciscanos de Vida necesitan.

Algunas fotos para que nuestros lectores pueda saborear algo del día.

El hermano Superior necesitaba recuperar el aliento - aspirantes y hermanos le hacen compañía - esta es hermandad.

El hermano Superior necesitaba recuperar el aliento – aspirantes y hermanos le hacen compañía – esta es hermandad.

Alberto está a punto de comenzar el discernimiento

Alberto está a punto de comenzar el discernimiento

Luis funge de mentor al discernimiento de Alberto

Luis funge de mentor al discernimiento de Alberto

El discernimiento requiere de muchas rosquillas

El discernimiento requiere de muchas rosquillas

¿Sigues en discernimento? :)

¿Sigues en discernimento? 🙂

Joseph King y José también hacen un poco de discernimiento personal

Joseph King y José también hacen un poco de discernimiento personal

Raul Camarca y Mary Tate emergen de la cocina. ¿Mas discernimiento?

Raul Camarca y Mary Tate emergen de la cocina. ¿Mas discernimiento?

El hermano Chris y Raul van para allá.

El hermano Chris y Raul van para allá.

Tiempo de volver al trabajo.

Tiempo de volver al trabajo.

Pero Hermano, ¡estamos tan cansados luego de todo ese discernimiento!

Pero Hermano, ¡estamos tan cansados luego de todo ese discernimiento!

El Dr. James Dugard y la Sra. Joan Crown en una discusión profunda durante la pausa. No tenemos idea de que estuviesen discerniendo.

El Dr. James Dugard y la Sra. Joan Crown en una discusión profunda durante la pausa. No tenemos idea de que estuviesen discerniendo.

Padre Alfred Cioffi ofrece una sobresaliente presentación sobre principios morales para decisiones de final de la vida. No, Joan no se quedó dormida. Simplemente no alcanzó a las rosquillas. Los hermanos se las comieron. :O

Padre Alfred Cioffi ofrece una sobresaliente presentación sobre principios morales para decisiones de final de la vida. No, Joan no se quedó dormida. Simplemente no alcanzó a las rosquillas. Los hermanos se las comieron. :O

Para más información sobre este importante asunto, visiten:

http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/end-of-life/euthanasia/index.cfm (en español: http://goo.gl/Fc5SQV )

y

http://www.flaccb.org/CDLD/index.php
Ahí encontraran todo lo que se necesita para preparar una Declaración Católica sobre la Vida y la Muerte – Directiva Anticipada (Designación de Sustituto para Cuidado de la Salud, Testamento Viviente)

Los Franciscanos de Vida desean agradecer la Oficina del Ministerio Respeto a la Vida de la Arquidiócesis de Miami para esta oportunidad de reunirnos como hermanos y hermanas para reflexionar sobre el Evangelio de la Vida y nuestra vocación común a la santidad.

Gracias a Raul Camarca por la traducción al castellano.

Franciscans of Life and Respect Life Archdiocese of Miami Joint Adventure in the Apostolate of Life


In our first joint venture, the Franciscans of Life and the Office for Respect Life Ministry of the Archdiocese of Miami held a formation morning for men serving in Project Joseph, an outreach and formation apostolate to dads in crisis pregnancies. Project Joseph deals directly with the fathers, but includes the mothers and extended family thorugh individual and family sessions.

While every Franciscan of Life is not assigned to Project Joseph, every brother (secular and consecrated) is required to know every aspect of all pro-life work done by the Society.

Brother Jay, Superior of Franciscans of Life and Director of Project Joseph, Archdiocese of Miami, opened the morning with a reflection on the Franciscan School in Christian Spirituality. He focused the key elements of our spirituality which makes it the most appropriate delivery model for the Gospel of Life to our dads in our particular circumstances: minority, fraternity, atonement, the Cross, Incarnation, the Trinity, and empathy.

Brother Chris followed with a meditation on the life and legacy of St. Maximilian Kolbe, stressing St. Max’s lifelong contribution to the Gospel of Life through the Immaculate, which would eventually lead to his voluntary martyrdom to save a father and keep a family united.

Father Alfred Cioffi, Professor of biology and bioethics at St. Thomas University, member of the Board of Advisors of Respect Life Archdiocese of Miami, and long friend of the Franciscans of Life presented on the end of life issues. Father gave a wonderful presentation on the principles that every Catholic must have in hand in order to make appropriate moral decisions when facing terminal illness, be it one’s own or that of a loved one.

Finally, Mrs. Joan Marie Crown, Executive Director of Respect Life Archdiocese of Miami addressed the group on future plans for the ministry. These include the opening of a new facility that will house a pregnancy help center, the diocesan offices of Respect Life and Brother Jay’s office for Project Joseph.

It was an interesting morning. Brother Jay was recently released from the hospital after a bout with pneumonia. But he dragged along his oxygen concentrator and did his thing. After, Brother had the opportunity to spend time with some of the brothers and several young men who are discerning a vocation to the Franciscans of Life as consecrated brothers.

It was wonderful to see an integrated group of men who are responding to Christ’s call to serve him in the voiceless father and his preborn child either as a lay mentor, a secular brother or a consecrated brother. But one thing is clear; these men are clearly brothers to each other and to those to whom Christ sends them.

Finally, we want to thank Mary Tate, the director of the North Dade Pregnancy Help Center of the Archdiocese of Miami for hosting the morning’s event. Mary took time from her free Saturday morning to spend with us. As usual, Mary’s love for the voiceless, the ministry and the brothers comes through the twinkle in her eyes, her warmth, her sense of humor and her patience with all of us. She’s like the mom that Franciscans of Life need.

A few pictures to give our readers a TASTE of the day.

BROS WITH BR JAY 1

Brother Superior needed to catch his breadth — Aspirants and brothers keep him company — This is fraternity

Alberto is about to begin discernment

Alberto is about to begin discernment

Luis mentors Alberto's disccernment

Luis mentors Alberto’s disccernment

Discernment requires a lot of donuts

Discernment requires a lot of donuts

Are you still discerning?  :)

Are you still discerning? 🙂

Joseph King and Jose are doing a little discerning of their own.

Joseph King and Jose are doing a little discerning of their own.

Raul Camarca and Mary Tate emerge out of the kitchen.  More discernment?

Raul Camarca and Mary Tate emerge from the kitchen. More discernment?

Brother Chris and Raul are going for it now.

Brother Chris and Raul are going for it now.

Time to get back to work

Time to get back to work

But Brother, we're so tired from all that discernment.

But Brother, we’re so tired from all that discernment.

Dr. James Dugart and Mrs. Joan Crown in deep discussion during the break.  We have no idea what they were discerning.

Dr. James Dugard and Mrs. Joan Crown in deep discussion during the break. We have no idea what they were discerning.

Father Alfred Cioffi delivers an outstanding presentation on end of life moral principles.

Father Alfred Cioffi delivers an outstanding presentation on moral principles for end of life decisions. No, Joan is not asleep. She didn’t get enough donuts. The brothers ate them. 😮

For more information on this important subject visit:

http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/end-of-life/euthanasia/index.cfm

and

http://www.flaccb.org/CDLD/index.php#

You’ll find everything you need to prepare a Catholic Declaration on Life and Death – Advance Directive
(Health Surrogate Designation / Living Will)

The Franciscans of Life want to thank the Office of Respect Life Ministry of the Archdiocese of Miami for this opportunity to come together as brothers and sisters to reflect on the Gospel of Life and our common vocation to holiness.

Project Joseph Workshop


IMG_2388In mid-November, we had a workshop to train lay volunteers to work with Project Joseph.  It was the first time that the brothers delivered the talks.  Normally, I deliver all the talks.  They were outstanding.  I was very proud of their knowledge of theology, spirituality, the life issues and pastoral care.  These guys are in the early stages of formation and doing a million other things.  Remember, we get no money from anywhere.  St. Francis said that the brothers had to work for a living.  Our brothers hold jobs, support the ministry, themselves and loved ones.  They divide their time between community, work, ministry, prayer, family and friends, and more prayer.  The workshop went well.  Our next step is to place the new volunteers and have them shadow us for a few weeks until they get the hang of it.

Published in: on December 12, 2012 at 9:08 PM  Leave a Comment  

Where are the Catholic pro-life men?


As we look out at the world of men (males) who struggle with paternity, we often wonder why or what is happening in society.  We should wonder is why not?  Why are we surprised, when there is such a shortage of good Catholic men to guide their brothers?  Therefore, why should some men not be lost in the culture of death and at a complete loss as they face the daunting task of parenting?

This is not to say that those who have walked themselves into situations where they face unexpected fatherhood bare no responsibility for their actions and for their choices before or after.  It is easy to point the finger and wag our tongues at so many men who do not step up to the plate and become good Christian fathers who embody the very presence of the Fatherhood of God.  Yet, other men, who claim to have found the loving Fatherhood of God and claim to live in the Spirit of the Father, do not reach out and share the Gospel with their brothers.

It is very easy to condemn a culture of death and to sentence those facing life-threatening choices such as abortion and contraception from the comfort of our homes.   Such a person is like the judge who sits in judgment on his bench and condemns the guilty man for his delinquencies; but when his day in court is over, he retires to his quiet and serene suburban home.  On the way home, he deliberately bypasses the riotous and noisy neighborhoods where the delinquents that eventually will find their way into his courtroom are being bred and formed.  Such a judge may feel that he is doing something for society by passing judgment.  The truth of the matter is that while he has time that is not on the bench, he does nothing for the community that passes through his courts on a daily basis.  In other words, he does nothing to put himself out of a job.

The same is true about Catholic men who sit in judgment of their brothers who are considering abortion or even worse, who have participated in an abortion by providing the dastardly service, taking the life of an unborn child or pushing the mothers of the children whom they conceived to submit to such a horrid crime.  We go to pregnancy centers, prolife workshops, provide education to men who are struggling with the challenges of poverty, addictions, violence, displacement and a lack of sexual integrity.  It is a challenge to bring these men into the centers, the churches, and the community of believers.  Evangelization and service to them can seem an insurmountable task, because there are not enough workers in the vineyard.  In other words, there is a critical shortage of Catholic men who serve their brothers and evangelize them.

The prolife movement has become feminized, as if abortion, euthanasia, the destruction of human embryos, the unscrupulous use of the death penalty and the killing of infants who were not killed by abortifacients were a women’s issue.  Middle-age women and teens are at the forefront of the prolife movement, especially among Catholics.  Catholic men attend workshops and lectures and then go home.  However, one third of the people affected by crimes against human life, ultimately against God, are men.  Another third are women and the last third are the unborn children.

We need to challenge men to step up to the plate and be good fathers.  We need to evangelize young men instead of handing them condoms.  It is our duty to bring all men back to Jesus.  However, we need men to evangelize their brothers.  These can be married men or single.  They can be secular or consecrated religious.  Teams of consecrated celibate men and married men are the ideal missionary team.  Together, we can present the big picture of what men can be.

If you’re male and are reading this, ask yourself if God is calling you to serve your brothers in the prolife ministry by walking the journey with them.  Don’t worry about not having anything to contribute or not knowing what to do.  Those of us who are in the ministry will walk with you and together we can walk with our brothers.  Just bring the gift of your masculinity before the Lord and put it at the service of your brothers.

Where are the prolife men?

For more information contact Brother Jay here .

Published in: on November 19, 2010 at 9:17 AM  Comments (1)