Note

NOTE: Commentary is made as a private citizen and not as Regional Coordinator for Silent No More or Leader of Rachel's Hope, unless otherwise stated.

Friday, December 16, 2016

The Light of Love




 I’m having a tough time with the holidays this year.  In February, my dad joined my mother who entered Heaven in 2014.  There is such a large void in my life now and some days the grief is almost unbearable.
 
Having my parents as long as I did, along with them living with me for their final years, was a blessing, but a curse as well.  I was able to spend quality time with them and create lasting memories…but oh, how I long to hear their voices in the kitchen, their walkers coming down the hallway or them saying the Lord’s Prayer together each night.   
 
I miss both of them desperately, but remembering a story I heard a while back brings me a little peace:

One night a father asked his young son to retrieve water from the well that was at the far end of their property.  It was dark, and the son was frightened.  The father told the boy to hold the bucket in one hand and a lantern in the other and continue walking until he reaches the end of the light.  The son did as instructed, and before he knew it, he reached the well safely because the light never ended.  He filled the bucket, turned around and returned home, no longer afraid. 

We are all faced with darkness in our lives, but as long as we hold on to God, through faith, we will never reach the end of His loving light ... a light that shines over us with not only His love but of those we lost as well.





Monday, November 7, 2016

NINETEEN REASONS I’M GRATEFUL FOR SOBRIETY



November 8, 1997, could be considered the darkest day of my 63 years on this planet because it was the day I hit the proverbial alcoholic bottom.  I would much rather see it as the day a small flame broke through the darkness - exposing the light of life, one day at a time.

To celebrate 19 years of being sober, here are 19 reasons I’m grateful:   

1.  I no longer call people at 2 a.m. pontificating about the affairs of the world.
2.  I can stand upright without leaning against a wall or another person.
3.  I bowl better.
4.  With coffee, I am now wide awake and functional instead of being wide awake and drunk.
5.  My language doesn’t emulate a drunken sailor.
6.  I don’t have to worry about who I might have offended the night before. 
7.  I wake up in the morning without feeling as if my mouth is stuffed with cotton.
8.  I’m satisfied with who I am.  (I embellished my life back in the day – i.e., dating a pro football player, my parents were millionaires and I just worked out of boredom, I tutored movie stars, etc., etc., etc.)
9.  I no longer have to make a fool out of myself by thinking I can dance.  I’m surprised my fancy moves weren't mistaken for seizures.
10. I don’t go to work and spend most of the day in a bathroom stall, dozing. 
11. My glasses actually help me see.
12. After a night out, I come home with everything on (coat, shoes, jewelry, etc.).
13. I no longer talk as if my ears were plugged.
14. I no longer get reminded of what I had for dinner when it comes up later.
15. I can shoot a game of pool without hitting someone with the cue stick.
16. People actually let me play darts.
17. I no longer need to sleep on the bathroom floor “just in case”.
18. I no longer mistake Bengay for Colgate toothpaste!
19. Last, but not least, I never have to suffer the consequences of being drunk and on Facebook at the same time.


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

First Responders for Life

November is the month the  Shockwaves of Abortion initiative addresses pro-life workers. 

 

Kevin Burke is the co-founder of Rachel's Vineyard and a pastoral associate with Priests for Life and the Silent No More Awareness Campaign.  In one of his blogs on the Silent No More website he said, “When we hear of vicarious trauma, we often think of first responders; the brave men and women who serve as firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and police officers.”  He goes on to say, “There is another Population of First Responders.  These women and men are frequently marginalized, cursed, and ridiculed as they try and protect the innocent and advocate for their lives.  They are ignored or maligned by the media, society and sadly sometimes even by their own faith communities; they are the pro-life advocates on the front lines.” 

Being on the front-lines myself, I can attest to the ridicule as well as intimidation.  I can also attest to delayed emotion after a vigil or rally.   



I cannot count the times I've been sworn at, flipped off and accused of trying to humiliate and bully young women as they approach clinics.  My response is always the same, I smile and wave at the passing cars, and if confronted one-on-one by someone with a calm demeanor, I quietly listen to what he/she has to say.  Then I look him/her straight in the eye and calmly ask if they would be willing to listen to me or at least take an informational brochure.  Most walk away immediately, or they will listen until something I say probably hits close to home, then say something like, “that’s not true,” then storm off.  There are times I've been approached with so much hate and anger I know it would be fruitless to even engage in dialogue.  Those times I just smile and walk away.  Paid pro-choicers greeted us at the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. with bloodied crotches and loud, disgusting chants in an attempt to drown out our Silent No More testimonies (to no avail).
 
Of course, there is also the intimidation factor.  Planned Parenthood contracts out security services and when we pro-lifers gather, our pictures are taken and the security guards constantly talk on their radios while eying us.  Some call me by name, even though I’ve never seen them before.  I try my best to develop a positive rapport with them and offer brochures, etc., but they are ordered not to take anything from us whatsoever.   


Now I’ll address delayed emotion.  As a Regional Coordinator for Silent No More, I share my abortion experience at a variety of venues, including vigils and rallies in front of clinics.  Recalling the most horrific decision and experience in my life is like ripping a bandage off, still attached to the scab.   By the time I am safely ensconced in the security of my home, the cruelness of the ridicule and intimidation added to the pain of recall pours out in a flood of tears.  It’s then I immerse myself in prayer and meditation and focus on the lives we may have touched and the faces of all those standing beside me on the front lines.  People like me who offer nothing but love, compassion and hope to the women considering abortion as well as already victimized.  I remember the many “thumbs up” and honks from other cars driving by and most importantly the days we see young women decide not to enter death’s door.  

Will it all get too overwhelming?  Will I eventually give up?  Absolutely not.  No amount of cruelty or intimidation will stop me from speaking the truth.  No amount of cruelty or intimidation will stop me from doing all I can to save a precious child from the grips of death.  No amount of cruelty or intimidation will stop me from preventing others from experiencing the physical, spiritual and emotional devastation abortion brings to all involved.  And no matter how many tears I shed when I get home from the "front",  I wipe them away with the healing love, mercy, and forgiveness received from God and my children and with the love and support from the other “first responders.” 


Monday, October 10, 2016

Exposing Hillary #3: HILLARY: Another Deadly Endorsement




NARAL Pro-Choice America – an organization that supports letting infants born of botched abortions die unattended by doctors and opposed the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act.  The organization that criticized Doritos for a Super Bowl commercial  showing a baby via ultrasound, claiming the ad was anti-choice and humanizing fetuses.  The organization from which Hillary Clinton proudly accepted an endorsement. 

Ilyse Hogue, President of NARAL, spoke at the Democratic National Convention claiming Clinton understands, “woman’s rights are human rights.”   Really?  Perhaps they both refuse to acknowledge a little known fact:  
The FOUNDER of NARAL, Dr. Bernard Nathanson, turned against the organization he founded after the advent of the ultrasound.  After viewing an abortion on ultrasound and witnessing an innocent child RECOIL from the vacuum, he realized a child in the womb is just as human as one born.

One would think anyone with an ounce of love and compassion towards the human race and respect for human rights would decline a NARAL endorsement faster than hitting the delete button on an e-mail account.   


 

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Exposing Hillary #2: HILLARY - CHAMPION OF NONE

 
Hillary accepts political contributions, or should I say, blood money from Planned Parenthood and due to her staunch support of abortion rights, was awarded the Margaret Sanger award.  Margaret Sanger is the diabolical founder of Planned Parenthood.  One who said, “The most merciful thing that the large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it,” and on blacks, immigrants and indigents: "...human weeds,' 'reckless breeders,' 'spawning... human beings who never should have been born."  


Hillary claims to support children, women, immigrants and minorities.  In fact, she claims to be their champion.  Since when do champions promote killing? Planned Parenthood destroys children (of which half are future women) each and every day and locates the majority of their abortion clinics in poor, minority neighborhoods.  She not only supports abortion but abortion up until the ninth month.  Yes, ninth month.  An actual quote:  "I think that the kind of late-term abortions that take place are because of medical necessity … therefore, I would hate to see the government interfering with that decision." 


Medical necessity?   Come on, Hillary, do your homework.  Read the study performed by the Guttmacher Institute. Most women seeking later abortion fit at least one of five profiles: They were raising children alone, were depressed or using illicit substances, were in conflict with a male partner or experiencing domestic violence, had trouble deciding and then had access problems, or were young and nulliparous.”   Sadly, she’d probably read the study, deposit her blood money and smugly repeat one of her most famous quotes, “What difference does it make?”





Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Exposing Hillary #1: Hillary - What Are You Saying?????





The following are quotes from Hillary Clinton:


“I want to make sure that every child has a chance to live up to their God given potential..”


“I spent my life fighting for children and I’m not stopping now.”


“We intend to be sure that everybody in this room and every child in this state is somebody.”


“All of us have to recognize that we owe our children more than we have been giving them.”


"Nothing is more important to our shared future than the well-being of children.  For children are at our core - not only as vulnerable beings in need of love and care but as a moral touchstone amidst the complexity and contentiousness of modern life..."


One has to wonder how she can utter those words with a straight face.  Here is a woman who is one of the biggest supporters of Planned Parenthood, the country's largest provider of abortions and supplier of baby parts.  This woman also supports abortion up until the ninth month! 

Take a look at the following pictures, Hillary. 



Are you saying that precious baby in your daughter's womb is not your grandchild and is not a “somebody” that deserves the chance to live up to its God given potential?  Have you forgotten what is in our Declaration of Independence?  "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."











Are you saying your grandchild is not a human being until it's born?  Are you saying that this child is not vulnerable and in need of love and care? 


Are you saying that you have no problem
with your daughter laying on an abortionist's table and having your beautiful grandchild ripped from her womb piece by piece and sold for parts?







IF YOU CAN'T PROTECT THE MOST VULNERABLE IN OUR SOCIETY,

HOW CAN YOU PROTECT OUR COUNTRY?































Thursday, September 29, 2016

No Apologies


I wrote an article for Catholic 365; an open letter to Tim Kaine, Vice-Presidential candidate, who professes to be a devout Catholic yet supports the Democratic platform that promotes ideals contrary to the Catholic faith.  (Read the article here.)   Sadly, Mr. Kaine is not the only Catholic politician who publicly goes against the Church’s teachings.  I probably should have spoken out sooner, but sometimes fear (brought on by Satan) gets in the way.  


Yes, my friends, there are times when I bite my tongue out of fear …  fear of being misunderstood and fear of being maligned.  It was only after careful and prayerful consideration I decided to move forward with the commentary.  Alas, my fears came to pass.  Although some of the comments (on the Catholic 365 website and associated Facebook page ) were positive, there were a few negative ones (with grammar/spelling corrected) that tugged at my heart:

 “Move over God; Patti's in charge now. She'll be making all the decisions and judgments on everyone's behavior from now on, and will be doing your job for you. She apparently knows better than you do.” 

 “In this year of mercy and compassion, it seems unusual to find someone still focusing on condemnation and judgment of others.”

“Judge much? You may have your opinion yes. However, God is the final judge. Claiming he's not devout enough is not your role or anyone's. It's God's. Signed a Catholic.”

“Why doesn't Patti whatever her name is just make a move to have Mr. Kaine excommunicated? That'll show him whose boss and is making all the decisions.”

My response to those comments and those still coming in:

I will not apologize, nor do I regret speaking my mind.  I am a proud Catholic and will do everything in my power to defend the teachings of the Church, especially when it comes to the sanctity of life and traditional family values

In this Year of Mercy, I pray for those who have fallen away, but sometimes prayer is not enough.  We are taught in Galations 6:1:  Brothers, even if a person is caught in some transgression, you who are spiritual should correct that one in a gentle spirit, looking to yourself so that you also may not be tempted.  “Luke 17:3 reminds us, “Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him...”

I am not judging … far from it.  I too am a sinner.  If it weren’t for the teachings of the Church and for others helping me see the error of my ways, I would be plunged back into a dark abyss and never return.  I do not want that to happen to me or anyone.

 "My brothers, if anyone among you should stray from the truth and someone bring him back, 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. "
James 5:19-20





Wednesday, September 21, 2016

An Open Letter to New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan



It was brought to my attention the Archdiocese of New York's annual Al Smith Dinner will once again be a speaking platform for both presidential candidates. I understand this is an important event to raise money for the poor and that the original intent of inviting both candidates was to bring about a positive rapport between both parties and the Catholic Church. 

We all know now that didn’t work when Mr. Obama was invited and appeared.  He has done nothing but continually degrade the teachings of the Catholic Church by promoting abortion along with several other issues contrary to our beliefs (i.e. same-sex marriage).  His programs and policies find no place for religious freedom, in fact, takes away that freedom altogether. 

This year you will be welcoming Hillary Clinton who has vehemently promoted Planned Parenthood, late-term abortions, tax-payer funded abortions and was quoted as it pertains to abortion, “…and deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed.”

Inviting a pariah such as Mrs. Clinton would create more misinformation in mainstream media and much confusion to Catholics. By doing so, you are also undermining every effort our church is making in evangelizing and bringing people “home” and most egregiously, contradicting our beliefs with images of you in the media smiling alongside Mrs. Clinton during the event.

You, above all, should know what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says regarding abortion:


2271 Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion.
This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end, or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law:


You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish.
God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes.

Inviting Mrs. Clinton to the dais of this dinner may not be an acceptance of her politics, but the appearance of acceptance, which is just as destructive.

Your Eminence, Catholics throughout the country look up to the Church’s leaders for guidance, encouragement and education of how to follow the Church’s teachings. One would think that since you are the head of Pro-Life at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops you would rather make a statement regarding the sanctity of life rather than create a scandal within the Church. With that in mind, I humbly ask you prayerfully reconsider your invitation to Mrs. Clinton, in fact, your invitation to Mr. Trump as well.  Make this about the Church, the poor, the unborn and not politics. 


For the sake of the Church and the Unborn 



Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Media/Political Bias – Me thinks thou dost protest too much!





I had a conversation this morning with a friend of mine, Leslie Davis-Blackwell, about how views of the sanctity of life are biased towards the left by the mainstream media and politicians.  We brainstormed the possible source of this unfortunate diversion from love and compassion and realized it comes from the one in three who carry darkness in their souls. 



One in three in this country has experienced abortion.  I’m not speaking of just women, but men as well.  That statistic applies not just to average citizens, but also journalists, newscasters, and politicians.  No wonder our country is mired in the culture of death.


I cannot honestly say all in the public eye are living in denial but remember …  one in three.  They keep their deep, dark and shameful secret buried.  Instead of being truthful with themselves and accepting the fact they took the life of a precious child, they do all they can to validate their choice by vigorously promoting the pro-choice ideology and categorizing those of us who speak the truth as judgmental pro-life fanatics.


I am not judgmental nor a fanatic.  I used to be pro-choice but grew too exhausted continually suppressing the feelings of guilt and remorse over my abortions.  One can only live a lie for so long before it takes an emotional and physical toll.  Spewing the pro-choice rhetoric slowly soured in my mouth, and I eventually found there were not enough words, bottles of bourbon, drugs or men that could keep the pain at bay.   


It’s no wonder mainstream media and politicians are so vehemently biased.  They are living in the shadows of secrets and lies, afraid to face the light of truth.




Clouds cannot cover secret places, nor denials conceal truth. 
~Demosthenes







 






Monday, September 12, 2016

A Basket of Deplorables?








Well, it’s time to get on the soapbox again.  I was going to let Hillary’s latest "deplorable" statement go, but I could not in good conscience do that.










I happen to be one of those in that basket and very proud to be in such good company.  This is what it takes to be in the deplorable basket – not in any specific order:


  1. Value life at all stages, from womb to natural death.
  2. Stand up for traditional values.
  3. Be proud of our faith and not afraid or ashamed to share it.
  4. Put the security of our nation and its citizens first by:
    A.  Heartily welcoming legal immigrants, once they are adequately vetted.
    B.  Heartily welcoming refugees, once they are adequately vetted.
    C.  Protect our borders from illegal immigration.
  5. Help those in need by giving them a hand up, rather than a hand-out.
  6. Protect the integrity of the voting process by requiring identification.
  7. Respect our veterans and provide them quality health care and other assistance.
  8. Respect our country’s law enforcement and expect officers who use undue force be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
  9. Not use what happened many years ago as an excuse for current behavior.
  10. Respect our country’s laws, and if violated, expect to be prosecuted.
  11. Respect everyone’s right to their own opinions and not demean those who do not agree with us by name calling (i.e., racist, homophobic, etc.)
  12. Demand those in or running for office to follow all the laws applying to every citizen and assure they be prosecuted if said laws are broken.
  13. Be an advocate for unity, rather than one that advocates division of classes, race, culture, etc.
  14. Support religious freedom at all costs.
  15. Accept responsibility for our own actions.
  16. Respect our country, our flag and our national anthem. 
  17. Defend our right to bear arms.
  18. Treat everyone with respect, even if we don’t agree with their beliefs, lifestyles, etc.
     
Thanks to Hillary, the definition of basket
case has a new meaning - and I'm proud to be one!


National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children - 9/10/16



On September 10, 2016, Rachel's Hope - Escondido/San Diego, San Diego Silent No More and North County 40 Days for Life, co-sponsored the fourth annual National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children.  It was held at St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church in Carlsbad, CA, and officiated by Father Michael Robinson who gave a touching homily and led us all in song. Joanne Strantz did a wonderful job as emcee and Rosemary Benefield and Tony DePaola provided valuable insights and information in our fight for life.

As with planning any event, there were "bumps in the road" (video camera and computer malfunctions), but God answered our prayers and the ceremony went forward beautifully. 
It was an honor to give testimony and wanted to share my words with you....
We are gathered here to mourn the innocent children lost to abortion and to raise our voices to heaven assuring them they will never be forgotten and proclaiming their precious lives matter. 

It’s also an opportunity for me to share the truth of what abortion does.  You see, two of the innocent children we mourn today are Matthew Thomas and Sarah Catherine - my precious son and daughter. 

We all are aware abortion takes the life of a child, but did you know there are life-long consequences for the mother and those around her?

I didn’t.  It took many years for me to understand that “To choose is to lose”.  Through choice, my children lost their life.   Through choice, I lost the chance to be a biological mother because I had a tubal ligation at the age of thirty.  I was punishing myself for the abortions … I didn’t deserve to be a mother.  I eventually adopted, but through choice, my adopted son lost the opportunity to have a brother and sister, my parents lost two grandchildren, my sister a niece and nephew, two men lost fatherhood and my husband two more step-children he would have loved as much as he loves my living son. 

My choice resulted other consequences as well.  I tried to ignore the loss through obsessive behavior, negative attention seeking and substance abuse which grew over time, culminating into self-loathing, a loss of self-worth and depression – which eventually led to my becoming suicidal and being committed to a psychiatric facility.

Sadly, my experience is more of the rule than the exception and does not limit itself to mothers but to all involved in the choice to abort.  Whether the choice was made out of fear, embarrassment or intimidation, the loss is there … sometimes not surfacing for months, years or decades later but always brewing in the dark recesses of the soul.  

Spiritually-speaking, I and countless others hid from God and some still do, convinced we committed,  “the unforgivable sin,”  believing He could never love, let alone forgive someone who had or encouraged an abortion. The shame and remorse is immeasurable.

Statistics show that approximately one-third of American women have had at least one abortion by age 45.  Yes, my friends, one-third. Other studies have shown about 1 in 10 of these women continue to attend church and many of them, as well as those complicit in the abortion decision, are still suffering in silence. They are our neighbors, co-workers, friends and fellow parishioners.

Which brings me to another reason I’m here…..to assure those suffering in silence all is not lost.  We have a merciful God who loves all of His children. Nothing, absolutely nothing is unforgivable in God’s eyes if we go to Him with humble and repentant hearts. I pray their wounded souls can embrace His mercy and forgiveness and reach out for healing thus receive what has been missing for quite some time …. Peace and Hope.

At this time, I ask you to stand and pray with me the Prayer for the Unborn:




Although our video camera malfunctioned, we were blessed to have a volunteer who recorded the majority of the service via cell phone.