The Power of Prayer: “Pray More Novenas” and John-Paul and Annie Deddens

07/22/2015 Comments (5)

In 2011, I joined a few thousand or so other people and signed up for a newish service that, I thought, might be handy.

The idea behind it was to get email reminders for novenas as you prayed them in a virtual community. It was pretty straightforward.

In the four years since, Pray More Novenas, run by husband-and-wife team John-Paul and Annie Deddens, has turned into one of the best prayer efforts I make. It also serves almost 200,000 people around the world.

Asked how this effort started, John-Paul Deddens shares:

“My wife and I had recently started dating and she asked me to pray the Immaculate Conception novena with her. Several of her friends at the Newman Center were planning to...READ MORE

Filed under john-paul deddens, novenas, prayer, technology

Great News for Los Angeles (and Prayers for Uncle Joe)

07/21/2015 Comments (29)

By Nserrano (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The Pope has appointed three new auxiliary bishops to serve in the massive archdiocese of Los Angeles. One is Fr. Robert Barron, the wildly popular author, speaker, and founder of Word on Fire ministries. I'm not familiar with the second pick, Msgr. David O’Connell, but I do know the third, Msgr. Joseph Brennan -- "Uncle Joe" to us. He's my husband's uncle, and we are thrilled for Los Angeles.

Fr. Barron will move to LA from Chicago, but O'Connell and Brennan are both already based in Los Angeles, and are both known for their deep attachment to the communities they serve. Brennan declined to move to the cathedral apartments when he was appointed vicar-general, and instead continued...READ MORE

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A Perfect Trifecta, Made in Hell

07/21/2015 Comments (15)
YouTube/Center for Medical Progress

Dr. Deborah Nucatola, senior director of Medical Services at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, discusses harvesting of fetal organs and tissues in an undercover video posted July 14 on YouTube.

– YouTube/Center for Medical Progress

[Update: Check out these columns by two of the best and most courageous writers on this issue:

"Crush Planned Parenthood" by USA Today columnist Kirsten Powers, and "deas for Reporters Struggling to Cover Planned Parenthood," by the Federalist's Mollie Hemingway.

With GOP on Capitol Hill poised to launch a fresh investigation into Planned Parenthood's role in the trafficking of fetal organs, Heminway suggets some useful questions,and here are a few:

How much money does Planned Parenthood receive via sales of baby organs? Do they keep records? Are those records trustworthy?

How far along in a pregnancy must a woman be for her child’s organs to be considered worthwhile for procurement,...READ MORE

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Video: Planned Parenthood Exec Talks Compensation for Aborted Baby Parts

07/21/2015 Comments (5)

A new undercover video shows a Planned Parenthood medical director discussing with an undercover investigator (posing as a representative of a fetal tissue procurement company) about the appropriate compensation her facility should expect for procuring tissue from aborted infants.

The edited eight minute video primarily features Dr. Mary Gatter, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Medical Director’s Council. It is the second video in a series of undercover videos taken by the Center for Medical Progress, which posed as Biomax Procurement Services. The National Catholic Register has already reported on the first video: Is Planned Parenthood’s Fetal-Parts Trade Legal?


Filed under center for medical progress, fetal tissue, planned parenthood, selling tissue

How Can You Improve Your Devotion?

07/21/2015 Comments (4)

How can you improve your devotion? What should you do about distractions?

Counsels for Meditation, from Finding God through Meditation, by St. Peter of Alcantara

The Third Counsel—Avoid Contrived Devotion

In the preceding counsel, we declared how the understanding is to be moderated and subjected to the will; now we will prefix some limits to the will, out of which she cannot deviate without fault. That, therefore, she be not too immoderate in her exercise, we must know that devotion is never to be secured by sheer force as some do think, who with contrived sorrow do wring out tears and commiseration while they consider the torments of Jesus Christ; for this does rather dry the heart...READ MORE

Filed under meditation, navigating the interior life, peter of alcantara, prayer, saint peter of alcantara, st. peter of alcantara

An Open Letter to Planned Parenthood

07/20/2015 Comments (19)

By David Goehring from San Francisco, CA, USA (Footsies) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Dear Planned Parenthood,

We don't care about your labels.

After the surfacing of an undercover video showing a director of yours discussing fetal body parts over lunch, you've mutated it into a debate about labels. In your official statement in response to the undercover video, you apologize for a lack of "compassion."  But, your word choice is telling.

You say they aren't "body parts," just "tissue." And, you aren't "selling" the tissue, just "donating" it. You claim you are simply collecting "actual costs," not incurring a "financial benefit" from the transactions.

Why all this meticulousness over labels?

This is due to the fact that the whole legality of your actions in the video...READ MORE

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“In a Fallen World, One Voice Is Not Heard”

A Message from Courage International's Fr. Paul Check

07/20/2015 Comments (12)

In today's popular culture, homosexuality and sexual promiscuity are front and center: The Supreme Court's decision last month in Obergefell v. Hodges legalized same-sex marriage in all fifty states. The Boy Scouts have now accepted gay troop leaders. Parades of rainbow flags march along city streets, and Hollywood stars celebrate “coming out” as a brave expression of one's true self.

But one voice is not heard amidst the cacophony of voices in support of same-sex marriage and homosexual “rights.” That voice, says Fr. Paul Check, is the voice of the man or woman with same-sex attraction who trusts that what the Catholic Church teaches is true and leads to fulfillment. Father Check,...READ MORE

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We Must Obey God Rather Than Men

The family has become the terrestrial arena over which a huge supernatural battle of good vs. evil is being fought.

07/20/2015 Comments (21)

"St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher". Artist unknown.

Bishop Michael Jarrell of Lafayette must be commended for his intuitive grasp of the seriousness of the Obergefell ruling, and its implications for Catholics, to say nothing of his clarity in communicating this to his flock. He said in a recent statement:

Let me state very plainly that no human court has the authority to change what God has written into the law of creation. This ruling is irreconcilable with the nature and definition of marriage as established by Divine Law. The marital covenant was established by God with its proper nature and laws.

I realize that this ruling will create conscience problems for many Catholics, especially those in public office. In some cases, civil...READ MORE

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