Fortnight For Freedom: Freedom to Bear Witness

The theme for this year’s Fortnight for Freedom is “Freedom to bear witness.” Explaining this concept, Archbishop Lori, chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ committee on religious freedom, said, “Keeping the spirit of the Gospel means that Catholic institutions are to bear witness in love to the full truth about the human person by providing social, charitable, and educational services in a manner that fully reflects the God-given dignity of the human person."

As we observe this Fortnight with its theme of bearing witness, words of well-known writer George Weigel about our Congregation are a great encouragement to us Little Sisters: 

The Sisters and all who collaborate with them to serve the elderly are helping to teach our culture a critical lesson at a moment of great crisis.

Pope Francis often talks about the problem of a throw-away culture. What is being thrown away is not just stuff, but people. Think back to 2003 in France. It was a brutally hot summer, yet thousands of French vacationers remained on holiday rather than returning home to bury their parents who had died in the heat wave, leaving them in refrigeration for sometimes 2, 3 or 4 weeks. This is the throw-away culture.

This is the opposite of what happens at the Little Sisters’ homes. What goes on in these places is in sharp contrast to what goes on today, where the sick and the elderly are NOT cared for. In place of this coldness, the Little Sisters of the Poor radiate warmth, caring and love. The Little Sisters of the Poor and their guests — friends — are living reminders that there are no disposable human beings, that everyone is a someone for whom the Son of God entered the world, suffered, died and rose so that we might know both the truth of our humanity and the face of the merciful Father.

The Sisters remind us that whatever else the grace of God has enabled us to do in our lives, we are finally going to be judged on what we did to the least of the Lord’s brethren. Those questions will be put to us (Matthew); the Little Sisters of the Poor are living witnesses that the pro-life movement in the United States is first and foremost about service to those in need. The Little Sisters of the Poor, like crisis pregnancy centers, make it perfectly clear that we care about life along its entire spectrum, and anyone who says we Catholics only care about life before it is born has never been to St Joseph’s Home (Weigel was speaking at a fundraising event for St. Joseph's Home in Palatine, Illinois).

Please join us in praying for religious liberty, especially during these days leading up to Independence Day, July 4!

 

Ann's Message to the World

Ann Hammond, better known as a Woman of Faith, has graced this world with her presence for the past 94 years. Facing an unknown illness now and embracing God's will for the remainder of her life, Ann has a special message that she wishes to share with everyone:

"I want you to come to Jesus and help other people to come to Jesus by your example since He is the only way for us to really live."

As a symbol of Ann's special message she and Activity Director/Minister Brenda Hooker have planted flowers as a means to honor God continually. Praising and thanking Him for the beauty of Ann's life. Please pray for Ann and know that you will always have the support of her ongoing prayers.

 

Ann Hammond is a Resident of our home in Henrico, Virginia.

 

 

 

Happy Mother's Day, Barbara Green!

This Mother’s Day I am thinking about a heroic mother and grandmother I met this week. Ten of us Little Sisters were invited to attend the 20th annual Becket Fund Canterbury Medal Dinner in Manhattan, NY, Thursday evening (May 7). This year’s honoree was Barbara Green, founder of Hobby Lobby, the family-run business that won their case over the HHS Contraceptive Mandate in the Supreme Court last year.

In her acceptance speech Mrs. Green highlighted the involvement of her family in the business and the decision to sue the federal government:

“I do want to quality something: This decision was a family decision. This included all of Generation 1, and Generation 2 and the adults of Generation 3 — or about 20 family members. And 12 of them are here tonight, so I’m glad to have them here. We are united! I am accepting this great honor with them.

To do something because it is the right thing to do — does not make it easy. But when you have Him in your life, you can do a lot more than you think you can.

It’s only human nature to see if there is a less dramatic way to solve the problem.

We tried to discuss our options. There were just no options on the table. We couldn’t take life. We ALL believe that life begins at conception….

The Becket Fund started our process, carried us through the process, and brought our process to a glorious victory! …

I and my family thank you for this Medal, a Medal of honor for God’s faithfulness in our defending religious liberties.

I’d like to read a quote by C.H. Welch (adapted for our family):

The Lord may not definitely have planned that this should overtake me (our family) but He has most certainly permitted it. Therefore, though it were an attack of an enemy, by the time it reached me (our family), it had the Lord’s permission and therefore all is well. He will make it work together with all life’s experiences for good.

This experience has given our family so much more to be thankful for. We have seen God’s hand at work in the midst of our struggles. We have felt love, prayers and support that we would never have felt.”

To view Barbara Green's acceptance speech CLICK HERE.

 

 

 

 

P.S. Many people ask us about our HHS case. We are still awaiting the decision of the Tenth Circuit Court on our case. Please keep up the prayers!

 

 

Youth Pilgrimage Visits Jeanne Jugan Residence in D.C.


Last Saturday morning our Little Sisters in Washington, D.C. received a visit from over 200 young people … all at once! The children, teens and their chaperones represented the Brookewood and Avalon Schools, two independent Catholic schools (one all girls and the other all boys) in suburban Washington.

Each year the two schools make a joint pilgrimage to local churches, and this year it was decided that the event would be in honor of the Year of Consecrated Life. The Little Sisters had encountered one of Brookewood’s directors at an archdiocesan event last December and encouraged him to consider including the home in their 2015 pilgrimage route…. Then they forgot all about this encounter … until two weeks ago when the collecting Sisters met this gentleman again at a church collection.

The group arrived right on schedule, walking over from the National Shrine of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception at 9:50. Several high school girls carried a statue of the Virgin Mary entitled Our Lady of Purity, as kids of all ages ran, skipped and marched around them, stopping at the statue of Saint Jeanne Jugan facing the home.

Prayer cards and bookmarks with the prayer for the Year of Consecrated Life were quickly distributed, then everyone recited the prayer and a Hail Mary together. A whole group of kids and chaperones, including a young woman originally from Colombia, then gathered around Sr. Marie Mathilde de la Croix, amazed at her age (102!) and ability to speak three languages. As usual she charmed everyone, especially when she gave several of them her blessing.

Just as quickly as they had arrived, the group set off down the driveway for their next stop in what was to be a 10-stop, 20-mile day. At each stop they would be praying for consecrated life. Thanks, kids!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good News for the Gospel of Life!

The media is not often the bearer of good news for those committed to the Gospel of Life, but we got some earlier this week! A new Marist poll reveals that physician-assisted suicide does not have as much support across the United States as some advocates would have us think. As you thank God read this report from LifeNews.com:

As assisted suicide failed to pass in state legislatures across the country this year, a new Marist Poll sponsored by the Knights of Columbus found that a majority of Americans do not support assisted suicide and that strong majorities harbor deep concerns over such proposals.

Assisted suicide proposals have stalled since the start of the year in a number of states, including Connecticut, Maryland, Colorado and Nevada.

More than 6 in 10 Americans (61 percent) do not support a doctor prescribing or administering a lethal drug dose, saying that a doctor should instead only manage an illness or remove life support.

Additionally, 57% of Americans say they are less likely to trust a doctor who engages in assisted suicide.

Strong majorities of Americans also have deep concerns about assisted suicide, including:

  • 67% concerned that fewer life-saving options will be given at end of life.
  • 65% concerned that the elderly will be at risk in nursing homes.
  • 64% concerned that the depressed will be more likely to take their lives.
  • 59% concerned about a wrong diagnosis.
  • 55% concerned that the doctor could misjudge a patient’s state of mind.
  • 55% concerned that it will become a cost-saving measure for health care decisions.
  • 54% concerned that patients will be pressured to take their life so as not to be a burden.

 

CLICK HERE to read more.

 

 

 

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