Reflecting on 21 Centuries of Faith

Tag Archives: Prolife

How do We Define: Magnanimity

Sometimes, the words we use cannot adequetely express what we are really trying to say. They lack the word-picture quality. Take for instance the virtue: Magnanimity. Now, we could correctly define it using Fr. Hardon’s online Modern Catholic Dictionary as:

Greatness of soul. It looks especially to honor and seeks to perform noble deeds. Its object is to perform actions that faith tells a person are great in the eyes of God, no matter what people may think of one’s conduct. (Etym. Latin magnus, great + animus, mind: magnanimitas.)

It just feels sterile to me. So, maybe this a better way to define it..check it out:

My Perspective on the March for LIfe

2014 MFLThis is year was the 40th March for Life and probably the coldest one that I have attended in over 20 years. A great deal about the march has changed over the past 20 plus years. The number of screaming pro-abortion protestors are now negligible, better marcher attendance, an ecumenical approach, events and activities leading up to the march, etc.

From my perspective, the greatest positive is that the March for Life and all the activities associated with it are more Pro-Life than ever. The Diocese of Arlington (my diocese) and the Archdiocese of Washington have purposefully and consistently designed and provided well-rounded activities and experiences that illuminate Catholic teaching about what it means to be Pro-Life.«Continue Reading»

Time to be Counted…

Test of Fire: Election 2012

Let God Arise, Let His enemies be Scattered…(Ps. 68)

This morning before the sun rose I dropped my son off at Church to catch a bus to Washington, DC. He is participating today in the annual March for Life. Unfortunately, due to all the time I took off prior to ordination, I cannot join him today. It is a humbling moment when you realize that your children have weighed the arguments and are flabbergasted at the realization that the most defenseless in our society are being murdered many times out of convenience.

Don’t get me wrong, I do understand that some women are coerced or out of overwhelming fear choose to take the life of their unborn child(ren). But coercing an average of 3,700 a day in the United States? Hmmmm, sounds suspect. And, to the men who do the coercing or force the issue out of embarrassment or lack of responsibility, please realize that you have stepped further than even Adam in his betrayal of the human race through Original Sin.

The fact remains that what is suppose to be the safest place in the world – the womb – has overwhelmingly become a tomb. Related to this is euthanasia. When our elders become a burden to us or we only value pleasure and do not understand the purpose of suffering, we now “assist” them on their way to the tomb. Again, the most defenseless are being preyed upon to save a buck or to avoid that which has been given to us to secure our salvation – inconvenience and suffering.

Again, let’s understand what I am saying or maybe what I am not saying. I am not saying we should avoid medicine. I am a huge fan – especially since it is commanded by Sacred Scriptures (Sirach 36: 1-12). But we need to be mindful that medicine has been given to us cure some illnesses and temporarily relieve us of pain and suffering. Medical science will never completely eradicate medical suffering. Pain and suffering is a result of Original Sin. It is a guarantee in this life and eventually it will come just like death. Medicine is meant to give us the resolve and mental wherewithal to deal with the pain and suffering. It was definitely not meant to end our lives out of convenience or a misguided notion of being merciful.

Life issues cannot be dismissed or overlooked. It is the key issue that influences all others. How? Let’s start off with Pope John Paul II’s perspective:

The promotion of the culture of life should be the highest priority in our societies…If the right to life is not defended decisively as a condition for all other rights of the person, all other references to human rights remain deceitful and illusory.

Maybe an example will assist us in our considerations. Issue of abortion influences three of the most global and volatile political issues:

  • Economic recovery: must have workers to not only produce the products but consumers to buy them
  • Social Security: must have more workers not less to increase the amount contributed to the trust fund
  • Human rights: how do we disregard the most defenseless and still push for every other human right – including the right to murder our own children

Euthanasia is a result of a misunderstanding of the human person:

  • Utilitarianism – We have value insofar that we contribute to society and do not drain it (or our families) of its resources.
  • Socialism – The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Each person has an inestimable value that cannot be determined by a monetary algorithm
  • Hedonism – We are meant for pleasure and once suffering comes there is no reason to live

In my opinion, among the greatest contributing factors to this culture of death is the prosperity of the current generation(s). Now, I am not advocating an economic down-turn or another stock market crash. I am saying that we have taught our children to want stuff and they should get it now. A corollary to this attitude is that we love things and use people.

When I was first married we lived in a one-room apartment. I worked hard and soon was able to rent a two bedroom condo with a den. Now, by the grace of God, we live in a five bedroom house which we still do not own…but we are working towards it. It has been tough at times – there have been many chicken and rice nights to make ends meet. I have worked up to three jobs at one time. The result: a sense of accomplishment and children who understand the value of something obtained through a serious work ethic.

Today, the majority of our young people expect after graduation to own a house immediately. Sometimes they want their freedom so much that they move out expecting mommy and daddy to pay their bills instead of getting another job. The job market is tough but there are plenty of jobs – just maybe not the one you planned on obtaining. Then there are the youth that only want to play and don’t like work. Um, yeah I am just bypassing the stupidity by saying get a grip on reality.Also, young people, listen closely: Vacations are an extra never a right. We never need vacations we want them. Your parents and grandparents worked extremely hard for many years in order to be able to take them. Pay your dues!

Interestingly enough, over the past ten years as my wife and I have worked with engaged couples, the top three reasons why couples are not open to children are wanting to buy a house, getting an advance degree and needing to take their yearly vacations i.e., children are an inconvenience to my lifestyle.

Just as a reminder…buying a house and completing an advance degree does not qualify as grave matter on the part of the Church to defer children. Do I even need to address vacations? Second reminder: Implicit in the sacrament of marriage is the understanding that you are immediately open to children. Some couples are unable to have children immediately and others not at all. This is a heavy cross that they bear which is only made worse by the cultural attitude that children are an inconvenience and expendable. They are victim souls for a culture that has declared war on the most defenseless and helpless in our society.

My prayer for today is Psalm 68 that this scourage will leave our land. Our responsibility is clear and found in 2 Chronicles 7:14:

and if my people, upon whom my name has been pronounced, humble themselves and pray, and seek my presence and turn from their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven and pardon their sins and revive their land.

Until then, here is a reality check. Statistics are really not available in the United States on euthanasia yet – give it five years. However, abortion – plenty are available. Just as a refresher, here are the latest statistics provided by The Center for Bio-Ethic Reform:


Number of abortions per year: Approximately 42 Million
Number of abortions per day:
Approximately 115,000

Where abortions occur:
83% of all abortions are obtained in developing countries and 17% occur in developed countries.

© Copyright 1996-2008, The Alan Guttmacher Institute. (


Number of abortions per year: 1.37 Million (1996)
Number of abortions per day:
Approximately 3,700

Who’s having abortions (age)?
52% of women obtaining abortions in the U.S. are younger than 25: Women aged 20-24 obtain 32% of all abortions; Teenagers obtain 20% and girls under 15 account for 1.2%.

Who’s having abortions (race)?
While white women obtain 60% of all abortions, their abortion rate is well below that of minority women. Black women are more than 3 times as likely as white women to have an abortion, and Hispanic women are roughly 2 times as likely.

Who’s having abortions (marital status)?
64.4% of all abortions are performed on never-married women; Married women account for 18.4% of all abortions and divorced women obtain 9.4%.

Who’s having abortions (religion)?
Women identifying themselves as Protestants obtain 37.4% of all abortions in the U.S.; Catholic women account for 31.3%, Jewish women account for 1.3%, and women with no religious affiliation obtain 23.7% of all abortions. 18% of all abortions are performed on women who identify themselves as “Born-again/Evangelical”.

Who’s having abortions (income)?
Women with family incomes less than $15,000 obtain 28.7% of all abortions; Women with family incomes between $15,000 and $29,999 obtain 19.5%; Women with family incomes between $30,000 and $59,999 obtain 38.0%; Women with family incomes over $60,000 obtain 13.8%.

Why women have abortions
1% of all abortions occur because of rape or incest; 6% of abortions occur because of potential health problems regarding either the mother or child, and 93% of all abortions occur for social reasons (i.e. the child is unwanted or inconvenient).

At what gestational ages are abortions performed:
52% of all abortions occur before the 9th week of pregnancy, 25% happen between the 9th & 10th week, 12% happen between the 11th and 12th week, 6% happen between the 13th & 15th week, 4% happen between the 16th & 20th week, and 1% of all abortions (16,450/yr.) happen after the 20th week of pregnancy.

Likelihood of abortion:
An estimated 43% of all women will have at least 1 abortion by the time they are 45 years old. 47% of all abortions are performed on women who have had at least one previous abortion.

Abortion coverage:
48% of all abortion facilities provide services after the 12th week of pregnancy. 9 in 10 managed care plans routinely cover abortion or provide limited coverage. About 14% of all abortions in the United States are paid for with public funds, virtually all of which are state funds. 16 states (CA, CT, HI, ED, IL, MA , MD, MD, MN, MT, NJ, NM, NY, OR, VT, WA and WV) pay for abortions for some poor women.

New Family Clinic to Promote Culture of Life, Catholic Health Practice

The John Paul II Life Center and the Vitae Clinic Open in Austin

Contact: Amelia Erickson


Monday, October 18, 2010

AUSTIN, Texas—Bishop Joe Vasquez of the Austin Diocese was present to bless the opening of the Vitae Clinic.  Following five years of development, a new family health center opened today aimed to provide pro-life medical services, education and health programs structured around Catholic teachings. The Vitae Clinic, operated by The John Paul II Life Center, is the first Austin center aimed at building a culture of life in accordance with Catholic teaching for health care services.

The Clinic’s blessing was held on the feast of St. Luke, the patron saint of physicians, following the official blessing of The John Paul II Life Center on Oct. 12, Columbus Day. The Knights of Columbus donated the sonogram and substantial funding to begin the Center.

Among the services offered by the Vitae Clinic are:  wellness, prenatal, sonogram, delivery, and postnatal care for women, expectant mothers, and their babies. Also available will be natural family planning counseling and NaProTechnology™, a viable alternative to artificial reproductive technologies.

The Center will also work with other pro-life physicians and crisis pregnancy centers to foster use of fertility care methods consistent with Catholic beliefs; and help build a “Culture of Life” by encouraging prayer and compassion for those threatened or hurt by the experience of abortion.

Jeremy Kalamarides, D.O. Ob/Gyn, will serve as Medical Director. Dr. Kalamarides trained at the Pope Paul VI Institute in the Creighton Method of Natural Family Planning and was a Research Assistant for Dr. Thomas Hilgers before medical school.

“I’m eager to support women and couples helping with achievement or avoidance of pregnancy through natural means,” said Dr. Kalamarides. “We are excited about the launch of this much-needed center in Austin and are confident it will help strengthen families across central Texas.”

The Clinic will practice women’s health care in full compliance with the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services. Unlike other Ob/Gyn clinics in Austin, the Clinic will not prescribe oral or other artificial contraceptives, provide abortions, or use artificial methods of achieving pregnancy, such as in-vitro fertilization.

While funding of the The John Paul II Center and Vitae Clinic is independent of the Austin Diocese, the Center and Clinic are working in concert with the Diocese, particularly the Office of Pro-Life Activities and Chaste Living, to help make this dream of women’s Catholic health care a reality.  In addition, the Clinic will operate in cooperation with the Seton Family of Hospitals, where the Center and Clinic’s Medical Director will have hospital privileges.

The Vitae Clinic is located in the Jefferson Building at 1600 West 38th Street, Suite 115, just a few blocks from Seton Hospital on 38th Street in Austin, Texas.

The Vitae Clinic needs women seeking obstetrical and gynecological services to contact Dr. Jeremy Kalamarides by calling 512-458-6060.


The John Paul II Life Center Opens in Austin

Contact: Amelia Erickson


Monday, October 18, 2010

AUSTIN, Texas—On October 12, 2010, a beautiful fall day in Austin, Texas, also Columbus Day, The John Paul II Life Center was opened with a blessing by Father Jim Evans, Chaplain and Father Alberto Borruel and the unveiling of its state of the art sonogram machine.

“It is particularly appropriate that this blessing and opening is being done on Columbus Day.  For it was Columbus who each night wrote in his ship log “stay the course”.  We have stayed the course against difficult challenges and obstacles”, said Tim Von Dohlen, President of the Center’s Board of Directors, in welcoming the large crowd in attendance.   October 12 was also the feast day of Our Lady of the Pillar – the first Marian apparition appearing to Saint James the Apostle on the bank of a river in Spain.  The Virgin appeared with the Child Jesus standing on a pillar and asked Saint James to build a church on the site promising that “the church will stand until the end of time in order that God may work miracles and wonders through my intercession for all those who place themselves under my patronage”.  “Today we place The John Paul II Life Center and all its supporters, women and babies that it helps under Our Lady of the Pillar patronage and that of Our Lady of Guadalupe”, said Von Dohlen.

Members of the Center’s Board of Directors were recognized for their dedicated work over nearly five years – Sheri and Chris Danze, Heather and Jeremy Kalamarides, and Pat and Tim Von Dohlen.

Knights of Columbus from the Saint John Neumann and Saint Catherine of Siena Councils presented a check for funds they raised and the matching funds from Supreme for the purchase of the sonogram – a Medison SA-X8.  Knights from other councils and assemblies who helped with the fundraising were also present, along with Past State Deputies Ken Otte and Ray Neumann and Executive Secretary Mike McLaughlin.  Receiving the payment was Steve Morris, National Account Manager for Medison.  Alan Guisinger the Center’s consultant who invaluably helped evaluate the possible sonogram machine options was recognized.

Dr. Jeremy Kalamarides Ob/Gyn who is the Center’s Medical Director when introduced said, “My wife and I are excited to be living in Austin and we are anxious to help women see their baby with the sonogram.  We also look forward to teaching and educating women about natural procreative technology which helps women suffering from infertility to achieve pregnancy without utilizing in vitro fertilization”.

The John Paul II Life Center will operate in full conformity with the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Healthcare Services.

The Knights of Columbus have assisted The John Paul II Life Center in setting up a Save the Baby Fund to help pay for a sonogram for women who are unable to pay themselves.  Chris Danze, Vice President of the Center said, “Helping women see their baby will save babies lives and help all of us involved to remember Mother Teresa’s call for each of us to remain faithful”.

In addition to sonograms and other medical services, The John Paul II Life Center will offer educational speeches and seminar presentations provided by highly qualified and trained individuals on pro-life topics including presentations by the National Catholic Bioethics Center, of which The John Paul II Life Center is a member.  All employees and volunteers will be committed to following the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services.

Furthermore, The John Paul II Life Center has established collaborative relationships with the Gabriel Project, Project Rachel, Heroic Media (formerly the Majella Society), Annunciation Maternity Home, 40 Days for Life, Texas Alliance for Life, and other Catholic and non-Catholic crisis pregnancy assistance organizations, with the goal of being these organizations’ first patient referral resource for low- or no-cost sonograms

The John Paul II Life Center is seeking: volunteers to (1) work at The John Paul II Life Center, (2) help plan and work at fundraising events, (3) pray for the success of the Center. Information can be found at or by calling 512-407-2900.

The John Paul II Life Center is located in the Jefferson Building at 1600 W. 38th Street. Suite 115, Austin, Texas.  Information can be found at or by calling 512-407-2900.