Monday, January 31, 2011
Forbes Magazine: MIT comes in 18th; 35% at SMUM get their degrees in science, technology, engineering or mathematics. The national average is 10%.
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is the nation’s top-ranked college for minorities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs, according to a recent Forbes report.
Forbes ranked colleges and universities for helping racial or ethnic minorities succeed in STEM programs. Forbes compared the percentages of blacks, Hispanics and American Indians (groups typically underrepresented in STEM) to whites and Asians (groups typically well-represented in STEM). Forbes excluded from its analysis those schools with a student body that is almost entirely minority students.
Saint Mary’s University offers STEM programs in its traditional four-year bachelor of arts program at its Winona campus, as well as STEM programs within the bachelor of science completion programs for adult learners at its Twin Cities campus.
The Forbes report cited data from the Saint Mary’s undergraduate graduating class in 2008. Forbes said that class included about 10 percent underrepresented minority students, just above the national median for ranked colleges. “But of those minority students,” Forbes said, “35 percent received their degrees in STEM – well above the median among all colleges, which is 10 percent.”
Bob Conover, vice president for communication, noted that Saint Mary’s undergraduate STEM programs “combine a strong academic component with opportunities for hands-on research and student interaction with professors. I believe it’s this combination which helps us reach underrepresented populations.” Conover added that “as a Lasallian Catholic university, Saint Mary’s is student-centered and committed to preparing learners for success in an increasingly complex and multicultural world.” Winona 360
To read the complete Forbes article, with the top twenty colleges in the competition.
The Divine Life blog has compiled a list of Most Popular Catholic Bloggers by calculating the number of people who have "subscribed" to them by using Google Reader. Reader is an application that will grab blog posts and given them to you in one list, sorted by time. It works very slick and I used it for my news gathering. It's a great way to visit many websites quickly to check out new information without doing a lot of clicking.
Congratulations to The Inimitable "Father Z", the Minnesota Mom, Adoro, I.C., Father Anthony Ruff, O.S.B at St. John's Abbey, Terry and Cathy of Alex
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Last Sunday, Jan 23, the Star Tribune picked up a Michael Kinsley column from the Los Angeles Times that mocked Pope John Paul II and the Catholic Church for the proposed beatification of our former pope this coming May 1.
Kinsley, an atheist who is also suffering from Parkinson's Disease was upset to discover that the required miracle needed for the beatification involved a woman who was cured of her case of Parkinson's. Kinsley, among other things thought he should have been cured, too. Of course since he never prayed for a cure, I wonder why he thought that.
Why the Strib picked up that foolish column is one thing to muse about. But this Sunday, they did publish letters from Catholics objecting to Kinsley's screed. If they published three, they must have received a lot more. You no doubt will recognize at least one of the objectors.
POPE JOHN PAUL II
Columnist too skeptical about role of miracles
In a recent commentary, Michael Kinsley's dismissive assertion that what the Catholic Church really demands of its candidates for sainthood is "an old-fashioned, abracadabra type of miracle" either ignores or is ignorant of the church teaching ("Please, John Paul, make me your miracle," Jan. 23). Candidates for sainthood must be found to have exhibited extraordinary holiness during the course of their lives, in addition to the intercessory acts (or miracles) that can be attributed to such a person after their death. The faithful among us would call them acts of God. Kinsley obviously rejects such notions.
J. MARIE CHOUINARD, ANOKA
• • •
I'm disappointed that the Star Tribune chose to run the Kinsley column. The article ridicules the Catholic Church's belief in miracles and mocks the legacy of the late Pope John Paul II. Kinsley's failed attempt at satire is a thinly veiled attack on the Catholic Church in general and the papacy in particular. I seriously doubt if the Star Tribune would dare to publish a similar article mocking the beliefs within the Jewish or Muslim traditions.
THE REV. John C. Nienstedt
The writer is archbishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
• • •
Kinsley's commentary was a cheap, ad hominem attack on the Catholic Church. In addition, he's factually wrong in his explanation of church opposition to stem cell research. The church opposes embryonic stem cell research, which has yet to produce any positive therapeutic outcomes. But adult stem cell research actually works, does not kill unborn humans and is consistent with Catholic bioethics. Kinsley may view "surplus embryos" as human wastage, but the church does not.
DICK HOUCK AND Pat Phillips, Roseville
The writers are leaders of the Catholic Defense League.
Catholic Spirit Editorial by Publisher Joe Towalski
by Joe Towalski on January 25, 2011
In his op-ed commentary in last Sunday’s StarTribune, Michael Kinsley, a former editorial page and opinion editor at the Los Angeles Times, sadly resorts to mocking the Catholic Church and the late Pope John Paul II while making an ultimately unpersuasive argument in support of embryonic stem-cell research.
Kinsley’s premise in “Please, John Paul, make me your miracle” is that, while the church recently approved a miracle attributed to the intercession of Pope John Paul in the case of a French nun suffering from Parkinson’s disease, the church remains one of the main obstacles to finding a cure for the illness because of its stance on stem-cell research.
Kinsley, who suffers from Parkinson’s, as did Pope John Paul, says he and millions of others would like their own miracle cure — not necessarily the “old fashioned, abracadabra type” that Kinsley mockingly characterizes as part of the church’s beatification process, but a miracle cure of a different sort.
Kinsley writes: “The most likely source of miracle cures for all sorts of diseases, with Parkinson’s foremost among them, is stem-cell research. The church opposes stem-cell research on the grounds that it uses, and in the process destroys, human embryos. These are surplus embryos from fertilization clinics that will be destroyed, or permanently frozen, anyway. They are not fetuses; they are clumps of a few dozen cells.”
He continues: “But of course none of this matters if you believe they are full human beings like you and me.”
Several of Kinsley’s points require correction and clarification.
First, the church doesn’t oppose stem-cell research. It opposes stem-cell research that destroys human embryos. But it supports, and even promotes, research that uses adult stem cells — those found in adult human tissue and blood, not embryos. Adult stem cells are being used today for a variety of therapies and in research that has the potential to save lives, including research that could result in treatments for those with Parkinson’s.
The argument that surplus embryos from fertilization clinics would be destroyed anyway and that they only amount to “clumps of a few dozen cells” doesn’t make destroying them for utilitarian purposes any more moral.
This is nascent human life after all (check your Biology 101 textbook) and society has a duty to nurture and protect it — no matter its age, abilities or perceived usefulness to others. The end doesn’t justify the means: You can’t intentionally destroy human life in order to benefit others without embarking down a very slippery moral slope.
A question we should be asking is why all those “surplus” embryos are being created and stored in the first place. They shouldn’t be. But when they are, they shouldn’t be destroyed for research, as Kinsley would allow, because they will die anyway. One could argue that terminally ill patients will die anyway, too, but that certainly doesn’t give anyone the right to kill them in the name of research.
The fact that Kinsley and millions of others have to struggle with Parkinson’s is sad. No one likes to see anyone suffer through an illness. The Catholic Church, which Kinsley targets for criticism, devotes huge amounts of resources every day to treat millions of ill people in this country and around the world, especially the poorest and most vulnerable who could not afford care at many other hospitals or clinics.
Throughout his pontificate, Pope John Paul II spoke out in support of health care as a human right. At the end of his life, he was one of the vulnerable who needed special care. He certainly suffered in his final years as the world watched, but he would never compromise good moral principles, even for his own personal benefit.
The church will continue to promote stem-cell research that has the potential to help people without destroying innocent human life. It’s not an issue of science vs. morality — it’s an issue of ensuring science is grounded on a solid foundation of morality and ethics for the benefit of all.
Friday, January 28, 2011
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Thursday, January 27, 2011
(Remarks of Archbishop John Nienstedt at The Great Catholic Get-Together of 2011, a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Catholic Bulletin/The Catholic Spirit – January 6, 2011.)
As we celebrate 100 years of The Catholic Spirit, we could point to so many achievements. Imagine the number of words that have been written over that time! The moments of great joy and deep sorrow that appeared on the pages. Life changing events for our world and the Church that were captured by a camera. And the discourse of a few archbishops!
While we cannot minimize these human achievements and the manifestation of the creative talents of so many, what is it really that The Catholic Spirit has meant to the hundreds of thousands of Catholics, and others, who have read its pages week after week?
Above all else, The Catholic Spirit has been and continues to be a tool to bring the faithful into closer relationship with Jesus Christ. The Catholic Spirit is at its best when it unpacks the news of the day through the lens of the teachings of the Catholic Church. It helps Catholics really understand how to live out their faith in the workplace, at school, at play, in the public square. It does this by telling stories – the important stories that are present in our parishes, in our Catholic schools and in places great and small throughout this archdiocese. And the hope is that in each story, column or editorial, the reader encounters Jesus, is strengthened by his presence and brings the fruits of this encounter to those around him.
In November, the Pope himself affirmed the irreplaceable role Catholic newspapers play in forming Christian consciences and reflecting the Church’s viewpoint on contemporary issues. Where the secular media often takes a relativistic and skeptical attitude toward truth, Benedict tells us that the Church must bring the truth of Christ to the world and the Catholic newspapers play in encouraging dialogue among readers as a way to form “critical and Christian consciences.”
The Catholic Spirit strives to be this formative influence in the life of this archdiocese. As publisher of The Catholic Spirit, I am grateful for the care the staff takes in ensuring that the truths of our Catholic faith shine through on the pages of the newspaper – and on the website, Facebook and Twitter, for that matter. And as the words written by those who contribute to The Catholic Spirit will most certainly be delivered in very different ways in the future, the purpose of those words – to bring all who encounter them closer to Jesus – will never change. Catholic Spirit
(The following is the text from Bob Zyskowski’s talk at The Catholic Spirit newspaper’s 100th anniversary party in downtown Minneapolis Jan. 6. His talk included a seven-minute video that demonstrated the new www.TheCatholicSpirit.com)
Many of you know Father John Malone. I see from the chuckles that you do.
Well, Father Malone has a brother named Jim.
Jim Malone came home from the office one day, and before he could get his coat off his wife, Kath, who worked for years in the office at Hill-Murray, said, “Jim, you gotta read this.”
She held out a copy of the Catholic Bulletin to him.
“Could I take my jacket off first,” Jim asked.
“Nope. You gotta read this.”
Turns out a column I’d written had touched Kath, and she had to share it with Jim because she knew it would touch him the same way.
That was more than a few years ago, but touching lives is something that has happened pretty regularly over the last century, thanks to the Catholic Bulletin and its successor, The Catholic Spirit. And we know that because people tell us we touch their lives.
A catechist in Hopkins let us know she uses The Catholic Spirit to prepare teenagers for Confirmation.
A teacher in Woodbury orders 25 copies each school year so that everyone in his class can keep up to date with the news of their church.
A small faith-sharing group in Maplewood — a RENEW group that still meets — uses articles from The Catholic Spirit as discussion starters.
A pastor in Roseville told me at every parish meeting he goes to somebody brings up something they read in The Catholic Spirit.
These are just some of the anecdotes that confirm in my mind a philosophy I’ve pushed our staff to live by: I don’t want The Catholic Spirit to be liberal or conservative – I want it to be useful.
It’s a philosophy that has earned The Catholic Spirit national recognition. Over the past century this newspaper has done tremendous work, but during the past six years The Catholic Spirit has become one of the very best diocesan newspapers in North America. For this medium-size archdiocese out on the prairie to have its Catholic paper named No. 1 four times – and never lower than third – in competition with New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston and Baltimore — says a lot about the newspaper, but it says so much about you, our readers – about the excellence you expect from us.
What’s more important than recognition by Catholic journalism judges is that you appreciate what we do. You truly are friends of The Catholic Spirit. Your being here tonight to celebrate with our board and our staff is testament to the fact that you understand the need for our church to communicate in the best possible ways.
There are lots of friends of The Catholic Spirit. We hear from readers all the time that as soon as the paper comes in the mail they read it cover to cover.
But we also get this type of note, and
Stephanie Anderson, sent this, and it’s printed right off a computer screen.
“Being a single mother of two very active and smart kids, I don’t always have the time to read the actual paper when it comes in the mail. It’s nice to be able to read articles online through Facebook.”
While so many of us appreciate holding our reading material in our hands, a growing audience lives in the digital world, and our church must as well.
For us, the future has arrived. TheCatholicSpirit.com this year was named the best diocesan newspaper website.
But we’re not resting. Shortly after we came back from New Orleans with that award in June, our web guru, Craig Berry, told me he was dumping the old site and creating something new. By September that “best website” has been completely revised. As we take a look at it today you’ll get a peek into how The Catholic Spirit is spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ as it begins its second century.
We’ve jumped into social media so that we can touch even more lives. We push out our stories by promoting them on Facebook.
We send an e-newsletter to several thousand folks, giving them the headlines and the gist of stories and a link they can click on to send them right to that story.
And as of yesterday morning, TheCatholicSpirit had 18,540 followers on Twitter. That means that every time we post a story 18,540 people get a tweet with a link to our website.
As Catholic newspapers have for 100 years, Catholic media today – through e-mail and video and smart phones and iPads and Facebook and Twitter and whatever comes out next, as well as through printed publications – will have the same charge:
- Spread the Gospel and the teachings of the church.
- Form consciences and values.
- Deepen spiritual and prayer life.
- Challenge Catholics to live morally and justly.
- Connect Catholics to their faith, to their parishes, to their fellow parishioners, to the archdiocese and to the wider church.
- Report stories that affirm others’ faith and inspire even more noble acts.
- Celebrate Catholic traditions, strengthen Catholic identity and enliven the Catholic community.
I’ll be honest. There are days when I wish I were five years older and could have retired before all this new technology entered our lives.
But most days I’m excited to be part of this great movement in Catholic journalism. God is giving us a great opportunity to reach and inspire not only those faithful readers of The Catholic Spirit but thousands more who see our work on their computer screens.
It’s a great way to start a second century, don’t you think?
About Bob ZyskowskiAs a journalist working for Catholic publications for 37 years, Bob Zyskowski has read a lot of books that have to do with faith and morals, but he loves history, too, and a good story.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Name change of Catholic Aid Association reflects Catholic organization’s roots, mission; Now it's Catholic United Financial
It's new name reflects what was known as "Catholic Aid’s" roots and mission
What’s in a name? Plenty, say people at Catholic United Financial in Arden Hills.
That’s why the fraternal life insurance company, which started in 1878, recently chose to change the name it held for more than 80 years: Catholic Aid Association.
The new name took effect Jan. 1, and the change is the result of extensive research, said president Mike McGovern, who became a member of the organization shortly after he was born.
The non-profit surveyed both members and non-members to help understand their perceptions of Catholic Aid Association, which offers life insurance and financial products like annuities and IRAs to members in Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin.
“Most non-members had no clue who we were,” McGovern said. “The biggest confusion was that most people thought we were Catholic Charities. We still, to this day, get continual calls every day [from people trying to contact Catholic Charities]. I joke that I think half my family still thinks I work for Catholic Charities.”
[And don't call us "CUF", he admonished!]
Helping the church
McGovern and others believe the word “aid” caused much of the confusion. Back in the 1920s, when the organization became Catholic Aid Association, the name was patterned after the many mutual aid societies that existed at the time.
These organizations provided mutual benefits, such as aid and/or insurance, to members. Catholic Aid reached beyond individuals to help the local Catholic Church. Today, Catholic United offers fundraisers, youth events and scholarships, and matching grant programs for Catholic parishes, schools and religious education programs.
“Over the years, we have substantially supported the St. Paul Seminary,” McGovern said. “A couple years ago, we gave them a grant for $100,000. We’ve supported NET Ministries with some significant gifts, we’ve supported St. Paul’s Outreach.
“What makes us unique is that, because we’re a nonprofit and we’ve been a nonprofit since our beginning, the money that would have gone to taxes and to the shareholders goes back to the members in the form of benefits, charity and the workings of the association, such as vocations and Catholic education.”
Important part of history
The easiest part of the name change was keeping the word “Catholic” as the first word in the new name.
The organization was founded on its Catholic identity, and McGovern said that has been at the heart of its existence since the beginning, when it was called The Mutual Life Insurance Association of the German Roman Catholic Benevolent Societies of Minnesota.
The new name marks the fourth time the organization has updated its name.
“We knew that we wanted to keep ‘Catholic’ in our new name,” McGovern said. “It’s a critical part of our history, and we were not going to waver from that in any way. But, at the same time, we needed to let people know that we are a financial institution, that we sell insurance and financial products and we are still definitely involved very closely with our church, and we are more than just aid.”
Catholic United is about to embark upon its biggest fundraiser of the year — the Catholic Schools Raffle. It runs from Jan. 24 to March 4.
The first raffle, held in 2009, raised more than $128,000 for Catholic schools in Minnesota and South Dakota. This year, the raffle has opened up to twice as many schools, with a fundraising goal of $250,000. Participating Catholic schools will receive all of the money from raffle ticket sales.
The raffle is one example of how the company has continued to grow, even in a slow economy. Originally, Catholic United had 10 councils and 485 members. Now, there are more than 74,000 members and 160 active councils.
“We grow every year,” McGovern said. “We added several new councils this year. We are starting a new one in Fargo in February.
“At the end of the first year of existence, they had somewhere in the range of $637 in assets. Today, we have $670 million in assets.”
- January 19, 2011 3:46 pm
Bernard, 86, and Adeline, 88, Sobczak can look out the window of their home near New Prague and see the church of St. Benedict across the street. For more than four decades, they have walked out their front door and about 100 yards to the church doors for Sunday Mass. Jan. 16, they did it for the last time.
In the predawn darkness, they made their way through snow and cold for the final Mass at the church, which closed its doors shortly after the 7:30 a.m. liturgy ended. In fact, it was Adeline who tied a small purple ribbon on the doors, which made the closing official.
With a small crowd gathered around to watch, Adeline was joined by Bernard, a parish trustee along with Gilbert Schoenbauer, 73.
The mood was almost festive as parishioners engaged in lively conversation as they filed out of the church and gathered on the sidewalk.
Then, a hush fell over the crowd as Adeline pulled out the ribbon and slowly tied it to the door handles.
Afterward, she and the two trustees turned to face the crowd. There was a moment of awkward silence, then all three began to weep.
“Very sad,” said Schoenbauer, whose wife, Shirley, was the church organist. “I didn’t want to see it happen. But what can you do?
We’ve got to keep up with the times. We don’t have enough priests.
“It’s like you lost something. I don’t cry very often. I cried when my mom died, I cried when my dad died, and I cried today.”
Part of the plan
It was an exhausting weekend for Father David Barrett, who celebrated the final Mass and “taking leave ritual” at St. Thomas in St. Thomas at 5 p.m. Jan. 15.
Both St. Thomas and St. Benedict were to be part of the merger with St. Wenceslaus in New Prague, St. John the Evangelist in Union Hill, St. Scholastica in Heidelberg and St. Joseph in Lexington as part of the archdiocesan strategic plan, announced the weekend of Oct. 15-16. St. Thomas appealed and was allowed to merge with St. Anne in LeSueur because of the proximity to that church.
Diane Weckman and Jack Stasney, who served on the transition committee, talked about plans for St. Benedict.
During the week after the Mass, St. Benedict’s Stations of the Cross were to be installed at St. John, where they will be dedicated during the Jan. 23 Mass, and St. John will welcome St. Benedict parishioners with coffee and rolls.
The following week, the statue of St. Benedict is to be moved to St. Scholastica and that parish will host a dedication with coffee and rolls on Jan. 30.
“We should all be fat,” Weckman joked.
Stasney said that people will be OK with going to another building for Mass, but it’s the “fabric part of the community” that will be lost.
“Change is inevitable in our lives,” Stasney said. “Some people are having a hard time with it and they need their own time to go through a healing process and move on — and that is how it is with human beings.”
St. Benedict parishioners are still working on an itinerary of items that have been donated to the church in memory of a loved one.
Although those items can’t be given back to the donors, Weckman said they would make room for them in other churches, where they will continue to be used.
“All our cassocks are going to St. Scholastica because theirs are in need of replacement and ours are in good shape,” she said. And she plans to contact the Mankato Catholic community, which is building a new church, to see if St. Benedict has anything that could fill their needs.
“Father Elgar [Bockenfeld, OFM], for years, had been preparing us,” she said. “When he was alive, he said, ‘It’s coming, so just buck up and accept it.’”
Stasney noted that Father Bockenfeld had run three of the rural parishes as a cluster, sharing programs and sacraments over the past four years.
“We were already merging things, so some of the stuff is not going to be brand new,” he said.
Weckman added that she appreciates all the work done by Deacon Bob Wagner, Father Barrett and Father Kevin Clinton, St. Wenceslaus’ pastor.
“They’ve been a lifesaver for me.”
Personally, Weckman is sad about not seeing the people at St. Benedict every Sunday, as each family chooses a church to meet their needs.
“I will have to get out there and make a phone call and stop in,” she said. “It’s our church family. I don’t see them all the time, but if I needed them, I know they’d be there.”
Weckman said there are positive aspects in the final collaboration between St. Wenceslaus and the other parishes involved in the merger.
“St. Wenceslaus has so much to offer with adult studies,” she said. Although St. Benedict and St. John had a thriving religious education program with 125 children involved, there was no Sunday school, Bible study or options for post CCD kids and that has her excited about the changes.
“It opens up more opportunities for us to grow in our faith,” she said.
Two additional mergers set forth in the archdiocesan strategic plan became official with the end of 2010 and beginning of 2011.
St. Francis de Sales and St. James in St. Paul officially merged Dec. 31, said Greg Vasterling, parish business administrator.
“Legally, yes, it’s done. But it’s business as usual to a certain extent, until we review all the different pieces of our campus and what that might mean,” he said.
The two parishes have been collaborating over the last four years, sharing a pastor, school, finance council, parish council and more.
“Under the archdiocese format, the next thing that happens is that a leadership committee is formed to review the campuses,” Vasterling said.
The first thing the parish will need to address is the urgent review of the school, he said. For now, Mass times will continue as they have been at both churches, he added.
Also merged as of Dec. 31 are: St. Andrew with Maternity of the Blessed Virgin in St. Paul. Catholic Spirit
The world’s largest Catholic media network is the fourth owner of the 83-year-old newspaper.Comments (34)
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Eighty-three years after its debut in Denver, and 15 years after its purchase by the Legionaries of Christ, the National Catholic Register is being acquired by the world’s largest religious media network, the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN). The acquisition, finalized at the end of January, marks the third time in the newspaper’s history that a new owner has stepped forward to preserve and expand the newspaper’s service to the Church.
Under the terms of the transaction, no cash will be exchanged between the parties. EWTN will take over the ongoing operational expenses of the Register and will assume the paper’s future subscription liabilities.
“I am very pleased and excited that the Register will now be a part of the EWTN family,” said Michael Warsaw, the network’s president and chief executive officer. “All of us at EWTN have great respect for the Register and the role it has played throughout its history. It’s a tremendous legacy that deserves to not only be preserved, but also to grow and to flourish. I believe that EWTN will be able to provide the stability that the Register needs at this time as well as to give it a platform for its growth in the years ahead. We’re proud to be able to step in and carry on both the Register’s name and its tradition of faithful Catholic reporting on the issues of the day.”
The need for the providential intervention by EWTN was precipitated by what Legionary Father Owen Kearns, the Register’s publisher and editor in chief, described as a “perfect storm.” That storm, not dissimilar to what has hit most print publications, was intensified by rising publishing and mailing costs, and the negative impact on Register donations from the downturn in the economy, all of which overwhelmed the Legion’s ability to continue to subsidize the costs of producing the newspaper and managing its website.
As of Feb. 1, EWTN will take full control and ownership of the Register.
Recent management changes at the Register had resulted in cost reductions exceeding $1 million annually. Senior Register staff said that this, coupled with continued donor support, a new marketing and advertising team, and additional changes have resulted in a recovery that promises to be timely and beneficial to the change in ownership.
Due in part to the fallout from revelations regarding the congregation’s founder, the Legion of Christ did not have the resources to bring the previous turnaround efforts to fruition, said the Register spokesman.
EWTN and the Register began exploring the possibility of an acquisition in November. A meeting, which was held in early December, was described by the spokesman as “open and enthusiastic.” Details of the transfer were worked out after that.
The acquisition of the Register is the latest in EWTN’s efforts to expand their operation in the global Catholic digital and multimedia market. At the start of 2010, the Irondale, Ala.-based organization entered into a partnership with Catholic News Agency (CNA). CNA is a Denver-based independent Catholic news media outlet with bureaus in North and South America and Europe. Under that agreement, EWTN and CNA are sharing news resources and have created a joint news service found at EWTNNews.com. That arrangement was recently expanded to include a new original Spanish-language news service, EWTN Noticias, launched in January 2011.
EWTN Global Catholic Network provides multimedia services to more than 140 countries and territories. The network transmits nine separate television channels in several languages to audiences around the world. It also operates multiple radio services including a network of hundreds of AM and FM stations, a Sirius satellite radio channel, and a global shortwave radio service. EWTN’s main website draws more than 20 million unique visitors annually.
EWTN will become the Register’s fourth owner. The National Catholic Register grew out of the Archdiocese of Denver’s Register, which began in 1924 and whose first national edition appeared on Nov. 8, 1927. Under the leadership of Msgr. Matthew Smith, the Register System of Newspapers was developed, eventually producing 35 diocesan editions, reaching its highpoint in the 1950s with a combined national and diocesan circulation of more than 700,000.
In 1970, California businessman Patrick Frawley purchased the declining newspaper and later moved it to Los Angeles. Its emphasis shifted to in-depth commentary on religion and culture. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s it attracted young, promising writers such as George Weigel, who went on to author Pope John Paul II’s biography, William McGurn, who went on to The Wall Street Journal, Robert Moynihan, who publishes Inside the Vatican, Phil Lawler, director of Catholic Culture, and Greg Erlandson, publisher of Our Sunday Visitor.
In 1995, a group of investors, along with the Legionaries of Christ, saved the newspaper from imminent closure and moved it to Connecticut, where it remained until late last year.
“When the Legion took it over, they did things with resources and personnel that we couldn’t do,” said Fran Maier, the Register’s editor between 1979 and 1993, and now chancellor of the Archdiocese of Denver. “During its affiliation with the Legion, it played an important role in Catholic journalism.”
Under the Legion’s direction, the paper restored the emphasis on the news, made the print edition more colorful and greatly expanded it, adding numerous features such as the Vatican page and the family-friendly Culture of Life section.
When rising costs forced a reduction in frequency from weekly to biweekly, the Register expanded its Web presence with NCRegister.com, with daily breaking news, exclusive online content and free commentary by popular Catholic bloggers. In November, in a further effort to cut costs, the editorial offices were relocated from Connecticut to the Legionaries’ Center for Higher Studies in Thornwood, N.Y.
“The Register is a perfect addition to our teaching apostolate,” noted Warsaw. “We live in an age where there is so much distortion and misrepresentation of the Church’s teaching by forces who oppose her message, particularly in the secular news media. Being sure that the Church’s voice is heard clearly and accurately has always been the core of EWTN’s mission,” he said. “Continuing the tradition of the Register gives us another means to carry out our mission of service to the Church.”
“The service and the history of the paper are too important to simply abandon,” said Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver, where the newspaper originated. “The Church needs more tools of faithful communication, not fewer.”
Archbishop Chaput said that he doesn’t feel that the Register’s basic mission of “reporting the news and analyzing trends that are important for Catholics, from a Catholic perspective,” will change. “The means of accomplishing that mission may change quite a lot over time, but the Register’s fidelity to the Church will not.”
Father Kearns described the acquisition by EWTN as “a natural and a happy fit.” “EWTN has earned a reputation of fidelity to the magisterium, which has always characterized the Register,” he said. “This represents a continuity of fidelity to the Church and support of the bishops. The Register’s mission is to equip its readers to engage the secular culture with competence and confidence, and EWTN intends to continue, strengthen and develop that mission.” National Catholic Register
By Frances Edstrom
February will be a big month at Washington-Koscuisko elementary school, affectionately called W-K. On February 4, the school will celebrate the birthday of Thaddeus Kosciusko, one of the men after whom the school is named. And then at the end of the month comes Presidents’ Day, when we honor George Washington, the other man the school’s name reflects, and whose birthday is February 22. Both men are heroes of the Revolutionary War.
When W-K was built on Mankato Ave. and opened in 1935, it replaced three schools — Washington, Kosciusko, and Sugar Loaf. Sugar Loaf started as a country school, and didn’t become part of the Winona school system until 1891. Washington was built as the fledgling town was growing, and by 1888 the schools were so crowded that night classes were being held, and the age of starting school was raised from 5 to 6. Even in 1937, there were more than 100 country schools open in Winona County.
The Fourth Ward schools became more and more crowded, so in 1889, the Polish Stock Company Hall was converted to a school. By 1891, that school was called the Mankato Ave. School, unlike the others in town not a U.S. president’s name, reflecting the school board’s hope that it would be a temporary building. (Jefferson, Madison and also a Jackson School were on the West End.)
After a lot of wrangling, in 1892 the school board knew they couldn’t accommodate the growing population in their present schools, so voted to build an East End school at Sanborn and California streets. (That is according to the 1913 History of Winona County, but that was either a misprint, or the name of the street was changed later to Chatfield.) The school cost $25,000 to build, including the lot, and was dedicated in 1894, after the city was redistricted.
It was about that time that the school board installed a telephone in each school. Perhaps the wires were burning up with talk of the argument over what the name of the new East End school should be. Finally, with Benard Stoltman and Joseph Winczewski as Fourth Ward representatives on the board, Kosciusko was chosen over Columbia.
The school population continued to grow, and the school board continued to talk about building more schools or adding on to existing schools. But some warned that when the Catholic parishes built their own elementary schools, as they were talking of doing, there wouldn’t be a need for a Kosciusko school if St. Stanislaus parish built a school. In fact, when the parishes did open their own schools around 1913, the public school population fell by 1,000 students.
Kosciusko (pronounced Kos-chew-skoe, according to Paul Libera, quoted in a newspaper article in 1973) was born son of a nobleman in 1746 in Poland, where he attended at the King’s Corps of Cadets, with military studies as well as the liberal arts. He then studied for five years in Paris. When he returned home, there was no post for him in the greatly reduced Polish army, as the country had been divided up by the Russians, Prussians and Austrians. He left Poland in 1775, and in Paris heard about the American Revolution. He came to America, served as a volunteer in the new army, and in 1776 was named a Colonel of Engineers in the Continental Army. He went to work building forts to protect the army from the British. It was Kosciusko who designed West Point, at the behest of George Washington (Benedict Arnold tried to give the plans to the British). He then traveled south to join forces there, and for the first time encountered chattel slavery, which he grew to abhor (he gave his army salary to Thomas Jefferson, and instructed him to buy slaves with the money, free them and educate them. He freed his own serfs in Poland before his death.)
After seven years of distinguished service to the American Revolution, Kosciusko was promoted by Congress to the rank of brigadier general. He also received American citizenship. He returned to Poland to fight against the Russians, who had invaded. But the Polish army was woefully out manned, and Kosciusko surrendered to the Russians. He then fled Poland, and joined a group planning the ouster of Russia from Poland. But the cause failed, and Kosciusko was captured by the Russians and imprisoned. It wasn’t until 1796 that Kosciusko was freed. He declined to fight with the Napoleon-allied Polish Army, and rebuffed overtures from the Russians to build a Kingdom of Poland, a small and ineffectual plan that Kosciusko called a joke. He died in Switzerland in 1817 of typhoid. He is a national hero in Poland, Lithuania, Belarus and the United States. Winona Post
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Men in Christ.
Men of the Church.
Men for Others.
Are you willing to invest in the young men
who are the future of the church?
The Seminarians of Saint John Vianney ask for your prayers and support. Please pray for them.
Read their stories and consider a gift to the seminary to help secure the future with new, vibrant young priests.
Vistas of Hope and Opportunity
As Rector of Saint John Vianney College Seminary, I feel it one of my joyful duties to open up vistas of hope and opportunity for our young seminarians. Many come here with no habit of daily prayer, and only a vague sense that God might be calling them to the priesthood. The first vista which opens up to them is a marvelous experience of our personal God, Who is real, beautiful, beyond description and beckoning. This occurs through the avenue of our daily Holy
Hour (6:15 a.m.) and Mass (7:15 a.m.). When these young men catch a first sight of God, for them it is something awe inspiring, like a first view of the ocean, or majestic mountains, yet supernaturally far surpassing. The experience gives them
tremendous conviction about what is true, good, real. It is the commencement of a spiritual adventure. It is a vista of hope and opportunity.
In today’s culture there are many souls who live in bondage to their passionate nature. Pope Benedict says, “We are moving toward a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as definitive and has as its highest value one’s
own ego and one’s own desires.” Sadly a number of seminarians come to SJV each year with wounds of pornography, grief of families torn in two, addiction to technology (with its violent games and impersonal operation). We offer these seminarians a true remedy: the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit, which are given through the Sacraments, the proclamation of the Gospel, retreats, spiritual direction, study of philosophy and theology, and fraternal groups. Our seminarians are rapidly convinced of the supreme endeavor, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). Thereafter, the real work begins, and they must enter the pathway of sanctification, an arduous and at times painful transformation. In time, by God’s grace, they come to know the liberty and joy of self-possession, the purity of our Mother Mary, the justice of St. Joseph, the wisdom of St. Thomas Aquinas, the faith of St. Abraham. This is the life of infused virtue, a vista of hope and opportunity.
Once or twice a week throughout the year, we invite 3rd and 4th year seminarians to publicly share either their vocation testimony or a ‘priest-hero’ story. In the life of the seminary, this is one of our most edifying moments. Our hearts are set
ablaze, like holy priests of old, who possessed zeal for souls, courage to proclaim the Gospel in season and out, love for Mother Church, and a yearning for the heights of mystical union with the Divine. Every vocation is a leap of faith. Jesus
said, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move” (Matthew 17:20). As Rector, I would rather have faith the size of a mountain, to see possibilities hidden within a mustard seed . . . which is sometimes the seed of a priestly vocation. For those called, the priesthood becomes a vista of hope and
Experience of the indwelling Trinity, the life of infused virtue, a call to the priesthood . . . these are vistas of hope and opportunity found at Saint John Vianney College Seminary.
Fr. Michael Becker
Apostolic Outreach at Saint John Vianney College Seminary
Saint John Vianney College Seminarians participate in an Apostolic Outreach program each year they are in the seminary. Over the course of four years, each will provide service to parishes and social service agencies throughout the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. The Seminarians teach religious education, lead confirmation groups, tutor underprivileged children, and offer a ministry of presence to children who have emotional issues. They also minister to the elderly by socializing, reading aloud and sharing meals, as well as work with adults possessing
mental and cognitive disabilities.
Fr. Baer’s Farewell
On May 12, 2010 friends and benefactors of Saint John Vianney College Seminary gathered to bid farewell to Fr. William Baer. After eleven years as Rector of Saint John Vianney, Fr. Baer has returned to parish life at Transfiguration in Oakdale, MN.
Fr. Baer leaves quite a legacy at Saint John Vianney. In his years as Rector, Fr. Baer instituted the Seminarians’ pledge and prayer – “Men in Christ. Men of the Church. Men for Others”. A total of 475 seminarians took the pledge and studied at Saint John Vianney under his guidance. Enrollment more than doubled
during his tenure as Rector.
Fr. Baer will also be remembered for starting the “Last Chance Mass” at the University of St. Thomas, a Sunday evening tradition, where over 300 students and neighbors attend Mass in the Saint John Vianney Chapel.
Fr. Baer’s final gift to the seminary is a lasting one – a scholarship fund which was created in his honor to provide financial assistance to transfer students who join the seminary. Transfer students make up a third of each class of New Men, and traditional scholarship assistance for transfer students is very limited. An envelope is enclosed if you would like to donate to the scholarship fund, or make an unrestricted gift to the seminary.
You can read the entire Vianney News newsletter, with photos of Father Becker, Fr. Baer and the seminarians, HERE.
Monday, January 10, 2011
Now that conservatives are gaining some power in Washington, the battle over abortion is being reignited. Pro-lifers could do very little to stop the pro-choice forces while so-called liberals controlled nearly every level of government. But times have changed. And that means those who fight for the unborn are even more dangerous to the pro-abortion Left. Here are a list of their top ten enemies.
It is important to note that this list is meant to be for today and not all time. It is a look at the current top ten enemies of the pro-abortion Left. There are other huge leaders in the history of the pro-life movement that won’t be found here. (For a list of 30 leaders in the first 30 years of pro-life movement go here.) Our list is a revelation of those most likely found right now on the dart boards of groups like Planned Parenthood and NARAL.
Depending on your familiarity with the pro-lifers, the names may be enlightening. One thing that might surprise you about this top ten is that there are only three men included. Usually when the Pro-Abortion left argues their case to the American people, they present the battle as men versus women. The spin is that evil men are keeping women from their reproductive rights. But in reality the top enemies of the pro-choice groups are primarily women. And that is because, with some exceptions, women are the key leaders of the pro-life movement.
And now the top ten enemies the pro-abortion Left fears:
10. Jill Stanek
Jill Stanek is a leader in the pro-life movement today and a very popular speaker. However, she used to be a nurse at Christ Hospital in the Chicago suburb of Oak Lawn. In 1999 Stanek realized her hospital was not only involved in abortion, but they were leaving babies that survived induced labor abortion in a utility room to die. In other words, these weren’t just abortions, the hospital was involved with infanticide.
Stanek first unsuccessfully worked to get things changed from the inside as a nurse, but eventually had to quit and try to use the courts and legislation. She helped get some laws in Illinois changed and later, President Bush would sign the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act into law. At the signing Bush publicly recognized Stanek for her contribution.
Stanek gained even more notoriety in 2008 as a leading pro-life voice against Barack Obama’s run for President. Stanek went public to reveal that Obama had voted against an Illinois Born-Alive act multiple times. Obama had basically supported infanticide and Stanek wasn’t going to let that go unnoticed. Of course this made her a top enemy of the Left.
Besides being a popular speaker, Jill now writes for World Net Daily and has her own blog which is the top ranking pro-life blog in the United States. She has become the internet voice of the pro-life movement. The Left recognized that on June 4, 2009 when Keith Olbermann named her the worst person in the world that day and called her readers “crazy people”. He even said that if this were “a just world” then Stanek would “be put in jail for the rest of (her) life”. . . .
For being the leading voice for Life on the internet, and central in some political battles, Jill Stanek finds herself as the tenth biggest enemy of the pro-abortion Left.
9. Father Frank Pavone
The role of the Roman Catholic Church in the battle over abortion cannot be overstated. The RCC was the first and remains the strongest advocate and defender of the unborn. Long before there was even such a thing as a social conservative, Catholics were speaking up for innocence in the womb. While there are countless liberal Catholics who are pro-choice (especially in politics), the Church itself remains staunchly pro-life. And in America, the Priest who leads the anti-abortion charge is Father Frank Pavone.
Frank Pavone is the national director of Priests for Life. Priests for Life exists to inform the clergy and the people of the RCC how to fight the culture of death. The organization speaks out strongly against both abortion and euthanasia. Priests for Life supplies literature for activism and is also known for providing pictures of aborted babies as a way to show just how horrid the practice of abortion is. They believe strongly that “America will not reject abortion until America sees abortion.”
Father Pavone was a major player in the Terry Schiavo case. He is also a member of Dr. James Dobson’s Focus on the Family Institute which is one of the leading Protestant organizations against abortion. Father Pavone’s influence stretches wide. Even Norma McCorvey, “Jane Roe”, called Fr. Frank “the catalyst that brought me into the Catholic Church.”
Pavone believes strongly in Priests standing for life and not being afraid of politics. He vehemently attempts to convince Catholics to stop voting for pro-choice candidates. Also, if he can get Priests to be bold in promoting a culture of life then possibly the number of pro-choice Catholics will begin to decrease and that could really damage the pro-abortion Left.
The Catholic Church is the biggest fighter against abortion, Father Pavone is a leader on that issue, and therefore he will continue to be a top enemy of the pro-abortion Left.
8. Jay Sekulow
Jay Sekulow is one of the top dogs in the Christian Right. And Sekulow is, without a doubt, the head lawyer of the Christian Right. While Sekulow battles many issues that are related to Christianity and religious freedom, he has long been a major player on the issue of abortion. Considering the Christian Right is probably the most hated group to the Left, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Sekulow made this list.
Sekulow is an attorney but also a media figure for the right, hosting his own radio and television programs. He is both a frequent guest on many news programs and a major player in Supreme Court battles. Some of those court cases were vital battle grounds in the fight over the womb. And Sekulow is now the Chief Counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ). The ACLJ was founded by Pat Robertson to be the Christian Right’s answer to the ACLU.
The pro-abortion Left has a lot of reasons to both hate and fear Jay Sekulow. Not only is he a smart legal mind that often beats them in court. Not only does he represent so much of what the Left despises. But Sekulow is a friend to Justice Antoni Scalia, and Sekulow is rumored to have been a key figure in getting Chief Justice John Roberts into the Supreme Court. . . .
The Left knows it faces more future losses in the abortions wars. And many of those losses will be connected to Jay Sekulow.
7. John Boehner
There are a lot of pro-life politicians that the pro-abortion organizations hate. But politicians are largely ineffective in pushing pro-life legislation (and sometimes they stab life advocates in the back i.e. Bart Stupak). So no politicians made the top ten list except John Boehner. Why?
Boehner is especially feared by the Left because of his new found power as Speaker of the House. Boehner is now third in power in all of American government. He is Republican, conservative, passionate, and pro-life. And to make matters worse for the abortionists, Boehner had declared the abortion industry is one of his targets.
Boehner recenently told Charmaine Yoest of Americans United for Life that he is determined to be the most “pro-life speaker in history”. This has the abortion industry so upset they are spending big money to go against him. NARAL just announced a new campaign to stop Boehner and his pro-life agenda.
Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL, said that Boehner is set to the launch the “fiercest attacks” on abortion “in decades.”
“Americans did not give Boehner and his cronies a mandate to interfere in our personal, private decisions. We will turn the Boehner Bait and Switch into the Boehner Backlash, as the new speaker learns that his anti-choice agenda is out of step with our country’s values and priorities.” – Keenan
One of the top priorities of the Pro-Abortion Left is to stop Boehner from pushing pro-life legislation. They even created a website to gain support against him. It promotes taking an oath against Boehner’s agenda.
Boehner is clearly a primary target of the Pro-Abortion Left. They understand the laws of the land are going to be greatly shaped by what the Speaker pushes the next couple of years.
6. Dr. Charmaine Yoest
Dr. Charmaine Yoest is President and CEO of Americans United for Life (AUL). The AUL is the first national pro-life organization in America. They are mostly a team of legal strategists who have been involved with every case on abortion that has gone before the Supreme Court since Roe v. Wade. Their focus is helping the pro-life cause in court rooms, helping politicians with legislation, and educating the public. Their work is vital to the abortion battle in courts, congress, and living rooms. That makes them a top enemy of pro-Abortion group and that makes their leader, Charmaine Yoest, a top ten target.
The AUL is the right hand man for any pro-life politician. They provide them models of legislation and educate them on the issues. The are the brains behind the work of those in politics who want to protect the unborn. The AUL is also typically the #1 resource for those doing battle in the courts over abortion. And the AUL is often sought out by the press as a voice to represent the pro-life side of hot debates, and Yoest is the face of the organization.
Dr. Yoest worked in the Regan administration, worked in Universities, was VP of the Family Research Council, and was a major adviser to Mike Huckabee in his 2008 bid for President. She has spoken before congress and on countless news shows. AUL is the legal arm of the pro-life movement and Yoest is their leader and spokesman. This fact was seen clearly during the debate over both Kagan and Sotomayer as new Supreme Court justices. . . .
To put it simply, any time abortion groups are in a battle, if you look across the table at their opposition you will usually see Charmaine Yoest and AUL.
5. Marjorie Dannenfelsor
Last November the American people elected 72 new pro-life members of the House, new pro-life senators, and gave Boehner the largest pro-life majority in the House since Roe v. Wade. One of the groups who should get a lot of credit for those results is the Susan B. Anthony List. And their President and Chairman of the Board is Marjorie Dannenfelser.
Dannenfelser helped start the SBA-List as a way of getting pro-life leaders, especially women, into office. Dannenfelser got frustrated in the early 90s watching so many of the women going into politics being pro-choice. She made it her goal to change that situation. Now when you look at conservatives in politics, the most exciting names are usually women.
Under Dannenfelser’s leadership, the SBA-List has spent millions promoting pro-life candidates. Since 1996 they have outspent the pro-choice National Organization for Women in every election. The organization’s success rate has had its best results the last couple of years. When you think of names like Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, and Nikki Hailey; realize that SBA-List played a big role in their success. Politico even reported that Sarah Palin will only endorse candidates who support the Tea Party and have the support of the SBA-List.
The Left has attempted to silence Marjorie Dannenfelser on many occasions. She and her group have become the most effective organization in getting passionately pro-life people into office. In the political battle for abortion, Dannenfelser is extremely dangerous to the pro-choice power hold in Washington.
4. Lila Rose
For years Planned Parenthood has been presented as a positive and helpful place for women to go for reproductive health issues. The organization has been able to get government money and receives funding from regional offices of beloved groups like United Way and Susan G. Komen. However, pro-lifers have long believed the organization to be harmful to women, unethical, and maybe even involved in illegal activity. Yet it was hard to prove Planned Parenthood was shady until Lila Rose showed up.
Lila Rose is head of the pro-life activist group Live Action. Rose has gained notoriety in the abortion battle over the last year by releasing sting videos on their YouTube page. The young looking 20 year old was able to easily pass herself off at Planned Parenthoods in multiple states as a pregnant thirteen to fifteen year old. Rose would use hidden video cameras that often revealed counselors trying to help Rose cover up statutory rape and break parental consent laws.
Live Action’s videos have garnered Rose and her cause a lot of media attention. She is a master of utilizing new media and will most likely remain a major player in the abortion battle for years to come.
Rose’s work has been damning and damaging to Planned Parenthood. The organization has had to fire long time employees and defend itself against ongoing investigations in multiple states. Rose is not simply a pebble in the show of America’s largest abortion provider. She may just bring them down.
3. Crisis Pregnancy Centers
The number 3 enemy of the pro-abortion Left differs in that can’t be represented by a single person. In fact, it can’t even be represented by one single organization. Crisis Pregnancy Centers are pregnancy resource centers all over the world. They are run by many different groups, but the major ones are Care Net, Heartbeat International, National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA), and Birthright International.
CPCs are typically run by pro-life Christian volunteers. Their goal is to give free care to women with crisis or unplanned pregnancies and provide them alternatives to abortion. The centers often offer counseling, literature, free ultrasounds, adoption information, and many of them will help young mothers and dads with education and supplies for caring for their new babies. Some CPCs even offer counseling for women who have had abortions and are struggling with and regretting their decision.
Why does the pro-abortion Left hate a group that is actually helping women? The simple answer is money. Abortion is a lucrative industry. Clinics like Planned Parenthood make millions and millions of dollars convincing women to let them abort their babies. CPCs take a lot of that business away by showing women how they can have their babies and get help. There are over 4,000 CPCs in the United States but only around 750 abortion clinics. The abortion mills will do whatever they can to turn those numbers around.
A lot of money has been spent by groups like Planned Parenthood and NARAL to try to shut down or silence CPCs. Leftist politicians in New York, California, Texas, Maryland, New Jersey and other states are constantly trying to pass laws censoring Crisis Pregnancy Centers. Many politicians receive campaign funds from abortion groups and then are encouraged to pursue ways to get rid of CPCs. One example can be seen here.
With all the money spent to attack CPCs, the organizations are clearly a major enemy of the pro-abortion Left.
2. Alveda King
It would be fair to consider Alveda King the number one enemy of pro-choicers. She is greatly feared for many reasons, most of them center around the fact that the woman is such a powerful symbol as the niece of Martin Luther King Jr.
The Left loves to portray the ‘anti-abortionists’ as white, angry, men. King can get angry at times I’m sure, but she destroys the image being pushed by the pro-abortion crowd. She is a strong black woman with a past that included having two abortions and being a staunch Democrat, even once holding office as a Congresswoman in Georgia’s 28th district from 1979 to 1981.
At some point in her life, King became a strong advocate for the unborn. She believes that it is babies in the womb who most need civil rights now. They deserve the right to life. And now King is one of the most well known pro-life advocates.
Alveda King makes the Left ring their hands in anger. They know she gives legitimacy to groups and people they despise. For example,the so-called liberals reacted with horror when King spoke at Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally last August. (Read the Huffington Post’s angry blog on the topic.)
Another reason the Left fears Alveda King is because she points out how the abortion industry specifically seems to target and harm the black community. King has worked with Priests for Life to point out:
“Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in America. 78% of their clinics are in minority communities. Blacks make up 12% of the population, but 35% of the abortions in America. Are we being targeted? Isn’t that genocide? We are the only minority in America that is on the decline in population. If the current trend continues, by 2038 the black vote will be insignificant.”
If Alveda King had remained a pro-choice Democrat she would be a hero and champion of the Left. But because of her work for the unborn, she remains a top enemy.
1. Abby Johnson
Many of those most hated by the abortion industry are despised because they are former members of the abortion industry. When people wake up to the horrors and dangers of abortion in America, they often become strong pro-life advocates and leaders. That makes them major targets of the Left. The last thing they want is people giving credibility to former pro-choice advocates.
In the past the pro-life movement has been blessed with many converts. Norma McCorvey, the original Roe in Roe v. Wade became an advocate for the unborn in 1995. Bernard Nathanson co-founded NARAL but completely changed his views around 1979. Today’s most feared convert to the abortion industry is also the number 1 overall enemy of the pro-abortion Left: Abby Johnson.
Lila Rose was featured on this list for revealing so much of the unethical and apparent illegal behavior of Planned Parenthood. But Abby Johnson is feared because she has revealed much about Planned Parenthood and will soon reveal much more, moreover she has the credentials to do it.
Johnson was a volunteer or employee for Planned Parenthood for eight years and even became the director of a clinic in Texas. On October 6, 2009 she suddenly quit her job. Why? In September of that year Johson was assisting in an ultrasound guided abortion on a 13 week old baby in the womb. It was the first time she ever saw an abortion take place from an ultrasound. She watched in horror as the little baby tried to avoid the probe inserted into the womb to destroy the baby. The unborn child died and Johnson fled the industry. She saw some people praying for life outside of the clinic and knew that is who she needed to turn to.
Almost immediately Planned Parenthood sought to put Johnson under a gag order to keep her from revealing damaging information. The full “restraining order of disclosure” only held until it was put before a judge in November of 2009 who recognized it as bogus. The next day Johnson was on Bill O’Reilly and has been a sought after speaker ever since. Her main argument is that Planned Parenthood has aggressively sought to promote abortions to raise profits, and she has been sharing her story to all who will listen.
On January 11th of this year, Johnson’s book revealing her Planned Parenthood experience will be released. The Left is quaking in fear and is hoping for dismal sales. And so at this very moment, Abby Johnson is the top enemy of the pro-abortion Left.
Hopefully all of these champions for life will continue to get the word out on the truths of abortion and the industry behind it. Even those who aren’t pro-life advocates should support the freedom of speech of these warriors for those without a voice. As the abortion battle heats up with this new congress, leaders like these need a chance to speak to the American people.
Paul Cooper is a husband and father above all else. With a wife and 2 daughters he could use a dog, but sadly he only owns a cat – a female cat no less. Paul is also a pastor, blogger, and business owner. Find him on Twitter.NewsReal Blog is the team blog of the David Horowitz Freedom Center.