Our Lady of the Wayside

Our Lady of the Wayside
Protect Expectant Mothers and Their Babies


Wednesday 30 June 2010

Bishop does 99% Better than his Lay Faithful for Praying at Abortuary

Over the years I have heard a number of pro-lifers, myself included, complain that the Bishops, priests or whoever were not doing enough for the pro-life movement and needed to do X, Y or Z.
When a Bishop does do something outstanding for the Pro-life movement we are all obliged to give him our full support, therefore I hope that you will be able to attend the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants peaceful prayer vigil at Marie Stopes Abortuary, Buckhurst Hill which will be led by Bishop Thomas McMahon.
Bishop McMahon has attended the vigil at the only abortuary in his diocese faithfully for a number of years now. It is interesting to think that 100% of Bishops in Brentwood attend this vigils while less than 5% of priests attend and the number of faithful attending does not even make up 1%! I therefore hope that you will be able to attend this vigil to do your bit to increase the number of the lay faithful, or priests (depending which you are) in attendance.
The vigil will happen on Saturday 10th July. The day starts with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at 9am at St Thomas of Canterbury Church 557/559 High Road, Woodford Green, IG8 0RB followed by a procession at 9.45am to the Abortuary and returning at 12 Noon. 12.30 there will be a break for tea and get together. Please bring a packed Lunch. For more information see http://www.hgpi.co.uk/

Stuart McCullough

Tuesday 29 June 2010

Why I Am Pro-Life

Padre Pio allegedly told one Woman in Confession that she had aborted a Pope.

I am pro-Life because all life is created by God, and only God knows what his plan is for the life of this little one in time, and God's plan for him or her may be far beyond our wildest dreams.

Imagine how you would feel, if in later life we discovered that we had blocked a great good to humanity.

I work for Good Counsel because they help all expectant mothers, no matter what their situation may be.

Angela Murphy.

Monday 28 June 2010

The Importance of Prayer in Pro-Life Work

I opened my bible with the intention of writing about prayer after praying for inspiration from God and thanks be to God I believe it was the right page to start off with.
First Epistle of St. Paul to Timothy Chap 2:1-6; "I desire therefore, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men: For kings, and for all that are in high station: that we may lead a quiet and a peaceable life in all piety and chastity. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus: Who gave himself a redemption for all, a testimony in due times."
We know that prayer is vital to our pro-life work and that Jesus in the only mediator who stands in need of no other to recommend His petitions to the Father. But this is not against our seeking the prayer and intercession, as well of the faithful upon earth as of the saints and angels in heaven for obtaining mercy , grace, and salvation through Jesus Christ. And we of course know the importance of praying the Holy Rosary for Our Lady’s intercession for all our needs and the needs of others.
Our Lady has revealed many promises to those who devoutly say the Rosary. Also it has been revealed that the Divine Mercy is a vital prayer to say in the fight against abortion. Monsignor Reilly recommends it for praying outside abortion clinics. We witness the power of prayer when we hear that so many abortion clinics have been closed down in America with ‘The Helpers of God’s Precious Infants’ led by Monsignor Reilly.
We need to pray for those mums who are being tempted by satan to abort, we pray for the graces to resist temptation and for them to be directed to our Centre or some kind of help so that they can keep their babies instead so that they will turn against abortion and to pray also for their conversion and salvation of their souls. We know that God will intervene if we pray fervently and have faith in Him.
Lorraine Coyne

Saturday 26 June 2010

Wedding Bells

Please remember in your prayers today one of our staff Conor, who will be getting married this afternoon to Madeleine. Conor and Madeleine began their Courtship on the Feast of Our Lady of Good Counsel and we are sure that she is keeping her watchful eye over them both. We wish them God's Blessing and a Happy and Fruitful Married Life.

All the Staff and Volunteers of the Good Counsel Network

The Difficulties of Being A Priest

I realised last weekend the difficulties of being a priest one weekend when visiting a parish for a collection for Good Counsel's work.

The Parish Priest is very supportive and is involved with our work. The appeal was mostly very well received.

At the end of the Second Mass of the day I was standing at the back of the church thanking people for contributions which they put in the collecting plates and handing out leaflets when I and the volunteers with me were approached by a man who told us he thought the Church needed to change many of its teachings even though he went Mass every Sunday. It was very difficult to speak to him, but I feel, and I hope, that by the end of the conversation we had explained our side of the story and he might one day come to reconsider his views. We must pray for him.

While I was getting ready for the next Mass I noticed a couple sitting outside the Church in the sunshine. I thought that they were just taking a break from wherever they were walking to. It turned out that they were not. After a short while they approached me to ask when the priest would be finished his sermon. After realising they wanted to speak to him, I informed them that the Mass would probably be about another half an hour. The man informed me that he needed to get married to the lady with him, he then went on to say that he already lived with her and that he was not practicing, although she was a Catholic.

I don’t know which is harder, to speak to someone who has a deep wound and is very hostile towards you and all you stand for or someone who is very blasé about things but living a life which is against the teachings of the church. Whichever it is, both of them are examples of the many people that your priest has to deal with along with helping all the God-fearing Catholics who are living out their lives as the Church teaches to come closer to God.

The year for priests has now come to an end, but we must remember to continue praying for them. Now, more than ever, they need it!

Conor Carroll

Friday 25 June 2010

Symbollic Action at the Gates of Hell

The day of the Marie Stopes’ TV ad, we arranged a peaceful, prayerful vigil outside Marie Stopes House. The day of May 24th dawned, the sun dazzled and the sky was a brilliant mantle blue.
Three of us, Lynne, Sr. Chinedum and I walked onto Whitfield Street, walked towards Marie Stopes House with the intention of starting the vigil. The minute we reached the railings of the building we heard an aggressive man (who we later learned was some kind of security guy) say, ‘Who are you? Are you here to obstruct the entrance to Marie Stopes, are you? You are not allowed.’
‘And who are you?’ asked Lynne.
‘I work for Marie Stopes International, and I’m telling you not to obstruct our building.’
Lynne kept her voice very calm, did not stop setting up for the vigil and pointing to the posh Marie Stopes building, she said,

‘That is Marie Stopes’ building, inside there, we are on the pavement. The pavement is not Marie Stopes'. You are also on the pavement, I can’t tell you to get off the pavement.’
The angry man didn’t say anything in response; we blessed ourselves with holy water from Lourdes, stayed at the first door of the building, and started the Joyful Mysteries. A Marie Stopes side-kick came out and asked the security guy what we were doing there. The side-kick was dressed professionally, but I never learned her job-title, yet her job that day consisted of frog-marching pregnant girls from the street inside the clinic. The street is not owned by Marie Stopes, yet this side-kick started the business of Marie Stopes on the street, by marching up to a woman approaching the building, putting her arms around her in a ring shape, saying ‘you don’t need that thing’, when we tried to put a leaflet in her hands, and would not let her make the choice as to whether tshe wanted to speak with us or not.
The girls would approach the first door, but were frog-marched into the second door. That meant we had to cover the two doors, the first where the girls would approach, and the second where they would enter. Sr. Chinedum stayed at the first door.
Another Volunteer, Mary (like myself) and I went to the second door and finished the first of seven Rosaries, and ten Divine Mercy chaplets.
During our prayer time, a camera crew arrived from a French television station. They received bright smiles from the two Marie Stopes workers, and got a cheesy ‘Hi guys!’. The journalist with the camera crew wanted to interview me, but I declined. It could have been potentially disastrous to do so; during that precious time I was there to offer help and to advise girls, I could have ‘missed’ a girl by wasting time talking to an antagonistic camera crew. I had to be ever vigilant and ready to smile at a girl who at any moment had got the courage to speak to someone who wasn’t death peddling. But also, the Vigil itself is the complete message; praying and offering help speaks volumes, so there was nothing further to communicate to the press.
My refusal to speak to the French crew did not stop them asking at least four more times to interview us, and then pointing their camera five inches from my face. The other Mary had a touch of palpitations when the French camera crew zoomed in like gigantic bugs. For a couple of seconds I stopped praying and said, ‘I’m so nervous about that camera, we can’t do as good a job of talking to the pregnant mothers.’ The other Mary made a very good point in response to this; ‘we live in a society where cameras are everywhere. We are always on camera. But with that guy putting that camera in our faces it’s more obvious.’
After the French camera crew had finally strutted away. We had a small lull and were able to give four girls leaflets without a camera trailing us. Then the BBC came. The atmosphere seemed very cordial between the Marie Stopes workers and the BBC. In the distance, I heard the BBC journalist apologising to the Marie Stopes woman who was marching women into the clinic. And there were warm smiles and handshakes. The BBC filmed us, looked at us with stone faces, but cleared off fast. Meanwhile more people came to pray in front of the clinic, and six women and one man were praying the Rosary.
There was a blessed quarter of an hour when no girls went into the clinic, and we prayed all the harder. The security guy violently thwacked a bottle against the railings as if it was a baton just behind me and the other Mary. Someone working in the building came out, pointed at us and said mockingly, ‘do I need salvation? Look at them!’ ‘Oh yeah! You need salvation all right. What a joke!’ said the woman who was marching the girls in.
Another British camera crew came but didn’t stay long, and didn’t say who they were. A Polish camera crew came, and what dumbfounded me was that the pretty blond reporter gave us a sincere smile, and the cameraman waved at us. They told us that Poland is a very Catholic county, and that praying outside clinics was of great interest to the general population, and that the Polish people would support our vigil. This was almost in stereotypical contrast to the attitudes of both the British and French crews. The Polish crew asked – politely – if they could ask us a few questions. We declined again. The sun was still dazzling, and I had to feel sorry for the many heavily covered Muslim teenage girls who trudged their way into the clinic looking dejected. But they weren’t the only ones suffering the bright grill of the sun, the clinic workers were getting uncomfortable in the sun, and at quarter to one, the woman asked us,
‘Are you going to be here all afternoon? I said are you going to go away at any point?’
At one, we packed up our things and strode out of the street. I gave a fleeting glance to the clinic workers who lingered outside the clinic, they fixed sharp eyes on us to make sure we were leaving. We had visited the gates of hell, but were not staying.

Mary O' Regan

Thursday 24 June 2010

Still Time to Join St Greorge's Crusade

There is still time to prayer for the end of abortion during the World Cup...and beyond! Good Counsel printed 20,000 Prayercards asking people to say this prayer whenever you see the Cross of St George;

Great St George, Patron of England,

slay the dragon of abortion

and give Mary back her dowry.

The back of the prayercard goes on to say;
For more information about how to help end abortion see; mariastopsabortion.blogspot.com

For help in an unplanned pregnancy call 0207 723 1740 or see www.goodcounselnetwork.com

We have had to print another 10,000 copies as we ran out of the first 20,000 quite quickly. We only have 1,000 left at the moment, if you would like copies phone 02077231740 or email your snail-mail address to; info@goodcounselnetwork.freeserve.co.uk
God bless Pat Sammon for the idea, see our earlier post. Priests are welcome to reprint the prayer on their newsletters with or without our contact details. It is to be hoped that other blogs will also use it.

The Mission of St John the Baptist

Today is the Feast of St John the Baptist.
Everyone knows he came to prepare the way for Christ. But what specific mission was given to him and also to his ancestor Elijah? And why is he therefore crucial to the battle against abortion, and against euthanasia too for that matter?
Ecclesiaticus 48:1-14 tells us the mission of Elijah is"To turn the hearts of fathers to their children" and Luke 1:17 says of St John the Baptist, "And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias; that he may turn the hearts of the fathers unto the children, and the incredulous to the wisdom of the just, to prepare unto the Lord a perfect people."
We often complain that Fathers are so frequently responsible for causing abortions. But today let us ask St John the Baptist to fulfil his mission in our time and turn the hearts of fathers to their children and let us thank God for those men whose hearts are already turned in love towards their children.
Clare McCullough

Wednesday 23 June 2010

Next Latin Mass for Good Counsel 9th July

It was very nice on the feast of the Sacred Heart to see Fr Patrick Hayward so happy with the large turnout for our Mass at Corpus Christi.
On the second Friday of every month the Latin Mass Society organises Mass, in the Old Form of the Latin Rite, for The Good Counsel Network at Corpus Christi Church, Maiden Lane, Central London at 6.30pm. It is normally a Low Mass celebrated by Fr Haywood with a dozen or so of the faithful making up the small congregation.
As the second Friday of June was the feast of the Sacred Heart we had a sung Mass with a congregation 5 or 6 times the norm.
Fr Hayward who faithfully celebrates this Mass every month said that he hoped that they could all come next month and continue to do so.
As the second Friday of July, - the 9th July - is the feast of Sts John Fisher and Thomas More we will have another Sung Mass. Please attend if you can.

Stuart McCullough

Tuesday 22 June 2010

Tommorrow, 23rd June, Day of Prayer and Fasting

Wednesday 23rd June 2010, the Vigil of the Feast of St John the Baptist, is this month's National Day of Prayer & Fasting For Life.

A great prayer for Life is urgently needed. Pope John Paul II

And He said to them; This kind (of demon) can go out by nothing, but by prayer and fasting. (Gospel of Mark 9:29)

On Wednesday 23rd June please pray and fast for the end of abortion
and euthanasia. Your prayer and fasting is urgently needed.

Join us each month in Prayer and Fasting:
Fast from all food except bread and water
for the day
Fast from a particular food or luxury, e.g. chocolate, alcohol,
cigarettes, TV.
Fast from whatever you can given your state of health etc, but
make sure it is something that involves a sacrifice to yourself.
We are asking people to say a Rosary (or
an extra Rosary if you say it daily already).
You could also offer an extra effort such as going to Mass (or
an extra Mass) on the day, or going to Adoration. You can
even pray before a closed tabernacle if Adoration is not
available near you.

For information on the days of Prayer and Fasting contact;
The Good Counsel Network on 020 7723 1740.

And the people of Ninevah believed in God; they proclaimed a fast and put
on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least…God saw their efforts to
renounce their evil ways. And God relented about the disaster which He
had threatened to bring on them, and He did not bring it. (Jonah 3:5,10)

Monday 21 June 2010

Find Something Decent on TV!

Very rarely will you see something pro-life on television, unless of course you know where to look.
Every week on EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network) Fr Pavone has a programme called Defending Life. In our newsletter and on this blog we have used articles from Fr Pavone as his analysis of pro-life issues is excellent. You can watch Fr Pavone’s programme here in the UK if you have Sky on channel 589 or online at http://www.ewtn.co.uk/ . At www.ewtn.co.uk How to Access section, there is the information of other ways of watching EWTN with BBC Freesat etc besides through Sky or on the internet. Each episode is shown three times during the week to ensure that a large number of people will have the opportunity to view it.
This 30 minute programme is on Monday at 10.30pm, Tuesday at 2.30pm and Friday at 9.30am every week.
Stuart McCullough

Saturday 19 June 2010

'In my name they shall cast out devils' Mark 16:17

“I don’t need to pray outside the abortion clinic. I can pray in my parish, I can pray in my car, I can pray in house, I can pray in my Bedroom.”
It is perfectly true that you can and should pray in all of
those places but St John, St Mary Magdalen and Our Blessed Lady are well
remembered for their prayers at the foot of the cross. The Abortuaries are a
modern day Calvery. When we pray there, we are praying at the foot of the cross
where the innocents who cannot speak for themselves are put to death. Some have asked would Jesus pray at an abortion 'clinic'? The answer is that He does day in day out, 'For where there are two or three gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.' (Matt 18:20)

He has, on occasion, gone there in procession. I have been to Bedford Square (abortuary)when Benediction was given by Fr. George Roth of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculata. One could wonder where Demons would flee to when confronted by the Real Presence of God… On the day of that Benediction, the largest peace time explosion in Europe, took place a few miles away in Buncefield Oil Refinery. My Mother who is an Agnostic would say this is just a coincidence.

Stuart McCullough

Friday 18 June 2010

Abortions Continue Because We Lie

I recently watched an inspirational programme on television; A family kept a video diary of the natural world around their large garden through which a river flows. It showed the two parents observe the fascinating flora and fauna and all the fish and animal life and delight in teaching their three little boys about the beauty and wonder of the world around them.
It was good to see the warm family interactions which include all the emotions, love laughter, exasperation, arguments sadness, joy, care and concern both for each other, the environment and the animal and fish life around them. The children observe birth, death and everything in between in a normal and natural way as children should.
When I saw the programme, I was grateful for television which enables us to see close at hand so much of the beauty of God's creation which is around us and which we take so much for granted. It is hard to see why people cannot believe in God when one sees the beauty and order of creation.
There are also instances where animals or fish were killed for food or injured.

There was one particular instance where a baby kingfisher had a broken wing, The father of the family rescued it fed and cared for it, including two trips to the vet, and was visibly very upset when it died. His wife had a dilemma as to whether he should have rescued it in the first place as perhaps the bird would have suffered less by dying quickly and naturally had he left it in the river where he found it.
As I watched the soul searching, the care and attention to nature I thought of all the abortions which take place every day of every year all over the world. If only we could give the same thought and care to the innocent and helpless unborn babies that this bird had. So many of us lie to ourselves and others; "No it is not a baby, it is just a group of cells"(cells with a beating heart at 18 days old when most women do not even realise they are pregnant) ."It is not a baby so it cannot feel pain". How do we know he or she can't? What is the difference between the baby born at 24 weeks lying, in the incubator, showing distress, crying reacting to pain and the baby of 23 weeks gestation still safe and protected in the uterus but about to be aborted because he or she is not perfect in our eyes. There is no difference, we lie and pretend there is, so that we do not have to face the fact that not only are we murderers, we are torturers too.
Ronni O'Gara

Thursday 17 June 2010

Destitute in London

The phone was ringing: the call was for me. One of the women to whom we sent vouchers each week was ringing to say she had received her voucher for that week.It was, like all financial help we give, a subsistence amount enabling her to buy enough food, nappies etc for her children. It did not allow for the tinest luxury but she was grateful, as all the women to whom we send vouchers are, because without this help she and her children would literally starve.
Yes in London England we have women and young children who are totally destitute. They are people who, for whatever reason, reasons usually outside of their control, have no money and no home. The baby's father has usually abandoned them. This is the story one such woman told to me when I first saw her..
Elaine's husband had emigrated to England. Once he was established in a job and had a home he sent for his wife and 3 year old son to join him. The plan was that they both would work, the child would attend nursery and they would build up a prosperous life for themselves. However the plan went wrong as it so often does due to the failure of the artificial contraception they used. Elaine found she was pregnant. Her husband was very angry and told her to abort the baby. She refused, so he regularly beat and kicked her and told her he would get rid of the baby. He also brought another woman into their dwelling place and openly slept with this woman. Elaine fled with her son and relied on a friend to provide accomodation food and essentials for both of them. Her friend told her that she would be unable to accomodate her after the baby's birth.
She saw one of our leaflets which outlines the help we can give and made an appointment to be seen when she was about 35 weeks pregnant. On assessment her main needs were for accomodation and enough money to feed and clothe her family once her baby was born. She also needed baby clothes and equipment , most of which were given to her on that first visit. I also referred her to an organisation via which she could access free legal help so that she could regularise her situation.Her husband's solicitor had been doing this but she no longer had contact with her husband. She was asked to return a week or two later to be told the outcome of the assessment of need and to learn what help could be offered to her.She had been asked to bring with her, to this first first visit, means of identification , passport, Home Office documents, any proof she could provide regarding her financial situation etc. This type of information is used to help inform all assessments and aids the decision making process. but the priority of the organisation is to prevent abortion. This lady was strong enough to resist her husband's violent attempts to get her to abort their baby, because of that resistence she was now homeless and penniless.
She did not return as expected but rang a few days later to say she had gone in to labour and her baby girl was born a few weeks earlier than expected, but she was due to be discharged from hospital and had nowhere to stay . Following discussion at Good Counsel it was decided that we would provide short term housing, vouchers, friendship, and support. She returned to practice of her faith and her children were baptised. She was able to leave within a few months, having regularised her legal situation. She now has a home and an income. She no longer needs our practical help but she continues to access moral support and friendship by visiting the Sisters(who ran the house where she stayed) and attending some of our mother's meetings.
Ronni O'Gara

Wednesday 16 June 2010

On the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Friday 11th June marked the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and was also the day chosen by Pope Benedict to end the Year for Priests.
The Sacred Heart of Jesus embodies the heart of our Catholic faith. God shared our humanity in His Son, Jesus Christ. Our Lord suffered enormously during His earthly life. He took on our wounds and sins upon Himself, whilst remaining sinless, and died a most horrendous barbaric death on the cross, and rose from death three days later.

We are all sinners, wounded and broken, and yet Our Lord's death on the cross, and His defeat of death through His Resurrection, shows us His infinite love for us. God desires above all that we trust in His love and mercy for us, that despite our brokeness, our sins and wounds, inflicted by others and by ourselves, He will purify us and save us.

Confession, or also known as the Sacrament of Reconciliation is an invitation for us all to confess our brokeness, our sins and above all our inability to strive for holiness alone. Through confession, God embraces us with His infinite mercy. God loves us so much and His love is unconditional. No sin is to big for Him, even the sin of abortion. God takes away all feelings of guilt, hurt, betrayal, shame and fear, through this wonderful Sacrament. The slate is wiped clean, though our sins be as scarlet they shall be whiter than snow.

As it said in the Communion Rite on the Feast of the Sacred Heart:

"The Lord says: If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me: whoever believes in me, let him drink, streams of living water shall flow out from within him. " (John 7: 37-38)

Let us take great courage and hope from Our Lord's words. He loves us so much. His Sacred Heart desires all of us to be saved.Our mother, whose feast day was Saturday 12th June,the "Immaculate Heart of Mary", will draw us ever closer to her Sons Sacred Heart so that we will have "streams of living water flowing from within us" and Our Lord through his Holy Spirit will draw all of mankind to Himself.
James Coulborn

Tuesday 15 June 2010

Maria Stops Abortion Ad Campaign

As many Londoners amongst you will know, the abortion providers, Marie Stopes International or BPAS, from time to time will take out advertising on the tubes or over-ground train-lines. When this happens, for several weeks we all have to live with the sight of some tastefully designed posters, promoting abortion as though it was the reasonable person’s answer to the ‘problem’ of an ‘unwanted’ pregnancy. Women who are pregnant and are in a panic can easily be brought to feel that abortion will solve all their problems. And of course the advertising makes no reference either to the horror of what the different abortion procedures involve for the baby OR to the awful suffering that many, many women will endure afterwards.
Advertising abortion on TV will worsen this situation because a) it will bring abortion into every living room and b) it continues the trend of implying that abortion is simple, morally acceptable and is something which facilitates a happy future. So we will continue to oppose TV advertising of abortion with prayer and fasting.
We would also like to increase our outreach to women in trouble in a pregnancy which maybe wasn’t planned or where they suddenly find themselves in crisis. Using the title Maria Stops Abortion, we plan to reach out to women who would otherwise only see adverts for the ‘help’ offered by abortion providers. Tube and rail adverts are extremely expensive, but we feel the need to launch out into the deep and experiment with this type of outreach with the hope that any woman seeking an escape from abortion will find us.
Can you support our advertising programme with any contribution? A regular contribution by standing order helps us to plan ahead for future advertising as well. You can donate by cheque, by card online through the link at: www.goodcounselnetwork.com on the ‘Donate’ page and you can obtain a Standing Order form and/or a Gift Aid form by phoning us or online also on our ‘Donate’ page.
£20.00 buys one ad inside a tube carriage for 2 weeks. But for about £400 we can begin advertising in Stations. If you support this campaign, please send what you can.
Meanwhile, why not get one of our posters put up in your parish or anywhere locally where pregnant girls could see it (while we are mainly London based, we can provide advice and support to girls in England and Wales).

Originally From The Good Counsel Newsletter

Monday 14 June 2010

Prayer and Fasting…You Never Know…

A good friend of mine saw the leaflet for the last National Day of Prayer and Fasting on a table at my place, and was intrigued by its message that prayer and fasting could be efficacious in stopping abortion. She is not a practising Catholic, but prays to Jesus. My friend is not directly involved in pro-life work and was enthused that fasting was something she could do for the pro-life movement, so she decided to fast from all food for 36 hours.

On the day of the fast, she went to work as usual, and as it happened there were boxes of chocolate galore in the staff room. Many times, she had to refuse a tray of luxury chocolates, and explain that she was fasting. Many faces with corrugated brows asked, what’s fasting? Why was she doing it? She explained that she was fasting for a decrease in the number of abortions. She went out with a group of friends for lunch in a fancy restaurant, and while everyone else ate delicious, steaming plates of food, she quietly said that she was fasting. Some were perplexed as to why she was fasting for pro-life, ‘there can’t be that many abortions every day’ one friend commented. She answered that there are over 600 abortions in England and Wales every day, and that while she had been pro-abortion, she now believed that many people would be here with us, but that their lives were cut short by abortion.
She found it a mortifying experience that so many at work were whispering about her fasting, it wasn’t as if she was parading her fasting, but it had become a discussion piece. A bigger test came later when she went out for dinner with her militantly anti-Catholic, Richard Dawkins following boyfriend. He ate his starter while she sipped water and when he was ordering his main course, he asked, ‘are you on a diet?’ She shook her head and said that she was fasting for the success of pro-life work in London. He practically gagged on his food. He wasn’t encouraging; ‘nothing will come out of that. You’re wasting your time. I thought we were going to have a posh meal together.’
‘That’s the point. I’m giving up the posh meal; it’s a sacrifice.’
‘Sacrifices are useless’ he said.
‘Not if they are for people you love.’
‘Who are they?’
‘Jesus and His creations.’
‘But why fast?’
‘We fast to make up for the wrong of abortion, that Jesus will give grace in return for our sacrifice, and that the grace will go towards stopping abortion.’
Had I not been a friend of hers, I would not have known that she had met so many people and had been a good example of someone who was praying and fasting. We may not see in this life how her sacrifice appeased Almighty God, but her fast showed many people the importance with which she holds making sacrifices to God.

Mary O'Regan

Saturday 12 June 2010

New Tabernacle Installed

Our Tabernacle before (left) and after (below).

We recently asked readers to contribute towards the renovation of an old tabernacle we had been given. Our aim was to replace the tiny tabernacle we had been using with one more suited to our daily Mass and Adoration schedule.
Fr Timothy Finigan had the following to say on the subject:
The tabernacle currently in use is not large enough properly to hold the pyx which contains the Benediction host. It has to be put in (reverently, of course) on its side, in order to fit into the small tabernacle along with the ciborium.

I'm delighted to see that there is now a better tabernacle (see the Maria Stops Abortion blog) donated by a kind priest. Quite properly it has been re-gilded to make it more respectable to hold the Blessed Sacrament. The cost was £1000 - maybe someone might be able to cover this? It would help keep funds available for the vital work of safeguarding unborn children and assisting mothers who are in trouble.
you can see his whole article for 28 May on The Good Counsel Network by clicking here. The new tabernacle is now fitted, but it is not too late to donate to this appeal, please help if you can. Adoration is vital to our work. Helping women to change their minds in the most difficult crisis pregnancy situations.
Clare McCullough

Friday 11 June 2010

Prayer Vigil Outside Marie Stopes House, Also Shown On TV

On Monday the 24th May, Marie Stopes Abortion providers aired the first Abortion TV advert in the UK on Channel 4.
Many good people responded to this advert by contacting their MP, channel 4 and Marie Stopes themselves.
Many joined us in Prayer and Fasting on the 21st May.
On the day the advert was to be aired, the feast of Our Lady Help of Christians, a small group went to Marie Stopes House which is now an abortuary and whilst praying offered real help and support to the pregnant women going in.
Whilst the main purpose of this prayer vigil was to help the women, four film crews arrived at Marie Stopes in relation to the advert, they stopped and filmed us praying. As a result we had part of the Divine Mercy Chaplet recited on the national BBC News! Not a bad thing.

It is vitally important that when these issues arise, we sign petitions, lobby our MPs and contact the culprits etc etc.
But it is also vitally important that we go to the scene of the tragedy and offer to help resolve the women’s problems and not just when abortion is in the news.
It is also vital to remember that if Pro-life work is not supported by prayer and fasting it will come to naught.
Stuart McCullough

Thursday 10 June 2010

Feast of the Sacred Heart, Mass and Act of Consecration London Friday 11th June

Feast of the Sacred Heart. On Friday 11th June 6.30pm at Corpus Christi Church Maiden Lane, London. A Sung Mass in the old form of the Roman Rite has been organised for the Good Counsel Network by the Latin Mass Society and will include a Consecration of the World to the Sacred Heart.

“Let there be sung ‘Non nobis’ and ‘Te Deum’”

The Abortion statistics for England and Wales 2009 have been released by the department for health.
For the second year running the total number of Abortions in England and Wales has fallen. Whilst it does not seem possible to celebrate in a country where 189,100 Abortions took place, it would seem churlish of us not to thank God for the lives of over 6,000 babies who were not aborted during 2009.
As Shakepeare’s Henry V says after his victory at the battle of Agincourt,
“Come, go we in procession to the village:
And be it death proclaimed through our host
To boast of this or take that praise from God
Which is His only.”
This is a small victory, but it is God’s victory.
Any pro-life activity carried out in God’s name will have helped in this reduction. Whether you pray at the Abortuaries, or in Adoration, or volunteer with a pro-life organisation, or if you join us in our National Days of Prayers and Fasting, or are part of our Rosary Rota, or have lobbied your MP, If you have done this or anything else pro-life in God’s name then you have helped to achieve this small victory.
Remembering what Henry V said, we have had the Te Deum in our Chapel in thanksgiving.
Stuart McCullough

Wednesday 9 June 2010

Pray for Priests for Europe, a "Continent of Devastation"

‘In the 20th Century, great efforts were made to stop people believing, to make them reject Christ. Towards the end of the century, the end of the millennium, those destructive forces were weakened, yet they left a trail of devastation behind them. I am speaking of the devastation of consciences, with ruinous consequences in the moral sphere - affecting personal and social morality and the mores of family life. Pastors of souls, who engage every day with the spiritual lives of their flocks, know this better than anyone… Sadly one could describe Europe at the dawn of the new millennium as a continent of devastation. Political programmes, aimed principally at economic development, are not enough to heal wounds of this nature. On the contrary, they could even make them worse. Here an enormous task opens up for the Church. The evangelical harvest in today’s world is great indeed. We have only to ask the Lord, and to ask insistently, that he send labourers for this harvest, ready and waiting to be reaped.’ From Pope John Paul II’s Memory and Identity

In these final days of the Year of the Priest, please remember to pray for these ‘labourers for the harvest’. If you could spare some time to pray in the Good Counsel Network Chapel, you would be very welcome.

Tuesday 8 June 2010

Life at the Good Counsel Network.

I like to start the day by going into the Chapel to say a small prayer to ask God for His guidance to do His will. It's not always possible if the phone starts ringing before I get there but I prefer to do this . Most days there will be alot of multi-tasking such as thanking our supporters by hand, updating our database and mailing list, answering the Centre phone, booking in appointments for mothers we are helping and for new clients. There is also helping with the mothers queries and passing on messages. As I am on reception I do greet the clients and mothers and their children and make them tea and coffee etc. I also do a bit of typing and photocopying where necessary. I help with the mail-outs when necessary.

Its great that we have our Chapel and I can look forward to going to Mass almost every day that I am there, usually three days a week. And then we have Adoration frequently so it's a great blessing to be able to attend Mass and Adoration in the same day (if there is someone to cover the phone and reception while Im in the Chapel). I like to pray especially for our work and the mums in need that we help and especially for those who are seeking abortion that their precious babies will be saved, and for the conversion of their parents.

The busiest times are the monthly Mother's Meetings when all the mums are invited to attend with their children. Its good that we can hire a hall nearby now, so that there is plenty of room for the children to play. We often get given lots of toys and baby goods so we have been distributing them to the mums at the meetings. I remember one Christmas arriving at the door when there were so many mums already waiting, they had come early very keen to get to our Centre on time. They really look forward to it and it's great to see so many of them making friends and helping each other in any way that they can. We always have Mass for them to attend after a guest speaker talks to them usually about religious topics. After Mass we serve them with lunch and then they have the opportunity to chat among themselves, or to speak to an Advisor. Gifts are given and we try to make sure everyone has something to go home with. There are nice, special gifts at Christmas donated by supporters and by the Good Counsel. It's really good to see them having a nice time and enjoying themselves together with their children and with ourselves.
Lorraine Coyne

Monday 7 June 2010

The Unwelcome Guest

'Don’t you know that some unplanned children are made to feel guilty everyday of their lives because they weren’t wanted?’ A pro-abortion doctor said this to me.

And yes, I have witnessed how some ‘unplanned children’ are made to feel culpable for their conception. Many of my contemporaries in Ireland, born around the same time as me in the mid 1980's have been dragged through the guilt mire by their parents on account of the ‘inconvenience’ of their conception.

I mention the time period of the mid 80s, and this is crucial. Prior to 1980, contraception was prohibited in Ireland. In 1980, a government Act went into operation, allowing for contraception to be obtained only with a medical prescription, "for the purpose, bona fide, of family planning or for adequate medical reasons".

Physicians and pharmacists who had moral objections were not forced to write or fill such prescriptions. A contemporary of mine ‘Monica’- Monica's her mother got a prescription for the Pill in 1982, and used the Pill for both ‘medical reasons’ and for contraceptive purposes. Thinking the Pill was foolproof, she embarked on sexual relationships with different men, until she met Monica’s father and developed a more serious relationship. To her utter shock she became pregnant with Monica, and the pregnancy posed a risk of serious embarrassment, not least because Monica’s father was teaching religion in the local secondary school. Monica’s mother was conflicted between keeping the baby and 'going to England' (a colloquial term for having an abortion).

Monica’s father was totally opposed to this, and even mentioned that if it came out that she had had an abortion, the shame of that would outweigh the out of wedlock pregnancy. Monica’s mother felt contemptuous of the child; she was the first woman in her family to have ever used contraception, and she had felt so powerful and invincible. She hadn’t wanted ‘this thing’, and really, settling down early with the local schoolteacher wasn’t where she had imagined her life would lead!

Monica was born, to the delight of her father, who throughout her childhood lavished her with love and took her to the sacraments. Monica always perceived a gap between her mother and her, a sort of coldness that made her feel at fault. When Monica was ten her brother was born, and Monica heard her mother telling people proudly that she had had ‘a good break’ between Monica and her brother, and that he was ‘planned’.

Monica had rough teenage years and sparred a lot with her mother. She knew at this stage that her parents had married because her mother was pregnant with her, and wondered if her mother held it against...her. Even if her mother didn’t consciously hold it against Monica, there came one vicious argument when Monica’s mother did say ‘I could have aborted you, you know! I was pregnant by mistake.’ There were a lot of tearful apologies afterwards, and Monica’s mother took back everything she said, but Monica carried a deep scar.

Under the guidance of her mother, and behind her father’s back, Monica went on the Pill and her choice of boyfriend was random. Call it history repeating itself, but Monica became pregnant. You could say that Monica could have done what her mother did and given birth to the baby, but she didn’t. She didn’t want her baby to be made feel like the unwelcome guest. I got to know Monica a year after her abortion, I never made known my pro-life views, but she knew that I wasn’t on the Pill and said to me once, ‘you know abortion isn’t wrong at all, the yoke [the baby] was never meant to be there anyway, because I used contraception.’

But she had learned a lesson from her mother that ‘unwanted’ children have no status.

Mary O'Regan

Saturday 5 June 2010

St George, Slay Our Dragon!

The 2010 world cup is a great opportunity to end Abortion in England. We will have at least two weeks of the country, cars, vans, people and anything and else (that moves or not) being bedecked with the flag of St George.

One of our supporters, Pat Sammon, has for a number of years suggested that we take advantage of this and use it as a powerful reminder to pray for the Conversion of England and the end of abortion here. Readers from other countries could no doubt apply the same idea with their own national flags.

Pat's idea is that we say a short prayer every time we see this flag. We would therefore ask you to say the following prayer wherever you see the St George Flag.

Great St George, Patron of England,

slay the dragon of Abortion

and give Mary back her dowry.

Good Counsel have printed a small prayer card, copies of which can be sent to you if you email us your snailmail address info@goodcounselnetwork.freeserve.co.uk or 020 7723 1740

Stuart McCullough

Friday 4 June 2010

Paris to Chartres Walk May 2010

Just over a week ago I set off in the direction of Paris with a sleeping bag, a few changes of clothes and small provisions with one of the most joyful groups of Pilgrims that you will find. We met at 7am to have Mass celebrated in Westminster Cathedral Crypt which finished with a rapturous version of the French hymn “Chez Nous Soyez Reine” which was to be heard many times during the course of the Pilgrimage.

I was with My Fiancée, Madeleine Readings who I wrote about recently on this blog because she had decided that she would try to raise sponsorship for The Good Counsel Network for completing the Pilgrimage.

Madeleine was attempting to complete the Pilgrimage for the 16th time. She first completed it when she was only 7 years old. She was the youngest person to ever complete the Pilgrimage, a record she still holds(as far as we know.) She has painted a vivid picture for me of her finishing doubled over almost but defiant she would get to Chartres without any assistance.

Now 23 Madeleine not only completes the Pilgrimage but is the “Chef de Chapitre” (chapter leader) of Juventutem which is the English Youth Chapter, which makes her journey twice as hard. I have seen first hand just how hard it can be to keep everyone going at the end of any of the days, especially the second day (which is the longest in terms of walking), when we have been walking for 12 hours and have completed approximately 30 miles. People are really struggling and she has to find a way to keep them going and a way to keep the group together.

The Pilgrimage itself is 72 Miles of walking from Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris to Notre Dame Cathedral, Chartres mainly through woods and fields. This year we were blessed with fine weather which if anything was too hot! We had 30 degrees from start to finish once the sun came up. Hardly any food is provided, so we are left mainly with as much food as we can carry on the day.

The nights are meant to be a time of rest, but are actually just as difficult as the day in its own way. We are all in very large plastic communal (single sex) tents which are extremely cold and lie on uneven and stony ground and often have uncut grass up to our knees when standing.

Madeleine and I both successfully completed the Pilgrimage and, for the first time in her memory, we were privileged to get seats inside of the Cathedral in Chartres. The English group have previously been inside, but never had seats, and last year (my first time) we didn’t even manage to get inside.

Madeleine has so far raised close to £1,900 (with gift aid) which is really great news. There is still time to donate towards her sponsorship if you would like to at www.justgiving.com/madeleinereadings . We had set a target of £2,500 which is now within touching distance. If you can dig deep and support my very brave fiancée to support our life-saving work.

Thursday 3 June 2010

Ireland's Pro-Life Laws Are The Will of The People

As an Irishwoman living and working in London, ‘in exile’, I’m often asked why abortion isn’t legal in Ireland. My response is; "It’s illegal because that is the will of the people."

Throughout our modern history the Irish have chosen to reject legalised abortion. While I can’t speak for the mindset of every individual Irish person, Ireland’s 1937 Constitution legally safeguards life from ‘conception’ to natural death. Can the government of its own volition change the article in the Constitution that protects life in the womb? Absolutely not – without breaking its own laws.
It is necessary for a nationwide referendum to be held and for the people of Ireland to cast a vote. It is the people of Ireland who may use their right to vote on abortion, a right also enshrined by the Constitution. There is no referendum on abortion in the offing, so no formal vote will gauge the population’s stand on abortion in the near future. There are however, varying opinion polls and surveys, and one must be cautious of them – some of them are weighted to get a pro-abortion response and others are more reliable. Let us take two wildly differing poll results and examine them on their merits.
The vitriolic pro-abortion press in Ireland a.k.a. The Irish Times reported a YouGov poll claiming that ‘the majority’ in Ireland support abortion if the pregnancy endangers a woman’s health. But The Irish Times did not report the questions from the survey, the number of people who took the survey and the age grouping of the people questioned. Also, it’s funny that they claim to speak for the majority, when the majority had not heard of the survey before its results were published.
While groups such as the Irish Family Planning Association scream and shout about this secretive poll – interestingly – they don’t ask for a referendum. So one moment they are blaring that the will of the people is obvious on the basis of some poll (of theirs?) and that the laws should change because of this poll. But if ‘they’ are really interested in ascertaining the will of the people, why avoid a referendum? A miniscule poll pales in importance compared to a referendum – that gives the entire voting public a chance to state their will. It’s rather undemocratic to sidestep a referendum – and it’s in defiance of our legal right to vote.
A trustworthy survey conducted in the Republic of Ireland found that 70% of Irish people support the Constitution’s defence of the unborn. It was commissioned by the Pro-Life Campaign and invited participants to state whether they would support or oppose “constitutional protection for the unborn that prohibits abortion but allows the continuation of the existing practice of intervention to save a mother’s life in accordance with Irish medical ethics.” This was a much more intelligently worded survey than the YouGov poll, and used a quota-controlled sample of 950 people over the age of 18.
The results of The Pro-Life Campaign’s survey was announced – publically – in Dublin. Dr. Berry Kiely, a medical doctor commented that the poll is preferable to other polls because it clarifies the distinction between medical interventions for the health of the mother and deliberate abortion “where the life of the unborn child is directly targeted…This is a critical, ethical distinction which abortion advocates constantly seek to blur,” she charged.
“Some abortion advocates claim that legalized abortion ‘confronts the reality of crisis pregnancy.’ However, this contention ignores the humanity of the unborn child throughout the entire nine months of pregnancy and the latest research highlighting the negative consequences of abortion for women.” she added.
Learn more about this survey here.

Mary O'Regan

Wednesday 2 June 2010

When Words Are Not Enough

A friend of mine, let’s call her ‘Angie’, was at university with ‘Maria-Jose’.
Maria-Jose had been on the Pill for three years, and couldn’t understand why she was suddenly having symptoms of pregnancy.
‘I’m not pregnant, really I’m not, and it’s just a phase that my body’s going through’ Maria-Jose said to Angie. But after two months of morning sickness, back pain and tiredness, Maria-Jose went to the university doctor who verified her pregnancy. Maria-Jose said, ‘please help me find a way out of this.’ and he referred her to a abortuary. Maria-Jose didn’t tell Angie that she was pregnant, she just said, ‘I’m going to a clinic. I want to get out of this stage. I’m going to get rid of the symptoms.’ Angie was flabbergasted, here was Maria-Jose, who didn’t fully realise or accept that she was pregnant, but was going to a 'clinic' for an abortion. Maria-Jose was determined to look at the whole thing as if she was ‘just getting some antibiotics’ for an illness.
‘I didn’t have a clue what to say to her...all I could think of saying was:
‘This is the biggest decision of your life. Have you thought about keeping the baby?’Angie told me later. ‘And it was all so quick, before either of us had time to think, she was getting the tube to the clinic. My mind was in a whirr; what did her kid look like at nine weeks? Was it anything at all? And I felt guilty when I tried to talk to her, was I nagging her? My words suddenly felt like they had no meaning.’
And yes, sometimes words frankly are not adequate. We live in a visual age and a multi-cultural one where many of our friends are raised with different mother tongue(s) to us, and so the consequences of miscommunications when we only rely on words are grave.
Maria-Jose later said to Angie, ‘I didn’t understand what you were saying.’
Later Maria-Jose looked up the facts about what the baby had looked like at that stage in pregnancy. She started having a re-occurring dream; she would go to the door of the clinic, the picture of the baby would be on the 'clinic' door, she would get a shock and think, ‘That’s my baby, that’s what it looks like. Why am I here?’ In the dream she would turn away and go home. On waking she would have this empty, aching feeling and realise as she said to Angie, ‘I didn’t accept that I had a baby when I had one, and now I can’t really believe what I did.’
Angie and Maria-Jose have drifted apart as friends, Maria-Jose blames Angie for not telling her more about the baby; Angie wishes she had known about pro-life You-Tube videos and pictures to show Maria-Jose.
‘It’s all about being ready. And let’s face it, there are so many abortions everyday that the likelihood is that our friends will be having them too’ said Angie.
I gave Angie a baby model of a ten week old baby, and we looked up appropriate You-Tube videos. Angie said that she hadn’t wanted to pester Maria-Jose by giving her too much information before, but that unexpectedly Maria-Jose was upset with her for not doing so. Angie has done her own research on Pill failure, because she had formerly thought that it could never fail.
The following links are helpful for informing friends about the humanity of the unborn child:
Video of ultrasound for 1st Trimester
Video of ultrasound for 22 weeks
PS – Here in The Good Counsel Centre, we have seen the powerful influence of pro-life friends guiding pregnant friends with visual resources. One lady who was 22 weeks pregnant turned around at the abortuary. After her appointment with us, she was wondering why it was only us who were telling her about her baby’s development, and ‘the scary truth’ that her baby could live outside her womb at 22 weeks old. A friend of hers (who was a bit pro-abortion until she saw a graphic You-Tube video...) showed her a video of what a twenty-two week old baby is like in the womb. The mother decided to keep the baby, not because she understood or accepted any complex arguments, but because she had seen the activity of a baby in the womb.
Mary O'Regan

Tuesday 1 June 2010

Pro-Life Fruit on Our Lady's Feast Day

I remember it was The Feast of the Immaculate Conception and I had just come out of Mass and completed the First Five Saturdays Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I was on my way to pray at the local abortuary as I usually do on Saturday mornings, to also hand out our pro-life leaflets as a member of The Helpers of God’s Precious Infants and to try and speak to the women entering the abortuary to prevent them from killing their unborn children.
I had been attending the prayer vigil for over a year and although there had been signs of women turning around I had not noticed a definite turnaround during my time there. Still I was sure in my heart that our presence at the clinic was vital and that our sacrifices and prayers were being answered although I could not see the results.
I was thinking to myself that I had to try harder and make more effort to speak to the women even though they usually had no time to stop and were almost rushing past me. I got one young lady’s attention after a while and began talking to her for a very long time and really thought she was going to turn around, so you can imagine how sad and disappointed I was when she went ahead through the entrance of the abortion clinic after listening and discussing things with me for about an hour. I had told her about the help she could have if she chose life for her child and she had declined.
Its very easy to become despondent and down after such an incident and our time there was coming to an end that day and I felt I had tried so hard to talk this lady out of having the abortion. I began walking over to the rest of the group on the prayer vigil as it was almost time to finish up. I was speaking to my friends there when suddenly I noticed another young lady approaching the abortuary and another of our friends still praying near the entrance. I wasn’t expecting her to stop and listen to me but to my surprise after her seeing the people still praying and hearing about the help she told me that her boyfriend did not want her to go ahead with the abortion, that she believed in God and went to church and that she wanted to know more about our help. “You see I've got one child already” she told me.

Then I remembered in the past how I once felt after having my first child and how I never wanted more children at that time, when a relative suddenly woke me up from my selfishness by saying “Your child is going to grow up lonely you know, don’t you think he would like a little a brother or sister to keep him company?” It suddenly dawned on me at that time that he was right and I have always been grateful to him, and because of what he said I did decide to try for another child and thanks be to God we have a second son today. I used the same lines to the lady I was speaking to and added “I'm sure they will be the best of friends”. At that point she brushed away some tears from her eyes and nodded. She also told me she was studying and trying to make a career so I went through the help leaflet with her and I made an appointment at our Centre that afternoon. I brought her to the centre myself to make sure she got there and did not change her mind. All the way thereI kept thinking how precious she and her baby were and that I was afraid of losing her so I just kept talking to her until we got to the Centre.
Thankfully, today, she is very grateful for our help and now has two little girls who play very happily together.
All praise and thanks to God, and to Our Lady for her intercession on her special Feast Day.

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