Our Lady of the Wayside

Our Lady of the Wayside
Protect Expectant Mothers and Their Babies


Saturday 30 October 2010

Anti-Life Demo In London Today

"There is going to be an anti-life rally against 40 Days for Life at the abortuary in Whitfield St, London, W1T 5BE today 2-4pm. We need as many Pro-Life people there as we can. Please come and pray! God bless! Please pass on this text."

There, we have passed it on. If you cannot be there please pray that the 40 Days for Life continues to go well, today is day 39.

Stuart McCullough

The Ball is Today - Be there at 7pm Sharp!

The Good Counse Network presents: St Raphael's "Credit Crunch Ball" 2010


Please arrive promptly for 7pm*

Dress Code: Men - suit and tie, Ladies - evening dress.

Please note failure to arrive on time may result in you missing your meal.

Location: St James' Spanish Place, Catholic Church Hall,

22 George St, London W1U 3QY

nearest tubes Baker St and Bond St stations.

This Event is virtually sold out, but if you want a ticket please call 02077231740 so we can check availability.

Only £40 Per Person

Couple discounts

Groups of 4: 1 person goes for only £10.

A credit crunch ball for the recession era, with great food - a two course meal - and live music. We've cut the price but not the quality of the food or entertainment.

Thursday 28 October 2010

The Nasty Irony: How Abortuary Executioners Treat People Who Help Them Kill, And How They Treat Pro-lifers Who Help Women

Outside of my work for Good Counsel, I work as a journalist, and recently I was formally interviewing a type of social worker. I was trying to get a picture of how this woman helps the mothers and babies on her caseload. Her answers were all very unclear and when I would ask something like, ‘so what do you suggest to girls who think that they might be pregnant?’ She would waffle and say, ‘oh it would depend on the type of girl. How I would advise each individual girl on how to find out if they are pregnant is not a matter for discussion.’
‘Right. But if they are pregnant, do you recommend abortion?’ I asked this very polished woman who was immaculately dressed in a suit.
‘Well...I mean...I shouldn’t answer that’
‘It’s a general question, is the answer yes or no?’
‘Well...But! It’s not as if I tell them to have an abortion. I might take them to the clinic and help them through it. If they don’t want that child, I will help them...not to be pregnant anymore...’ She told me that she doesn’t want her family or friends to ever know that she cajoles girls into abortion. She forced a smile and told me that the staff at the abortuaries welcome her when she accompanies a pregnant mother to their killing chambers.
This in itself also pinpoints a nasty irony. Abortuaries become possessed with anger when pro-lifers stand outside their buildings and offer an alternative to abortion. One unfounded accusation is that pro-lifers are trespassing. But abortuaries are very welcoming when anyone sweeps a girl into an abortuary and sweet-talks the girl through an abortion. Why isn’t the smooth-talking social worker (who I interviewed) ever called a trespasser?
Mary O'Regan

Wednesday 27 October 2010

43rd Horrible Anniversary and Resuscitation Training at marie stopes

It was balmy and mild as I set off for Whitfield St for the 40 Days for Life witness at marie stopes abortuary today. Good Counsel had volunteered to man the Vigil for the day from 8am to 8pm due to it being the 43rd anniversary of the passing of the abortion act today.

I had the 8am slot and on my arrival at the abortuary with a few other souls, we saw about 7 staff members arrive and a van pull up in front of the building. Today was apparently a "Resuscitation Training Day" according to the wording of the van parked outside (see the picture above). It's amazing that such a "safe", "legal" procedure should require such training.

One Deacon, Deacon Tsegaye shown in the photo above with volunteer Johanna Hendrickx and two Priests, Fr Mark Swires and Fr Michael Dunne attended.
We managed to staff the Vigil all day with pavement counsellors and pray-ers till about 5.30 and then were helped out by various attendees to complete the day. The "gentleman" who walks past twice a day and spits in to the gutter each time, looking venomously at us first has kindly developed a routine of walking past the counsellors in the morning and the pray-ers in the evening - wanting to share his blessings out between us no doubt. A deeply ponderous young man came and applauded our efforts to offer help while insisting that abortion sometimes is for the best - he had a brother who became severely mentally and physically disabled and lived a life of deep suffering. Please pray for him.
Today was a National Day of Prayer and Fasting too, it was nice to think people were fasting for the end of abortion today while we were at the abortuary.
The Daily Mail kindly showed up to interview some of our Counsellors and Pray-ers. And the day ended with a lovely Irish gentleman, Liam, who was at the Vigil getting offered free teas and coffees for all of us by a friend in a nearby cafe. Liam's wife, Paivi, died a year ago tomorrow, 28th October (feast of St Jude) please remember her in your prayers.
We also managed to label and deliver 200, 10-12 week old baby models for distribution in the packs given out at the screening of Blood Money.

Congratulations Archbishop Burke!

On November 20th Archbishop Burke will receive the red hat from Pope Benedict. The name ‘Burke’ is a long established Irish name and means ‘strong fort’ or ‘fortified settlement’. How appropriate for one of the most dynamic archbishops of the age!
Archbishop Burke has already won the reputation of being a ‘pro-life champion’ and a ‘defender of the unborn.’ As recently as this month, during the Human Life International Congress in Rome, Archbishop Burke received rapturous applause when he noted that Catholic politicians who shore up abortion laws must repent in public.
Archbishop Burke has been very outspoken in the past about the failings of his fellow bishops. In Rome this month, Archbishop Burke turned our attention back to Humanae Vitae “A most tragic example of the lack of obedience of faith, also on the part of certain Bishops, was the response of many to the Encyclical Letter Humanae vitae of Pope Paul VI, published on July 25, 1968. The confusion which resulted has led many Catholics into habits of sin in what pertains to the procreation and education of human life.”

You may personally congratulation Archbishop Burke here.

Mary O'Regan

Monday 25 October 2010

"Were You There?" God

It is always a bit strange praying and counselling outside an abortuary, but this being marie stopes house makes it weird. At marie stopes house about every 15 minutes or so a pregnant women walks past you on her way to have her baby killed by what our society calls a doctor! The women going in have been warned by the abortuary (some with metal health problems will say 'clinic') that there may be protesters outside, but that it is best not to talk to them! Too right! After all, if we offer them the help they need to avoid the abortion and keep their child, the abortuary will be down between £400 and £1000!

On a good day a few of the women take a leaflet offering help, if they are just having a consultation they will still have time to read the leaflet, reflect and listen to God in their heart. Some will stop and talk and then go in and some will turn around. But only when we die and meet God face to face will we know the full results of our prayers and sacrifices in being there. How many women see us (you) praying outside and just go home? I think that the saddest thing is that most pregnant women going to an abortuary find no one outside offering them any real alternative and support. When those women stand in front of God they will answer for the life of their child, as will the 'doctor' and those around the woman who should have helped her keep the child....... but as you quite rightly point out lector, the Bishops and the Priests will be asked why they were not there, but God will not ask me about the Bishop or the Priest, he will ask me what I did, just as He will ask us all......

Stuart McCullough

Saturday 23 October 2010

Priests Really Ending Abortion

There can be little doubt that many Graces are given by God when anyone goes and prays at an abortuary. When a Priest or Bishop goes the Graces are even more abundant, and sometimes we even see them! While Father Andrew Southwell, Chaplin of The Latin Mass Society was leading the prayers at marie stopes house as part of the 40 Days For Life prayer vigil, this abortuary closed an hour early!

On Monday 25th October Father Richard Whinder will be there from 3-4pm, the Hour of Divine Mercy. Do come along and join him if you can, if you cannot come at that time do see the vigil schedule and sign up for a slot.

Stuart McCullough

Novena to St Raphael Join in!

Even though it's already underway, it's not too late to join in the Novena to St Raphael for Happy Meetings at our ball. Nor is it too late to buy tickets. Just call Conor on 020 7723 1740 or email him at info@goodcounselnetwork.freeserve.co.uk

Here's the Novena

Prayer to St Raphael, Archangel and Patron of Happy Meetings
O Raphael, lead us towards those we are waiting for, those who are waiting for us! Raphael, Angel of Happy Meetings, lead us by the hand towards those we are looking for! May all our movements, all their movements, be guided by your Light and transfigured by your Joy.
Angel Guide of Tobias, lay the request we now address to you at the feet of Him on whose unveiled Face you are privileged to gaze. Lonely and tired, crushed by the separations and sorrows of earth, we feel the need of calling to you and of pleading for the protection of your wings, so that we may not be as strangers in the Province of Joy, all ignorant of the concerns of our country.
Remember the weak, you who are strong--you whose home lies beyond the region of thunder, in a land that is always peaceful, always serene, and bright with the resplendent glory of God. Amen.

Clare McCullough

Friday 22 October 2010

Babies Saved From Abortion In The Midst Of Chaos

My typical day at the Good Counsel Network is anything but typical or predictable. I usually work one day a week and spend the rest of the week at home with my Mother and my son aged 3. I think being a stay at home Mum 6 days a week helps to keep me sane in the face of what happens in the Good Counsel Centre or perhaps it's the work at Good Counsel that keeps me sane when I am at home...I'm not sure!

My day in the Centre this week looked like this: Arrive to hear that an abortion-minded couple who turned away from abortion hoping that we could help them to return to their home country are panicking because they need to move out of their accomodation within 3 days. I start trying to book their tickets.

As various staff and volunteers start their day's work I am asked to respond to calls from several Mothers/Expectant Mothers about their needs. Some are still considering abortion. Others, continuing their pregnancies are arriving to be assessed or helped by our "Ongoing Assistance Co-ordinator" Ronni. Four girls need deliveries of baby goods, some things need to be ordered new for them, but we also have a lot of good quality second hand baby goods and baby clothes to pass on to them. I parcel these up for Conor our Fundraising Assistant to arrange with Patrick, our delivery man to deliver. Patrick often takes the smaller goods out in bundles and delivers them by tube.

In the background Gabrielle is setting up the Chapel for midday Mass and is trying to arrange Benediction. James is buying and posting vouchers to several expectant and new Mothers. These are women with no other means of support, who receive a small amount from us each week in food vouchers - just enough to keep body and soul going.

Lorraine is answering the Helpline and Mary is preparing for a client who is coming to see her.

I manage to round up 4 or 5 staff and volunteers for a bit of pavement counselling training, in honour of 40 Days for Life.

40 Days for Life has brought many pregnant women to our door. One of them rings to thank us for getting a scan done for her. She is keeping her baby now. Another girl rings to say that she is thinking about abortion again. She is put on our prayer list in the Chapel.

A volunteer, Gaelle, pops in to do a couple of hours of leaflet folding and of course gets dragged into everything from designing promotional materials for the forthcoming Credit Crunch Ball to serving tea and coffee to pregnant women some of whom are absolutely destitute.

Fr Timothy arrives and says Mass.

Afternoon brings a desperate call for Ronni from a Mother of 4 whose benefits have been stopped and will not be re-instated for 12 weeks. A call comes in from an organisation trying to house two ladies who are not entitled to any state help, one of whom is pregnant. We have nowhere available, but we advise them to come back to us if nowhere is found. We are very glad to have a record of never leaving a genuinely homeless person on the street and will always do our best to keep to it.

It has amazed me to find that the ONLY organisations that will generally house people without any access to public funds are Catholic groups, and only a very few Catholic groups at that - 3 to my knowledge - of which we are one. This is because most Charities, even many pro-life and Catholic charities rely heavily on state funding, which they won't get for people without access to public funds. One charity which helps refugees sent us an 8 month pregnant lady recently. She is very unwell and has to be monitored daily till the end of her pregnancy. The charity had no money to house her and so bought her a bus pass so she could sleep on the bus...

I have a brief meeting with Ronni about the girls needing help. It is interrupted about 23 times by phone calls and enquiries from various staff/volunteers under pressure. Various business and administration matters needing urgent attention are brought to me too. We have to terminate the meeting abruptly when 3 of our "clients" arrive.

The Divine Mercy Chaplet is said in the Chapel for all our clients and supporters.

A call comes in from one of the Charity Trustees to say that some accommodation we have been waiting for has become available.

4 girls who came to us considering abortion and still undecided need a call.

I get to sort through a few bags of baby clothes. I can't actually get into to my office today because of the baby goods in there that need sorting!

I manage to get over to 40 Days for life for a brief period and a short prayer. I get four calls from the travel agent about the ticket I booked this morning, but eventually it gets sorted out. On my return to the Centre, a girl is waiting with her 2 year old son. They are very stressed and harrassed looking. They don't fall within our remit for housing, not being pregnant, but I know of a sofabed they can stay on for a night or two and am able to put them on the bus to find it. We also find a warm winter coat and hat that fits her son perfectly. She puts him straight into it. We leave together at 8.30pm.

I have time for a quick word with Sr Mary Joseph of the Holy Family Sisters of the Needy who look after the Mothers that we accomodate. It's her birthday today so I wish her happy birthday.

There are plenty women continuing to come to us in crisis pregnancies and our Centre is a whirl of activity because of it, but it remains a blessing to me to work there.
Clare McCullough

Thursday 21 October 2010

God Must Increase, Through Our Witness, At The Abortuary

Our Lord asks us to stay awake praying at all times and on another occasion He asks us to remain with Him and that He is the vine and we are the branches. Unless we stay alert at all times praying and remaining in the presence of God in all that we are doing it will prevent us from falling away and sinning. If we become drowsy and distracted with the cares of the world we will slowly be ineffective as Christians. We need to hold on tight to Our Lord through prayer and daily Communion if possible so that it will no longer be our ego that the world sees but the light of Christ that will draw God's people back to Him and this is so necessary when we are outside the Abortuary praying for the conversion of hearts. St John the Baptist said "God must increase, I must decrease". It is through humility that God will change hearts through us.

James Coulborn

Wednesday 20 October 2010

Pro-Life Film In London, 27th October

The 27th October is the anniversary of the abortion act being passed in London in 1967, so please pray & fast that day for the end of abortion, come and pray at marie stopes abortuary and then go to the cinema.

40 Days For Life have acquired the right to screen the UK Premiere of the film documentary Blood Money. This exclusive event will be on Wednesday 27th October at 6.30pm. Tickets will sell very fast for this event. Each ticket costs £10 and includes £15 worth of free resources including a book, booklet and free magazine as well as other free pro life resources, given at the event itself.

To reserve a ticket for this event, please email 40daysforlifelondon@gmail.com stating how many tickets you would like to reserve, your name and phone number. This reservation will only be confirmed after purchase of the ticket.

You can watch the trailer of this stunning and utterly inspiring film here:

Blood Money

As part of the 40 Days for Life London campaign of prayer, fasting, witness and outreach to end abortion in the UK, we are showing the UK premiere of a stunning and inspirational new documentary. With personal testimonies of women who have had abortions and personal testimonies of abortion clinic staff, the film brings home the reality of abortion and its effects on real people. It ends on a note of hope. The film will be preceeded by a short presentation by Robert Colquhoun, Campaign Director, 40 Days for Life, London. There will be opportunity for discussion after the film.

Wednesday 27th October 6:30pm

Coronet Cinema, Notting Hill, W11 3LB

Nearest Tube: Notting Hill

Tickets £10. Price includes £15 worth of resources. For tickets, call 07832 113614 or email 40daysforlifelondon@gmail.com

Tuesday 19 October 2010

Counselling ‘Audrey’ in the Presence of An Abortionist

Continued from Yesterday

‘Audrey’ clapped her hands and gave me a huge hug.
‘I have never been so moved in all my life! Remember the way the baby’s beating heart appeared on the screen! Let’s celebrate with nice food.’
I let her tell me her new worries while eating bowls of berries in a trendy cafe. Behind Audrey a middle-aged woman came out of the Ladies and sat down with a gent. Was it...it couldn’t be...but it was her. I knew the middle-aged woman to be an abortionist who some time ago had tried to convince me that ‘Abortion helps lower the rates of certain undesirables in society. By encouraging so many unwanted children you are making my society worse!’

As Audrey merrily ate her berries and chatted brightly about how ‘My baby’s heart is a miracle’, I could see the abortionist sip tea. The abortionist and her friend were decorated in their religious symbolism.
Audrey stopped eating and a frown came over her face and she sighed,

‘But you know I’ve been reading on the internet that baby’s can die in the womb during pregnancy and I think it would be better if I had an abortion before the baby dies.’
‘There are always a lot of ifs and buts in life, and anyone of us could be taken by God any second. But we know for a fact that your baby is alive today, at this very moment.’
I pulled out a baby model from my bag and Audrey got her scan pictures and started holding them up to the light. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the abortionist's eyes examine us, and her mouth formed a silent scream.
Audrey was oblivious to the doctor’s stare and put the scan results next to the baby model. Like a lot of pregnant mothers Audrey found the baby model very calming, and put it next to her cheek. Audrey said to me that she would love to see the bigger ultrasound picture of a ten week old foetus. I handed it to her, and she turned around and held it up to the light in the dim cafe where she could see it better. The abortionist got a full view of it, she was only two and a half metres away from us, and I could barely hear her friend asking her what had suddenly caused her fright. Quite rudely, she pointed in our direction and kept pointing. The friend looked over in our directions, and gave us a look that would have melted Everest. Audrey was too fascinated by the baby model to notice the abortionist, or hear her and her friend talking about how much they hated ‘anti-abortionists’. The doctor’s friend smoothed his religious garment.
I said arrow prayers of ‘Jesus and Mary I love You save souls!’ Amazingly for me, I didn’t start to shake. Normally, I am a very nervous person and counselling a panick-prone Audrey is one thing, but to have an abortionist mocking us... I consider it an answer to a prayer said some time ago. A while ago, the abortionist had told me ‘You prefer foetuses to women!’ I remember praying at Our Lady’s altar that this abortion doctor would see that foetuses are human and as many are girls, they will grow up to be women. That prayer was being answered then and there as she saw Audrey lift up different pictures of little unborn babes. I made myself forget that the doctor was there.
Audrey and I discussed her baby’s future in detail, till Audrey said, ‘Oh I can’t wait to hold my baby in my arms and take his pulse!’
That evening Audrey said ‘That clinic would have just stopped my baby’s heart beating for their own financial gain’, and cancelled her abortion.

Mary O' Regan

Monday 18 October 2010

“Look at his beautiful little heart"

‘I’m absolutely terrified’ shrieked ‘Audrey’ as we sped through central London on the way to her doctor’s appointment.
‘What if the baby is not growing in the womb? What if there’s something wrong with my hormones and my hormones are harming the baby? What if the baby’s implanted outside my womb? And what if the baby doesn’t have a heart? Most of all, I’m convinced that the baby’s dead!’ ‘Audrey’ felt very alone in her pregnancy and is very far from home. Audrey’s fears about the baby were crowding her mind and because she thought her hormones were negatively affecting the baby, she had booked an abortion for the coming days.
Audrey had asked me to attend her doctor’s appointment and scan with her. The doctor is a rugged Celtic type, and while occasionally a bit gruff, he patiently explained to her that her hormones were not damaging her baby. Audrey was still very agitated when she lay down for her scan, her fists were clenched and her face taut with stress. A shadow appeared on the scan, and then the beating silhouette came into focus, the doctor announced,
‘Look at that beating heart! You’re a bit further in the pregnancy than you had thought.’
‘Aw! Amazing! Look at his beautiful little heart! Beautiful heart!’ said Audrey and tears of joy sprang from her eyes. Audrey was mesmerised by the gently pounding heart, and asked if the baby was definitely in the right place.
‘The baby’s in the womb all right and at this stage looks like he’s doing very well. Your risk of miscarriage is getting lower all the time.’
Audrey was ecstatic leaving the doctor’s office but still wanted to discuss if she should cancel her abortion. To be continued tomorrow...

Mary O' Regan

Saturday 16 October 2010

Rosary Crusade of Reparation Procession in Central London Today

We filched this blog in it's entirety from Ecumenical Diablog here

The Rosary Crusade of Reparation, which is in it's Jubilee Year, takes place this year TODAY- Saturday, 16th October.

The Abbot of Farnborough, the Rt Rev Dom Cuthbert Brogan OSB, will lead this year's event.

The Procession starts at 1:45 PM on Saturday, 16th October outside Westminster Cathedral in Central London (nearest underground station is Victoria).
The procession makes its way through Westminster and Knightsbridge to South Kensington, ending at the the Brompton Oratory (nearest Underground Station: South Kensington).

At the Oratory, following prayers and hymns, there will be Solemn Pontifical Benediction and an opportunity to enroll in the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.Do support this wonderful event in honour of Our Lady!

If you would like to help, the organisers can also use some Stewards, Servers (please bring own Cassock & Cotta) and Flower Girls! Please let us know(Francis Carey (01494) 729223 – Mathias Menezes (020) 8764 0262 or 07950 384515).

Please also pass the word, through emails, word of mouth etc.

Let's get a good crowd for Our Lady!

Chilean Miners Force the World to Acknowledge There Were 34 in Mine Not 33

The eldest miner and "Spiritual Director" of the group, Mario Gomez kneels in prayer.
Unless you are a hermit, you have probably heard that Thirty Three miners stuck in "The bowels of the earth" for 69 days have been freed. Trapped after an accident on the 5th August, Feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of St Mary Major (otherwise known as the Dedication of the Basilica of Our Lady of the Snows), found on 22nd August, Feast of the Queenship of Mary alive after 17 days and released on the anniversary of the last apparition of Our Lady of Fatima 13th October and the Miracle of the Sun.

Although elements of the faith of the miners has been reported, it has been played down somewhat on many secular news reports. Secular Journalists don't mind a little bit of the poor natives at prayer, but are bewildered by outpourings of faith such as those presently breaking out all over Chile. (If you need a good laugh have a look at Chilean miners' rescue: I am confused by them giving much of the credit for their rescue to God by Alexander Chancellor of The Guardian.)

Rev Alfredo Cooper, the chaplain to the Chilean President said that faith and prayer were central to how President Pinera handled the crisis. "When they first vanished, we didn't know whether they were alive or dead. So outside of the mine the role of faith and prayer was central. The President called for an emergency prayer meeting. We prayed in the presidential palace. We left their photos on the altar in the chapel in the palace. That prayer meeting was attended by all the ministers and two weeks later they were found."

Once they were found, faith became their means of survival. An early news report said:

Although a crucifix has already been sent down, the miners are continuing to request more statues of Mary and the saints to construct a makeshift chapel. The miners want to set up a section of the chamber they are in as a shrine.

Rev Cooper, says that Chile has been gripped by spiritual fervour in the aftermath of the miners' rescue and he urged Britain to come back to God. Rev Alfredo, who saw the miners after their release, said all 33 men emerged from the mine where they were trapped for 69 days with either a new or renewed faith in God. Rev. Cooper said "Many were Catholics, but many went down without any faith at all, many were nominal in their faith. And they all say this: 'We were not 33, we were 34 because Jesus Christ was with us down there.' They had been praying daily for deliverance so they will testify had it not been for God they would not be here. There was a flag up in the plaza yesterday saying, 'Only God did this', so they will testify to a man, this is the extraordinary thing, they have all come up professing faith."

And some evidence of this can be seen in the miner's behaviour:
Ricardo Villaroel said "Every day we said to each other that we had to be strong. And if they found us, good. If not, so be it. We could do nothing else but pray. I have never prayed before. I learnt to pray down there. I came close to God."

Esteban Rojas told his wife of 25 years, while he was still underground, that it was time for a church wedding ‘once and for all’ to make up for their civil ceremony. The couple have three children. And later “When Esteban Rojas came out he knelt down and prayed. In that instant his wife presented him with an image of Our Lady. It would be an image that would stick with many of the others.”

“Gomez’s ‘Dear Lila’ letter was filled with faith and determination, and showed the world the miners were holding strong. ‘Even if we have to wait months to communicate…I want to tell everyone that im good and we’ll surely come out OK. Patience and faith. God is great and the help of my God is going to make it possible to leave this mine alive.’”

Two of the miners who were previously atheists "found God" and joined the others in daily prayer.

“Miners wore the same t-shirt. It reads, ‘gracias, senor,’ or thank you, Lord"

“More than 1,000 relatives of the stranded miners moved to the desert and set up tents. Before long, the area around the San Jose mine became a village. A village based on prayers, hope, faith. In fact, they call this place Camp Hope. Every Sunday, there’s a Catholic Mass.”

And this turning to the Lord was not just in Chile, but around the world, for example: "When Polish miners found out about the catastrophe in Chile they lit a “light of hope” for the trapped miners in a chapel dedicated to St. Barbara, the patron saint of miners, in the former Gotwald coal mine in Katowice. The miners watched over the light and prayed for the Chileans."

33 miners, one for each year of Christ's earthly life, stuck in the bowels of the earth, in St Joseph's mine, for 69 days from one major feast of Our Lady to another, praying the Rosary daily, and converting their hearts and their lives to God's will, were released through His great grace and His Mother's intercession. And they are humble enough to acknowledge it. As the New York Times said, “‘Miracle at the Mine’ is what ‘Good Morning America’ called it, and it was a Nativity scene witnessed worldwide.”

President Pineras leads a prayer vigil for the miners during their entrapment.
Who can fail to be moved by the Chilean President stating that whether it cost 10 million or 20 million to rescue these men it was worth it? The lives of the Miners, many who were "peasants" or "socially unfit" by the standards of eugenicists, have been recognised worldwide as being infinitely valuable. It is no suprise to learn then that the President who is capable of recognising the sanctity and preciousness of every life opposes euthanasia and abortion which remain illegal in all cases (he does unfortunately support civil partnerships for same-sex couples - though not Marriage).

We found them with God’s help and rescued them as Chileans." said President Pineras, "God put us to the test this year, but God never puts on us a burden that we are not able to cope with.” “We have lived a magical night, a night we will remember throughout our lives, a night in which life defeated death.” said the President, “What began as a possible tragedy, we hope—and thank God—seems to be ending as a true blessing.”

Some other God-incidences of the miner's story can be found here.

Clare McCullough

Friday 15 October 2010

St Raphael's Ball - At Credit Crunch Prices

The Good Counsel Network is organising a St Raphael's Credit Crunch Ball on Saturday 30th October 2010, with all the money raised going directly to saving more unborn lives. Please see the details at the bottom of this e-mail and why not join us in the pre-ball novena to St Raphael for happy meetings.

It's a credit crunch ball for the recession era, with great food - a two course meal - and live music. We've cut the price but not the quality of the food or entertainment.

Tickets: An amazing £40 per person, £70 for a couple, group of four £130, group of six £200.
Date: Saturday 30th October 2010
Time: Arrive at 7pm. Finish at 11pm
Location: St James' Spanish Place, Catholic Church Hall, 22 George St, London
Nearest tube: Baker St and Bond St stations.

Please let us know as soon as possible if you would like to come, and if anyone is coming with you, by email at info@goodcounselnetwork.freeserve.co.uk , by phone on 0207 723 1740, or by post to The Good Counsel Network, P.O. Box 46679, London, NW9 8ZT.
Please make cheques payable to 'Good Counsel Network'

We need to know by at least 27th October to book your ticket.

Thursday 14 October 2010

Depressed and Despairing Expectant Mothers Can Have Happy Well-Balanced Children.

I know, both as a Mother and as a counsellor, that pregnancy does strange things to a woman, both to her mind and her heart, as well as to her body! Women who have been desperate to have a child can become numb, terrified or suddenly determined never to have a child upon finding themselves pregnant. Depression, despair, fear, disgust, feelings of alienation from one's "normal" pre-pregnant self as well as from the baby are not unusual occurences.
This doesn't happen to everyone, but it is a familiar experience to a number of women.
The women who cope best in the face of this often unforseen attack are those who know their own values and beliefs well and who hold fast to them despite the storm of emotion and irrational thoughts they are sucked in to. Those who don't have strong beliefs and values about the sanctity of life may fall at the first fence, believing their distress is a sign that they won't be happy with this baby.
Yet those who continue the pregnancy of an "unwanted baby", in virtually every case, go on to have and to hold a much loved and wanted child. Whereas those who abort carry that devastating decision in their heart like broken glass forever. And to their great distress, they suddenly find that the baby they thought they didn't want and hadn't bonded with must now be grieved and loved, named and remembered if they are to have any peace. And the taking of his or her life must be repented of.
The abortionists know about this time of confusion, hence the constant push for earlier and earlier abortion methods.
We as pro-lifers must be careful that we don't make the women who go through this despair and depression and feelings of not wanting or not loving the child, feel that they have irrevocably damaged their child. With repentence of heart much human error can be undone. And many a once supposed unwanted or unloved unborn baby becomes a happy, well-formed and deeply loved child.
Does a child in a Mother's arms always experience her sorrow, or fear, or depression? And even if they do, do they not still feel secure and loved just by being held in the Mother's arms? Surely this is why God in His Wisdom surrounded the unborn child with the actual flesh and blood of his/her family and buried the growing child just beneath the Mother's heart? So that regardless of the tempest of mental, psychological and physical craziness that can happen to an expectant Mum, there is the security of the tight embrace of the womb.

In the words of two of our "clients":
Rachael: I think my baby will be damaged because I have been so worried, so unsure that I want him, so depressed. I have had no time for him.
Mary: No I thought that about my child too but it's not true. She is always smiling, always happy. People ask me why she is always so happy. And I tell them, I cried so much during my pregnancy that she never wants to cry again! I had all that sorrow so that she could be happy!

Clare McCullough

Wednesday 13 October 2010

October, Month of the Holy Rosary

October is a month in the Church's calender dedicated to Our Lady's Rosary. The 7th of October marked the feast of Our Lady of The Rosary. If we want the world to come to it's senses and see the evil of Abortion we must fast and pray the Rosary. At the battle of Lepanto, Europe was being threatened by invasion from the Moors. It was through the Rosary that the Moors were defeated and Europe remained Christian.
Today,the 13th October is the anniversary of the final apparition of Our Lady at Fatima, where she came to remind us to pray the Rosary daily, to consecrate ourselves to her and to do penance.

We will not defeat Abortion without the Rosary. Let's take up our Rosary beads and Our Lady will present our prayers to her Son and He will ensure that Abortion is vanquished from the world.
James Coulborn

Tuesday 12 October 2010

It's A Baby When I Say It's A Baby

Today I stood outside of Marie Stopes Abortuary in Whitfield Street, where the 40 days for Life is being held. While I was there, a passing pregnant lady stopped to discuss why we were there. She was in favour of the massacre occuring inside the Abortuary up to the 'legal' limit (24 weeks), but felt that it should not be allowed after that.

When asked about her own pregnancy, although she was only a few weeks pregnant, she called her unborn baby a baby.

I found this all such a contradiction. She also could not explain why suddenly at 24 weeks a baby becomes a baby for other people (although not for herself, because her baby was already a baby in her eyes.) It just reminded me of how illogical and unfounded the pro-abortion lobby's argument is. I found it encouraging to remind myself of this.

This lady went away knowing she did not have a compelling argument and maybe when she opens her heart to the truth, the conversation today may come back to her and have an impact on her opinion.

Conor Carroll

Monday 11 October 2010

Father Finigan's Sung Mass at Good Counsel

Our beautiful little Chapel seats 12, and a few can sit in the library which the Chapel doors can open out into. The Sanctuary is quite full when we have a Priest and one server. Then on Friday 1st October at 5pm Fr Tim Finigan sang an Old Rite Votive Mass of The Sacred Heart!

Dr John Tennant, of the St Catherine's Trust , was the choir, Paul Smeaton was Master of Ceremonies, James Coulborn was thurifer, while Declan Carroll and myself were Acolytes.

That was quite a crowd for our chapel, and then about 15 of the faithful came to Mass instead of the 8 or so that I was expecting! It was splendid. Our Chapel has not seen that much incense since the time when Fr X forgot where he was, when exposing the Blessed Sacrament for Adoration one day after Mass and "shovelled" in enough to fill St Peter's.

Friday's Mass was followed by all-night Adoration which finished with Benediction & Mass at 6am on the Saturday morning.

The photo was taken at the start of the Gospel.
Stuart McCullough

Sunday 10 October 2010

Birmingham Awake!

Birmingham Awake! See the Seige of Jericho taking place in your city starting Monday. Ecumenical Diablog has the latest news on the subject, as always.

Saturday 9 October 2010

Abortion and Child Abuse - Why There's a Link

Women considering abortion often believe that they are aborting to "save" their child from being born into a relationship where he/she will be unwanted and unloved. This may not seem very realistic to those who are truly pro-life, but it is important to understand how compelling this belief can be to many women today. And particularly to those who come from broken family backgrounds.

"Every child a wanted child" goes the pro-abortion slogan. It seems logical enough; if women can be freed from being forced to have an unplanned, unwanted child surely they will be much more likely to love the children they do choose to have.

Yet, as the following excerpt from an article by Theresa Karminski Burke and David C. Reardon entitled "Abortion Trauma and Child Abuse" shows, the exact opposite seems to be the truth. Written in 1988, this article still needs public recognition and remains an excellent explanation of the dangers of abortion to the welfare of women and their families.

"Experts agree that during the past 25 years the rate of child abuse has increased dramatically. Between 1976 and 1987 alone, there was a 330% increase in reported cases of child abuse.

...Statistical and clinical research support not only an association, but a causal connection between abortion and child abuse.

...The ordinary response to trauma is to banish the experience from one's mind...In conflict with this avoidance reaction, however, is the equally powerful human need to understand our experiences and find meaning in them...In order to be conquered, the horror of their traumatic event must be exposed, proclaimed, and understood...This tension between the need to hide a trauma and the need to expose it is at the heart of many of the psychological symptoms of post-abortion trauma. Symbollic reenactment is one of the ways that the subconscious seeks to simultaneously satisfy both of these needs: the need to expose trauma and the need to hide it...

For women who have been traumatized by abortion, acts of child abuse are a natural symbol for reenactment of unresolved abortion issues."

The authors go on to give examples of several women who have killed or hurt children in response to their abortion experiences and others who were tormented by intrusive thoughts and temptations to do likewise to their own children. Sometimes the particular temptations are related specifically to the abortion method used on them, hence the woman whose baby was killed through salt-poisoning (saline abortion) continually thought about poisoning her other children. While being repulsed by the idea and struggling against it, she also suffered great self-disgust that she could think such a thing. Others, who had Suction and D&C abortions, which involved cutting the child to pieces, thought frequently about stabbing their other children.

If you try to explain to our secular society that abortion itself increases the risk of child abuse most people will think you are crazy. But as this excellent article shows, there are millions of women out there, suffering silently, who will know exactly what you are talking about. There are also numerous children out there suffering as a result of abortion in their families.

Why not have a read of this excellent article yourself. You can also find more articles by both of the authors at http://www.afterabortion.org/ and http://www.rachelsvineyard.org/
Clare McCullough

Thursday 7 October 2010

Ironside's Comments Bring Out the Worst in Our Pro Death Media

A beautiful, severely disabled little girl, born to one of the Mothers Good Counsel serves.

"If I were a mother of a suffering child, I would be the first to want - I mean a deeply suffering child - I would be the first to want to put a pillow over its face," said Virginia Ironside, when she spoke on the BBC. Ironside is a journalist who is a sort of agony aunt for The Independent. She also added, "And I would with any suffering thing."
It’s appropriate that her surname ‘Ironside’ sounds so hard and unfeeling. Many phoned into the BBC to say how horrified they were by her ‘advice’, and GP Peter Evans, a member of the Christian Medical Fellowship said that deciding who ought to live or die is “very dangerous.” But Ironside has had the usual suspects as her supporters. Namely The Guardian defended Ironside's unlawful counsel as “valid” and “brave.” The fact that some other journo has gone on the Beeb and stated her support for infanticide of the disabled allows the Guardian to show it’s true colours. Let’s put Ironside’s hypothesis to the test. Imagine what Ironside would have said to Christy Brown’s parents, as a toddler Christy could not speak and barely moved. Doctors had diagnosed him as mentally disabled – this turned out to be false when after years of close attention from his mother he became a famous painter and author. Now that Ironside has labelled all children who are ‘deeply suffering’ as only fit for being smothered, would she care to get in touch with Stephen Hawking and tell him what her advice would have been to his mother? In the meantime she might like to tell a huge number of highly acclaimed people with autism, that yes thanks for your contributions to art, music and maths, but really your parents should have smothered you. This is the cold reality of Ironside’s notions. It’s a horrendous crime to advocate murder of any infant, which could incite an evil act.
If followed it will rob our world of so many gifted, irreplaceable people.
More details of Ironside's comments may be found at

Mary O'Regan

40 Days For Life – My Experience so far

It's good to be participating in the 40 Days for Life campaign. I have noticed a few turnarounds coming to the Good Counsel Centre for help in the first week so it has been very successful so far.
I also noticed that Marie Stopes' staff are worried about this. I have been threatened myself by a member of staff just a couple of days ago when I was standing outside the clinic there a man approached me and took a few photographs and told me,
“you can’t stand this side of the road, I was the one who called the police and you are not allowed to distribute information this side of the road."
I did not move and he said “You will regret this now, I am taking these photos to the police and you will be arrested”. He then started complaining about the Catholic Church and accusations of the child abuse scandals. I carried on praying and ignored his remarks. Then off he stormed around the corner and I saw him coming back about five minutes later without the police. He also took photos of the other prayer vigil volunteers standing next to the banner.
Apparently the staff at Marie Stopes have been saying the same thing to the counsellors each day to try and frighten us off. But this just shows that our presence there is a real threat to them and the devil dosen’t like it. I have been praying for their conversions, that one day they too may see the truth that God wants them to see, that abortion is wrong and will never solve anything.
One lady, a passer by who disagreed with us praying at the vigil as I was coming up toward the prayer group turned around to me and said “Don’t you agree with me, look what happens when people have children that are not able to look after them like the parents of Baby P, they should have abortions”.
“I don’t agree with you I replied, I agree with these people here, abortion is a terrible violence and is just as bad as the violence inflicted on Baby P”.
She was taken back by my reply but then tried to say that it wasn’t the same because an unborn child is just a bunch of cells. The man who was counselling her continued to talk to her to try and educate her that each unborn child is a human person and not just a bunch of cells.

The organisers of 40 Days have a really good magazine, icare, that we are distributing outside the clinic with all the information needed to turn people away from abortion, so when people take the magazine and read it they will be educated about the truth about abortion and contraception. They are also distributing them outside the tube stations.
But it is very encouraging that there are many people who pass us by that agree with us and let us know. One person came up to me and said “I'm with you 100%, keep up the good work”. Other people went over to the praying people to shake their hands. Another man offered us money towards the event.
We can learn alot from being at these vigils and by speaking to many different people but it is good to remember that our aim is to be witnesses for Jesus to the truth of the Gospel of Life and try to convert as many people as possible, whether they are going into the clinic or not. We want them all to be saved.

Learn more about 40 Days for Life.

Lorraine Coyne

Wednesday 6 October 2010

Unprecedented Call From the Holy Father - Vigil for all Nascent Human Life 27/11/2010

Our Pope has made a request that all Catholics join in the ‘Vigil for all Nascent Human Life’, to be celebrated in all dioceses and local parishes on November 27th 2010.

The Pope will lead the Vigil in St. Peter’s Basilica on the eve of the First Sunday of Advent. The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments and the Pontifical Council for the Family have worked together to make plans for the vigil. Options for celebrating the vigil for individual parishes include a schedule of Rosary and/or Evening Prayer and/or Benediction, and/or Marian Processions. Bishops the world over have been contacted in order that they may make particular plans for their dioceses. Fr. Lombardi, Vatican spokesperson said on Vatican Radio that the events will take place "in spiritual union with the Holy Father, to promote the commitment and the ecclesial witness for a culture of life and love."

A hat tip to Caritas in Veritate blog where Fr John Boyle tells us that Cardinal Di Nardo said the call for the Vigil was unprecedented and added: I heartily encourage all Catholics, whether at home or traveling over the Thanksgiving holidays, to take part in this special prayer, whose purpose according to the Holy See,” he said, “is to ‘thank the Lord for his total self-giving to the world and for his Incarnation which gave every human life its real worth and dignity,’ and to ‘invoke the Lord’s protection over every human being called into existence’.

For us Celts, November 27th is the feast day of important saints that brought the faith to our ancestors. November 27th is the feast day of St. Secundinus, the saint who was sent to Ireland to help St. Patrick evangelise the Irish. The centuries following St Secundinus’ mighty apostolate saw the Irish stay firm in faith. The faith has dwindled in Ireland, but there is still the commitment to pro-life laws and a complete ban on surgical abortion. St Secundinus, having had so powerful a role in converting the Irish from paganism to being followers of Jesus, may intercede for the Irish that they may continue to resist legalised abortion. November 27th is also the feast day of St. Fergus, the bishop known as ‘the Pict’ who helped spread the Gospel in Scotland.
Mary O'Regan

Tuesday 5 October 2010

A Change of Heart

‘Oonagh’ is 21, she met one of our counsellors outside a notorious abortuary and came to us for a pregnancy test. She was upfront to me, ‘I had an abortion last month, and if this test is positive, I want to have another abortion the next minute.’

Her test was negative, so I asked her, “if you get a positive test soon, what would you do?”
“I’d find a new abortion clinic.”
“Why would you find a new clinic?”
“Well if I found a new place it might be better...Going back to the old clinics makes me feel like a women whose had three abortions, but I know that’s what I am...but...”
“What didn’t you like about the other clinics?”
It had disturbed her that they didn’t tell her the age of the baby. Nor had she asked them.

'I convinced myself that I was only two weeks pregnant', but she had had a second trimester abortion. Oonagh had gone home after her first abortion, and had ‘been so out of it, so frozen like that I didn’t hear people when they spoke to me’. Her family found their daughter had ‘become too weird’, and asked her to leave.

She lived with a boyfriend in cramped rented accommodation. She got pregnant a second time, panicked and went for her second abortion. When she was getting on the table, she cried out, ‘I don’t know what I want to do. I don’t know what I’m doing...’ A nurse just blanked her and said, ‘Well you came here...so...let’s get it over and done with.’
When she got pregnant a third time, she just said to her boyfriend that she ‘needed an abortion’. It had become fixed in her mind that pregnancy equated to having an abortion, but she still felt ‘dead inside’ after each abortion.
A week after my meeting with her, Oonagh came back for a pregnancy re-test which was also negative. She saw the film "After The Choice" and listened to the words of other women giving their testimonies of how they had felt deadened and isolated after abortion.

Oonagh said, “this is amazing! I always thought it was just me who never told anyone about my abortions! I always thought that I was the only one who had problems after an abortion.
Oonagh shared with me how she has told her boyfriend that she ‘is through with abortion'. They have started practising chastity, and she has firmly told him that if he wants to sleep with her, and put her in the position of getting pregnant, then he will have to marry her. Personally, Oonagh's change of heart surprised me. But it gave me enormous hope that while no woman plans to get in this downward spiral, one woman can make plans to change her life so that she is free from the possibility of a crisis pregnancy.

Please keep her in your prayers.

Mary O' Regan

Monday 4 October 2010

Slandering Our Lord Through Ignorance - Tina Beattie's Shallow Understanding of Catholicism

Before the Pope's visit, there was a lot of talk about the debate on priestly celibacy which was held in central London the night before Pope Benedict arrived. Since then hardly a word has been said about it. True their have been some very muted reports in the Catholic press but it was hard to get any feel of the debate at all from them. Apparantly the vote at the end was in favour of the dropping of the requirement of celibacy. So all the more strange then that we didn't get this rammed at us morning, noon and night by the secular press and the more loony liberal sections of the Catholic press. Or maybe we did and I just missed it? I don't read the Tablet after all...

But I did find this one little extract in last week's Catholic Times (26/09/10):

"Asked to respond to the arguments made by Bishop Malcolm McMahon in favour of mandatory celibacy, Professor Tina Beattie said that after listening to him talk about Jesus Christ as being "male and celibate, it seems to me that the defining characteristic of God incarnate was that He..."

I can't find it in myself to use her words in the same sentence as Our Blessed Lord's name, but she continues by saying that Our Lord's defining characteristic according to the Bishop was that He had male genitals but did not use them.

Ms Beattie, who is Professor of Catholic Studies, shows such a deep lack of understanding of the Church's theology that it is hard to discuss anything she says without falling into ridicule. Does she really believe that tens of thousands of Catholics who practise celibacy or chastity outside of marriage are just people who don't use their genitals? Imagine the shallowness of mind of someone who can glean no understanding of the sacrificial love and self-mastery that such a calling demands of one? Someone who cannot see that a chaste, celibate life demands such depths of virtue from us that it teaches us how to love God, ourselves and our neighbours as we should. That through it we are called to enter into the depths of loneliness sometimes, and at times to enter into the tomb with Our Lord awaiting the resurrection. That such a struggle, even when we fail but repent prepares us for Marriage, for Priesthood or Religious life, or for a vocation of single life. It evens the playing field between those attracted to members of the opposite sex and those with homosexual tendencies - since all are called to practise chastity - and especially since in our day many heterosexual people will never marry. Imagine having no realisation that the chaste, celibate life of Christ is actually something which allows people of all walks of life, all sexual orientations and all callings to be able to identify with Christ in a personal way that transforms them and prepares them for the great Marriage feast in the heavenly Jerusalem?

And tell me how can a person with such a limited understanding of this issue be a "Professor of Catholic Studies?"

Clare McCullough

Saturday 2 October 2010

A Blessed Feast of the Guardian Angels to You

We often pray to the Guardian Angels of a child at risk of abortion, the Guardian Angels of Mothers we speak to and the Guardian Angels of the siblings of unborn babies at risk.
The intercession of the Guardian Angels is extremely powerful and often affects the way a counselling session will turn out.
Have a Blessed Feast and don't forget to pray to the Guardian Angels and particularly to the Guardian Angels of others you find difficult to deal with, or who are at risk of evil.
Angel of God, my Guardian dear,
To whom God's love commits me here,
Ever this day be at my side,
To light and guard, to rule and guide.

And listen to our own Guardian Angel who speaks to us through the voice of conscience.

Friday 1 October 2010

Inter-Religious Dialogue - Giving Reasons for the Hope You Have

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. 1 Peter 3:15
It seems a long time now since the Holy Father was will us, but the memory of his joyful presence is very much still alive in our hearts. I had a truly blessed time with my family watching Pope Benedict's visit on Sky News, and attending the Mass at Cofton Park, where John Henry Newman was beatified.
On my way back to London from Birmingham after the Pope's visit, I took a taxi from my parents home to the train station. The taxi driver was Muslim and he asked me if I usually make this early trip to the station. I told him that I had been visiting my family, and had come to welcome the Pope, who had been beatifying an Englishman called John Henry Newman. He was very inquisitive, so I talked for the whole journey about the Pope and Newman. I talked about Deacon Sullivan's miracle which was a result of Newman's intercession. He asked me lots of questions, enquiring what the miracle was, and what beatification meant.
It was a moment of mutual respect between faiths, a friendly conversation was exchanged between us both. I dont think he will neccessary decide to become Catholic from our conversation, but I enjoyed sharing my faith with him and the joy I had seeing the Pope in England beatifying Cardinal Newman.
James Coulborn

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