Our Lady of the Wayside

Our Lady of the Wayside
Protect Expectant Mothers and Their Babies


Thursday 30 December 2010

Wedding Dress Found!

Many thanks to the kind supporter who bought a wedding dress for the woman who is getting married next month. And to all those who sent in suggestions of where to find fabulous cheap wedding dresses. They have proved very useful! Please keep this lady and her husband to be in your prayers as they prepare for the Sacrament of Marriage.

Saturday 25 December 2010

St Nicholas, a Good Counsel Volunteer

At the Good Counsel Mothers Christmas party a volunteer, Patrick came as St Nicholas to give presents to all the children.

A Parish had donated gifts for every child. (Photo of Patrick as St N)Then the next morning he came to pray at the Whitfield Steet abortuary. He left the abortuary vigil to go and pray with Sister Chinedum at the Bedford Sq abortuary (Held every Wednesday from 11am until 1pm) and then came back for the end of the Whitfield Street vigil.

I was also there for the end of the Whitfield St vigil that day, and then went for my lunch on my way back to the office. It was only when I went into the Chapel for the Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3pm did I realise that Patrick was there in Adoration!

How to end abortion? Ask 'St Nicholas'.
Stuart McCullough

A Blessed Christmas And Can You Help Us Make Room At The Inn?

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment In which the Son of God was born Of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold. In that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee, O my God, to hear my prayer and grant my desires, [here mention your request] through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His blessed Mother. Amen.
Have a very Blessed and Happy Christmas
from all at The Good Counsel Network!

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Friday 24 December 2010

Prayer to Our Lady of Guadelupe Softens the Hardened Heart

One Saturday recently, I went to our Centre to speak with a woman who had come to us looking for abortion. She had come back to us a second time still asking us to help her get an abortion and it was my job to speak to us on her 3rd visit. A fairly unpleasant job I thought.

This lady, let's call her Monica, knew she could go elsewhere and get an abortion, but she had a certain trust in us. We had talked through all the risks of abortion with her. The dangers, possible side effects, the reality of what would happen to her baby in an abortion. We discussed why we thought it was wrong. All these things let her know we really cared about her health and wellbeing.

But they didn't "move" her in her resolve to abort one tiny bit.

If we got an abortion for her, she felt, it would be at least as safe as it could be. So she came to see us for the third time in the hope that, maybe, she could persuade us to arrange her abortion.

Monica had a toddler already and her husband has serious psychological problems. They have not been together for many months. She has separated from him for her child's welfare as much as her own. He has used physical violence against them before. His family think she is crazy for ever being with him. Her own family think so too. They say to her "It's lucky you only have the one child with him!"

On her previous visits she had told us "I never wanted children - I don't want his child - I don't want this child. Get it out of me!"

This is the language women often use about their baby when they are victims of abuse, rape, violence, or other issues where they are left to feel - as Monica did - stupid, guilty, shamed, hurt and used.

The problem is with the father, not with the baby. But the problem of the father gets reflected onto the baby by the poor woman who carries the child of man who has wounded her.

Can I in the short time we have together diffuse all that hurt and anger and suffering? - I asked myself this as she sat before me. She was very hardened into her choice to abort. Had the doctor been standing in the room ready to abort the child she would have said "yes". I whispered a quick prayer and set about trying to crack the hardened heart. I hadn't spoken for long when suddenly something happened. I hadn't said anything striking but I felt the weight of a huge burden lift in the room. Suddenly she began to say "I think I should keep the baby, What do you think?" She watched a video showing the abortion process at her stage and she said "You know, I have seen this before but it made no impact. I have heard about what abortion does when I came here before, but while I heard the words it didn't affect me. But now, something has changed. All of it has just now become clear to me. It is all affecting me now."

We sat together for 2 hours talking about the help she would need making a plan together. It was light and joyful and suddenly - though she still knew raising this second child - alone - would be hard, she embraced the child as hers - a sibling of her beloved toddler and - she could admit it now - the second child she had always wanted!

After she left, I went to the chapel and afterwards I asked the other staff and volunteers "Who was praying here about half an hour after I went in to see Monica?" no-one they thought. I was mystified. I really felt the power of prayer at work.

I pottered round to Westminster Cathedral that afternoon to see the relic replica image of Our Lady of Guadelupe. It struck me when I arrived that the service of prayer before this image had been led by Archbishop Nichols exactly half an hour after my meeting with Monica started and I couldn't help but feel that it was very much connected. Thank you our Blessed Lady. Monica is now awaiting the birth of her child in April.

Clare McCullough

Wednesday 22 December 2010

The Vatican Corrects Erroneous Interpretations of the Pope's Words on Condoms

Note of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
On the trivialisation of sexuality
Regarding certain interpretations of “Light of the World”
Following the publication of the interview-book Light of the World by Benedict XVI, a number of erroneous interpretations have emerged which have caused confusion concerning the position of the Catholic Church regarding certain questions of sexual morality. The thought of the Pope has been repeatedly manipulated for ends and interests which are entirely foreign to the meaning of his words – a meaning which is evident to anyone who reads the entire chapters in which human sexuality is treated. The intention of the Holy Father is clear: to rediscover the beauty of the divine gift of human sexuality and, in this way, to avoid the cheapening of sexuality which is common today.
Some interpretations have presented the words of the Pope as a contradiction of the traditional moral teaching of the Church. This hypothesis has been welcomed by some as a positive change and lamented by others as a cause of concern – as if his statements represented a break with the doctrine concerning contraception and with the Church’s stance in the fight against AIDS. In reality, the words of the Pope – which specifically concern a gravely disordered type of human behaviour, namely prostitution (cf. Light of the World, pp. 117-119) – do not signify a change in Catholic moral teaching or in the pastoral practice of the Church.
As is clear from an attentive reading of the pages in question, the Holy Father was talking neither about conjugal morality nor about the moral norm concerning contraception. This norm belongs to the tradition of the Church and was summarized succinctly by Pope Paul VI in paragraph 14 of his Encyclical Letter Humanae vitae, when he wrote that “also to be excluded is any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation—whether as an end or as a means.” The idea that anyone could deduce from the words of Benedict XVI that it is somehow legitimate, in certain situations, to use condoms to avoid an unwanted pregnancy is completely arbitrary and is in no way justified either by his words or in his thought. On this issue the Pope proposes instead – and also calls the pastors of the Church to propose more often and more effectively (cf. Light of the World, p. 147) – humanly and ethically acceptable ways of behaving which respect the inseparable connection between the unitive and procreative meaning of every conjugal act, through the possible use of natural family planning in view of responsible procreation.
On the pages in question, the Holy Father refers to the completely different case of prostitution, a type of behaviour which Christian morality has always considered gravely immoral (cf. Vatican II, Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et spes, n. 27; Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2355). The response of the entire Christian tradition – and indeed not only of the Christian tradition – to the practice of prostitution can be summed up in the words of St. Paul: “Flee from fornication” (1 Cor 6:18). The practice of prostitution should be shunned, and it is the duty of the agencies of the Church, of civil society and of the State to do all they can to liberate those involved from this practice.
In this regard, it must be noted that the situation created by the spread of AIDS in many areas of the world has made the problem of prostitution even more serious. Those who know themselves to be infected with HIV and who therefore run the risk of infecting others, apart from committing a sin against the sixth commandment are also committing a sin against the fifth commandment – because they are consciously putting the lives of others at risk through behaviour which has repercussions on public health. In this situation, the Holy Father clearly affirms that the provision of condoms does not constitute “the real or moral solution” to the problem of AIDS and also that “the sheer fixation on the condom implies a banalization of sexuality” in that it refuses to address the mistaken human behaviour which is the root cause of the spread of the virus. In this context, however, it cannot be denied that anyone who uses a condom in order to diminish the risk posed to another person is intending to reduce the evil connected with his or her immoral activity. In this sense the Holy Father points out that the use of a condom “with the intention of reducing the risk of infection, can be a first step in a movement towards a different way, a more human way, of living sexuality.” This affirmation is clearly compatible with the Holy Father’s previous statement that this is “not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection.”
Some commentators have interpreted the words of Benedict XVI according to the so-called theory of the “lesser evil”. This theory is, however, susceptible to proportionalistic misinterpretation (cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Veritatis splendor, n. 75-77). An action which is objectively evil, even if a lesser evil, can never be licitly willed. The Holy Father did not say – as some people have claimed – that prostitution with the use of a condom can be chosen as a lesser evil. The Church teaches that prostitution is immoral and should be shunned. However, those involved in prostitution who are HIV positive and who seek to diminish the risk of contagion by the use of a condom may be taking the first step in respecting the life of another – even if the evil of prostitution remains in all its gravity. This understanding is in full conformity with the moral theological tradition of the Church.
In conclusion, in the battle against AIDS, the Catholic faithful and the agencies of the Catholic Church should be close to those affected, should care for the sick and should encourage all people to live abstinence before and fidelity within marriage. In this regard it is also important to condemn any behaviour which cheapens sexuality because, as the Pope says, such behaviour is the reason why so many people no longer see in sexuality an expression of their love: “This is why the fight against the banalization of sexuality is also part of the struggle to ensure that sexuality is treated as a positive value and to enable it to have a positive effect on the whole of man’s being” (Light of the World, p. 119).

Posted by Mary O'Regan
Picture borrowed from here

Monday 20 December 2010

Let's Take Positive Action to Help Ireland Stay Abortion Free

Let's lift the phone and send e-mails to help Ireland. The ruling from the European Court of Human Rights is 'binding' but we must remind the Irish political leaders that they can and should ignore the ruling to enact abortions laws. And that they must, simultaneously, cut the strings that this foreign court has tied them up in.

Contact the the following leaders today and tell them that the government must ensure that the ruling from the European Court of Human 'Rights' does not open the door to legalised abortion in Ireland.

Contact details:

Mr Brian Cowen, TD,
Office of An Taoiseach,
Merrion Street,
Dublin 2.
Tel: 01-6194020 / 4021 / 4043, Fax: 01-6764048

Mr Enda Kenny, TD,
Tucker Street,
Co. Mayo.
Tel: 094 9025600, Fax: 094 9026554

Mr Brian Lenihan, TD,
Minister for Finance,
Constituency Office,
Laurel Lodge Shopping Centre,
Dublin 15.
Tel: 01-8220970, Fax: 01-8220972

Mr Leo Varadkar, TD,
37A Main Street,
Dublin 15.
Tel: 01-6183819, Fax: 01-6184125

Mary O'Regan

Editor's note: And let's pray and FAST so that our action will bear fruit.

Thursday 16 December 2010

Ireland: Pro-death Activists Disdain Democracy

‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ Case What is it about pro-abortion activists and their total disdain for democracy?
Abortion is ‘completely illegal’ in Ireland, at this moment in time. But will this all change at 11am today?
Shortly, we are expecting that the oddly named European Court of Human “Rights” will pass down a judgment that may instruct Ireland to legalise abortion.
The title of the court case is ‘A,B,C Vs. Ireland.’ This basically means that three women, who will not reveal their true identities, are demanding in a Strasbourg court that Ireland disregard her pro-life laws and allow abortion-on-demand. Pro-life young people have gathered outside the court during court proceedings so that their pro-life voices may be heard. One poster reads ‘Ginmhealladh Sin DĂșnmharĂș’. This is Irish for ‘Slaughter of the conceived human is killing.’
Pro-abortion activists are claiming that pro-lifers are not sympathetic to the women who have taken this court case over the last five years (the case started in July 2005 according to the court’s Statement of Facts). My sympathies are with the three ladies, because firstly they are mothers of dead children. They seemed to have suffered great panic during their pregnancies. One felt that she wouldn’t ‘cope’ if she had another child, another was worried about how she would continue her cancer treatment and the third was worried that the pregnancy would be ectopic. They are staking their case on the basis that their fear and worries would have been eased if they had got abortions in Ireland.
But I am an Irish woman, and I resent that these women are using a far-flung court, to impose their wishes that social abortion become widespread and lawful in Ireland. The women may have been through a lot, but they are in contempt of democracy. Has it not occurred to all those who have orchestrated this case that the Irish people have rejected legal abortion down through the centuries? And that in recent decades the Irish people voted down abortion in three referenda? Do the people who voted against abortion suddenly cease to have any say on what happens in their country? All born and unborn citizens are being dictated to by a court that has no respect for our laws and our sovereignty.
What if the court instructs Ireland to legalise abortion? The court cannot enforce its judgements, and cannot at this time of writing, (but this may shortly change) impose penalties on Ireland for not making abortion legal. The current Irish political class may ignore the court’s rulings.
There is something else about which we must be vigilant – there is an election in the offing in Ireland. The Irish are expected, en masse to ‘boot out’ the politicians who they hold responsible for the pitiless Irish recession. But in turn, they are expected to vote in ‘fringe parties’, socialist parties and horror-of-horrors Labour which, according to their party manifestos, have bigoted pro-abortion policies. Sigh. Sursum corda and our Rosary beads for Ireland.

Mary O' Regan

Wednesday 15 December 2010

Divine Interference: Phone Problems Lead to A Heaven Sent Christmas Present

We must give thanks for the baby saved from abortion who is to be born this Christmas. One mother will get a beautiful Christmas gift this year – she will give birth either on Christmas day or the days after.
But some months ago, ‘Maria’ had been adamant that abortion was her ‘only option’ and that she had to abort ‘as soon as possible.’ She had been with a man much younger than her, and when she told him she was pregnant he vamoosed, saying that she had to give him proof that he was the father. ‘Maria’ was having difficulty getting an appointment at an abortuary, because sometimes her phone wouldn’t connect her and she didn’t understand the "clinic’s"abortion-bookers when she rang. Maybe it was the angels intervening. She had no trouble getting through to us, and said that she wanted to talk it over, but was going to get the abortion anyway.
Maria said that she didn’t feel at all ‘ready’ to be a mother, and that the pregnancy put her ‘under pressure’. We discussed the abortion complications, and Maria was seemingly okay with everything: ‘I knew already that there was a risk of infertility, my sister couldn’t have a child after her late-term abortion, but it’s a chance that I’m willing to take.’
One thing was really playing on her mind – according to her own calculations the baby would be born on Christmas day.
‘I’m not ready to be a mother, but here...in here...there...is creating a new one...that will come on Christmas day.’ I told her that this was accurate based on the conception date that she gave us. Hearing this, she burst into tears, and while coughing back sobs she managed to utter,
‘every Christmas, I will remember the baby, the baby that I aborted. I don’t think that I can face Christmas anymore.’
‘Well, you’ve done nothing, you haven’t aborted the baby and you needn’t abort the baby. You don’t have to. We’re here to support you. We’ll help you have the baby at Christmas time. You don't have to spend every Christmas of your life regretting the death of your baby’ I said. Maria didn’t change her mind that day, but she accepted a Miraculous Medal and said, ‘Oh Jesus’ mother, this [motioning to her womb] would come at the same time as Jesus.’
A month later, Maria decided to forget all about having the abortion. From this year on, and every Christmas for the rest of her life, Maria will celebrate the baby’s birth and Our Lord’s birth at the same time.

Mary O'Regan

Tuesday 14 December 2010

Help We're Short-Handed

Today will be one of our busiest days of the year. We are expecting about 30 Mothers and more children to come and celebrate at our preparing for Christmas party, where thanks to your generosity, each Mother will receive some Christmas groceries and thanks to volunteers and one generous parish, Christmas presents for Mums and children.

Today, also, our 4 day a week vigil continues outside the abortuary in Whitfield St. Can you help? We need people between 10 and 1.30 especially.

Lastly we are in the midst of mailing out our Christmas newsletter. Come and help us post it out in time for Christmas if you can. Give us a call on 020 7723 1740 if you can.
All this plus our normal work of advising, helping and supporting expectant and new Mothers.

We also have some staff on holidays so we are very short-handed. Please help if you can. We really need you!

Clare McCullough

Monday 13 December 2010

Carol Singing For Good Counsel Anyone? Starts Wed 15 Dec

It's nearly that time again. Christmas is almost here. The celebration of The
Birth of Our Lord in a stable in Bethlehem. This is an important time for us to
get together and give a witness to the world, of our faith. A perfect way to do
this is to come carolling with The Good Counsel Network. We sing traditional Advent and Christmas songs throughout, in an attempt to show all that Christ is the reason
for CHRISTmas.
This is an extremely enjoyable event which is now in its third year. We always
go to either a coffee house or a pub afterwards to socialize. Teas and Coffees
will be provided to all those who help while we sing.
Please let us know which of the following days and time you can attend as we need
to be sure we have enough people all the time:
15th December Wednesday, Baker St 4.30-8pm
20th December Monday, Oxford Circus 4.30-8pm
22nd December Wednesday: Green Park 4.30-8pm
23rd December Thursday: Waterloo 4.30-8pm
If you can play an instrument you are very welcome to come along too, please let us know. Please DON'T bring your own carol sheets, we all need to be singing from the same hymn sheet - literally on this occassion.
Contact Conor CARROLL on 020 7723 1740 info@goodcounselnetwork.freeserve.co.uk

Sunday 12 December 2010

Our Lady of Guadelupe

A Very Blessed Feast of Our Lady of Guadelupe to You.
O Maria, O most beautiful Mother, gentle virgin with the name Guadelupe.
On the mountain, we see roses in winter,
all the world has been filled with your love.

Friday 10 December 2010

Public Pro-Life Witness

About twenty five of the Faithful have spent some time praying at the Whitfield Street abortuary, as part of the Good Counsel 4 days a week vigil. Dozens of Mothers have been offered help to continue their pregnancies, hundreds of passersby have been evangelised.
Please come and join us, you can make a difference, you can help save lives. Some people have come for four and a half hours, some for a couple of hours and others for half an hour, whatever please join us.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 9am until 1.30pm. In the lead up to the coming of the Christ Child what better thing to do?
Do contact us to say when you can attend & to confirm that the vigil is on, as there will be some days over Christmas when we will not be there.
Stuart McCullough

Thursday 9 December 2010

Wedding Dress Still Needed

Still no offers of a size 22 wedding dress. Please spread the word...See our earlier blog for details.

Clare McCullough

Wednesday 8 December 2010

A Blessed Feast Day

Blessed Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Monday 6 December 2010

Ann Widdecombe Is A Good Witness to the BBC

We don't watch much "normal" TV in our house. The "News" is about it most of the time. But we have been following Ann Widdecombe on Strictly Come Dancing. My little boy loves dancing and likes watching the show but we find many of the costumes immodest, well downright obscene actually.
~So we have watched Ann, and enjoyed her ability to laugh at herself, enjoyed her routines and her costumes. We have also enjoyed the fact that she would not compromise on her modest standards in how she danced or what she wore. Something that was gently ridiculed by the show.
However, the fact that she has stayed in the show for 10 weeks suggests that the public have supported her for a number of reasons. Firstly, she is the heroine of anyone who just can't dance, secondly, voting for her is a poke in the eye to the judges and the BBC, thirdly, Ann and Anton Du Beke's routines were often quite funny - the "pantomime" piece as Ann said. But lastly and not least, families all over the country - like my own - respected her standards and found that you could be sure her routines would be family viewing.
My son has been parading round London with his toy lamb, which he named Ann Widdecombe, explaining to all and sundry that Ann was still in because she has more clothes on than everyone else in the show! (he is used to us turning off the rest of the show because of the lack of costumes on other contestants!)
We'll miss you on Saturday nights Ann! Well Done!
Clare McCullough

Friday 3 December 2010

Bridal Gown Urgently Required

A young lady of our acquaintance has had a big conversion and is "putting right" her circumstances by getting married in the new year.

She isn't very well off so it won't be a big splash, but it is a time for celebration. Can anyone help by providing a Wedding Dress size 20/22 for the occassion?
Please pass on the request to any contacts who might be able to help.

If you can, please contact me at info@goodcounselnetwork.freeserve.co.uk or on 020 7723 1740. Many thanks

Clare McCullough

Thursday 2 December 2010

God, The Weather and The State of The World

I once heard a talk about how abortion was legalised in St Lucia. The pro-life movement had organised a huge rally. Celebrities and singers and young speakers were ready to preach the pro-life message. They hoped to reach the young people especially and to influence them. On the day of the rally, there was a terrible storm. The rain poured down, bridges were broken, transport broke down and instead of the tens of thousands they had expected, about 2,500 people turned up. Although these people did make a sacrifice to attend, many thousands couldn't or didn't when the weather turned rough. The rally did not make the intended impact on the young, or on the government. Eventually abortion was legalised in St Lucia.

It reminded me of a discussion I had a few years ago with a pro-family campaigner on the anti-divorce side in Ireland. On the day of the divorce referendum, he said, what mattered was that people from the rural areas (generally more moral) went out and voted. If the weather was good, the rural people would come out, but if it was bad they would stay at home, whereas the Dublin folk and other "townies" (generally more liberal) would probably come out to vote good or bad weather. The percentage of rural people voting was seen as a key issue in getting a "No" to divorce in the vote. The day of the vote was a bad day- wet, wild and windy. The country people stayed at home. Divorce was legalised.

Are you getting the picture?

Back a couple of years ago we held a 9 day novena of prayer outside Bedford Square BPAS abortuary. In December. Bearing in mind the above stories, we made a commitment that if it rained or the weather turned bad we would send out some of our staff to cover the Vigil, so that if it rained we would actually have more people there than if it didn't. The vigil was cold but was blessed with dry weather, except for two short periods of fine misty rain.

Now we are holding a vigil four days a week at marie stopes abortuary, Whitfield St. It's December, it's freezing. it's snowing! But unborn babies are still being killed daily there. Their mothers and the abortuary staff are dilligent enough to get to the abortuary even in the snow. Can you join us in being as dilligent?

It would be hard to one day have to say to God "Well the weather was just too bad..."

If you do come, please wear a hat, a VERY warm coat or two, good gloves and thick soled shoes or boots with warm socks or two pairs. Several people have had to go home to get shoes, hats or gloves this week. The picture above shows some hardy volunteers just as it started to snow.

But don't be put off. The weather may be a trial, but it is supposed to be!

Clare McCullough

Wednesday 1 December 2010

Praying In The Snow At An Abortuary

So the almost daily vigil at marie stopes house, which is now an abortuary, is off to a good start, Monday there was a tube strike, Tuesday it snowed and today one of the key organisers was off to the doctor as he is sick. In spite of all this a small number of Pro-Lifers have spent 13 and a half hours praying and counselling outside 108 Whitfield Street, London, W1T 5EA. The nearest tube stations are Great Portland Street and Warren Street.

So will you be there on Friday? 9am until 1.30pm. As I have said before, one of the things that saddens me is the fact that most women going for an abortion do not get an offer of help to keep their baby. When we go to the abortuary, the offer of help can be given. Whatever time you can spend with us will be a help, 30 minutes, 2 hours, the full 4 and a half hours, whatever. If you can tell us what times you can attend we can plan the day, but if not come anyway. Telephone 02077231740 or info@goodcounselnetwork.freeserve.co.uk

Who will be the first Priest to attend. (Photo is of Fr Whinder leading the prayers there as part of the 40 Days of Life)
Stuart McCullough

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