Life Matters Summer 2019

Page 1

Summer 2019 · Vol. 27 Issue

A publication of Catholic Pro-Life Community | Respect Life Ministry of the Diocese of Dallas

What’s inside … • • • • •

A Pro-Life Awakening Bishop’s Pro-Life Dinner Photos In Her Words: A Healing Journey Our Faith in Action Record-Breaking Premiere

A Pro-Life Awakening …

CPLC Board of Directors Mike Weller

Do not lose hope!

Chairman of the Board Jennifer Baugh Joshua Briones

Becky Visosky, Executive Director

Father Jason Cargo Daniel Hennessy Deacon Gregg Kahrs Dr. Elizabeth Heyne Mary Ann Niles Tom Ruedi Bill Sladek Dr. Mayra Thompson

CPLC Administrative Team Becky Visosky

Executive Director Meg Finley

Director of Development Annette Kearns

Director of Communications Joe Marshall

Director of Operations Aurora Tinajero

Director of Multicultural Dept. Patricia Vasquez

Director of Human Resources

CPLC Ministries Convert-to-Life / Sidewalk Counseling Director: Joanne Underwood

Healing after Abortion Director: Eileen Kuhlmann

Project Gabriel Director: Ingrid Meyer

Education Speakers Bureau: Jan Storey Youth For Life: Jacquelyn Smith

Community Outreach Director: Susan Platt

Catholic Pro-Life Community Dear Friends of Life,

Some of you have been in the trenches of the cultural battle for many years, if not decades. And sadly, the end is not yet in sight. Even those who have joined the mission more recently are naturally disheartened by reports of radical policies being championed by our leaders and celebrated by pop-culture icons. But do not lose hope! There is light ahead. In the face of grave evil, our Lord has awoken hearts and minds that heretofore turned a blind eye to the tragedies engulfing our communities. And we’ve seen the results – here locally, with nearly one thousand people filling the sidewalks outside Planned Parenthood and Southwestern abortion facilities to pray for life on Good Friday, and nationally, in a recent Gallup Poll revealing that nearly half of Americans now identify as pro-life!

ALL, Pro-Life Generation*

The June survey also found that the percentage of Americans who think abortion should be illegal in all or most circumstances increased from 53 to 60 percent in the last year. A prior poll from May revealed that 50% of Americans consider abortion immoral for the first time in seven years! The increase in pro-life education from the classroom to social media is no doubt at the root of these promising shifts in public opinion. Here in North Texas, we have seen the fruits of these efforts. In the last year, we reached over 4,800 adults (doubling our reach!), and over 4,500 youth with presentations on the sanctity of life and the beauty of chastity. We also launched our new website to ensure that this critical teaching is available where teens spend most of their time – the digital world.

While we continue to advocate (and vote) for political change, it is the conversion of minds and hearts that are critical to true and lasting cultural change. It is only then that attacks on human life will become not just illegal but unthinkable. With your help, we will push forward until the day all life is protected. Until then, we will continue to stand in the gap, offering the love of Christ to the mothers, fathers, and babies caught in the crosshairs of our broken culture. Thank you for standing with us and lending your voice to the voiceless. Grace and blessings,

Hispanic Pastoral Ministry Director: Aurora Tinajero *

On the Cover: A high school student at Pro-Life Boot Camp places flowers at the Cemetery of the Innocents burial site of aborted children.


Celebrating Life! 26th Annual Bishop’s Pro-Life Dinner

The 2019 Bishop's Pro-Life Dinner was a spectacular evening hosted by Bishop Edward Burns with Honorary Chairs John and Dorothy O'Dwyer, with a powerful performance by musical guest Tenth Avenue North. The celebration also honored Randy LeGrand and James Widman for their years of service as the 2019 Fr. Edward Robinson, O.P. Pro-Life Persons of the Year. Plus, dinner-goers enjoyed a first look at the Catholic Pro-Life Community’s next chapter with a new logo (read about its inspiration on page 8!). Thanks to all who helped make this an inspiring evening! Whether you attended, donated, volunteered, or prayed, we are so grateful for your support. You make our shared mission possible!

Bishop Burns opens the evening in prayer.

Sidewalk save Layla with her mom, Berenice, featured in the video premiered at the dinner.

Emcee Dave Palmer of GRN presents raffle winners with Honorary Chairs Dorothy and John O’Dwyer.

Mike Donehey of Tenth Avenue North reflects on the beauty of life and the power of mercy.

Bishop Burns with Pro-Life Persons of the Year Randy LeGrand with his wife Marie and James Widman with his wife Arda, and CPLC Executive Director Becky Visosky. (Photo: Ron Hefflin)

Gabriel Moms Luz Lopez, Kimberly Adair, and Sareh Tahani enjoy the evening with Project Gabriel Ministry members Ingrid Meyer and Carolina Salazar.

Save the Date for the 27th Annual Bishop’s Pro-Life Dinner on April 18, 2020

Premium Table Hosts John and Dorothy O’Dwyer Jan and Thom Schliem Georgia and Marc Lyons Carl and Jackie Ondracek Bill and Mary Sladek Drs. Jeffrey and Mayra Thompson Mike and Barbara Weller Nathan Hall Harris, Hays, Howard, Love, Pelletier families Harry and Norma Longwell Ron and Alphecca Nguyen Ed and Diane Stanley Christopher and Victoria Tanco Allen Pitts State Farm Insurance Jackie Crawford with Alan and Diane Johnson Dan and Bettina Hennessey Pierre and Maureen Koshakji Chris Jander Jim and Helen McCleneghen Vic Pantuso Roger Scott, Jr. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church Premium Sponsors: Marianne and Roger Staubach Fund John and Kathleen Gutierrez David and Judy McCalla Joe and Kathy Murphy Bill and Mary Sladek Matthew and Jennifer Chiarizio Raul and Carmen Estrada with Alfredo and Irma Duarte Harris Orthodontics Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Popolo, Jr. Leland’s Gold & Diamonds Murad Auctions Jerry and Lucia Welch Bishop’s Dinner Volunteer Team: Catherine Barras - Photography Luis Barbero - Transport Team Michael Burns - Raffle Catherine Calvalier* - Banquet Décor Tom Clark - Table Sales Jackie Crawford - Reservations Anthony Gerhart - Band Liaison Eva Godfredson - Table Sales David Gonzales* - Merchandising & Transport James Hickey - Raffle Robert Finley - Transport Team John Fox* - Wine Pull Olivia Franklin - VIP Hospitality Steve Godfredson - Parking Cecilia Kernodle - Auction Randy LeGrand - Raffle Helen McCleneghen - Reception John McKeefery* - Volunteers Janell Miank - Photography Sharon Plugge - Auction Dan Polcari - Raffle Anne Ruedi - Reception Fernando Rodriguez* - Audio Visual Alex Sabo - Raffle Gloria Sandoval - Program Advertising Ann Sears - Reception Lisa Stobb - Musician James Widman - Raffle * Volunteer Chairman

In Her Words

Rachel Retreatant and Counselor shares her healing journey He told me to “bury it inside as far as you can and never think about it again.” So that’s what I did. I was in my twenties and essentially “pro-choice.” I identified as Christian but was not really practicing any religion. So, when the man I loved suggested abortion as our best option for two unplanned pregnancies, I agreed. Fast forward 20 years… I was married to a Catholic and preparing my 8-year-old son for baptism. As a parent, I was required to attend classes with my child, so week after week I went. Each week I felt myself growing closer to God and the faith. After that year of total immersion into the sacraments, I was so happy, and I knew God was calling me to convert. I’ve never felt closer to God than in the Catholic Church. But then my marriage ended in divorce, and my faith life went off the rails. It wasn’t until I received a stage-four cancer diagnosis, that I really turned my attention back to God. I was given a 22 percent chance of living five years. That diagnosis stopped me in my tracks, and I devoted myself to prayer, begging for my life. I vowed to turn my life over to Him if I was spared. Six years later, I attribute my healing to Jesus Christ. In thanksgiving for my healing, I committed myself to Mass, joined a prayer group and became involved in various ministries. It was then my heart began to open, and I felt the call to healing through Rachel’s Vineyard. Initially I pushed back against God’s invitation, reasoning that I didn’t need it. But the idea kept returning to my thoughts. I finally got up the nerve and called. The woman who answered the helpline was so wonderful. I immediately knew I had found a place of love where people really care without judgment. I felt reassured that I could find healing, although I didn’t realize how hurt I was until I got to the retreat.

I immediately knew I had found a place of love where people really care … I felt reassured I could find healing, although I didn’t realize how hurt I was until I got to the retreat .”

I had no idea what to expect at the retreat other than it was focused on post-abortion healing. Being a psychologist, I did some research about Rachel’s Vineyard and post-abortion syndrome. It made sense to me, and I thought it was brilliant how the program included the living scriptures as part of the healing exercises. From the moment I arrived for my retreat weekend, I knew I was in a place of genuine acceptance, and I felt open to experiencing the love, mercy, and forgiveness of our Lord Jesus Christ. The whole experience was life changing for me. It perfectly wove together the psychological and spiritual elements of healing ̶ both of which are so important. I saw the significance of going through the stages of grief as well as the scriptures. I found comfort in reflecting on my children in the arms of Jesus.

Dr. Christina displays this painting in her office reminding her of the everlasting abundance of God’s mercy for all those who are open to receiving it.

For more about our healing ministry, visit

You really can’t journey forward after an abortion unless you experience emotional restoration and spiritual reconciliation. On retreat, I found both, thanks to God’s merciful grace. To this day, I honor my children and find peace in the knowledge that Angelina and Daniel are alive in Jesus and in His eternal care. By Dr. Christina Della Nebbia

Our Faith in Action Catholic Advocacy Day in Austin

Pro-life is thriving in Texas, and Catholic advocacy is leading the charge! Earlier this year thousands of Catholics across the state joined their Bishops in unity to fill the Texas capitol and be a voice for the vulnerable at the biennial Catholic Advocacy Day. Every two years, Catholics convene in Austin when the legislature is in session to represent a unique point of view – complete and consistent support of the dignity of the human person from conception to natural death, and every stage in between. Unlike so many other lobby groups, Advocacy Day is not about Catholics representing their own self-interest or even their own rights. It’s about Catholics being there as a voice for the voiceless. “Never has that voice been so critically important in the face of mindboggling opposition of national efforts to protect a baby after it’s born,” said CPLC Executive Director, Becky Visosky. “While we are blessed with a pro-life majority in our state, there are still leaders who oppose laws that explicitly prohibit infanticide after a failed abortion, let alone laws that would protect that same child in utero.”

Catholic Advocacy Day provides an opportunity for the faithful to relay the importance of policies that protect life, support families, and protect the most vulnerable. In the words of one first-time attendee: “It was an amazing experience to stand on the steps of the Texas Capitol thousands strong in peaceful solidarity with our bishops for the dignity of all life.” Thanks to grassroots advocacy, this legislative session yielded many great strides for life, including the passage of the born-alive act protecting survivors of abortion, a ban on government contracts with abortion providers and increased funding for abortion alternatives. Unfortunately, the trigger ban which would have outlawed abortion in Texas if and when Roe v. Wade falls, did not pass. With election season looming, we must remind our leaders to step out in courage for the protection of all life!

Record-Breaking Premiere Catholic Pro-Life Community collaborates to bring UNPLANNED to Dallas This spring, the Catholic Pro-Life Community was honored to host a collaborative premiere of the highly anticipated movie, UNPLANNED, the biopic about former Planned Parenthood manager turned pro-life advocate, Abby Johnson. UNPLANNED released nationwide on March 29 quickly garnering attention around the country. The Catholic Pro-Life Community spearheaded an effort to bring Abby’s story to as many viewers as possible in North Texas. Together, with pro-life partners: Bella House, Heroic Media, Hike for Life, In My Shoes, and Mater Filius, with the support of the Sladek, O'Brien and Mello families, we hosted a premiere event at AMC NorthPark in central Dallas. Ticket pre-sales well exceeded original expectations and additional auditoriums were added three times to accommodate demand. The red-carpet pre-event was buzzing with excitement with over 1,000 people in attendance. From ardent pro-life advocates to the merely curious, the audience filled six auditoriums to experience this powerful look at the reality of the abortion industry and the hope of a converted heart.

After the film, the halls were narrowly navigable as the overflowing crowds remained to discuss with others their thoughts on the film. Many were ignited to do more, expressing their desire to bring a friend to a screening later that weekend, attend summer pro-life events, and volunteer. Reactions to the film were emotional and in some cases intense. Possibly the most remarkable were the student reactions, including some who later shared with their teachers how their hearts were changed to support life:

I used to have mixed views on abortion and was always confused or overwhelmed by the controversial topic. …. UPLANNED made a huge impact on my views on abortion and I have now discovered how strongly I feel about the subject. …. Not only did this movie change my views for the better, but it also taught me more about the subject in general.” - High School Sophomore, AMC NorthPark Premiere The film raised over $6 million in its opening weekend, giving it the boost it needed to open in more theaters and a subsequent international release. And thanks to our community’s support, AMC NorthPark, where we hosted our premiere, was the top grossing opening location in the country!

We Honor... IN HONOR OF:



All Aborted Babies

Margaret Coty

Ellen Lucille Bradshaw

Robert and Carol Baca

Mary Burkhardt

John and Donna Burkhardt

Bishop Burns and Bishop Kelly

Jose and Carmen Moreno

Father Jose Juliet and John A. Josephine Mora Our Blessed Mother Mary

Trey and Sarah Caballero

Miguel and Kathryn Caballero

Children with disabilities, born and unborn Isael Colenero

Mrs. Teresa Ferrara

Barbie Cook

Quinn Cook

Michael Cook

Quinn and Barbie Cook

Cristina, Adriana and Miguel

Dr. Cristina Valdez

Ida Lazaro and Pilar Delfino

Phil and Corazon Delfino

Lindsey Eggleston

Lucia and Rob Luschek

Special Needs Child Iris Olivia Eyres Meg Finley Grandchildren Beverly, Mike, Tori, Dave, and Rachel Margaret Harnett Kendall Harrel US Navy


Daniel and Genie Dunn Dr. Cristina Valdez Paul and Olivia Mora Jose and Carmen Moreno

A mother who chooses life

Mich Phipps

Mothers and fathers of born and unborn babies with disabilities Mothers Choosing Life

Robert and Carol Baca

Newborns Nellie O'Connell

Walter and Joan Minigutti Miguel and Kathryn Caballero

My Family Jessica and Mikaella Pinaga

Robert and Rosemary Patrick Riza Pinaga Robert and Carol Baca

Raphael Carreon Raphael Carreon

Pro-Life, Catholic Fathers, Mothers and Babies Marianna Rodriguez Roger J Scott

Robert and Rosemary Patrick Brian and Beverly Vespucci

Father Andrew Semler Kim and Adam Sherburne

Jose and Carmen Moreno Mike and Laney Sherburne

Sidewalk Counselors and Mothers who say yes to life Unborn Babies/My Grandbabies Rachel Yost

Stephen and Coleen Fox

Tobias and Laura Colenero

Margaret Brochu Rose Arceneaux

We Remember... IN MEMORY OF:



"Angel" Baby Damian Adams Jay Joe Adams Mark Adams Bucky Arnold Mike Badalament Sara S. Baldago Joseph Bevilacqua Bill, Bessie, Fred, Adele and Rob My Birth Mother Bridgette Ann Booker Born and Unborn with Special Needs Larue Boyette Floyd K. Bradshaw William Casey, Jr. Children lost to miscarriage Mr. and Mrs. Dale Corcoran Theodore Donahue Zuzanna Fennell Rosemary Fields John B. Forte Dot Fox George Fuentes Mary Helen Harman James Hennigan Winifred Hoegger

Olga and Edgar Navarro Quinn and Barbie Cook Quinn and Barbie Cook Quinn and Barbie Cook Elizabeth Arnold Robert and Mary Criswell Rosa Barry Frances Bevilacqua Brian and Beverly Vespucci Ann Herman Robert and Carol Baca Mrs. Teresa Ferrara

Jessica, Joshua, Jordan, Anne, and Hope Elizabeth Jackie Markwald Diane McDowell Dotti McManus Joseph and Loise Mehan Norris Melancon Cynthia Ann Emilia Moreno and Sandra Salinas Dawn Ann Murphy My mother Rory S. Nunley Robert Patrick Sean Miguel Pinaga Alice G. Richardson Annabelle Marie Roos John Vincent Santos John Vincent Santos Shawn Keith Signalgo Charles Thoman Juliett Vanderwerf Jose Villanueva Gus Washington, Jr. Tyler James Weston Mary C. Winston

Doug and Peg Weisbruch Robert and Carol Baca Rose Arceneaux Robert and Carol Baca Tom and Sandi Corcoran Dr. Stephen and Carolyn Donahue Jim Fennell Tom and Terry McDowell Joanne Tesoriero Tom and Terry McDowell Mrs. Annie Fuentes Mary Ann Harman James and Cassandra Williams Denise Davis

Frances Trojacek

Robert Rodriguez Joanna North

Hernan and Irma Hernandez Quinn and Barbie Cook

GIVEN BY: Paul and Amy Dorsey Mike and Laney Sherburne Judge Pat McDowell Brian and Dorothy McManus Rev. Joseph Mehan, Jr. Rose Arceneaux Paul and Olivia Mora Jose and Carmen Moreno Leo Murphy Dr. Cristina Valdez Tracy Nunley Robert and Rosemary Patrick Riza Pinaga Dennis Richardson Jonas and Tricia Roos Jessica Turley Neil Santos Babs Gedeon Joseph Elandary Paul and Karin Szatkowski Mixaida Vanderwerf Mary Ann Villanueva Rose Arceneaux James and Eileen Finkenkeller Richard Winston

Gifts may be made in honor or memory of, or in thanksgiving for a special someone or intention to be remembered at daily Mass for the Catholic Pro-Life Community’s intentions. We also notify the recipient of your generosity at your request. Support our ministries today at Thank you!

A New Horizon Our ministry, which began as an impassioned committee, has now grown into a community of thousands devoted to the Cause of Life. YOU are the Catholic Pro-Life Community. As we look to the next chapter of our shared mission, we sought an emblem, uniquely ours, that was rooted in our history and hopeful for our future. Inspired by the iconic image of the Madonna of the Streets, we arrived at a trinitarian image of three circles: one, the mother looking out for help; second, her child looking to her for that same support; and third, the Body of

Christ standing ready to embrace them both. A compelling image demands an equally powerful message, and who better for that message than one of our patron saints committed to the mission of helping the helpless where she found them — St. Teresa of Calcutta. In her words, “God created us to love and to be loved.” The Catholic Pro-Life Community was likewise created to love and is committed to life. And thus a message is born.

Mark your Calendars DO NO HARM Conference Series

19th Annual CPLC Classic Pro-Life Golf Tournament

for healthcare and legal professionals

Bioethics: Balancing Quality Healthcare, Good Conscience, and Cultural Pressures

November 9 | Catholic Charities Ctr

September 9

Continuing Education Credits Pending


Hackberry Creek

Christ Child Gift Market And Luncheon

Saturday November 23

Dallas Fall 2019 Campaign September 25 — November 3 Southwestern abortion facility 8616 Greenville Ave, Dallas

14675 Midway Rd, Suite 121 Dallas, TX 75001 972-267-LIFE (5433) Mailing Address: P.O. Box 803541 Dallas, TX 75380

Visit us: Follow us @prolifedallas

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