Category Archives: Support Project Aurora

Beware of Roving Gangs of Little O’Lady’s Swinging Chains: Fratres Blog News-Tuesday 02.26.08

You’ve heard it said, “Never underestimate the power of those little O’Lady’s with their Rosaries.” But, my understanding is that those rosaries always work for the common good. Apparently not so up in Albany, Oregon. Rosaries are now related to “gang activity”. At least in the mind of  the school principal who suspended a couple of students this week for wearing their rosaries and crucifixes and refusing to hide them… Get the story here. And, for God’s sake, watch out for roving gangs of little O’lady’s swinging chains…


It’s getting better all the time for the more traditionally minded Catholic with Pope Benedict the XVI as Vicar of Christ on earth. His latest move on the liturgical front is perhaps a return of receiving Holy Communion on the tongue instead of hand reception… It’s those little Ol’lady’s again, I just know it!!!

There’s a place for us… where the term “Freer Ethos” is actually defined as “Faith Apostatized.” Warning: This is a propaganda story to undermine the beauty associated with a priest being married to none other than God. A deep mystery of our faith, as St. Paul relates so well…

Speaking of the priesthood and controversy, there is no greater bruhaha within Christianity than the authority of Pope’s. For a clear perspective on the papacy instituted by Christ on earth I recommend this article on the “Chair of Peter” over at Utter Mutterings.

The following are the words of a shepherd tending his flock, relish them…  

“I do not wish Catholic institutions or organizations to invite speakers into the diocese who have written articles or given lectures that oppose, deny, reject, undermine or call into question the authentic teachings of the magisterium of the Catholic Church.”

Find out who spoke thus, get the story here.

The bestwhere-to-give-alms-during-lent” article on the blogosphere is found over at Digital Diatribes of a Random Idiot. Locally, (here in Oregon), I encourage support for Project Aurora–they offer workshops and presentations throughout the state teaching our teens the true meaning of human sexuality along with the merits of choosing abstinence. They are also instrumental in helping women (and men) suffering from the nasty effects of past abortions through coordinating Rachel’s Vineyard Retreats. To Learn more about Project Aurora or donate to this fine cause click here

A new Pew study released today reports that Catholicism is losing adherents in America, although numbers are up because of immigration… It seems that aging young people are not as prone to settling on religion as in previous years.

Finally, a call for help and prayer need in the Archdiocese of Portland…

Do you have Type O blood? Would you be willing to donate a kidney for an woman in serious need? Those interested in learning more about donating a kidney should contact Laurie Pharr, living donor coordinator, at (503) 413-6553 or (877) 622-8030. To find out more please click here. Thanks.  

A Democracy Cannot Violate The Most Elementary Rights: Interview with Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo


Interview with Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo 

Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, has spent 10 years traveling to proclaim to the four corners of the world the most elementary human message: life is the greatest gift of all, and the family is the best place for it to be received with love. Before coming to Rome in 1990, to take up his papal appointment to the Pontifical Council for the Family, Cardinal Lopez Trujillo had been president of the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM) and Archbishop of Medellin, Colombia. Having spent many exhausting years serving the cause of life, the Cardinal is in a privileged position to evaluate the current state of the most basic of human rights.

Today, 5 years after the publication of “Evangelium Vitae,” Cardinal Lopez Trujillo painted a panorama of the world in which these issues are reflected, in an interview in “Alfa y Omega” magazine.

— In “Evangelium Vitae,” John Paul II speaks about a confrontation between the “culture of life” and “the culture of death.” How do you define these?

— CARDINAL LOPEZ TRUJILLO: Within the next few days, in the Vatican Synod Hall, we will celebrate 5 years since the publication of that encyclical. The celebration will be presided by the Holy Father, and it is being prepared jointly by the Pontifical Council for the Family, the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers, and the Pontifical Academy for Life. The prophetic force of this encyclical is impressive. As is commonly known, an extraordinary consistory of Cardinals asked for this document in 1990. In a joyful announcement, the Holy Father embraced and launched with special vigor the good news of life and the admiration and respect it deserves. He also made appropriate denunciations of cases of violation of fundamental rights.

This proclamation, which fosters a deep-rooted awareness of the marvelous gift of life, is called the “culture of life.” It is something that, although … in man’s being, needs to be cultivated. We must help to form our consciences, which have been silenced by the pressures, aggressions and manipulations of the “culture of death.” A good part of the future of humanity is being decided in this struggle. It is also the test that will measure the degree and depth of real human quality.

The challenges are great, but much greater and much wider are the horizons of hope. This century must respect human dignity, which is threatened and violated. Something very strange is happening, as we have seen in several international congresses organized by the Pontifical Council for the Family. When we reflect on the wealth of the defense of human rights and, specifically, on the U.N. 1948 Declaration, it is quite a victory, and yet we are struck by the contrast in the widespread negation of fundamental rights, especially the most fundamental, which is the right to life, ratified in the third article of that Declaration.

It is a negation of the universality and integrity on which the right rests. The millions of victims of the crime of abortion (close to 50 million annually), the most defenseless and innocent, constitute a huge open wound in the heart of humanity. I am very surprised that some of the defenders of human rights and of the struggle for liberty do not include this specific priority in their programs. The unborn are the poorest of the poor, and nations must be respected and supported when they are subjected to pressures that try to make a crime appear as a right.

With extraordinary progress, day after day science demonstrates the marvel of human life from the moment of conception. Moreover, one is profoundly impressed by the unique relation that is created from the first moments between a woman and the child she carries in her womb. And yet, proposals for the legalization or extension of funding for abortions are there. In public opinion, abortion continues to be seen as something “normal.” To what do you attribute this phenomenon?

— CARDINAL LOPEZ TRUJILLO: The “legalization of abortion” is an incoherence that wounds the conscience and that will be, without a shadow of a doubt, a reason for shame in history. Just as today humanity is ashamed — and with very good reason — of slavery and discrimination in this area, in the same way, very soon, it will have to be ashamed of so much inhumanity, including everything else that is part of the culture of death, expressed in legislation that is iniquitous and permissive. This is legislation that contrasts with the very achievements and revelations of science itself.

These attitudes persist, the result of confusion and of plans that will be seen to be weak, and in some nations there is determination to aggravate the situation. It ends up by becoming a political game that impoverishes democracy. There is a desire to impose “a political truth” that is upheld by passing parliamentary majorities, which are truly contingent. A “discipline” is often imposed that replaces adequate information, dialogue, and is exalted as a new juridical order and new morality. In his famous U.N. address in 1995, the Pope pointed out the urgency of a grammar that is rooted in truths anchored in the nature of men, a grammar that will allow dialogue and convergence, in order to give humanity a new face.

Although there are new challenges and pressures, there are also conversions, even of politicians, and victories in different nations. There are cultural and life forces that are growing, getting stronger, and having more influence. It would be too long to list them all. Everyone knows the extremely happy news of the Congress of the United States’ opposition to so-called “partial-birth” abortion, which is a terrible process of inhumanity and cruelty. However, the absolute will of the majority in Congress had no echo in President Bill Clinton…

Many politicians, scientists, etc., who were once pro-abortion no longer are; this is also true of Parliaments themselves. Of course, the struggle is not concentrated exclusively on abortion, or on other attempts against life, such as euthanasia. The problem of the culture of life refers to a natural institution that has life as the central mission — the family. The mission of integral procreation, which means education, acceptance, respect and care of life, suffers a hard blow when the institution of matrimony is eroded, as happens in “de facto unions.” This is another serious and terrible confusion, which would take more time to address properly.

The life of a child requires the gift of a stable home and today children are great victims in this respect. What is at stake, no more and no less, is the harmonious and integral development of the child who has the right to a real home.

— Life is not only attacked in its first moments. It is also threatened by two chilling phenomena: the death penalty and euthanasia. The latter is not a new phenomenon. A few years ago very few people had the audacity to propose euthanasia, as they could be accused of being Nazis, since the practice was advocated by Hitler. How is it possible to be taking such a gigantic step backward?

— CARDINAL LOPEZ TRUJILLO: The whole problem rests in whether or not one has a sound anthropology. The truth about the human person, his eminent dignity, is at stake. Human beings — the unborn, the terminally ill — if not thought of as persons in the image of God, as an end and not as a means, will not be treated with the respect they deserve. When this is missing, everything falls into the realm of the arbitrary. And there will be some who will grant themselves the right to decide whether or not a life is worth living! The same logic applies in all these areas. If the embryo is treated as a thing, not a person, it can be manipulated; the patient will also be treated as a thing and be denied the dignity of a person because his condition is considered unbearable.

When human life is in circumstances of greater limitation, it needs greater solidarity, care, and compassion. We cannot deny that some forms of conduct and legislation are so arbitrary and immoral that they appear to be the fruit of totalitarian societies.

Some think the defense of life is a “confessional” topic, reduced or limited to the concern of Catholics. But this isn’t so! The values and fundamental truths that are implied refer to all men, to the whole of humanity. It is also a requirement of dialogue in truth. It is a dangerous precedent to “politicize” truth. Democracy should be the best “soil” for love, respect and recognition of life as the fundamental right.

Support Project Aurora in Oregon

The world needs healers, and Project Aurora needs you! 

success.jpgProject Aurora creates and sustains dignity based youth and family services throughout Oregon. They act to offer our youth all the tools and life strategies necessary in order that they may be well equiped in first understanding, and then, living authentic sexuality.

On the other end of the spectrum, Project Aurora also provides abortion healing and recovery services via annually scheduled Rachel’s Vineyard Retreats in Portland, Salem, and Medford.

rachelsvineyard.jpgI encourage you to join me in supporting the good works of these healer’s below through your financial contribution. For an in-depth illustration of this organization’s work in our communities and to donate click here

Thanks for your consideration…jme

Lori Eckstine, the director of Rachel’s Vineyard retreats is a native Oregonian. Seeking to serve her community and state she was a co-founder in 2001 of the Rachel’s Vineyard retreats offered in the Southwestern part of the state. Lori has been facilitating the retreats for 5 years. Under her co-leadership a parent non profit organization called Project Aurora was formed to include Rachel’s Vineyard retreats.

Her background includes marriage in 1972 to her husband Jerry. They are the parents of five grown children. For 4 years Lori was the right to life chairperson for her community. She volunteered for 1st Way, a pregnancy support center for 4 years. Having experienced an abortion herself when she was age 16, participating in a Rachel’s Vineyard retreat in 2000 for her own healing was the pivotal episode in bringing her to become involved in offering the retreats in Oregon. She has helped retreat teams in other states with her skills.

Lori has spoken about abortion healing to many groups in Oregon and other states and to numerous churches all over Oregon.

2001 – Wyoming Council of Catholic Women state convention
2002 – Oregon Catholic Daughter’s convention
2003 – Baker Diocese Pro-life Conference
2004 – Catholic Daughters of St. Henry’s parish in Gresham
2005 – Eugene Right to Life Rally
2005 – panel speaker at Rachel’s Vineyard national conference
2006 – Baker Diocese Pro-life Conference

Jeanine Mudd is a registered Nurse with years of experience as a volunteer for 1st Way, a Nationally Certified Abstinence Educator, an affiliate of National Abstinence Clearinghouse. Jeanine dedicates her efforts to save the unborn and to give her voice to the movement that speaks for innocent lives.

Jeanine Mudd has a powerful message to convey to those who hold her views and need more solid information to defend their beliefs as well as to those who have opposing beliefs and misconceptions. Bringing to presentations compelling and accurate information, Jeanine has informed and strengthened the hearts of many as well as transformed the hearts of some. There are those who have rejected her message and information yet have respected her presentations. She is not what the other side expects.

Jeanine is uniquely qualified to present information, promote discussions, and lead group exercises on the issues of Pro-Life and Chastity. As a practicing nurse since 1987, she worked in diverse and demanding health care areas including patients with chronic illnesses, AIDS, and those undergoing Chemotherapy, as well as an OB/GYN and Labor and Delivery nurse. These experiences gave Jeanine a valuable perspective on life and the consequences of life-style choices.

From 1996 to 2002, Jeanine volunteered at 1st Way, a crisis pregnancy – medical center, served as a 1st Way Board Member, Media Spokesperson, Events Coordinator, high School and Youth Group Guest Speaker. Given the depth and breadth of the personal and professional life Jeanine Mudd has lived (she is also a wife and mother of two small children) she brings a tremendous amount of first account experiences as well as factual information to both captivate and convince her listeners. Jeanine knows that the truth about the gift of human life and the gift of sexuality in marriage will enlighten her listeners and will bring about successful life-style choices, beliefs, and behaviors. Her message is upbeat and motivational. Her faith enables Jeanine to stand up and speak on the behalf of the unborn, the born, and for the choice of chastity.

Nursing Experience

  • Operating Room Nurse
  • Chronic Health disorders – Sickle Cell Anemia, Diabetes, Heart and Kidney Disease.
  • Chemotherapy patient care – caring for those terminally ill – their family, and present at time of death
  • AIDS patient care
  • OB/GYN Nurse – worked for the only OB doctor in a 200 mile radius in a county with a high teen pregnancy rate.
  • Labor and Delivery and Maternal Special Care Nurse
  • New Born Nursery and Intermediate Care Nursery

Pro-Life Organization Volunteer

  • Crisis Pregnancy Counselor – 1996
  • 1st Way Board member 1997-2001
  • Media Spokesperson – Radio and television interviews in which Jeanine represented the organization as well as the Pro-Life platform
  • Guest Speaker – State and National Conferences, High Schools, Middle Schools, Church Youth Groups, University of Oregon.
  • Developed policies and procedures
  • Coordinator of city wide events in Eugene
  • Nationally Certified Abstinence Educator

Project Aurora – A multi-faceted approach to educating and guiding on healthy human sexuality from a Natural Law foundation, as well as offering the option of Catholic moral teaching about human sexuality.