The Catholic Association
Ep. 263 Florida Abortion Ban & Walking With Mary This May
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Episode Description

TCA’s Dr. Grazie Christie and Ashley McGuire separate the facts from fiction on Florida’s new six-week abortion law scheduled to take effect this week in the sunshine state. Listen in as they explain what the new ruling will mean for mothers and physicians while unpacking the Biden Administration’s dangerous misinformation campaign on women’s health.

With Cardinal Fernández’s announcement of an anticipated new document on Marian apparitions, we mark the Marian month of May with a discussion of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Champion – the first and only approved Marian apparition site in the United States.

The shrine’s rector, Father Joseph Aytona, joins us to discuss a special pilgrimage known as the Walk to Mary, in which pilgrims from 45 states are expected to visit the shrine in Champion, Wisconsin. A shorter 1.7 mile route called “Walk With the Children” will also take place, previewing a section of the Northern Marian Route that will be traveled in the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage on June 17.


Father Roger Landry also shares an inspiring homily with us for this Sunday’s Gospel.

Bios

Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie is an M.D. and Senior Fellow for The Catholic Association, and host of the nationally syndicated radio show, Conversations with Consequences with EWTN. Her articles have been printed in national news publications and she has appeared on major TV networks. She and her husband, Dr. Steven Christie, share five children, including one adopted child, and a passion for the sanctity of life lived out in their advocacy work.

Ashley McGuire is a Senior Fellow with The Catholic Association and co-host of the nationally syndicated radio show, Conversations with Consequences, as well as author of the book, Sex Scandal: The Drive to Abolish Male and Female. She has written for numerous news outlets and spoken on major television networks, and serves as a prominent voice for the pro-life movement and religious liberty. She is the mother of five children.

Father Joseph Aytona is a member of the Congregation of the Priests of Mercy (CPM), rector of the national Shrine of Our Lady of Champion, and founder of the Spiritual Motherhood Sodality and Family Vocation Ministries. He has been interviewed on EWTN Live and “Life on the Rock” Catholic programming and in Catholic publications such as the National Catholic Register and Religious Life Magazine.

Father Roger Landry is a priest of the Diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts. He writes for numerous publications, speaks on radio and TV, and is the author of the book, Plan of Life: Habits to Help You Grow Closer to God. He is a graduate of Harvard and the Pontifical North American College in Rome, and was Attaché to the Holy See’s Permanent Observer Mission to the UN in New York. Father Landry is set to embark on the full 1500-mile Eucharist Pilgrimage this summer to commemorate his 25th anniversary as a priest.

The following transcript is machine generated.

Episode 263 Transcript

GrazieHello friends, and welcome to Conversations with Consequences. We are the radio show and podcast of the Catholic Association where we aim to change the culture one conversation at a time. You can listen to Conversations with Consequences on the EWTN Global Catholic Radio Network. There are also on Sirius XM Channel 130. Course, our radio show is always podcast. Go to the Catholic Association Dawgs podcasts, or directly to wherever you listen to your podcasts.
Welcome back to Conversations with Consequences. I'm your host is Dr. Gracey Christi. And joining me now for this segment is my colleague and friend at the Catholic Association, Ashley Maguire. Welcome, Ashley.
AshleyIt's so great to be with you, Tracy. And I'm excited because the tables are kind of turned around this time. And normally you're the one interviewing and asking the questions. But today I'm going to be asking you to tell us about this really important issue that's before the Florida voters. And you live in Florida and you've become kind of a national expert on this.
So I know that, you know, people who are passionate about the life issue have seen, you know, with such disappointment, these ballot initiatives that have resulted in in really disappointing outcomes for for the pro-life cause. But tell us what is happening in Florida and what what are Florida voters being asked to consider with regards to the right to life for the unborn?
GrazieSo the the the situation in Florida is sort of complicated, especially if you're not living in Florida and you're not paying a lot of attention. So what's been happening in Florida is that for the last so the last some time we abortions have been permitted or babies have been protected after 15 weeks as of May 1st, this week, the law changed because that's what the people's legislative representatives decided.
It changed a six weeks. So as of May 1st in in Florida, babies six weeks old and above as measured in ultrasound, which is what I do for a living, will be protected from elective abortion, rape, incest and human trafficking are exceptions also always throughout the whole pregnancy, the life of the mother and also any kind of any treatment needed to avert to avert a serious physical complication in the mother's health, like an impairment of a of a major bodily function.
So those exceptions are built into the law, which is being called the Heartbeat Act. And there are other provisions, such as a $30 million recurring annual subsidy for pregnancy resource centers in the state of of which I am a volunteer in our Miami area. One's related to the archdiocese and the medical director there. So that's the Heartbeat law, and it's obviously raising cackles in the hackles of the and cackles, we can say heckles and cackles of the the heart, the left, the the pro abortion left, the pro-choice left.
And they're very angry about this. What's also happening in Florida is that just recently an amendment was placed on the ballot for 2020 for a constitutional amendment. And in in in November, the Florida voters will be asked to decide if they want to put an amendment on our Constitution, which would entirely eliminate any kind of restriction regulation and any kind of delay, any kind of any any regulation around abortion.
And they would and that would be embedded into our Constitution, which is once it's there, it's very hard to remove. So in Florida, we could be facing in November a situation where abortion would be permitted always for any reason, right up until the moment of birth, because that is exactly what the amendment says, no delay or restriction on abortion for any reason.
The and one last thing about that. One of the things that it specifies also is that there would not be any parental consent for minors. So you can see that I've packed a lot of information into all of this and it's a very complicated field out here as we look out over what Florida is going to look like.
And it's looking like right now in the abortion and let me stop talking about abortion. Let me say in the protection of children count because those are my little patients. And and I and I know you agree, Ashley, that this is all about the protection of children.
AshleyRight. And the protection of women. I mean, these the these laws are so exploitative. And we know, you know, that we've seen data that says that something like seven out of ten women didn't want to have their abortions. The overwhelming majority of women feel coerced into abortions. I mean, isn't it fair to say that, you know, the these ballot initiatives which are so deceptively marketed as, you know, they're were just protecting women's rights, women's health.
But but it's the opposite. It's they're enshrining into the Constitution something that's far more extreme than we even had before. Roe. Isn't it right to say that these ballot initiatives are more would enshrine a more extreme, more extreme abortion laws and take away the rights of voters and the rights of women and the rights of the unborn in a way that's more extreme than what we had before Roe v Wade in.
GrazieIf this if this amendment passes in Florida, our abortion will be on steroids extreme because it would be you could compare it to North Korea, you could compare it to Cuba. I mean, there are no there basically no normal countries in the world that that say abortion is a free for all. And you should you should be able to abort a child in a late term abortion, which is painful for the fetus, like the babies are killed in cold blood and and a baby feels pain.
A fetus feels pain after 15 or 16 weeks or maybe even earlier. As science keeps developing and we keep knowing more, we keep learning more. So it's absolutely radical and extreme what happens in a state and what could happen in Florida when these constitutional amendments get placed there. And as you say, this would make this would take all the nuance out of it and analyze and take away all the rights of Floridians basic almost completely to make any reasonable changes to protect women and their babies.
AshleySo we know that voters overwhelmingly oppose late term abortions because they're barbaric, they're violent. And so do you have a sense as to why these ballot initiatives have been so successful in other states? And tell us why maybe there's hope for Florida? You know, explain the voter threshold difference in Florida and why that could make a difference.
GrazieWell, we have a threshold of 60%. So 60% of the electorate has to has to agree to place this amendment on the ballot. I think it was different in some other states. Lower maybe 50%. The reason I think people vote for this, a lot of it a lot of it is a misunderstanding about the law and the way that abortion would continue under under the laws, the already existing laws.
I don't think people understand the the cement like quality of an act of a constitutional amendment because the process it's hard to understand process. Right. Even if you're paying a lot of attention, it's hard to understand. They are also scared by misinformation from the pro-abortion sense. I like tremendous misinformation and scare tactics, saying, you know, acting as though physicians don't know the difference between an elective abortion and normal pregnancy care, including medical emergencies.
I'm sorry, that's it's just not true. Physicians understand that if a woman's having a medical emergency, she's going to need certain kinds of care that are not called abortion. Abortion in the medical profession is an elective process in which the first act is to destroy the life of the child. And that it's that's just not emergency medical care for pregnant women who might be experiencing an ectopic pregnancy, a molar pregnancy, a premature rupture of membranes.
There's there's a host of things that can go wrong in a pregnancy. And physicians know very well what's an abortion and what's not it.
AshleyYeah, let's talk about that, because I think there's so the other side is really endangering women's health and and their lives in the sense that they're purposefully sowing confusion about these what we call life of the mother instances. And, you know, I remember you did a you did a little video one day where you just came home and sat down and put it on YouTube explaining why there's so much lying about there.
I mean, what can we do? What should we be doing to clarify and to speak the truth about, you know, the difference between an elective abortion and a situation where a woman's life is in danger and the fact that all of these I mean, all of these laws being passed in these different states to protect unborn babies, all have very clear life of the mother exceptions.
And that's part of why it was so shocking listening to oral arguments last week when I think it was Justice Sonia Sotomayor who said, you know, implied that states that don't she was corrected by the attorney before her. But, you.
GrazieKnow, give me don't get me started on the ignorance on the court. Not long ago, we heard we heard one one of one member say that she didn't know, she couldn't say what a woman was because she's not a biologist. So if if you have to be a biologist to know what a woman is on the Supreme Court, then I don't know what you have to be to know what an abortion as you might have to be like.
Albert Einstein, who's gone to medical school eight times to know what abortion is. But so yeah, one thing that that maybe was missing in in prior efforts, maybe like in Ohio, is the absence of physicians, local physician, state physicians explaining this from the medical perspective, explaining the difference between emergency medical care and abortion, and how, again, I go back to it, how a doctor understands the difference.
A doctor does not feel any danger in a state where abortion if an let me give you an example. A woman comes to the hospital, she's 18 weeks pregnant and her her membranes have ruptured and she she's losing amniotic fluid. If she starts to get infected, that's that's super dangerous. Every single OB-GYN or even an emergency room doctor will deliver that baby, even if the baby doesn't make it.
Even if the baby is born and never takes a breath. Every doctor knows that the emergency medical treatment for a woman in that situation who is who is getting septic and has lost her amniotic fluid is a delivery of a live of a live baby. On the pro-choice side, on the pro-abortion side, they're saying that a doctor could make a mistake and think that he's performing an abortion and he could be putting his license in danger.
That is so that's just a complete it's a level of misinformation that verges on lying when when when a physician and we have seen cases of this, when physicians make a mistake in that situation, then that's a mistake that they're making. It's maybe tied to malpractice. I don't want to talk bad about physicians, but it's clear to two doctors what is medical care, medical emergency care and what is abortion?
AshleyWell, and it's just you know, the other side is is being really aggressive on this front. And they're, I think, exploiting the true suffering and pain of women who have been in situations of medical emergencies and and purposefully sowing confusion everywhere, especially among voters, into thinking that, you know, they need these ballot initiatives to protect women. Isn't that a fair assessment of of what is potentially driving voters?
So you have your finger on the pulse. You're there in Florida. You know, what is the word on the street in terms of how much support this has? And and can the pro-abortion side sufficiently confuse and lie to people to rally the support that they need to get this across the six yard line?
GrazieThere is a lot of pro-life sentiment in Florida, where I live, over 75% of the of the people in Florida are from somewhere else, most of them from Latin America. Latin Americans tend to be sort of naturally pro-life, maybe not from a Phyllis, like a deep philosophical or intellectual perspective, or even sometimes a religious perspective, but just in a kind of we love babies and we can't have too many of them kind of idea, right?
Like and an idea that, well, sometimes life is messy and you, you accept these little blessings and you keep going, right? So I think with the right with the right outreach and not taking anything for granted, fighting back hard against the misinformation on the pro-choice side, especially those scare tactics around around physicians making mistakes when it comes to emergency medical care, I think that we have a really I think better better than I think we have a very good chance of of keeping that amendment off, but off the back of the Constitution.
But I do think that we need prayers from the whole country and everyone in Florida, any or any anybody who's outside of Florida who has some contact with our state, with potential voters, should be very active, active in in making it clear that this amendment is a radical and extreme be it takes away parental consent, which we haven't talked about yet, but we should talk about that.
And three, that every common sense health and safety protection for women at abortion clinics will be removed by those amendments.
AshleySo parental consent, how does the bill take away parental consent?
GrazieSo it literally takes away parental consent because right now in Florida, for a minor to receive an abortion, her parents or her guardians have to agree. And the bill removes parental consent. It leaves parental notification. And that's very vague. It doesn't actually say how. And maybe maybe somebody sends your your absent dad a postcard. I don't know. I don't know what parental notification would look like.
But the the point is, is that when you take away parental consent, what you're doing is you are removing the natural ability of moms and dads to protect their daughters from traffickers, exploitive older men from people, men who are accessing them through the Internet, through their through their social media accounts. Imagine how the groomers, the predators, the traffickers, it's open season on girls because the gym.
AshleyCoaches, the gymnastics.
GrazieYes, gymnastics coaches. We just had a huge a huge, horrible scandal right in my little town where I live that looks so idyllic looking. There was a gymnastics coach preying on his 13 and 14 year old girls that he was coaching a very well, a trusted man who had been, you know, a well-liked and trusted by hundreds of parents who thought that their daughters were safe with him.
And they they weren't. They clearly weren't. So the lack of parental consent opens up just wonderful opportunities for traffickers, predators and groomers.
AshleyRight. And it gives you know, it gives men the upper hand. And as we were discussing before, that, the reality is that the overwhelming majority of women and I'm sure you know, minors who have abortions don't want to do it, They feel forced into it. So taking away parental consent only tips the scales further in the favor of the oppressive figure in the party who is the man pushing the woman into an abortion?
Forcing her into an abortion? I mean, you know, some of these women in this poll that came out in the last year said that they actually felt many of them said that they actually felt coerced. And so, you know, you take away parental consent and you take away the last and final safeguard of somebody who's trying to protect a minor who's already at a disadvantage because she's a minor.
And so that's that's just so insidious and something that parents really need to be aware of. But it's so wonderful that Florida's bill, like so many of these other bills, includes aid for pregnancy centers. And that's something that never gets reported on. You know, like I've had to look it up in multiple sources with other states like Tennessee, to make sure that I actually read it right.
I'm pretty sure Tennessee was, what, $100 million? Texas might have been $100 million as well. And and that's so wonderful because those pregnancy centers I know you volunteer at one. I work at one as well. And the things that we do for women are absolutely incredible. And and these are women who want to have their babies. I mean, these are the seven in ten women who had abortions who said that they wanted to have their babies.
And these centers are helping women to do what they want to do. They're empowering them to actually make the choice that they want to have.
GrazieAnd you know, what doesn't get talked about a lot and I like to bring it up, is that what we see often at these these pregnancy support centers is young families. We see a woman, a young woman with her young husband or her young boyfriend sometimes. But and they bring that, you know, maybe they bring an older child with them.
They're looking for support to do what they want to do, which is to welcome their child into the world. And this Florida, the Heartbeat Act, which takes effect on May 1st, is provides $30 million. And in the in the upcoming budget and budget of Florida, there will be even a lot more support. The proposed budget. Hopefully they'll sign off on it soon.
There will be a lot more support, hundreds of millions of dollars, more support for other aspects of pregnancy support, postpartum support, especially for women on Medicaid and except getting CHIP right the the aid for for babies and young children. And these are the you know, these pregnancy resource centers. This is the loving arm of the movement that says there are no extra people in the world.
You know, all people are valuable, all people are dignified and should be respected and loved and welcomed. And here's how we propose to help out materially with emotional support and education support and all the wonderful ways that these pregnancy support centers operate.
AshleyYou know, that this is a little bit of a tangent, but I was talking with my daughter yesterday about she was asking how people can know that a baby has Down syndrome before the baby's born. And I was telling her that it's a genetic test and that interestingly, the man who really discovered this gene had a daughter with Down's syndrome.
And and I said and fortunately, people use that knowledge now to eliminate people with Down's syndrome. And she was kind of quiet and she just said, but that's not a reason to kill someone. And so I just I'm encouraged to see young people. And I think, you know, no matter what happens with Florida, you know, we know we know that in the end, we know where this ends.
But I think it's very it's easy to feel discouraged seeing what's happened with other ballot initiatives across the country. But I think, you know, people are optimistic about Florida and that defeating this extremist initiative in Florida would really, I think, be really encouraging and and show that there is you know, there is really a way forward in this in this post.
DOBBS world. And and that it's essential that we couple our work to protect and enact, you know, as you say, common sense laws to protect babies and their mothers. And couple that with, as you say, the loving arm, extending the arm and showing them that, you know, we are about loving them both and about helping women to to choose life and to thrive and doing it and and to show the world that we we want every child in this world to feel welcomed and loved.
And so, you know, the battleground has been shifting. And right now it's in Florida. And and I think, as you say, that we have to just, you know, turn to prayer for those of us who are outside of Florida to pray, because there's so many so many lives are at stake. And in many senses, it feels like the future of the pro-life movement is at stake.
GrazieAnd the future of of women that we have to keep front and center. Also, that this isn't just about protecting vulnerable little lives. It's also about protecting vulnerable women. We talked about parental consent for girls, for minors. When we talked about how women often get abortions because they're being pressured and coerced. But there's also, you know, who doesn't have loving arms?
The abortion or a big abortion has no loving arms. All they are is they're they're a butcher shop where they're making money hand over fist. And the people they're turning up is not just the babies. They're also turning up the moms, the mothers of these children. One of the the most the terrible things that happen when these amendments are put on these ballot and they pass is that the the health and safety protections for women at abortion facilities and around chemical abortion, for instance, are stripped away 100%.
There is nothing allowed. Simple things like, if you are performing a surgical abortion, you should be near a hospital in case you perforate the uterus and your patient's bleeding out in front of you on the table, that does it. You can put that in the law when you have these amendments. Other things like a man, doctor, an abortionist is performing surgical abortions ought to have admitting privileges at a local hospital so he can then follow up on his own patient.
He knows what he did. He knows the damage that he caused so that he can go and take care of that poor girl and not leave her up to, you know, the ignorance, the ignorance in the sense that they don't know how the how this poor girl ended up there. Right. Like they don't they don't they don't know what was done to her when she ends up at a hospital.
Yeah. So every basic requirement would be removed. And the abortion industry is there's no love in the abortion industry. All their talk about protecting women and taking care of women, they don't even talk about women anymore. They talk about pregnant people.
AshleyThat's how birthing individuals I've had five kids, so I must be a really good birthing individual.
GrazieBirthing individuals. Yeah. You know, first of all, they don't want anyone birthing. And second of all, they won't even they won't even honor a woman by calling her a woman and dignify her, her sex and her, you know, her genius for being female. Let me tell you, it's hard to be female. There's a lot that goes into it.
And and we're holding up half the world. But the abortion industry is just they want to chew us up and spit us out. So thank you, Ashley, for for joining me today. And I hope again that all our listeners will pray for Florida, that that we're able to to make things clear and how important it is to to to protect babies, mothers, fathers and the whole culture from abortion on steroids.
AshleyWell, thank you, Gracie, and thank you for everything that we're doing. And we'll we'll be praying every morning.
GrazieThe Catholic Association reviews all the latest news and sends our subscribers a carefully curated collection of the most important news of the day. Items are specifically selected for a smart Catholic audience like you don't let the world take you by surprise. Subscribe to our daily media roundup at the Catholic Association dot org.
Welcome back to Conversations with Consequences. This is your hostess, Dr. Gracie Christie. Now joining us is Father Joseph Katonah. He's rector of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Champion. And we are focusing on this today because may this is the first week of May is the month of Mary. Our Lady of Champion is an apparition site in the United States, an apparition of our lady.
The only approved apparition. So welcome to the show, Father Joseph.
Fr. JosephThank you for having me. I'm excited.
GrazieWell, you are the rector of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Champion. And also the founder of the Spiritual Motherhood, Sodality and founder of Family Vocation Ministries, which is an apostolate that promotes vocations through the sanctification of families. That seems pretty natural, right, that a good holy family will produce vocations with God's help. That's right. So, Father, tell us about Our Lady of Champion, because maybe many of our listeners don't even know about her.
Fr. JosephYes. To tell you the truth, I didn't really know about Our Lady of Champion and this apparition site. It was only through my religious congregation that I was able to really delve into it more. My brother was actually the first chaplain here after the apparitions were approved. He was ordained in 2011. The apparition was approved, formally approved by Bishop Rifkin on December 8th, 2010.
So I was ordained in May 2010. So that year I was actually ordained. But the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared here a long time ago, 1859. Who? A Belgian, a Belgian immigrant by the name of Adele Brice. And Adele was helping her family as they migrated here from Belgium. And eventually the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to her three times.
The first two times she didn't say anything. Adele actually asked her parents what she thought about this this apparition, this beautiful lady appearing to her. And her parents actually thought it was a soul in purgatory asking for prayers. Interesting to hear something like that. But eventually, the second time our lady appeared to Adele, she was actually on her way to Sunday mass.
And eventually Adele asked the priest for advice for counsel. And the priest said, Well, why don't you ask her who she is and what she wants of you? And as she was going back home after Mass, the Blessed Virgin Mary again appeared that third time, and Adele asked her who she was and what she wanted of her and the title that our lady used here again in northeastern rural Wisconsin.
The Queen of heaven, who prays for the conversion of sinners. That's what she said when Adele asked who she was. The queen of heaven who prays for the conversion of sinners. And she automatically told Adele, and I wish for you to do the same, that is, to pray for sinners. And she continued and said, You've received Holy Communion this morning as well, but you need to do more, make a general confession and offer communion for the conversion of sinners.
And she gave a warning and our lady usually gives a warning when she appears and she says if they do not do penance and convert, my son will be obliged to punish them. And my yeah, this is the first part of the apparition. Sometimes it's not said, but of course the sacraments are the most important part of our church here, especially the most Blessed Sacrament.
The Holy Eucharist. So she asked her to specifically, I mean, using the verb to offer communion for the conversion of sinners. And unfortunately, I don't think that's really said a lot today, even in our church, just to offer communion, period. But to do it for the conversion of sinners.
GrazieHow do you offer communion, Father? You know, on a practical and a practical level.
Fr. JosephYou know, I've been on EWTN, I've filled in for the masses here. I was able to actually preach about this. So I know some maybe that are listening since you are affiliated with EWTN. But in reality, I mean, there's a whole way I mean, I'm not going to necessarily go step by step, but really, during the conflict of the mass, when the priest says, Let us pray, we really should have an intention, since at that point he's collecting everyone's prayers.
Now, you would want to mentally make an intention when he says, let us pray. You really want to think about it before mass begins. And then the priests will pray that call that prayer where he collects everyone, everyone's prayer, intentions, and then offers it to the father. So eventually, you know, the mass will continue and the offertory will continue with the bread being offered first, then the wine as well.
And then at that point, we really want to renew our intention that we had at the beginning of mass during the conflict, of course during the consecration, when the sacred host is elevated along with the precious chalice or the precious blood in the chalice afterwards, we want to obviously make an act of faith, but want to have our intention in interior disposition within us while we're offering ourselves to God through Christ in the Holy Spirit.
So all of this is going on. I know this is this might be a little maybe too theological for your show or however we know.
GrazieNo, not at all.
Fr. JosephChristian Yes. And then eventually, God willing, if we're in the state of grace, I recommend for everyone to receive communion. And then after we receive communion, we know our Lord is within us physically for about anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes before we digest him. Obviously, the most intimate time that we have our Lord, this side of Heaven, and we'll want to renew our intense option of offering communion that we had at the beginning of mass then.
So, I mean, there's I mean, that's just in a nutshell. Unfortunately, a lot of people, they just kind of go to mass, check the box, but there should be active participation. So, yes, offering communion, I highly recommend it, especially if anyone's visiting here as a pilgrim, I recommend being in solidarity with Adele, or better yet, the Blessed Virgin Mary through Adele when she said to offer communion for the conversion of sinners.
Now, eventually the Blessed Virgin Mary told the girl to teach the children of this wild country. She said that's the word she used as well. Country their catechism, how to sign themselves, how to approach the sacraments and what is necessary for salvation. So she was literally sent by the Blessed Virgin Mary, and she went from house to house, even helping with the chores of these children to eventually help them with their catechism so they would be more ready after doing the chores.
So. So in other words, he asked Adele to sacramental unite herself with the Holy Eucharist, will actually confession first and the Eucharist afterwards. And then she was sent to go to teach. So not all of us can teach. Some of us are catechists. Some of us do some classes formally, so to speak, but all of us can receive communion and offer communion for the conversion of sinners.
So that's something that I really emphasize with the pilgrims that come to the shrine in solidarity with our ladies message to Adele, We should really offer communion for the conversion to sinners. I would try to go to mass twice if any of the pilgrims maybe listening do come here one for your own intention, maybe healing or someone else's conversion.
And then also one for what our lady asked Adele to do during the apparitions.
GrazieYeah, that is very special for the conversion of sinners. And yeah, it's not something that one thinks of specifically, right? Like I know that many of us like me. For instance, we offer our mass, right for a special intention, but how wonderful for the conversion of sinners. And that would be all of us. I think every day we're Anita, we're sitting and we're in need of conversion day after day.
Fr. JosephI like to describe this place. It's probably not said in terms of phrase, but it's this is a Eucharistic reparation site. I think yeah. I mean, just based on the fact of the apparitions happening here and that she asked specifically of to Adele to offer communion for the conversion of sinners, how can that not be a Eucharistic reparation site.
I this is a formally approved apparition from the church so and that's basically the main message that she she asked Adele to do along with going to confession. So yes, reparation, atonement, satisfaction probably not said a lot, at least in my opinion, as a missionary preacher going from place to place. But that is the first message and really the main message, along with teaching the children their catechism of this shrine.
GrazieWell, maybe it's a message that's been obscured by sort of a therapeutic culture that has trouble understanding that certain acts may need reparation and that certain things have to be patched up now in a way that that is more definitive than simply saying, I'm sorry.
Fr. JosephYes, I think to tell you the truth, I mean, if I were to guess why, it's probably not mentioned more within the church, maybe even within the clergy is because you have to explain it and there's theology involved. And I realize that some people don't necessarily want to think in more of a of a theological might with a mindset.
It's really not that hard. I mean, we commit sin, we offend God, God willing, will ask for forgiveness, but we still have to make satisfaction for our sins. That's the reason why we have purgatory. I mean, it's yeah, the theology isn't coming from like a Protestant theology where it's just like once saved, always saved. You can do whatever you want to do, type of thing.
You're always going to be saved. Well, God is 100% merciful. Yes, but he's also 100% just so whenever hear.
GrazieDon't you think there's been a very large emphasis on on the mercy of God, as though his mercy could exclude justice in the last few decades in the church?
Fr. JosephYes. Well, I mean, we always want to emphasize mercy, but we need to do it in the right mindset according to the teachings of the church. Right. So even in even in saint feistiness message, you know, obviously approved apparition there is you know if one since the more he has a right to God's mercy I mean we hear that but at same time obviously we don't commit we don't commit sin on purpose hopefully not out of malice, maybe out of weakness.
And if we do, we ask for forgiveness and we need to make reparation for our sins. Now, it's interesting because even the divine mercy message, one of the things of the divine mercy message is to receive communion on Divine Mercy Sunday, which is the second Sunday of Easter, and then all of the temporal punishment due to sin of your whole life is wiped away.
So it's like a like a freebie, so to speak, in terms of a plenary indulgence. So even then it's emphasized in this apparition. Yes, a merciful, but also just but then in terms of even this, this one day to actually have all of the reparation of the satisfaction of our sins be wiped away, it's a special grace that we have.
But either way, there's still the emphasis, both mercy and justice, which they really can't be separated.
GrazieThat's right. Father, tell us how the the apparition, the history after the operation of Adele and how it became established and accepted by the church.
Fr. JosephYes. You know, it usually takes a long time and for right reasons for an apparition to be approved. I mean, there has to be the theologians, basically a commission of people to hear that, to see what our lady or whoever it is that is appearing is saying. And then the visionary or the seer, in this case, the Dell Brice.
There are specific signs to that help with approving the apparition and the miracle from the Peshtigo fire. So our lady appeared here at least the last apparition. October 9th, 1859. So Adele, again, she she literally was teaching the children. She started a basically like a boarding school here where the shrine is located. And she she did what our lady asked her to do.
She she taught the children their catechism. But about 12 years to the day after the apparition, that last apparition, the Peshtigo fire, the largest fire, basically of US history that took maybe about 2000 people's lives, which was about the size of Rhode Island, by the way. And it was passing through, starting there in Peshtigo, Wisconsin, passing through here in champion Wisconsin.
Basically, anything in the path of this fire was completely decimated. I mean, it just burned everything in its path. So it was heading here to the very place that the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Adele and Adele, thanks be to God, they all went. Anyone who close by here went into the chapel and they had a rosary procession.
They started to pray the rosary knowing that they were about to die from this fire. and basically there was like, if I can use these words, an invisible shield where the grounds of the shrine were completely immune and protected from the fire, literally the inside side of the gate where the boundaries of the shrine, the fence, I should say, the fence, I mean, was untouched.
Everything outside of the fence was completely charred, was black. So there was some shield piece, obviously, on on the on the grounds of the shrine here. And this this happened on the evening of October 8th and then going through the night to the October 9th, the anniversary of the apparition. So this is one sign. I mean, you can't make it up.
I mean, everything in its path, again, was completely charred from the fire was decimated, except this particular place where the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Adele about, well, basically 12 years before the fire happened. So this is hallowed ground. I mean, you can someone could be a skeptical as they want, but that doesn't happen by accident.
GrazieSo that established the the the potency know or the reality of the operation of our lady.
Fr. JosephYes. I mean, I mean, that's just kind of like icing on the cake, so to speak. Obviously, you want to look at the message, you want to look at the sphere and then the faith of the people that have visited the miracles and just the fruits of people visiting the shrine obviously was a very private thing because the church, in her wisdom, she doesn't want to spread something that really hasn't formally been investigated.
So it was just a local thing for those who live by here. They had devotions here, they prayed here. But after Bishop, Rick and really prayed about it and formally investigated it and then made it worthy of belief. By the way, this is private revelation, just like any other apparition. No one should be forced in believing it, but it does.
It's nothing contrary to our faith. So if it helps anyone out, I highly recommend it. I mean, based on what we heard from the Peshtigo Fire, I would come over here myself, even though I'm obviously I obviously live here.
GrazieWe only have a minute left, Father, But tell us, what's the shrine? What is the shrine like today? What kind of activities you have at your shrine?
Fr. Josephcertainly we have daily mass, and then we hear confessions three times a day. We pray the rosary every day. We have Eucharistic adoration. There's a rosary walk. So basically it's totally true. That's like a very small, peaceful place for people to come to show their devotion to God through Mary. So every day there is opportunities or you can just simply have like a silent day of recollection or a retreat here.
It depends in terms of the busyness. I mean, like on Saturday we have the Walk to Mary, which I don't know, I'm guessing 8 to 9000 people will be on the grounds really of the shrine. Yeah. So just depends. So it might be quiet, it might be loud, depending on when people come. Either way, all of these things, such as the sacraments, are celebrated every day.
So just want to extend the invitation, everybody.
GrazieWell, what a wonderful opportunity, Father. And to our listeners, you can find Father Etana and more information about our lady champ of Champion at Champion's Shrine, Dorjee. Thank you, Father.
Fr. JosephYou're welcome.
GrazieAnd now.
Father Roger Landry offers us, as is customary, a short and inspiring homily to prepare us for this Sunday's gospel.
Fr. LandryThis is Father Roger Landry. A joy for me to be with you as we enter into what I think may be the most consequential conversation of all time in the risen Lord Jesus words to the apostles that constitute our Gospel passage this Sunday. Jesus will tell us, just as the Father loves me. So I love you. We know that God, the Father cannot possibly love God the Son more perfectly or deeply or better than He does.
And Jesus saying that he loves us just as much, just as profoundly, just as completely as God. The Father loves him. This is the true foundation of the Christian life to live in the love of God. God, the father loved us so much that he gave his only son. So we may not perish, but have eternal life. God, the son loved us freely and lovingly by giving that life in order to save ours.
Gather Holy Spirit. Is that love between the Father and the Son. And then, since Jesus loves us like the Father loves him, the Holy Spirit is, by application, mysterious. The love between Jesus and us. Since God is love, He wishes to bring us into that communion of love. And that's what Jesus is of the Holy Spirit's missions seek to achieve.
We all know how being love can turn someone's life right side up. I remember when I was high school chaplain, boys who used to come to high school with their shirts sloppy, their ties crooked, their hair a mess, would all of a sudden come in with shirts and pins pressed. The double wins are not perfect with every he or shampooed and combed or gelled in place.
What I would note the positive change that had taken place within them and ask What's your name? They would think I was a soul reading genius. Paul was going on, was crystal clear. They had fallen in love, and that love gave meaning to everything they did, including how they prepared for school. If this is what can happen with a teenage crush, imagine what's supposed to happen when we realize that God loves us permanently and begin to live in that love.
If the words I love you can make a dramatic difference in someone's existence. What about Jesus is saying I love you just as the Father loves me? In one of the most famous passages of his pontificate, Saint John Paul, the second stated, Men can't live without love. He remains a being incomprehensible for himself. His life, his senseless of love isn't revealed to him.
If he doesn't encounter love, if he doesn't experience it, make it his own. If he doesn't participate intimately in it. If this is true about the human love we find in the family and friendships, in romantic relationships, especially marriage, how much more is it true about the love of God? There's a reason for this. We're made in God's image and likeness.
In God is love. It exists in a loving communion of persons. We don't live in love if we don't dwell in a loving communion. A person that we're lost before God, before others, and within ourselves. That's why Jesus says to us emphatically that He loves us and that He loves us is purely and perfectly is. The father loves him.
But the consequential conversation with Jesus doesn't stop there. He tells us, Remain in my love. He knows that many of us run away from love in general and from his love and particular. Burning love for someone else can make us from someone else can make us feel uncomfortable because we don't think we're worthy of it. Or perhaps we know that the only response to love is love back.
We fear we're not capable of it. Love is meant to change us, to lift us up. Sometimes we don't want to co-operate with that resurrection like Saint Peter. After the first miraculous catch a fish, we can cry out, depart from the Lord, from a sinful man. That's why Jesus gives us the imperative to abide in His love to rest, in His love to let that love change us, and to become the defining characteristic of our life.
Third, he tells us how to remain in his love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love. We can't remain in his love if we break the commandment, not because he'll pull his love away from us. His love is everlasting in a never retracted. But because the commandments are all about living in the love of God, the love of neighbor that flows from living in the love of God.
We can't love God if we're worshiping other gods, giving in to superstition, for abusing God's holy name, for blowing them off on the Lord's day. We can't be loving Him and those whom he loves. If we're dishonoring the appearance he gave us hating or killing those he created, taking advantage of them out of lust. Stealing from the goods he gave them.
Lying to them, or getting envious over the human relationship or material goods with which he has blessed them all. The law of the Prophets. Jesus would tell us, Hang on the twofold commandment of loving God and neighbor. And that's why we can't remain in his love if we're violating the love that is contained in the commandments God has given us.
The Commandments train us how to love and therefore how to remain in the love of God. Since God is love. Jesus adds here that He's not asking of us anything he himself hasn't done. He says, Just as I have kept the father's commandments and remain in his love. Love is Pope Benedict was accustomed to say is items like item no lay in Latin willing and rejecting the same things as the beloved.
If we love God, we're going to love what He loves Jesus and loving the Father love the Father's will. Likewise, if we truly love the Lord and remain in His love, will love what he loves and seek to do what He out of love wills for us and others. Fourth, after telling us to remain in his love by keeping his commandments, he summarizes and synthesizes what he's commanding.
This is my commandment. He says, Love one another as I have loved you. And he shows us what real love is and leads to it culminates in a total gift of ourselves for those we love. No one has greater love to this, he says, To lay down one's life for one's friends. Jesus wants us to love one another to the point of giving our lives for them as he gave his life for us.
Well, few of us will be required to die for others. When we're willing to do so, then we're much more willing to make the types of smaller sacrifices that are necessary for love, forgiving others, being patient with them, sacrificing some of our desires to help them fulfill their own and so on. And Jesus says that the greatest love is to lay down one's life for one's friends and immediately tells us afterward, You are my friends.
He calls his friends he regards as his friends because he's revealed to us everything he's heard from the father and his chosen appointed us to go and bear fruit that will remain in the way. We will reciprocate that love of friendship is. He says by doing what he commands, by laying down our life for him, our friend, and for his friends.
We see, in these words of Jesus the whole pattern of the Christian life, which begins with grace received in faith, overflowing in love, she says, just as the father loves me. So I love you. And he wants us to be able to say to others, just as Jesus loves me. So I love you. Treating others as friends with a willingness to sacrifice for them, to reveal to them what we have heard from God, to choose them whom God has chosen and to seek to be a fruit with them to eternal life.
The fruit of this Christian love life is also very clear. Jesus says in this Sunday's consequential conversation, I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy might be complete. The fruit of love is joy. We experience joy when we know how loved we are By God. We experience joy when we remain peacefully in that love without struggle, we experience joy.
When we share that love we have received with other it help them experience the joy of being loved. We experience that joy even in great made out of love for others like we see in the stories of martyrs across the century who are singing hymns on the road to execution as if they were proceeding to a wedding because they rejoice that they had the opportunity to give their lives for the one who would lovingly given his life for their because they were able to give the supreme witness to the love of God that conquers even death.
This most consequential and life changing conversation Jesus had with the apostles on Holy Thursday is recapitulated every mass. When Jesus shows us the depth of his love, not just laying down his life for us in the cross, but giving his life for and to us in the Holy Eucharist. This is the means by which Jesus makes it possible for us to remain in His love, to live in a loving communion with him, and to be strengthened by him on the inside, not only to love others like him, but to love others with him.
That's why he's described the Holy Eucharist to Saint Margaret Mary Elcock as the sacrament of love, an expression used by Pope Benedict in his exhortation of the Holy Eucharist. Is the church in the United States enters more deeply in the Eucharistic revival with the 65 day, 7000 mile national Eucharistic pilgrimage beginning in under two weeks, all heading to the National Eucharistic Congress in in July.
It's a graceful time for us to recognize anew that because we cannot live without God, God who created us in the beginning. God who is love comes to us every day on the altar so that our life may not be incomprehensible and senseless, but understandable and full of meaning as we encounter Christ loved and guarded each day and have the chance to participate intimately in the greatest expression of love and human life from which every other form of true love flows.
Every mass, as Jesus says, this my body given for you. This is the challenge of my blood poured out for you and do this in memory of me. He's reiterating the words just as the father loves me. So I love you. Remain in my love and love one another in the same Eucharistic way with which I love you.
God bless, you.
GrazieThank you, Father Landry. To hear more from Father Landry, check out his website on Catholic priest income.
And you can also catch his writings at EWTN on National Catholic Register. A big thank you to all our listeners for joining us. I hope that this show was helpful. I hope that it gave you more peace.
And more hope and more joy.
And you go with our prayers.