GTARTL Procession and RESPECT LIFE Presentation planned for Sunday, January 22

Two groups that work hard at defending life in Traverse City and northern Michigan, Grand Traverse Area Right to Life and RESPECT LIFE - The Catholic Pro-Life movement in the Diocese of Gaylord, have events planned for Sunday, January 22nd the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

I received the email below with information about the events and with some disappointing news as well. A local funeral home received "angry calls" and now won't be participating in the event. Let this be a reminder that abortion and the need to protect life isn't just happenening somewhere else, but also right in our own backyard!

Defending life is important and prayers are needed to continue to have the strength to protect the unborn.

To mark the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, GTARTL has planned a memorial procession and service for Sunday, January 22.

It appears that the article above has created quite a stir from the “other side”. Funeral home fielded several angry calls yesterday from people threatening to pull business, slander their name, and finally have protestors along the route to throw eggs at the hearse and those involved. As a result, they have pulled their services from our memorial.

I feel that this is the time to stand strong, bold and mourn the lives of 54 million that are not here! God calls us to speak for the weak.

I ask all of you for prayers for peace and safety for this memorial and help getting the word out!

Line Up:
12:45-1:25 at St. Francis Church - 1025 S. Union, Traverse City
Leaving promptly at 1:30
St. Francis 1025 S. Union, Traverse City to Oakwood Catholic Cemetery, 1325 E. 8th Street
Brief Service:
2:15-2:30 - At Tomb for the Unborn

REMINDER: The Respect Life presentation on The Theology of the Body beginning at 3:00 at Immaculate Conception Church, 205 N. Division. A light food reception will follow.

Here is a great prayer I found at Catholic Online...

To Protect Life

Loving God, I thank you for the gift of life you gave and continue to give to me and to all of us.
Merciful God, I ask your pardon and forgiveness for my own failure and the failure of all people to respect and foster all forms of life in our universe.

Gracious God, I pray that with your grace, I and all people will reverence, protect, and promote all life and that we will be especially sensitive to the life of the unborn, the abused, neglected, disabled, and the elderly. I pray, too, that all who make decisions about life in any form will do so with wisdom, love, and courage.

Living God, I praise and glorify you as Father, Source of all life, as Son, Savior of our lives, and as Spirit, Sanctifier of our lives.


Sister Mary Margaret Johanning, S.S.N.D.
Nihil Obstat: Joseph F. Martino Imprimatur: Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua Archbishop of Philadelphia, June 1994

Remember to pray for the unborn, but also the people defending and protecting life, in today's world they need it!

Immaculate Heart of Mary, Pray for Us!

Catholic Spiritual Life and Spiritual Direction

Support-Catholic-Speaker-MoOne of my favorite blogs to read is Fallible Blogma by Matthew Warner. One day while reading I stumbled upon this post, Support a Catholic Speaker Month, and thought how fun it would be to participate. Matthew wanted us to pick someone we didn't know anything about, so I picked Father John Bartunek, a Catholic Priest with the Legionaries of Christ.

Here's a quick bio...

father-bartunek-150x150Father John Bartunek, LC, STL, received his BA in History from Stanford University in 1990, Father John Bartunekgraduating cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. He comes from an evangelical Christian background and became a member of the Catholic Church in 1991. He entered the religious Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ in 1993. He has since received ecclesiastical degrees in philosophy and theology and worked in youth and college ministries. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 2003. He provided spiritual support on the set of Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ while researching the 2005 Catholic best seller, Inside the Passion, the only authorized, behind-the-scene explanation of the film. Fr John has contributed news commentary regarding religious issues on CNN, Fox, and the BBC. He has appeared on Larry King Live, Hannity and Colmes, and the Laura Ingraham radio show. He also served as the English-language press liaison for the 2005 Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist. Fr John currently resides in New York, where he is engaged in doctoral research and continuing his writing apostolate.

One of the first things that struck me about Father John was his use of technology to spread the word about the importance of spiritual direction and the spiritual life. I found him on Facebook, LinkedIn, and of course his own website/blog at I love when new technology is used to spread the good works of the Lord.

Catholic Spiritual Direction is something that I have recently (in the last couple of years) really discovered and I jumped in to Father John's posts about the topic. I found some great question and answers including this one, Why would a saint need spiritual direction?. Father John broke it down so even a lay person like me could figure it out, here's part of his repsonse...

You can see that your question about why saints need spiritual direction touches the very core of Christian theology. God is all-powerful, all-loving, and all-knowing. As a result, he could have chosen any number of ways to redeem our fallen world. He was not constricted by some higher law, outside of himself, that forced him to send the Second Person of the Holy Trinity among us through the incarnation. Rather, he chose to do it that way. He chose to administer the redemption through a mediator who was fully human (Jesus Christ). And having chosen that path, he was consistent with that choice; the Church is an extension of this same method of redemption. Through the sacraments and Sacred Scripture, God continues to communicate his grace to us through material realities; he saves and sanctifies us in a manner that respects our human nature, by which we are a unity of spirit and matter (in philosophical terms, that means the human person is a spiritual soul informing a material body).

This was great info and like I said explained in terms I could understand. As I kept reading I found more and more information about spiritual direction, spiritual life, and prayer life. Another great post is Praying With Your Spouse – A Brief Guide – Marriage Spirituality Part IV featuring some great examples of prayers you can say with your spouse as well as sharing the importance of praying together. It was very beneficial for me and I'm going to try to do better praying with my spouse in the future.

Father John has his team assembled ready to help us fight the good fight and I'm thankful I was able to learn more about him and his sharing of Catholic Spiritual Direction with us all.