Respecting Life

Prayers for Peace in Ukraine and the world

Pope Francis will be consecrating the world, particularly Russia and Ukraine, to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on Friday, March 25, the Solemnity of the Annunciation.  He will do so at a Penance Service in Rome at 5:00 p.m. Rome time (6:00 a.m. Hawaii Time) and mentions that the actual Prayer of Consecration will be prayed around 6:30 p.m. (7:30 a.m. Hawaii Time).  The Holy Father has asked that Catholics throughout the world pray the Prayer of Consecration gathered in their parish churches and throughout the day.

Learn more here

Act of Consecration
to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Basilica of Saint Peter
25 March 2022
         O Mary, Mother of God and our Mother, in this time of trial we turn to you.  As our Mother, you love us and know us: no concern of our hearts is hidden from you.  Mother of mercy, how often we have experienced your watchful care and your peaceful presence!  You never cease to guide us to Jesus, the Prince of Peace.
         Yet we have strayed from that path of peace.  We have forgotten the lesson learned from the tragedies of the last century, the sacrifice of the millions who fell in two world wars.  We have disregarded the commitments we made as a community of nations.  We have betrayed peoples’ dreams of peace and the hopes of the young.  We grew sick with greed, we thought only of our own nations and their interests, we grew indifferent and caught up in our selfish needs and concerns.  We chose to ignore God, to be satisfied with our illusions, to grow arrogant and aggressive, to suppress innocent lives and to stockpile weapons.  We stopped being our neighbour’s keepers and stewards of our common home.  We have ravaged the garden of the earth with war and by our sins we have broken the heart of our heavenly Father, who desires us to be brothers and sisters.  We grew indifferent to everyone and everything except ourselves.  Now with shame we cry out: Forgive us, Lord!
         Holy Mother, amid the misery of our sinfulness, amid our struggles and weaknesses, amid the mystery of iniquity that is evil and war, you remind us that God never abandons us, but continues to look upon us with love, ever ready to forgive us and raise us up to new life.  He has given you to us and made your Immaculate Heart a refuge for the Church and for all humanity.  By God’s gracious will, you are ever with us; even in the most troubled moments of our history, you are there to guide us with tender love.
         We now turn to you and knock at the door of your heart.  We are your beloved children.  In every age you make yourself known to us, calling us to conversion.  At this dark hour, help us and grant us your comfort.  Say to us once more: “Am I not here, I who am your Mother?”  You are able to untie the knots of our hearts and of our times.  In you we place our trust.  We are confident that, especially in moments of trial, you will not be deaf to our supplication and will come to our aid.
         That is what you did at Cana in Galilee, when you interceded with Jesus and he worked the first of his signs.  To preserve the joy of the wedding feast, you said to him: “They have no wine” (Jn 2:3).  Now, O Mother, repeat those words and that prayer, for in our own day we have run out of the wine of hope, joy has fled, fraternity has faded.  We have forgotten our humanity and squandered the gift of peace.  We opened our hearts to violence and destructiveness.  How greatly we need your maternal help!
Therefore, O Mother, hear our prayer.
Star of the Sea, do not let us be shipwrecked in the tempest of war.
Ark of the New Covenant, inspire projects and paths of reconciliation.
Queen of Heaven, restore God’s peace to the world.
Eliminate hatred and the thirst for revenge, and teach us forgiveness.
Free us from war, protect our world from the menace of nuclear weapons.
Queen of the Rosary, make us realize our need to pray and to love.
Queen of the Human Family, show people the path of fraternity.
Queen of Peace, obtain peace for our world.
         O Mother, may your sorrowful plea stir our hardened hearts.  May the tears you shed for us make this valley parched by our hatred blossom anew.  Amid the thunder of weapons, may your prayer turn our thoughts to peace.  May your maternal touch soothe those who suffer and flee from the rain of bombs.  May your motherly embrace comfort those forced to leave their homes and their native land.  May your Sorrowful Heart move us to compassion and inspire us to open our doors and to care for our brothers and sisters who are injured and cast aside.
         Holy Mother of God, as you stood beneath the cross, Jesus, seeing the disciple at your side, said: “Behold your son” (Jn 19:26).  In this way he entrusted each of us to you.  To the disciple, and to each of us, he said: “Behold, your Mother” (v. 27).  Mother Mary, we now desire to welcome you into our lives and our history.  At this hour, a weary and distraught humanity stands with you beneath the cross, needing to entrust itself to you and, through you, to consecrate itself to Christ.  The people of Ukraine and Russia, who venerate you with great love, now turn to you, even as your heart beats with compassion for them and for all those peoples decimated by war, hunger, injustice and poverty.
         Therefore, Mother of God and our Mother, to your Immaculate Heart we solemnly entrust and consecrate ourselves, the Church and all humanity, especially Russia and Ukraine.  Accept this act that we carry out with confidence and love.  Grant that war may end and peace spread throughout the world.  The “Fiat” that arose from your heart opened the doors of history to the Prince of Peace.  We trust that, through your heart, peace will dawn once more.  To you we consecrate the future of the whole human family, the needs and expectations of every people, the anxieties and hopes of the world.
         Through your intercession, may God’s mercy be poured out on the earth and the gentle rhythm of peace return to mark our days.  Our Lady of the “Fiat”, on whom the Holy Spirit descended, restore among us the harmony that comes from God.  May you, our “living fountain of hope”, water the dryness of our hearts.  In your womb Jesus took flesh; help us to foster the growth of communion.  You once trod the streets of our world; lead us now on the paths of peace.  Amen.
From Bishop Larry:  For those who are able to join the Holy Father’s ceremony, either via television (EWTN) or on-line, we encourage you to do so.  But we encourage as many people as possible to gather at any time that day to pray for peace and to pray the Prayer of Consecration.  Our Lady, Queen of Peace, pray for us!
 

Feed the hungry

 

Encounter Lent – Bring Lent to Life.  The CRS Rice Bowl pamphlet is filled with Stories of Hope and some interesting recipes.  Catholic Relief Services works with parents to combat malnutrition through education:  crop management, small business learning groups, protecting homes and lands from natural disasters, preparing balanced meals.  Your support expands our respect of life to all corners of the world.

 And we can support those who are hungry here in Hawaii by supporting our Holy Trinity Food Drive over the next few weeks.  From March 19 – Easter Sunday, April 17, you can donate non-perishable items to help feed the more than 230,000 Hawai`i residents who are in need of food assistance.  Our donations will go to the Hawaii Food Bank.

 Additional opportunities for action:

1)       Offer prayers and assistance to victims of war, especially in Ukraine.  Donate to families in need through Catholic Relief Services

 2)      We have an opportunity to join our prayers for peace and justice with other Catholics throughout the world. An international group of lay leaders from different nationalities are arranging a 24-hour prayer chain that encompasses the entire world by asking the people of each country to stop and pray for the people of the Ukraine at a commonly, designated time. For ourselves in the United States, the hour chosen is 7:00 PM each evening.

            Make every effort to stop and offer this intention each evening sometime between 7:00 PM and 8:00PM. You can offer whatever prayer you wish in whatever format you choose. The goal is to create a solidarity of prayer throughout the world. Such solidarity will be a powerful spiritual weapon against tyranny, evil and sin.

 “Be courageous.”  Pope Francis

 Offer your Lenten sacrifice of love, sharing and caring.

 

You may think of brides in June – but did you realize that February is National Weddings Month?

 

And the observances of National Marriage Week (Feb. 7-14) and World Marriage Day (Sunday, Feb. 13) are an opportunity to focus on building a culture of life and love that begins with supporting and promoting marriage and the family.  Check out For Your Marriage.  This initiative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops communicates the meaning and value of married life for the Church and for society and helps couples at all stages of life to understand and live God’s plan for happy, holy marriages by providing educational and spiritual resources.

 

This year’s theme is:  "Called to the Joy of Love."
Celebrating marriage in February reaffirms the beauty of unconditional love and the excitement of marriage. More than 2.4 million couples get married in the U.S. every year, and about 16 thousand of them get married on Valentine's Day?!  Valentine’s Day is certainly a good time to show how much you care.  But what about the other days each and every year?  How do we continue to show our love?  For Your Marriage offers resources to strengthen a marriage and advice for dating and engaged couples along with a Daily Marriage Tip.
We pray that God will bless all marriages with continuing love, understanding, and mutual respect.   Prayer for Married Couples

 

 

 

Offer A Prayer for Pregnant Mothers

O Blessed Mother, you received the good news of the incarnation of Christ, your Son, with faith and trust. Grant your protection to all pregnant mothers facing difficulties.
Guide us as we strive to make our parish communities places of welcome and assistance for mothers in need. Help us become instruments of God’s love and compassion.
Mary, Mother of the Church, graciously help us build a culture of life and a civilization of love, together with all people of good will, to the praise and glory of God, the Creator and lover of life.* Amen.
 *Cf. Evangelium vitae 105 © Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Vatican City. Adapted with permission. All rights reserved. Copyright © 2019, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved.

Be knowledgeable:  Another look at abortion

Be supportive:  Ten ways to support her when she’s unexpectedly expecting

 

As we strive to live as Christ and welcome the stranger among us:
 
As we welcome Christ to be born again in our hearts, we can stand with Pope Francis, who reminds us that killing a child is never a solution to a problem. We can advocate for surrounding both mother and her child with love and practical support.  We can get involved with and support organizations that assist:
 
It is our nation’s sacred interest to protect the life and health of both mothers and their unborn children.  We can contact our state and federal representatives and let them know how we feel about life issues.
 
As we consider Christ’s parents on earth, we are reminded of our own kupuna and their needs:
  • we can offer them patience and love and understanding
  • we can support and volunteer with organizations that offer senior care

 

  

Here are some actions you can take to share your respect for ALL life:

o   Senator Brian Schatz   https://www.schatz.senate.gov/contact
o   Senator Mazie Hirono  https://www.hirono.senate.gov/contact
o   Representative Ed Case (1st Congressional District)  https://case.house.gov/contact/
o   Representative Kaiali`i Kahele (2nd Congressional District) https://kahele.house.gov/contact

 

Respect Life Resources

 

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I dedicated you.
~Jeremiah 1:5

Catholic Diocese of Hawaii – Respect Life Office

https://www.catholichawaii.org/diocesan-offices/respect-life/
https://www.catholichawaii.org/diocesan-offices/respect-life/respect-life-resources/
Through its ministry to parishes, schools, youth groups, colleges and universities, religious and secular media, legislators and all people of good will, the Respect Life Office seeks to transform society into a Culture of Life where every human being is valued and protected from the moment of fertilization until natural death. Human life must be respected because it is sacred. From its beginning human life involves the creative action of God and it remains forever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end. It is not lawful for anyone directly to destroy an innocent human being. This is gravely contrary to the dignity of the person and the holiness of the Creator. "Do not slay the innocent and the righteous" (Exodus 23:7).  |  Further reading: CCC 2258-2262, 2318-2320

 

 Mary Jane Home

https://www.catholiccharitieshawaii.org/programs-services/unplanned-pregnancy/mary-jane-home/
The Mary Jane Home offers a unique housing and educational opportunity to pregnant women who are in need of a safe, affordable place to live during their pregnancy. The staff provides education and support so women can prepare for their child and work toward accomplishing their life goals.
The program offers six ready-to-move-in private rooms and individual and group counseling as well as daily classes in infant care, childbirth and valuable life skills to prepare them for a healthy pregnancy and birth.

The Adoption Option

 House of Ruth - A Private Adoption referral service.  
Call (808) 524-0844. 
  

Live Action

https://www.liveaction.org/media/meet-lila-rose/
Founder and President Lila Rose started Live Action when she was just 15 years old from her family’s living room. Since that time, Live Action has grown to become one of the leading national pro-life and human rights organizations in America, dedicated to ending abortion and inspiring a culture that respects and defends life.
  

The Pearson Foundation of Hawaii

 http://www.pearsonplace.org
An unplanned pregnancy can be a very difficult thing to deal with on your own. If you find yourself in this situation, we urge you to contact us for a free pregnancy test and confidential counseling. We are here to help.
For confidential help, call The Pearson Foundation of Hawaii, Inc.
(808) 942-0328 (office hours) or (808) 319-5489 (24-hour hotline)
1145 Bishop Street, Honolulu, HI 96813
 

Project Rachel

 https://hopeafterabortion.com/?page_id=750

Whether it’s been one year or 20 years, you need time to grieve your loss and reflect on your feelings of sorrow and regret. Project Rachel is here to help you do that in a supportive and confidential environment. We are here to listen to you and help you through your pain.
Program Coordinators:  Deacon Keith & Bernadette Galang
Referral Number:  888.456.4673
 

Rachel’s Vineyard

Rachel’s Vineyard is a safe place to renew, rebuild and redeem hearts broken by abortion. Weekend retreats offer you a supportive, confidential and non-judgmental environment where women and men can express, release and reconcile painful post-abortive emotions to begin the process of restoration, renewal and healing.
https://www.catholichawaii.org/diocesan-offices/respect-life/pastoral-care/rachels-vineyard-ministry/ 
Contact: Lisa Shorba    808-349-5071     RVinHawaii@gmail.com

Rachel’s Vineyard weekend retreat - Healing the pain of abortion

Next weekend retreat - Oct. 15-17, 2021   Space is limited       Brochure
  

Abortion Pill Rescue Network

Abortion pill reversal – 877-558-0333

 

Heartbeat International

https://www.heartbeatinternational.org/
Heartbeat International is the first network of pro-life pregnancy resource centers founded in the U.S. (1971),  and it is now the most expansive network in the world. Heartbeat has over 2,800 affiliated pregnancy help locations including pregnancy help medical clinics (with ultrasound), resource centers, maternity homes, and adoption agencies in more than 60 countries around the world to provide alternatives to abortion. 

 


 

 

Isaiah 58:  Let the Oppressed Go Free   with permission Timothy Schmalz*  http://sculpturebytps.com

Sculptor, Timothy Schmalz has created many meaningful, stirring, often controversial, always thought provoking works of art to engage and challenge.  As a Christian artist, his works also evangelize.  Perhaps you are familiar with Homeless Jesus or Angels Unawares residing at the Vatican.

In this piece, Let the Oppressed Go Free, we see St. Bakhita, who is a slave from another century, opening up the ground and letting the modern-day slaves free.  As long as human trafficking remains an underground subject - seemingly nobody really wants to face up to it - it will not go away.  St. Bakhita is bringing the issue, and the victims, into the open.  Can we not do the same?

A PRAYER TO END TRAFFICKING

(From USCCB handout for World Day of Peace 2015)

Loving Father,

We seek your divine protection for all who are exploited and enslaved.

For those forced into labor, trafficked into sexual slavery, and denied freedom.

We beseech you to release them from their chains.

Grant them protection, safety, and empowerment.

Restore their dignity and provide them a new beginning.

Show us how we might end exploitation by addressing its causes.

Help us reach out in support of victims and survivors of human trafficking.

Make us instruments of your spirit for their liberation.

For this we pray through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen

 SO WHAT IS HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?

The Department of Homeland Security defines human trafficking as the “illegal trade of humans for exploitation or commercial gain.” Exploitation often means forcing victims into prostitution or slavery. It is estimated that 75% or more of human trafficking is for sex.  People are vulnerable for many reasons:  war, poverty, or the desire for a better life.  Women and children are targets for sex trafficking.  Predators are ready to provide promises of love and success as they groom their victims.

 The United States abolished slavery more than 150 years ago with the ratification of the 13th Amendment, and slavery is illegal everywhere. However, the International Labor Organization estimates that there are more than 20 million slaves in the world today—about twice as many as there were during the time of the transatlantic slave trade. The United States is both a source and destination for victims.

 “It ought to concern every person, because it is a debasement of our common humanity. It ought to concern every community, because it tears at our social fabric. It ought to concern every business, because it distorts markets. It ought to concern every nation, because it endangers public health and fuels violence and organized crime. I’m talking about the injustice, the outrage, of human trafficking, which must be called by its true name - - modern slavery.”- President Barack Obama, September 25, 2012

SOME STATISTICS ABOUT HUMAN TRAFFICKING

Human traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to get the men, women, and children to do their bidding.  Here are some of the shocking statistics.

Globally: from the International Labour Organization’s 2017 Report on Forced Labor and Forced Marriage:

  • 40.3 milllion people are in modern slavery71% of the victims are women and girls
    • 24.9 million people in forced labor
    • 15.4 million people in forced marriages
  • 1 in 4 victims are children
  • women and girls account for 99% in the commercial sex industry and 58% in other sectors
  • According to the 2017 State Department Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report, there were only 14,894 prosecutions and 9,071 convictions for trafficking globally

In the US: from DeliverFund – Facts about Human Trafficking in the US

  • The US is ranked among the worst countries globally for human trafficking
  • California consistently has the highest rates of human trafficking in the US
  • The American cities with the highest number of human trafficking cases are Washington, D.C., Atlanta GA, Orlando FL, Miami FL, and Las Vegas NV
  • It is estimated between 250,000 and 300,00 women and children are victims of sex trafficking

In Hawaii:  from Child and Family Service – Sex Trafficking in Hawaii

  • Recent news reports indicate an alarming rise of sex trafficking in Hawaii
  • A Child and Family Service survey in 2020 concludes:
    • 23% of victims were trafficked before they were 18 years old, average age just under 12 years old
    • 25% reported that their first sex trafficker was a family member
    • more than 75% of victims were female
    • 64% identified as being part-Hawaiian

 SO HOW CAN WE HELP TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

  • Raise your voice: Send a letter to your elected officials to let them know that trafficking is an issue that matters to you.
  • If you suspect someone is a victim of trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline  1-888-373-7888  or text to 233733
  • Report missing children or child pornography to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children 1-800-843-5678 or through the Cybertipline  
  • Know the signs.  
  • Expose the myths.
  • Spread the word.  Be well informed and help to sponsor an awareness event.
  • Think before you shop.  Be an informed consumer. Who made your clothes?
  • Volunteer locally:   Check out  Ho`ola Na Pua  Learn about, volunteer, donate to this organization that was founded to shine light on the dark criminal enterprise of sex trafficking, placing the health of Hawaii’s youth at the center of their mission and vision for our community. They are committed to the prevention of sex trafficking and providing care for children who have been exploited. 

 Additional resources:

 

 

 

 

 Isaiah 58 Let the Oppressed Go Free - with permission Timothy Schmalz

Isaiah 58:  Let the Oppressed Go Free   with permission Timothy Schmalz*  http://sculpturebytps.com
Sculptor, Timothy Schmalz has created many meaningful, stirring, often controversial, always thought provoking works of art to engage and challenge.  As a Christian artist, his works also evangelize.  Perhaps you are familiar with Homeless Jesus or Angels Unawares residing at the Vatican.
In this piece, Let the Oppressed Go Free, we see St. Bakhita, who is a slave from another century, opening up the ground and letting the modern-day slaves free.  As long as human trafficking remains an underground subject - seemingly nobody really wants to face up to it - it will not go away.  St. Bakhita is bringing the issue, and the victims, into the open.  Can we not do the same?

A PRAYER TO END TRAFFICKING

(From USCCB handout for World Day of Peace 2015)
Loving Father,
We seek your divine protection for all who are exploited and enslaved.
For those forced into labor, trafficked into sexual slavery, and denied freedom.
We beseech you to release them from their chains.
Grant them protection, safety, and empowerment.
Restore their dignity and provide them a new beginning.
Show us how we might end exploitation by addressing its causes.
Help us reach out in support of victims and survivors of human trafficking.
Make us instruments of your spirit for their liberation.
For this we pray through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen

 SO WHAT IS HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?

The Department of Homeland Security defines human trafficking as the “illegal trade of humans for exploitation or commercial gain.” Exploitation often means forcing victims into prostitution or slavery. It is estimated that 75% or more of human trafficking is for sex.  People are vulnerable for many reasons:  war, poverty, or the desire for a better life.  Women and children are targets for sex trafficking.  Predators are ready to provide promises of love and success as they groom their victims.
 The United States abolished slavery more than 150 years ago with the ratification of the 13th Amendment, and slavery is illegal everywhere. However, the International Labor Organization estimates that there are more than 20 million slaves in the world today—about twice as many as there were during the time of the transatlantic slave trade. The United States is both a source and destination for victims.
 “It ought to concern every person, because it is a debasement of our common humanity. It ought to concern every community, because it tears at our social fabric. It ought to concern every business, because it distorts markets. It ought to concern every nation, because it endangers public health and fuels violence and organized crime. I’m talking about the injustice, the outrage, of human trafficking, which must be called by its true name - - modern slavery.”- President Barack Obama, September 25, 2012

SOME STATISTICS ABOUT HUMAN TRAFFICKING

Human traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to get the men, women, and children to do their bidding.  Here are some of the shocking statistics.
Globally: from the International Labour Organization’s 2017 Report on Forced Labor and Forced Marriage:
  • 40.3 milllion people are in modern slavery71% of the victims are women and girls
    • 24.9 million people in forced labor
    • 15.4 million people in forced marriages
  • 1 in 4 victims are children
  • women and girls account for 99% in the commercial sex industry and 58% in other sectors
  • According to the 2017 State Department Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report, there were only 14,894 prosecutions and 9,071 convictions for trafficking globally
In the US: from DeliverFund – Facts about Human Trafficking in the US
  • The US is ranked among the worst countries globally for human trafficking
  • California consistently has the highest rates of human trafficking in the US
  • The American cities with the highest number of human trafficking cases are Washington, D.C., Atlanta GA, Orlando FL, Miami FL, and Las Vegas NV
  • It is estimated between 250,000 and 300,00 women and children are victims of sex trafficking
In Hawaii:  from Child and Family Service – Sex Trafficking in Hawaii
  • Recent news reports indicate an alarming rise of sex trafficking in Hawaii
  • A Child and Family Service survey in 2020 concludes:
    • 23% of victims were trafficked before they were 18 years old, average age just under 12 years old
    • 25% reported that their first sex trafficker was a family member
    • more than 75% of victims were female
    • 64% identified as being part-Hawaiian

 SO HOW CAN WE HELP TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

  • Raise your voice: Send a letter to your elected officials to let them know that trafficking is an issue that matters to you.
  • If you suspect someone is a victim of trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline  1-888-373-7888  or text to 233733
  • Report missing children or child pornography to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children 1-800-843-5678 or through the Cybertipline  
  • Know the signs.  
  • Expose the myths.
  • Spread the word.  Be well informed and help to sponsor an awareness event.
  • Think before you shop.  Be an informed consumer. Who made your clothes?
  • Volunteer locally:   Check out  Ho`ola Na Pua  Learn about, volunteer, donate to this organization that was founded to shine light on the dark criminal enterprise of sex trafficking, placing the health of Hawaii’s youth at the center of their mission and vision for our community. They are committed to the prevention of sex trafficking and providing care for children who have been exploited. 
 Additional resources: