May 2021
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Highlights of this newsletter:
  • May, the month of Mary
  • Human dignity and the body
  • A threat to human dignity: Human Composting
  • Respecting human dignity: Emily’s Gift
  • News in our Office
Dear Friends for Life,


It is most fitting that the beautiful month of May, blooming with hope and new life, is dedicated to Our Lady, the most holy Mother of Our Savior. She is the Mother of Life! In the words of St. John Henry Newman, “For such gladness and joyousness of external Nature is a fit attendant on our devotion to her who is the Mystical Rose and the House of Gold.” 

May also includes the Easter season where we contemplate Mary’s motherhood in a deep and personal way. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI explains: “In the days that followed the Lord’s Resurrection, the apostles stayed together, comforted by Mary’s presence, and after the Ascension, they persevered with her in prayerful expectation of Pentecost. Our Lady was a mother and teacher to them, a role that she continues to play for Christians of all times…”  And as St. Louis de Montfort taught, we go “to Jesus through Mary.” Imbued now with the gifts of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, let us seek the motherly guidance and intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary in a world that needs her more than ever.


Last month, the dignity of the human person was highlighted in this newsletter, bringing particular attention to the distinction between the secular and Christian views on human dignity. The former describes dignity essentially as a changeable quality based on functional independence and self-determination. In contrast, the Christian perspective holds human dignity to be a quality that cannot be diminished or lost, because this true dignity derives from the fact that we are made in the Image of God and intended for eternal communion with Him. This quality is neither measurable nor reducible; it is based on the simple attribute of being human.   Read more
We have launched our new website. We hope it will become a valuable tool for you on matters of human life, family, and bioethics with information on upcoming events, important materials on various life issues, links to Church documents, archives of our newsletters, pregnancy support resources, etc.
“Pray without ceasing.” 1 Th. 5:17 
Blessed Mother, Motherhood and Life
By Fr Edward Sheridan, Pastor, St Anthony of Padua, E. Northport
The month of May has traditionally been dedicated to the Blessed Mother. Here at Saint Anthony of Padua Parish, East Northport, we had an evening prayer service on Tuesday, May 4th and we had the traditional May Crowning. I do remember as a boy participating in this event as a boy growing up in Saints Joachim and Anne parish in Queens.

The Catholic Daughters of America and the Knights of Columbus organized this event in our Church. Representatives of our young people and our Catholic Daughters participated in this May Crowning. The members of the CDA and the Knights of Columbus led us in decades of the Joyful mysteries of the Rosary. Of course the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God holds a special place in our hearts. As Catholics we always pray through the intercession of the saints to God. We don’t pray directly to the saints, we pray directly to God. But we do pray through the saints and ask their intercession. In general the saints are men and women like us who show us the way.  I must say that as Catholics, intercessory prayers are so powerful.  Read more
Meditate on the Joyful mysteries of the Rosary calling On Mary’s intercession: 
by Fr Ed Sheridan

  • The Annunciation - Mary says Yes to be the Mother of our Lord. Are we willing to follow the example of Mary to follow God’s will? Ask the Blessed Mother to intercede for you to say Yes to the Lord even in small things.

  • The Visit of Mary to Elizabeth - Mary visits her cousin and travels difficult terrain. Just like St John the Baptist who leaps for joy, are we able to recognize the presence of Jesus in each other and in our lives?

  • The Birth Jesus-Mary and Joseph - find the stable and Mary gives birth to Jesus-Are we willing and able to make room for Jesus in the Inn of our hearts?

  • The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple - Mary and Joseph Present Jesus in the Temple-Do we follow the Spirit of the Law in presenting ourselves to God?

  • The Finding of Jesus in the Temple - Jesus tells his Mother Mary and St. Joseph that he needed to be ion his Father’s house. Are we comfortable that our hearts are prepared to be in God’s House?
Mother's Day Spiritual Bouquet
SS. Cyril and Methodius parish in Deer Park honored our Blessed Mother on Mother's day.

The Respect Life Committee planned a special activity. All were invited to place a written intention along with a beautiful flower at the Statue of Our Lady of Innocents in the front of the church.
Parishioners could be seen after all the masses showing their devotion to Our Lady.
May Crowning for Blessed Mother 
St. Anthony’s Rocky Point
What a joy it was to spend Mother’s Day weekend honoring our beautiful Blessed Mother at Saint Anthony of Padua Church in Rocky Point! The Spiritual Bouquet that was prepared by our Respect Life Committee was such a wonderful experience that really brought our parishioners together. We haven’t seen so many smiles on so many in so very long!

A pink carnation was provided for every person bringing their special prayer of intention and thanks to Our Lady. Needless to say, she was hailed in a cascade of pink as parishioners crowded to her statue to bring her their prayers and honor her.
The children carrying the crown up to Mother Mary in a procession with flowers singing “Hail Holy Queen” just made everything even more perfect! I am so grateful, as is our committee and parish for the suggestion from the Office of Human Life, Family and Bioethics to be able to carry out this most successful and blessed event. It truly brought everyone out and back together again! Leave it to Our Blessed Mother to bring families together!
God bless Our Lady!

Lorri Petrucci
Chairperson- Respect Life
St Anthony of Padua, Rocky Point

“Holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.” Tit. 1:9
A Bit of Bioethics
Vaccine Mandates and Catholic Colleges
In a recent statement from the National Catholic Bioethics Center on COVID-19 vaccines, we noted that the Catholic Church “neither requires nor forbids” the use of vaccines, but instead urges people to “form their consciences and to carefully discern the moral and prudential issues involved.”

A 2020 Vatican statement offers a similar conclusion: “vaccination is not, as a rule, a moral obligation,” and “therefore, it must be voluntary.”

That’s why, when Catholic colleges and universities mandate COVID-19 vaccines as a condition for enrollment, as several have recently done, important ethical conflicts and prudential concerns arise.

Vaccine mandates run counter to the wisdom of encouraging individuals to make careful and case-specific determinations regarding their personal health needs. Such mandates bolster the idea that the judgment of a higher authority, say a university president or a politician, should be substituted for their own free and informed consent. Read more
Take action on public policy matters in New York State through the New York State Catholic Conference's Catholic Action Network (CAN) .
“All whatsoever you do in word or in work, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” Col. 3:17  
Emily’s Gift
We remember each life lost with love and affection knowing how precious all life is to God!
Emily’s Gift is a program that was developed at Good Samaritan Hospital to give dignity to the physical bodies of miscarried children under 20 weeks gestational age. We offer a Christian burial service bi-annually at Queen of All Saints Cemetery in Central Islip.
As important, is the opportunity to offer healing to the families of these children whose grief is often dismissed by the secular culture who see these lost babies as something less than a life that comes to term and is born.
We remember each life lost with love and affection knowing how precious all life is to God and we acknowledge that reverence through our programs practice. 

Any products of conception that remain after a loss are taken to pathology and examined at the cellular level for human remains. All human remains are held in pathology until the next service. Children who were lost at home where there are no remains are remembered spiritually at our service where the names of each precious child is read solemnly out loud with the families present. Unlike secular hospitals we do not incinerate human beings as medical waste. 

Donna Crean, OHLFB and Janet Stevens, Program Coordinator of Emily's Gift
Reflection from a couple who shared in Emily’s Gift
May 1, 2021

We prayed together and had a space to see we are not alone in our loss!
I was 15 weeks pregnant when I found out that the baby did not have a heartbeat anymore. We were so sad to experience this loss and grieved for this special little one who we had already thought of as a part of our family. I was incredibly grateful for the Emily's Gift program at Good Samaritan Hospital. The doctors, nurses and staff on labor & delivery were outstanding. I was so touched by the respect and care the medical team gave in upholding the dignity of our baby, no matter how small. 

On May 1st I attended the Emily's Gift ceremony at Queen of All Saints cemetery. It was one of my most moving ceremonies I have been a part of in my adult life. The team honored the lives of the babies who were lost to miscarriage. Every person was given a white rose to place on the grave. We prayed together and had a space to see we are not alone in our loss. It gave us some peace for what happened and also hope for the future.

Sean and Jamey Hutchinson
The Rachel Stone
The Rachel Stone was dedicated by the Pastor of St. James RC Church in Setauket on Mother's Day in 1999 as a joint parish project by the St. James Respect Life Committee and the local Knights of Columbus Council #12006 (then named Three Village, now called Mother Teresa). It is intended as a memorial to life, especially life in the womb, and recognizes the Holy Innocents, those lives terminated prematurely.
The Stone was placed in a quiet, contemplative location in the church yard cemetery for those seeking solace or to pray. The Stone is rededicated each year with a short prayerful ceremony and we invite a guest speaker to relate pro-life issues to the attendees. Past speakers have included pro-life leaders, medical and ministry personnel dealing with life issues, and men and women who have dealt with or experienced abortion. This year's guest speaker was Dr. Lisa Honkanen. Dr. Lisa was amazing. She is friendly and very knowledgeable, as well as inspirational. She is obviously a person of strong faith.
Fred Peritore, K of C and Dr Lisa Honkanen, OHLFB
"The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.' Mt 25:40
Celebrating the Feast of the Visitation
Our Lady's Example
At the end of May, the Church celebrates the Feast of Visitation. This feast commemorates the meeting of Mary and Elizabeth, who are pregnant with Jesus and John the Baptist, respectively.

Scripture tells us that when Mary discovered that her cousin Elizabeth was pregnant, she "set out and traveled to the hill country in haste" (Lk 1:39).

Despite the challenging circumstances of her own pregnancy, Mary does not hesitate to go to Elizabeth in her time of need. May we be willing to act with the same urgency to help pregnant and parenting mothers in our own communities.
Monthly Prayer Intention
May our Blessed Mother draw women facing unexpected or challenging pregnancies close to her heart.
Experience a new approach to women’s health care
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1000 North Village Avenue, Rockville Centre, NY 11570

Gianna Center of New York City
15 East 40th Street, Suite 101
New York, NY 10016
Project Rachel Hope After Abortion
Do you know someone who is suffering after an abortion experience?

Project Rachel is a ministry about finding hope and healing after abortion.

It’s normal to grieve a pregnancy loss, including the loss of a child by abortion. It can form a hole in one’s heart, a hole so deep that sometimes it seems nothing can fill the emptiness.

You are not alone…
Hope and Healing after the Pain of Abortion
Testimony from a Retreatant
There is a saying, “You are only as sick as your secrets.” For many years, I carried the dark secret of having had an abortion. I was terribly sick in spirit and in heart. I felt I had committed the unforgiveable sin. The crushing guilt, grief, regret, horror and self hatred were relentless, even many years later.

I had heard about the Hope and Healing program and one day in the midst of my despair, I reached out and called. At the Day of Prayer and Healing, I was surrounded with love and understanding. God touched my heart through the music, through prayer, through the kind priest and team, the Sacraments and through sharing with others, who suffered as I did. I was able to go to God and enter into the forgiveness and healing that the Divine Healer was offering to me.

It’s a lifelong journey and I think God for having the Hope and Healing Ministry there to accompany me through it all.
Please Contact Us For Information
About The Next Day Of Prayer And Healing!
DRVC Project Rachel confidential phoneline:  1-516-766-2538 (se habla espanol)
Toll Free number: 1-888-456-HOPE
En Español:
If you need help please call our help line and someone will be happy to give some counsel over the phone to calm any fears or anxieties.
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Contact Us
Lisa A. Honkanen, M.D. – Director, 516-678-5800 Ext. 381
Donna Crean – Assistant Director/Project Rachel Coordinator, 516 678 5800 Ext. 626

Jamey Hutchinson BSN CFCP CFCE Educational Liaison to
Gianna Center for Women's Health & Fertility
50 North Park Ave. Rockville Ctr., NY 11570
Additional Informational Websites