Mission Statement: Life is a precious gift from God which we receive at the moment of conception. Each life has a purpose to bring glory to God. Love for Life’s mission is to pray, inform, and participate in the promoting of a culture of life.
Resources for all stages of life are listed below.
MEETINGS: Meetings are held the second Friday of the month at the Parish Center beginning at 3:30 pm. Various life issues are discussed and gathered into a monthly insert for our parish bulletin. Members attend off-island gatherings with other pro-life groups including Massachusetts Citizens for Life, the annual March for Life in January in Washington, DC, and the Respect Life Walk in Boston, held in June.
OUTREACH: Our outreach efforts include our annual Gifts for Babies in Jesus’ Name, held in conjuction with Epiphany Sunday in January, which is a collection drive of maternity and baby clothes, along with other baby items and monetary donations supporting Birthright of Falmouth; we have sold generously donated yard sale items, with proceeds to support the Sisters of Life, and to help women’s pregnancy centers, including the purchase of an ultrasound machine by Abundant Hope in Attleboro; and we will host a showing of the pro-life movie Unplanned, Nov. 16th. The group annually holds a 40 Days for Life prayer campaign beginning near the end of September and we welcome visitors to St. Elizabeth Church during the annual Christmas in Edgartown festivities. There are various brochures in the racks by the front door of the churches.
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Our annual Gifts for Babies in Jesus’ Name is underway! We will also be collecting new or slightly used baby or maternity clothing; packages of diapers or monetary donations at the main entrance to St. Augustine Church or at the parish center in OB from Sat. 12/21 through Fri. 1/10/2020 in support of Birthright of Falmouth. Birthright services our Island community, and our parish members in need.
Parishioner Donna Gazaille is again traveling to Washington DC for the 47th annual March for Life to be held on January 24th. The 2019 March for Life theme is “Life Empowers: pro-life is pro-woman.” The coming election year marks the 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote. It was a long-fought battle led by courageous women who saw an injustice and fought to correct it in spite of public opinion. In addition to issues affecting women, many of these early suffragists first became advocates for the abolition of slavery and were ahead of their time condemning the violence of abortion and infanticide. The heroic example of these women has inspired this year’s theme. We march to end abortion, with the vision of a world where the beauty, dignity, and uniqueness of every human life are valued and protected. https://marchforlife.org/jeanne-mancini-brandi-swindell-op-ed-on-2020-march-for-life-theme/
Thanks to our prayer warriors who joined in the 40 Days for Life Prayer Campaign, Sept. 25 through Nov. 3, 2019. 40 Days for Life reports that 16,742 babies have been saved since 2007 during these planned actions along with 196 abortion workers quitting and 104 abortion centers closed.
Christmas in Edgartown 2020! Thanks to those who visited St. Elizabeth’s Church Fri. 12/13 from 3-5 pm, or Sat. 12/14 from 10 am- 3 pm as we welcomed you to leave a prayer intention, purchase stocking stuffer items or make a donation for our annual Gifts for Babies in Jesus’ Name.
We have made donations to the Sisters of Life who visit the island during the summer, and to Abundant Hope Pregnancy Resource Center in Attleboro. Abundant Hope is a Christian pro-life ministry serving the Greater Attleboro, Southeastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod communities. Thank you for your financial support and prayers for women and couples who face an unplanned pregnancy.
Love for Life members Margaret Penicaud, Donna Gazaille, Sue Pagliccia, Jean Billingham and Angela Candreva with some of the Gifts for Babies in Jesus’ Name first collection drive.
Natural Family Planning
The Catholic Church supports the methods of Natural Family Planning (NFP) because they respect God’s design for married love. In fact, NFP represents the only authentic approach to family planning available to husbands and wives because these methods can be used to both attempt or avoid pregnancy. When learning about NFP, it is important to know that:
Natural Family Planning is an umbrella term for certain methods used to achieve and avoid pregnancies. These methods are based on observation of the naturally occurring signs and symptoms of the fertile and infertile phases of a woman’s menstrual cycle. Couples using NFP to avoid pregnancy abstain from intercourse and genital contact during the fertile phase of the woman’s cycle. No drugs, devices, or surgical procedures are used to avoid pregnancy.
NFP reflects the dignity of the human person within the context of marriage and family life, promotes openness to life, and recognizes the value of the child. By respecting the love-giving and life-giving natures of marriage, NFP can enrich the bond between husband and wife. (Standards for Diocesan Natural Family Planning Ministry, p. 23)
Also, Christopher West writes in his book Good News About Sex and Marriage, “Contrary to popular belief, the Church does not oppose artificial birth control because it’s artificial. She opposes it because it’s contraceptive. Contraception is the choice by any means to impede the procreative potential of a given act of intercourse. Furthermore, the Church approves of NFP (when there is just reason to avoid pregnancy) not because it’s ‘natural’ as opposed to ‘artificial,’ but because it’s in no way contraceptive. NFP is not ‘natural contraception.’ It’s not contraception at all.”
For more information: USCCB on Natural Family Planning
or NFP website Natural Family Planning Intl
Birthright of Falmouth
Helpline (Toll Free) 1-800-550-4900
Birthright of Falmouth is dedicated to helping women with an unplanned pregnancy. Did you know if you or someone you know needs their help, Birthright will pick her and a friend up at the boat and return them too? Contact them at 508-457- 0680, http://birthright.org/en/landingpage/lp-falmouth. They are available 24/7 through their toll free hotline. It is their belief that, “It is the right of every pregnant woman to give birth, and the right of every child to be born.” They offer love, friendship, and support to women who are pregnant or think they may be pregnant. Birthright services are always free, non-judgmental and confidential. Birthright’s focus is on loving the mother, and reminding her that there is hope and ensuring she is not alone.
Adoption by Choice: A Pregnancy Counseling and Adoption Program of Catholic Social Services of Fall River, Inc.
Adoption By Choice explores options that benefits everyone; birth parents, adoptive parents, and the child. Licensed counselors assist birth parents and adoptive families as they determine the degree of connection most comfortable for them and in the best interest of their child. They offer:
Confidential Pregnancy Counseling: Assists expectant parents and their families in the decision whether parenting or adoption is best for their child and for them. Today’s open adoption practices offer more flexibility and choice than in the past.
Placement of Child: If the choice is made for adoption, expectant parents select the family and are encouraged to meet and work together.
Post Birth Services: Parents are supported in raising their child or in developing a relationship with the adoptive family
Call or email: Phyllis Habib, MSW, LCSW, Program Coordinator: 508-674-4681, firstname.lastname@example.org
Offices in: Fall River, Tiverton, New Bedford, and Hyannis
Adoptions With Love, Inc.
Adoptions With Love, Inc. is a private, non-profit, full-service, licensed domestic adoption agency. For 28 years we have been assisting expectant/birthparents to make loving and thoughtful adoption plans for their children. Adoptions With Love assists prospective adoptive parents build or expand their families. We would be honored to work with you.
Toll free and Confidential–Call 24/7: 1-800-722-7731 or Text 24/7: 1-617-777-0072
National Council for Adoption, Washington, DC 202-328-1200
Abundant Hope Pregnancy Resource Center
182 East Street
Attleboro, MA 02703 Phone: 508-455-0425
A Woman’s Concern
484 Highland Ave.
Fall River, MA 02720
320 Gifford St.
Falmouth, MA 02540
2 Acushnet Ave.
New Bedford, MA 02744
Taunton, MA 02780
Daybreak/Boston Center for Pregnancy Choices
101 Tremont St., Suite #514
Boston, MA, 02108
Post-Abortive Counseling Centers in MA
Project Rachel – Archdiocese of Boston
Project Rachel – Diocese of Fall River
Project Rachel – Diocese of Worcester
Rachel’s Vineyard Retreats – Diocese of Springfield
Compassion Ministries of Massachusetts
140 Pinkham Road
Sandwich, MA 02537
24 Hour Hotline 1-800-848-LOVE
Shelter Homes for Women in MA
Friends of the Unborn
P.O. Box 692246
Quincy, MA 02269-2246
Toll Free: 888-761-8538
Life Saver Ministries/My Father’s House
83 Middlesex St.
North Chelmsford, MA 01863
St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children
90 Cushing Ave.
Dorchester, MA 02125
P.O. Box 112
Berlin, MA 01503
119 Endicott St.
The Later Years: End of Life/Healthcare Proxy
To live in a manner worthy of our human dignity, and to spend our final days on this earth in peace and comfort, surrounded by loved ones—that is the hope of each of us. In particular, Christian hope sees these final days as a time to prepare for our eternal destiny.
What the Church Teaches: Since God is the giver of life, only God has the right to take life. While we humans might have skill and/or desire to help others to end their lives, we do not have that right (Physician Assisted Suicide or Euthanasia).
We must act with care and compassion and protect people from pain and suffering, while at the same time allowing God’s grace to offer them opportunities we might otherwise deny them and God to experience opportunities unknown to us but of significance to these people we are caring for. In 1980 St. John Paul II wrote his Declaration on Euthanasia in which he stated that the church opposed mercy killing, but permitted the increased use of pain killers and a patient’s refusal of extraordinary means of sustaining life. Ordinary means are nutrition and hydration. Extraordinary is employing the many forms of advanced technology when the person has already reached the process of dying.
It is important for all people to have a Health Care Proxy. A document that designates a health care agent of your choice, usually a family member, who will make decisions on your behalf. It is important to choose a health care proxy who understands and shares your Catholic values.
You can go to www.macatholic.org to look at the Catholic Health Care Proxy. You may also obtain a copy at the Parish Center.
A Catholic Guide to End-of-Life Decisions (National Catholic Bioethics Center) www.ncbcenter.org
John Paul II: Dying with Dignity, by Rev. J. Daniel Mindling, O.F.M. Cap. www.usccb.org
Assisted Suicide: What is at Stake? Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, www.usccb.org
Caring for Others, Even Unto Death, Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, www.usccb.org
March for Life
January 22, 1973 is ingrained in the minds of pro-lifers because on that infamous historic day the Supreme Court invalidated 50 state laws and made abortion legal and available on demand throughout the United States in the now-infamous decisions in Roe v Wade and Doe v Bolton.
The March for Life in Washington, D.C., began as a small demonstration and rapidly grew to be the largest pro-life event in the world. The peaceful demonstration that has followed on this somber anniversary every year since 1973 is a witness to the truth concerning the greatest human rights violation of our time, legalized abortion on demand.
At the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, we mourned the death in 2012 of Nellie Gray, the founder of the March for Life and the “Joan of Arc” of the pro-life movement. In October 1973, months after the Roe and Doe decisions, a group of thirty pro-life leaders gathered in Nellie’s home in Washington, D.C. to discuss how to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Roe. There was a fear that January 22 would pass as any other day rather than allow for a moment to reflect upon how legalized abortion had hurt women and taken babies’ lives over the course of the year. That was the day that plans for the first March for Life began.
Mission Statement: In recognition of the fact that each human life is part of a continuum from conception to natural death, the mission of Massachusetts Citizens For Life, Inc. is to promote respect for human life and defend the right to life of all human beings, born and pre-born. We will influence public policy at the local, state and national levels through comprehensive educational, legislative, political and charitable activities.
Location: The Schrafft Center
529 Main Street, Suite 1M9
Boston, MA 02129
Phone: (617) 242-4199
Fax: (617) 242-4965
Rachel’s Vineyard Springfield, MA
Rachel’s Vineyard began after Dr. Theresa Burke discovered that most of the women in a support group she led had abortion trauma in their past. In 1986, she founded the Center for Post-Abortion Healing, which offered one of the first therapeutic support groups for post-abortive women.
Rachel’s Vineyard retreats began to spread across the country because of their dramatic effectiveness. In 1999 there were 18 retreats which has grown to over 1,000 retreats annually, held in 48 states and 57 countries, with many new sites in development. Describing the atmosphere at a retreat, Trista Littell, Assistant Director of the Office of Pro Life Apostolate for the Diocese of Lafayette, LA says, “We engage in a number of exercises which allow retreatants to examine their grief and experience God’s love and mercy, which can eventually lead to forgiveness of self and others. Nothing is ever forced on anyone at any time.”
Toll free 1-877-HOPE-4-ME
Contact: Judy Suddaby 413-452-0661 or Suzanne DeFriesse 203-417-0504
Silent No More, Lakeville, MA
Silent No More has four main goals: 1. Reach out to people hurt by abortion, encouraging them to attend abortion after-care programs. 2. Invite those who are ready to break the silence to join us in speaking the truth about abortion’s negative consequences and the hope found in healing. 3. Educate the public that abortion is harmful emotionally, physically and spiritually to women, men and families, so that it becomes unacceptable for anyone to recommend abortion as a ‘fix’ for a problem pregnancy. 4. Share our personal testimonies of hurt and healing to help others avoid the pain of abortion.
Contact: Edith Daniel 508-942-4461