Re: Ice Cream and Chocolate

NOTE: I’m still working on my CrMS Practitioner post, but I have to address a topic that calls for more immediate attention. This post was written as an answer to a few comments made about my ice cream & chocolate fast on the I Am Whole Life Facebook Page. If you’re curious about what was said, you can “Like” the page and find the post they put up called “Ice Cream and Chocolate”. It’s right next to a picture of my big belly, circa February 2011. ūüėČ

Dear Stephanie and Tricia,

In response to your concerns, I respectfully do need to tell you: it’s more than just ice cream and chocolate. Until Abortion Ends has inspired awareness and dialogue…prayer and fasting. People all over the country have signed on to this movement to publicly voice their solidarity with I Am Whole Life for the sake of the unborn. And the sacrifices they make go beyond what you may hear about, or what may be seen as useless efforts to end abortion.

They give up their time in prayer. They spend hours reaching out to women who don’t feel they have any other options. They take on careers in arenas such as education, non-profit grassroots organizations, and pro-life community health clinics, not for six-figure salaries but for opportunities to change the culture. They even willingly open themselves up to ridicule for what they so strongly believe in.

Why? Because they are faithful. They do it for the over 1 million children who are aborted each year. For the mothers who grieve the loss they experience after such a desperate decision. For the fathers who were willing to raise those children, even if they had to do it alone. For the family members who never knew their brothers and sisters, cousins, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren. For the society that has condoned this horrific crime against humanity.

Pay close attention…the tide is turning. Never before has the United States seen so many young people this passionate about defending life. If you are looking for a way to curb the number of ‚Äúunwanted pregnancies‚ÄĚ, the solution lies within this new generation of youth and young adults who have committed themselves to this cause. Not only are they speaking up; they are promoting the dignity of the human person, advocating chastity, and rejecting the “use-and-abuse” mentality that plagues relationships all around them.

Abortion is not the answer to the pain we see in the hearts of these women who seek it out. The answer is a revolution of LOVE. Not a love that remains an abstract idea floating out there somewhere above our heads. It is a love that is concrete in ACTION. You can see it when you walk through the doors of a pro-life pregnancy center. It is evident in the compassionate words of a sidewalk counselor. It flows from the hearts of a couple that chooses to adopt these babies.

There are more resources out there for women than you may realize. And there are more women who would decide to continue with their pregnancies if they only knew how readily available these resources were. So in a nutshell, it’s our job to let them know. It’s going to take a lot of time our time. It’s going to take a lot of our energy. But those are sacrifices we are willing to make. And in the meantime, I’ll just keep praying, fasting, and being grateful for all the delightful desserts that constantly remind me of the cause I have devoted my whole life to. There are a few other things I do to help promote the culture of life beyond giving up yummy food. Feel free to browse around the blog for a while. It‚Äôs quite exciting work. ūüôā

If you want to understand the reason behind the sacrificial fasts from a Catholic perspective, Kathleen Dunn does a wonderful job of explaining the powerful spiritual dynamic that takes place.
Graces flow, hearts are changed, and all are encouraged by our God who cares for each one of His beloved children.

As for factual research, here are some articles that you might want to read…

Study: Making Abortion Illegal Doesn’t Increase Maternal Mortality

Education, Not Abortion, Reduces Maternal Mortality, Study Suggests

Top Scientist Finally Admits Abortion-Breast Cancer Link

If you‚Äôd like to prevent deaths from occurring, then please help us teach the youth that their purity should be treasured. Guide them to make wise choices before choosing to enter into relationships. And should our pregnant women find themselves in a trying situation, I invite you to join us in protecting and serving the mother and the child ‚Äď who BOTH have the right to live.

Yours truly,

Marianne Soratorio Dyogi

p.s. And guess what? “Jane Roe” of Roe v. Wade is pro-life. Watch this…

Inspiring Speech of an Abortion Survivor

This story is about love.¬† It may not have been so when Gianna Jessen’s birth mother made the decision to abort her at 7 1/2 months, but God – in His great mercy – uses her life…her survival…to teach us a lesson.¬† We don’t know the exact circumstances her mother faced when she walked into Planned Parenthood.¬† What we do know is that GOD loved Gianna into being.¬† And God continued to loves Gianna as she shares not only the truth about the horror of abortion, but also witnesses to the beauty of LIFE.

Please watch this speech.¬† We can’t turn a deaf ear any longer.¬† There are too many deaths…too many wounds…too many consequences as a result of this tactic the enemy has used to prey on a woman’s fear during pregnancy.

Fear does not come from God, especially when it drives millions of women around the world to take the lives of their own unborn children.  How many?  1.2 million in the United States every year.  42 million worldwide.

The Silent Holocaust has to stop.¬† Now.¬† Every time a child is aborted, that’s ONE LIFE TOO LATE.

“I didn’t survive to make people feel comfortable.¬† I survived to stir things up a bit….¬† I say you didn’t get me.¬† The Silent Holocaust didn’t win over me.” – Gianna Jessen

Testimony of abortion survivor Gianna Jessen before the Constitution Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee on April 22, 1996.

My name is Gianna Jessen. I am 19 years of age. I am originally from California, but now reside in Franklin, Tennessee. I am adopted. I have cerebral palsy. My biological mother was 17 years old and seven and one-half months pregnant when she made the decision to have a saline abortion. I am the person she aborted. I lived instead of died.

Fortunately for me the abortionist was not in the clinic when I arrived alive, instead of dead, at 6:00 a.m. on the morning of April 6, 1977. I was early, my death was not expected to be seen until about 9 a.m., when he would probably be arriving for his office hours. I am sure I would not be here today if the abortionist would have been in the clinic as his job is to take life, not sustain it. Some have said I am a “botched abortion”, a result of a job not well done.

There were many witnesses to my entry into this world. My biological mother and other young girls in the clinic, who also awaited the death of their babies, were the first to greet me. I am told this was a hysterical moment. Next was a staff nurse who apparently called emergency medical services and had me transferred to a hospital.

I remained in the hospital for almost three months. There was not much hope for me in the beginning. I weighed only two pounds. Today, babies smaller than I was have survived.

A doctor once said I had a great will to live and that I fought for my life. I eventually was able to leave the hospital and be placed in foster care. I was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a result of the abortion.

My foster mother was told that it was doubtful that I would ever crawl or walk. I could not sit up independently. Through the prayers and dedication of my foster mother, and later many other people, I eventually learned to sit up, crawl, then stand. I walked with leg braces and a walker shortly before I turned age four. I was legally adopted by my foster mother’s daughter, Diana De Paul, a few months after I began to walk. The Department of Social Services would not release me any earlier for adoption.

I have continued in physical therapy for my disability, and after a total of four surgeries, I can now walk without assistance. It is not always easy. Sometimes I fall, but I have learned how to fall gracefully after falling 19 years.

I am happy to be alive. I almost died. Every day I thank God for life. I do not consider myself a by-product of conception, a clump of tissue, or any other of the titles given to a child in the womb. I do not consider any person conceived to be any of those things.

I have met other survivors of abortion. They are all thankful for life. Only a few months ago I met another saline abortion survivor. Her name is Sarah. She is two years old. Sarah also has cerebral palsy, but her diagnosis is not good. She is blind and has severe seizures. The abortionist, besides injecting the mother with saline, also injects the baby victims. Sarah was injected in the head. I saw the place on her head where this was done. When I speak, I speak not only for myself, but for the other survivors, like Sarah, and also for those who cannot yet speak …

Today, a baby is a baby when convenient. It is tissue or otherwise when the time is not right. A baby is a baby when miscarriage takes place at two, three, four months. A baby is called a tissue or clumps of cells when an abortion takes place at two, three, four months. Why is that? I see no difference. What are you seeing? Many close their eyes…

The best thing I can show you to defend life is my life. It has been a great gift. Killing is not the answer to any question or situation. Show me how it is the answer.

There is a quote which is etched into the high ceilings of one of our state’s capitol buildings. The quote says, “Whatever is morally wrong, is not politically correct.” Abortion is morally wrong. Our country is shedding the blood of the innocent. America is killing its future.

All life is valuable. All life is a gift from our Creator. We must receive and cherish the gifts we are given. We must honor the right to life.

A Renewed Purpose

Some time has passed since I last touched this blog, and much has happened – to say the least. I cannot go back over the last year and a half and recap details for you, but I can pick up from this very moment and say that being HOME has inspired me to return to my roots…to reflect on the things and people who have touched my life…and to work for the causes that have shaped my calling and vocation.

The one event that moved me to start posting again was a recharge like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. This past weekend, we attended the 2nd annual Mother of Life Conference at the University of San Diego, sponsored by the Knights of Columbus San Diego Chapter. I saw the powerhouse line-up of speakers and knew I wanted to attend; however, I just didn’t think it was possible for various reasons. But I couldn’t stop thinking about it for weeks. Finally at the last minute, I mustered up the courage to ask Gary if we could go. Of course, he said yes.

I’m so glad we made it out.

I’ve been to a lot of conferences and conventions over the years. This one, though, was incredibly special because everyone there was united in the one mission and purpose all of humanity is called to fight for: LIFE. Preserving and celebrating the dignity of the human person – from the moment of conception to natural death. And it only made sense that the greatest of pro-life speakers were present to share their stories and give witness to the Great Commandment of Jesus Christ…to “love one another as I have loved you.” We couldn’t help but be touched by the Spirit of Love that permeated the Pavilion. As we walked around the exhibits meeting both speakers and participants, there was an inexplicable joy in their smiles and the peace in their hearts no money could ever buy.

We had the three kids with us, and I was a little nervous about the girls’ laughter and pitter-pattering feet during the talks, hoping that people wouldn’t be irritated that we were disturbing their conference experience. Elderly ladies would only turn around and glow with appreciation because Gary said that our kids reminded them of what it was they were fighting for. It was so beautiful to see the oohs and ahhs from admirers young and old as we walked Kali around the plaza, and to hear the words, “How wonderful that you were able to bring your children to this conference.”

Kali meeting Fr. Frank Pavone

Do you see the expression on Fr. Frank’s face? This is a man who labors every day for the lives of unborn children, and the smile on his face as he is looking at Kali captures the love he has for babies everywhere. Never having naturally fathered any of his own children, this holy priest has – through his work – adopted the world’s unborn as his family.

The Dyogi family w/ Fr. Frank

“We do not stand on the platform of Democrats…we do not stand on the platform of Republicans. We stand on the platform of JESUS CHRIST!” he exclaimed during his talk. This statement resonated in both my heart and Gary’s as well because we know that Life is not a political issue. It’s a human issue. And we felt sad that it was even an issue to begin with. Praise God that there are good and courageous people committed to the movement, but it’s so unfortunate that we should have to rally to defend a God-given human right. Nevertheless, we move forward together – led by the Spirit to speak for those who have no voice.

The talks were so encouraging and convicting, full of reminders to us who needed that extra push to not only speak fearlessly in defense of life, but also to get down on our knees and truly intercede for our nation. They couldn’t have had a better program.

Dr. Alveda King (niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) – civil rights activist and pro-life warrior

The one speaker I was quite excited to hear was Dr. Alveda King. She is the pastoral associate of the African-American Outreach with Priests for Life and gives a powerful testimony of her journey from abortion to the pro-life work she does today. Her witness and the videos she shared touched me deeply because I have taught in African-American communities for the last 7 years. Knowing that more awareness must be raised regarding the reproductive health and right to life of all people has encouraged me to at least expose my students to the Maafa21 trailer and eugenic history of Planned Parenthood. It is my prayer that the truth be spread and our communities will be truly empowered to choose life for their children, rather than succumb to fear and the culture of death.

Our heroes: Crystalina & Jason Evert – world-renowned chastity speakers and authors

It was a most wonderful surprise to meet Jason and Crystalina Evert at the conference, and to see them fill in for Eduardo Verastegui who was not able to make it that weekend. These two have transformed us as a married couple and also have strengthened us as speakers/teachers because they share an understanding of chastity and marriage incomparable to anyone we have ever known. What is so encouraging is that they are young parents, like us, trying their best to raise their family in a God-centered home. I really enjoyed talking to them about NFP and our kids…hearing Crystalina ask me, “So are you going to have anymore?” and Jason playfully holding Baby Kali’s hand as he shared a little about their plans to move closer to Crystalina’s family soon after they return from World Youth Day.

Of course it would have been great to have thousands upon thousands of people pouring into the Jenny Craig Pavilion at USD that Saturday, but I am secretly happy it was relatively easy to approach the very people I have always wanted to meet! God is so good to me….

Marianne, Kali Damien, and Jason Jones (producer of Bella)

Now this guy was super-cool to talk to! Pictured above is Jason Jones, one of the men who brought us the beautiful pro-life movie Bella, starring Eduardo Verastegui. He hails from Hawaii (hence the “shaka”) but God brought him here to evangelize the world through Hollywood filmmaking and to organize one of the greatest human dignity campaigns called I Am Whole Life. Again, another conversation that started off with the intention of networking yet joyfully made its way into the parenting realm. Jason will be having his 6th child in about three weeks, and we were able to meet three of them at the Movie to Movement booth. He’s such a humble, down-to-earth soldier of Christ who scales the planet as far as Sudan to spread the living Gospel through his humanitarian efforts. Must be that Aloha spirit!

The many connections we also made with the conference participants were priceless. My favorite was a married couple – Jerry and Joan – who we met just outside the restroom. Jerry shared that he and Joan had 5 children, 9 grandchildren, and 9 great-grandchildren. It was obvious that they loved each other, their family, and their Church. Jerry was a Knight and he asked Gary if he ever thought about being one. I told him that I never knew how involved in the pro-life movement the Knights of Columbus were until I looked up the history of the organization. The work they do is absolutely phenomenal. I pray that more men will answer God’s call to join such an inspiring brotherhood – to serve the Church in her greatest needs – because they sure do A WHOLE LOT more than host the weekly Lenten fish fries!

To learn more about the amazing pro-life leaders and their work, please visit the following sites:
Fr. Frank Pavone – National Director of Priests for Life
Dr. Alveda King – Founder of King for America
Jason and Crystalina Evert – The Chastity Project
Jason Jones – producer of Bella and I Am Whole Life Movement
Knights of Columbus – “In Service to One. In Service to All.”

If you’re interested in ordering the talks for this year’s Mother of Life Conference, or if you would like to attend next year, make sure you bookmark this link:
Mother of Life Conference

40 Days for Life Kick Off Rally

Monday, February 15, 2010

Come prepare, be inspired, share your heart for God’s mandate for life.

St Cornelius Catholic Church
5500 E Wardlow Rd
Long Beach, CA

Starts at 5:00 PM with mass.

5:00 PM Mass
5:30 PM Move to hall
5:35 PM ACTSM prayer (Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving, Supplication, Mother Mary) A beautiful, powerful and meditative prayer! Lori Rae Martin of AudioGirl Ministries will accompany and support the prayer with inspriational music and song .
5:50 PM Refreshments
6:00 PM Introduction to 40 Days For Life Campaign
6:15 PM First Speaker – Ma’May Faucher is the Director of CBR donor support. She’s known to give powerful speeches and testimonies. She really has a gift.
6:25 PM Second Speaker – Paul Kim is the MC for Catholic Underground, and is positively upbeat and exciting when it comes to rallies! He is a prayer warrior and a sidewalk counselor as well! He is very musically talented, and will give us a fun, upbeat inspirational performance as well as a short speech to get us rallied up!

Jan. 23 Women’s Health Seminar

Mark your calendars for a very informative FertilityCare Seminar…
Come and explore how the Church’s teaching on the sanctity of love and life has led to a new science revolutionizing women’s health. During the seminar, we will review the beauty of women’s physiology, the harms of¬†artificial birth control¬†and the incredible health benefits of NaProTechnology. NaProTechnology can be used to aid couples with infertility and recurrent miscarriages as well as helppremenstrual symptoms¬†such as migraines. It can also identify women at increased risk of cancer and¬†cardiovascular disease. An introductory session to the Creighton Model of FertilityCare will be given so women can start to chart their biomarkers after the seminar. Married couples and single women are encouraged to attend.

This seminar is sponsored by the Holy Family Young Adult Ministry (HFYA).

When: Saturday, January 23, 2010
Time: 11:30am Р2:00pm
Location: Holy Family Church, St. Joseph Center
18708 Clarkdale Avenue
Artesia, CA 90701

Light refreshments will be served.

Natural Family Planning (NFP)…

  • is based on sound scientific knowledge;
  • helps the couple understand their mutual fertility;
  • enables couples to achieve or avoid a¬†pregnancy;
  • promotes the mutual love of the couple;
  • is morally acceptable;
  • does not require regularity of the menstrual cycles;
  • can be successfully applied during breastfeeding, premenopause and discontinued use of the¬†birth control pill;
  • is invaluable for infertile couples, both for achieving pregnancy, and as a tool in the diagnosis and treatment of reproductive disorders;
  • is simple to learn.

Lynn Keenan, MD is an Associate Clinical Professor at the UCSF/Fresno Internal Medicine Residency Program. She is Board Certified in sleep and internal medicine and is a Certified FertilityCare Medical Consultant.

Marianne Soratorio Dyogi, MA is a FertilityCare Practitioner Intern who is trained to provide services in the Creighton Model System. She has been using the method for four years and has gained innumerable benefits for her own reproductive health and natural family planning.

To pre-register for the seminar or for more information regarding FertilityCare, please contact Marianne Dyogi at / (714) 803-4775 or visit the Creighton Model of FertilityCare website.  For all other inquiries, please contact Micah De Mesa at (562) 858-9543 or e-mail us at

Abortion, Social Justice and Health Care Reform

By Jason Jones and Eduardo Verastegui –

Health care reform is an issue of social justice. One of the primary issues, if not the primary issue of social justice, is the fundamental right to life

During the past few days we have heard two cries regarding the health care debate in the Senate.

One, health care reform is an issue of social justice and not a referendum on abortion, as noted by both Senators Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Barbara Mikulski (D- Md.)

Two, Sen. Barbara Mikulski‚Äôs statement that she is ‚Äúwhole life‚ÄĚ and that a vote for the health care reform bill is a vote as ‚Äúpro-life or whole life as anyone can cast.‚ÄĚ

Whole Life America, America’s premier whole life resource, takes issue with both these assertions.

Health care reform is an issue of social justice. One of the primary issues, if not the primary issue of social justice, is the fundamental right to life. If you claim to be concerned with “social justice” you cannot, at the same time, be for the right to end the life of an unborn human being.

Social justice, if we listen to Senators Mikulski and Reid, concerns the whole of the human being‚ÄĒincluding his or her health care and access to that health care. Whole Life America recognizes and applauds the cry for human dignity that is inherent to the cry for social justice within the health care reform debate.

However, nothing could be further from social justice than an act which has robbed over 46 million Americans of their lives since 1973. If, as the senators would have us believe, this health care reform debate is in fact an issue of social justice then any part of it that sanctions stripping any member of our society of his or her fundamental rights‚ÄĒterminating someone‚Äôs life is such an act‚ÄĒcannot in good conscience be truthfully called social justice.

Furthermore, Sen. Mikulski‚Äôs claim that she is whole life based on her determination to provide universal health care begs the question‚ÄĒwhat does it mean to be whole life?

To be termed ‚Äėwhole life‚Äô is rooted in one criterion: you must be dedicated to promoting human dignity for all people. As the Whole Life Mission states: ‚ÄúThe mission of the Whole Life initiative is to promote a respect for the intrinsic dignity of the human person regardless of ability, age, status, ethnicity or sex.‚ÄĚ

The fundamental principle of the whole life ethic is the incomparable worth of the human person. The Whole Life Ethic seeks to protect human dignity from the embryo to the streets of Iran, from the unborn child to the child in Darfur, from the young woman facing a crisis pregnancy to the old man confronted with insurmountable health care fees.

To be whole life means you understand that a human being is recognized as a person at the moment of his biological beginning and that he is worthy of respect from that moment and through the entirety of his life until it reaches its natural conclusion.

To be whole life means you are willing to stand up and defend human dignity from the child in the womb to the child in Darfur, from the embryo to the elderly no matter the cost to yourself.

For some‚ÄĒlike Neda Agha Soltan, who lost her life in June on the streets of Iran‚ÄĒdefending human dignity comes at a very high cost. Others‚ÄĒlike the leaders of this country‚ÄĒonly risk losing their political capital or house seat.

If you are not willing to stand up to the abortion industry on the floor of the senate, in the oval office, at work, at school or with friends, then the idea that you would be willing to stand up to the Janjaweed in Darfur, the Taliban in Afghanistan, or the regime leaders in Iran is absurd.

The biggest threat to human dignity in the United States is abortion‚ÄĒit shows no mercy to unborn children and it breaks the hearts of women and men. Around the world there are many threats to human dignity, however, echoing a great promoter of human dignity who risked his freedom and gave his life: a threat to human dignity anywhere is a threat to human dignity everywhere.

People who are whole life disagree on many issues and policies.

While we all agree that we want everyone to have access to quality health care we can disagree on how that is best achieved.

In order to identify yourself as whole life you must promote human dignity unilaterally‚ÄĒyou cannot pick and choose who has human dignity and who does not. That is not your decision and that is certainly far above anyone on earth‚Äôs pay grade.

To date those who have cried for social justice have been markedly silent on fundamental social justice issues including the assault on freedom in Iran, the slaughter of innocents in Darfur, the suspension of the death penalty in the United States, and last, but not least, the right to kill one out of every five unborn children worldwide.

Do not be silent on human dignity‚ÄĒwhatever your occupation‚ÄĒbut rather, stand with the greats, and tell the world, ‚ÄúFrom the child in the womb to the child in Darfur, from the embryo to the elderly, I am whole life.‚ÄĚ

Jason Jones is a producer, human rights activist and founder of Whole Life America. Eduardo Verastegui is a producer, humanitarian and actor.

Let true Freedom ring!

Because I love the African-American communities I serve…

We need to speak up for the rights of all people in America. No matter what their size, their age, or their color.

I recently went on a field trip with our junior high students to the California Science Center specifically to see the RACE exhibit. It opened my eyes up the the fact that inequality and discrimination still in fact do exist very prevalently in our society.¬† It brought up thoughts and questions to which there were no easy answers.¬† But there was something more to this…a meaning that I would draw from it beyond the displays, videos, and knowledgeable facts.

It wasn’t until we were allowed into the “America I Am” exhibit that I began to understand.

They had an original copy of the Declaration of Independence. I looked for the words that gave hope to so many people over the last two centuries:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

There it was.  Every one of us has the right to life.

Then I turned and read behind me:

“The Great Compromise of 1787 counted slaves as 3/5 of a person for representation to the House of Representatives.”

Today, we have reduced ourselves to a nation that does not recognize the personhood of the unborn child.

While we have made progress through the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, few people are aware that abortion clinics were strategically and predominantly placed in minority communities to essentially reduce the population of African-Americans, Latinos, and others that inhabit lower-middle class neighborhoods.  These clinics are all over the country.

This is a problem.¬† A very big problem.¬† Please see why…

It’s worth looking into.¬† Plenty of information and resources are available on the Priests for Life African-American Outreach.¬† Please…for the sake of God’s children…


I Speak Life VIDEO

Priests for Life  African-American Outreach

Another shooting star on the pro-life scene

Watch Eduardo Verastegui’s short film “The Butterfly Circus” (2009 Winner of the Doorpost Film Project):

Visit Manto de Guadalupe for information on a pro-life clinic in Los Angeles to open on March 25, 2010!  (Spanish site)

A Witness to Life

Life Chain

Meleana and Gary at the Long Beach Life Chain

This was our first time attending any kind of active pro-life demonstration. ¬†Amidst a number of other things we had to do today, it was a hectic Sunday, but we were really glad we went. ¬†Lots of feelings come with being part of an event like this…especially if you’ve never done it before. ¬†It was awesome hearing the supporting cheers and honks from the people driving by. ¬†Then there were those who silently made their way through the intersection and chose not to respond to the signs. ¬†And the one man who made sure we knew how much he absolutely hated the pro-life movement…Gary just looked at me and smiled…I said a prayer for him…because that’s all we could really do.

The most amazing thing about the whole experience was just being there with the kids and seeing my husband so unafraid to be a witness. ¬†He’s always been open to new things, so as soon as we got there, he picked up a sign and picked a spot among the crowd where it could be seen.


What a blessed Sunday it was…

“A child should never be seen as a consequence.” – Gary Dyogi


It’s an exciting time…

We’ve been busy…with a lot of things.¬† I just finished my first month of the new school year and as happy I was to see my students again, we’ve had a lot to do!¬† Since it is the Year of the Priesthood, Cardinal Mahoney has asked each parish/school to have a Vocation plan for the year.¬† I’m the school representative on the Vocations Council, so you can imagine how the wheels have been spinning in my mind about all the things we can do to promote religious vocations!

Gary and I have been asked by the Catholic Newman Club at Cal State Long Beach to give our “Goodbye Dating…Hello Courtship” talk this coming Wednesday evening.¬† They have chosen to theme their meetings after the mysteries of the Holy Rosary and we fall into the night of the second Luminous Mystery, the Wedding at Cana.¬† We’re always happy to share our story and lessons we’ve learned, and I’m especially excited because we get to do this one together. =)

I’m also up early this morning to finish my FertilityCare Services Provider application, and I just wrote the essay to mail along with it.¬† The first phase of training is in November and I already have potential clients lined up!¬† I can’t wait because there is such a great need in the Church for more NFP (natural family planning) providers.

Here’s an excerpt of the essay:

The bottom line for me is this ‚Äď I want to change the culture.¬† I want to be proactive in this revolution.¬† I would like to be part of the solution to the rising numbers of Catholics who are unknowingly participating in the culture of death through their use of artificial contraception.¬† I want to provide an opportunity for couples to nurture their marriages and enhance their communication about the gift of sexual intimacy that they share with one another.¬† I hope to connect women who are dealing with challenges with their own fertility to resources so that they can receive necessary and appropriate medical attention.¬† How wonderful it would be if there were FertilityCare Centers across the United States where couples can go to help and advise them along in natural family planning ‚Äď as numerous, if not more than there are Planned Parenthood facilities!

Big dreams, I know…but all things are possible with God.¬† He wills our lives to be better than we can even plan for ourselves, and He wants us to be open to his blessings.¬† What greater blessing is there than the gift of LIFE?¬† Please pray that this movement will be covered by His providential hand.¬† St. Gianna, pray for us…