Great Defender of Life Dinner

By Alice Lemos, Board Member

What a wonderful event the Human Foundation does every year for its Great Defender of Life Dinner which was held at the Union League Club in Manhattan on October 4th!  Some of the best and the brightest show up to give their support to the journal known as the Human Life Review which has been aptly described as the premier pro-life journal of the United States.  Its contributors have included Nat Henthoff, Mary Meehan and Wesley Smith, all experts on the life issue who approach it from various perspectives. 

It was wonderful seeing young supports of the Review and of the life cause as well as stalwarts from National Review, including Kathryn Jean Lopez, Jack Fowler and Alexandra De Sanctis, who are all powerful pro-life writers.

This year, a very heartfelt tribute was given to the late J.P. McFadden, the founder of the Review.  Also honored were Edward Mechmann, an attorney with the Archdiocese of New York who has worked for many years with the Family Life/Respect Life Office. 

The other honoree was David Quinn, a founder and director of The Iona Institute which promotes the right to life.  He is also Ireland’s best-known commentator on social issues and lamented the fact that Ireland tragically voted to permit abortion.  He predicted that, unfortunately, Ireland may very well go the way of the United States as traditional social structures continue to break down. However, he gave us all the more reason to continue to fight the good fight both in Ireland and the United States.  We were reminded that while the abortion rate is dropping, it is still shockingly high.  This is absolutely one of the best pro-life events in New York City! 

We were also reminded by Maria McFadden Maffucci, that we live in a state, New York, where the current governor says we are not welcome.  Obviously, The Bridge to Life and other crisis pregnancy centers have their work cut out for them.

Photo of Alice Lemos, Board of Directors with David Smith and Dr. Ann Nolte. Dr. Nolte is the lead gynecologist for the Gianna Center and David Smith is involved in Catholic Hospitality.

 

Thailand Cave Rescue a Success

“We are not sure if this is a miracle, a science, or what. All the thirteen Wild Boars are now out of the cave,” The Navy SEAL unit, which led the rescue, said on its Facebook page, adding all were safe.

For the past few weeks, the entire world has been watching and waiting for news of the fate of 13 people they never met from a place they never knew existed. Scientists from all over the world opined on which was the best time and method to extract 12 boys and their young coach from a cave before the rains from the summer monsoons would make it impossible, sealing the fate of those trapped inside.

Even Elon Musk, the founder of Space X and Tesla, visited the site to drop off a miniature submarine made out of rocket parts to aid in the search.

Worldwide, there were prayers and good wishes offered no matter what religious background one does or does not practice.

With all the members of the Wild Boars and the SEAL Teams safely delivered, it seems the combination of a miracle and science is there to remind us all lives are sacred and matter. May this lesson live within all of us.

 

Supreme Court Ruling

On June 26, 2018, before the US Supreme Court ended its 2017-18 session, the court ruled 5-4 in favor of The National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (DBA- NIFLA), et al. versus Becerra, Attorney General of California, et al.

The basis of the case was the California state houses passed a law requiring pro-life facilities to provide women who sought out pregnancy counseling at their facilities to provide information about abortion as a choice. NIFLA argued this law goes against everything pro-life organizations represent  (Note: The National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, a 501(3)(c) organization, provides training, education and legal counsel for their pro-life members and those they serve).

Justice Thomas delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Chief Justice Roberts, and Justices Kennedy, Alito and Gorsuch joined.  Additionally, Kennedy filed a concurring opinion, in which Roberts, Alito and Gorsuch joined.

Justice Breyer, filed dissenting opinion, in which Justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan, joined.

The ruling is a huge win for the pro-life movement, and free speech. If the ruling was reversed, pro-life facilities would have had to give out information regarding abortions as well as their locations, or the equivalent of letting the fox into the chicken coop!

There’s an old saying in politics that as California goes, so does the rest of the country. With this ruling, we at Bridge certainly hope this is the beginning of a trend of respecting the lives of babies and their mothers.

 

Today’s Dads- Conventionally Unconventional

The official start of summer is upon us, and we hope Mother Nature will cooperate and follow her traditional weather patterns.

But Mother Nature is a funny thing.  Just when we mere mortals expect her to behave one way, she does something completely different, out of conventional character.

Society also has its conventional patterns as well. But when something or someone behaves in a manner which is not “the norm”, it’s met with finger pointing and posts to social media accounts.

Here at Bridge, our mission is to assist those who fall both in and out of normal conventions. We are here for mom and her children. Increasingly, we are welcoming more dads who are accompanying their families on our weekly material assistance days. Conventional? No!   Welcomed? Very much so!

We at The Bridge to Life hope all the Dads enjoyed their day!

 

Did You Know How Special Mother’s Are?

By Mary Beth Topczynski, Board Member

Just like flowers in a vase, each mother is a unique individual.

Mother’s Day was proclaimed as a national holiday on May 9, 1914 by President Woodrow Wilson following a campaign launched by West Virginia native, Anna Jarvis to honor her mother who passed on May 9, 1905. She wanted to recognize the role of mothers and celebrate their powerful force to their family, church and community. Americans were asked to publicly express their gratitude, and carnations came to represent the day honoring mothers living and deceased.

Although the meaning is the same today, motherhood looks very different. According to a 2012 U.S. Census Bureau, there are about 85 million mothers in America, but their lives have seen dramatic changes even since the 1960 census.

In 2012, only 69% of mothers were married compared to 92%; 15% were divorced, separated or widowed and 15% were unmarried compared to 7% to .3% respectively. The number of children they have has also decreased to 1.9 down from 3.7, but 41% of births are to unmarried women, up from 5% in 1960.

A more noticeable lifestyle difference, more mothers are now in the workforce. In households with children under the age of 18, 40% have mothers who are either the sole or primary income provider for the family — up 11% from 1960, and single mothers make up two-thirds of these “breadwinner moms.”

Regardless of the statistics, we at Bridge agree with Ms. Jarvis in recognizing mothers and ALL women as powerful. They are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to helping others in need within the family and community.

We thank the women who assist our mothers in need to have a better life and provide for their children. You are a blessing to Bridge because of your care and concern for others.

Happy Mother’s Day!

 

26th Annual Dinner/Dance a Success

Kevin Fox, GK and S.K. Michael Hilley, PGK, FDD with Bridge board members.

By Mary Beth Topczynski, Board Member

On Sunday, 4/15, Bridge hosted its 26th Annual Dinner/Dance fundraiser.  An afternoon of food, dancing and socializing made the event fun for one and all.  This year, Bridge implemented a new method for announcing the raffle basket winners.  Numbers were drawn by a board member and the winning number listed on a board for guests to view prior to leaving.  While not perfected yet, this provided more time for music and dancing which was well received by guests.

Honored this year were Sir Knight Michael Hilley, PKG, FDD and the Olympia Council Knights of Columbus #394 for their work to help the unborn.  S.K. Hilley and the council were instrumental in obtaining an ultrasound machine at New Beginnings medical facility located in Queens.  Bridge board members supported the council in their efforts to obtain this funding.

This was an important advancement in the mission to protect the unborn as this gives Bridge and other pregnancy service centers a place to send their pregnant women for an ultrasound in Queens.  The sonogram enables women to see that they are carrying a life – a baby.

Check out our Facebook page for more photos from this year’s dinner – a fun time was had by all.  And, even more important, a good cause, Bridge, was supported.

Missed this year’s event?  There’s always next year!  Save April 7, 2019 on your calendar now.

 

Bridge Supporters Walk in NYC IGLW

Rev. Desiree Bernstein; Catherine Donohoe, The Bridge to Life Board President; Dawn Eskew, President and Founder of Personhood Education of NY and Rosa Cerrato, IGLW Committee member.

By Catherine Donohoe, Bridge Board President

NYC’s 2018 International Gift of Life Walk (IGLW) took place on March 25th, Passion Sunday and The Feast of the Annunciation.  City onlookers were witness to the great worth and value participants hold for each and every human life as they walked down the Canyon of Heroes.

The event began with a Celebratory Rally and impassioned speeches from the five Grand Pro-Life Hero honorees:

  • Rev. Dr. Clenard H. Childress, Director of Life Education and Resource Network (LEARN), the largest African American pro-life network in America,
  • Fr. Fidelis Moscinski of the Community of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal (CFR);
  • Denise Mountenay, Founder and President of Canada Silent No More and a speaker who offers hope and healing to those affected by abortion and pregnancy loss;
  • Fr. Stephen Imbarrato, a Pastoral Associate of Priests for Life; and
  • Dr. Elizabeth Rex, Co-Founder and President of The Children First Foundation, the sponsor of “Choose Life” License Plates.  

Bridge supporters were members of the Steering Committee along with Personhood Education of New York, the organization that founded the Walk in 2017, to increase walk participant numbers from the prior year.  Planning began last July and included networking with like-minded organizations around the tri-state area to join the walk.  Our supporters walked behind the Bridge banner and a float which was designed and built by volunteers  Delvis and Anne Marie Estrada.  A special thanks goes out to the Estrada’s as well as Delvis’ cousin, Elvin Ortiz who donated his time as event DJ from Build Beat Entertainment. 

We are most grateful to all who came out on that chilly Sunday morning to give witness to the sanctity of life. You will be blessed!