Care Net's services -- all free of charge -- include caring for young, frightened women and their partners caught in the throes of an unplanned pregnancy, said Liz Osborn, executive director of Care Net. She has seen the need for longer term compassionate care for women. That's how the vision for Elizabeth House came into being.
The Elizabeth House. The Elizabeth House has already been open for a year and a half in its temporary location in Stoughton. Land has been donated on Madison's east side near the intersection of Hwys. 51 and 151 to build Elizabeth House. A capital campaign is underway to raise $2.2 million to build the new 10-bedroom facility.
People of many denominations have been involved in this ecumenical effort to erect the Christian residential home for pregnant women. Bishop Robert C. Morlino has joined this effort by authorizing a collection in parishes throughout the Diocese of Madison on the weekend of Oct. 30 and 31 for The Elizabeth House.
In a letter to people of the diocese, Bishop Morlino notes that the month of October is celebrated as the Month of Mary and Respect Life Month, so this collection is especially timely. He says, "As Catholics we offer hope to both the mother and the unborn person. . . . We share this view with other Christians. Our Christian brothers and sisters have asked for our help. I want to give it to them."
He notes that the women who live at The Elizabeth House will be provided prenatal care, parenting classes, training and assistance in finding a job and childcare. Catholic Charities and other Christian adoption services will assist those who choose adoption. Women from throughout the Diocese of Madison area will be welcome at Elizabeth House.
Beacon of hope. Liz Osborn emphasizes that "we as a church and community of faith don't have to choose between a woman and her child. Women in crisis pregnancies and birth fathers need assurance that the church will be with them. Elizabeth House will be a beacon of hope. It is God's answer to abortion," she said.
That's the vision for Elizabeth House. I encourage people throughout the Diocese of Madison to respond to the challenge to support unborn babies and their mothers by giving generously to the diocesan collection for The Elizabeth House. What a beautiful way to celebrate Respect Life Month!
Mary C. Uhler, editor
Vote to protect human life
To the editor:
The following are statements from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' document Faithful Citizenship.
How do we protect and promote human life and dignity? Who has a place at the table of life? Where is the place at the table for a million of our nation's children who are destroyed every year before they are born?
How will we protect the weakest in our midst - innocent unborn children? How will our nation resist what Pope John Paul II calls a "culture of death?" How can we keep our nation from turning to violence to solve some of its most difficult problems and abortion to deal with difficult pregnancies?
As Catholics, we are not free to abandon unborn children because they are seen as unwanted or inconvenient.
For Catholics, the defense of human life and dignity is not a narrow cause, but a way of life and a framework for action.
Abortion, the deliberate killing of a human being before birth, is never morally acceptable. The destruction of human embryos as objects of research is wrong.
The above are quotes from pages 2,5,9,12, and 17.
This important issue must be considered. A candidate will vote for or against abortion.
Where does your candidate stand on these issues by their past voting record?
Vote for pro-life candidates
To the editor:
In this election it is Feingold against Michels. Russ Feingold is one of the most liberal senators in Washington. He voted against eliminating the death tax, against creating the Department of Homeland Security, against the Patriot Act, and against pay raises for the military. He authored his "campaign finance reform" legislation which silenced all of us but millionaires can spend as much as they want.
Let's get Feingold out of office and vote for Tim Michels, who is pro-life.
In the presidential election, it is very important that President Bush is re-elected. There will be two or three openings on the Supreme Court. If we don't elect President Bush, the liberal judges (which Kerry supports) who say they uphold the Constitution while at the same time doing all within their power to undermine that Constitution by their own interpretation of the law, will continue to strike down laws. They stop at nothing to further their anti-life, anti-family, anti-moral, and anti-God agenda.
Do we want to have these kinds of judges or do we want our country to be God oriented? Vote Bush and Michels!
Ellen Timmerman, Cuba City
Church should not be partisan
To the editor:
Nearly 50 years ago many in this country argued that it would be wrong to elect a Catholic as president, because he would take orders from the pope. It seems that many in the Catholic Church are out to prove the sentiment right.
The Knights of Columbus have broken a long-standing rule against using our meetings as political forums by inviting President Bush to speak at our national convention. Bishops across the country are denying Communion to Catholic politicians who have voted pro-choice, and some bishops have even suggested that Catholic voters who do not vote pro-life should be denied Communion as well.
Further, recent columnists in this paper have argued that it is "extremely difficult" to be a good Catholic and not vote for the "pro-life" candidate. Anyone who truly follows ALL of the teachings of the Catholic Church has been torn in two for a generation, having to choose between a party that claims to uphold the social justice teachings of the church and a party that claims to uphold the pro-life teachings of the church.
Now many in influential positions in the church and church-sanctioned organizations are doing everything to tell us who to vote for, except, perhaps, for explicitly stating the name. It is unprecedented, and it is unacceptable, for the church to reduce itself by becoming so blatantly partisan.
I now have to ask myself a question that I have been avoiding, is there any place left for me in the Catholic Church after all that I and my family have sacrificed for it?
Mark Herman, Madison
Doctrine not 'smorgasbord'
To the editor:
In the Oct. 7 Mailbag entry "Abortion issue more critical" the contributor questioned the wisdom of publishing certain voices and articles. I for one applaud your decision to give expression to your readers be they Catholic, non-Catholic, or somewhere in between. Openness encourages pluralistic readership while allowing many to crystallize their own thoughts on the topics brought to the fore.
However, the contributor did give me cause to re-read the LaCross and Penczykowski offering in the Sept. 23 issue. With regard to the political aspects of their contribution, the words of Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan apply: "Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not to their own facts." Since the Catholic Herald is not the vehicle for discussing the merits of their assertions, for readers who may be interested in checking the veracity of their statements I suggest going to the internet and perusing www.factcheck.org. (A nonpartisan, nonprofit, "consumer advocate" for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics.)
LaCross and Penczykowski said: "To solely denounce abortion - as if outlawing this act of desperation would alone redeem and transform our society - insults the lives of women facing this terrifying dilemma." While for some abortion may surely be a "terrifying dilemma," for others it is a matter-of-fact procedure.
Nearly half of all abortions are obtained by women who have already had at least one abortion. In 1994 and 1995, women who had already had three or more abortions obtained seven percent, or nearly 100,000, abortions each year. Irrespective of circumstance, abortion remains the killing of "the most vulnerable." The sanctity of all life has been one of the church's most consistent and immutable doctrines. How is it possible to use the term "incongruous piety" in the same context as the discussion on abortion?
Truly we must turn to the scriptures, the magisterium and tradition for direction, but we are obliged do so with one conscience. Church doctrine in not a smorgasbord from which we choose in order to satisfy our wants, desires, and ideologies.
Howard Kmak, Wisconsin Dells
Look at all candidates, policies
To the editor:
I have been a conscientious practicing Catholic for 63 years. The abortion issue has challenged me to reflect on my Christian values and the teachings of the Church. For years I was against abortion. Now I believe that abortion should be safe, legal, and rare. There are times when abortion is a prudent choice for a woman. That decision should always be between the expectant parents, their family, and God. Christ's example teaches us to love our neighbors, to be tolerant and forgiving.
I agree with the United States Catholic Bishops: "A Catholic moral framework does not easily fit the ideologies of 'right' or 'left,' nor the platforms of any party . . . Our responsibility is to measure all candidates, policies, parties, and platforms by how they protect or undermine the life, dignity, and rights of the human person, whether they protect the poor and vulnerable and advance the common good" (Faithful Citizenship).
I support Senator Kerry because of his moral leadership. He has a record of speaking the truth and seeking peace. He will improve health care and protect the environment. Kerry will provide the leadership needed to protect America from terrorism and promote peace and democracy in the Middle East.
Mary Berg, Madison
Catholics called to vote for life
To the editor:
What if there were a law in this country that gave a mother (not the father) a time frame to murder her baby from the time of conception up to one year old? What if a person running for president vowed to make sure liberal judges would be put in place upon vacancies to guarantee this law would not be changed?
Would someone please tell me, how could you vote for this person? Just because he would not perform the murder himself?
God doesn't care if your baby is one second old, one year old, or however old. We are called as Catholics to protect innocent life. And to vote in favor of it.
Just because we can't hear or see them cry while inside their mothers, God can.
In this country we are made up of Democrats and Republicans. Let's vote Catholic. The right for LIFE.
Paul Schulz Sr., Wisconsin Dells
Need adult stem cell research
To the editor:
Since October has been designated "Respect Life Month" by the Catholic Church, it is a good time to present a realistic view on the issue of stem cell research. This is very contentious subject, yet there is no argument that stem cell research should be pursued. The only issue is whether the research should be focused on adult stem cells or fetal stem cells.
It is my belief that the fetal stem cell research issue is driven by proabortionists, who want to make the destruction of fetuses commonplace and, therefore, acceptable to the American people. The pity is that this clash prevents a concentrated effort to meet our real goal, which is to provide the cures for illnesses that may be possible through the use of stem cells.
If proabortionists sincerely want to help people, why will they not support adult stem research at least until it is clear whether this approach is feasible?
I believe the Catholics, perhaps through the Catholic Church, should make an intensive effort to support adult stem research. Our Catholic Church should be deeply involved in this effort in my opinion.
Francis Dunn, Platteville
Diocese of Madison, The Catholic Herald
Offices: Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center, 702 S. High Point Road, Madison
Mailing address: P.O. Box 44985, Madison, WI 53744-4985
Phone: 608-821-3070 Fax: 608-821-3071 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org