PALM BEACH GARDENS | The Palm Beach Diocesan Council of Catholic Women offered opportunities for Eucharistic adoration, Mass, inspiration, prayer, quiet reflection and joyful friendship at the 12th annual Women of Faith, Women of Action conference March 25, 2023, at the Cathedral of St. Ignatius Loyola in Palm Beach Gardens.
Bishop Gerald M. Barbarito, in his homily during Mass at the conference, said, “I am very pleased and happy to be with all of you today for this Women of Faith, Women of Action Conference day of reflection, and I am very grateful to the leadership of our Diocesan Council of Catholic Women for putting this all together and for every year doing all the things that you do.”
The theme for this year’s conference, “Be the Voice,” encouraged Catholic women to speak up for the unborn and to defend the sanctity of life. Teresa Cecil, who attended the event, said, “This is perfect for Lent, a mini retreat.”
Another attendee, Denise Lamberti, added, “This year, we have a wonderful speaker promoting the sanctity of life from birth to natural death.”
The guest speaker was Janet Morana, EWTN co-host of “The Catholic View for Women” and co-founder of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign that helps families who have lost children through abortion to heal.
Urging the Catholic women to take action, she said, “You may be too old to have children, but you are not too old to save a child. We must stop saying ‘crisis pregnancy.’ It’s not a crisis. A baby is a blessing, an unexpected blessing.”
Morana explained the importance of March 25 for Catholics. “Today, March 25, is the feast of the solemnity of the Annunciation of Our Lord. Our Blessed Mother accepted an unexpected blessing when she said ‘yes’ to the angel on that day.”
“Today is also the anniversary of St. John Paul II’s encyclical, ‘Evangelium Vitae,’ ‘The Gospel of Life.’ So, in 1995, March 25 (the date of the encyclical), we in the pro-life movement had our marching orders,” she said. “He (St. John Paul II) picked March 25 purposely, and that is why today is also called ‘The Day of the Unborn Child.’”
On June 24, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 1973 decisions that established a constitutional right to have an abortion, returning the issue to the states to decide. “Now, many abortions are being done through a chemical abortion pill, RU-486 or the mifepristone pill,” Morana said. “The pro-abortion people like to water it down to sell it, but it starves the baby. Then 48 hours later they take a second pill, and that starts the contractions.
“We are finding from the testimonies from the Silent No More Campaign at Rachel’s Vineyard that they are more traumatized by the chemical abortion than the surgical abortion. Why? Because all the guilt is on them. They are taking the pill,” she said. “It is very, very traumatizing, and the chemicals are dangerous for them.”
The speaker encouraged the Catholic women to help change the minds of people who think they are in favor of abortion by asking them sensible questions such as “Are you in favor of killing a baby that has a heartbeat?” and “Are you in favor of abortion when the baby can feel pain in the second trimester?”
Doreen Recco, president of the PBDCCW, who will soon be handing over the gavel to President-elect Dorothy Harper, told the Florida Catholic before the event that “I get a lot of satisfaction by following the path that God has set up for me, and I am now looking forward to having extra time on my hands.”
For more information on the PBDCCW, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://pbdccw.org.