ENGLISH

MANIFEST FOR LIFE 2012

 

The “Gift of Life” Association from Timisoara is our mother association  and it is Human Life International afiliated.  It has been founded in 2003 and Msgr. Ioan Chisarau is the president.

His Excelency the Greek-Catholic Bishop Alexandru Mesian  was very kind to give an interview to “The Gift of Life” Timisoara and he affirmed:

I’m proud that in Timisoara exists this Association. It is important to capitalize this gift, because if is from Almighty God, and in the meantime to defend it, because there are many enemies who want to take it away from us with any price.”

The patroness is the Lady of Guadalupe and it has been chosen by Father Paul Marx the founder of Human Life International.

Joannes Bucher the HLI Europe coordinator has been on mission in Romania last year and here it is his repport:

Missionary Trip to Romania—Reported by Joannes Bucher, March 2011

MR-319-RomaniaRomania has been fighting for years against the sinful abortion agenda. A unique thing about Romanians is that they will tell you that they are very religious, and about 90% believe in Jesus Christ. But when considering this label, one wants to ask the question: Why do they have so many abortions? Romanian politicians frequently find themselves frustrated by the amount of time, effort, and money they pour into their work, only to see zero results. But while God asks for our patience and long suffering, sometimes our frustration is due to having a narrow focus. This occurs when we become fixated exclusively on the political arena.

Such efforts are admirable and necessary; however, the social and spiritual spheres must not be neglected. Furthermore, it is the latter which truly yields fruit in all other aspects of life. 

In order to create a more well rounded pro-life movement, the Human Life International Helpers of God’s Precious Infants Model was established. The crux of any pro-life movement must be the Cross, which is exactly what crux means. The second most important focus of the pro-life movement is the social arena. The Helpers Model strives to ensure the gift of life for all. For this purpose, its members founded Life Centers to provide for all the needs of mothers and children. From crisis pregnancy counseling to financial advice for child-raising to encouraging the mothers to choose life, these Life Centers work tirelessly to support all expecting mothers and protect the unborn child’s right to life whenever, wherever, and however necessary. Furthermore, educational programs for seminary students, university students, and others help to breathe new life into a culture of life. 

Bishops and other religious leaders need to be protectors of the values behind the pro-life movement and bearers of the message that “hope is not dying.” And this is why the Catholic and Greek Catholic Bishops in Romania focus very heavily on forming engaged leaders, as well as sound and holy priests. And of course, HLI supports this focus of the bishops. 

GIFT OF LIFE ASSOCIATION

The “Gift of Life” Association, our HLI affiliate in Romania, is fulfilling the principles of our pro-life message as they create short-term and long-term solutions for their dioceses by, for example, offering counseling to pregnant women. HLI has had success on various levels because the pro-lifers have been trained to have better arguments to share with society. The Helpers Model also encourages the establishment of Perpetual Adoration chapels, as well as more public demonstrations of faith, such as prayer marches. These are deliberate acts of selflessness to combat the blatant selfishness that has brought such evils as abortion and contraception. The average number of abortions that Romanian women have had an average of 2-3 abortions in their lifetime. 

THE SPEAKING TOUR THROUGH ROMANIA

One might think that a week traveling around Romania is not very long, but the results speak for themselves. Together with Gerda Chiserau, we visited the cities Baia Mare and Cluj Napoca to encourage the Greek Catholic seminary students before their upcoming ordination when they will begin dealing more directly with pro-life issues. In Baia Mare, we met undergraduate students who are studying theology, social work, and other lay ministry professions. In Cluj Napoca, we visited seminary students and other faithful from various parishes. 

Romania’s Pro-life-March, the first to be held in 4 cities simultaneously.

The seminary students we spoke to had questions about the Church and its documents concerning life. The question in many of their minds centered on whether it is possible to split the sexual act from love. Therefore, my lectures focused on Humanae vitae. I pointed out to them how the statements of Pope Paul VI can be seen as prophetic for our culture today. In general, the Church has made 3 important pro-life and family statements. In Humanae vitae, the Church shows us how life should be received in light of the fact that it is a gift from God; in Donum vitae, how we should treat life from conception to birth; and in Evangelium vitae, how life is seen from birth to the natural death. In light of these statements, particularly Humanae vitae, our discussion should focus on understanding the reasons behind these Church documents and how we can integrate their message into our life. 

Gerda Chisarau (HLI Romania leader and “Gift of Life Timisoara” founder) and I earch gave testimonies from our lives on the contrast of a sinful life to the joy of chastity. She spoke these words on chastity:  “It is necessary and possible to teach teenagers to choose sexual abstinence before marriage – other countries already use interactive programes, with good results, where the youth can answer questions and use their own logic on the advantages of sexual abstinence before and outside of marriage.” A lot of questions followed our presentations, and we distributed pro-life materials, including chastity leaflets in the Romanian language made by HLI Romania. 

The next day in Timisoara, I organized a workshop with the Gift of Life Association on how to conduct sidewalk counseling for women in front of abortion clinics, as Msgr. Phillip Reilly has taught around the world. They had started this type of project a year ago, but were not able to continue it.  On Sunday, March 28, I was able to motivate the Church community to evangelize and help women in front of the abortion clinics. Sharing the Gospel at such places is important because it is where lives and souls are at risk. I encouraged the people to pray for others who are doing this work.

PRO-LIFE MARCH IN ROMANIA – A FEAST OF JOY

MR-319-10

Children at Romania’s March for Life wear shirts that read, “Mommy, Daddy, thank you for my existing.”

Another joyful experience during this week was the Pro-life March in 2011. For the first time, a Pro-life March was organized simultanously in 4 cities in Romania: Bucharest, Timisoara, Satu Mare and Falticeni. About 1,000 people attended the Pro-life March in Timisoara on March 26, 2011. Political officials were present along with members from all Christian denominations.

Immediately after the March, a press conference was held, where the spiritual leaders again proclaimed their common goals and the decision to remain active, united and in prayer for similar events in the future. In Unirii Square, the participants held a moment of silence for the aborted children in Romania and placed flowers under the monument of the Holy Trinity. A couple of children had white t-shirts with the words “Mommy, Daddy, thank you for my existing.” The most important thing was that all Christian denominations were united, and this was written on a 4-meter-wide banner: “UNITED FOR LIFE AND CHRISTIAN FAMILY.” Teenagers made up about 75 % of all participants and spread their enthusiasm with songs.

The fanfare from one of the churches awakened the city to the joy of life. There were also people who traveled from other cities (Cluj, Bucharest, Dudestii Vechi, Turnu Severin, Teius, and Arad) just for this event, and 29 young people came from Voiteni. 

With God’s help, more citizens in these Romanian cities will awaken to the reality that there is shedding of innocent blood. Once awake, if it is not too late, they may find grace and blessing before God. That is why your prayers and support are needed, so that HLI may continue fulfilling this important mission.

Here you will be able to find more  information about the Chastity Campaign in Timisoara and about the Days for Defending life with the icon of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

PREVIOUS HLI MISSIONS IN ROMANIA

» Mission Report: Romania: October – November 2008

Fr. Bill Bellrose

SEMINARIANS RECEIVE THE GOSPEL OF LIFE

Traveling east through the mountains, we headed to Cluj, where we met with the pro-life director for the area.   We had been told that the seminary there was not receptive to the pro-life message and that it viewed pro-life issues as personal. However, when I spoke with seminarians in Cluj, they seemed open to my message. I had the best reaction from them when I showed them the state of abortion laws around the world.  I started with the African map, and then went to Europe. When they saw the contrast between the mostly pro-life laws in Africa and the mostly pro-death ones in Europe, they really started to pay attention.  One of the questions I ask them during my talk was how many had read Humanae vitae andEvangeliam vitae?  And I found that not one seminarian had read either document.  I challenged them to read the documents so they would at least know what the Church teaches on these issues.  In turn, they asked questions, which were of such a nature that it became clear that the pro-life movement and life issues were indeed very new to them.

I found a similar situation at the seminary in Blaj, where our talk was well attended, and even the rector and a moral theologian joined the seminarians to hear our message.  For all their interest in the message we brought to them, not a single student had read either of the papal encyclicals, and the pro-life issues were equally unfamiliar to them.

However, there was no lack of interest on the part of these future priests. After Mass on the following morning, one of the seminarians related to me over breakfast how he had been considering all that I had talked about the previous night.  He made an analogy between the sex education course in schools and drug dealers, comparing a teacher giving out free pills and condoms to a drug dealer giving out the first few drugs for free and then charging for them after their “clients” are addicted. This was a very relevant analogy, and the young man became very fired up about pro-life issues.  It was good to see.

After breakfast, we met with the Greek Catholic bishop, His Beatitude Major Archbishop Lucian Muresan of the Fagaras and Alba Iulia dioceses. He was very supportive of the pro-life movement, and he thanked us for our work and encouraged us to return.  He said he hopes that we can meet .

SPIRITUAL FOUNDATION

At the end of the week, I went on a pilgrimage with the Gift of Life Association to Maria Radna shrine. We said the outdoor Stations of the Cross for the unborn child. Then, we had Mass in the Shrine, and I preached on the importance of Mary and prayer in the pro-life movement.

I ended my time in Romania that night with meditations during Adoration of the Cross, which I took from Evangelium vitae, paragraphs 50 and 51, and ending with the last lines, “Grant, therefore, that we may listen with open and generous hearts to every word which proceeds from the mouth of God. Thus, we shall learn not only to obey the commandment not to kill human life, but also to revere life, to love it, and to foster it.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: