Day of Vigil for the Unborn-25th of March 2014

piThe Helpers of God’s Precious Infants is organizing a Day of Vigil for the Unborn on Tuesday, March 25th, 2014 (Feast of the Annunciation). This is an opportunity to perform a work of mercy during Lent. The day of vigil will be very similar to the 40 Days for Life campaign. Vigilers are asked to stand across the street from 65 Bank St. (just in front of the 240 Sparks St. Mall). There will be a few signs available. Sidewalk counsellors will be present for most of the day. Some of the students from St. Paul Students for Life will commit to taking an hour so as soon as we have the timeslot, we will update you and invite you to join with us!

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Icon of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa in defence of life and family

gFrom the 18th-19th of March 2014, the icon of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa, an icon set aside to travel the world in defence of life and the family, will be present in Ottawa. Many activities are being planned during those two days. Of particular interest to our group are the following:

19th of March 2014, Feast of St. Joseph, Patron Saint of Canada,

6:15 am to 7:00 am – Centennial Flame on Parliament Hill.
Conclusion of the annual St. Joseph Novena, which starts March 10th and takes place every morning at 6:15 am.

7:15 am to 8:30 am – Prayer Vigil across the street from Ottawa’s abortion facility at 65 Bank St.
10:00 am to 1:00 pm – Notre Dame Cathedral, 385 Sussex Dr.
12:15 pm – Mass in Honour of St. Joseph.

The complete schedule is available here:

Saint Paul Students for Life hopes to be present for some of these events. More details soon!

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Weekly Rosary for the Protection of Life

rosaryOn Wednesday 12th of March 2014, we will return to the practice of praying the Rosary weekly for the Protection of Life. This will take place at 8.20 a.m in the small chapel which is located as you enter the main chapel, to your rights. For those of you who participated last year, it is not the former Guigues chapel! Why not make this special commitment for Lent and join with us! All are welcome.

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Child euthanasia in Belgium

In response to Belgian lawmakers yesterday passing a law extending euthanasia to children, a petition has been drawn up to persuade King Philippe not to sign the bill into law.  The petition can be found here on the website Citizen Go. Organisers hope to obtain at least 50,000 signatures; by midday Feb. 14 it had already received nearly half that number.

In theory, the King can refuse his signature, but this is very uncommon and could stir up heated debates, says Gudrun Kugler, the petition’s chief organiser. But she argues that this puts King Philippe “in a position to make the strongest possible case for the dignity of every human person.”

“His uncle, King Baudouin, had heroically not consented to a liberalisation of abortion in 1990,” she recalls.

Belgium’s new law allows doctors to kill children “under the age of 18” who are terminally ill and suffer from severe pain without any prospect of relief. The decision to kill a child must be approved by the parents and the physicians in care. It is further necessary that the young patient is aware of the situation and understands what euthanasia means.

Belgian paediatricians said that the law is not medically necessary as “palliative care teams for children are perfectly capable of achieving pain relief, both in hospital and at home”.

Last month, members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe signed a declaration saying that this law “betrays some of the most vulnerable children in Belgium” and “promotes the unacceptable belief that a life can be unworthy of life which challenges the very basis of civilised society”.

(taken from

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Celebrating Saint Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day can be an awkward feastday for many. Single people often feel isolated. People in relationships feel obliged to show their affection for their significant others in a way that may seem totally manufactured. Valentine’s Day is considered one of the most polarizing holidays in the year. You are either a complete believer in what Valentine’s Day has come to mean, a celebration of love, or else you are sick and tired of the marketing frenzy that surrounds the event. However, love makes life beautiful, at any age. Whether it’s for the first time or the 100th, expressing your love is the best way to light up someone’s day, especially when they don’t expect it! And that’s exactly what we did last week on campus at Saint Paul University!

Saint Paul Students for Life group decided to mark Valentine’s Day and celebrate the gift of life and love on campus on Thursday last. Bopping along to classic love songs and handing out delicious home-made cookies, chocolate hearts and themed candy, it was a chance to meet some wonderful people who are students and professors on the university campus and spread the word about our group and its scope. It was also a light hearted way to get across some important messages. A short message welcomed people at our stand: “You are created from, by, for love. God is love!” People also had the opportunity to pick up a precious love letter from God completely composed from Scripture. You can download it it here.

Roses, which were available for a small donation, went down a treat and disappeared very quickly! It was probably strange for some people to see a religious sister and priests, along with the other members of our group, inviting people to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Even stranger that we were handing out stuff for free! I was reminded of Pope Francis’ words on the 2nd of February, day for consecrated life. He said “consecrated persons are signs of God in diverse environments of life, they are leaven for the growth of a more just and fraternal society, prophecy of sharing with the little and the poor. As such understanding and experience, the consecrated life appears to us just as it really is: a gift of God!

So were we just buying into the whole commercialism of Valentine’s Day (Saint Valentine’s Day, to be precise!)? On the 14th, the same Pope Francis met with 20,000 engaged couples in St. Peter’s Square. In his address, he encouraged couples to have the courage to make lasting choices, which can be challenging in today’s ‘through-away culture.’ We wanted to remind people that they are infinitely and unconditionally loved by God, not just on Valentine’s Day but always. It is also an invitation to engage in relationships which are healthy, holy and happy, seen in the optic of God’s divine project for each one of us. Relationships which are wholesome, life-giving and life-receiving. To be leaven in this same ‘through-away culture’ is not easy as we discover. Love is often distorted and manipulative because it is appears to be about one’s self and not the other. Jesus must be at the centre of every relationship, whether you are single, married, priest or a religious. Love must be open to life.

While the days of those little cardboard Disney-princess Valentine’s Day cards may be over for many of us (any one remember Martin’s “I choo-choo-choose you” for Lisa on The Simpsons?), it is no harm to have a little fun to celebrate the event as we continue to promote the work that the Students for Life groups does. The protection of the weak and the vulnerable, those who the world deems ‘unlovable’ is what we stand up for, in the name of love. Love, not hatred, will conquer the battle. Thanks to the students and professors who supported the event, stopped by and chatted, handed out the goodies, prayed for us and continue to fight that life may be respected at all stages.  Photo gallery

(taken from Sr. M. Louise’s blog over at Pilgrims Progress)

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Celebrating Valentine’s Day!

valOn Thursday 13th of February 2014, from 12-2pm, Saint Paul Students for Life will gather to celebrate Valentine’s Day at the atrium on the ground floor of St. Paul’s University. You are welcome to join with us to mark this event and spread the message that God’s love is unconditional for each one of us! Our presence seeks to be a reminder of the gift of life and love on this Valentine’s Day!   We will be handing out chocolates and cookies. Roses will also be available to distribute for a small donation.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

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Date for your diary

ddDate for your diary: Stephanie Gray, pro-life advocate and co-founder of the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform. This event will take place at 7pm on Wednesday, January 8th, and will be held in St. Patrick’s Basilica in downtown Ottawa. The theme of the evening is titled ‘All Are Called’, and will focus on empowering people to seize the everyday opportunities to defend life. Not everyone can become a full time pro-life volunteer, but everyone can gain the knowledge and the tools to defend life courageously in our own lives. Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something, and so we invite you to join us for this unique opportunity to learn from an experienced pro-life advocate.

Hope to see you there.

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Good news from 40 Days for Life

life“Although the campaign has ended … we’re still receiving information from our hard-working local coordinators. Through 40 days of prayer and fasting, we have so far received reports of 476 babies saved from abortion (that we know of)!

Add that to the number of babies who were saved during all previous 40 Days for Life campaigns … and the total is now 8,012 babies whose lives were spared!!! The Lord has truly heard and answered your prayers!

I’m going to take a bit of a break from the email, but I do want to pass along a few more campaign updates … as well as a bonus devotional … as we give thanks to God for another 40 days of miracles! Read more at

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Change of venue

ccJust to note that Cupcakes for Life and the Meet and Greet this coming 13th of November 2013 will now be held in the atrium (not in Urban Café) on the ground floor from 12pm to 2pm. We are looking forward to seeing you there! Please keep this event in your prayers.

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Cupcakes for Life at St. Paul’s


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Assisted suicide in Canada

asPrayers and fasting are needed for Canada and especially Quebec at this time. Yesterday, Quebec’s landmark assisted-suicide bill, the first of its kind in Canada, has passed an early hurdle in the provincial legislature. The bill, which would allow doctors to help end the life of some terminally ill patients, moved to committee for study after a vote of 84-26 yesterday. Earlier this month, the British Columbia Court of Appeal upheld Canada’s ban on assisted suicide. Moments after the split decision was announced, lawyers for several respondents and the B.C. Civil Liberties Association said they would seek to challenge the ruling in the Supreme Court of Canada. We keep praying!

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Dates for your diary

ddNovember 3rd marks the end of the 40 Days for Life in which many of you participated through prayer and fasting. The Closing Rally will take place this Sunday, 3rd of November 2013, at Bank and Sparks Streets at 7:00 pm.  The opening prayer and address will be given by Archbishop Terence Prendergast, Archbishop of Ottawa. Afterwards there will be an update from Doris Gagnon, director of Sidewalk Counselling (under the umbrella of Helpers of God’s Precious Infants).  A young single mother, Amy Beaudoin, will tells us what prompted her to choose life for her baby and the webmaster for Forty Days for Life, John Pacheco will give us an overview as to how the campaign went. There will be hot chocolate and doughnuts afterwards!  It is suggested that those interested can go directly to Bank-Sparks Street. For those at Deschatelets and surrounding areas, it is proposed to meet at 6.30 pm at the front door. Suggestions whether to walk or drive are welcomed!  Feel free to spread the word to your friends, family and colleagues, all are welcome!

November 5th:  An invitation has been extended from the Medical Students for Life from the University of Ottawa:
“Come join us for a talk by Denise Mountenay. She is the founder/president of Canada’s “Silent No More” chapter. It is a non- profit society reaching out to women and men hurt after abortion. She will be sharing her personal experience of pregnancy loss and abortion. Hear why women choose abortion, and how it can affect their lives.
When: November 5th
Where: Roger Guindon Hall (located next to CHEO)
Room 2113 for the 12:30 talk
Room 2149 for the 4:30 talk
Pizza will be provided!

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Spread the word!

buttonsSaint Paul Students for Life are on Facebook so do stop by and say hello! We have just set up our Twitter account and are looking forward to spreading a message of LIFE in Twitterworld so feel free to add us @StPaulSFL.
If you would like to be added to our mailing list so as to receive updates about Pro-life events in Ottawa and Saint Paul University, send us an email at! We look forward to hearing from you!

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Standing for life of the members of the Saint Paul Students for Life, Sr. M. Louise, shares some thoughts about the group’s participation in two recent pro-life events:

Last Sunday, Life Chain was held simultaneously in more than 200 cities across Canada each year. Life Chain involves gathering at public locations for an hour on the first Sunday of October and creating a chain of people who stand and give witness to the dignity of life.
It is a peaceful and prayerful public witness of pro-life individuals standing and praying for our nation and for an end to abortion.  It is a visual statement of solidarity by the Christian community that abortion kills children and that the Church supports the sanctity of human life from the moment of conception until natural death.
It does not involve the use of graphic images but of short phrases like “Abortion Kills Children,” “Adoption – the Loving Option,” “Jesus Forgives & Heals,” “Lord, Forgive Us and Our Nation,” “Abortion Hurts Women, “Life – the first Inalienable Right” and “Pray to End Abortion.” Personally, I was very edified to see so many priests out for this event, as well as our friends from the local Hispanic parish, Sagrada Familia. Also Saint Paul’s University, especially represented by the Canon Law students, was well-represented. The Life Chain took place at other locations in Ottawa too. Over at Maureen’s Thoughts, you can check out her video of the event.

The following day, our Students for Life group gathered at 65 Bank Street, that is, at the local abortion clinic. 25th of September marked the beginning of the daily vigil of prayer, fasting and outreach for the 40 Days for Life. On both occasions on Sunday and Monday, the weather was far from pleasant. However the heavy rain and cold did not dampen the spirits of those who turned out.
So in September, 40 Days for Life vigils began in 306 cities from coast to coast in North America — and in eight other countries around the world.  It is a focused pro-life effort that consists of:
-40 days of prayer and fasting for an end of abortion
-40 days of peaceful vigil
-40 days of community outreach

Monday the 7th of October, feast of the Most Holy Rosary , was the day taken by Saint Paul Students for Life. Students as well as their friends, covered the hours from 7am to 7pm, praying, interceding and reading Scripture across from the clinic. For legal reasons, we are not allowed to pray outside the clinic. As always, the response from the general public can be mixed. It was the opportunity to talk to people and draw their attention to the fact that the clinic actually existed in a very elite and busy part of the city, it is quite inconspicuous, after all. One of our students was approached by a group of young women who asked if they could stay and pray with him and give witness. What a blessing! Others were heckled by women who shouted ‘my body-my choice’ slogans or showed their disdain through middle-finger gestures or a choice of  swear words. Many others received ‘thumbs-up’ from passing drivers or pedestrians as well as many ‘God bless you’s or ‘thank you’s’! On the previous day, some of the kids who were with their parents also did receive some ‘middle-finger’ salutes as did others who were very deliberately splashed by drivers swerving into the puddles! For some students it was the first time to be involved in public witness for life and also the first time to pray in public. I remembered my first experience this time last year and how initially I felt very awkward and even a little scared as to the potential risks from people who did not agree or would challenge us. But as I prayed, I felt deep peace in knowing that life is precious and has to be defended. I also had a sense of evil and even nausea as I looked at this building which housed so many secrets, emotions and broken dreams for many men and women. Along with that sense of evil was a sense of sadness and a deep rooted plea for mercy and kindness for those who chose not to give their babies the gift of life.

Praying the Rosary is always part of the prayer outside the Clinic so it was beautiful to be able to do this on the feast of the Rosary. In this way, we honour Mary as Mother, and we call the ‘fruit of her  womb’, ‘blessed’. This counteracts the abortion mentality, which sees motherhood as more of a burden than a blessing and sees the fruit of the womb as disposable. In the Rosary, we remember that we are sinners. “Pray for us sinners.” “Forgive us our trespasses.” It proves false the accusation of pro-aborts who tell us we are “self-righteous.” Rather, we are the ones who need to repent of our negligence and inactivity regarding abortion when we can speak up and haven’t done so.

Priests for Life, a very active pro-life group reminds us of the value of street ministry. Being on Bank Street enables us to “take our message directly to the public, bypassing the government, the media, educational facilities, and all those in the institutions who seek to silence the pro-life message. People driving or walking are not there because they want to hear us, but because they are going about their daily duties. Abortion becomes part of the landscape; it recedes into the scenery and is considered a normal part of the orderly functioning of society. Things are at peace, the streets are quiet, and from the looks of things, “Everything’s OK.”

But is everything OK? Well, last week, we made our small contribution to saying that things are not okay but also to saying that with God and through prayer and good-willed and committed people, all things are possible.

Taken from the blog Pilgrims Progress. You may also be interested in another blog post, ‘Sister, are you pro-life?’

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Link up for life!

lcThe Life Chain is held simultaneously in more than 200 cities across Canada each year. It is usually held on the first Sunday in October, and for most locations, it runs from 2 pm – 3 pm. Life Chain is a good way to get involved in pro-life. Just find out where your local Life Chain will be held here and who is organizing it. Then show up for one hour, stand on the side walk with others who are not ashamed to be a public witness, and pray for an end to the practice of abortion.

Next Sunday, 6th of October 2013, the locations for Ottawa are:

Bank St. at Nepean St 2-3 pm

Carling Ave at Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus 2-3 pm

Main St at Hazel St 2:00-3:00

Vanier Parkway at Montreal Rd 2-3 pm

St. Laurent Boulevard at Montreal Rd 2-3 pm

South Bank St at Hunt Club Rd 2-3 pm.

We hope to see you there.

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St. Paul’s Students for Life group needs your help!


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40 Days for Life

40daysTomorrow, 25th of September marks the beginning of the daily vigil of prayer, fasting and outreach for the 40 Days for Life. 40 Days for Life vigils will begin in 306 cities from coast to coast in North America — and in eight other countries around the world.40 Days for Life is a focused pro-life effort that consists of:

-40 days of prayer and fasting for an end of abortion

-40 days of peaceful vigil

-40 days of community outreach

The latest closure of the abortion clinic in Midlands, Texas, USA, brings the number of closed abortion facilities — where 40 Days for Life prayer vigils have been held to 40!

For the next forty days, individuals and community outreach groups will gather near the abortion mill here on Bank Street, Ottawa to pray and give peaceful witness to the dignity of life. St. Paul’s Students for Life will also join in this event.

The Scripture passage that sums up the spirit of 40 Days for Life is 2 Chronicles 7:14 — “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

For more about 40 Days for Life, check out their website here.

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Three Talks on Relationships by Fr. Thomas Loya


Fr. Thomas Loya is a renowned speaker on the theology of the body. This event will take place at Sacré Coeur Church at Laurier and Cumberland (near King Edward) on the University of Ottawa campus.

Intimacy is the deepest desire of the human heart. Understanding the “why” behind this desire and exploring the most honest way to pursue that desire is what brings about true compassion, sensitivity, love and fulfillment.

Friday evening, March 1                               

6:00 pm – Lenten Communion Service

7:30 pm – First Talk: “Who is Man for Woman and Who is Woman for Man

Saturday evening, March 2,    

6:00 pm – Evening Prayer (Vespers)

7:30 pm – Second Talk: “Entering the ‘H-Zone’ – The Hot-Button Issues of Sexuality”

Sunday evening, March 3,   

6:00 pm Sunday Eucharist

7:30 pm Third Talk: “Bedroom-Eucharist-Cross-Heaven: Liturgy as the Context for Sexuality”


Sponsored by the Eastern Catholic Chaplaincy of Ottawa

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Upcoming Events of Interest

Tuesdays 8:30AM, Prayer for Life in St. Eugene Mazenod Oratory

February 6th, 3:00PM, Regular meeting with all members. Location TBA.

February 14th, 12:00-1:30PM, Valentines event, Flowers and Chocolate

March 1-3 Retreat Event at Sacré-Coeur Parish with Fr. Thomas Loya.  Details coming soon.

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Upcoming Local Event


Date:    January 24, 2013

Stephanie Gray
Abortion: The Great Debate
Dominican University College, St. Albert the Great Room, 96 Empress Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada map
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Cupcakes for Life!

This year we will have our annual Cupcakes for Life activity on Wednesday, November 14th  from 11:00AM – 2:00PM on the bottom floor at St. Paul’s.  Students will simply be offering free cupcakes in remembrance of those who never got to celebrate a birthday.  Come and enjoy a cupcake and remember with us the value of human life!

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Healing Process Model

Kathleen Gray, Centre for Reproductive Loss(, will be atSaint Paul University on Saturday, November 3rd in Room 102 (through the main doors, up the stairs, and straight down the hall to your left) for a trainging session from 9:30-10:30am and Q&A from 10:30-11:30am, regarding the Healing Process Model © for use by counselors, clergy, etc. in acknowledging and compassionately addressing the emotional, spiritual, and psychological distress of individuals and families affected by such loss as miscarriage, stillbirth, abortion, adoption, SIDS, infertillity, and sterility.

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Meet and Greet


St. Paul Students for Life will have a “Meet and Greet” opportunity in the Atrium at St. Paul’s on Wednesday afternoon, the 17th of October from 1:00PM until 2:00PM.  All St. Paul students are invited to come and meet the members and see what we are about!

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Public Prayer for Life

In Ireland, this Sunday, we celebrate the ‘Day for Life’. The bishops made their appeal in a special pastoral message which will be read and distributed in all Catholic parishes on the island this weekend and which also marks the start of a month of prayer around the theme “Choose Life!”, announced last month. Ireland’s Catholic bishops have called on “all who believe in the equal dignity and beauty of every human life” to “join us in calling on our public representatives to respect the humanity and life of children in the womb and to reject abortion.”
Throughout Canada and the US, something similar called the 40 Days for Life is currently in course. It began on the 26th of September and runs until the 4th of November. There have now been ten coordinated 40 Days for Life campaigns since 2007, mobilizing people of faith and conscience in 440 cities across the United States and Canada, plus cities in Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Belize, Denmark, England, Georgia, Germany, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Poland, Puerto Rico and Spain.
On Friday, 5th of October, a small group of students from St. Paul’s University and some others gathered to pray the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet outside the abortion clinic in Bank Street here in Ottawa. To be honest, I was slightly nervous as this was my first time to participate in any kind of public display of Pro-Life prayer. Thankfully in Ireland, abortion is still illegal and we don’t have abortion clinics or abortion mills. Before we went to Bank Street, we went to St. Patrick’s Basilicaand prayed before the Blessed Sacrament. From there onwards I was at peace. I asked the Lord to give me strength to be his instrument, silent and convinced of the precious gift of life.

We made our way down to the venue where a small group of people had already gathered to support the 40 Days for Life.One of the priests pointed out the location of the clinic as we were standing on the opposite side of the busy street. In my head I guessed that it would be a backstreet dingy and dark building but this was a shiny main street building, flanked by McDonalds and Curves. The irony is that Curves, an international chain of women’s gyms, often direct their advertisements towards women who want to get back their figure after giving birth! A glitzy Rolex jeweller shop front was the main attraction of the whole building. No-one would know that on the third floor of this same building, abortions were taking place. There was something very eerie about the normality of life around this centre of death. I wondered to myself, how many people know what goes on in there? Or if the people in the Rolex jewellers are aware of what is going on over their heads as they spend hundreds of dollars on jewellery. Again, ironically, one of the priests pointed out to me that the trees on the street are all protected by netting so they don’t get damaged. Somewhere along the way our priorities have seriously gone out of synch!
We prayed the Rosary, taking a decade each. Some people stopped and stared. Others awkwardly moved along quickly or ignored us pretending not to see us. Children waved and smiled. Life went on around us. People ate their lunch on the street benches beside us as teenagers giggled and laughed, texted and called friends. As we prayed, I offered each Hail Mary for those mothers, prayed that Mary, our Mother, would touch their hearts so as to welcome the life that God had allowed them to conceive. She knew too well what it was like to experience a pregnancy that was not expected, not planned, yet it was God’s will that she bring forth a child.
It was very fitting that we also prayed the Chaplet of Divine Mercy on the feast day of St. Faustina. Each invocation ‘for the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world’, reminded me also of Jesus’ words: “forgive them Father for they do not know what they are doing”. Deep down, I believe that these mothers and fathers do not know the full extent of the harm which they are doing to themselves, not to mention, their unborn baby.

This little but powerful group of prayer meets every Friday to pray whether it be sun, rain or snow. Next Friday, 12th of October, 2nd day of the Year of Faith, the students from St. Paul’s will pray at the site for the whole day from 7am to 7pm to continue the prayer for the 40 Days for Life. The Word of God will be proclaimed throughout that time too. On this day, our priests will offer Mass for this intention. Many others who cannot make it to pray on site will pray from their homes, their communities or wherever they may be. Please join with us wherever you are and pray that hope will shine through for those who see abortion as the only way out. If we create a culture where life is valued, we really will live the fullness of life which Jesus promises us (Jn 10, 10).

Sr. Mary-Louise PDDM

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Recent Homily

Homily for Mass – Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica, Ottawa

Sunday, 7 October 2012 – 7.30pm

(Readings: Gen 2:7, 15, 18-24;  Ps 128;  Heb 2:9-11;  Mk 10:2-16]

As we hear in the Book of Genesis, God did not create us to be alone, or to live in isolation.  The Lord says, “It is not good for the man to be alone.”  Rather, God created us to be in relationship with others.  Our lives are a complex web of relationships of all different types.  We can think of the relationship between parents and their children, between our brothers and sisters in our families, and all the other relationships in our families.  We have friends, acquaintances, work colleagues;  people we live in the same house with;  we have the relationship of fellow believers, people we know in the Church.

But, amongst all the relationships of life, the union of a man and a woman in marriage, as a partnership for the whole of life, has been held up, from time immemorial, as a pivotal relationship amongst all the others.  Scripture tells us that it was this way “in the beginning.”  This is the way God created it.  The creation of the partnership of man and woman is part of the final act of God’s creation.

As the scriptural account goes, we know that the original sin disturbed what God created to be.  Once man did what God ordered not to be done, a rupture came into the original beauty of creation.  One of the first things disturbed by the original sin is that the original harmony of the relationship between man and woman is disrupted.  Adam blames his wife for his wrongdoing.  Competition creeps in.  The husband will “lord it over” his wife.  The disruption of the original harmony is such that Moses gives a law that allows divorce.  Moses can’t heal the disruption, and so he does the only thing he can do, he makes a provision to deal with the disruption to married life.

In the first half of today’s gospel Jesus speaks of divorce and adultery in such a way as to reinforce that the original plan – the original beauty – of the one-flesh union of man and woman – was that it was something that was permanent, exclusive, and something that should not be put asunder.  Further, sexual relations with anyone other than one’s wife or husband were not part of the original beauty and order of creation.

In the second half of today’s Gospel we hear about the disciples stopping the children coming to Jesus.  At first glance it can seem that the two parts of the Gospel are not really related.  However, in Jesus’ admonition to the disciples to let the children come to him, and his further statement that his followers need to welcome the kingdom of God in the manner of a little child, Jesus indicates that his disciples need a conversion.  We could therefore say that in order to accept Jesus’ teaching on marriage and divorce we too need a conversion of heart (Terrence Prendergast, Living God’s Word: Reflections on the Sunday Readings for Year B, Toronto, Novalis, p. 144).  His teaching is not easy to live, and for many people, not easy even to accept.  It requires grace.

On another level again, the second half of the Gospel is very closely tied with the first part.  The acceptance of children within marriage is a very real issue, because it would seem that part of the disruption of God’s creation as it concerns marriage is the non-acceptance of children.  This is evidenced through contraception and abortion.  Neither of these reflects the beauty and order of how God created things to be.

We could obviously speak at length about all of those things: marriage, divorce, adultery, contraception and abortion.  But for the purposes of this homily, the thought I want to leave you with is this:  that “from the beginning of creation” God created a beautiful order to human relationships.  And of all those relationships, the one-flesh union of a man and woman – what we call marriage – was part of God’s plan.  Marriage was for the fulfillment of humankind, coming out of God’s concern that it was “not good that the man should be alone.”

Human sin, though, has disrupted the relationships that God intended.   Sin has spoilt the beauty of the order that originally marked God’s creation.  Certain things have come about because of the disruption – and have come to be tolerated, just as Moses was forced to tolerate divorce – but these things are not what God intended, and they are not paths to life.

Jesus Christ came to bring about a new creation.  He came to restore what God intended – to bring people back to the path that God wants us to walk.  Jesus’ work continues in and through the Church: and this is why the Church upholds the dignity of marriage.  This is why the Church teaches that contraception is against God’s plan, and that abortion is wrong.

Jesus is still working to bring about the new creation, to help people embrace the divine plan: which includes the divine vision for marriage and human sexuality.

We know, too, that Jesus is our healer and our reconciler.  We all fall short of the divine plan in our own ways.  To say that the divine order has been disrupted, and that its beauty has been spoilt, these are not just abstract terms.  We bear those wounds in ourselves, in our very bodies.  We are wounded by divorce, by adultery, by contraception and by abortion.  To the extent that that is true, Jesus wants to heal us.  He wants to bring about our conversion so that we can come more and more closer to living the divine plan.  This is not simple.  But Jesus wants to forgive and heal us for when we have failed;  and in the faltering steps we take to live God’s will, Jesus gives us strength and grace and continually wills to lift us when we fall.  This he does most especially through the Sacrament of Penance.  But also – continually – through the Eucharist.

May the Lord open our minds and hearts to be able to see the beauty of his divine plan for human life.  And may we, through our worship tonight, reach out for the Lord as he reaches out to us, to bring us into his kingdom.

Fr. Adrian Sharp

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Upcoming Healing Retreat

Project Rachel

Next retreat date: October 26-28, 2012

Private and Confidential

Take the first step – call us: (416) 629-8264

Or email:

Project Rachel:

  • Is a sensitive, private and confidential experience
  • Lets you speak with someone who understands and cares
  • Is for women or men who have been hurt by an abortion
  • Post-abortion healing and reconciliation
  • A journey of renewed hope and inner peace


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Upcoming event in Ottawa

Birthright of Ottawa volunteers are putting “fun” into fundraising to support their work with mothers and babies. A Karaoke will be held Saturday, September 22nd from 8pm to midnight at St Basil’s church hall, 940 Rex Avenue, near Maitland at the Queensway. Exciting prizes, cash bar, light refreshments. Persons under 19 must be accompanied by
an adult.
For information and advance tickets please call Birthright
613-231-5683 or Elaine 613-864-6778. Price per ticket $12, children tickets are $8 and under 10’s are free.

For more information, see:


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I am a human being

Campaign Life Coalition has launched a new website project:

The CLC newsletter explains that:

This important educational tool has been created to support Stephen Woodworth’s private member’s motion (M-312), which seeks to establish a special committee to re-examine Section 223 of Canada’s Criminal Code which states that a child only becomes a human being once he or she has fully proceeded from the womb. Woodworth has called for a full  examination of medical and scientific facts by a committee of parliamentarians and a discussion about how these facts impact our modern understanding of human rights.

Check out the site here:

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Prayers at the Bank Street Abortion Mill

Friday 30 March 2012 was our final visit to pray at the abortion mill for this academic semester.

We will resume our prayers at Bank Street on Fridays in September 2012.

Watch this space!

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Parenthood and Eduction

Over at uOttawa Students for Life there is a post titled:

Parenthood and Education: Must we choose between the two?

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Wear black on Fridays to end abortion

See the video:

Sign the pledge here:

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Friday 30 March 2012: Final visit to Bank Street abortuary until September

This coming Friday (30 March 2012) will be the final day for this semester (and until September) that we go to pray at the abortion mill on Bank Street.

Please join us this Friday: we meet at 1pm outside the main entrance of the Deschatelets Residence, beside Saint Paul University, to carpool.  We return at approx. 2.30pm.  All are welcome.

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Abortion – have we gone too far?









h/t: uOttawa Students for Life

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Pope Benedict XVI addresses the Pontifical Academy for Life on infertility

The Church pays great attention to the distress of infertile couples, she cares for them and for this very reason encourages medical research. Science, however, is not always able to respond positively to the desires of numerous couples. I would therefore like to remind spouses in a condition of infertility, that this does not thwart their matrimonial vocation. Spouses are always called by their baptismal and matrimonial vocation itself to cooperate with God in the creation of a new human life. The vocation to love is in fact a vocation to the gift of self, and this is a possibility that no physical condition can prevent. Therefore, whenever science finds no answer, the answer that gives light comes from Christ.  — Benedict XVI, 25 February 2012.


News report with video on this here:

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True, natural, God-given femininity

[The following is a reflection from Saint Paul Students for Life President, Annette Wellman]

I can’t claim to be a good writer, but I can offer you a brief reflection on the awe-inspiring event we had earlier this week.

We spent a good deal of time organizing the event, and hoped for even just ten people to show up. We considered ourselves truly blessed when forty people participated in our Natural Women’s Health and Fertility event. Thanks to the Mother of God for her intercession.

The evening began with an outstanding presentation on the Theology of the Body that led directly into Dr. René Leiva’s discussion on the dangers of the oral contraception and Linda Smith’s teaching of the Creighton Model view of the female body. The Theology of the Body, a teaching of Blessed John Paul II, has spoken to my heart and been transforming for me personally since I first heard it in July of 2007 at a young adult event in my hometown. Fr. Terry Donahue, a priest of the Companions of the Cross and a Saint Paul University alum, shared with us how our human bodies, created male and female, reveal the call to communion, the call to love in the image of the Trinity and as an icon of the love between Jesus Christ and His Bride, the Church (see Eph 5:31-32). Our bodies reveal that we are made for love, for self-donation; we are meant to give our lives through love to others as Christ did on the cross.

“Man cannot live without love. He remains a being that is incomprehensible for himself, his life is senseless, if love is not revealed to him, if he does not encounter love, if he does not experience it and make it his own, if he does not participate intimately in it” (Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Hominis – The Redeemer of Man, 10). God designed us to love and be loved just as He Himself loves, is loved, and is love itself.

All human love is called to image God’s love. God’s love is free, total, faithful, and fruitful (Pope Paul VI, Humanae Vitae 9). When we realize that our bodies show that we are called to communion (for the male and female bodies do not make sense alone, only in conjunction with one another), and we recall that we are made in God’s image and likeness (also, we speak of the Trinity as a communion of persons), the next logical point is that our love should image God’s love. Our love must be free, total, faithful, and fruitful. If any of these are left out, we fall short of being an image of the love of God here on earth.

It is in this context of Catholic Church teaching that Dr. René Leiva’s discussion on the dangers of the oral contraception began. He explained how the pill is too often prescribed to get rid of symptoms without actually addressing underlying causes. He spoke of many dangers of the pill, among them an increased risk of breast and cervical cancer, the top two cancers in the world.

Linda Smith, a Creighton model practitioner, explained that the pill treats fertility as a disease. One goes to the doctor for healing, not when your body is working as it ought. This is the first problem with contraception. The second problem (and she spoke of others) is that it masks all underlying problems. There are countless medical problems that cause unstable cycles for women, but the pill skips over underlying problems in order to unnaturally create a 28 day cycle. In contrast, the Creighton model tracks a woman’s cycle through the examination of mucus, bleeding, and other natural biomarkers and through these, finds the root of any problems that a woman may be experiencing.

The summer I graduated from high school, I went to my doctor to figure out why I was having strange cycles. I was having many strange symptoms of which Linda Smith mentioned. My doctor, unfortunately, didn’t care much about what my symptoms were and didn’t try to figure out the cause of my irregular cycles. I was prescribed an oral contraceptive, which I took for three months. He said I could renew it after three months if I wanted, but with the weight gain I experienced from being on the pill, I had no desire to continue taking it.

I was thrilled, as a woman, to see that there is an alternative to just being put on a pill. It was amazing to learn about the different cycles our bodies go through and how beautifully God designed us. We can be aware of this, learn about how the female body naturally works and use that to maintain our own health, to know the cycles of our fertility for when we are unable to get pregnant or when we need to avoid pregnancy if we have discerned so with our husbands for a serious and just cause.

I am not currently married, but within marriage, even if I weren’t Catholic and already believe what the Church teaches, I’d definitely want to use the Creighton Model or another natural way of regulating births. Our presenters pointed out that this gets the husband involved in the decision making, responsibility, and the charting. Throughout my life, I’ve seen guys who find out about the beauty of how the women’s body works, and I’ve seen such reverence in the way they treat their wife or girlfriend. It’s absolutely beautiful. What girl wouldn’t want a boyfriend and husband who treats you like your body has miracles working inside of it (definitely at least at conception!) instead of keeping you around for his own pleasure?

A friend of mine pointed out the vulnerability that this requires on the part of the woman. She has to share everything with her husband if she is going to get him involved in this process. He thought this was a beautiful thing, something that would really bring a husband and wife closer together, helping them to model that free, total, faithful, and fruitful love found in God. That would truly help you to be seen completely by your beloved, as St. Augustine says, “The deepest desire of the human heart is to see another and be seen by that other.”

I’ve kissed boys. A girl can tell the difference between a kiss that is for the boy’s pleasure and a kiss that is actually speaking, “I love all that you are.” Girls, don’t settle for less than this. You deserve to be treated by your doctor for the underlying causes of the symptoms that you are having. You deserve a boy who will treat your body with reverence. You deserve to be kissed not for another’s use, but out of pure love for you. You deserve to be treated like your female body is a treasure. Demand it. That is true, natural, God-given femininity.

— Annette Wellman

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A story about our recent event

Deborah Gyapong has written a story about the recent event hosted by Saint Paul Students for Life.

Click on the image to the right to go to the article.

Some photos from the event, taken by Fr Adrian Sharp, can be seen at:

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Special prayers for life this Friday, 23 March 2012

This coming Friday, 23 March 2012, our usual schedule for the visit for prayers at the abortion mill will be altered slightly.

Following the regular 12.05pm Mass in the De Mazenod Chapel at Saint Paul University, there will be a special Moleben for the sanctity of life, a prayer of supplication for the end to abortion.  Moleben is a special Ukrainian prayer service.  This will take place at 1pm in the Saints Joachim and Anna Oratory at Saint Paul University, which is not far from, and on the same floor as, the De Mazenod Chapel.

Then, immediately afterwards we will be heading downtown to pray for an end to abortion outside the abortion mill on Bank Street.  Please consider joining us for these very important events as we work toward a culture of life.  All are welcome.

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What is the Church’s problem with contraception?

Many people, I’m sure, probably ask themselves, “Why can’t the Church just get with the times?”  This question might be posed in relation to a number of issues.

The Catholic Church does indeed present a vision of human sexuality.  It is a vision that is challenging, to be sure, the fulfilment of which in a person’s life is a lifetime’s work.  But it is a vision that is essentially positive and life-affirming.  It is also a vision that is internally coherent.

An article written by a Dominican priest, Father James Dominic Brent, is an excellent exposition of the Catholic view of human sexuality.  He specifically shows why contraception does not fit in the Catholic vision.

Read the article here: To Be Someone Radiant.

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International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

The following information is about an upcoming event hosted by Carleton Lifeline at Carleton University (Ottawa):

March 21 is the United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. To commemorate this occasion, Carleton Lifeline will be screening the acclaimed documentary Maafa21: Black Genocide in 21st Century America free of charge at Carleton University. The event will be held from 7:00 to 9:30 p.m. in Tory Building room 447.

“Maafa” is a Swahili word that means “a terrible tragedy.” It is used to refer to centuries of murder, enslavement, and misery inflicted on Africans and African diaspora throughout the world. Maafa21 shows that this horror did not end with the abolition of slavery in Europe and North America, but continued under the auspices of the international eugenics movement. Drawing on a broad range of historical sources, this film reveals how the once hidden and frequently forgotten drive for racial purity in the United States and elsewhere changed the course of modern history and shaped the issues and institutions we still wrestle with today. Is the Maafa over? Watch this film and then decide!

“We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.” – Margaret Sanger, eugenicist and founder of the American Birth Control League

View the trailer and learn more about Maafa21 here:

There is a Facebook event you can use to invite your friends here:
All are welcome.


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Is it a good thing to pray outside abortion mills?

There is a great reflection over at Bridges and Tangents by Fr Stephen Wang: 40 Days for Life London: Is it a good thing to pray outside an abortion clinic?

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Upcoming event hosted by Saint Paul Students for Life

Women: Be informed and empowered by learning about women’s fertility and healthy living.

Men: Wish you could understand women?
Find answers by learning about the relationship between natural female health and fertility.

Tuesday 13 March 2012, 7 – 9 PM

Saint Paul University, 223 Main Street, Ottawa

Ampitheatre, Guigues Hall, Room 1124

Don’t miss this expert panel, featuring: Fr Terry Donahue (Companions of the Cross), Dr Rene Leiva (MD CM CCFP) and Linda Smith (Creighton Practitioner).

All are welcome to attend this event, brought to you by Saint Paul Students for Life.

Poster one: Natural Fertility Event poster 1

Poster two: Natural Fertility Event poster 2

Facebook event page:

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SPSFL news

* Following the excellent suggestion from a colleague, a links page has been added to our site.  See the “Links” link above, and there is also a blogroll on the sidebar to the right.  If you have a link that you think is worth including, please leave a comment below.

* Are you a Networked Blogs user?  Click on the link in the sidebar and add Saint Paul Students for Life to your blog list, or go to and follow us.

* Are you on Facebook?  Like the Saint Paul Students for Life page here:

* We have a special event coming up on Tuesday 13 March 2012, 7pm, at Saint Paul University.  Stay tuned for more details!

— Fr Adrian Sharp


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Upcoming event at uOttawa

The uOttawa Medical Students for Life have an upcoming event.  Next week they will welcome Denise Mountenay, Founder and President of Canada Silent No More, a registered non-profit society offering hope and healing to people affected by abortion and preganancy loss. She is a national best selling author, and an international speaker, having given presentations around the world including at the UN.   Some details:

Abortion: Two Patients-One Wounded, One Killed

Presenter: Denise Mountenay, Founder and President of “Canada Silent No More”, best-selling author and international speaker.

Where: University of Ottawa (Health Science Campus), Roger Guindan Hall (RGN), 451 Smyth Road

2 DAYS only:

Monday February 27th @ 7 p.m. in Room 2029
Tuesday February 28th @ 1 p.m. in Room 2023 (Amphitheatre B)
(Lunch will be provided)

Journey with Denise Mountenay as she shares her experience of pregnancy loss and abortion. Hear why women chose abortion, and how it can affect them for Life. Denise Mountenay has been sharing her experience of teen pregnancy, legal abortion and the aftermath in schools, conferences, prisons radio, Television and internationally. The CBC- The National aired a documentary on her work and mission.

She also attends meetings at the United Nations in New York and Geneva and has a powerful testimony.  She wants people to know the whole truth about abortion and how it is damaging women physically and psychologically.

Please note that, in order to accomodate numbers, Denise will give the same presentation on both days, so you have two opportunities to hear her message.

Click on the event flyer over to the right. (Noting that there is the additional time as listed above which isn’t contained on the flyer).

Spread the word!  All welcome.

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Events this week

On Friday join us for the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet outside the abortion mill on Bank Street.  We leave from the front of the Deschatelets Residence (beside St Paul University) at 1pm.

On Saturday (25 February) is the monthly Pro-life Mass at 10.00am.  The venue this month is St. Elizabeth Church, 1303 Leaside Avenue.  Mass is followed by a reception hosted by the Queenship of Mary Sisters.

Please join us!

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Post-abortion healing

PROJECT RACHEL: Post-abortion healing and reconciliation.

Hurting as a result of an abortion? Healing is possible. Project Rachel is a sensitive, private and confidential experience; lets you speak with someone who understands and cares; invites all whose lives have been affected by abortion to a journey of healing and reconciliation with God, their church community and themselves; is for women or men who have been hurt by an abortion. Info: (416-629-8264); ( All calls/emails are private and confidential. Next retreat date: May 4-6, 2012.

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Valentine’s Day

Roses, homemade treats and music…  Life is good, and it is God’s love that makes it so.  Yesterday, the St. Paul Students for Life group offered to people on campus homemade treats, roses (for a small donation) in a cheerful environment with cheezy love songs played in the background.  Our message was a simple one: “God’s love is free, total, faithful and fruitful… May yours be too!”  As the world’s attention was turned toward interpersonal love on Valentine’s Day, we offered the simple message that life is a fruit of that love and a gift from God.  It was nice to see so many roses taken to be given to loved ones – five dozen!  Each one hopefully expressed to the recipient one’s unconditional free gift of self rather than a desire to use the other in some way.   God’s love has that free and unconditional quality about it and human love is meant to reflect that kind of love, especially between spouses.

— Fr. Ken Mikulcik

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Our logo

Saint Paul Students for Life Logo

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“Remembrance Day”

As it turned out, while a good portion of the city in one form or another was participating in  “Remembrance Day” with poppy flowers and activities we found ourselves as usual praying across from the place of abortions.  The streets were a little more empty than usual but there are always some people walking around.  Having walked from the Church a number of blocks away we stood across the street facing the place of abortions.  Not far from there are government buildings where legislation is hammered out, the common good is sought, and judgments are passed.  Businesses and shops surround us there, as the place looks like any other.  People walk by here and there without any visible reference to that which goes on there.

There is a kind of spiritual struggle that takes place there as we pray.  Desiring the conversion of everyone, beginning with ourselves, we pray.  With what are we contending?  Certainly, we do not look at any human being present as an enemy.  But there is a struggle for life there against what the New Testament calls the spirit of the world.  A claim is being asserted in the prayer: “Life belongs to God.”  The prayer there is an assertion of God’s sovereignty.  It is much like the March for Life in Washington D.C.  No authority on earth can set itself over the right to life, life that is of God.  So the prayer carries with it the claim that “God belongs here” and that “the kingdom of God is at hand.”  No place on earth is exempt from that claim.

So for this reason we go.  Much more than the implicit claims of the U.S. flag on the moon or the Russian marker at the North Pole under the ice, we stake a claim that God is the Lord of life, and that Jesus’ offering of himself on the cross is greater than the greatest sin.  His Blood shed for us accomplishes a peace that the world cannot give.  This is what our prayerful presence claims.

— Fr Ken Mikulcik

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Check out Personhood: Why All Human Beings Qualify over at uOttawa Students for Life.


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Monthly pro-life Mass in Ottawa

Each month, a pro-life Mass is held in a parish in Ottawa.  This pilgrimage of Masses has the intention of praying for an end to abortion, and for the establishment of a pro-life medical centre in Ottawa.

The next Mass is February 25, 2012: St. Elizabeth Parish, 1303 Leaside Avenue at 10:00 am.

All are invited after Mass for refreshments provided by the Sisters of The Queenship of Mary.


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Friday prayers at the abortion mill

Join us tomorrow (Friday) as we pray the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet at the abortion mill on Bank Street.

We leave from the front of the Deschatelets Residence, beside SPU, at 1pm.

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