HHS Mandate Sparks Nationwide Demonstrations

Here’s a post from Tom Ciesielka, one of our own Catholic Bloggers!
President Obama’s HHS Mandate Sparks Nationwide
Pro-Life and Religious Groups To Gather at Federal
Buildings March 23 in Defense of Religious Liberty
Contact: Tom Ciesielka, 312-422-1333, tc@tcpr.net 
Chicago, Illinois—The controversy over President Obama’s HHS
Mandate is now pouring out onto the streets. On March 23, concerned citizens in
over 50 cities—including Washington D.C., New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and
San Francisco—will gather at federal buildings for a rally with the theme,
“Stand Up for Religious Freedom—Stop the HHS Mandate!”
Thousands of Americans of all faiths are expected to
participate in these rallies, organized by Citizens for a Pro-Life Society and
the Pro-Life Action League, to oppose the new mandate from the U.S. Department
of Health and Human Services that requires all employers to provide free
contraceptives, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs through their health
plans. Religious leaders and other public figures will speak out against the
HHS Mandate.
The HHS provided a “religious exemption” so narrow that it
would exclude Catholic hospitals, universities, and charities, forcing these
institutions to act in direct opposition to Catholic teaching through the
health care plans they provide.
“With the HHS Mandate, the Obama administration has presumed
upon itself the authority to decide what counts as a religious institution in
this country,” said Eric Scheidler, executive director of the Pro-Life Action
League. “This is an unprecedented attack on the free exercise of religious
faith protected by the First Amendment.”
“The Obama mandate is a complete affront to religious
liberty,” said Monica Miller, director of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society.
“Persons of faith or no faith at all should be alarmed at Obama riding
rough-shod over the conscience of American citizens. We are calling on all
people of good will to rise up and vigorously oppose this ruling.”
Scheidler and Miller have formed the Stand Up for Religious
Freedom Coalition, comprised of dozens of local and national pro-life and
pro-family organizations, to fight the HHS Mandate through direct action. The
Coalition declares:

We protest the federal government’s definition of what
constitutes a religious institution through the narrowly constructed
“exemption” to the HHS Mandate, a definition which is both false and
beyond the federal government’s authority to make.

We protest the fact that religious institutions, even
after President Obama’s so-called “accommodation,” are being forced to
facilitate contraception, sterilizations, and abortion-inducing drugs
through the health plans they are mandated to provide.

We protest the Mandate forcing all businesses—not just
religious institutions—to provide coverage of contraception,
sterilizations, and abortion-inducing drugs, if even doing so violates
their own moral convictions on these matters.

We protest the HHS Mandate because, in requiring all
health plans to provide free contraception, sterilization, and
abortion-inducing drugs as “preventative care,” it treats pregnancy and
childbirth as a disease.

Coalition members and more information about the Nationwide
Rally for Religious Freedom—including rally sites coast to coast—can be found
at www.StandUpForReligiousFreedom.com
Contact Monica M. Miller: 248-444-9096, mmmillerlife@gmail.com
Contact Eric J. Scheidler: 773-251-8792, eric@prolifeaction.org
About Citizens for a Pro-life Society
Citizens for a Pro-life Society is an activist organization,
founded on Catholic principles of morality and social justice, dedicated to
advocacy of the sanctity of human life, especially protection of the right to
life of unborn children. They organize public demonstrations, educational
programs, literature distribution, and conferences, and offer mothers in crisis
pregnancy material and spiritual aid. For more information, go to www.prolifesociety.com
About the Pro-Life Action League
The Pro-Life Action League was founded by Joe Scheidler in
1980 with the aim of saving babies from abortion through direct action. Not
content to await a political or judicial solution to abortion, the League seeks
to stop the killing of unborn children right now through all available peaceful
means, including public protest, sidewalk counseling, education, youth
outreach, and national leadership.

Fishing for the 12 Apostles

One day while teaching the kids about the 12 Apostles, I decided to come up with a fun and easy way for them to learn the names of the twelve apostles. I know grown adults that stumble with the names of Jesus’ twelve followers. I figured it might help them remember better if they could play a game.
So I came up with the game Fishing for the Apostles.

I figured the fishing game was perfect since some of the apostles were fisherman.

To learn more about the game and for the free printable CLICK HERE



Happy March! Monthly Blog Round Ups are open!

Hi everyone!
Just wanted to announce that the Monthly Round-Up has been opened for the month of March!
Link up your March blog posts in any of the FOUR different categories:  Readings & Reflections, Liturgical Calendar Crafts & Homeschooling, Catechism & Apologetics, Catholic Family Journal.

Grab a button and link to this page to show off our Catholic Bloggers posts!  Let’s see if we can get a record number of links for each category for the month of March!
Check out the Monthly Round-Up Archives for our previous Monthly Round-Ups.
Leave a comment if you have a suggestion for a new category.

Penance Printable Cupcake Toppers or Stickers

I have two kiddos receiving their First Penance and First Communion this year! (Plus one receiving her Confirmation! It’s a busy year!) My 4th and 5th born were blessed to receive First Confesstion this past Saturday! It was a wonderful time! While Joshua (age 9) just went through the ceremony and into the confessional like an old pro, Elizabeth (age 8) needed a lot of sweet talking and hugs to calm her fears, but she came skipping out of the confessional with a grin on her face that just beamed and stretched for one ear to the other!!

So for a special treat I made white cupcakes with white icing to symbolize their clean souls! I added a topper to each cupcake like this:

I just taped a toothpick to the back and stuck one into each cupcake.
Or you could make stickers for those kids who have just made a Reconciliation to wear!!

Stickers for the kids who have received Reconciliation could be nice for any age! Teachers could give them to the kids who choose to go to confession in the time allowed during school! Perhaps his could add a bit of “advertising” to the other kids who choose not to go?!?! 😉

To read more or for the link to the free printable click here

God Bless!

My Lenten Journey for Kids

I posted EGG-straordinary Lenten Rosary Project for your Family – a tutorial for a Lenten activity for families – over at Catholic Sistas. As I was revamping this post from one I did last year, I came across many great additions. While I won’t go into the specifics of the Easter Egg Rosary Project here, I will show you the booklet that evolved from it’s transformation from a post that was original to Designs by Birgit last year. I simply used links to various ideas for coloring pages, Stations of the Cross carousels, and other ideas and created a Lenten Journey Book for Kids.

My links are here: My Lenten Journey for Kids

Celebrating Lent in the Domestic Church

Advent and Christmas have only just come and gone, but believe it or not Lent is only a few days away! I have been in planning mode since just a bit after Christmas, trying to order my home and make lessons to ensure that the season is really lived and savored. While I do have a few new traditions I hope to add to our family this year, (like the Lenten Book Basket and 40 Bags in 40 Days), here is a look at what helped to make the season memorable for our family last year. My hope is that they will bless you and your family as we approach the penitential season and await the resurrection of the Lord!

Already have plans in mind for the Lenten season? Share how you will Keep a Holy Lent with all of us in the comments!

Holly resides in the Deep South where you are sure to find at least one monkey jumping on the bed. You can find her at Three Sided Wheel, Facebook, and Twitter, where she blogs about home education and creating Catholic culture in the heart of her home.

Pro-life Corner: SUNDAY, February 12, 2012

 Priests for Life has been the source of Pro-life materials  for years. They coincide with the Church calendar and ‘contain three elements: a one-paragraph bulletin insert, General Intercessions, and suggestions for drawing pro-life themes out of the Sunday reading for the homily’. I will share all three elements every Sunday in an effort help us all think with a pro-life heart. 

The Priests for Life pro-life materials for Sunday, February, 12, 2012 go to Designs by Birgit

Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

Artisan bread – only 4 ingredients

The Lord’s Prayer, as taught to us by our Savior, seems simplistic on the surface – yet is profound and multi-faceted in its message. One of the petitioning lines of this prayer has always intrigued me: ‘Give us this day, our daily bread’. Although this sentence of supplication speaks to our daily, physical needs, it has a connotation of so much more. 

Read the complete post and the recipe for Artisan Bread by going to Designs by Birgit

Catholic Blog Day

Catholic Blog Day:

February 22 (Ash Wednesday)
will be the first Catholic Blog Day!

All Catholic bloggers are invited to write on a common theme for the day. By speaking with many voices on a common aspect of the faith, we can help evangelize the digital continent and demonstrate the powerful presence of Catholics online.
The theme for February 22 is: penance.  …You can write about prayer, fasting, and almsgiving; a memorable experience in the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation; or how accepting the call to repentance has made a difference in your life.

A running list of Catholic Blog Days posts will be available at Catholic Blog Day
be sure to check it out and submit a link to your Catholic post!

Unschooling and Catholicism – Yes, it's possible! :)

I don’t define myself strictly as an unschooler since we’ve been attempting to use a curriculum lately, but during the earlier days of homeschooling, I didn’t realize that we were actually unschooling in a way. Now, for those of you who may be thinking: “Huh? What in the world is UNSCHOOLING?,” you may find the links on this page useful.
Image source here. (Disclaimer: The blogger whose site I got this from says she’s a “free thinker,” so I don’t know if she believes in God. Just being clear that I’m not “advocating” free thinker-ism [if there’s such a term, LOL]. Of course, God loves ALL people and it’s up to Him to make the final judgment.)
Actually, come to think of it, what we’ve been doing these days could be classified as unschooling too, especially since I still haven’t been able to “land” my dream “job” of becoming a fulltime stay-at-home mom. It’s been a real struggle for me to plan our lessons and implement them, and most days I end up letting the kids play to their hearts’ content, and make up for the seeming “lack of lessons” by reading more books as usual during bedtime. 😉
In this light though, I am really grateful that I’ve stumbled upon the Unschooling Catholics blog and have even joined their yahoogroup. (Though right now, I’m more of a silent member, hehe!)
Homeschooling our children is still one of my top priorities now, and I find it really exciting that God is showing me different ways of how my fellow Catholic moms and our fellow Catholic families make it work. 😉 At least I know that there are lots of options out there for us who feel and believe that we are called to homeschool our kids – thank You, Lord! 😉
So if you’re interested to see how unschooling and Catholicism work out for the family’s best, try going over to the Unschooling Catholics blog! 😉 They have a list of Catholic unschoolers’ blogs on the right sidebar of the blog page, which you may want to explore too. 😉
Here’s to Catholic homeschooling, whatever “form” or “style”! 😉 + AMDG +