The Father’s Will

Have you opened your heart to the Father’s holy will for your life?  When you do, you will be set free as He doesn’t hold us captive and His perfect plan for you is LOVE.  Take this chance and go to confession so that your heart and soul will be free in Christ Jesus.  His plan is perfect our plans have flaws.

The Fifth Station of the Cross: Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus Carry His Cross

Image courtesy of St Raphael Parish, Surrey. http://www.straphael.org.uk

When God lays a cross upon us, some misfortune, some unexpected burden, instead of thanking Him for this precious gift, too often we rebel against His will. We forget that our Savior never sends a cross alone, but ever sweetens its bitterness, lightens its weight by His all-powerful grace. With reluctance, with unwillingness, Simon bears the cross of His Master. At first his spirit revolted against this injustice, his pride rebelled against this ignominy. But once he accepted with resignation, his soul was filled with heavenly sweetness, he felt not the weight of the heavy beams, he heeded not the jibes of the multitude but pressed on after His Master, proud to be His follower.

 

The Fifth Station of the Cross by Fr Willie Doyle, the original post can be found:  http://fatherdoyle.com/2011/04/04/the-fifth-station-of-the-cross-by-fr-willie-doyle/

 

 

A Special Mother is Born Celebrates its First Birthday

CCC 166  Faith is a personal act — the free response of the human person to the initiative of God who reveals himself. But faith is not an isolated act. No one can believe alone, just as no one can live alone. You have not given yourself faith as you have not given yourself life. The believer has received faith from others and should hand it on to others. Our love for Jesus and for our neighbor impels us to speak to others about our faith. Each believer is thus a link in the great chain of believers.  I cannot believe without being carried by the faith of others, and by my faith I help support others in the faith.                                                                                                                                                                             
In 2002, I , the mother of two girls, became the mother of a baby girl with Down syndrome. It was something I never imagined I could handle, I rationalized that I didn’t have enough patience, that my marriage could not withstand the stress, nevertheless, one Sunday morning, while attending Mass halfway through my pregnancy, I heard a voice in my heart, which said, “You are going to have a baby with Down syndrome.” I doubted this voice, and tried to shrug it off, but a few minutes later, I was in the Communion line and the voice said, “I want you to accept this child as a gift from My Hand.” I accepted God’s will and His Body in tears saying, “yes, Lord, but please bring my husband along for the ride”. God used even my reluctant fiat to accomplish His will in my life.
Four months later, Christina was born and the voice was proved to be prophetic; Christina did have Down syndrome  and was tiny at 5 lbs, but was otherwise healthy.  I was surrounded by an embrace of love. Phone calls came, meals arrived, and over one hundred people attended her Baptism, in the pouring rain on Mother’s Day. Their faith kept me afloat when I was weak, recovering from a C-section, dealing with her jaundice and nursing issues, as well as supporting family members who were still coming to grips with the fact that she had Down syndrome.

My pastor connected me with the mother of a lovely 20 year old young lady with Down syndrome  who calmed my fears by telling me that Kristin was happy, working a job a local bakery, busy with family activities, and a godmother three times over. Another friend sent an Elizabeth Ministry package with a book and CD “Sometimes Miracles Hide” which was full of testimonies of parents of special needs children. My faltering faith was buoyed by a loving tide of support from my faith community.

Once I regained my stride as a mother, I began to notice that other mothers of babies with Down syndrome are not given such support.. I took Christina to her older sister’s softball game and brought tears to the eyes of a mother who had felt unequal to the challenge of bearing a child with Down syndrome, and made the tragic choice of abortion. My baby made this mother realize she had made a mistake; between 75-92% of moms who received a diagnosis of Down syndrome choose abortion. I resolved to share my story with moms  like this who feel overwhelmed, as I did, but who do not have the beautiful community of support I enjoyed. I learned that my doctors were not going to pass my phone number to their patients, so I took to the Internet. There I found a place to share how my little child with Down syndrome was a blessing to my family and the larger community. I shared how she was an example of faith by her simple prayers to God in times of need, her unconditional love of all those she met, and her boundless joy at Mass. Soon other parents shared their inspiring stories with me, and I collected them into a book A Special Mother is Born a collection of 34 stories from Catholic parents of special needs children who share what a blessing they are.

So many women have told me that these moving stories strengthened their faith, making them additional links in the chain of believers, and I am grateful to God for the grace to say “yes” to His gift of Christina a little girl with Down syndrome.

Ad Jesum per Mariam,
Leticia Velasquez
Co-founder of KIDS (Keep Infants with Down Syndrome)
author of “A Special Mother is Born“.

First Ever Drug to Treat Down Syndrome

Dr Alberto Costa and his daughter Tyche

An encouraging article by Dan Hurley in the Washington Post describes the clinical trials of the first ever drugs to improve learning and memory in those with Down syndrome, conducted by Dr Alberto Costa and Dr William Mobley. Enthusiasm is spreading througout the research community that Down syndrome, once considered too complex to treat, and abandoned by researchers, is now the subject of clinical trials.

“A lot of us are well aware of progress we’ve seen . . . in the past five to 10 years,” said Jamie Edgin, a developmental psychologist at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Among those advances, she said, are tests designed to measure the cognitive abilities of people with Down syndrome. The development of mice with the genetic equivalent of Down syndrome, essential for studies of possible drug treatments, has been another milestone. “There’s a lot of excitement,” Edgin said.

It is a devastating irony that stunning advances in accuracy in  prenatal testing  AND the first clinical trials for medicine to treat cognitive impairment of Down syndrome are discovered concurrently. Sadder still is the fact that the prenatal testing is receiving vastly more press coverage.

Imagine the excitement in the press if a new cancer drug were discovered?! Well, this is how the families of over 400,000 Americans who have Down syndrome feel about this drug and its potential to change lives. Not only can it help my ten year old daughter communicate with her classmates, but it may help insure that she has more classmates who look like her.

Maybe, just maybe, if mothers who are told that their unborn baby has Down syndrome heard that there are amazing advances in treatment for the cognitive delays in Down syndrome, they would not despair of their child’s potential for a happy and fulfilling life as stated in this article.

Servant of God, Dr Jerome Lejeune

Of course, we who love our children with ‘designer genes’ already know their lives are wonderfully rich, full of love and learning, and giving back to their community. But if it takes more hope to help bring such gifted people to birth, then we want to be the first to spread the word. Thank you WaPo for joining us in our efforts to spread the good news.
Dr Jerome Lejeune, the French geneticist who won the Kennedy prize for his discovery of trisomy 21, the cause of Down syndrome spent his career hopeful that such treatments would be discovered, and his family via Lejeune USA  continues to fund such promising research. Dr Lejeune understood the importance of such research when he said, “I see only one way left to save them, and that is to cure them. The task is immense, but so is Hope.”

Posted By Leticia to Hannah’s Tears Ministry at 8/01/2012 01:22:00 AM