Magazine of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford Connecticut

South Sudan bishops condemn atrocities, appeal for help to prevent famine
A mother feeds her child with a peanut-based paste for treatment of severe acute malnutrition at a hospital Jan. 20 in Juba, South Sudan. South Sudan's Catholic bishops asked for the world's help to p...

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Grass-roots leaders join call for 'disrupting' oppression that hurts many
Representatives from small groups give the final message from the U.S. Regional World Meeting of Popular Movements Feb. 19 in Modesto, Calif. (CNS photo/Dennis Sadowski) MODESTO, Calif. (CNS) -- Affi...

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Be ashamed when tempted to use church for power struggles, pope says
Pope Francis greets a new priest during the ordination Mass of 11 priests in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican April 17, 2016. The pope warned against using the church in pursuit of personal ambitio...

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Pope's tip for becoming a saint: Pray for someone who doesn't like you
Pope Francis delivers his blessing to an overflow crowd gathered outside St. Mary Josefa Church after celebrating Mass at the parish in Rome Feb. 19. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) ROME (CNS) -- A practica...

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Employees of archdiocese volunteer to bring meals and good cheer to the homeless
Written by Shelley Wolf
Alicia Fleming, sales assistant for the Archdiocesan Center at St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield, laughs with a client while serving desserts at the South Park Inn in Hartford.(Photo by Shelley Wolf) ...

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Special Olympians show world that 'every person is a gift,' pope says
Pope receives a stuffed animal from a participant in the Special Olympics during a meeting Feb. 16 at the Vatican. The Special Olympics World Winter Games will be held in Austria March 14-25. (CNS pho...

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South Sudan bishops condemn atrocities, appeal for help to prevent famine
South Sudan bishops condemn atrocities, appeal for help to prevent famine
Grass-roots leaders join call for 'disrupting' oppression that hurts many
Grass-roots leaders join call for 'disrupting' oppression that hurts many
Be ashamed when tempted to use church for power struggles, pope says
Be ashamed when tempted to use church for power struggles, pope says
Pope's tip for becoming a saint: Pray for someone who doesn't like you
Pope's tip for becoming a saint: Pray for someone who doesn't like you
Employees of archdiocese volunteer to bring meals and good cheer to the homeless
Employees of archdiocese volunteer to bring meals and good cheer to the homeless
Special Olympians show world that 'every person is a gift,' pope says
Special Olympians show world that 'every person is a gift,' pope says

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MERIDEN – Compassion and understanding go a long way when it comes to helping people who have had abortions.

David C. Reardon, known as an expert in the after-effects of abortion, told more than 150 people at Holy Angels Parish center that advocates for life must reach out with love to women and men who are suffering after an abortion.

Dr. Reardon was the keynote speaker at the seventh annual St. Gerard’s Center for Life Mothers’ Banquet. He is the director of the Elliot Institute, based in Springfield, Ill., which describes its mission as postabortion research, education and advocacy.

Dr. Reardon, who has a doctorate in biomedical ethics from Pacific Western University, has written books and articles about the mental health effects associated with abortion.

He said that in one survey, 78 percent of women say they "would rather have their baby if they had loved ones who were supportive." He cited another survey saying that 68 percent of women are pushed toward abortion by other people. He called the pressure "social abortion."

After having an abortion, he said, women hear such comments as "that life didn’t matter; your grief isn’t real," he said, which makes them experience what he called "forbidden grief." For such a woman, he added, advocates for life should "wear compassion on our sleeve [and] not throw stones at her for having had an abortion."

After having an abortion, women who want to begin to heal feel trapped, he said, and afraid of condemnation.

Men also can suffer negative effects, he said, which can manifest themselves as self-destructive behavior, failed relationships, addictions to cover past pain, depression and suicide.

"We want to give them a hug and cry with them," he said. "We need to recognize that shame is a dangerous weapon. It closes doors on people who need help. Messages of hope counteract messages of despair."

Advocates for life should deal with the minds, hearts and hope of men and women dealing with the pain of abortion, he said.

Dr. Theresa Krankowski, director of St. Gerard’s Center for Life in Hartford, introduced a few of the mothers whose babies were saved through the intervention of the people at St. Gerard’s.

Dr. Krankowski said that the work at St. Gerard’s now is aided by a new ultrasound machine, which is operated by volunteer nurses. The machine was acquired through funds from the Knights of Columbus.

She said that St. Gerard’s has served 3,000 mothers and their children in the seven years of the center’s existence. In addition, she said, "400 babies were saved who otherwise would’ve died from abortion."

She outlined other programs as well. Dr. Krankowski noted, "We’re committed to the truth. We have 116 women in our chastity program. Every week, those girls are there for the message [that] your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit." St. Gerard’s also provides post-abortion healing and baptism preparation programs, she said.

"We are committed to helping mothers with all they need," said Dr. Krankowski. "This is the message of true love."

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