Open Poem to Provincial Leadership Candidates

October 17, 2017

At the community hall
Minus the community
Since there were only three of us
The empty hall was filled
With the elephant in the room
The candidate’s insistence
That the ideological opponents to life
Be considered equally
Even though our side was there
And their people weren’t
They never have to be
Whether standing in front of the legislature
Or outside a hospital
Before the courts or in the media
They get all the abortions, after all
Twenty thousand in the past decade
Conservatively counting
Everything else is just an abstraction
Including their non-presence
Which the candidate feels compelled to address
More than any anguish at the absence
Of 20,000 citizens
That would really fill the community hall
And the classrooms
And the job market
And the provincial coffers
There were even more boys
At the picnic table under the community billboard
Just outside the hall to the north
Excited with the snacks they bought at Family Foods
Optimistic that way, about their teenage lives
No corruption in their intentions
Like here in this empty hall
Where politics is played with whether and when and if
People exist or don’t
“I understand we have a legal requirement..”
Even though they found the courage
To risk losing money from the federal government
Over private MRIs
And even though an unjust law is not binding
On one’s conscience
Or what’s a legislature for?
“I have the caucus to consider
And the Human Services Committee”
Which insists on acting as an inhuman services committee
You’d think we had found some common ground
In a profession of faith:
“I believe in science-based decision making”
We were just talking about that
With a rep for a local ag company
And their Artificial Insemination Division
No one would ever tolerate an AI company
Speaking like abortionists
“We won’t pay you for that embryo
Until the brute is born
What you’ve touted as a sow or cow
Might prove to be a hare with horns”
Only the pro-life constituency must
Tiptoe around like being on the thin ice
Of a rural Saskatchewan slough in late October
While those who dismember hips and toes
In our city hospitals
Keep crushing skulls like eggshells
During their year-long macabre Halloween
Well, the candidate received my gifts
A newspaper and a press release
On the “Government’s Duty to Neutrality”
Or in an explanation from Jacques Maritain:
“A genuine democracy
Cannot impose on its citizens
Or demand from them
As a condition of their belonging” and
Participating in the polis
The city, the society, and where the word
Politician comes from
“Any philosophic or religious creed”
Which describes abortion to a tee
I asked that the next premier not be
Another Romanow
Who championed the rights over equality illusion
And refused to defund abortion
I would also now add
A line from Maritain
“Genuine democracy
Must bear within itself
A common human creed”
And a warning
“The dream of a ‘scientific creed’
Uniting men in peace and in common convictions”
About the nature of human life and
The purpose of government
“Vanished in our contemporary catastrophes”
By which he means first and second
World wars
And by extension the very scientific precision
Of turning a womb that already is
A coffer of great treasure, with a priceless jewel
A human being in the prenatal time
Of one’s development
Into a crucible
Intent on transforming
Pure gold
Into the faux treasure
Of a fool

October 17, 2017

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Where You Are Supposed To Be

October 12, 2017

“All things seek their individual goods,
And their individual goods cooperate in an immanent
Universal good, the order of creation.” – James Matthew Wilson

Father Peter had a saying
And he might have had as many expressions
As there are students who remember them
But one coin will suffice

“Where are you supposed to be?
Or in the idiom of our school,
Hey, Stephaniuk, where are you supposed to be?
Stephaniuk, Zulak, Koroluk, Millham…

We all knew what he meant
A student has a goal, a natural place to be growing into
A grain of wheat type discipline and hope
To grow into a good student

And a teacher also has a goal according to one’s state
To work hard, to be a good teacher, like you
To be a good student of one’s craft
And to know the difference between the student and the teacher

A General Montgomery teaching a Canadian officer
That he might want to help a tired private with his kit
But he belonged way up ahead of the forced march
To prepare the best spot to camp seven hundred men

Or an Aristotle and St. Thomas, that each creation
Has a natural goal to reach in order to be what it already is
In the words of St. Augustine, “Our hearts are restless
Until the rest in You.”

We knew he was telling us to stop playing billiards
When we should be outside for soccer
To hurry up with that after school sandwich
When it was time for Ukrainian dance practice

It could have meant getting from math class to choir
From evening study hall to chapel
Or finally getting to lights out
Instead of looking for 007 reruns on television

Now it is my turn to ask him,
“Father Peter, where are you supposed to be?”
And for many years after graduation
He had been in lots of places where I was

A priest at the altar when my wife and I got married
Minister of last rites for my father on his deathbed
A co-worker when I joined him on staff
And proved that I was a good student but a terrible teacher

“I’m supposed to be as close to the Lord”
I can hear him say, “As is humanly possible”
With the joy and peace I saw in him
The last time we spoke before he got sick

So in the idiom of our school,
“Hey, Pidskalny, where are you supposed to be?”
“I’m supposed to be with our Lord in heaven
And with your help, your prayers

My restless heart will rest there soon.”

October 1, 2017

When We Cast Pebbles Through Clouds

September 23, 2017

When We Cast Pebbles Through Clouds

We knew how to let our imaginations run free
And we were running, too
On the gravel in front of the house
On the grass around the house, south
To the slough
Then towards the garage to the north
Granaries to the east
And the barn dad built further east
Down the hill to the cattle shelters
And the water well, then back up all the way
West, past the house to another slough
To where the yard meets the gate
That was the start line
For our expeditionary force
And martial games
Like warriors from a medieval Ukrainian poem
“The Exploits of Prince Ihor”
Our energy was “as explosive as that of grey wolves
Racing across a field, fighters intent
On winning a soldier’s honour
And bringing glory to our king”
Meanwhile, the king, our dad
The only real soldier among us
Was at work on the farm machinery
Turning swords into plowshares
As he had been doing for the past 25 years
The only double-edged knives he used now
Were the sections on the swather
To cut the crop for the harvest
We were brothers, brothers-in-arms, and his sons
“One brotherhood under the skies of one bright world”
As in Ihor’s poem
Both the sons of King Vasyl
In our pretend exploits
“With the iron strength of their armies
They took their place in the expedition
On behalf of the king
Through the clouds they cast
Volleys of stones
And held court with authority
All along the length of the Dunai River”
If we had thought to ask him
What he knew about regiments
Like a Roman Legion
Three companies forward
And one in reserve, to exploit
Successes, shore up against mortal threats
He would have told us again, as he had before
“I was with Headquarters Company
4th Princess Louise Dragoon Guards, the “Plugs”
Canadian Army, Italian Campaign”
The liberation of Ravenna was his big show
Dislodging the enemy by crossing the iron tracks
Of the city’s railway station
Our Operation Iron Rifle was all pretend
With poplar tree branches for guns
And it took a long time before we realized
How real his war was for him
We could have learned a sentiment of parental respect
From Beowulf
Unknown contemporary of Ihor
Countries and centuries apart
“And a young prince must be prudent like that,
giving freely while his father lives
so that afterwards in age when fighting starts
steadfast companions will stand by him…”
I would learn through study to explain what happened
It is known as peer orientation, attachment crisis
Degrading our relationship with dad
Or from the words of Ihor’s campaign:
“You have squandered your inheritance
On account of your rebelliousness”
What kind of wounds had we suffered
From our culture, a different kind of war
That made us turn against “our father’s golden throne?”
But on that day of our imaginary expedition
There were light, white clouds
In strong blue skies
Redwing blackbirds for our ravens
With sloughs as seas to carry us
Through the fog of war
We were eager to show our bravery
With the classic bravado
“We’d rather perish than be taken captive”
In epic battles, where
“aggression has exacted the oppression
Of human free will”
And again from Ihor:
“Instead of good and fruitful seeds
The fields have been sown with the bones of our native sons”
We remained honourable in the heat of battle
“A blood-red star announced to the world of the day
Oppressive black clouds approached from the sea
Quivering with lightning
To cover the four corners of the earth
They won’t dissipate
Until the thunder releases rain
Like volleys of arrows…
And a clash of battle swords
Brings many closer to their graves…
From the first red light of dawn until the end
Of the day, nonstop from evening ‘til the return
Of light across the earth
Volleys of arrows were released with disciplined accuracy
Sabres thundered against helmets
Swords creating shock waves en masse
Throughout an anonymous field of battle”
We were liberators
Shouting commands in English
And what Ukrainian we knew
Staccato speech, like brief streams of rifle fire
Dad was the one who had a soldier’s tongue
A scout who deciphered Italian, German, and Polish
If we would have stopped to ask him
When the grey, ominous haze developed later
Over our home and fields
He and mom would be the ones to suffer most
“Early in the morning, earlier than imaginable”
The Ukrainian repetition of early morning in Ihor’s poem
Perhaps because the root of the phrase
Is common with the word for wound
A deep wound in their lives and hearts
It was early in my brother’s life, to die at seventeen
Together with his girlfriend, Terry
A car accident in civilian life
The grieving father of Seamus Heaney’s Beowulf
Could be my father then:
“He begins to keen
and weep for his boy… he can be of no help.
The wisdom of age is worthless to him.
Morning after morning, he wakes to remember
that his child is gone…
Alone with his longing, he lies down on his bed
and sings a lament; everything seems too large,
The steadings and the fields.”
To make the overwhelming
More containable
First, dad made the arrangements
For his son’s funeral
Then he returned to his fields
“Maurice started hauling these bales
And I must finish now that he is dead.”
Ihor’s poem adds a feminine lament:
“What powerful wind is this
That is the master of our destiny?
Why do you bear these enemy attacks
Upon your once gentle back
And target my dear husband’s loyal soldiers?
Is it not enough for you
Under the cover of thick mists
To toy with rudderless vessels
Upon the agitated seas?
O master of the winds,
Why have you taken all my joys
And scattered them among the pale, wild weeds?”
The days before the funeral
Mom would leave the house
And wander for hours in the pasture
Past the barn
The nuances of green from the past summer
Long ago turned yellow and white
My one contribution to the release of grief
Was to place his grade Twelve photo on the table
Next to the whiskey bottle that was already there
And go around the room
For each of us to say a word
“I love you, I forgive you
Please forgive me”
It has taken decades since then
To renew, as Ihor’s bard would proclaim
“Their ancestral fame”
A healing within ourselves and in our family
With a promise to myself
And for my own children:
‘We will make men of ourselves
We will capitalize on future successes
While fairly dividing
What has already been won’
Is it no wonder then, brethren
That an old man has been made
To feel young again?”

We knew how to let our imaginations run free
And we were running, too…

September 25, 2017
In memory of +Maurice and +Terry, September 30, 1982

Quotes from Beowulf, Seamus Heaney, translation, “Beowulf” W.W. Norton and Company: New York, 2000
Quotes from “The Exploits of Prince Ihor”, commonly known as The Lay of Ihor’s Campaign, translated from Ukrainian by Jeffrey D. Stephaniuk.
Accessed at http://www.poetryclub.com.ua, Ukrainian translation by Maksym Rylsky (1895-1964)

Military Gas Mask From Overseas on Saskatchewan Farm

September 21, 2017

Military Gas Mask From Overseas on Saskatchewan Farm

“If one perceptible function of poetry is to write place into existence, another of its functions is to unwrite it.” Seamus Heaney

I can frame the space
Where dad’s soldier’s gas mask was placed
Hung for years as a souvenir
On a wall in his farmyard workshop
But I had no frame of reference
As a child, a veteran’s son
To grasp what it possibly could mean
Ever to have needed one
Or why it had such value for dad
Like a pearl of great price
Discovered and hidden again
In a field he now owns
Giving the appearance of something nearly discarded
He kept asking us not to touch it
Even though as boys we would try it on for size
When he was on the field
Cultivating or seeding or combining
I couldn’t know then if it shaped his identity
As securely as the material from which it was made
Shaped his face
Or if he had a phantom feeling of it still
Like an amputee, a survivor
The war was no longer there
Except for an invisible presence
The mask dangling around his neck
A pendulum of uncertain times
With his sten gun over his shoulder
And his shovel behind his back
To dig slit trenches and fox holes
In the dirt and mud and clay
As protection from volleys of fire
And aerial bombardments
Years before it ever got hung
On the wooden granary wall
He had been a Canadian test subject
Suffield, Alberta, 1942
And had experience with chlorine gas
Even before he travelled safely overseas
Through waters threatened by U-boats and icebergs
Later, I would learn a poem about that mustard gas
“Gas boys, gas. An ecstasy
Of fumbling”
Though I was never clever enough
To connect that poem with a better understanding
Of my own father’s experience
Or draw me closer to him
All my childhood
This gas mask was right there on a wall
Part of a frame of a common wooden granary
Seasoned by decades of harvest
Now seconded for use as a tool shop
Repair shop, two by four floor well worn
From dad’s diligent attention to his work
The entire inside dark with oil, dirt, and metal filings
That small space held everything
Grinder, bearings, nails, bolts
Air compressor, oil cans,step ladders
Tools on the floor and bench and shelf
All with the smell of grease and grinding fumes
With just enough of a pathway
To maneuver all this valuable collection
Like the bees and flies weaving in
And out of this same space
This clutter that makes a jack-of-all trades independent
And successful on a family farm
Meanwhile the gas mask could always be seen
On the wall across from the doorway
As soon as you entered the building
If you were looking for it
And for years, until now, I had stopped
There it remained
Among the rakes and garden hoes and scythes
Practical technology of farm life
With the leather straps and breathing apparatus
Of the military gas mask
Not quite the look of a skull
Though anthropomorphic enough
To be dissimilar to a cattle skull
Or small animal heads we might find
In the bush
To the north of the yard
That brilliant windbreak
From bone-chilling winter storms
The mask silent and impractical
Among all this utility
Of civilian life
Its invisible value to dad
Worth more than any use it might still provide
It served its first reason for being years ago
Like the work of a tree’s green leaves
In that great care of life under the sun
Before an unutility emerges
In the changing of the colours
After the work is done
An ecstatic artistry in all that uselessness
Of autumn glory
“Things are transformed
Into that which cannot be grasped”
Writes Maurice Blanchot, “The Space of Literature”
I could not grasp the grasp
In which dad was held by the mask
Stronger now than any functional use
It might retain
“Out of use, beyond wear
They are not in our possession”
Of course, it was a part of dad’s belongings
A wartime souvenir, like the wooden Dutch shoes
And his 1939-1945 Star and Volunteer medal
Italy Star
From that era when he was a young man
With the Canadian Army in Italy
But also part of his emotional belongings
Like his startle reflex during thunder storms
And all that restlessness at night when he slept
About which only mom knew the details
Which is why she never put us into bed with him
When we were little
And had our own innocent bad dreams
“But they are the movement of dispossession
Which releases us both from them
And from ourselves”
He must have been happy to be free
Of any further need for it
Among the necessary clutter on a soldier’s body
Dispossessed of it after the final orders to disarm
When he began to learn to live
In a veteran’s body instead
In that epic mass return to life
During peacetime
He had no fear to need it ever again
Against mustard gas
The need of it was different now
A thanksgiving for survival
A remembrance of fellow soldiers,many
Who can only be visited now
By journeys to Commonwealth War Graves in Italy
Or by revisiting and re-membering memories of them
“I have no words to describe this
To someone who wasn’t there”
He used to say to us
The silent mask has begun to speak
When practical words are mute
Or from Blanchot, such a possibility
“Belongs neither to the day
Nor to the night
But is always spoken
Between night and day
And one single time speaks the truth
And leaves it unspoken”
Mom, a veteran’s wife
Harboured tenderly that untender pillow talk
In her own great care
To affirm the goodness of his humanity
In that life project known as a return
To self
And civilian life
After participating in what such a mask
Was needed for in the first place
And make possible the experience
Of more fruitful ecstasies
Marriage, family, owning his own land
For which he often longed
And did express, until his death
A word of thanks

Pope Paul VI, Humanae Vitae (Of Human Life) and Education

November 14, 2008

Who put the private in public education?

God is the source of human life.”  Pope Paul VI

The Catholic Church, “expert in humanity”, as Pope John Paul II described it, is rightly interested in education.  At marriage preparation and baptism, parents are reminded of their work to raise and to educate children.  There is a great tradition in Catholic education of defending both faith and reason.  The Church also has a vision for the proper use of education.

            Some trends in education give the impression that we are free to manipulate ourselves and our world in any direction we desire, for pleasure or for politics.  Catholic education offers a mature, cautionary voice of reason.  Motivated by obedience to God, we recognize “that there are some limits to the power of Man over his own body and over the natural operations of the body, which ought not to be transgressed.”  (Pope Paul VI, in Humanae vitae, Of Human Life)

Teachers and parents naturally want students and children to be obedient to their authority.  Governments naturally want citizens to be obedient to their authority.  The best guarantee of this acknowledgement of authority is for students, teachers, parents, governments alike to be obedient to God, to the “supremacy of God” as stated in the preamble to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  The first step is to side with faith over atheism.  The second step is to be obedient to our human nature rather than to use our education to fight it.

Students by definition are growing from immaturity to maturity.  As Pope Paul VI describes them, “human beings, especially the young, are so susceptible to temptation that they need to be encouraged to keep the moral law.”  Then, addressing parents and educators, he writes that it “is wrong to make it easy for them to violate this law.”  Faith often corrects education.  Privacy and relativism are two key principles of modern education.  By contrast, the Church teaches there is such a reality as objective truth, and that we are not alone in this world.  God is with us. 

While it is not easy in a culture of entitlement, the Church’s constant teaching is that we are not a million solitudes in this world.  Education remains, in it best tradition, concerned not with facilitating the disintegration of civilization, but with its improvement.  The Church is an essential tutor in the best use of all this education, and teachers are those “whose right and duty it is to be concerned about the common good.”

Fr. Jeffrey Stephaniuk

Abortion and the Ukrainian famine Holodomor 1932-1933

October 29, 2008

 

“Whatever else I may do or think in the future, I must never pretend that I haven’t seen this.” Malcolm Muggeridge, Winter in Moscow

Earlier in 2008 the Saskatchewan Government proclaimed a very unique act at the Legislature, The Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (Holodomor) Memorial Day Act.  Such a gesture is really appreciated by the Ukrainian community in Saskatchewan, Canada, and Ukraine.  There was a time when the Ukrainian famine of 1932-1933, which claimed well over six million lives, was denied within Ukraine and the former Soviet Union. 

I remember an important event occurred in 1983 during the 50th anniversary of the famine.  I was living in Toronto at the time and attended the cinematic release of “Harvest of Despair”, a documentary on that event.  That same year I attended an event in Washington, D.C., at which we protested in front of the Soviet Embassy.  A great public affirmation of the truth of survivors’ claims about the famine came in the form of recognition by the United Nations, which the Saskatchewan Act refers to as a precedent for its decision:  Whereas the Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (Holodomor) of 1932-33 has been recognized by the United Nations and by the international community.” 

The Ukrainian word “Holodomor” means to kill by hunger, or to torture with hunger.” The historical event of the famine refers to the years when farmland was collectivized in Ukraine, and the Ukrainian farm family, which had a reputation for having a fair number of children, was destroyed.  It is estimated that the communists killed between seven and ten million people through this program.

The Act given assent by the Saskatchewan Government reads: “The fourth Saturday in November in each year is declared to be “Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (Holodomor) Memorial Day” for the purposes of recognizing the Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (Holodomor) of 1932-33 and of reflecting on the lessons to be learned from that event.” 

One of the lessons learned from the Ukrainian famine is that language and law were manipulated to de-humanize the Ukrainian farmer.  Once it was declared that the Ukrainian farmers were not human beings it became possible to justify their deaths through famine.  Philosophically, the famine is related to other horrors:  writers on the

Holocaust understand those events in a similar way, namely that Jews were proclaimed not to be human. 

In the novel, “Forever Flowing”, by Vasilii Grossman, the author speaks about the Holocaust and the Holodomor: “In order to massacre them, it was necessary to proclaim that kulaks are not human beings. Just as the Germans proclaimed that Jews are not human beings.”  A kulak, or kurkul, was a private farmer.  “They are kulaks, not human beings” formed part of the lexicon of the dark world that made the famine possible – which British journalist and pro-life author Malcolm Muggeridge, who was an eyewitness to the famine, referred to as a “macabre ballet.”

In our present culture, there are remarkable parallels with the thinking that makes abortion on demand possible.  Language and law have been manipulated to de-humanize the unborn child.  Where statistics bureaus registered deaths during the Holodmor as death not from famine but from “digestive ailment”, our statistics count late-term abortions as “stillbirths.”

            Thank you, Government of Saskatchewan, for the Famine Memorial Act.  An honest examination of the lessons learned brings us right back to our own day and age, and the horror of death by abortion.

-30-

Of Human Life, Humanae vitae 40th anniversary

October 11, 2008

“Life is a gift which is not completely at the disposal of the subject.”  Message of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI for the Celebration of the World Day of Peace 1 January, 2007.

I am dedicating the next two years to the anniversary of an incredible teaching document of the Catholic Church.  Written in 1968, its 40th anniversary will be commemorated in 2008.  I am referring to the papal encyclical, or letter, called “Humanae vitae,” a Latin phrase translated as “On Human Life.”  It was written by Pope Paul VI as an instruction on the church’s enduring teaching about what the generation of human life really means, and about the ghastly dangers of artificial contraception. 

It is a beautifully written and heartfelt document, prophetic in its warning that a contraceptive culture will develop lower and lower moral standards, certain in its judgment about the evils of artificial contraception, and eternally optimistic in the mercy of God for those anxious and repentant over past decisions to contracept., 

One of the principles of this document is that only God can create something out of nothing.  The Church is saddened by such statements as “my body, my choice” because it is a false statement, erroneous in its assumption that I have final decision over my life.  This statement is only a possibility in a culture of privacy, a relatively recent legal development that trumps natural and moral reality. 

The legal right to privacy has been invoked to defend contraception, divorce, abortion, homosexuality, and euthanasia, with no consideration for the very public consequences of these so-called private acts. 

Another principle of Humanae vitae is that faith tells us that human sexuality is a gift from God.  It is God’s will that husband and wife strengthen their relationship through their sexuality, and it is God’s will that they become cooperators with Him in the generation of new life.  Human life and one’s eternal soul begin at conception, and with natural family planning there is never a risk as with artificial contraception that a newly conceived human being is about to be destroyed. 

As the current Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI has written in his New Year’s message, the Church is “the sign and safeguard of the transcendental dimension of the human person” in the world.  In other words, it is the task of Christian leaders to remind us that our humanity in its nature and goal is greater than anything we ourselves can possibly imagine.  Here’s to a blessed preparation for the 40th anniversary of Humanae vitae. – Fr. Jeffrey D. Stephaniuk

Trial For Life Commemoration Review

September 9, 2008

At The Grave of Joe Borowski with two of his daughters

At The Grave of Joe Borowski with two of his daughters

There Are No Outsiders in the Family of God:  A Commemoration of the Late Joe Borowski

 

 

By Fr. Jeffrey Stephaniuk

 

In Wynyard, Saskatchewan during the weekend of September 5th and 6th, 2008 an event was held to commemorate the late Joe Borowski, a folk hero to the pro-life movement until his death in 1996.  In many ways he was an arch-rival to Henry Morgentaler in the race to convince the Supreme Court to either strengthen abortion laws or remove them.  The year 2008 is the 25th anniversary of the Trial for Life, initiated by Mr. Borowski and held in Regina in 1983.  A long-time friend of Mr. Borowski, historian Fr. Alphonse de Valk from Toronto, sent a letter of greeting to those gathered in Wynyard, describing the trial with these words: “it is the 25th anniversary of Joe’s greatest intellectual contribution to the defence of the unborn in Canada, namely his decision to marshal the best quality defence of medical, legal, and theological arguments available in order to explain the human nature of the unborn child. The fact that an ill-willed supreme Court of Canada ignored testimony delivered in the Regina courtroom in their haste to approve abortion on demand is to their everlasting shame.”

            Guest speaker, Andras Tahn, currently Executive Director of St. Therese Catholic College of Faith and Mission in Bruno, Saskatchewan (www.sttherese.ca) presented a talk entitled, “There Are No Outsiders in the Family of God”.  He spoke about being an eyewitness to the Trial for Life in Regina in 1983, at which expert medical and scientific witnesses were called to have read into the court documents the fact that human life begins at conception (fertilization).  Dr. Jerome Lejeune was one of those expert witnesses.  From Paris, France, he discovered the cause of Down Syndrome.  The life of each individual new human being, he repeated often in the course of examination and cross-examination, “begins at the instant that all the necessary and sufficient information is combined in order to define the new being.  That is right from the beginning.” 

After his death in 1994, a Cause of Canonization was initiated on his behalf.  Quotes such as the following can also be read in his testimony: “If, and I hope God will never permit that – the Pope was saying that abortion was killing nobody, I would stop being a Catholic for scientific reasons, because no moral authority can make me believe that discarding an early human being is not discarding a human being.”

Our second guest speaker was Mr. Ted Byfield from Edmonton.  A revered journalist and publisher, Mr. Byfield is currently working on the Christian History Project (www.christianhistoryproject.com).  His presentation asked the question, “How did we get to this predicament?”  He traced the influence of education reformer John Dewey and his effect on divorcing the new generation from the values of the previous generation while marginalizing the concept of right and wrong.  He also spoke to the concept of sexual revolution:  when men free themselves from responsibilities to women it leads to pornography; when women free themselves from the responsibilities associated with sexuality, similarly insisting on a consequence-free sex life, they do so under the guise of liberating themselves from men, though in reality it is the children who are punished through abortion.  It is possible to add the scenario of contraception in this explanation as well. 

Mr. Byfield also commented on the current federal election campaign, with a message that since the federal Conservatives assume that they have the vote of social conservatives, we need to tell them if they have gone too far in their efforts to compromise for the sake of political gain.

One of the other letters of greetings presented in Wynyard was from Archbishop Luigi Ventura, the Apostolic Nuncio to Canada.  As the Pope’s Ambassador stated, “Let the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI’s words during his recent pastoral visit to the United States, be a source of encouragement and inspiration: “May you find the courage to proclaim Christ, ‘The same, yesterday, and today and for ever’ and the unchanging truths that set us free!  They are the truths which alone can guarantee respect for the inalienable dignity and rights of each man, woman and child in our world – including the most defenseless of all human beings, the unborn child in the mother’s womb.”

Video clips of the commemoration of the late Joe Borowski on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Trial for Life can be viewed at youtube.com by searching for “Ted Byfield” and “Joe Borowski Commemoration.”

 

Thank you.

Fr. Jeffrey Stephaniuk

306-752-3182

Dr. Jerome Lejeune as Expert Witness at Trial For Life

August 2, 2008

Expert Witness Testimony

Power Point Presentation on Trial For Life

July 3, 2008

joe-borowski-commemoration