“I have come that may all have life” (John 10:10)
As we approach autumn, it is good to harken back to the springtime, when Human Life International’s Hispanic section, Vida Humana Internacional (VHI), was instrumental in starting a pilot program, the aim being to train 250 volunteers from seventeen parishes across the Diocese of Maturin in the state of Monagas, Venezuela. Located in the eastern heart of the country, the initiative was instigated with the approval and invitation of titular Bishop Mons. Enrique Perez Lavado. The course continues until December of this year. Then, HLI will return for graduation ceremonies and strategy lectures in January, 2018.
Coordinated by Nancy Tosi, Adviser to VHI, there is great diversity among the participants. Economic conditions are poor in Venezuela. Nancy trains the volunteers via Skype but with no internet often at home and sketchy internet at a parish, it can take four hours and several calls to present the monthly 2-hour program to each group! Additionally it is not safe at night to be out and about in Venezuela, so this must be taken into account when conducting the seminars.
Present are a range of priests and seminarians, to professionals in law, health and education, to young people. Many there were numb to the ideological invasion of the Culture of Death and the schooling brings key awareness. Dr. Mauricia is a grateful participant in the forum: “For me as a medical doctor with many years of experience, these sessions something totally different from what I once studied. This approach and understanding life begins at conception makes me realize much of what I studied was part of the Culture of Death. I feel used! But I ask forgiveness to God for all my actions, I pledge to remedy the past, and proclaim and defend the Gospel of Life.”
The Good News is already beginning to resonate as these Venezuelans embrace life. One of the 250 testified, a woman named “Ana”: “For me pro-life training has been an awakening to the world, a departure from all those lies making us believe it was acceptable to destroy a human being, clearly a life from the very moment of conception. Now as a Christian, I have the tools that allow me to speak clearly, based in the Gospel of Life. We gain insight into international organizations claiming to help the world, when all they do is contribute to its destruction.” Roxaida Lopez is a member of Monagas Pro-Life. She feels,
“The more we progress in formation, the more we continue a process of conversion, renewal, inner healing, and reaffirmation of the Faith, always assisted by the Spirit of Truth who wisely guides its community of believers. Priests rediscover the beauty and truth contained in Church documents, doctors regret the bias and vicious formation that they always receive in universities and congresses where they have trained and repent, educators become aware of the hedonistic sex education resulting in teen pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases and induced abortions, parents and youth reflect together on the challenges they face in today’s culture”.
Angels Save Lives
Gabriela is one such young person:
“I know what each woman feels that wants to abort, you have no idea how I hated my pregnancy and everything I did to avoid the birth….Roxaida and all of you have been angels who gave hope to my life because I learned that despite facing difficulties we do not understand, the Love of God will always support us. The greatest Miracle is Life … and I know that every time I see my daughter’s smile, when I see perfection in her hands, her eyes, see her breath or hear her heart beat. God’s verse says ‘He formed us in the womb of our mother and that even before we were born.’ That’s why I admire the work you do at Pro-Life Monagas, because there are hundreds of women in the world like me who need angels like you to light the way and remind them that we are not alone, there is a God who loves us despite all mistakes. God bless you.”
Roxaida Lopez of the Monagas Pro-Life Movement contributed to this report.