This post has been in my heart and on my mind since returning from my recent retreat at St. Mary by the Sea in Cape May Point, NJ; so it's time to put it down on paper.
As I mention in my July 17th post, VCPC members and ministry were on my mind during my retreat week, as they have been since I got that little "nudge" from above. As the week progressed, I was thinking that the vaccine issue is a pro-life issue. After learning more about the use of aborted fetal cells in vaccine production and reading the pontifical letter on vaccines (see below), I new that it was a pro-life matter with regard to abortion; but I couldn't stop thinking about the babies, children and adults that are harmed by vaccines and those who have died following vaccines.
While doing a little research my last night at St. Mary's, I discovered the website, Children of God for Life and realized that the founder of COG was the very same woman, Debi Vinnedge, who's name I recognized from the pontifical letter that I had discovered a few weeks earlier. As I listened to Debi's video and read the material on the COG website -- which I highly recommend -- I kept thinking about vaccines and pro-life and how the vaccine issue warrants the same passion and prayer that the pro-life movement demonstrates against abortion.
I went to sleep that night, July 21st, with those thoughts in my head, asking God for guidance.
I wrote in my very first post "Coincidences are God's way of remaining anonymous." Well before, I continue, I must digress a bit; but if you stay with me, I promise to get back to the title of this blog post.
Some of you reading this post had the good fortune to know my Dad, Sam Forlano, as Dad, Daddy, Grandpop, GGPop, Uncle Sammy or Sam. He was quite a guy. The photo on the left is Dad and me on August 22, 2010 at my oldest daughter's wedding; and the one below is Dad, at age 90 walking my daughter down the aisle on that very special day.
Dad loved making rosaries; and he made thousands of them. He sent them all over the world to missions, to prisons; he gave them to priests, to many of his doctors and nurses; to his family, friends and to countless others. I think he always felt that when someone used one of his rosaries, even without knowing it, they were praying for him. As a matter of fact, I worked in a funeral home for 7-1/2 years and once asked Dad for rosaries to be given to the deceased for burial if they didn't have one. He turned me down saying, "they can't pray for me!" That was my Dad . . . the best . . . and you just had to love him!
Of course, Mom, all us five kids, and grandkids were given rosaries -- for baptisms, Holy Communion, graduations, weddings, special anniversaries, ordination and whatever occasion that Dad deemed appropriate. I still have the one Dad made for my First Communion back in 1959. Chances are that if you knew my Dad, you have one of his rosaries too.
Dad and Mom were incredibly devoted to our Blessed Mother and to the rosary and always carried one with them, often wearing one around their neck. When Dad passed away on April 6, 2011, at the age of 91, a simple brown rosary that he had made was around his neck. When I went to the hospital to see my Dad after he had passed, I helped the nurse remove the rosary from his neck and asked my sister if she thought Dad would be ok with my keeping that rosary. My sister felt that Dad would approve and gave me the rosary after taking it home to make a minor repair. I have treasured that rosary ever since knowing that Dad was wearing it when Jesus called him home to heaven and to my Mom who had passed away three years before.
Now back to the title of this post . . .
Every night for the past three years, I have removed that simple brown rosary from its simple brown case and wrapped it around my wrist before going to sleep; and that's just what I did the night of July 21, 2014 at St. Mary by-the-Sea.
When I awoke the next morning and pulled back the covers on my bed, I saw a small dark object in my bed. The room was dim and not having my glasses on, I wondered if a bug were in my bed; but when I reached for my glasses and looked, I discovered a small red pro-life rose. That little rose had been tucked away in the brown rosary case for almost as long as I had the rosary -- April 2011; and frankly, I had forgotten it was even in there. It had never fallen out before, but on that morning, Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at that beautiful sacred place, after a night where I was asking God for guidance about VCPC and the vaccine issue being a pro-life issue, there it was in my bed. As often happens with me, my eyes filled with tears and I knew that once again God was giving me a "nudge".
Since that time, the VCPC has grown and stories are being shared. I have become painfully aware of children that have been injured and some who have died following vaccines. When you see their faces and learn their names, these vaccine victims are no longer just a statistic. I feel compelled to share names and faces of these precious victims so that they become real to anyone who will look and listen. They are not just numbers on some report or unfortunate statistic that can easily be passed off since it didn't happen to our child or to someone we personally know or care about.
We must work together to put an end to this senseless maiming and killing of children. The vaccine industry continues to say that vaccines are safe. Dr. Paul Offit, one of the most outspoken pro-vaccine advocates, states in this video that vaccines are "very safe" and while he acknowledges that vaccines have side effects, he further states that "risks are often misunderstood by the public." If vaccines are "very safe", why are so many children being injured or dying after receiving vaccines? Misunderstood? Yes risks are misunderstood because the public is not being made aware of how serious the risks are; and the public is being pressured to vaccinate their children and themselves.
If we don't pray and advocate for vaccine choice -- to protect the rights of those who choose not to vaccinate and for safer vaccines for those who choose to vaccinate -- nothing will change. More and more of us will be forced to vaccinate against our will with vaccines that harm and kill.
If you are new to the vaccine issue, you may not know that drug companies are protected from liability if a vaccine causes harm or death. The vaccine schedule has risen dramatically in recent years and our children's health has deteriorated with more behavior problems, allergies, asthma and more. Just ask any teacher. More and more vaccines are becoming mandated and exemptions are becoming more difficult to get in many states. With 0% liability for drug companies and state government mandated vaccines, what incentive is their for the pharmaceutical industry or those who own patents on existing vaccines to develop safer, more ethical versions of existing vaccines? The money is not in making safer, more ethical vaccines for diseases that are truly a threat; but in creating and mandating more vaccines into the vaccine schedule. Our children are sick and many are dying. Something is terribly wrong. The vaccine issue is so big that it often seems overwhelming; but as Debi Vinnedge of COG heard the Lord say, "It's not too big for me."
The vaccine issue is most definitely a pro-life issue -- from the use of aborted fetal cells in the development of vaccines to the injuries and deaths that current vaccines are causing. Please join VCPC in prayer and in advocacy so that together we can create awareness and put an end to the pain and suffering being caused by a ridiculous number of unsafe vaccines.
God bless and take care . . .
P.S. While working on this post, I saw a new and very timely comment to a vaccine related blog post that I have been following for several weeks. Below is an excerpt . . .
"I grew up in the pro-life movement, and I’ve told my mom quite a few times that the anti-vaccination movement reminds me a lot of the the pro-life movement! . . . Harming children is just that – harming children. It doesn’t matter how it is done." ~ Rebecca