Monday, December 5, 2011

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Y-LIFE's Awesome Conference

Wow! How can I not be motivated to do more pro-life activities after listening to Fr. Stephen Imbarrato of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe and Tyler Ament of the International Youth Coalition. Both speakers gave incredible talks on LIFE. Fr.Stephen told some very interesting stories (the Kathy Ireland one was great), and Mr. Ament gave a very informative talk on global LIFE issues. From Mr. Ament I leared that what we do in the battle for Life should be done positively and pro-actively. After Father's talk I understood that we are all accountable for the 126,000 daily deaths of unborn children in the world; and that we should do things everyday to stop this horrible slaughter. Posting pro-life things on Facebook is good, but it is not enough. We must go down to the abortion mills and pray and witness in front of them.  It is there that we come face to face with the reality and can make a real difference. 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Last Year's Conference with Father Tad ...

Looking over the blog, we realized we never posted a picture from the 2010 Youth Conference ...!  Here's one of Fr. Tad Pacholczyk with some of the Conference participants from last year.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Connecticut Right to Life Corp. Comes Through for Y-LIFE ... BIG TIME.

Well, what can we say?  Connecticut Right to Life Corporation has once again come through for us with a very generous donation to offset the Conference.  Talk about "casting bread upon the waters" ... they are firm believers in the future of the pro-life movement, and they see that future as being young people.

Actually, the donation came a few days before the tag sale we had (with the AhChoo Homeschooling Group of Waterbury.)  We were going into the tag sale late, in a different venue, without our usual inventory and it felt a little panicky.  The CRLC donation was a sign to us as we plodded onwards that it was all going to be okay.  And it was.  The tag sale was a success!

Also, as an aside, tag sales are very pro-life and spiritually profitable ... a lot of stuff that would normally be thrown out gets used again (good stewardship AND green!), tag sales help the poor (work of mercy!) and you get to hang out with people in a semi-relaxing atmosphere (fellowship!)  We say semi-relaxing because set-up and take-down are not relaxing at all, but LOTS of work (work is prayer!)

Tag Sales are good, Connecticut Right to Life Corp is wonderful, the Conference is all set.  If anyone else out there would like to sponsor an ad in our program book, click here for the form!

Prayers for Deacon Scott McKee...

Let's all keep Deacon Scott McKee in our prayers today as he undergoes surgery.  One thing he was very comforted by is the fact that today is Our Lady's birthday.  So let's ask for her loving intercession on his behalf for a successful surgery and speedy recovery.

And Happy Birthday, Blessed Mother!

Conference Schedule Firmed Up for OCTOBER 8th!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Y-LIFE Confirms 2nd Conference Speaker Tyler Ament

Tyler Ament is the Director of the International Youth Coalition (IYC).  Prior to working as Director of IYC, Ament was the Manager of Operations and New Media at the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM).

Ament has worked as an expert on youth issues for the Holy See at the United Nations, and also to defend the family in UN documents with various delegations at UN Commissions, as an Edmund Burke Fellow.

Ament is passionate about using technology and media to defend genuine values.  He has worked in the film industry with Metanoia Films (makers of the award-winning film, Bella), and in the software industry in the field of emerging technologies.

Ament earned his BA in English Language and Literature from Christendom College, and is originally from Southern California.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Y-LIFE Confirms Conference Speaker Fr. Stephen Imbarrato

One would be hard pressed to find a Catholic priest who wouldn’t describe his path to the priesthood as a "grace filled journey." Father Stephen Imbarrato of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, New Mexico, has good reason to make that claim. For Father Stephen, who was ordained in 2005, that grace includes great blessings – such as the joy of adopting a son as a single person and his dedicated involvement in various pro-life initiatives.

It also includes the knowledge that it was a painful past – namely his own complicity in an abortion 35 years ago- that brought him to the pro-life movement in the first place, opened him to the priesthood and now allows him to preach the Gospel of Life “from the standpoint of mercy.”

In 1974, he said, “I did not stand up for my girlfriend when I got her pregnant,” and today he counts himself as sharing the guilt for her decision to abort.  It wasn’t until years later as a seminarian that he learned she had been carrying twins.

Fr Imbarrato began pro-life work in the early nineties as a political activist, but soon realized the call to pro-life ministry joining Lifenet of NJ as a member of their Speaker Bureau. When he entered Holy Apostles Seminary in 2000, he directed their Life League (HALL), and while still in the seminary founded St Gerard's Center for Life in Hartford. Ordained to the priesthood in 2005, Father soon founded Project Defending Life ( in his home diocese of Santa Fe, NM, which has many pro-life ministries and activities under its direction including the Holy Innocents Chapel directly across from Planned Parenthood. Father Stephen celebrates Mass in the Chapel twice a week and leads a Eucharistic Procession to Planned Parenthood, the only ministry in the US with regularly scheduled Eucharistic processions to an abortion mill.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Y-LIFE members attend CT Right to Life Conference

Five Y-LIFE members attended the CT Right to Life Conference in Cromwell on Saturday, May 21st. Steven Mosher from the Population Research Institute (PRI) gave an awesome presentation about the myths of an overpopulated world and also forced abortions in China. You can check out the PRI website at

Monday, May 16, 2011

Welcome Jasper Liggio

We would like to welcome Jasper Liggio, the new president of Holy Apostles Life League. We look forward to working with Jasper on the details of the 2011 conference. A big "thank you" goes out to Scott McKee for all of his help at the first two Y-LIFE/Holy Apostles conferences.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Fall Conference 2011

Keep an eye on this blog for new info concerning the 2011 Y-Life conference to be held in the fall!

Both Sides of the Debate on Embryonic Stem Cell Reseach Part 2

If you haven't read part 1, click here

Science has made many important advances over the last 50 years. Some of the most important of these advances are in the field of stem cell research. However, studies in the area of embryonic stem cell research have sparked considerable ethical disagreement. The controversy is caused by the fact that embryonic stem cells are obtained through the destruction of human embryos. This circumstance has led many people to claim that embryonic stem cell research is unethical. However, there are also many people who believe that the research is ethical and necessary to the future of modern medicine.

The debate in favor of embryonic stem cell research is based on three main arguments. The first and most important argument is that not all humans are persons. The second argument is that most of the embryos used for experimentation are left over from in-vitro fertilization. These embryos would simply be wasted if not used for research. The final argument is that all the good that will come from the research will far outweigh the negative effects of destroying the embryos.

The outcome of the embryonic stem cell debate could have serious consequences for our society. However, before the ethical arguments can be discussed, it is necessary to have some understanding of what stem cells are and why scientists find them so intriguing.

Stem cells are cells that have not yet been specialized to perform a specific bodily function. They have the ability to turn into many different types of specialized cells such as bone, muscle, and nerve cells. The two main types of stem cells are embryonic and adult. Embryonic stem cells are derived from human embryos. Researchers often proclaim embryonic stem cells as the most promising form of stem cell because of their potential to turn into almost any type of cell. Adult stem cells, on the other hand, are taken from a more developed human. Up until recently, it was believed that adult stem cells could only turn into a limited variety of cells. However, new advances in science indicate that adult stem cells can be “reprogrammed to an embryonic stem cell–like state” (NIH, 2009). These cells, called induced pluripotent stem cells, may be as powerful as true embryonic stem cells. Thus, embryonic research is not the only promising form of stem cell research.

Adult stem cells, which do not raise ethical objections, also hold many possible uses. Stem cells have the potential to cure many previously untreatable diseases and disorders. According to the National Institute of Health website (2009), “Stem cells, directed to differentiate into specific cell types, offer the possibility of a renewable source of replacement cells and tissues to treat diseases including Alzheimer's diseases, spinal cord injury, stroke, burns, heart disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.” Adult stem cells have already been successfully used to treat aliments such as spinal cord injuries, blindness, leukemia, and sickle cell anemia. On the contrary, embryonic stem cells have not yet been used effectively in humans. However, researchers continue to have great faith in their potential: “Stem cells offer exciting promise for future therapies, but significant technical hurdles remain that will only be overcome through years of intensive research” (NIH, 2009). Thus, while embryonic stem cells have many intriguing possibilities, it may be many years before any of them are realized.

The chief argument in favor of embryonic stem cell research is based on creating a distinction between being human and being a person. There is now agreement among most researchers that life begins at conception. According to a report from the Congressional Research Service, “the preimplantation human embryo warrants serious moral consideration as a developing form of human life” (Coleman, 1998, p. 4). Thus, rather than arguing that life does not begin at conception, proponents of embryonic research now believe that personhood does not begin at conception. According to this idea, a being must possess certain qualities in order to be considered a person: “Among these are an entity’s possession of a full human genome; its potential for development into a human being; sentience; and the presence of well- developed cognitive abilities such as consciousness, reasoning ability, or the possession of self-concept” (Chapman, Frankel, & Garfinkel, 1999, p. 11). This theory points out that, although every human cell has the unique set of DNA that classifies it as a member of the human species, not every individual cell is considered a person. Thus, there must be some distinction between being human and being a person. This distinction occurs when a human becomes conscious and able to reason. Since an embryo does not possess these qualities, it is not considered a person. All human cells are not protected by law, because they are not considered people; therefore, embryos, which do not meet all the qualifications of personhood, should not be protected either.

The people who are against embryonic stem cell research see the separation of personhood from humanity not only as fallacious but also dangerous. They argue that the ambiguous definition of personhood allows too much leeway. It is impossible to define exactly the day or second that a human becomes a person. Additionally, if a human can start being a person, they can also stop being one. Thus, any human who loses the ability to reason could potentially be considered a non-person. They would then not possess any inalienable human rights. Eventually, this belief could cause anyone who is mentally handicapped or disabled to be considered less of a person than those people who are of normal mental capacity. This circumstance essentially eliminates the idea that all people are equal and possess inherent human rights.

Both Sides of the Debate on Embryonic Stem Cell Reseach Part 1

Y-Life will, in the next few blog posts, present a paper written by one of our members, Ella B. We are showing you Ella's paper because it isn't biased. It merely presents an argument from both sides without heated debate. Read these installments and decide for yourself.

There are two main types of stem cells used for research, embryonic and adult. Embryonic stem cell research is extremely controversial. The problem with the research is that it involves the destroying of a human embryo. So far, it has not produced any cures. However, adult stem cells have already been used successfully in several applications. Those people who favor embryonic research justify their position by saying that, while embryos are human, they are not people. Thus, embryos do not possess inherent human rights. The opponents of this idea argue that separating personhood from humanity could ultimately lead to the elimination of all inalienable rights. Another argument in favor of embryonic stem cell research is that there are many embryos frozen in in-vitro fertilization clinics that will be wasted if not used for research. It is thus best to get some good out of the embryos by using them for experimentation. The response to this position is that destroying human embryos in an attempt to advance medicine is just as unethical as killing a born person for the same reason. The fact that the person or embryo is going to die eventually is no reason to purposefully kill them. The final reason to support embryonic research is that it has the potential to do great good. This good will hopefully far outweigh the harm done in destroying the embryos. The oppositionists’ response to this idea is that the outcome of research is unpredictable. It is thus unsound to justify actions based on their goal because that goal may never be reached. Since both the possible good and bad effects of embryonic stem cell research are so far reaching, people should be sure to take the time to understand both sides of the debate before forming an opinion on the issue.

To read part 2, click here