Friday, 13 February 2015

Cardinal Burke visits England in March


SPUC is pleased to announce a talk by Cardinal Raymond Burke, patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta Remaining in the truth of Christ on holy matrimony on Friday, 6th March, 2015, at 7 pm, at Abbey Suite, Doubletree by Hilton Hotel, Warrington Road, Chester, CH2 3PD. All are welcome. Admission free.  

Cardinal Burke is also speaking at SPUC’s youth conference. The SPUC Youth Conference will take place from the 6-8th of March 2015 at the Ramada Plaza Hotel in Southport. It is a unique opportunity to motivate the pro-life youth to go out and spread the pro-life message. The price of the youth conference is £100, including all meals and accommodation. Contact rhoslynthomas@spuc.org.uk A few sponsored places are available.

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Thursday, 12 February 2015

See how SPUC's youth conference forms the next pro-life generation

Rhoslyn Thomas, head of the Youth & Students division, has sent me the following report on last year's Youth Conference in Telford. Rhoslyn hopes to spread the word about the upcoming Youth Conference in Southport (6-8 March) where another excellent line-up of speakers will help to form the next generation of pro-life activists. The talks given at that conference will be published on this blog over the coming weeks.

Below are the recordings of two talks delivered at last year’s International Youth Conference 2014, held in Telford. The conference was very well received with a top range of speakers, as can be seen from the YouTube videos.

The first video shows a debate between Dr. Helen Watt of the Anscombe Centre and Dr. Anthony McCarthy of SPUC. The debate is designed to be an example of arguments used for and against abortion from a philosophical position, with Dr. McCarthy playing devil’s advocate and Dr. Helen Watt putting forward the pro-life position.

Example debate between Dr. Helen Watt of the Anscombe Centre 
and Dr. Anthony McCarthy of SPUC


The following video is of a talk delivered by Dr. William Newton, Associate Professor of Theology at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, Austria Progam. Dr. Newton’s talk points out with great clarity the relationship between a contraceptive culture and abortion. He examines the practical consequences of society’s changing views on sex and how practically abortions flows from such changes in attitude.

Relationship between a contraceptive culture and abortion
Dr William Newton

This year, the SPUC Youth Conference will take place from the 6-8th of March 2015 at the Ramada Plaza Hotel in Southport. The line-up of speakers will include Cardinal Burke, the newly appointed patron of the Sovereign Order of Malta. The title of Cardinal Burke’s talk will be: The New Evangelisation of the Fallen Christian West.

The Youth Conference is a unique opportunity to unite and motivate the pro-life youth to go out and spread the pro-life message amongst their peers, as well as in their families and communities. Amongst young people, some are enthusiastic but lack proper up-to-date information, others are well-informed but need to be inspired to carry on the pro-life fight. The youth conference serves both groups: simultaneously educating and motivating the youth of today.

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Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Albert Gibson's love poem to Betty Gibson, my friend and great pro-life figure

Yesterday I had the pleasure of visiting Albert Gibson in Belfast - with whom I'm pictured (right). Albert is the patriarch of the Gibson family, a family which has provided truly great pro-life leadership in Northern Ireland for 35 years.

At 93, Albert is full of life. He gets the bus into town every day to go to Mass. He meets Gerard, his eldest son every week in town to play chess. Albert has won awards for his poetry and he has plans to publish his latest work Requiem sans Musique in the near future.

Above all he lives for love - love of his family and love of Betty, who died on 4th August 2009, for whom he goes to Mass to pray daily. May she rest in peace.

As well as making and serving the dinners in the local primary school, Betty raised her family and led the pro-life battle in Northern Ireland for 30 years. She was one of the most well-informed pro-lifers I've ever met and politicians of all parties and faiths in Northern Ireland held her in the highest respect. My personal friendship with Betty and her family has been a joy and anchor for me for over three decades.

Albert's Requiem without Music begins with some verses which speak of the love they shared. He has
kindly given me permission to reproduce these verses, entitled "Lovely Days":
Lovely are my gentle hills
in the sun of summer bathing.
Across the sky fleeced and white,
Heaven's sheep are grazing.
And I, and I with no regrets
feel young in Love and happy.
Gentle are my lovely hills,
precious autumn falling,
rich and golden from on high
on this land so blessed.
And I, and I more grateful yet
for Love is poured out on me.
Shrouded now my silent hills
in mists and rains that curtain
and slowly trail 'mid quiet trees
in streams, Joys not forgotten.
And I, and I can speak of Love,
the fountain, pure, eternal.
Green, green my Antrim hills,
alive, awake, a'stirring
with strong new growth
and birds in Love
with the world renewing.
And I, and I, sweet reverie
those lovely days recalling,
regretting none, relive each one
my life of Joy with Betty.
That my eyes should see
on Belfast Lough,
'neath a sky bruised red and bleeding
as the dying sun leaves us both alone,
the lough's last horizon
And you, and I, our arms entwined
shall stroll to Love's Beginning.

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