Plattsburgh - On Monday, March 17th at St. John the Baptist Church in Plattsburgh, over one-hundred faithful were treated to a unique visit from a missionary replica of Our Lady of Czestochowa. The icon, which was touched to the original in Poland, is the centerpiece of Human Life International’s program “From Ocean to Ocean With the Black Madonna in defense of life” www.hli.org/oceantoocean.
The image began it’s mission in 2012 and has been in 25 countries on a 40,000 mile trek through Russia, Europe, the US and Canada. Fr. Peter West, Vice President for Missions for Human Life International was headed with the image to Vermont, then Montreal & Ottawa but made a two-hour stop in Plattsburgh. Fr. West concelebrated 9AM Mass; the main celebrant was Fr. Timothy Canaan, pastor of St. John the Baptist Church in Plattsburgh. After Mass, all were invited to venerate the image, place prayer intentions in a box and take prayer cards and touch them to the replica.
Tradition holds that the original icon of the Black Madonna was painted by St. Luke on a cypress table used by the Holy Family. While the icon’s location during the early years are hard to determine, it is believed that it was brought from Jerusalem by St. Helen in the 4th century and was enshrined in Constantinople for 500 years before being transferred to the royal palace at Belz in Ukraine for the next 600 years. It arrived at it’s present home in the Jasna Gora monastery in Czestochowa, Poland in 1382.
After the Mass at St. John’s the image, which has been associated with several miraculous events, was transported to Planned Parenthood to accompany those who were praying during the 40 Days for Life campaign. The icon was at Planned Parenthood less than five minutes before the clinic director called the police, complaining that the image was occupying a parking spot. Fr. Peter West moved the image back to his vehicle and resumed the rest of his pilgrimage.
The tradition of pilgrimage with a sacred icon is based in the Old Testament, when the Jews carried the Ark of the Covenant into battle (Joshua 3: 3-6). Many Fathers of the Church consider Mary the Ark of the New Covenant. May we pray for the intercession of Our Lady of Czestochowa, asking God to help in the battle to unite all in the defense of life and the effort to build a civilization of life and love.
Gianna of Albany, a Catholic healthcare center committed to delivering high quality, scientifically based, ethically sound health care for all women opened its doors October 2013. Dr. Jan Patterson, a board-certified family physician with an area of concentration in women’s health and infertility said she contacted the National Gianna Center because she saw a need in the Albany area. “I was actually at home with my six kids (ages 9 to 22) and decided I wanted to get back into practice - since I am trained and knew there wasn’t anyone around. I had three friends who had miscarriages and thought maybe I could have done something about it if I was in practice...I want to help the community.”
Patterson earned her Bachelor of Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware and her medical degree from Pennsylvania State College of Medicine. Her residency was at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Dr. Patterson has been board certified in Family Medicine since 1990 and had a practice in Texas for 15 years before moving to the Albany area, seven years ago. She relocated due to her husband’s job in semi conductor technology.
Gianna Centers serve women with a deep commitment to honoring their dignity and the sanctity of life. They provide medical services in a way that is consistent with and supportive of the the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholics. In addition to general gynecological care, they feature two unique women’s health services - the Creighton Model of Natural Family Planning and NaPro Technology which both allow for a natural, restorative, scientifically-based approach to monitoring health and managing fertility - unlike many doctors who prescribe birth control pills and encourage in-vitro fertilization which are contrary to Catholic teaching.
Conditions treated by NaPro Technology include: infertility, recurrent miscarriage, menstrual cramps, PMS, ovarian cysts, polycystic ovarian disease, postpartum depression, hormonal abnormalities and irregular or abnormal bleeding. One of the most exciting applications for NaPro Technology is in the area of infertility. More than 30 years of research into correcting the causes of infertility have made it possible for NaPro Technology physicians to help as many as 70% of infertile couples conceive a pregnancy.
According to Dr. Patterson, Gianna of Albany has close to 50 patients. “We are starting off slowly - two days a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays or as needed.”Dr. Patterson currently participates with the following insurance companies: MVP, Fidelis, Tri-Care, Aetna, United, CDPHP and Blue Shield of NorthEast New York and has applied to participate with Empire Blue Cross and Empire Plan of United.
The Most Rev. Howard J. Hubbard, Bishop of Albany, blessed the newly opened Gianna of Albany Health and Fertility Care on January 17, 2013. The office is located at 242 S. Central Ave., Mechanicville, NY. For more information about Gianna of Albany or to make an appointment call 518-779-5225 or visit www.giannaofalbany.com.
(Reporters note: Gianna Centers are named after Saint Gianna Beretta Molla, an Italian pediatrician from the 20th century who continued her pregnancy even after she found she had a uterine tumor. She delivered a healthy baby girl, also named Gianna, but died tragically 8 days later. )
On May 6, Bishop LaValley approved a record twenty-seven grants from this year’s Respect Life second collection. The collection total was the highest to date $82,738. “Thank you to everyone who donated so generously. It made the committee’s job much easier.” said Respect Life Director Colleen Miner. The grant committee comprised of Rev. Kris Lauzon, Pastor of The Catholic Community of Holy Name and St. Matthew’s, Angelo and Suzanne Pietropaoli, directors of the Natural Family Planning Office and John and Colleen Miner, directors of the Respect Life Office review each grant application and submit suggested award amounts to Bishop LaValley for his review and approval.
Recipients of this year’s grants include: 6 Gabriel Projects (Gouverneur, Potsdam, Brasher Falls, Massena, Plattsburgh and Canton), Malone Catholic Charities, 3 Youth Buses for Life, 2 March for Life family buses (Lewis County & Clinton County), Birthright, Lewis County Right to Life Fair Booth, Liferight of Watertown, a pro-life radio & billboard campaign, Brook Haven House for single moms, USCCB Natural Family Planning materials & Respect Life Month pastor packets, 40 Days for Life, Plattsburgh’s Pregnancy Center, Catholic Heart Workcamp, St. John XXIII Newman Center educational brochures, speaker fees for an End of Life Issues Conference and a workshop to build strong families.
Suffering after an abortion? You're not alone. Consider attending a Rachel's Vineyard after-abortion healing retreat. The Diocese of Ogdensburg offers two retreats yearly. The next retreat will be held over Columbus Day Weekend in October. Space is limited. Pre-registration is required. Please use the form below.
New Gabriel Project in Canton
Canton - St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Canton is the newest site of a Gabriel Project. The parish-based apostolate joins eleven other locations in our diocese, offering hope and assistance to women in a crisis pregnancy. According to parish coordinator, Linda Trill, Gabriel angels (women trained for the ministry) will act as advocates and spiritual mentors for women in need both before and after pregnancy. “We will promote the message of the angel Gabriel, ‘Rejoice, Fear not!’”
Mrs. Trill is the mother of five adult children and has four grandchildren. She was a young mother, having her first child at the age of sixteen. “I know what it’s like to be in a pregnancy and not know what’s going to happen next”, said Trill who first learned about Gabriel Project while riding with a friend to a Formation for Ministry class. Shortly after, the parish was approached by a mom in need. Trill said “I thought, this is something I’d like to do. It’s something our parish needs. Father Doug Lucia (pastor of St. Mary’s) has been super! He’s with me 100 percent!”
After sitting in on a couple of Potsdam Gabriel Project meetings and touring the Brasher Falls Gabriel Project, Trill along with twelve interested volunteers from St. Mary’s attended a training session on March 1st. Mid March, the group held a parish-wide baby shower to collect baby items which will be kept in a couple of the rooms in the rectory which have been designated for the Gabriel Project. Trill said “A donation of shelving units was received but there is a need for more shelving or bookcases for the storeroom. The Knights of Columbus (Sarto Council #1059) will soon purchase a sign for the parish lawn. It’s amazing how it’s coming together. Everyone has been very helpful especially the other Gabriel Projects - Massena, Potsdam, Gouverneur, Brasher Falls.”