Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
mails children a free book each month from birth until they are 5 years old. These high-quality books are chosen by experts in publishing & education, and are based on the child’s age. There are no eligibility requirements for the book club; any child can join.
Parton’s mission is to foster a love of learning in children, making the experience of reading fun and meaningful. Since the program’s inception in 1995, it has distributed more than 172 million children’s books to young readers worldwide.
Children get books appropriate for their age on subjects including nursery rhymes, letters, safety, diversity, and school preparation. Audio and braille books are also available. The first title that children receive is always The Little Engine That Could, and the last title is always Kindergarten, Here I Come! Your child will get at least 60 different books if you sign them up at birth. That’s a lot of reading!
To see if the program is available in your area, visit the availability page and enter your zip code. If the program is available, go through the steps of registering your child (submitting your mailing address & info about your child). [See: https://imaginationlibrary.com]
Many Young Women Feel Pressured
to sleep with and cohabitate with dates and boyfriends to try to win them over and perhaps one day marry them. These kinds of relational mistakes on the part of a young woman often lead a man to ask the proverbial question: Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free? The unique influence or leverage that a young woman has with a potential future husband is squandered away.
A woman who is not sexually available before marriage is perceived and approached differently by men; they have to put in the effort to woo and win her. In contemporary hook-up culture, meanwhile, young women give themselves away for nothing & men don’t have to woo anyone or bother with the complexities of interpersonal relationships or real-life intimacy skills.
Also, many men are drawn into the addictive world of pornography and similarly devalue women by reducing their gifts to a single highly sexualized dimensions. This disrupts healthy patterns of attraction and courtship that are meant to lead to male-female friendship, bonding, and marriage.
The remarkable gifts of a women – her “feminine genius” as Pope St. John Paul II used to refer to it – including the gift of her sexual nature and her interpersonal acumen, need to be esteemed and safeguarded. Over the course of civilization, these gifts have built up the family, protected children, supported men through the bond of marriage, and, more broadly, strengthened the life of society itself. We need great courage and resolve today to protect and advance these precious gifts. [Rev. Tad Pacholczyk, National Catholic Bioethics Center, The Beacon, 3/9/23]
Easter: Every Human Life Worth Saving
An implication of the Easter event is that Jesus’ extraordinary claims about himself were ratified. Jesus assumed a divine prerogative. When his band of Apostles saw him alive again after his death, they came to believe that he is who he said he was. For believers ever since, if the crucified and risen Jesus is divine, there is a moral imperative to make him unambiguously the center of our lives. He fought, not with the weapons of the world, not with an answering violence, but rather with a word of pardon: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.” The Resurrection of Jesus from the dead showed that this spiritual resistance was not in vain. Human beings killed God, and God returned in forgiving love. [Bishop Robert Barron, Wall St. Jnl, 4/3/21]
Mobile Pregnancy Van Parks Outside Planned Parenthood
When Idaho banned virtually all abortions, Planned Parenthood set up an abortuary a few miles over the border, in Oregon. That clinic is just a 45-minute drive from Stanton Healthcare in Meridian, Idaho, specializing in serving women with unexpected pregnancies by providing professional medical care, practical and emotional support, women’s wellness care, and a special outreach to refugee and marginalized communities. Stanton has affiliates across the country.
Stanton Healthcare is deeply troubled that the Ontario Planned Parenthood is engaged in “abortion trafficking” as it attempts to move abortions across state lines. Linda Thomas, Director of Stanton’s Community Outreach, states: “Planned Parenthood is aggressively continuing their profit-driven agenda of abortion as the solution for women facing unexpected pregnancies. They are actively sending Idaho women across state lines. Of the women we see at Stanton who are considering abortion, a full 90% report feeling pressured to do so by someone they trust. Abortion is not the option women choose when they have the support they want & deserve.”
Brandi Swindell, CEO and Founder, said: “Stanton Healthcare could not remain silent or indifferent so we brought our 37-foot, state-of-the-art, mobile medical clinic right next door to Planned Parenthood to serve the women of Oregon and Idaho. While Planned Parenthood treats women as a commodity for profit, Stanton Healthcare is dedicated to providing women with unexpected pregnancies hope and tangible support at no charge.” [www.LifeNews.com, 3/10/23]
Why Boycott Hersheys?
The Hershey Company is facing boycotts and backlash in response to a new ad campaign from Hershey Canada, using a male activist who identifies as a transgender woman as a spokesman for International Women’s Day. While the other four people chosen are actually women, the inclusion of a male dressed as a female in a campaign promoting a holiday dedicated to women has drawn widespread criticism.
In 2021, both Mars, Inc. and Nestle USA joined an op-ed in support of transitioning kids & decrying state laws that protect women’s sports. After years of these firms supporting the erasure of women, it appears that Americans are fed up. Recently, #BoycottHersheys hit number one trending on Twitter. Here are three great alternatives to trans-idolizing chocolate companies like Hershey’s:
- Equal Exchange, a fair-trade worker co-op founded in 1986, specializes in chocolate, coffee, tea, and snacks it sources from 40 small farmer organizations worldwide. It regularly highlights how churches around the world use its products in fostering fellowship, teaching their congregations about the importance of fair trade.
- Gertrude Hawk Chocolates, a family business, continues to bear her name and celebrate her legacy as a female small business founder. Gertrude’s descendants also operate the Hawk Family Foundation, which funds nonprofit organizations and private schools that seek to positively impact children, seniors, those currently incarcerated, and returning citizens. The fund will not contribute to causes that support abortion.
- Läderach, a chocolate company, was dropped by Swiss Air Lines in 2020 for its owner’s pro-life and pro-family views. While simultaneously running his luxury chocolate company, Jürg Läderach was known for his advocacy defending unborn children, upholding natural marriage, & fighting the pornography epidemic — all values that directly impact the human dignity of women. Leadership of the company is now under son Johannes. [Joy Stockbauer, The Washington Stand, 3/5/23]
Gender Transition Surgery?
The U.S. Bishops on March 20 issued new guidance that Catholic health care institutions must not perform gender transition interventions, whether surgical or chemical, on a person regardless of their age. Such interventions “do not respect the fundamental order of the human person as an intrinsic unity of body and soul, with a body that is sexually differentiated.”
“The Hippocratic tradition in medicine calls upon all healthcare providers first and foremost to ‘do no harm,’ the statement explains. “Any technological intervention that does not accord with the fundamental order of the human person as a unity of body and soul, including the sexual difference inscribed in the body, ultimately does not help but, rather, harms the human person.” The document was developed in consultation with medical ethicists, physicians, psychologists, & moral theologians.
With more than 600 hospitals and 1,600 long-term care and other health facilities across the United States, Catholic health ministry is the largest group of nonprofit health care providers in the nation, according to the most recent data from the Catholic Health Association.
The statement said “particular care should be taken to protect children and adolescents, who are still maturing and who are not capable of providing informed consent. The body is not an object, a mere tool at the disposal of the soul, one that each person may dispose of according to his or her own will, but it is a constitutive part of the human subject, a gift to be received, respected, and care for as something intrinsic to the person.”
The U.S. bishops say Catholic health care providers must continue to search for solutions to problems of human suffering, but in ways “that truly promote the flourishing of the human person in his or her bodily integrity. As the range of what we can do expands, we must ask what we should or should not do,” the bishops explain. “An indispensable criterion in making such
determinations is the fundamental order of the created
world. Our use of technology must respect that order.”
[John Lavenburg, https://cruxnow.com, 3/21/23]
Film to See: Unexpected
This fun, funny and uplifting film puts at its center relatable characters dealing with the vicissitudes of life. There are no glib answers; instead, we see flawed yet good-hearted people find the courage to get up when they’ve been knocked down, without super heroes, but with trust in God. And it is no accident that the film ends with a beautiful rendition of the hymn “His eyes are on the sparrow.” In an interview with Christian Headlines, co-producer Patricia Heaton said: “What that song signifies is that the lives that you’re watching in this movie–they’re small lives, they’re people you might pass on the street, never notice, never get to know–but everybody has a story. Everybody’s known to God.” [Maria McFadden Maffucci, Human Life Review, 3/23]