Marian Helper Spring 2024

Marian Helper • Spring 2024 • Marian.org 27 Divine Mercy cradle Amazingly enough, Anthony was born a couple blocks from what would become St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, home parish of the Pelczynski and Michalenko families. Father Ladislaus “Walter” Pelczynski, MIC, would go on to oversee the Marian Fathers’ purchase of Eden Hill, eventual home of the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy, and found the Association of Marian Helpers in 1944. Father Seraphim Michalenko, MIC, was the great teacher and promoter of Divine Mercy, secretly bringing the microfilm copy of the Diary of St. Faustina out of Communist Poland so it could be translated and published around the world. He documented both the beatification and canonization miracles for St. Faustina’s cause for canonization, and produced best-selling materials such as the Divine Mercy Message and Devotion booklet to spread Divine Mercy around the world. In other words, these Marian Fathers, members of a religious congregation of men dedicated to the service of the Woman, the Blessed Virgin Mary, played unique roles in ensuring the voice of St. Faustina Kowalska, one of the most unlikely and yet influential women of the 20th century, was heard by the whole world. And St. Faustina, like Susan B. Anthony, was staunchly pro-life. For example, she wrote, “I saw this sign of divine wrath which was about to strike the earth, and in particular a certain place” (Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, 474). According to St. Faustina’s spiritual director, Bl. Michael Sopoćko, the reason for this chastisement was “especially for the killing of infants not yet born, the most grievous crime of all.” Culture of death Contrast this with the historical origins of the culture of death. There are direct connections between some of the founding figures of the modern pro-abortion movement and the eugenics movement of the late 1800s and early 1900s. After all, the culture of death grows out of the American heritage of race-based slavery, the same myths of inferiority. Without the eugenics movement, there may well never have been Margaret Sanger and her Birth Control Review (Sanger used the phrase “Birth Control: To Create a Race of Thoroughbreds” as a banner on the November 1921 issue), or her notorious organization, Planned Parenthood. Don’t believe me? Planned Parenthood itself acknowledged that connection between racism and their founder in 2021, when they announced plans to remove Margaret Sanger’s name from the Manhattan Health Center in New York City. “Margaret Sanger’s concerns and advocacy for reproductive health have been clearly documented, but so too has her racist legacy,” said Karen Seltzer, Planned Parenthood board chair. “There is overwhelming evidence for Sanger’s deep belief in eugenic ideology, which runs completely counter to our values.” Around the same time, Jesuit Fr. Michael Maher, a former professor of mine at Gonzaga University, responded: “There are some who have nourished themselves on the poisonous idea that the human person is a living creature but differs only in degree and not in kind from other living creatures. This mistaken view of human nature, the killing and removing of what Margaret Sanger considered to be to ‘human weeds,’ established a foundational idea that serves as a first premise to a deadly logic, and this logic is used as a faulty response to the world’s problems.” Human dignity Supporting women and the pro-life struggle in defense of human life and human dignity are all part of the same project. Great servants of the natural law and the God who created that law like Susan B. Anthony, Frs. Pelczynski and Michalenko, St. Faustina, and Pope St. John Paul II show us the way. A campaign is under way to save and restore the historic St. Stanislaus Kostka Church in Adams, Massachusetts. Visit SSKPreservation.org for more information. Susan B. Anthony, who hailed from the same small Massachusetts town as a number of Marian priests, was staunchly pro-life. She campaigned strongly against the leading abortionist of her time, Madame Restell.

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