Changing the world |
- one Hail Mary at a time!
First of a multi-part story of the Whittaker Family, a Catholic clan whose fiat might well have changed the course of America for the better!
Over the past several commentaries in these pages, we have been talking about how the causes and effects of history have made an impact in society today. Recently we doused the "rapture" myths, ballyhooed by evangelicals fostering the doom and gloom of the Apocalypse, by documenting the Word in Sacred Scripture and illustrating the 2000-year cyclical and historical pattern in which God recleanses the face of the earth. We railed at the way modern historians have rewritten history to suit political correctness while ignoring, rather demeaning, the Church's role in civilization. We reminded readers of the vision of Saint John Bosco and the Two Pillars, a scenario that has been confirmed by the Third Secret of Fatima in clinging to the Barque of Peter through the choppy, engulfing, dangerous and oft-times fatal seas of the 20th Century that have claimed many martyrs as well as defections from the good ship. Just last week, we documented how two great men in the latter part of this past century - Pope John Paul II and President Ronald W. Reagan changed the world for the better by bringing down the iron curtain. In our last editorial, we illustrated the growing impact the orthodox leaders from the heartland of the Church in America are having on Rome.
Michael Cain, editor
Today, and for the next several installments of CATHOLIC PewPOINT, we are going to share with you an on-going historical event you may not have heard of until now. It is truly a cause that has already shown a tremendous effect for the good. It rivals and parallels the historical annals of Lepanto when Don Juan of Austria led an undermanned fleet of Christian sailors against the mighty Turkish Armada. Carrying the standard bearer of Christ and the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, personally given to Don Juan by the Pope, the "Davids" of the Holy League of Nations, in coalition with countless prayer warriors on land, miraculously banded together, bonded by the common link of the links to Heaven - the HOLY ROSARY - to save Europe from the heathens. They defeated the mighty "Goliath," claiming victory in the Bay of Lepanto on October 7, 1571. It is a great date in Church history and an event of such magnitude that it caused Pope Saint Pius V to proclaim that day as "Our Lady of Victory for the Holy Rosary." It remained thus until 1960 when Blessed Pope John XXIII changed it to "Our Lady of the Rosary."
And it is the Rosary that is the link from the original Lepanto to the modern day Lepanto as we wrote about numerous times over the past several, crucial months beginning with our October 6th editorial Just like Lepanto, the victory can be ours if we want it badly enough!!, in our early November editorial The time has come to put your vote where your heart is! , in our editorial immediately after the election Only prayer will offset the trick plays the culture of death will attempt in sudden death! and our
late November editorial Prayer! It's our only weapon! Let's use it!. In addition we promoted this on-going historical event in our December editorials Fulfilling the Will of God for His people! and It's time for our Bishops to be shepherds, not shirkers! . We continued to keep it in the public eye in our mid-January commentary "New wine must be put into fresh skins" and our editorial on the 28th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade Never Again! and, finally, in our
January 29th commentary We must be persistent persuaders! , in which we reemphasized the need to take a stand on our knees for through prayer and our actions we can move the mass of "sheeople" who baah at so many false carrots. If we are persistent persuaders, we can move mountains.
Thanks to St. Pius' persistence and perseverence, he convinced the faithful there was hope if they prayed. And he offered the faithful the most powerful weapon ever on the face of this earth: the Holy Rosary. It's power is fathomless. Fast-forward 430 years. We have today a Pope of the same calibre as Pius V, who has constantly called for the same persistence and perseverence; a holy Pontiff who has consistently entreated his fellow bishops to uncompromisingly uphold the Sanctity of Life; a great Sovereign who constantly encourages devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary; a Vicar of Christ who emphasizes the role of the laity in evangelization and leading the Church. At the same time we have many bishops and pastors whose ears and hearts remain closed to the successor of Peter's words, who straddle the fence, cower from controversy and are intimidated by the IRS and the liberal media. Because of this and their own Pharisaic pride, they fail to recognize or encourage the laity to take action.
While some of the bishops and pastors were giving lip-service to voting Pro Life, one family was doing something about it. The determination of this family embodies the hope of the Church today. This family represents all that is right with America. What makes them special is that they didn't just sit there and take a passive part in America's future, they refused to be part of the herd mentality. They dared to be different and make a difference. They dared to live their Catholicity to the fullest. To hear their side, they still don't realize the magnitude of what they did or how unique they truly are.
In a way it's sad there aren't more families out there like this special family living on the outskirts of the Beltway, for when you analyze it, they were merely doing what every Catholic family should have been doing. Had one percent of the 62.4 million Catholics responded as this modest family of thirteen did, America would be the crown jewel of the Church. America would be free of the culture of death today! It hasn't happened yet, but possibly the story of this special family will stir other families to make a stronger commitment to carry out all His Holiness has asked; perhaps it will motivate bishops and pastors to stand up and be counted, to speak out more strongly for the Sanctity of Life by walking the walk rather than just talking the talk.
As we said in the first paragraph, we have a story to tell about a family of thirteen who indeed has proven this through their prayerful persistence and action. Indeed, over the past several months, while history was being made throughout the entire, confusing, close election events that consumed our days and nights, behind the scenes, an exemplary, dedicated family from Front Royal, Virginia was manning the phones and e-mails, going above and beyond the call of duty to raise over three and a half million Rosary pledges to be prayed throughout the next four critical years; to be prayed that the sin of abortion will be silenced; that hearts will be converted like never before.
This special family is the Whittaker family: Greg and Toni, and their eleven children - Jacinta, 17; Bernadette, 15; Marija Mir, 14; Lucia, 13; Elizabeth, 11; Anna, 9; Francisco, 7; Magdalena, 5; Joseph, 4; Anthony, 2; and the youngest at 9 months John. This is truly a Catholic family in every sense of the meaning, a positive reminder of the good old days when large families were the norm; a true throwback family who bridge the generations with a genuine reverence for the traditions and teachings of the Church and the tried and true American can-do spirit. Their values, ideals, perseverance and amazing accomplishments need to be told in every parish, every diocese, in Catholic publications, even secular publications. Heck, we can even see a made-for-TV movie since their fiat truly is a feel-good story that should move millions. Their achievements against tremendous odds should receive the proper recognition both in the White House and the hallowed halls of the Vatican.
The power of the Rosary was manifested at Lepanto and the glorious results have clearly been made evident today in this modern Lepanto; for the millions of Rosaries raised by the Whittakers have not only made a difference in this first month of Bush's presidency, but, possibly and prayerfully, forever changed the course of America.
Over the next several installments of CATHOLIC PewPOINT we will meet this marvelous family, endeavor to tell the Whittaker's story, often times in their own words, and hopefully move many to emulate their resolve, to join Mary's growing army of Rosary revolutionaries who believe through Faith that they are truly changing the world - one Hail Mary at a time!
Coming Wednesday: Part Two: Like Lepanto, the Battle for Life is worth it!
For past editorials, see CATHOLIC PewPOINT Archives
February 12, 2001
volume 12, no. 43
CATHOLIC PewPOINT commentary