Jeanne Condon

How my unplanned, out-of-wedlock pregnancy turned into ‘Happily Ever After’

Jeanne Condon
By Jeanne Condon
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November 24, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - To tell my story it is important to share the reactions of my parents when I told them of my pregnancy.

I was 24 years old and working full time at a job that I really liked.  I had felt quite flu-ish when someone suggested I might be pregnant. Impossible, I thought. So I took an at-home pregnancy test that instantly came back positive. I took several deep breaths. 

I kept my secret for a few days while doing much thinking and soul searching. Finally, I picked up the telephone and called my Mom and told her my news. She began to cry tears of sorrow and, I imagine shame, for my future and their present. I knew she loved me and was hurting for me. Mom would tell Dad at the appropriate time, whenever that was.

How surprised I was when seconds later my telephone rang and it was my Dad. The first words out of his mouth, which I now cherish, were “Jeanne, we’re going to make this scar into a star!” Relief and gratitude for parents who loved me so much poured into my heart. I was not going to be rejected or thrown out into the street to fend for myself.

Back at work, people told me to just get an abortion and get on with my life. Deep inside with wisdom only from God, I responded that abortion was murder and I could not kill my baby.

I did let the father of this baby know that I was pregnant. He had moved away to Texas and though he suggested that we get married, the lack of verbal and emotional support expressed over the telephone, told me loud and clear that I would rather be “single and happy than married and miserable.” 

The pregnancy progressed and everyone in my large family - I am the oldest of 6 children - started to get excited about the birth of this first grandchild and niece or nephew. I moved back home and waited for my baby to be born. Daniel John made his arrival on April 26, 1984. My Mom and 4 sisters were all present. Everyone agreed that life and birth is always a miracle and there was great rejoicing!!

In my heart I knew it would be just ‘the two of us’, Mommy and baby, and no man would get near me now, and maybe, ever again.  I had 4 months being home with Danny until I went back to work part time at a new job. My Mom delightedly watched and cared for Danny, which was a tremendous blessing! The two of them developed a very strong love for one another that still exists to this day.

Part time hours became full time work. When I got home at the end of the day we would all gather in my ample bedroom and drink a beer (good for breastmilk) while I nursed Danny and then passed him around to be burped and held, for he suffered from colic. These were precious hours of laughter and sharing with my sisters and Mom that we all treasure.

My next younger sister got engaged to be married and I volunteered to be the photographer. I took my camera to the local camera store where I had pictures of my darling son Danny developed. There I hoped to be given some tips on photographing weddings. Brian, the store manager, was there and helpful, as usual.

Four days before my sister’s wedding I literally ran into Brian as he was coming out of his camera store. He asked me if I would like to go for a quick soda while he was on a 15-minute break. I said ok.  That short break turned into 1 ½ hours where Brian finally made the connection with the woman who brought in baby pictures and the woman who was getting tutored on wedding photography, and that they were one and the same: me.

When I told Brian that I had a 9-month-old son, he paused ever so briefly and said ok and we continued talking. In his head and heart though he already knew I was “the one” because I had told him I was Catholic. He had been waiting for years to find a Catholic girl!

What a wonderful ‘date’ that was! When it was time to say good-bye, I put out my hand to shake hands and he opened his arms for a hug. WOW! Then he asked if he could see me again! After I said yes (as calmly as I could), I drove home as a very happy gal and then burst into the house shouting out for all to hear, “He asked me out! He asked me out! The nice guy in the camera store asked me out!”

We did go out and we talked most every night on the phone. After 2 months I asked Brian what he would like for Danny to call him. Brian’s exact words were, “Have him call me ‘Daddy’!”

Those were the sweetest most endearing words I could ever hope to hear, except maybe, “Would you marry me?” and I did hear that less than a year later when Brian proposed to me on my sister’s first wedding anniversary.

So the girl who thought no one could ever love her because she had a baby, got married and lived happily ever after.  We celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary this year with all of our 8 children.

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Lisa Bourne

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Pressure mounts as Catholic Relief Services fails to act on VP in gay ‘marriage’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne
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Rick Estridge, Catholic Relief Services' Vice President of Overseas Finance, is in a same-sex "marriage," public records show. Twitter

BALTIMORE, MD, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Nearly a week after news broke that a Catholic Relief Services vice president had contracted a homosexual “marriage” while also publicly promoting homosexuality on social media in conflict with Church teaching, the US Bishops international relief agency has taken no apparent steps to address the matter and is also not talking.

CRS Vice President of Overseas Finance Rick Estridge entered into a homosexual “marriage” in Maryland the same month in 2013 that he was promoted by CRS to vice president, public records show.

Despite repeated efforts at a response, CRS has not acknowledged LifeSiteNews’ inquiries during the week. And the agency told ChurchMilitant.com Thursday that no action had been taken beyond discussion of the situation and CRS would have no further comment.

"Nothing has changed,” CRS Senior Manager for Communications Tom said. “No further statement will be made."

LifeSiteNews first contacted CRS for a response prior to the April 20 release of the report and did not receive a reply, however Estridge’s Facebook and LinkeIn profiles were then removed just prior to the report’s release.

CRS also did not acknowledge LifeSiteNews’ follow-up inquiry later in the week.

“Having an executive who publicly celebrates a moral abomination shows the ineffectiveness of CRS' Catholic identity training,” Lepanto Institute President Michael Hichborn told LifeSiteNews. “How many others who hate Catholic moral teaching work at CRS?”

CRS did admit it was aware Estridge was in a “same-sex civil marriage” to Catholic News Agency (CNA) Monday afternoon, and confirmed he was VP of Overseas Finance and had been with CRS for 16 years.

“At this point we are in deliberations on this matter,” Price told CNA that day.

ChurchMilitant.com also reported that according to its sources, it was a well-known fact at CRS headquarters in Baltimore that Estridge was in a homosexual “marriage.” 

“There is no way CRS didn't know one of its executives entered into a mock-marriage until we broke the story,” Hichborn said. “The implication is clear; CRS top brass had no problem with having an executive so deliberately flouting Catholic moral teaching.”

“The big question is,” Hichborn continued, “what other morally repugnant matters is CRS comfortable with?”

While the wait continues for the Bishops’ relief organization to address the matter, those behind the report and other critics of prior instances of CRS involvement in programs and groups that violate Church principles continue to call for a thorough and independent review of the agency programs and personnel.

“How long should it take to call an employee into your office, tell him that his behavior is incompatible with the mission of the organization, and ask for his resignation?” asked Population Research Institute President Steven Mosher. “About thirty minutes, I would say.”

“The Catholic identity of CRS is at stake,” Hichborn stated. “If CRS does nothing, then there is no way faithful Catholics can trust the integrity of CRS's programs or desire to make its Catholicity preeminent.” 

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Thousands of marriage activists gathered in D.C. June 19, 2014 for the 2nd March for Marriage. Dustin Siggins / LifeSiteNews.com
The Editors

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Watch the March for Marriage online—only at LifeSiteNews

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WASHINGTON, D.C., April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- At noon on Saturday, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and dozens of cosponsors, coalition partners, and speakers will launch the third annual March for Marriage. Thousands of people are expected to take place in this important event to show the support real marriage has among the American people.

As the sole media sponsor of the March, LifeSiteNews is proud to exclusively livestream the March. Click here to see the rally at noon Eastern Time near the U.S. Capitol, and the March to the Supreme Court at 1:00 Eastern Time.

And don't forget to pray that God's Will is done on Tuesday, when the Supreme Court hears arguments about marriage!

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Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben

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Hillary Clinton: ‘Religious beliefs’ against abortion ‘have to be changed’

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By Ben Johnson

NEW YORK CITY, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Speaking to an influential gathering in New York City on Thursday, Hillary Clinton declared that “religious beliefs” that condemn "reproductive rights," “have to be changed.”

“Yes, we've cut the maternal mortality rate in half, but far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health,” Hillary told the Women in the World Summit yesterday.

Liberal politicians use “reproductive health” as a blanket term that includes abortion. However, Hillary's reference echoes National Organization for Women (NOW) president Terry O’Neill's op-ed from last May that called abortion “an essential measure to prevent the heartbreak of infant mortality.”

The Democratic presidential hopeful added that governments should throw the power of state coercion behind the effort to redefine traditional religious dogmas.

“Rights have to exist in practice, not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources, and political will,” she said. “Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed.”

The line received rousing applause at the feminist conference, hosted in Manhattan's Lincoln Center by Tina Brown.

She also cited religious-based objections to the HHS mandate, funding Planned Parenthood, and the homosexual and transgender agenda as obstacles that the government must defeat.

“America moves ahead when all women are guaranteed the right to make their own health care choices, not when those choices are taken away by an employer like Hobby Lobby,” she said. The Supreme Court ruled last year that closely held corporations had the right to opt out of the provision of ObamaCare requiring them to provide abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization to employees with no co-pay – a mandate that violates the teachings of the Catholic Church and other Christian bodies.

Clinton lamented that “there are those who offer themselves as leaders...who would defund the country's leading provider of family planning,” Planned Parenthood, “and want to let health insurance companies once again charge women just because of our gender.”

“We move forward when gay and transgender women are embraced...not fired from good jobs because of who they love or who they are,” she added.

It is not the first time the former first lady had said that liberal social policies should displace religious views. In a December 2011 speech in Geneva, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said perhaps the “most challenging issue arises when people cite religious or cultural values as a reason to violate or not to protect the human rights of LGBT citizens.” These objections, she said, are “not unlike the justification offered for violent practices towards women like honor killings, widow burning, or female genital mutilation.”

While opinions on homosexuality are “still evolving,” in time “we came to learn that no [religious] practice or tradition trumps the human rights that belong to all of us.”

Her views, if outside the American political mainstream, have been supported by the United Nations. The UN Population Fund stated in its 2012 annual report that religious objections to abortion-inducing drugs had to be overcome. According to the UNFPA report, “‘duty-bearers’ (governments and others)” have a responsibility to assure that all forms of contraception – including sterilization and abortion-inducing ‘emergency contraception’ – are viewed as acceptable – “But if they are not acceptable for cultural, religious or other reasons, they will not be used.”

Two years later, the United Nations' Committee on the Rights of the Child instructed the Vatican last February that the Catholic Church should amend canon law “relating to abortion with a view to identifying circumstances under which access to abortion services may be permitted.”

At Thursday's speech, Hillary called the legal, state-enforced implementation of feminist politics “the great unfinished business of the 21st century,” which must be accomplished “not just for women but for everyone — and not just in far away countries but right here in the United States.”

“These are not just women's fights. These have to be America's fights and the world's fights,” she said. “There's still much to be done in our own country, much more to be done around the world, but I'm confident and optimistic that if we get to work, we will get it done together.”

American critics called Clinton's suggestion that a nation founded upon freedom of religion begin using state force to change religious practices unprecedented.

“Never before have we seen a presidential candidate be this bold about directly confronting the Catholic Church's teachings on abortion,” said Bill Donohue of the Catholic League.

“In one sense, this shows just how extreme the pro-abortion caucus actually is,” Ed Morrissey writes at HotAir.com. “Running for president on the basis of promising to use the power of government to change 'deep seated cultural codes [and] religious beliefs' might be the most honest progressive slogan in history.”

He hoped that, now that she had called for governments to change religious doctrines, “voters will now see the real Hillary Clinton, the one who dismisses their faith just the same as Obama did, and this time publicly rather than in a private fundraiser.”

Donohue asked Hillary “to take the next step and tell us exactly what she plans to do about delivering on her pledge. Not only would practicing Catholics like to know, so would Evangelicals, Orthodox Jews, Muslims, and all those who value life from conception to natural death.”

You may watch Hillary's speech below.

Her comments on religion begin at approximately 9:00. 

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