Peter Baklinski

‘Professor of love’: Daughter with Down syndrome inspires pro-life author to pen trilogy

Peter Baklinski
Peter Baklinski

GILBERT, Arizona, March 20, 2012 ( – A family from Venezuela once gifted Mother Teresa and her Missionaries of Charity with a house and some land. The family also cared for an acutely disabled child. Mother Teresa, immediately drawn to the child, asked his name. “Our ‘professor of love’, that’s what we call him,” answered the child’s mother. “Beautiful!” replied the holy woman, “let him continue his teaching on love.”

How can a disabled, diseased, or sickly child teach anyone how to love? The common understanding is that the child’s overwhelming needs may simply swamp the emotional and physical capacity of the parents or caregivers. In fact, nearly ninety percent of mothers with a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome fall for this argument, and opt for abortion.

But when author Sherry Boas adopted a baby girl with Down syndrome she could hardly have imagined how her little girl was about to wiggle into her heart, ultimately inspiring a trilogy of novels that are taking the culture of life by storm.

Boas told LifeSiteNews her stories “attempt to subtly proclaim the value of every human soul, even if it can do nothing more than love or be loved.”

Boas revealed that not only did her adopted daughter Teresa have an extra 21st chromosome, but she was also conceived in rape. “Her chances of making it into the world were very slim,” she said. “Her birth mother acted out of love, not fear, and so because of her valiant choice, the rest of us get to benefit from Teresa’s very rare brand of love.”

The first novel of Boas’s trilogy, “Until Lily,” tells the story of Bev Greeley, a crotchety old woman faced with the task of trying to find meaning and purpose in her life as she approaches the end of her road in the desolation of a sterile nursing home. Bev’s only link to sanity is her adopted daughter Lily, an embodiment of joy who has Down syndrome.

Lily had made a forceful and unwanted entrance into Bev’s shallow life many years ago. Now Bev finds herself turning to Lily, the burden she had sorely borne for so long, as her treasured source of joy, consolation, love, and even redemption. A brilliant twist at the end of the story opens the reader to the great vista of all the enriching potential that a child with Down syndrome could bring into one’s life.

The second novel, “Wherever Lily Goes,” is about Bev’s daughter Terry, a married woman with children who finds herself midway through life’s journey with a depressed husband who has had a vasectomy, and a high school daughter who has already wetted her feet in the culture of death. An opportunity for Terry and her family to care for Lily sets the family on a journey of self-discovery, forgiveness, and healing. Lily and her joyful exuberance become the therapeutic salve for the various wounds suffered by the members of the family.

In the final novel, “Life Entwined with Lily’s,” Terry’s daughter Beth has succumbed to the culture of death. The ghost of a particular choice she once made relentlessly haunts her and threatens to overshadow her entire future. Lily unwittingly gives the struggling Beth the courage and hope that she needs to confront her past demons and come to peace.

Boas told LifeSiteNews that she was inspired to write the series after tucking her daughter with Down syndrome into bed one evening. “What are we missing because these people — and all the other people who have been aborted — are not among us?,” she asked herself as she kissed her daughter good night. Boas pointed out that the Lily trilogy answers this question in a “very subtle, entertaining, humorous and sometimes heart-wrenching way.”

“I wrote a trilogy of novels that set out to subtly address a good number of issues contributing to the culture of death: abortion, euthanasia, sterilization, unresponsive medical care, divorce, infidelity and promiscuity,” she said. “The books are based around Lily, a character with Down Syndrome. But they are not about her. They are about you and me.”

Boas hopes that her readers will be left with the message that “hope reigns and mercy is unbounded.”

“It’s an emotional series. Some people have told me that they have had to stop part-way through and rest for awhile to deal with all the difficult issues the characters are facing. But when they get to the last page, there is a great and gentle uplifting. Other readers devour the books in a weekend. I think it means something different to everyone because there are so many different emotional threads that run through it.”

Boas’ trilogy is striking a cord with people from all walks of life.

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of Phoenix, Arizona called Sherry’s novels “made for our times,” adding that they are “another sign that the Lord is building a culture of life today, even as the culture of death rages around us.”

“[The Lily Trilogy] shows the rich humanity of those least appreciated in our day: the elderly in nursing homes, unborn children in the womb, and persons with disabilities. It does so with warmth and humor, but without sugar-coating or omitting the sacrifice that love always costs,” he said.

Jeffrey Mirus, President of raved that the trilogy “provide[s] a thoroughly natural, and so thoroughly believable, look at life, aspirations and family. ... The author’s perceptiveness and wit are present on every page.”

Catholic retailers are delighted to have fiction to offer their customers from a genuinely Catholic worldview.

“It is not very often that one gets to read something that pairs relevant, current, hot-button life issues with masterful storytelling,” said Aquinas and More product manager Jeremy Oliver.

“The Lily Trilogy does just that. With expert character development that makes you feel like you could be reading about one of your neighbors, you will be taken on an emotional roller coaster that will have you laughing, crying, and thoroughly enjoying being caught up in Lily’s world.”

The stories are already changing people’s hearts and minds.

“I was very surprised at the ending but most happy at the turn of events,” wrote one reader. “Thank you for helping me to complete my healing concerning my own two abortions in my younger years. I have felt forgiven for a number of years but had never allowed myself to mourn the loss of my children until today. Thank you for leading me where I needed to be.”

Boas hopes that readers of her trilogy will experience the deep realities of hope, mercy, and of a love that casts out fear.

“The problems our world faces today are caused by fear. Love and fear cannot co-exist. Where there is love, fear flees. Why does a woman have an abortion? She is afraid of something. Why does a woman carry a child, bearing all the discomfort and pain that goes with it? She does it out of love.”

She believes that God has a purpose for every person he brings into being. “To be missing any one of them is to be missing the blessings God had planned for us.”

Sherry Boas’ books are available in paperback or as ebooks at LilyTrilogy and Amazon.

Note: This is the second part of the Sherry Boas story. See first part here: Stories our world needs to hear: An interview with Author Sherry Boas.

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Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

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Clinton: US needs to help refugee rape victims… by funding their abortions

Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin
By Dustin Siggins

CLINTON, Iowa, November 25, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Leading Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said on Sunday that U.S. taxpayers should be on the hook for abortions for refugees impregnated through rape.

"I do think we have to take a look at this for conflict zones," Clinton said at an Iowa town hall, according to CNN. "And if the United States government, because of very strong feelings against it, maintains our prohibition, then we are going to have to work through non-profit groups and work with other counties to ... provide the support and medical care that a lot of these women need."

Clinton also said that "systematic use of rape as a tool of war and subjection is one that has been around from the beginning of history" but that it has become "even more used by a lot of the most vicious militias and insurgent groups and terrorist groups."

The prohibition referenced by Clinton – and named by the woman who asked Clinton about pregnant refugees – is known as the Helms Amendment. Made into law in 1973, it prevents U.S. foreign aid funds from being used for abortion.

Abortion supporters have urged the Obama administration to unilaterally change its interpretation of the amendment to allow exceptions for pregnancies resulting from rape and incest, and if the mother's life is in danger. They argue that because the law specifically states that "[n]o foreign assistance funds may be used to pay for the performance of abortion as a method of family planning," women who are raped should be excepted.

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In August, 81 Democrats signed a letter to President Obama that urged this course of action. CNN reported that while Clinton didn't call for the Helms Amendment to be changed or re-interpreted, she did support other actions to increase women's access to abortion facilities.

If the United States "can't help them [to get an abortion], then we have to help them in every other way and to get other people to at least provide the options" to women raped in conflict, she said.

"They will be total outcasts if they have the child of a terrorist or the child of a militia member," according to Clinton. "Their families won't take them, their communities won't take them."

A study of women who bore their rape-conceived children during the Rwanda genocide found that "motherhood played a positive role for many women, often providing a reason to live again after the genocide."

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Cardinal George Pell Patrick Craine / LifeSiteNews
Andrew Guernsey

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Cardinal Pell bets against the odds: insists Pope Francis will strongly reaffirm Catholic tradition

Andrew Guernsey
By Andrew Guernsey


ROME, November 25, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- Contradicting the statements of some of the pope’s closest advisors, the Vatican’s financial chief Cardinal George Pell has declared that Pope Francis will re-assert and “clarify” longstanding Church teaching and discipline that prohibits Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried in public adultery without sacramental confession and amendment of life.

In a homily on Monday, Pell stressed the importance of fidelity to the pope, especially today as “we continue to look also to the successor of St. Peter as that guarantee of unity in doctrine and practice.”

Pell was offering Mass at the Basilica of San Clemente in Rome on the feast of Pope St. Clement I, notable in history for being one of the first popes to exert Roman papal primacy to correct the errors in the doctrine and abuses in discipline which other bishops were allowing.

Turning to address the issues at the Synod on the Family, Pell rebuked those who “wanted to say of the recent Synod, that the Church is confused and confusing in her teaching on the question of marriage,” and he insisted that the Church will always remain faithful to “Jesus’ own teaching about adultery and divorce” and “St. Paul’s teaching on the proper dispositions to receive communion.” Pell argues that the possibility of Communion for those in adultery is “not even mentioned in the Synod document.”

Pell asserted that Pope Francis is preparing “to clarify for the faithful what it means to follow the Lord…in His Church in our World.” He said, “We now await the Holy Father’s apostolic exhortation, which will express again the Church’s essential tradition and emphasize that the appeal to discernment and the internal forum can only be used to understand better God’s will as taught in the scriptures and by the magisterium and can never be used to disregard, distort or refute established Church teaching.”

STORY: Vatican Chief of Sacraments: No pope can change divine law on Communion

The final document of the synod talks about the “internal forum” in paragraphs 84-86, refers to private discussions between a parish priest and a member of the faithful, to educate and form their consciences and to determine the “possibility of fuller participation in the life of the Church,” based on their individual circumstances and Church teaching. The selective quoting of John Paul II’s Familiaris Consortio that omitted his statement ruling out the possibility of Communion for those in public adultery has given liberals hope that this “fuller participation” could include reception of Communion.

Pell’s prediction that the pope will side with the orthodox side of this controversy lends two explanations. On one reading, Pell is uncertain what the pope will do in his post-synodal exhortation, but he is using such firm language as a way of warning the pope that he must clearly uphold Church teaching and practice, or else he would risk falling into heresy at worst or grave negligence at best in upholding the unity of the Church.

On another reading, Pell may have inside information, even perhaps from the pope himself, that he will uphold Church teaching and practice on Communion for those in public adultery, that the pope’s regular confidants apparently do not have.

This hypothesis, however, is problematic in that just last week, Pope Francis suggested that Lutherans may “go forward” to receive Holy Communion, contrary to canon law, if they come to a decision on their own, which suggests agreement with the reformers’ line of argument about “conscience.” And earlier last month, the pope granted an interview to his friend Eugenio Scalfari, who quoted the pope as promising to allow those in adultery back to Communion without amendment of life, even though the Vatican refused to confirm the authenticity of the quote since Scalfari does not use notes.

If Pell actually knew for certain what the pope would do, it would also seem to put Pell’s knowledge above that of Cardinal Robert Sarah, who in what could be a warning to Pope Francis, declared last week in no uncertain terms that “Not even a pope can dispense from such a divine law” as the prohibition of public adulterers from Holy Communion.

STORY: Papal confidant signals Pope Francis will allow Communion for the ‘remarried’

Several members of the pope’s inner circle have said publicly that the controversial paragraphs 84-86 of the Synod final document have opened the door for the Holy Father to allow Communion in these cases if he so decides. Fr. Antonio Spadaro, SJ, a close friend of Pope Francis and the editor of La Civita Catholica, a prominent Jesuit journal in Rome reviewed by the Vatican Secretariat of State, wrote this week that the internal forum solution for the divorced in adultery is a viable one:

The Ordinary Synod has thus laid the bases for access to the sacraments [for the divorced and civilly remarried], opening a door that had remained closed in the preceding Synod. It was not even possible, one year ago, to find a clear majority with reference to the debate on this topic, but that is what happened in 2015. We are therefore entitled to speak of a new step.

Spadaro’s predictions and interpretation of the Synod are consistent with the public statements of liberal prelates, some of whom are close confidantes to Pope Francis, including Cardinal Schönborn, Cardinal Wuerl, Cardinal Kasper, Cardinal Nichols, and the head of the Jesuit order, Fr. Nicolás. Fr. Nicolás, in particular, first confirmed that there would be an apostolic exhortation of the pope, and said of Communion for those in public adultery:

The Pope’s recommendation is not to make theories, such as not lumping the divorced and remarried together, because priests have to make a judgment on a case by case and see the situation, the circumstances, what happens, and depending on this decision one thing or the other. There are no general theories which translate into an iron discipline required at all. The fruit of discernment means that you study each case and try to find merciful ways out.

Although in the best analysis, Pell’s prediction about what Pope Francis may do in his post-synodal apostolic exhortation remains just that-- a prediction—he is drawing a line in the sand that if the pope chooses to cross, would bring the barque of Peter into uncharted waters, where the danger of shipwreck is a very real threat.


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Lianne Laurence


Jennifer Lawrence just smeared traditional Christians in the worst way

Lianne Laurence
By Lianne Laurence

November 25, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – It’s no surprise that yet another Hollywood star is mouthing the usual liberal platitudes, but the fact that this time around it’s Jennifer Lawrence, a mega-star and lead in blockbuster series Hunger Games, brings a particular sting of disappointment.

That’s because the 25-year-old, effervescent and immensely talented star often comes across not only as very likable, but also as someone capable of independent thought.

But apparently not.

Or at least not when it comes to Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk famously thrown in jail for refusing to obey a judge’s order that she sign marriage licenses for homosexual couples.

Davis, Lawrence tells Vogue in its November issue, is that “lady who makes me embarrassed to be from Kentucky.”

“Don’t even say her name in this house,” the actress told Vogue writer Jonathan van Meter in an interview that happened to take place the day after Davis was released from her five-day stint in jail.

Lawrence then went on a “rant” about “all those people holding their crucifixes, which may as well be pitchforks, thinking they’re fighting the good fight.”

RELATED STORY: Wrong, Jennifer Lawrence! Real men don’t need porn, and women don’t need to give it to them

She was brought up Republican, she told van Meter, “but I just can’t imagine supporting a party that doesn’t support women’s basic rights. It’s 2015 and gay people can get married and we think that we’ve come so far, so, yay! But have we? I don’t want to stay quiet about that stuff.”

After conjuring up images of Christians as bug-eyed hillbillies on a witchhunt with her reference to “crucifixes as pitchforks,” Lawrence added darkly: “I grew up in Kentucky. I know how they are.”

Perhaps one should infer that it’s lucky for Lawrence she escaped to Los Angeles and its enlightened culture. That hallowed place where, according to van Meter, Kris Jenner (former spouse of Bruce Jenner, who infamously declared himself a woman) brought Lawrence a cake for her birthday that was shaped like excrement and inscribed: “Happy birthday, you piece of sh*t!”

Lawrence is reportedly now Hollywood’s most highly paid actress. Not only is she the star of the hugely popular and lucrative Hunger Games franchise -- the last installment of which, Mockingjay, Part 2 opened November 20 -- but she won an Oscar for Silver Linings Playbook and starred in several others since her breakout role in the 2010 moving and moody indie film, Winter’s Bone.

Lawrence has every right to express her opinion, although no doubt it will be given more weight than it deserves. It is unfortunate, however, that she’s chosen to wield her fame, shall we say, as a pitchfork against Christian moral truths.



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