Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Fr. Paul Schenck,

7/6/2014 (2 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

In addition to my duties here in the Diocese, I serve as founding director of the National Pro-Life Center on Capitol Hill in Washington, the only Christian mission at the US Supreme Court.

The Hobby Lobby case, and many other US Supreme Court cases, are very important to me. That includes my own 1997 US Supreme Court case - Rev. Schenck v Pro-Choice, in which I challenged a federal court order prohibiting prayers and sidewalk counseling on public sidewalks near abortion businesses or abortion-minded people.  The High Court struck down that order as a violation of my First Amendment right of free speech - then struck down similar restrictions in Arizona, California and Colorado. But the Court left one restriction in place, until last Thursday when, referencing my case, it unanimously struck down all restrictions on pro-life speech in public places. But it was twenty-four years from the time my brother and I and three others challenged the federal ban at abortion clinics by passing out bibles with a hopeful message, a pamphlet called "Peace with God", and helpful referrals for medical, housing and financial support to women and their companions. We did this because we were (and are) convinced God is the author of life, and every human life is precious to him! My case lasted 7 years; I spent a month in federal prison, a year and half under house arrest and it cost us $778k before the Supreme Court voted 8-1 in my favor!

Fr Paul Schenck presiding at Holy Mass - We often face problems and difficulties that seem utterly insurmountable, and we just cannot see how we can make it through them! There were times in the course of my case that I wondered how I would survive. When I flagged Becky would have a word from Scripture or a prayer that would hold me up. Come to me, Jesus says, when life threatens to overwhelm you, come to me! Whatever it is you're facing today, turn to Jesus: you will find rest for yourselves - his yoke is easy, his burden is light.

Fr Paul Schenck presiding at Holy Mass - We often face problems and difficulties that seem utterly insurmountable, and we just cannot see how we can make it through them! There were times in the course of my case that I wondered how I would survive. When I flagged Becky would have a word from Scripture or a prayer that would hold me up. Come to me, Jesus says, when life threatens to overwhelm you, come to me! Whatever it is you're facing today, turn to Jesus: you will find rest for yourselves - his yoke is easy, his burden is light.

Highlights

By Fr. Paul Schenck,

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/6/2014 (2 months ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Fr. Paul Schenck, Hobby Lobby, religious Liberty, Homily, Schenck v Pro-choice, pro-life, living faith


Sunday Homily: Fr. Paul Schenck- See, Your King Shall Come to You; A Just Savior is He,

HARRISBURG, PA (Catholic Online) - On Monday I was a guest of Justice Scalia's chambers in the United States Supreme Court for the reading of the opinions by Justice Samuel Alito. The case was Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, in which friends of ours, the Green family, with the Hahns, a Mennonite family from Bucks County, challenged the so-called "HHS mandate", which required private business owners to provide insurance coverage for potential abortion-inducing drugs. The majority on the Court struck down the mandate as an unconstitutional violation of religious liberty rights. There was rejoicing and thanksgiving (and angry protesting) outside the Court. It was my twentieth year of ministry at the Supreme Court.

In addition to my duties here in the Diocese, I serve as founding director of the National Pro-Life Center on Capitol Hill in Washington, the only Christian mission at the US Supreme Court. Our mission is to give the Justices, their staffs and members of the US Senate Judiciary Committee, the information, education and inspiration they need to better form their consciences so they will make better decisions. We are not litigators or lobbyists (whew!) - we are evangelists - proclaiming the Gospel of Life on Capitol Hill and wherever public policy is made.

Rejoice heartily, O daughter Zion,
shout for joy, O daughter Jerusalem!


I was not raised Catholic. In fact, I, my wife Becky (we've been married for 36 years) and our children (we have nine), have only been Catholics for ten years. I was raised Jewish. My father was the first born generation to Eastern European Jewish refugees who fled the pogroms (the persecutions) of the early twentieth century.

When my uncle Abraham, as a young boy, was abducted by Cossacks and held for ransom, his Jewish family decided it was time to flee the Western Pale of old Russia and undertake a harrowing journey seeking political, economic and religious liberty here in America. My father was among the first children born on free soil. My mother's people also found political and religious freedom here.

.the one who raised Christ from the dead
will give life to your mortal bodies also,
through his Spirit that dwells in you.


The Hobby Lobby case, and many other US Supreme Court cases, are very important to me. That includes my own 1997 US Supreme Court case - Rev. Schenck v Pro-Choice, in which I challenged a federal court order prohibiting prayers and sidewalk counseling on public sidewalks near abortion businesses or abortion-minded people.  The High Court struck down that order as a violation of my First Amendment right of free speech - then struck down similar restrictions in Arizona, California and Colorado.

But the Court left one restriction in place, until last Thursday when, referencing my case, it unanimously struck down all restrictions on pro-life speech in public places.

But it was twenty-four years from the time my brother and I and three others challenged the federal ban at abortion clinics by passing out bibles with a hopeful message, a pamphlet called "Peace with God", and helpful referrals for medical, housing and financial support to women and their companions. We did this because we were (and are) convinced God is the author of life, and every human life is precious to him! My case lasted 7 years; I spent a month in federal prison, a year and half under house arrest and it cost us $778k before the Supreme Court voted 8-1 in my favor!

"Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest."


We often face problems and difficulties that seem utterly insurmountable, and we just cannot see how we can make it through them! There were times in the course of my case that I wondered how I would survive. When I flagged Becky would have a word from Scripture or a prayer that would hold me up. Come to me, Jesus says, when life threatens to overwhelm you, come to me! Whatever it is you're facing today, turn to Jesus: you will find rest for yourselves - his yoke is easy, his burden is light. Amen.

----- Fr. Paul Schenck, a Priest of the Diocese of Harrisburg, PA., is the founding Director of the National Pro-Life Center (NPLC) on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The Center gives the Justices of the Supreme Court, their high level staff, members of the federal judiciary, members of the US Senate and other public policy makers the information, education and inspiration they need to better form their consciences so they will make better decisions. He is a Champion of the Pro-Life movement.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.



Comments


More U.S.

Values Voters: What We Can Learn from Ted Cruz Being Booed at the In Defense of Christians Conference Watch

Image of Senator Ted Cruz from Texas was the keynote speaker at what was billed as a Gala Solidarity Dinner. Sadly, it certainly did not demonstrate solidarity between Christians. A small group in the assembly, rudely and loudly, reacted negatively to some of the words Senator Cruz spoke as he expressed his convictions concerning the persecution taking place in this land which is properly holy, precisely because of its role in God's loving plan of salvation for the whole human race.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The events of Wednesday, September 10, 2014, at the Inaugural In Defense of Christians Gala make abundantly clear that there is a serious and urgent need for values voters to meet and discuss the crisis in the Mideast and ways in which we can work together to ... continue reading


Our Age Need Rebels of Love: The Christian Church is the Real Counterculture Watch

Image of As a young man I rejected secularist, atheistic humanism - but not humanism itself. As I studied the early Church fathers I came to understand that the true humanism is authentic Christianity, the kind professed, in word and deed, by the early Christians. As I read early Church history I was brought back to the mother church of the entire Christian movement, the Catholic Church. I came to believe that she offers the theological anthropology, ecclesiology and world view of the early fathers of the Church. I also came to believe that she was the real counterculture.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

We can - we will - change the culture of the contemporary West, if we are willing to suffer, struggle and offer ourselves to the Lord for the task. His power, the power of the Holy Spirit, working through us, will accomplish what we can never accomplish on our ... continue reading


What is a Catholic Deacon? Bishop Kevin Rhoades Gives the Answer Watch

Image of The Most Reverend Kevin Rhoades, the Bishop of the Diocese of Ft. Wayne-South Bend, presiding over the Mass of Ordination to the Diaconate of six new Holy Cross Deacons

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

It is a privilege to ordain you permanent deacons.  No, I didn't make a mistake.  Don't worry: you are scheduled to be ordained priests next year by Bishop Jenky!  But what happens today in the sacrament of Orders is not something transitional; it ... continue reading


ISIS among us! New York man sought to kill Iraq war veterans Watch

Image of Mufid Elfgeeh, a 30-year-old, Yemeni born man who lived in New York, attempted to send three people to Iraq to fight for the Islamic State, and purchase firearms to kill veterans from the Iraq War.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Yemeni born food store owner in upstate New York sent funding to the Islamic State and attempted to sent three jihadists to Syria to fight alongside the terrorist cell while plotting to perpetrate attacks against American troops who had served in Iraq. LOS ... continue reading


Father Frank Pavone: 16433 Children Buried in One Grave Watch

Image of Fr. Pavone prays at the graveside of the children

By Fr. Frank Pavone

For many years, this mass grave had no marker or headstone, just as the children have no names. But now there is a stone, and we are going to name the babies. Supporters of abortion do not want people to see mass graves in our midst. It's too disturbing a ... continue reading


Nice try! Democrats try to distance themselves from Obama for midterm, but it's too late! Watch

Image of Kentucky Senate candidate, Alison Grimes, seen here with a shotgun in an ad where she attempts to distance herself from the disastrous and unpopular policies of President Barack Obama.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Democratic Senate candidate, Alison Grimes, is trying her best to let Kentuckians know that she is certainly not an Obama Democrat, releasing a campaign ad where she wields a gun to prove it. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Grimes' 30-second ad takes place in ... continue reading


Are terrorists invading the US through the open border with Mexico? Watch

Image of The Islamic State nay already have sympathizers and cells within the USA. The porous border does nothing to aid the situation.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Americans are worried that the Islamic State will soon conduct terror attacks within the U.S., inserting agents via the porous border between the states and Mexico. At least one sheriff has told the media he received an official alert while the federal government is ... continue reading


'We'll send them to hell!' Texas sheriff declares war on Islamic State Watch

Image of Texas sheriff Gary Painter reveals that he believes the Islamic State has already infiltrated the U.S. through the porous southern border.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Law enforcement agencies along the U.S.-Mexico border have received alerts to be on the lookout for terrorists from Islamic State attempting to cross into the United States, a sheriff from the region has said. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Midland County ... continue reading


And you thought you had bad traffic! Tropical storm strands thousands in Nevada Watch

Image of Heavy rain washed out numerous portions of Nevada's critical I-15, leaving many drivers stranded or forced to take roundabout backways.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In what may be the area's worst storm in decades, a 2-mile-long stretch of highway in Moapa Nevada was destroyed by four inches of rain that occurred in just an hour, part of the end of Tropical Storm Norbert. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The rain caused ... continue reading


What do you do when a man takes off with millions in sunken treasure? Watch

Image of Gold coins recovered from the SS Central America.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

For the past two years, U.S. marshals have been on the hunt for Tommy Thompson, the man who made the greatest lost treasure discovery in American history back in 1988. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Thompson has been on the run as a fugitive after he skipped a ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 12:31--13:13
31 Set your mind on the higher gifts. And now I am ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 33:2-3, 4-5, 12, 22
2 Give thanks to Yahweh on the lyre, play for him on ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 7:31-35
31 'What comparison, then, can I find for the people ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 17th, 2014 Image

St. Robert Bellarmine
September 17: Born at Montepulciano, Italy, October 4, 1542, St. Robert ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter