Elizabeth Petrucelli

Author, Blogger, Educator

The Formula Shortage

I can’t imagine being a new mother these days. You are scared to death that you or your baby will die from COVID and now you can’t feed your baby if you use formula. I can only wonder, is this more propaganda to get us to stop having babies?? Look, we are not overpopulated nor are we going to be overpopulated. A simple Google search will show you that. So what are we to do now that we’re scared to bring a baby into this world and now we can’t feed them?

Here are some solutions to the formula shortage.

NOTE: DO NOT WATER DOWN YOUR FORMULA, IT CAN KILL YOUR BABY

RELACTATE!

I love kellymom.com! She has been a resource for me for the past 18 years. She has a whole page dedicated to resources on relactation. First, if you have produced milk at any time in your life, you CAN relactate. Even women who have never been pregnant OR given birth can learn to lactate. We are designed to feed our babies! Doctors should be on board with helping you.

If doctors can help a lesbian partner who has never been pregnant or given birth to lactate, they can help you! If they don’t, why not? There are drugs and there is a protocol. Plus, MANY adoptive mothers will lactate so they can feed their adoptive babies. This is a plausible option and though it is not an INSTANT fix, once you are lactating, you can feed that to your baby and not worry about needing formula ever again.

Yes, this sounds judgmental, some of it is, especially if this offends you but you are NOT the only one to suffer. My breastfeeding journey was not easy for any of my babies and I had to make many sacrifices and suffer. Too many women give up easily and that is because our society tells us that it’s okay to give up and there is not much support to try harder and little options are given over “just switch to formula.” We’re exploited really.

Want to relactate? Get with an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.

On a personal note, I pumped for ALL my babies. They got the breast until their tongue-ties caused issues and then I switched to pumping. I donated over 300 gallons of milk over the course of my breastfeeding journey. I’m not saying this to be presumptuous and I’m not the only one to experience this so this brings me to the next solution.

MILKSHARE

You have two options for milk sharing. A wetnurse or private milk sharing. Let’s talk about a wetnurse. These have been used for centuries! Moses’ wetnurse was actually his own mother because the Pharoah’s daughter wasn’t breastfeeding when she found Moses. How would a baby eat if there was no formula? Many died if their mothers could not find a wetnurse.

Do you have a breastfeeding sister? Friend? Will they step up to help feed your baby? If you have SOME formula, can you supplement half of it with shared milk?

PRIVATE MILK SHARING

I’ll relactate for you. I will do it in order to help you and save your baby but I ask that you try and try hard. I helped a mother supplement her milk with my milk because she had breast cancer and she could not produce much milk after treatment. I had one mom who truly had been diagnosed with insufficient glandular tissue (little breast tissue) who could not produce enough milk either. So she used what I gave her to supplement what she made. Her breasts were not “small” either so it doesn’t have anything to do with breast size.

Exclusively Pumping Milk

Now that I have made the offer, will you use a milk share?

Milk sharing used to be free but I imagine moms are beginning to charge. Most of us used to just ask for repayment of supplies or asked you to provide your own milk storage bags. Human Milk for Human Babies and Eats on Feets are great places to go for milk sharing. There are other sites, but most are full of perverted men and women who want to nurse from a strangers breast for $200+/20+ min or use your milk for body building. I would stay away from those milk sharing sites.

Milk sharing can be safe…IF you ask. Most don’t ask. I was only asked a dozen times during my private milk sharing journey if I was drug, disease, and alcohol free (including smoking and marijuana). I shared with hundreds of families. It’s sad because they should have. Ask!

If they are legit, they will not be offended and will appreciate you asking. One person wanted me to sign and have a document notarized. I don’t recommend this because the mother is providing a gift but if there is money being exchanged, it’s worth it. Just know, there are never guarantees even with a legal contract in place.

There are human milk banks, but they cost you. 20oz of milk is offered as a “new mom” kit but it’s $100. 40oz can be given without a prescription, after that, you need a prescription and you’ll pay $5 per ounce or more. The mothers are screened extensively (more than for blood donation), and they have to adhere to strict guidelines and can’t take any meds, herbs or supplements outside hormone replacement like thyroid. The milk is tested, pasteurized and tested again. It’s safe but it’s not sustainable. I don’t recommend you use this option just because of a formula shortage. This milk goes to very sick and premature babies as well as cancer patients in recovery. I love the milk bank so I am not putting them down at all.

I donated over 30 gallons of milk to the Mother’s Milk Bank over two of my breastfeeding journey’s but in addition to donating to the milk bank, I privately shared my milk. I actually preferred private donation because I got to know the families and babies in most cases. Again, I will relactate for you but I want you to try yourself not just use me as a “pill” to get you through.

Some of my milk I donated

MAKE YOUR OWN FORMULA

Yes, you CAN make it. Doctors don’t want you to though and will tell you it’s not safe. Why is homemade baby formula such a risk when our grandmothers and mothers did this for decades? Homemade baby formula was perfectly fine for your mother or grandmother (depending on how old you are). What is the option than CDC? Starve the baby, water down the formula?

The US Federal Government provided the proper way to make formula in their publication, Infant Care by the Children’s Bureau Publication (1951) from the Federal Security Agency, Social Security Administration. The same formula can be made these days safely.

Take this to your pediatrician

Got an allergy to cow’s milk protein? Try Goat’s Milk! Look, it’s even in the book!!! Camel’s Milk is another option! There are even more options! I know a local woman who sells goat’s milk. I’ll put you in touch with her.

Are you looking for the easy way out? Most likely. Being a mother isn’t easy. In a world full of, “you shouldn’t have to suffer,” and “You shouldn’t experience hardship,” why WOULD we choose the hard path? We have no support on the hard path.

MEN CAN LACTATE

This post wouldn’t be complete without telling you to have your husband or partner step up. Too far-fetched? Not in this day and age. If women can become men and men can become women, then men can also breastfeed. I wrote about it here too. This is not new to this millennia. Laura Shanley shared her husband’s journey to lactation. I’ll let you Google “Milk Men, Father’s Who Breastfeed.”

Just because men can breastfeed though, doesn’t mean they should. I’m placing this here purely for the secular world where anyone can do anything. So why aren’t you asking your baby’s father to step up? It’s just the continuation of feminizing men. So feminists, have them step up!

I see a much deeper issue though.

I was at Wal-Mart shopping the other day and there was NO shortage of regular infant formula. What does that tell me? Most of your babies are on a specialty formula. They had regular formula on CLEARANCE! The shelves were empty of any specialty formula. Why are your babies on a specialty formula? Are ALL babies allergic to cow’s milk protein?

Local Walmart May 2022

My guess is, we’re so convinced that gas in babies is bad. We don’t want our babies to cry, it’s too stressful. We don’t want to invest in holding the baby longer. We have so many devices to put the baby in that when they don’t work, we look for another device instead of taking off your shirt and bra, undressing the baby, and just sitting skin to skin on the couch. Yes, I suffered from postpartum depression so I get it but what if we had support for these hard times rather than pills and band-aids?

Another issue is, “we (women) don’t have time because we need to work.” Do you REALLY need to work? Maybe but why? Society tells us we need MORE. More things, more vacations, the latest car, etc. If we don’t have those things, we aren’t “happy.” Those “things” won’t make you happy anyway. The unhappiness you feel is because God is on the back-burner or nowhere to be found for you. God will make you happy and God WILL provide you what you need, including your baby in order to survive. You have to ask Him and trust Him. Like, really.

I know many of you will say, “my baby won’t nurse now,” so you want to poo-poo the solutions. Don’t. Your baby CAN be retrained to nurse but if you relactate, you do that through pumping. You don’t have to “breastfeed” you can just pump the milk and feed it in the same bottles you were using for formula. Honestly, I found pumping easier than breastfeeding and consumed less time. Contact me, I’ll help you.

I know many of you will say, “I never responded to the pump,” which could be true. Guess what, now it’s life or death for your baby. Does that mean you won’t try again? Maybe you need a different pump? Maybe you need different flanges? There could be other reasons as well. Don’t poo-poo this solution either. Contact me, I’ll help you.

I know many of you will say, “My baby is allergic to breastmilk.” Even reiterate it with saying, “my doctor told me so,” as if that has some kind of authority behind it. BABIES ARE NOT ALLERGIC TO BREASTMILK. It could be something IN the breastmilk. Ready to give up dairy for your baby? Or soy? Or just eat chicken and rice? I don’t know many who will suffer that much for their child.

I’m not crass, I didn’t have it easy either. My first baby pooped blood for three weeks straight. From about one week old until four weeks old, his poop was blood. Not flecks, pure blood. His pediatrician said, “he’s allergic to breastmilk,” and then followed up with, “remove dairy and soy from your diet.” Oh! So he’s not allergic to breastmilk but dairy and/or soy? The way we say things is important. Not a breastmilk allergy but something IN the breastmilk??

So I changed my diet. I went for three months with no dairy and no soy but he only pooped blood for three weeks. Somehow, removing the dairy and soy didn’t fix it, his body did. When I began eating dairy and soy again, NO CHANGE. Did I suffer with no dairy and no soy? ABSOLUTELY! I should have been smart enough to offer up all that suffering for the souls in purgatory, but I didn’t. Milk protein is in almost everything. Soy is in almost everything. Our government has damaged our food supply. It’s even harder now to eat dairy and soy free than it was 19 years ago.

Bottom-line, think outside the box. You DO have options. Stop freaking out. Pray! Get a pump (they are free from insurance) and start to relactate or find a milk mamma. You are GOING to need to make yourself uncomfortable. You WILL have to make a sacrifice and probably suffer a bit but that’s what happens when you have a child. Your whole life becomes a sacrifice FOR that child. Aren’t they worth it?

The Morning Prayers

About three months ago, I began to say the morning prayers. I had been thinking about it for about a year and I decided that I wanted to begin this “devotion” in mid-January to February. I don’t recall exactly when I began praying them but at first, it was a bit difficult.

Mid-lent, I imagined that I would never been able to keep up with this. While on my knees reciting them, I tried to see myself as an old woman reciting my morning prayers. Would I really be able to keep up with such a devotion? Am I strong enough? Lord, grant me the endurance to keep reciting them!

And here we are on May 1 where I am still praying them and over the past two to three days realized that I have become subject to the prayers. What I mean by that is, I am now seeing the areas in which I am failing to do good. It’s almost as if it’s a morning “examination of conscience,” which makes little sense if you do the evening prayers because you do an examination of conscience before bed.

I haven’t been able to add the evening prayers yet. My evenings are usually busy as this is the time I reserve for my daily rosary and reading a saint books with my middle child. My rosary time is usually heavily interrupted with kids declining bedtime, wanting a shower even though we reminded them 30 min ago it was their last chance and sometimes I help with putting the kids to bed (although this is hubby’s area since he hasn’t had much time with them throughout the day). Sometimes, I delay my rosary to pray it together with my middle child. This isn’t my favorite because he likes to lead and often doesn’t realize he skips a Hail Mary or two.

I very much enjoy my morning prayers now. It’s my “alone time” with God where I can be solely focused on him. I don’t usually wake up with a wandering mind and I can really concentrate on being one with my Creator and offering up to Him. If my body wishes to sleep longer, my morning prayers become interrupted as well with the little ones stumbling down the stairs, the annoying sound of my dogs paw nails clicking on the wood floors while she begs to be let outside, and sometimes the kids turn on their devices and I hear songs and/or disagreements depending on whose pad is charged or not.

I long for this time but my body sometimes doesn’t want to give it. I realize that’s normal and I just want my body to freely want this time because in the beginning, it really was a fight to get my body out of bed, retrieve my Missal, get on my nearly 50 year-old knees on thin carpet in front of our home altar and pray. Sometimes I wanted to skip the Litany but I refused…most days.

What I have found today though, is that the morning prayers are beginning to change my life. These prayers are giving me joy and comfort I have not experienced. It’s a peace and reassurance that is difficult to describe and I do not look at them as just “another thing” I need to do in my day. When I do that, when I feel I am obligated to do that instead of desiring with my heart to say them, I will know there is something wrong.

I should never look at any prayer or Mass as just an obligation. That’s living more as a slave rather than living for my Creator. If it feels like an obligation, I shouldn’t do them. I want to continue to strive to do better in the areas that are mentioned in the morning prayers, “to be mild, humble, chaste, zealous, charitable and resigned. Incline my heart to keep thy commandments.”

There is so much more to these prayers. I recommend everyone begin their day with 10 minutes or longer of prayer but if you can’t, start with just the Sign of the Cross at waking. You will find that as you put God at the forefront of your thoughts as often as you can, He will be there more and more often in your thoughts. It’s definitely hard at first to remember but you and your soul will be the better for it.

Pax Christi!

Latin Mass, FSSP and Pope Francis

Today we received joyous news that Pope Francis has allowed the FSSP to continue to celebrate the Mass and Sacraments according to the 1962 Missal. Yet, there are many traditional Catholics who are upset and are calling this another gaslighting move of the pope.

I get it. I don’t understand his motive. Is it genuine? Is it to corral the trads in order to cut them off? What is it?

Today, I do not want to focus on that. I want to offer thanksgiving because that’s what we SHOULD do. Why?

For months you all have been telling me that it’s over. The Latin Mass is disappearing and by Ash Wednesday, the pope will have declared us schismatics. For months I have heeded this warning, so I prayed, offered penance and sacrifice, abstinence and fasting (although I fully admit I could have done more).

And today, we were rewarded. The FSSP was consecrated to Mary and I believe her intercession was received. This does not mean I am blind to what the pope might be doing. This does not mean I am not still in the fight over the Latin Mass.

What this does mean, is that I am going to offer prayers of Thanksgiving today and continue to pray for intercession that the Latin Mass is NOT suppressed. That this does not become part of a larger issue of corralling people to the FSSP parishes and then cutting them off as schismatics.

I want to rejoice in the fact that for now, my son will be confirmed and receive his First Communion in the Latin Rite and rejoice that this has been held off a bit longer so more children like my son can receive the Sacraments in the Latin Rite! These children are going to receive hefty graces to enter into this spiritual battle! They will be able to fight along with us knowing the Truth!

So today, I am grateful because many of you were wrong…about today.

The fight is not over. I have am close friends with a priest who offers the TLM at his Novus Ordo parish and he will be devastated when/if his Bishop brings down the hammer. I know a few other priests who LOVE the Latin Rite and celebrate Ad Orientem. Their hearts will be crushed. I will continue the fight for them too, and all those who love the Latin Mass.

But I urge all of you to take a moment and thank the Lord. This is not over but the Lord deserves thanks. Please, I beg you, offer thanksgiving.

What Happens After Latin Mass?

In my Traditional Latin Mass series, I shared something that happens after Latin Mass. As a new attendee (December 2020) in my late-40’s and having attended the Novus Ordo since birth, what happens after Latin Mass was confusing for me. So confusing, I almost made a fool of myself and now, I treasure these moments.

What could possibly happen after Latin Mass that is so interesting someone would blog about it? Well, since I haven’t seen this happen in a Novus Ordo Mass (at any of the dozens of churches I have attended), it warrants a post. I have attended Novus Ordo in many states and have never seen such a sight. So let me share it with you.

When we attended the Latin Mass for the first time on the first day of Advent 2020, we went with friends who helped us throughout the Mass. I recommend that if you go, you either watch videos and go with friends who attend (or even a mentor), or watch the videos ALL THE WAY through. Many have their Masses online now, thanks to COVID so you have an opportunity to watch every aspect, with the exception of the communion rail (although some do show this).

I watched some videos on the Latin Mass, to include how to receive on the tongue, prior to attending. I noticed immediately that Mass was similar to what I had been participating in my whole life. Kneeling, standing, sitting, etc. I was concerned about receiving on the tongue, NOT because of disease transmission, and believe me, as a germaphobe, I am always concerned about germs. I was mostly concerned that I would look stupid, the Eucharist would drop, I would not stick my tongue out enough, etc.

I needed to feel confident that I would be able to receive on the tongue so this was very important to me. It was not at all a concern of my husband or children. I guess I was overthinking it. The good thing is, the parish newsletter actually published information on how to receive the Eucharist on the tongue not long after we began attending.

Back to my story.

As I stated in my one of my TLM posts, I felt alone and isolated during the Mass but I had no idea the changes that were occurring in my family. It would be weeks before I would feel “at home.” I was okay with that because I wanted to see and believe that the Latin Mass was for my family.

So I sat through Mass, grasping at all the pieces I recognized and found comfort in them. I tried to ignore the areas that felt out of place or I didn’t understand. The communion rail was so much easier than I had anticipated and it moved along so quickly. It was perfect order and I loved that only the priest offered me the Eucharist.

At my Novus Ordo parish, people would flock to the priest or deacon and that line was always much longer. I wonder why so many want to receive from the priest? Is it just merely the location in the pews or do they have an underlying desire (from the Holy Spirit) to receive from the priest?

It was clear when the Mass ended. We all kneeled and performed the Sign of the Cross. Then the priest went to the Gospel side of the Altar and it looked like he just stood there for a while and then everyone kneeled briefly as the priest kneeled. The music began and the priest and altar boys began to recess out of the church. That’s when it happened.

Not a single person moved. No one rushed out of the pew. It was the strangest thing. Everyone was singing or just listening. When I attend Novus Ordo with my parents, as soon as the priest passes them, they bolt out of the pew. I used to do so with them, but then I started staying until the song was over (usually one verse).

It annoyed my parents but they didn’t say anything to me about it (except to mock me occasionally by calling me “holy”). They would meet us at IHOP anyway so they left as usual and my family stayed. Sometimes my sister would stay too and I loved that.

So why were the people staying in the pews at the Latin Mass? Did they not have a breakfast/brunch to go to? Did they not have a football game, kids soccer or something else to attend to? I thought to myself, “How respectful to the choir and organist. I guess we need to wait until after the verse to head out.” Four verses later and everyone was still in the pew.

Hmmmmm…

Once all the verses had been sung, I was shocked at what I observed. Instead of people bolting out of the pews, everyone kneeled. I was surrounded! There was no way I could get out of the pew! It was almost like I was a hostage…except not really since we had the aisle and could scoot out at anytime but then we would be noticed.

So we kneeled. I wondered what everyone was doing. Now I know but at the time, I was confused. I want more people to experience what I have but so many have their eyes and ears shut. They don’t want to see anything beyond what they know. I didn’t either until it was placed on my heart. I pray the Lord places it on your heart, before this is gone. Before all the bishops follow the demands of the pope.

I ask you…why take this away? What benefit is it?

There would be few people at my Novus Ordo church that kneeled after Mass. If they did, they couldn’t concentrate because those that did stay, would begin talking in the pews with each other, sharing about the football game or whatever they felt like talking about and laughing loudly.

Stock Photo (RODNAE productions) NOT my Novus Ordo Parish

The same thing would happen as you entered the church. If you wanted to kneel and pray before Mass began, there wasn’t silence. There certainly wasn’t any priest telling the parishioners not to talk when they enter. There was no bulletin to remind people of the proper reverence due to God by being silent in the pews while people prayed. There was no instruction at all.

So I found it just as shocking that the more we attended the Latin Mass, we heard the rosary being recited as we entered the church. People were kneeling and praying the rosary together. So we began to come earlier so we could pray with them at the start instead of joining in the middle.

Unfortunately, we have had to stop this practice because there is not enough time to pray the full rosary prior to the Mass. Why? Because we have FIVE Sunday Masses with a half hour in-between! There isn’t enough time to pray the rosary AND prepare yourself for Mass. The priests didn’t want to stop the rosary but the rosary was going right up to the processional. That can’t happen either.

We have FIVE Sunday Masses that are nearly packed. It’s not a tiny church but it’s not as big as our Novus Ordo parish. I’m not sure many of you can imagine sitting through every Mass when it feels like Christmas and Easter at those Masses. Packed in the pews like sardines. If only you can imagine.

So what do we do when we kneel after Mass? We pray. We thank God for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. We don’t ask God for things like health, a better job, etc. We THANK Him. And now, I beg the Lord that this isn’t taken us, because that’s what the pope wants. Pray for us. If you don’t agree with the Latin Mass, pray that it’s not suppressed. It will not affect you. No one is pushing this on you.

I’ll end with this…please try it. What do you have to lose? It might just bring you closer to God in ways you could never comprehend. Maybe that scares you? Maybe it scares you that you will learn to be more accountable to God and then desire it?

Recommendations for when you attend Latin Mass for the first time:
Watch the Mass online before you go
Watch videos on how to receive the Eucharist on the tongue
Read about what happens at a Latin Mass
Use the Missal or handbook that all churches have to help you through it
Don’t worry you don’t know Latin, it’s all in the Missal and you will recognize many parts depending on the liturgical season outside of just the Kyrie, Alleluia, Gospel, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei.

I pray you try it out. Give it five Sundays or two months? Make this your Lenten journey! You can sit with us!

Veiling: The Gateway “Drug”

Continuing with my blogs on the journey to the Latin Mass, I was texting with a friend last night and came to a conclusion. Veiling, is the gateway “drug” to the Latin Mass. I say this jokingly; however, it was certainly true for several of us who were in the same parish and were one of the few that started “veiling” around 2016.

By 2020, we were all at the Latin Mass. I took the longest to make the journey to TLM.

2016 was also the first planning year for the Catholic Women’s Conference of Denver. Our Inaugural conference was Lent 2017. It was beautiful. It was at our parish as well and there were quite a few women wearing a veil at the Mass.

I saw a friend wear a veil several times but not consistently at Sunday Mass and I began to pray about wearing a veil. I found the scripture for head coverings and did some research online about it. Then, for Christmas, my husband bought me two veils. An ivory one, and a blue one with black lace trim. It’s the one you see in the picture above (which is also in our old parish).

I didn’t immediately begin wearing the veils when my husband bought them. It took me a few weeks to finally gain the courage to wear it. I didn’t want to stand out or be gawked at, plus, I was afraid someone would ask me about why I was wearing a veil all of a sudden and I wasn’t confident I could defend my position.

However, one Sunday, I placed the veil on my head as I entered the church and never looked back. It was not awkward at all despite the fact that there were maybe one or two women wearing a veil at my parish at that time. I have always enjoyed tradition and learned that this was something my mother did as a child. It brought comfort knowing that it was something all women used to do, even if they felt it wasn’t a choice at the time.

If anyone asked, I began to defend my position simply by saying it’s a sign of humility, though I don’t remember anyone specifically asking. I believe I drafted that response so I would have something to say IF I was asked. As shared above, once I began wearing a veil, I never attended Mass without it on my head. The changes began almost immediately.

I was more focused, as I shared in my previous post. I felt more obedient to God and even though I sometimes felt children staring, mostly the little girls behind me who were curious, my heart swelled with love and not anxiety for standing out. I wanted more to see my example and cover their heads. It took time for other people to start but by the time I left the church (with the exception of COVID shutting everything down and no one attending), there were several more women veiling. Not much, but it was progress.

This is also one reason I took so long to leave our parish. We had been there for 15 years and loved it. We were heavily involved in it, our son attended school there, and it was truly our home but I wanted people to continue to see an example of reverence for the Lord. I knew women wanted to wear veils because at conferences, they would share they wanted to wear one but they were scared because so many women didn’t veil.

I was saddened to hear that peer pressure was literally stopping women from showing the due reverence to God. I offered for them to sit near me so they felt more comfortable. Occasionally, I would see someone near me with a veil on.

As the year progressed, I joined some online Facebook groups for women who wore veils. It was interesting to see how many women in the group were scared to wear their veil. Again, sadness over this fact overcame me. There was much encouragement in this particular group and more women became confident enough to do it.

Then the questions of “what do I wear when veiling” came up. Many women wanted to wear a veil but didn’t feel it was appropriate in jeans. I hadn’t really thought about that. I just wore my veil in whatever clothing I was wearing and I was NOT a dress/skirt wearer.

Within a year, I had a set of skirts for Mass. But something happened before that. Something huge! Something I was never taught and had rarely observed as a cradle Catholic.

I began kneeling to receive the Eucharist.

Stock Photo (MART Production)

Soon after I began to kneel to receive my Lord and My God. The Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, I began to do something even more shocking.

I received the Eucharist on my tongue.

Stock Photo

Oh the shock!

Why on earth would I do that? What would possess me to receive Jesus directly on my tongue? Why would I kneel and receive?

What did the women in the Bible do when they saw Jesus? What did they do when they were in his presence? Especially the sinful women?

I think of the woman who washes Jesus’ feet with her tears and the anointing of His feet with expensive oil. He didn’t lean back and lift his feet to her. She dropped to her knees in His Presence.

In fact, when anyone faces God in the Bible, they drop to their face, which would mean, they are on their knees. Why on earth have I been presenting myself to our Lord on my feet? It was easy to kneel to receive Christ. It was harder to open my mouth to receive but I did it. It was a natural progression.

It was banned in 2020.

In fact, young children at my parish school who kneeled and opened their mouth to receive Christ instead of in their unconsecrated hands, were refused Christ. At first, told to receive on their hands and then bypassed altogether. Sacrilege!!

How could merely putting on a veil lead me to worship God in the way He has said to be worshipped? I provided the biblical basis above. Head coverings are in the Bible and it’s very easy to see that anyone in God’s presence falls to their knees. Does He need to spell it out for you?

It took about three years for this transformation to occur and then, no longer accepted in my parish because of the reverence and worship God wanted, I moved to the Latin Mass. I was accepted there in the ways I was already worshipping and I am still on a learning curve, especially when it comes to marriage and obedience within my home. This is another blog altogether.

My call to you is to try it. Go to Mass for two months wearing a veil consistently, every Sunday without removing it. Then come back and share your experiences.

So I will end with what we published in our 3rd Annual Catholic Women’s Conference of Denver Program.

Thinking about veiling at Mass? You are not alone!

Women are rediscovering this beautiful and sacred practice. The veil is an external sign of humility before God who is present in the Blessed Sacrament. For over 2000 years, Catholic women have worn some form of head coving in the Church for many reasons but the practice has always focused on our submission to Christ and his holiness.

“The veil is a visual sermon…a public proclamation before the Lord that He is the Lord and that we love him and that we are ready to obey him. It’s a totally counter-cultural statement proclaiming obedience in the midst of a culture that is totally permeated with the attitude of ‘I will not serve.'”

The veil is a sign of the great dignity inherent to a woman, who has the potential to receive life within herself…both human life and the supernatural life of God. This is an important message the world needs to hear, now more than ever!

This is the way.

Why It Isn’t JUST About Latin

My Latin Mass series isn’t technically over but I certainly haven’t blogged about it this year. I am actually quite surprised that this is my first blog of the year, but it is fitting. The Traditional Latin Mass is under attack, from within it’s own Church and the underlying complaint from “Catholics” is that the Mass needs to be in the vernacular and more modern. They want us to give up our “old, dead language” so everyone can understand and participate in the Mass. Guess what, if you go to another country, Mass is in the vernacular and you won’t understand it. The most offensive statement is that the Latin Mass is what we “prefer.”

Look, it’s not JUST about the Latin.

My family has been attending the Latin Mass for 14 months now. The changes that have occurred within our family are indescribable but I will do my best to share with all of you some of what I find most important about the Latin Mass. In order to do that, I ask that you open your mind to what you are about to read. I ask that you do not compare to what you have at your Mass or church because that’s your story, not mine and I want you to hear mine.

As I stated in my Latin Mass series, I succumbed to the TLM. I didn’t have an “ah-ha” moment where I just felt like this was the place to be from the moment I sat down. I had never felt more alone at the Latin Mass. It was odd but I followed my friend’s (priest) advice and went every Sunday for the next two months. I was hoping for something specific that would solidify this was the right place for me and what I came to find out was, it wasn’t about me at all.

I had come to the Latin Mass for an experience, one that would lead me closer to God, and one that I would “feel good” about. What I received was a wake up call. What I received was a more devout life and family. I began doing things I never thought I would do.

I truly believe though, that God placed me on this path and I became open to His Will and I firmly believe with everything I am made of, that this is God’s Will, even though it looks like the Latin Mass is about to be suppressed and anyone attending Latin Mass will be in schism. I never thought I would be facing schism. Why is this happening?

I was a Novus Ordo Catholic for 40+ years. I grew up in the Novus Ordo and never questioned anything there until I began attending Catholic Biblical School (I’m in my 4th year) and learned deeply about where the Catholic Faith came from and what God has revealed to us in Scripture about the Mass.

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise when I began to question what was being said during the liturgy (Mass) when things began to differ from all I had known for decades. I accepted the change of “Lord I am not worthy…,” merely because I asked my parents about this and they said, “those were the words we used to say.” So we were returning to the original translation or rather “tradition.”

But I was longing for the little bits of Latin that used to come every Advent and Lenten Seasons. Somehow, our pastor had removed the Latin and Greek (no more Kyrie or Sanctus). Why? Latin wasn’t used at every Mass but certainly was during Advent and Lent. The seasons came and went and every time I thought…”well, maybe next time?” But that next time never came and gradually, the organ was used less and less and was replaced with piano, guitars and multiple singers who were singing more secular-type songs than the ones I grew up with; which by the way, are considered non-sacred but I loved them. (On Eagles Wing’s, Be Not Afraid)

I had began veiling several years ago, despite only one or two veiling at the Mass; which led me to wearing more feminine clothing like skirts and dresses to Mass. Check out my post on veiling! This was when I started to see a transformation in me. The veil helped me to stay focused on what was happening at the altar. The veil was like blinders; which prevented me from the distractions around me, like hand-holding parishioners, the orans posture by parishioners, and children eating in the pews. These were all things I had seen over the years added by someone at some point with no push back.

Despite already veiling and dressing more appropriately for Mass, switching to the Latin Mass wasn’t that easy. I didn’t understand all aspects of the Mass so there was a learning curve, plus, I had never kneeled at a Communion Rail. Bringing a Latin Mass Missal really helped. I found that single best thing to understanding and learning the Latin Mass. But again, it’s not JUST the Latin.

I didn’t need to read or understand the Latin to feel like I participated in Mass, it was much deeper. I had to follow along very closely and learn all the chanting. I had to read each page of the Missal intently and that’s when I discovered so much more was happening during the Mass than I ever knew.

I also had to learn submission. The Bible is very clear on submission. I had to allow the priest to make the Sacrifice on MY behalf. It wasn’t my Sacrifice to begin with really, it was offered for us. The priest has a very specific role, just like they did in the Bible while they were in the Holy of Holies. Where is that, by the way, in the Novus Ordo Mass? Lay people walk all over the Sanctuary during the Mass and are allowed in all the same places as the priest. I don’t understand this. It would help you to understand Exodus. Re-read it, especially Exodus 25 and on.

I had to learn my place was in the pew, not up near the altar or tabernacle, not reading the readings or bringing up gifts. My place was to offer my own sacrifices as I am a priest, prophet and king but not in the same way the ministerial priest is. Learning submission and allowing the priest to do what they were commanded by God to do was humbling and I began to find much peace and contentment during the Mass then ever before.

I was wearing a veil, still “blinded” to what was going on around me but I didn’t have any worry about someone wanting to grab my hand to pray the Our Father. We were all focused on the same thing; the Sacrifice. I could adore the crucifix. I could offer more to God during the Mass than ever before! I found myself begging God to teach me how to love Him. I asked for forgiveness more. I asked for him to bring me closer to him and follow in His ways.

After receiving the Eucharist, I prayed the Acts of Confidence, Love, and Petitions. Prayers I had never seen before. Instead of asking God for all kinds of “things” after receiving, I had a better understanding of what I needed to do. God knows my needs and my wants, He will grant them as He sees fit.

Confession was even different. Questions were asked in the confessional and advice was given. I have had priests ask me questions before and provide advice so this was not new to me, but it was to my husband and adult son. The advice given was how to live more ordered toward God and how to do better in my vocations (wife and mother). Penances were more specific and more difficult. Instead of 3 Hail Mary’s, I was praying decades or full rosaries.

The sermons were quite different. They really made you think about what kind of person you want to be in God’s eyes. They were focused on eternity and how to live in the secular world when we have been set apart and shouldn’t live for this world. At the Novus Ordo, it was rare that any homily made you question your actions or thoughts so as not to offend you. It seemed God was so merciful, everyone would go to heaven. The Fear of the Lord didn’t seem apparent there but it was at the forefront of every Latin Mass.

There were other things that began to happen. I committed to praying the rosary every day. For the first time, I fasted seriously during Lent, having one meal a day for 40 days, no meat (not just on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday but every day), and more penances throughout lent. Our family began praying the Angelus. I recently started praying the morning prayers and am looking forward to adding evening prayers with a daily examination of conscience.

I created a home altar, added more crucifixes in my home and would like to have a crucifix on every wall at some point so no matter where I look, I will see Jesus. I have bought so many more rosaries and while I have about ten, it’s still not enough. I want to have one in every room, every bag, and every car so that I can pick up the rosary and pray at any time. I also have a ton more books and yes, I have Vatican II AND Vatican I documents, which I am reading.

I found myself defending my faith more and had the ability to, especially at work. I would not be bullied into anything that wasn’t Christ-centered. Modernism is an evil and I am fine being fired for standing up for my religious beliefs. Life is going to get hard as I will likely have to comply or quit. Oh well, we’re not made for this world. I’ll find something else. God will lead me.

I know it’s hard for some people to believe “oh well, God will lead me,” but I assure you, He will. I have this confidence because I have good and holy priests who will lead me into the fiery furnace and I would follow them, because they would die for the faith. God has also provided for us when we stand up for His truth, like when we pulled our son from his “Catholic” school 5 months before he was set to graduate and we were rewarded exponentially. When you put your faith and trust in God, He will provide for you.

There are things I miss about the Novus Ordo Mass but I could never go back. What I miss is just what I grew up with and that doesn’t exist where we were going to church for 15+ years. There might be other Novus Ordo Masses which have those things (some do) but it’s a new church and a new community and still doesn’t provide what the Latin Mass has provided for our family.

Some of you might be thinking, “I do all those things and more.” Maybe you are thinking, “our Novus Ordo is reverent and holy.” And yours might be, but out here, I haven’t found one that provides all these things. I haven’t found a Novus Ordo that uses only the organ, has only altar boys, has so few lay people involved, says the same prayers for the consecration, doesn’t deviate from the missal because the priest is tired or his back hurts, allows the congregation to receive the Eucharist on the tongue and actually knows how to distribute it this way, and will tell you that you need to do better because hell is real and people go there! There is so much more.

My faith has never grown this way. There was never an environment for it to grow this way. There weren’t priests who were leading me to heaven. Actually, one did but he left and got his own parish which now offers the Latin Mass. The priests at the Novus Ordo seemed to be putting on a show and just going through the motions or rather, the obligation. Their advice was mediocre and inconsistent so I was confused and when the Mass was stopped because of an illness, all I had ever known and was told didn’t make sense.

The author of confusion is the Devil. God is unchanging.

No one has the authority to stop Mass, nor stop Tradition. For the Catholics who think the church needs to get with the times, you are misled and are misleading others. We are set apart. We are not of this world. We should not change to be of this world and that includes the liturgy. Tradition is important. To reject Tradition, is to reject Christ.

It’s not JUST about the Latin. It’s all these things. God wants us to worship Him. He tells us exactly how He wants to be worshipped. It’s not a secret.

I worship God His Way. Do you want to worship God His Way? This is the Way.

He Would be 6 Today!

I treasured you from the very beginning and prayed you would live but after learning about your condition, I knew God had chosen me to carry you your whole life! I was chosen for YOU, Gus. I knew your name from day one. I think I knew you wouldn’t make it but I had no idea how special you would be. So few babies with Full Triploidy survive. When they do, they don’t live very long.

But you had a purpose. Your life had meaning. You brought joy to us even through the grief. All your brothers and sister know you. We still talk about you and we have memories of you in our home.

All life has purpose, even the tiniest or smallest of babies. Even that little baby you may not want (I’ve been there), has a purpose and will bring you joy. We must give all life a chance. I would have been pressured to abort Augustus, in the same way I was pressured to abort my most recent daughter despite her being completely normal. I can’t understand why a child, who isn’t “normal,” isn’t considered precious and doesn’t deserve the same dignity as everyone else.

We must remember that all of us have a Creator who loves us and has a plan for us. It’s not predestination but we all have a plan that our God wants for us, just like our parents have a plan for us. We are free to follow it and we are also free to deviate from it. I could have easily aborted Augustus but even though he was never meant to live, his life was great! It was so short but he was so loved. He was loved his entire life, wrapped in the warmth of my womb, never knowing pain or suffering. He was MY Augustus Jude.

We love you Augustus Jude! “Happy Birthday!”

She Would be 11 Today!

It’s hard to believe I would have an 11 year old right now. A girl, approaching her teen years but I know if she was born, I likely wouldn’t have my other children. I think of her often still. I think about what she would be like and the things we would be doing together. Sometimes I think about the things we have missed but I try hard not to focus on that much.

The picture of my dead baby, which the doctors did not want me to have.

She had a purpose and she fulfilled it regardless of how tiny she was. Her life and death inspired so much in me. I wrote a book about her and her loss that has helped so many people. God can use everything for good and while I know her little life wasn’t what it was just so I could write a book, even the tiniest of babies not born can serve purpose.

I also began my bereavement ministry and supported other families through their own losses. In that process, I learned so much. I learned things that I didn’t want to know and things that were horrific that I didn’t know were actually a thing (like NICU nurses wanting to kill babies by stopping life support while their parents weren’t in the room), but I also learned so many good and amazing things like options that bring comfort and met people who really do care about miscarriage and stillbirth.

Ruby Josephine meant more than just the book, the websites and the services. She was my first daughter, a sibling desperately desired and loved, she’s present in our home in many ways, and will never be forgotten by us. Hopefully, the experience we had changed the way doctors do things when women experience pregnancy loss and I hope that her legacy continues even if I can’t provide bereavement services right now.

I just wanted to say, “Happy Birthday” Ruby. We love you!

Where Are My Babies? – Limbo

Many of you know, I’m in the process of completing my next book, “The Catholic’s Guide to Miscarriage,” and I have been researching many topics. The purpose of the book is not necessarily to bring comfort or closure to anyone’s loss. It’s a reference guide at best and may bring some comfort through knowledge of what to do and options a family has through pregnancy loss.

But I have a chapter entitled, “Where’s My Baby?” and I wanted to be sure I provided sound Catholic teaching because after all, this is a Catholic’s Guide. So where do miscarried babies go? Or rather, where do babies go who have not been baptized?

WARNING: This content may be disturbing to you. For further clarification, I recommend speaking with a Traditional Priest. You may also utilize the links below for assistance in understanding Limbo.

Five years ago I was assisting a Catholic client through her miscarriage. It was also about that time where I was undergoing a “reversion” in my Catholic faith. Although looking back at this, I wouldn’t call it a reversion per se; but more of a wanting to know my true Catholic faith. You have read about some of that reversion in my Traditional Latin Mass series and now I will go into more detail in this post.

While working with this client, I made the assumption she believed in what I believed, after all, she identified as Catholic. I realize this sounds odd but now I have full knowledge there are many heretical and Catholic hypocrites. The last few elections have certainly shown this but it’s important to note that she and her family were NOT one of them…I came to learn that I was. I wasn’t a democrat (Catholic’s cannot be democrats, FYI: This does not mean they are republican). She identified as a Traditional Catholic, something I would later identify as and it’s quite humbling.

While attempting to comfort her and her family through this pregnancy loss, I shared her baby was in Heaven. She graciously said her baby was in limbo. She did not “correct” or “admonish” me, she merely stated, “as Traditional Catholics, we hold to the long standing tradition of limbo. Not as a place of deprivation, but a place of complete and natural joy.”

Limbo? I had heard this term before from my mother. She described the miscarried baby she had as in limbo. I didn’t think much more of it because I had never heard teaching on limbo. Therefore, I surmised that limbo was one of the “old concepts” of the Church and just a theory. Time passed and nothing more was learned about limbo until about three years ago when I was learning about The Four Last Things. Limbo isn’t mentioned here but in my research about The Four Last Things, I learned about the four levels of hell.

Oh boy! What? There are levels of hell? I seemed to be on some sort of a quest. One topic lead to another, which lead to something even deeper and more difficult to understand or grasp. I began the Denver Catholic Biblical School in this time as well so I was on a fast track to learning the Bible and the Catholic faith.

Fast forward to now and the research for my book. I reached out to one of the traditional Catholic priests I know for help. I knew Taylor Marshall had information on limbo but he was by no means and “expert” on this topic but I did search for more information on limbo written by him1.

His paper was helpful but I needed more; which is when I reached out to Father Nix. With his background and history, I knew he would be a great resource. I was also already aware of what my parish priests would say, “your baby is in limbo,” so I didn’t necessarily need to reach out to them. (I have since reached out to one of my priests and I was corrected – see below).

Father Nix provided me with a talk by Father Wolfe, FSSP on limbo2. I found this talk to be very enlightening. The topic of limbo has been addressed for centuries and while it’s one of those “old concepts,” I thought about when my own mother discussed limbo for her baby, I now realize that the Catholic faith IS OLD. Seems silly to say that but the Catholic faith is unchanging. The Catholics who want the Church to “get with the times,” are not Catholics. There is a Protestant church down the street for you.

The list of popes and church documents discussing this was astonishing! Some use the word limbo. Most reaffirmed that infants who die without baptism cannot receive salvation. I was especially intrigued by Pope Sixtus V statements in 1588 with regards to abortionists who should be sentenced to death, not merely for killing an unborn child, but also for damning these unborn babies souls and denying them the Beatific Vision (See Taylor Marshalls paper referenced below).

The timing of such statements by popes, saints, and councils are not without question, after all, such statements are usually issued for specific reasons attributed by societal considerations. Meaning, were these statements issued because society was denying baptism was necessary for salvation? Were parents delaying baptism for illegitimate reasons? That is research I do not have the time for at the moment but I am certain I will revisit this topic.

So the final verdict? Babies, including the unborn, lack reason so they cannot have a “Baptism by Desire.” This is why parents must present their babies for baptism soon after birth. Deceased babies cannot be baptized, so therefore, unborn babies who die in the womb cannot be baptized.

If baptism is required for salvation; which is Catholic Doctrine and scriptural (See John 3:5), then we must surmise that miscarried and stillborn babies would not go to heaven.

The concept is not hard to accept if you believe that Baptism is required for salvation; which, EVERY Catholic SHOULD believe because it’s been revealed through Scripture. Not to believe it, is called Pelagianism and is heresy. It is also heresy to believe there is no such thing as original sin.

It seems this might be a “cut and dry” answer, but it’s not; because of Matthew 9 – Jesus Heals the Paralytic. What could this healing have to do with where unbaptized babies go? It could have everything do to with the answer. In discussing this with a friend, who has also lost a son to miscarriage, he shared that vicarious faith saves. A new term for me to research = Vicarious Faith. It’s not an easy search.

Matthew 9, “they brought to him (Jesus) a paralytic.” The place where Jesus was teaching was so full, no more people could enter the area, so they cut a hole in the roof and lowered the paralytic. “When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart my son, your sins are forgiven.” Jesus recognized the faith of those who brought the paralytic but did not recognize the faith of the paralytic.

This is vicarious faith. The paralytic was healed through the faith of those who brought him to Jesus. Is it then safe to surmise that a faithful parent would have brought their baby to be baptized and their faith in Jesus and the Sacrament of Baptism would be enough to save the baby from hell? I don’t know.

This is never-ending research. Research on one topic leads to rabbit-hole after rabbit-hole. All of which I want to research but lack the time. In researching vicarious faith, the following subjects also came up.

*Vicarious Faith
*Vicarious Suffering
*Vicarious Atonement
*Vicarious Intercession
*Vicarious Baptism

*I do not know what is Catholic teaching on these subjects so do not assume they are in-line with Catholic teaching. Some are Mormon, Wesleyan or Calvinist.

It is extremely difficult to believe that our ever-merciful God would damn an innocent child to hell because they lacked baptism. This is not a correct way of viewing this though. The nature of man did this. It’s a consequence of the fall of man. But why would an all-knowing God allow this to happen to unborn babies?

This is a mystery, likely not to be revealed until the end of time. Limbo is not a place of punishment but it is not a place where God is. I do not find comfort in this though, nor do I know anyone who would. I have found comfort knowing Jesus holds my children and learning that is likely not true is painful. But I entrust my children who died without baptism to the mercy of God.

Nothing I have found says that at the end of time, those in limbo would join God but nothing says they won’t. After all, those in purgatory will. At the end of time, all that is to exist is Heaven and Hell and if purgatory is a level of hell and all in purgatory will join those in Heaven at the end of the earth, why then wouldn’t those in limbo?

Limbo is tradition. Unbaptized babies going to heaven is liberal church teaching. It is a relatively “new concept” since the 1990’s. If unbaptized babies receive saving grace, what would the point of baptism be at all, other than initiation into the church?

UPDATE (11/23/2021): Then there is what my priest sent me. It was also very enlightening. He brings up a few points I have pondered yet failed to mention in this post. St. John the Baptist leaping in his mothers womb at the presence of Christ in HIS mother’s womb. This implies that Our Lord and Savior was recognized. Much can come from this revelation and I shall ponder it more. My thoughts will go into the book so I hope you’ll pick up a copy when it’s ready.

The answer remains to be found. If you know it, share it.

1 The Doctrine of Limbo in Catholic Tradition by Taylor Marshall
2 Contra Sedevacantism & the Recent Document on Limbo by Father Phil Wolfe

Miscarriage and Stillbirth – A Daily Occurrence

Yesterday I received a phone call from a grieving mother who had a miscarriage at about 16 weeks of pregnancy. She was calling because she had no money and didn’t want her baby to be sitting in a cold fridge at the coroner’s office. She was desperate to find a final resting place for her child.

She was desiring cremation but as she had been told, cremation at that stage would yield little to no ashes and she wanted something tangible. COVID has made it much more difficult for bereavement services and support in facilities. Many families have endured more suffering than needed and miscarriage and stillbirth rates have skyrocketed since the COVID-19 pandemic. I was blessed that this woman reached out for assistance, because I had resources for her. Free resources.

I talked with this woman about what her desires were and she settled on a resting place at Mt. Olivet. It’s free and she can still have her baby cremated if she wants or the baby could be laid to rest in a communal grave and a grave marker could be purchased. She would be able to visit her child’s grave and that was comforting to her. It’s also possible for her to receive a portion of the wood that the casket was made of. The white cross below was made from the casket that our Augustus Jude was laid to rest in.

I got the little wood box from Hobby Lobby and placed all the ultrasound pictures inside, cards from friends, flowers, and any other items that remind me of Gus. I open the box occasionally but it sits in our living room for all to see. He is a part of our lives and our children know who Gus is. Gus would be six this year. Ruby would be 11.

Catholics experiencing miscarriage and still birth should be aware that their child’s remains should be placed in a cemetery and not made into jewelry, placed in a pot, or have their ashes spread. This is one of the main reasons I am working on my next book A Catholic’s Guide to Miscarriage (expected release 2022). I really want you to believe that your child was worth something and has dignity and therefore should be treated with dignity.

The dignity of the human person is hard to come by these days. Society screams that we should all be loved and treated with love but when it comes down to true human dignity, it’s not understood. We believe that death to someone who won’t live a “normal” life (what is a normal life anyway) or who doesn’t look “right” (what is right anyway) or who won’t amount to anything is an act of mercy or charity.

The old should die because they lived their life and consume resources (yes, this is thought among many…FYI: you will be old one day). The disabled baby should be killed in the womb. When we lack respect for the differences in humans and lack understanding of the true dignity of the human person, how can anyone who has a miscarriage or stillbirth receive the care and validation they deserve for the loss of their child?

It’s what so many who experience this devastating loss seek. They want someone to know their baby lived, even if it was for a moment, one breath, or one kick in their womb. They need others to know they loved someone they didn’t get a chance to know. They need others to feel their loss and have empathy.

But it’s getting harder to receive because of the Culture of Death. The genocide that the world wants under the guise of Climate Change (aka population control/genocide). Not all my posts are political or religious even though that’s a focus these days but you must see that this is happening. I too have been told I have too many children and shouldn’t have more because the world is overpopulated. How does that make the loss of my two children any better? Yes, thank God they died because the world is overpopulated…that helps!

We lose babies every day. Someone needs love and empathy for that loss every day. When we see the dignity in EVERY human person, only then will we be able to provide the empathy the person is seeking.

Today is All Souls Day…visit the cemetery and pray. There are babies there. You’ll find them if you look. Pray for their grieving parents. Pray they meet again one day. Pray for the Holy Souls!

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