HLI Mission Report Pro-Life Missionaries to the World®
Mission Report No. 301 ISSN 0899-420x January 2010
By Rev. Thomas Euteneuer and
Board of Directors
Dr. Ligaya A. Acosta
Patricia Pitkus Bainbridge, MA, Chairman
Richard J. Clair, Esq.
William F. Colliton, Jr., M.D.
X Kazakhstan Fertility Rate: 1.88
Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer, STL
Rev. Barnabas Laubach, OSB, STM
Lisa Jenkins Cahill, M.D. X UN Agent Moved by Pro-Life Message
Stuart W. Nolan Jr., Esq.
Francis X. Dennehy, M.D.
X UNICEF Gives Condoms in Place of
Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer, President
Michael Mueller, Executive Vice President
Lori R. Hunt, Secretary
Amy Shenk, Treasurer
Chaplain X HLI Speaks with ALL the Future Priests of
Rev. Frank Papa, S.O.L.T.
HLI Rome Office
Rev. Msgr. Ignacio Barreiro, JD, STD
HLI Miami–Hispanic Division
X “Sidewalk counseling” INSIDE an Abortion
Executive Director Mill!
Ligaya Acosta, PhD, Asia
Joannes Bucher, Europe
Emil Hagamu, Eastern Africa
X First Pro-Life Conference in Belarus
George Wirnkar, Western Africa
Raymond de Souza, Portuguese-speaking nations
Jose Cardinal Freire Falcao, Brazil
Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, Philippines
Archbishop John Onaiyekan, Nigeria Dear HLI Friends and Supporters,
Rev. Karol Meissner, OSB, MD, Poland
Rev. Msgr. Michel Schooyans, PhD, Belgium
Deacon John Poirier, Canada
Rudolf Ehmann, MD, Switzerland
This edition of Mission Report features trips taken by Dr. Ligaya Acosta, HLI’s
USA Advisors Regional Coordinator for Asia, and myself. Both of us traveled to countries
Rev. Johnny Hunter where Catholics make up a minority of the population, and both of us left these
Rabbi Yehuda Levin
countries filled with hope for the Church and the pro-life movement there! I
HLI Affiliates and Associates
went to Belarus, where HLI participated in this country’s first pro-life confer-
ence and where I spoke to literally ALL of its Roman Catholic seminarians. But
first, Ligaya reports on her trip to Kazakhstan and her experience of bringing the
Argentina (3) Germany Portugal “splendor of truth” to the people there, especially the religious sisters and nuns.
Australia Ghana Puerto Rico
Austria Grenada Republic of
Romania MISSIoNARy TRIP To KAZAKHSTAN—Reported by Dr. Ligaya A.
Belgium Hong Kong Russia (2)
Belize Hungary Serbia Acosta, September 16-28, 2009.
Benin India (6) Singapore
Bolivia Indonesia Slovakia
Kazakhstan is a vast landlocked country in Central Asia, surrounded by the
Sri Lanka countries of Russia, China, Kyrgyztan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. It was
Chile Latvia St. Lucia
Colombia Lithuania St. Vincent formerly the largest state of the Soviet Republics and obtained its indepen-
Costa Rica Malawi Swaziland
dence only in 1991. Kazakhstan is one of the world’s most sparsely populated
countries with a population density of a mere 14 persons per square mile. And
Trinidad & even with so much oil and gas and valuable minerals, there are still many poor
Uganda people in Kazakhstan — clearly the targets of death peddlers. The country is
Republic Panama (2) Ukraine
East Timor Paraguay Uruguay (3) thus a perfect example to counter the lie of population controllers who say
Ecuador Peru Venezuela
that fewer people means an improved quality of life.
Human Life International 540.635.7884 (Phone)
4 Family Life Lane 540.622.6247 (Fax)
Front Royal, VA 22630 Email: email@example.com
Even with the glaring scarcity in population, contraception and abortion are still widely promoted,
plunging the Total Fertility Rate to a dying 1.88. Worsened by a high infant mortality rate and an estimated
12,000 people currently living with HIV/AIDS, it is a miracle that Kazakhstan can replace its population
without migrants. The country thus needs HLI to help them build a culture of life, and I was overjoyed
with the very positive response I received.
Even before I reached Kazakhstan, reading through the many materials I had on the country, I knew for
certain that it is besieged by the culture of death. Many international
death peddlers, led by the International Planned Parenthood Federa-
tion, working through its full member, the Kazakhstan Association Russia
of Sexual and Reproductive Health (KMPA), have long been actively
operating in the country with the help of a large amount of foreign
funds! UNFPA, USAID, UNICEF, WHO and other wealthy interna- Kazakhstan
tional foundations, as well as foreign governments like Germany and Mongolia
the Netherlands, have poured so much money and contraceptive sup-
plies into the country, with the killer IUD topping the list! But, alas, China
neither IUD nor pills nor condoms nor abortions ever improve any-
one’s quality of life. Finding many households and villages with no India
potable water, my heart cried knowing the mind-boggling amount of
money that has flowed through the country for sex education, contra-
ception and abortion!
Sex education has been successfully integrated into school curricula, started by the Kazakhstan School
of Public Health, which first developed the institution-based training curriculum for Reproductive Health.
Thus, promiscuity, even among young people, is common and backed by contraception and abortion. Until
HLI came, many people were unaware of the horrible side-effects of these practices, as well as the glob-
al anti-life agenda. Kazakhstan may have gained independence from the communists, but it has remained a
colony of the culture of death!
TRAvELING wITH THE ARCHBISHoP
In all, I delivered nine talks in different venues,
speaking to 569 people: youth, Catholic church pa-
rishioners, nuns, and priests. Interestingly, in Astana,
where the Archbishop asked me to give a talk during
the two Sunday Masses in the main Cathedral, some
of the attendees were people from the “other side.”
A young lady working with a UN agency told me
how touched she was and expressed to me and the
sisters that she wanted to get involved in pro-life
work! An executive from the Asian Development
Bank wished me “luck.”
I was very blessed to travel long distances
His Excellency Tomash Peta with Ligaya and two Missionaries
with my host, the very kind and Holy Archbishop of
of Charity sisters. Astana, His Excellency, Tomash Peta, who is also
President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of
Kazakhstan. We traveled more than 1,000 very rural kilometers (622 miles) to and from the far-away city of
Petropavlovsk, where I gave a one-day talk at the annual gathering of nuns from all over the huge Diocese of
Astana. On the way, we stopped by several parishes, where we talked with priests and nuns.
My talk was an eye-opener for the nuns. Even the Archbishop remarked afterwards, “the church should
do something about this!” The colorful slides and combination of theological and scientific facts so moved
them that the Archbishop declared a meeting following my presentation for further discussion and planning.
Among the next steps agreed upon were: translation of my slides into Russian, sharing the slides with constit-
uents of the priests and nuns, praying the St. Michael the Archangel prayer, and arranging another visit from
HLI to speak at universities and conduct a more thorough pro-life training session to include Natural Family
Planning (NFP). They also expressed much interest
for the ASPAC (annual Asia-Pacific Congress on Faith,
Life, and Family) in Kazakhstan. (The 18th ASPAC
will be held in the country in 2011.)
One young nun privately told me how touched
she was with my presentations. She shared that her
mother is a doctor who used to perform many abor-
tions! She said people are ignorant of the facts
and do not realize that when they abort they are
killing a living human being. She added that my
slides showing colored pictures of fetal develop-
ment, as well as aborted babies, are powerful, and
she asked for a copy of the slides and for videos that
could be distributed to the universities to spread the
HLI’s Ligaya Acosta, explaining how contraception works at a talk truth. But first, she offered to translate the materials
with nuns and the Archbishop of Astana, Kasakhstan. into Russian.
Almost all of the sisters wanted to talk to me,
but only few could speak English; the rest spoke
either Russian or Polish. But through my great inter-
preter, Sister Joanna of the Missionaries of Charity,
we were able to communicate. Some of them asked
about in-vitro fertilization, which they didn’t realize
kills many unborn children. One also shared that she
now understands why, when the sisters requested
medicine from UNICEF for a sick baby, they were
given boxes of condoms instead! These sisters work
all over the diocese and are on the frontline evan-
gelizing the people. They are powerful instruments
proclaiming the Gospel of Life. Sisters of the Diocese of Astana intently listen to Ligaya’s talk in
STRENGTHENING CATHoLICS FoR LIFE
Fulfilling the desire of my heart, God also made a way for me to be able to give a talk in the Diocese of
Karaganda. The Sisters of the Missionaries of Charity, who had been attending my talks, felt the need to
have me speak with their youth wards in their house in Temirtau. What was initially planned to be a small
gathering became an audience of about 100, consisting of young people from the city of Karaganda, parishio-
ners, nuns, priests, the Rector and all seminarians of the only seminary in the Diocese. The Auxiliary Bishop
of Karaganda, His Excellency, Most Rev. Athanasius Schneider, also came. I met Bishop Schneider with the
Archbishop of Karaganda, Mons. Jan Pawel Lenga, and Archbishop Peta, during the meeting of the Federa-
tion of Asian Bishops Conference, held in the city of Manila in my home country, the Philippines, in August
2009. Thus, when he was informed that the Sisters of
Mother Teresa were hosting my talk, the good Bish-
op, at very short notice, mandated all the priests
and seminarians to attend and to send a delegation
of young people from the diocese!
The visit also gained for HLI more prayer war-
riors in the many holy priests and nuns who, after
hearing my talks, realized the urgency and danger of
the mission. Because perpetual adoration is a way of
life for the religious and parishioners of the Catholic
Church of Kazakhstan, I know that they will include
us in their many prayers.
BATHING IN THE BLooD oF MARTyRS His Excellency Bishop Athanasius Schneider, seminarians and
I was also blessed to stay for a night in a convent of priests who attended HLI’s talk in Karaganda, Kazakhstann.
four cloistered Carmelite Sisters who, even when we
were separated by wooden barricades, intently listened
to my mini-talk. One of them, a Russian sister, who could not speak English very well but could understand
it, served as my interpreter. I not only asked them to pray for HLI’s pro-life missionaries around the world,
but also for our many benefactors, without whom we would not be able
to carry out the mission. Before I left, they gifted me with a statue of St.
Therese, the patron saint of missions.
I was also very blessed to make a pilgrimage for HLI to the Holy
Cross, set up by the Bishop, in a rare hill in the village of Oziornoje,
which he said is located exactly in the middle of Fatima and Hiroshima.
This gives us a choice, he said, between life and death, blessing and
curse! I also was privileged to visit and pray at the National Shrine of
“Our Queen of Peace” and at a place near a lake where “Our Lady of the
Fish” stands. I was told that once, in a time of famine, the lake suddenly
teemed with fish, which the people attributed to Our Lady. Even non-
Catholics here have a devotion to the Blessed Mother!
Indeed, my very blissful trip to Kazakhstan was another mission
won for God’s glory. As always, there is joy in the splendor of truth, and
people only need to hear the Gospel of Life for them to realize the evils of
Ligaya stands at the Holy Cross Pilgrimage the culture of death and resolve to build a culture of life. Everyone looks
site between Fatima and Hiroshima, where
forward to the realization of the ASPAC here, where the Archbishop
she prayed for HLI and the triumph of the
Culture of Life. anticipates the attendance of no less than the President of the country
and the involvement of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Kazakh-
stan, which he leads.
Fulfilling the mission of HLI in Kazakhstan, with such virtuous and faithful bishops, priests, nuns and
lay people has given me overwhelming happiness and hope in the Church. The people of this region have
bathed in the blood of martyrs, who died for the faith during the long years of Communist persecution. God,
with Our Lady, must indeed be smiling from heaven at this country, whose predominantly Muslim population
welcomed with so much love our beloved Pope John Paul II. But, I’m sure heaven would rejoice ever more
if they would stop killing their babies!
MISSIoNARy TRIP To BELARUS—Reported by By Rev. Thomas Euteneuer, September 16-24, 2009.
Belarus has been known variously as Byelorusia, White Russia, and White Ruthenia, and has a distinct exis-
tence as a people dating back to the ninth century when it was part of the Kievan Rus’ Empire. The country
achieved its political independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 but has been euphemistically termed a
“hermetically-sealed Soviet time capsule” due to its almost pristine preservation of a communist-style gov-
ernment and social structure. However, the country is not what a westerner would expect in a post-Soviet
country. There is nothing broken down. The capital city of Minsk and the surrounding countryside are im-
mensely beautiful, clean and orderly. Interestingly, it is a country com-
Finland pletely devoid of mountains.
Russia The Belarusian people have known more hardship and suffer-
ing than the average person or nation could ever understand. During
the Second World War, the country lost a full third of its population to
Germany the ravages of Nazi hatred for Slavs (over 2 million people), and I am
told that there were more than 200 villages where the people were just
rounded up and massacred in whole or in part. It is a little-known fact
of that period’s history that there were over 200 concentration camps
in Belarus, which killed hundreds of thousands of people. In 1944 they
went from the frying pan into the fire. The Communists took over and
imposed abortion soon thereafter whereby they lost another half of the
remaining population that would have been born. Belarus was also the site of the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.
The fact that this nation exists at all is something of a miracle.
While the majority (80%) of its inhabitants are non-practicing Russian Orthodox, the Catholic Church
represents about 10% of the population and is tremendous in this country. When Fr. Marx went to Belarus
in 1992, he was quite impressed with both the seminaries and the clergy, and I can only attest that the clergy
and bishops I met on my trip continue that track record of great churchmen. At the pro-life conference HLI
sponsored in the capital city, Minsk, I met four of the six Belarusian bishops, and all the priests I met in the
country were just top-notch. It really says something positive about a local church when two-thirds of the
country’s bishops attend a pro-life conference. The Cardinal of the country is 96 years old, so he was excused
Due to HLI’s efforts, I am happy to say that there is now some kind of organized pro-life move-
ment in Belarus where none existed before. They need it, too; like all the post-communist countries their
fertility rate is abysmally low (1.2), abortion is practiced rampantly, and I was told that a shocking 98% of
women in the country have had abortions. The population is actually declining. In 1999 there were more than
10 million people, now down to a little more than 9.6 million. The killing done by the Nazis is really nothing
in comparison to the killing of the abortionists.
THE vERy FIRST PRo-LIFE CoNFERENCE IN BELARUS
The weekend of September 18th-20th saw the very first
pro-life conference in the country, which was attended
by about 150 people all weekend, and the speakers were
very dynamic. The official opening was conducted on
Friday the 18th and the fact that so many attendees came
back for the Saturday and Sunday sessions was a tribute
to the high quality of the speakers and the program. Lots
of young people came, too, which was encouraging.
His Excellency Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz of
Minsk gave the opening address because the conference
was coordinated with the Family Office of the Archdio-
Among the speakers were experts on bioethics,
pastoral counseling, clergy of all denominations, and
a whole host of HLI affiliates who came to share their The opening of the HLI-sponsored pro-life conference
expertise. Dr. Antun Lisec from Croatia, Lech and Eva in Minsk, Belarus.
Kowalewski from Poland, Joannes Bucher from Austria,
Galina Maslennikova from Russia, and Genia Sam-
borska from Ukraine all spoke and all represented
HLI to a pro-life movement in its infancy. What a
privilege it is to work with such generous and talent-
ed people and see their unselfish interest in saving
babies around the world! I also gave a talk on HLI’s
mission and on the wonder of our pro-life patroness,
Our Lady of Guadalupe, and the talk was translated
into Belarusian by our country contact, Vladislav
I have thoughts of how there can be no decent soci- Volokhovich.
ety without Christianity. After all, as someone said,
Since families are so small here and the abor-
every human problem is a theological one. If you
tion situation so devastating, my favorite experience
don’t solve it theologically,
of the conference was the special award that was
you’re going to get a mess,
given to a family that had six boys and a seventh
because you’ll be unleashing
boy on the way! The boys were tremendously well-
the worst in human beings, behaved, and, of course, they all got HLI rosaries
who are prone to evil from the to wear around their necks, too. The other highlight
very beginning, as we know was a baptism of the fifth girl of another family,
from the Good Book. which was done at the opening Mass. This has some
-- “My 21 Days in Russia and precedent. Last year Cardinal Kazimierz Swiatek
gave an incentive for having more children when he
Fr. Paul Marx Ukraine,” page 4.
personally offered to baptize the third child from any
family of three or more that requested it. Hopefully the Church will make an impact on the country in that
way. If nothing else, the Catholic presence will grow stronger!
HLI’S oUTREACH To SEMINARIANS—LITER-
ALLy ALL oF THEM IN BELARUS!
Our mission was in grand display on the Monday and
Tuesday after the conference when Vladislav, Wolfgang
Hering (from Germany) and myself went to speak at
the Major Seminary, St. Thomas Aquinas, in Grodno,
Belarus, about 300 km (186 miles) outside of the capital
of Minsk. We spoke to about 60 men for two hours and
helped them to see what the terms of the battle will be
when they become ordained. The priests of the faculty
could not have been more accommodating and gracious.
Seminarians from St. Thomas Aquinas Major Seminary in What we gave to the seminarians was the short
Grodno, Belarus. course in pro-life. Vladislav was our translator into Be-
larusian, and he was really the very best. I talked to the
seminarians about what it is like to be a priest and confront these issues as they affect the people they serve.
I explained Humane vitae and Evangelium vitae to them and showed them what they can actually do
to be truly pro-life priests. Wolfgang told them a number of very interesting stories from his experience of
sidewalk counseling in Germany and then urged them never to imitate the negative priestly examples in the
Church in the West that have rejected Humanae vitae and made a wreckage of the culture thereby. The Catho-
lic Church in Belarus is fundamentally sound, and we want them to keep it that way! We were so impressed
by these solid young men, all dressed in cassocks or suits and ready to learn about life.
The next day was another several hundred kilometer drive to the Seminary in the Archdiocese of Pinsk,
in the southwest corner of the country. It is technically the national seminary with about 30 seminarians from
various dioceses. This time, Vladislav did his own presentation of HLI’s colored maps, showing the state
of abortion laws and the drastic drop in fertility around the world. It was an eye-opener to the guys, who all
absorbed the talks with incredible attention. What a blessing to be able to speak to these young men who will
be the future leaders of a healthy Church in this country. It is incredible to believe that, since there are only
two Roman Catholic seminaries in the country, we literally spoke to all the future priests of this nation in two
days. That’s impact. That’s HLI.
MoGILEv IS THE CENTER oF HLI’S EFFoRTS
From Pinsk it was a 500 km (310 mile) drive to the other
major city called Mogilev, where I met with Vladislav and
his dynamic little pro-life group in the evening. The next
evening we had a concelebrated Mass with five priests at
their local parish, followed by a general meeting in the
parish hall. I just loved the beautiful names of the Belaru-
sian women there: Tatiana, Olga, Iryna, Anastasia, Vic-
toria, Natasha, Natalia, Vatslava, Ana, Oksana, Svetlana,
Ludmila, Galina, Helena.
That day, I went with them to do sidewalk counsel-
ing at the local abortion hospital. In fact, it wasn’t really
The pro-life group in Mogilev, Belarus.
sidewalk counseling because our people actually go into
the abortion mill and talk to the women coming for abortions. They present literature and heartfelt concern
to the women in desperate situations and even talk to the abortionists who seem strangely open to them and
tolerant of them being there. I would have to say that one of the most unique experiences of my life was
sitting in an abortion hospital in Belarus praying the Rosary! We were told that the average abortion
only costs $12 here. That is how cheap life is in post-communist countries. These folks have a hard battle to
convince women not to abort, but they are saving babies, at the cost of a tremendous sacrifice, one baby at a
time, and even the life of one baby is worth every ounce of energy that it takes to save them.
Mogilev is also the city where Vladislav plans to renovate a building in the very center of the city with
our help. He will make it into a family life center and it will be another way to bring the Gospel of Life to the
people who so need to see the Light amidst so much darkness.
God bless you always!
Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer
P.S.— This month, to thank you for your contribution to HLI of $49 or more,
I would like to send you a copy of a talk by Archbishop Fulton Sheen, “First
the Spiritual, Then Take Action.”
In this talk, produced and digitally remastered by FultonSheen.com, Archbish-
op Sheen says that we must combine both the spirituality and the action
of our faith. One without the other is not sufficient. We must combine the
Church of social action and the Church of individual sanctification into One
Like during the Transfiguration of Our Lord, we must not remain on the
mountain, we must go down into the valley and spread the Good News to the
The audio CD, “First the
people, as we are renewed in Christ. As Archbishop Sheen explains, we must
Spiritual, Then Take Action”
obey both the first word of Our Lord’s public life - “Come” - and the last word
by Archbishop Fulton J.
- “Go.” First, we must come to Christ and strengthen our souls spiritually,
Sheen is our gift to you this
then go out and spread the Gospel of Life to the world.
month in appreciation for
Please send your gift of $49 or more to HLI this month, and I will send you your financial support of $49
this talk from Archbishop Fulton Sheen that will hopefully inspire and guide or more!
you and your family and friends as you seek to live out your faith more fully.
HLI acknowledges and thanks FultonSheen.com for permission to reproduce