I Have A Say Thanks to My Mom and Dad!!!

Being the oldest of 11, I am so thankful, especially now, for my Mom and Dad saying "yes" to life! Growing up, we never had a ton of money. My Dad was a high school chemistry teacher and my parents decided from the beginning that they wanted to have one of them home with us. My mom gave up her teaching career, and raised me, followed by 10 others! My Mom also taught all 11 of us at home for part of our childhood before we would head off to Nativity Catholic Grade School. My Dad worked long hours, eventually earning other degrees so that he could first become dean, then principal, and finally, when I was a sophomore, he was named Roncalli High School's first president. My Dad and Mom both sacrificed SO MUCH for us.

I remember, even as a young person, getting stared at by people, and I remember the comments they would make. I can still hear a dental receptionist asking my Mom "Are these all yours? You know how children are made right?" followed by a real insidious but ditzy chuckle, followed by a secretarial gum crackle. My Mom and Dad were always tight budget wise, and I'm sure at times ached with a desire to not have to take bags of clothes from other families so that we could have clothes. I'm sure my Mom and Dad had desires to simply go to Nordstrom and buy us and give us all our own new clothes and Gameboys and Reebok Pumps etc. I'm sure they at times really wished they could just get a new car and not have to drive a fifteen passenger van around. I'm sure at times they wanted really badly to just go to a restaurant and sit back and enjoy a big expensive meal instead of having to cut coupons and craft together economic meals on the stove.

But they chose life for us, and they chose sacrifice for themselves.

I often think about that ditzy secretary now when our family gets together almost every weekend for dinner to laugh and hang out. Some of the siblings might be out of town or busy with other obligations, but inevitably, all weekend long, every weekend, our family gets together. Sometimes, when we're out at a restaraunt, I see the couples who are alone with each other. They hardly talk to each other and the loneliness is palpable. A part of me feels bad that we're having so much fun with our 8 tables shoved together, telling stories, laughing good hearty and healthy laughs. Sometimes I wonder if one of the couples sitting in the restaurant quietly and solemnly is that dental secretary - who now has piles of money and can eat wherever she wants, but doesn't have hardly anyone to share it with. My heart breaks for the people who are alone, especially the ones who are alone because, when they could have been having children, they instead bought into the contraception lie and lived for themselves only.

I have a say today, and so do my ten younger brothers and sisters, because my parents chose life. Mom and Dad - thanks a million!!!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Joe Gehret, 2nd Year Seminarian, Archdiocese of Cincinnati

To Cecile Richards, and the rest of those waving the banners of the culture of death:
My name is Joe Gehret, I’m a 20 year old Catholic man in my second year of college seminary, and I have a say.  I have a say, and what I want to say is something radically revolutionary and yet something incredibly ancient.  I have a say, and what I want to say is “No!”
 I say “No! to the culture of death, which has corroded moral well-being of our culture and taught our children lies and led them into sadness.  I say “No!” to the culture that has reduced men and women to sexual objects, that has made pornography, prostitution, and sex trafficking into billion dollar businesses.  I will say “No!” to the culture that told me to have sex outside of marriage, as though it were as ordinary and commonplace as eating, drinking, and breathing.  I will say “No!” to a culture that tells my two younger sisters that their value lies in their outward appearance and not in the beauty of their hearts.  I will say “No!” to YOUR culture, Cecile.
I am young, so I remember well my upbringing.  I remember being a teenager in the locker rooms of high school, and with my peers bragging about how far they went with their girlfriends the weekend before, or fantasizing out loud about what they would do to one of my female classmates.  They didn’t speak of respect or dignity for those young women; they spoke of objectification, of reducing them to a mere collection of body parts.  This is something that your culture has supported, even praised.  Perhaps I am old-fashioned if I say that a woman deserves more than objectification and degradation in the eyes of her male peers, but I believe it. 
I went through high school as the odd man out because I remained a virgin and treated my female peers with as much respect and dignity as I possibly could.  When I graduated high school, I entered the seminary to study to be a Catholic priest, which as you know, is a vocation of celibacy.  And yet, I welcomed it with open arms.  Why?  Well, among many reasons, I wanted my celibacy to show people that there is something much more beautiful about sexuality than lustful self-gratification.  I wanted to show people that the core of sexuality is not about gratifying our own desires, but about freely giving ourselves to the other in a mutual bond of love.  My celibacy will allow me to give myself to those I serve in the priesthood one day, as an unreserved act of love. 
You see Cecile, it is love that the human heart hungers for, not lust.  Lust is cheap, lust is weak, but love is rich and strong.  Sex is beautiful when it expresses love, true, passionate, deep, fulfilling Christ-like love.  Its more than body, its body and soul, and I refuse to make a mockery of it with contraception, with birth control, with abortion, or with any other demeaning, vulgar, or shallow display of self-seeking lust that you and your organization feed off of. 
Cecile Richards, I have a say, and I say enough is enough! I have had it with your organization’s war march against the sanctity of sex, marriage, and the family.  I’ve had it with your attempts to stomp on the sacred, both in society and in the influence of government policy, and I make my stand here.  I have a say, and I say:  “I stand with the Roman Catholic Church for truth, for love, and for the dignity, beauty, and sanctity of sexuality.”


  1. themomteam@repubanter.comMarch 1, 2012 at 6:59 AM

    Good for you, Father. It's long past time to really challenge those who are trying to categorize abortion as a "right", rather than the murder of the poor, little babies.

  2. Wow! Joe, if you are an example of "Here comes the Catholic Church!' I say, 'Bring it on and God speed!'

    I am one of the 'Lost Generation' of Catholics: 12 years of Catholic schooling in the 'Spirit of Vatican II,' which means 12 years of singing Kumbayah and making collages about 'community' and rolling our eyes as every year the next religion teacher thought the coolest possible thing would be to make us listen to "Jesus Christ, Superstar" - again.

    It took me a long time to come into my Catholic faith through the help of a wonderful confessor, and various JPII-inspired Catholic media.

    Now I see young men like you who will bring the Faith to the next generation, a generation that will NOT be lost, and I thank God for you. God bless you!

    I keep you in my prayers along with all of our seminarians, priests and deacons.