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!!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Rebecca Willen "I Will Have My Say!"

I have a say. What do those words even mean? They mean that I, a young Catholic
woman, have the right and the ability to be a significant factor in my country. I can say what I wish, and I possess the right as a human being to have my voice heard among millions of my fellow citizens.


Who am I? I’m a 19-year-old woman, a college student, formerly homeschooled, a
musician, a writer, a lover of books. More importantly as far as my character is concerned, I am a Catholic. I was blessed to have good Catholic parents, both converts, both devout. I have two older sisters, both of whom I look up to and love; one is a Carmelite nun. Right now, I attend Christendom College, a deeply Catholic school. I have hopes and dreams for the future. That is who I am as an individual.

But what am I as a person? I am a “rational animal”, according to Aristotle; I am “made in the image and likeness of God” according to the Faith. I am a human being; as such I have the rational powers, beyond the animals; I can think, reason, feel emotion; I possess a soul. It only takes logical thought, no deep insights by the Holy Spirit, to come to the knowledge of the facts about humanity. Each person is unique, each person is important, each person has natural rights and is governed by natural law. I am included in that. As a human being, I have the natural right
and duty to be a good citizen of the country in which I live.

As a citizen of the United States of America, I have the right to freedom of speech. That means I can say whatever I please – with the expectation that I have a role in the government and the functioning of my country. As a good citizen, it is my duty to take the appropriate means to accomplish whatever serves the greater good of my country. In voting, I vote for the good of my country and my fellow citizens. In my conversations with others, I promote the morals and good habits which are for their good and therefore, by extension, for my country. I use respectful, legitimate methods for letting my opinion be known so that those who make the laws of my country can properly assess the views of all citizens.

I have a say! And I will die for that right! Look to the Communist countries of the last century, to those living under the Third Reich, to the men and women in the Reign of Terror, to all who have been denied the right to hold conflicting opinions from their government. They were killed, thousands were slaughtered even, for one treasonous word, one act outside of the established norms. In every case there were brave men and women who refused to let their words be beaten down, who faced execution and laughed, that they might have a say! Martyrs throughout the centuries died for what they believed! Are we ready and willing to do the same?

America’s first revolutionaries would be ashamed of us if we could not stand up for our beliefs – they faced powder and shot for the right we hold. I challenge my fellow youth: whether it means taunts, teasing, or outright persecution, whether it means ostracism or death, let us always remember that we have a say! Let us say what we have to say with strength, vigor, and courage!

Have you ever wondered whether we might have had a cure for cancer now, whether we
could have been lead to world peace, whether we might not have had grand technological breakthroughs, in the last forty years? Too bad, we will never know if any of the lives that are ended minute by minute would have been a great hero.

Cecile, I have a say – and I say that you do not rule my thoughts and words. I will
have my say. I have been given life – I did not gain it myself. It was a gift from two loving, generous, self-sacrificing parents. I was given my life in love, and I believe I have the duty to help those who are being denied my gift.

I stand for life, for all the lives that have been abruptly ended by sterile knives, for all those infants who face a death worse than any we can. At least we will die having lived. They must die in ignorance of why their lives are ending; no knowledge of the sun and sky, no friends, alone in the dark. They are silent. In my own small way I speak for them.

I have a say.


  1. Great article, Rebecca!! :)

  2. Congratulations on your video Padre. It is excellent. God bless.

  3. Great Article and video Father. The "you better knock us out now because here comes the Catholic Church" would make a great tee shirt or bumper sticker.
    This reminds me of what I teach my 9 yr old son. I tell him about war in years past. I tell him while we are playing with knights about one guy in the battle field holding a flag. no weapon just the flag. He is the Standard bearer I tell Dominic my son. If he is killed you would have seen another soldier drop their weapon and lift the flag. He looks at me puzzled. The standard is what you believe in it is the rule by which we live our lives. It does not change like public opinion. I am the standard bearer of our home. Jesus Christ thru His Catholic church is the Ruler that we measure ourselves. We need to be the standard bearers where ever we are. Come in with the Standard of the Church and claim it for our Lord. We will fall at times because of sin but it will Be Jesus who picks up the Standard flag for us. Thru the Confessional He gives it back to us to carry.
    Father you have picked up that standard. I will pray for you for strength to withstand the attacks that satan will increase against you and pray for the priests who have fallen in this battle thru death or sin. The Standard stays the same only the men who carry the Flag have changed.
    God Bless