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Pope Francis: Martin Luther wanted to ‘renew the Church, not divide her’

The Pope told a delegation of Lutherans that this was a matter of ‘sincere contrition’ for Christians today

Pope Francis has told Lutheran pilgrims from Finland that Martin Luther’s intention 500 years ago “was to renew the Church, not divide Her”.

The Pope was speaking to a delegation of pilgrims led by the Lutheran Archbishop Kari Makinen of Turku. Their annual visit takes place during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

In his address, Pope recalled his visit to Sweden last October marking 500 years since the start of the Reformation, saying it was a “significant step” that “gave us courage” for the ecumenical journey ahead.

“This joint commemoration of the Reformation was important on both the human and theological-spiritual levels,” he said.

“After 50 years of official ecumenical dialogue between Catholics and Lutherans, we have succeeded in clearly articulating points of view which today we agree on. For this we are grateful.”

“At the same time we keep alive in our hearts sincere contrition for our faults,” the Pope said. “In this spirit, we recalled in Lund that the intention of Martin Luther 500 years ago was to renew the Church, not divide Her.

“The gathering there gave us the courage and strength, in our Lord Jesus Christ, to look ahead to the ecumenical journey that we are called to walk together,” he said.

The Pope concluded his address by thanking Archbishop Makinen for having brought his grandchildren to the audience. “We need the simplicity of children: they will show us the path that leads to Jesus Christ,” he said.

The theme of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which runs until next Wednesday, is “Reconciliation – The Love of Christ Compels Us”.

The materials for the week, published by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, say that, after 50 years of dialogue, “Catholics are now able to hear Luther’s challenge for the Church of today, recognising him as a ‘witness to the Gospel’”.

Germany’s Catholic bishops praised Luther as a “Gospel witness and teacher of the faith” in a document released last year.


My dream for my kids: celibacy

As a husband and father of two, my highest ambition is to have no grandchildren

Few passages in Holy Writ ring true like St Paul’s lines in 1 Corinthians about not being able to get a proper look at our own reflections. When I was a teenager, I told anyone who would listen that my sole aspiration in life was to direct critically acclaimed low-budget films heavy on atmosphere and romantic yearning, with that sort of hazy look you get in Jane Campion and Picnic at Hanging Rock. (I still wonder how they do that.) A few years later I wanted to be a professor of Restoration and 18th-century English literature at an ancient university. Now, as a 26-year-old husband and father of two and – no doubt – counting, my highest ambition is to have no grandchildren.

I realise that this is not exactly the sort of thing you shout at parties. On occasion I’ve made the mistake of mentioning my anti-patriarchal enthusiasm in the presence of friends and relations (including, alas, my own lovely maternal grandmother). The response has nearly always been one of horror at what they seemed to regard as a vicious attack on the idea of childhood itself, as if I had just kicked Mickey Mouse in the face before setting fire to a whole library of Beatrix Potter first editions.

A little over half a century ago, however, my fellow Catholics would have understood exactly what I meant. Like Louis Martin and Marie-Azélie Guérin, the holy parents of St Thérèse of Lisieux, my wife and I pray that all of our children embrace celibacy as a higher calling than married life. Canonisation in my own case seems a pretty remote contingency, but aut sanctus, aut nihil is our family motto, or would be if we had a family motto.

Hatred of celibacy has a distinguished pedigree in the Anglosphere. When Newman and his followers began publishing their beautiful Lives of the English Saints, an evangelical buffer called John C Crosthwaite – even the name smells like mustard-caked beef, vicarage soot and the superannuated hair of very large dogs – denounced their “fanatical panegyrics of virginity” as “profane” and likely to corrupt the young. His pamphlet of 1846, Modern Hagiography, makes good reading for connoisseurs of Low Church bigotry. After excoriating Newman, he goes on to call St Bega herself “preternaturally diseased” and “precociously wicked” before asking whether “there ever was such a person”. I’m sure she – or they, for there might be two of her – is praying for him even now.

He certainly needs it. Few things are as firmly established in the historical teaching of the Church as the preeminence of lifelong celibacy over the married state. It is evident from what our Protestant brethren used to call “the plain words of Scripture” in – yes, that book again – 1 Corinthians 7. St Thomas argued that it was evident from reason alone because the embrace of celibacy involves “preferring a Divine good to human goods” and “the good of the soul to the good of the body”, and the Fathers of Trent anathematised anyone who “saith that the marriage state is to be preferred before the state of virginity”. It was reiterated forcefully only two decades ago by St John Paul II, who wrote of the “objective superiority” of “the consecrated life, which mirrors Christ’s own way of life”.

It is interesting to note the clear view of John Paul II here because there are whole shelves of books with titles like Holy Sex!: A Catholic Guide to Toe-Curling, Mind-Blowing, Infallible Loving. These works, which purport to explicate his Theology of the Body lectures for non-specialist readers, have done more to encourage the false view among faithful Catholics that celibacy and marriage are coequals than Marvin Gaye and supermarket champagne discounts combined. Pope Francis has never been more right or more misunderstood than when he said that we don’t need to breed like rabbits – indeed, we don’t need to breed at all.

How did we get here? Most intra-Church quarrels involve an alliance between traditionalists like myself and the sort of people who vote Republican and bore you to tears talking about how “reverent” their local Novus Ordo is, against liberal antinomians. It is only the question of celibacy that unites socially respectable Catholic neoconservatives and Humanae Vitae dissenters against those of us who smoke indoors and tote around third-class relics of Blessed Karl of Austria while affirming the higher perfection of virginity.

The two groups do not, of course, agree about details: the former like to pretend that Catholicism is a kind of sex-and-babies fertility cult in which one worships God by maximising opportunities for procreation, while the latter are more interested in introducing sterility into the conjugal act. But thanks to their combined efforts we have gone in the space of some 60 years from “Virginity is good, and so in a lesser sense is marriage” to either “Let’s pretend intrinsically disordered acts are not intrinsically disordered” or “If all our kids enter religious life, how will we Catholics reproduce at a rate that allows us to win elections for Rep. Blue Blazer McEntrepreneurship?”

None of this should, heaven forbid, be taken to suggest that there is anything wrong with child-rearing. Only Gnostics believe that things created by God are bad in se. In two years of marriage there have already been hundreds, even thousands, of little moments with my wife and children that I would not trade for anything short of heaven. The fact that my hoping my girls embrace something higher does not in any way diminish the beauty of our life at home is as much as anything a proof of the Church’s claim to true catholicity. Any body that has room for me and St Bega has room for everyone.

Matthew Walther is associate editor of the Washington Free Beacon and a Robert Novak Journalism Fellow

This article first appeared in the January 20 2017 issue of the Catholic Herald. To read the magazine in full, from anywhere in the world, go here



US abortion rate at its lowest level since 1973

Figures reveal a 14 per cent decline in the number of abortions since 2011

The US abortion rate is down to its lowest level since the Supreme Court made abortion legal in 1973, and the rate is half of its early 1980s peak.

According to a study issued on Tuesday by the Guttmacher Institute, the abortion rate for American women aged between 15 and 44 is 14.6 per 1,000 in 2014, the last year for which statistics are available.

The figure represents a 14 per cent decline from the 2011 numbers, and less than half of the 1981 rate of 29.4 abortions per 1,000 women of child-bearing age.

The percentage of pregnancies ending in abortion is down to 18.8 per cent, a decline of nearly two-fifths below its 1983 peak of 30.3 percent.

A statement by the Guttmacher Institute, which supports legal abortion, said the study “did not directly investigate reasons behind the declining abortion rate,” but suggested “the wave of abortion restrictions passed at the state level over the last five years” could have contributed at least in part to the decline.

These come under the umbrella of TRAP laws, short for Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers.

Examples of such laws in effect before the 2014 numbers were calculated include Wisconsin’s 2013 statute requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital; Oklahoma’s law banning the use of abortifacient drugs early in pregnancy; mandatory ultrasounds, which were on the books in 20 states; laws requiring a waiting period of at least one day after a pregnant woman’s first visit to an abortion provider – the South Dakota version requires a pregnant woman to visit a crisis pregnancy centre during the waiting period; informed-consent scripts to be read by abortion doctors, including 12 states that instruct doctors to tell pregnant women about the unborn child’s ability to feel pain; and building code standards for abortion facilities.

Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life, said: “When they see the child moving in the womb on an ultrasound, when they hear the heartbeat of the unborn child, when they know there are people and programmes available to help them with a new baby and new circumstances, when they see what dismemberment abortion does to these precious children, the pain and agony that is involved in every chemical abortion, they look for life-preserving solutions that are better for everyone involved.”

Results of a Marist poll released in July showed that even if they support keeping abortion legal, about eight in 10 Americans said they favoured restrictions on abortion.

More recent legislation at the national level has not met with the same success as state measures. Although the House approved the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Act in 2015, it secured only 55 of the necessary 60 votes in the Senate to override cloture that September.

And the Dismemberment Abortion Ban Act was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee in September 2016, after Congress’ summer recess, and no action was taken afterward.

Although the abortion rate has decreased, support of legal abortion continues to outpace support for making it illegal.

The Pew Research Center, which conducts an annual poll of Americans asking whether they believe abortion should be legal or illegal in most cases, found in last year’s poll that 56 per cent said abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while 41 per cent believe it should be illegal in all or most cases.

Since Pew began asking the question in 1995, more people have held that abortion should be legal than the opposite.

The closest margin was in 2009, when 47 per cent said it should be legal, a low-water mark for support, while 44 per cent said it should be illegal – a high-water mark also matched the following year. Support for legal abortion is typically in the 50s, while those who say it should be illegal number in the low 40s.


Pope Francis to bless Philippines President after receiving letter of peace

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Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has made several negative comments about Pope Francis and the Catholic Church – So why is he suddenly writing the pontiff a letter of reconciliation?

Duterte’s violent war on drugs has been a controversial point for the Catholic Church.

Murder is certainly not condoned by the Church but Duterte refuses to back down.

The murder of drug dealers isn’t the only point of contention between the Philippines President and the Church.

When Pope Francis paid a visit to the Philippines in 2015, Duterte was quick to complain about the heavy traffic the papal visit brought with it.

Later, he claimed it wasn’t Pope Francis he was cursing, but the way the government closed roads and caused driving problems.

Interestingly, two years later, Duterte felt the need to send an official apology by means of a personal letter to His Holiness.

“Your Holiness,” it begins. “With profound respect, I have the honor to extend my own and my people’s warmest greetings to Your Holiness.

“Our countrymen remember Your Holiness’ apostolic visit in 2015 with deep appreciation, knowing that it was made with the most sincere regard for the welfare of the Church’s flock.

“The Philippines values its special relations with the Holy See and regards with gratitude Your Holiness’ gracious stewardship of the Catholic faith.

“Please accept, Your Holiness, the assurances of my highest esteem and respect.”

Apparently, the letter did its job.

According to Newsweek, presidential adviser Jesus Dureza spoke from St. Peter’s Square Thursday to say: “When I had the opportunity of kissing the hand of the Pope, I said, ‘Bless the Philippines, Your Holiness,’ and his answer was, ‘Yes, I will also bless your president.'”

These well-wishes and generous offers don’t suddenly change how the Church views senseless murder but they do bring the Church and Philippine President a little closer to reconciliation.

By Kenya Sinclair


The graves of the first African slaves

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Archaeologists have identified the origins of some of the first slaves brought to the Americas. Researchers used DNA to confirm their findings.

Archaeologists researching slavery in the Americas have unearthed what may be the graves of the first slaves imported from Africa.

Excavating a site in the Canary Islands, the archaeologists discovered some of the graves contained the DNA of Africans. Specifically, they found four African men in the graves.

Following the Spanish conquest of the Canaries, the local population was exterminated though warfare, disease and enslavement. As the local population disappeared, the Spanish began importing Africans to the islands to work plantations there.

This importation launched the transatlantic slave trade that would continue until the early 19th century.

DNA tests revealed four of the graves belonged to the first African victims of the transatlantic slave trade. DNA tests revealed four of the graves belonged to the first African victims of the transatlantic slave trade.

African slaves proved resistant to disease, which made them hardier than Native slaves who often died from the cocktail of European diseases.  Still, African slaves died in large numbers primarily because of their harsh working conditions and the poor diet afforded them.

The remains have been dated back to the 1500s, and have undergone DNA testing to confirm their origin.The remains have been dated back to the 1500s, and have undergone DNA testing to confirm their origin.

On average, an African slave working the cane plantations in the Caribbean could expect to last for only about five years.

An archaeologist excavates a grave on the Canary Islands, thought to belong to one of the first African slaves. An archaeologist excavates a grave on the Canary Islands, thought to belong to one of the first African slaves.

Although African chattel slavery, the most infamous slavery in history, has come to an end the practice remains common around the globe. Today there are more slaves than ever with an estimated 30 to 45 million people being kept as slaves in one form or another.

By Marshall Connolly


ISIS tells a woman to spit on the cross at gunpoint – what would you do?

Would you spit on the cross if a weapon were held to your head? This was the choice offered to one Iraqi woman threatened by ISIS terrorists.

As more territory is reclaimed from ISIS hands, stories of their atrocities are emerging. Most of the stories are shocking because of their cruelty. Nearly all of them involve physical violence, threats and intimidation, and even killing.

A Christian woman named Zafera was forced to spit on a cross when ISIS came to her town.

In 2014, after ISIS took over her village, soldiers raided her house. They found several  Christian icons including crucifixes. They confronted Zafera with a Crucifix and ordered her to spit on it.

Zafreda protested. ‽It was a sin,” she told them. One of the terrorists brandished his weapon, “Don’t you see that I have a gun?”

Zafreda said a prayer to herself, “Oh, the Cross! I am weak, I will spit on you. But Lord, I ask you to take revenge for me. I cannot escape from this.”

After obeying the ISIS terrorists, Zafreda faced harassment from all around. At one point she was chased by teenagers on a motorcycle who demanded she speak Arabic.

Her husband died shortly afterwards.

Eventually, Zafreda was ordered to move to Mosul, and her home was raided several times. The terrorists came searching for valuables, and they took everything she had. Even when she managed to save a few dollars, stuffing the cash into her bra, the terrorists found that too. She was briefly imprisoned. Most of the women in the prison were divorced, a crime under Sharia law.

On another occasion, the terrorists forced her to agree to convert to Islam. They made her and several other women repeat an oath, then they left her alone.

Presently, Iraqi forces aided by Kurdish and Coalition allies, are preparing to retake western Mosul. The fighting there has been ongoing for three months. As the allies move deeper into ISIS territory, new stories and new reports of horrors will emerge.

The world has an obligation to destroy ISIS and ensure nothing like them ever happens again.

By Marshall Connolly


God works in mysterious ways – How the homeless brought together a charity and a controversial food chain

Many of the Vatican’s Cardinals were openly upset at the erection of a McDonald’s within sight of St. Peter’s Square – until the fast food chain revealed its charitable side.

Many have celebrated the controversial chain after charity groups teamed up with McDonalds to help shelter and feed the homeless near the Vatican.

An association of doctors who volunteer to help the homeless joined the charity Medicina Solidale. Together, they approached the Vatican McDonalds to request help “beyond the controversy” with a donation of “some food to give to the homeless of St. Peter’s.”

Gianluca Scarnicci, a press officer for the charity, told CNA, “[T]he McDonald’s told us yes immediately.”

For the past ten days, Rome has been subject to a dramatic drop in temperatures, with more and more attempting to help those who may otherwise freeze or starve to death.

McDonald’s pledged to donate over 1,000 meals for the area’s homeless over the next six months.

Charity representative Fotini Lordanoglou explained: “McDonald’s responded, giving us this chance to help. We absolutely won’t resolve hunger but we are trying to give a small meal to people who need it.”

On Monday, fifty lunches were provided to the area, with Medicina Solidale hoping to offer 100 meals each week at what they hope will become a permanent project.

Despite the chain’s generous donations, many Cardinals still hold hard feelings against it. Rather than a fast food restaurant, they argue the space would better benefit the homeless by becoming a shelter.

Homeless Jesus statue.Homeless Jesus statue (Matt Hadro/CNA).

When the idea of opening a McDonald’s so close to the Vatican was first proposed, Cardinals living above the area designated for the restaurant were upset.

They were concerned with having such an impractical business in a place better used for small business or other, more practical, reasons.

Though some still believe McDonald’s doesn’t belong, many are benefiting from its donations of double cheeseburgers, chopped apples and bottled water.

Pierfrancesco Spiga, a 46-year-old Roman who lost his gardening job and has since become homeless, told Reuters: “It would be good if these multi-national companies gave food at the end of the day to poor people who don’t have any, instead of throwing it away.”

The charity and McDonald’s are not the only ones stepping up to help the homeless and needy. The Community of Sant’Egidio opened San Callisto Church to offer a hot meal and rooms for the night.

These rooms offer enough heat, beds, blankets, pillows, toilets and adjoining rooms to accommodate about 30 people each night.

Please pray for God to bless the hands who prepare the food, clean the beds and help the homeless, for it is in the hungry and needy that we find Jesus (Matthew 25:34-46).

By Kenya Sinclair


This pope is about to do something controversial when the Virgin Mary sends a message…

Pope Venerable Pius XII saw the Miracle of the Sun in 1950, which he took as confirmation of an important declaration.

Pope Venerable Pius XII saw the Miracle of the Sun in 1950. At that time, he faced a decision. He wanted to make clear to all Catholics that the Virgin Mary was assumed into heaven.

The understanding of this was already widespread and it had been a traditional belief of Catholics since ancient times. However, it had recently become a topic of discussion and it required affirmation.

To accomplish this, Pope Pius XII chose to declare it an official dogma of the Church, and to stamp his declaration ex cathedra which means “from the chair” of the pope. This is a case of the Pope using his authority to teach infallibly on a very specific dogma.

But was it the right thing to do?

At the same time Pope Pius XII was making his decision to affirm the dogma, he experienced the Miracle of the Sun.

The Miracle of the Sun is associated with Marian apparitions and most famously occurred in 1917 at Fatima, Portugal. On October 13 of that year, tens of thousands of people gathered in Fatima to witness a promised miracle. Our Lady did not disappoint. Thousands of people watched in awe as the sun danced, changed color, and performed spectacular movements across the sky for about ten minutes.

On October 30, and again on the next two days, and finally on November 8, the Pope saw the miracle himself. Each time, he described the Sun as dimming so it did not hurt his eyes, and as having a halo. It then danced around the sky for short periods of time.

Pope Pius XII saw this as an affirmation that his teaching on the Assumption of the Virgin Mary was the right thing to do.

By Marshall Connolly


Meth cook and devil worshiper attacks mother then leaves her for dead with demon king’s name written on her chest

Chase Wall, a 33-year-old occult-obsessed meth addict, was arrested after beating his mother, stealing her car and leaving her for dead with a demon’s name inscribed on her bloody chest.

Wall’s 66-year-old mother was discovered in a hotel room, unconscious, unresponsive and dripping blood.

A police report explained: “Blood was running down the side of the bed.” Her eyes were both blackened and her nose was broken.

As she was being loaded into an ambulance, first responders noticed black writing.

“Asmoday,” the name of a fictional three-headed demon king, had been scrawled across her chest.

Only four months before the attack, her son had shared a rambling poem about Asmoday on his Tumblr page.

“Not a day has passed without talking to myself or who I’m not come to dismay there are ways that I can start with this refrett of asmoday who in ways respeaks these verses,” Wall wrote on his social media profile.

Asmoday can supposedly make a person invincible. In a translation of the 17th-century occult text “Lesser Key of Solomon,” Asmoday is described as a great king who is strong and full of power. He has three heads, each appearing differently.

One head is that of a ram, the other a bull and the last appears to be the head of a man. The demon king has the tail of a snake and he can breathe fire. His feet are webbed and he sits “upon an Infernal Dragon.”

Wall was obviously lost, deep into the belief that Asmoday could somehow make him invincible. After leaving his own mother for dead, he was pulled over and arrested for unrelated traffic violations.

The police report explains a separate report was drawn for stealing the vehicle he was driving at the time of his arrest.

Chase Wall.Chase Wall

Wall’s mother was taken to a hospital in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where she reported “someone” had attacked her and hit her in the face. She did not immediately implicate her son but when police reviewed the hotel footage, Wall was seen leaving the hotel.

The officers who booked Wall for the unrelated charges recognized his face and officers quickly put two and two together.

He was charged with aggravated assault, which was later expanded to attempted murder. He has a history of several dozen other charges ranging everywhere from domestic abuse to meth production.

Upon deeper investigations, authorities discovered his personal online emails have been listed in several incidents including requested prices for powerful drugs and other “research chemicals.”

It would appear Wall also spent hours at his computer, leaving comments through his personal email addresses to claim the government or actors were attempted to read or control people’s minds through “remote neural programming.”

To fight off the voices he believes were sent to his mind through the government’s interference, Wall began writing poetry.

In 2013, the user with his email listing claimed, “All i [sic] want is for them to be silent.”

Three years later, his Asmoday poem appeared online. Only four months after that, the name shows up on his mother’s chest and on the wall of her hotel room.

Whether Wall’s mother will refuse to press charges remains to be seen but his internet trail certainly indicates he requires psychological help – particularly the posts in which he complains of voices invading his mind.

By Kenya Sinclair


Hopeless 108-year-old woman rescued by COMPLETE STRANGERS in beautiful, touching act of kindness

Carrie Lou Rausch is a very grateful 108-year-old woman after her community rallied together to save her life

For the last three years, Rausch has been living at the nursing home Sunrise on the Scioto in Columbus, Ohio.

She lived in comfort and attributes her longevity to good nutrition and always keeping a positive outlook.

The greatest flaw Rausch experienced this year was her dwindling bank account.

Susan Hatfield, Rausch’s daughter, told CNN her mother lived in the same home since she married and raised her family until she was 105-years-old.

After selling the home, she moved into Sunrise on the Scioto but was forced to spend additional money for medical expenses.

“She fell a couple of times, and the last fall she broke three ribs,” Hatfield explained. “I was still working full time, and my brother was working full time. It was a situation where she needed a little more monitoring than we could provide.

Suddenly, Rausch found herself relying on Medicaid, which Sunrise on the Scioto did not accept.

“I knew at the time that they didn’t accept Medicaid, but the facility was one she was familiar with,” Hatfield said. “Another family member had been there, and she used to visit. It’s close to all the family.

“I decided to move her there, knowing that ultimately they didn’t accept Medicaid. The honest thing to say is — I didn’t know she’d live this long.”

Hatfield  told ABC: “To put it delicately, I didn’t know she would have live[d] to be 108, and towards the end of last year, I knew she was getting low on funds.”

Due to her new financial dependency, Rausch faced a forced move to a Medicaid-funded facility. Hatfield explained: “I was looking into Medicaid-funded facilities that she could move to, but most of what’s out there were not really what she is used to now.

“I visited a couple of nursing homes, and the room … felt a lot more like a hospital than a home. It was a lot more impersonal than the setting she had right now.”

Though she wasn’t pleased with the facilities, Hatfield did say she was grateful Medicaid “had this last resort option if it came down to it.”

Still stuck facing a decision between facilities, Hatfield admitted her mother gets about $1,000 in Social Security each month, but her facility charges $4,000. That was when Hatfield decided to try one last-ditch approach.

She created a GoFundMe account.

At first, the campaign received a few donations, mostly from friends and family, but when the local news station caught hold of Rausch’s situation, everything changed.

Carrie Lou Rausch with her husband, Paul, on their wedding day.Carrie Lou Rausch with her husband, Paul, on their wedding day (Susan Hatfield).

The station covered Rausch’s 108th birthday on Jan. 3 and shared her story. When news spread, hundreds of complete strangers started donating to the account.

Eight-hundred donors raised the goal amount to $40,000, which will pay for one year at Sunrise on the Scioto. By Wednesday morning, 958 people raised $56,775.

Five days ago Hatfield wrote: “My whole family and I are so incredibly grateful for the support and generosity of all those who have allowed us to reach and exceed our goal.

“What an amazing testament to the existence of basic human kindness in a time when it sometimes seems in short supply. We are going to leave the site open for a while even though the initial goal has been met.

“It’s certainly not out of the question that mom has more than one active year left in her amazing life, and the additional funds will remain available for expenses into the following year.

“As explained in the original description, any unused funds will be donated to her church, of which she has been a lifelong member. Again, we thank you all so very much.”

Hatfield remains grateful to everyone who helped financially or by simply spreading the word.

“It’s a tremendous relief,” she stated. “Without this, I was going to have to sit Mom down and tell her she had to move, tell her she was out of money.

“At this point she does not know she was running out of money. Why should she worry about it for weeks and months? Today, I am going to sit her down and tell her about it, tell her that people heard her story and … wanted to help her. And that is just amazing.”

When asked why Rausch is unable to live with her daughter, Hatfield replied the friends and activities available at the facility do wonders to keep her mother happy and strong.

“They provide more for her there — more safety — than I could provide for her here (at home).”

In response to the amazing donations, Sunrise Senior Living, which manages Sunrise on the Scioto, released a statement saying: “We are so pleased that Ms. Rausch will remain at our community and are moved by the outpouring of support for her and the entire team who care for her.

“It is always our hope and intention that all of our residents remain here for as long as they wish, and we strive to support our families to help make this possible.”

After Hatfield sat her mother down and explained the amazing story, Rausch recorded a thank you message that was posted to Facebook.

When asked what her reaction was to the amazing support, Rausch says, “Well that made me feel wonderful that I have a lot of people who care. I want to say Bless you, all, and I appreciate it and I really, really thank you!

“It’s a blessing and you’re all a blessing to me and to all of us.”

By Monique Crawford

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