November30 , 2022

    Recap of the 31st Annual Respect Life Conference in Florida


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    What a terrific weekend we just experienced at the beautiful Bonaventure Convention Center in Weston, Fl., as about 450 Pro-Lifers gathered Two-gether to celebrate the vibrant Pro-Life Movement we have going in the state of Florida. Pro-Lifers came from as far south as Homestead and as far north as Jacksonville and St. Augustine – including our beloved Bishop Estevez (Bishop of St. Augustine), who presided over the early morning Mass on

    Saturday at 7:30 am. All in all, I would give the entire Respect Life Conference a B+, as there is always room for improvement and always room for more people. Thank you, Joan Crown (Respect Life Director for the archdiocese of Miami), as she put in a ton of work to pull this event off…What a Blessing for all.

    Marian Center Down Syndrome Bell Choir played bells like there was no tomorrow.

    The opening evening was a very emotional one as the awesome tribute to Dr. Jerome Lejeune (French doctor/scientist who worked with people born with Down Syndrome), was spectacular, mainly because the tribute was highlighted by a group of young people who were born with Down Syndrome – “Marian Center Down Syndrome Bell Choir” – as they played their bells like there was no tomorrow. And, notice that I said “born with Down Syndrome” rather than saying “suffering from Down Syndrome” – as the body language and the smiles on these beautiful people’s faces clearly showed that not a single one of them is “suffering”.

    On the contrary, each one of them lifted up the entire room, bringing so much joy to everybody and yes, a few tears to my eyes. I know all about people born with D.S., first-hand, as my beloved 13 year old Swan Moon, was born with D.S., but, she brings so much joy to the Guardiola Family. Don’t ever estimate the love and gift a person born with Down Syndrome can bring to a family, a community, a church…a Respect Life conference.

    What a terrific tribute and what a wonderful performance by the awesome Marian Center Down Syndrome Bell Choir. God Bless You All!

    Speaking of music, the young Christian praise & worship group, Epic, did a nice job with the music early in the evening to set the tone for the 2-day conference as well as providing the music for the beautiful “Benediction and Adoration” that ended the wonderful evening, as Father Jordi Rivero did a terrific job presiding over this ever-sacred prayer program.

    It was a great send-off for what was to follow on Saturday, which was a full day (14 hours), of some terrific guest speakers and presenters. The list was extensive and everybody came well prepared, especially the one speaker who blew us all away – former abortionist, Dr. Anthony Levatino. Wow!

    From the Diocese of Palm Beach, Donna Gardner, shined and brought some serious Food for Thought about how “men suffer from abortion” just as much as their female counterparts.

    More on Dr. Levatino in a moment as the other speakers and presenters truly shared some terrific information, statistics, stories and did a wonderful job in shedding light on the realities of the atrocity of abortion – including “post abortion”. That’s where my dear friend and Pro-Life colleague from the Diocese of Palm Beach, Donna Gardner, shined and brought some serious Food for Thought about how “men suffer from abortion” just as much as their female counterparts.

    Having spent 16 years working for the Diocese of Palm Beach as the director of Rachel’s Vineyard (counseling men and women who have been traumatized by past abortion experiences), Donna was passionate and thorough with her explanation of this awful phenomena. Her presentation was very eye-opening and moving as the story that she told about Jason and what he went through after his wife chose to have an abortion, was as emotional as they come.

    I personally learned a great deal about this issue from Jason’s story as I am that much more compassionate with those men who have gone through this dreadful experience, which they will have in their memories until their dying day. Folks, we need to pray for these men just as much as we do for the beloved women who have the abortion. Let us pray…

    And, let’s not forget the impeccable Dr. Alveda King, niece of the Great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose most inspirational talk on “Civil Rights for the Unborn” was very moving as she brought back many memories of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s. And, yes, she shared her touching testimony of her own two abortions, GOD’s forgiveness and healing, and then going on to have 5 children.

    I really wish I had the time to write about all the wonderful speakers and presenters but, I want to dedicate that precious time to our featured speaker, Dr. Anthony Levatino, the former abortionist from Albany, N.Y., whose topic was “Recognizing the Humanity of the Unborn Child”. His one hour presentation was beyond description as the majority of the attendants had tears streaming down their cheeks during most of his talk. It was that emotional. It was that graphic. And, it was that truthful. Yes, he even brought some of his “tools of the trade”, including the deadly forceps, as he demonstrated to the crowd how a baby is torn out of the mother’s womb, one limb at a time. You could have heard a pin drop…but, you could not hear a baby cry…

    Listening to [Dr. Levatino’s] life-changing testimony and hearing that in his “other life”, he killed over 1,200 unborn babies, through his very moving testimony, listening to what happened to him, his wife and his young “adopted” daughter, Heather – my heart cried for him and what he had to go through to finally retire the deadly forceps.