Author Archive for Leticia Velasquez

Married for 19 years to Francisco, raising three daughters, Gabriela, 17, Isabella, 13 and Christina, 9. It was Christina's Down syndrome inspired Leticia to stop teaching English at a local college to full time freelance writing and media advocacy for children with Down syndrome You can find her work all over the web, and in print in National Catholic Register, Canticle, The Alhambran, National Right to Life News, Celebrate Life, and Faith and Family magazine. Leticia has been a guest on several radio shows and podcasts. She was recently interviewed about her advocacy group KIDS Keep Infants with Down Syndrome on EWTN by Teresa Tomeo at the March for Life and she will be appearing as a guest on their show, "Faith and Culture" shortly. She has contributed stories to "Stories for the Homeschool Heart", "Letters to Priests" and, is about to publish a collection of stories from Catholic Special Need Parents entitled, "A Special Mother is Born" with WestBow Press this spring. She is a popular speaker on family issues and the spiritual life.

You Don't Have to Be a Superhero Just Because You Have Down Syndrome!
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You Don’t Have to Be a Superhero Just Because You Have Down Syndrome!

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In today’s society we are all about acceptance of diversity. We take great pains to show how well we accept others of different races, religions, and sexual preferences. We do this by holding social events, arts showcases, sporting events, and TV programs and even enforcing acceptance by law. I appreciate the culture of acceptance and […]

Catholics Can Learn Much from Pope Francis' Visit, If Our Hearts are Open
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Catholics Can Learn Much from Pope Francis’ Visit, If Our Hearts are Open

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All week my enjoyment of the exuberant visit of Pope Francis was marred by arguments from faithful Catholics close to me who were angry at what he did or did not say or do. Accusations of socialism, moral weakness and just plain wanting to be liked were flying. I begged them to wait and see […]

The Coming Battle
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The Coming Battle

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If you are like me, you are in mourning. Not merely for a battle lost, but for the thousands of misguided souls who may be lost due to the Supreme Court’s misguided attempts at fairness. The legalization of same sex marriage is not a sudden event, however. Judging by the reactions on both sides, it […]

Our Children Radiate the Joy of the Gospel
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Our Children Radiate the Joy of the Gospel

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I was recently reading about an upcoming conference at the Vatican entitled “The Pastoral Project of Evangelii Gaudium” to implement the Holy Father’s new apostolic exhortation, “The Joy of the Gospel”. The keynote speaker is Jean Vanier, founder of L’Arche communities, a group of homes for the disabled where their gifts are cherished. For a […]

Why I Should Move to North Dakota
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Why I Should Move to North Dakota

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I don’t have a paying job at this time, but I am very busy. Even though I no longer homeschool and my girls are over ten, my house is messy. I spend most of my day on Facebook and Twitter. Why? Christina, my daughter, is growing up in a world where no one invites her […]

Fulfilling our Dreams as Women
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Fulfilling our Dreams as Women

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We still buy the lie. Women are told that if they want to be successful in the world, they have to be more like men, or like a how-to-succeed-in-business stereotype: aggressive; detached from commitments; and self serving. No softness, no vulnerability, and certainly no thinking of others. We have to put ourselves first or we […]

Book Review: <i>The Things Lily Knew</i>
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Book Review: The Things Lily Knew

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Few novels are rich enough in characters to become a series, but the Lily Trilogy belongs in this rare company. The characters around Lily, a woman with Down syndrome who has a profound affect on the world around her, are so vividly drawn, so realistic and multifaceted, that they become friends with whom you want […]

Pope Francis’ One Minute Lesson from the School of Love
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Pope Francis’ One Minute Lesson from the School of Love

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When Rick Santorum’s article “Two Years Worth Every Tear” was included in my book, “A Special Mother is Born,” my favorite line was “Living with Bella (his daughter with trisomy 18) has been a course in character and virtue”. Each of the thirty-four stories written by parents of special needs children contains a lesson which […]

How One Life Can Change Everything
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How One Life Can Change Everything

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In every person’s life, there should be a person who, as C.S. Lewis says, “hears the song in your heart and can sing it back to you.” Through this devoted love, one overcomes fears, hurts and selfishness, and the soul expands. For the Lovely family in Sherry Boas’ fictional Lily series, this person is the […]

Book Review: <i>Brilliant Souls</i>
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Book Review: Brilliant Souls

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Stephanie Wincik is a registered nurse who doesn’t consider herself pro-life, or subscribe to any particular religious belief, yet after 25 years of working with the medically fragile disabled patients, she stumbled upon an article which galvanized her into writing a pro-life book, Making the Case for Life, which has in its enhanced second edition, […]

Remembering Jerome Lejeune
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Remembering Jerome Lejeune

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Clara Lejeune Gaymard has a “servant of God” as a father: Jerome Lejeune, the French geneticist who discovered the cause of Down syndrome. Lejeune, who died in 1994 at age 67, was outspoken against legal abortion. He was named the first president of the Pontifical Academy for Life shortly before his death by Pope John […]

A Larger Role for Women in the Catholic Church?  Yes!
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A Larger Role for Women in the Catholic Church? Yes!

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Comments agitating for “women in the priesthood” are found throughout the media, voiced largely by outsiders to the Catholic Church, either non-Catholics or those who have willingly distanced themselves from the Church, so when I read this headline – “Exclusive: Women deserve bigger role in Church, says key cardinal” — my visceral reaction was negative. […]

Movie Review <em>Les Miserables</em>
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Movie Review Les Miserables

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There is something in me which resists popular movies, music, and TV series. That new piece of entertainment that everyone is talking about so often disappoints me by its shallowness or downright offensiveness. “It can’t be good if it’s that popular;” I argue, “we have such abominable collective taste”. A quick view of the cable […]

An Interview with Eduardo Verastegui from <em>For Greater Glory</em>
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An Interview with Eduardo Verastegui from For Greater Glory

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Editor’s note: For Greater Glory comes out on DVD on Tuesday, September 11th. In light of this, Leticia Velasquez interviewed Eduardo Verastegui, one of the film’s actors. Velasquez: Eduardo, when I interviewed you in 2009 in Connecticut, you mentioned wanting to do a film about the Cristeros. Tell me how you got involved in For […]

Movie Review: <em>Restless Heart</em>
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Movie Review: Restless Heart

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Every Christian has heard about the stunning conversion of St Augustine, the most famous doctor of the Church. His wisdom permeates Western culture and Catholics are familiar with his saying, “You have made us for Thyself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee”. We have heard about St Augustine’s long […]

The American Bible Challenge – #TABC Is Television Worth Watching
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The American Bible Challenge – #TABC Is Television Worth Watching

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For awhile my teens were fans of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? They loved the fact that the contestant was earning money for charity, the increasing difficulty of the questions, and the drama of the contest. But I didn’t like the questions which had little educational content. So aside from Jeopardy, which they find […]

Can "<i>Brave</i>-ry” be Over the Top?
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Can “Brave-ry” be Over the Top?

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The “wee bairn” Merida, is a Scottish medieval princess who is irresistible as a tyke, romping with her parents, yet sadly morphs into a Disney-esque stubborn, roughneck runaway teen who wants to remake her queenly and gracious mother Elinor. Rejecting the ridiculous suitors, that according to clan tradition, she must choose from, Merida flees into […]

What Unspoken Message Does a "Wrongful Birth" Lawsuit Send?
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What Unspoken Message Does a “Wrongful Birth” Lawsuit Send?

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A Portland OR couple sued their obstetrician for failing to diagnose their now four year old daughter with Trisomy 21 and last month they were awarded $3 million dollars in “damages.”  The money is to pay for the extra care their child will need as experts say that she is not expected to ever be […]

Book Review: <em>Letters to Gabriel</em>
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Book Review: Letters to Gabriel

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I was mourning my third miscarriage and seeking a book that would offer me comforting words from a Catholic mother who had also lost a child. I found Letters to Gabriel by Karen Garver Santorum. In the pages of this book I got to know Karen as she spoke to her son Gabriel, who is […]

Obama and Ann Coulter Think They Have the Election Figured Out -- They Don't
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Obama and Ann Coulter Think They Have the Election Figured Out — They Don’t

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Ann Coulter was on The Sean Hannity Show with guest host Mark Simone today. She bragged about Romney, her candidate, winning the CPAC Straw Poll, and how she swayed the crowd. She pointed out the weaknesses of Rick Santorum in a recent interview with Chris Wallace: He always gets nervous about providing a sound bite that […]

World AIDS Day and Down Syndrome: Killing is Not a Cure
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World AIDS Day and Down Syndrome: Killing is Not a Cure

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One of my pet peeves was brought to mind by World AIDS Day. Not that I oppose finding a cure for HIV. I was a social worker when AIDS emerged in the eighties. I helped a young man with HIV who was kicked out of the Greenwich Village loft that he had shared with his […]

Film Review: <em>John Paul II: The Man, The Pope, and His Message</em>
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Film Review: John Paul II: The Man, The Pope, and His Message

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Catholics have long enjoyed the work of papal videographer Alberto Michelini. Now, under a special arrangement with the Vatican, a four DVD set on the life of Blessed John Paul II has been made available. It contains five hours of dramatic documentary footage, organized by topic into ten films that are each 30 minutes in […]

Book Review: <em>Francis Woke Up Early</em>
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Book Review: Francis Woke Up Early

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One of the most vivid childhood memories is sitting in my parish church, gazing up at a large fresco of the Child Jesus and St Josephworking in their carpentry shop. I wondered what the pair discussed amid the rasping of their tools and fragrant wood shavings. My childish faith imagination helped me forge a deep […]

Money Can't Buy Hope for Boy Whose Parents Wish They Had Aborted Him
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Money Can’t Buy Hope for Boy Whose Parents Wish They Had Aborted Him

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A Palm Beach jury just awarded a couple, Rudolpho Santana and Ana Mejia,  $4.5 million in damages in a wrongful birth suit. Their son, Bryan, was born in October 2008 without arms and with only one leg. Their suit was against the mothers obstetrician and sonographer, saying if they had done their jobs, detecting the anomaly […]

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