Archive for the ‘Pro-Life Int’l Symposium’ Category

Pro-Life International Symposium at World Meeting of Families

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

PriestsForLife

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 23, 2015

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

PHILADELPHIA – As part of the World Meeting of Families, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and a coalition of pro-life leaders will host a Pro-Life International Symposium at 6 p.m. tonight – Wednesday, Sept. 23 – in the Grand Ballroom of the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

The symposium is free and open to the general public, as well as World Meeting attendees.

Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, a co-sponsor of the event, answers questions about the event and its place on the World Meeting of Families schedule.

Q. Why is it important to have a symposium on abortion at the World Meeting of Families?

Father Pavone: As we used to say when I worked at the Pontifical Council for the Family and as we organized the World Meeting of Families back in 1997, “There can be no life without family and there can be no family without life.”

The connection between the theme of family and the theme of protecting life is inseparable. The family is “the sanctuary of life,” and, in fact, Pope St. John Paul II indicated in “The Gospel of Life” that the fact that abortion is committed by one family member upon another is one of the things that makes it particularly serious.

The theme of this World Meeting of Families is, “Love is our Mission: The Family Fully Alive.” The symposium will emphasize that the family can be fully alive only if all its members are protected, including the children in the womb.

Moreover, the family can be fully alive only if it is healed of the wounds of abortion, which is more destructive of family life and relationships than anything else. For these reasons, a symposium on abortion is not only important, but essential, especially given the fact that many in society and in the Church want to ignore the abortion issue.

Q. How did this conference come about?

Father Pavone: Over a year ago, I asked some 70 leaders in the pro-life movement to sign a letter that we sent to Pope Francis, to the Pontifical Council for the Family, and to Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia, expressing our support for the World Meeting of Families. In response, the planning committee of the World Meeting of Families, with the support of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Family, gave us this Wednesday night time slot to hold an International Pro-life Symposium.

Then, many of the leaders signed on to another letter inviting people to come to it.

Q. The people who are attending the World Meeting are, for the most part, devout Catholics. Do you worry you will be preaching to the choir?

Father Pavone: It is precisely because so many of the participants are part of “the choir” that we need to speak to them about this. The choir always needs choir practice. The troops always need encouragement, and there is much encouraging news to report in the battle against abortion. Our symposium will be a celebration of life and family for those already committed to defending them, rather than an event aimed to convert those who are not already convinced.

Q. What are you hoping people will take away from the symposium?

Father Pavone: There are still some pro-life activists who ask me whether Pope Francis sees fighting abortion as a priority for the Church. My hope is that this symposium will reassure them that nothing has changed, either in the mind of the Pope or the Church, regarding the urgent priority of protecting the most vulnerable children. In fact, protecting the poor, weak, vulnerable and marginalized is precisely at the heart of the spirituality and priorities of Pope Francis.

Moreover, I want the participants of this symposium to be encouraged in their own involvement in the pro-life movement, and to find in the symposium some new tools and strategies to implement, and some new relationships with other pro-life activists from other parts of the country and the world.

Q. Are babies and children welcome?

Father Pavone: I suspect there will be few places in the world where, on that night, babies and children will be more welcome than in our Pro-life Symposium!

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

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Pro-life Themes on the Silver Screen

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

PriestsForLife

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: September 15, 2015

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

Speakers at World Meeting of Families Pro-Life International Symposium will highlight the value of family-friendly films.

PHILADELPIA — The culture of death has been winning at the box office for decades, but that is changing. Two of the speakers at next week’s Pro-Life International Symposium at the World Meeting of Families are in the vanguard of a growing movement working to spread a pro-life message on the silver screen.

Eduardo Verastegui, producer of 2007’s Bella and this year’s Little Boy, and Kathy DiFiore, whose work to hope homeless pregnant women was the inspiration for 2013’s Gimme Shelter, will be among the dynamic pro-life leaders who will headline the free event at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 23 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.

Verastegui , who grew up in northern Mexico, had a successful career that traded on his good looks. He sang in a boy band, acted in a Spanish-language soap opera and performed in a steamy Jennifer Lopez music video. But when a young woman he hired to help him improve his English began speaking to him about God and the road he was traveling, he had a change of heart.

“I realized I was using my talent in a very selfish way,” Verastegui told Christian Broadcasting Network in a 2007 interview. “In my opinion, I was poisoning our society with the projects I was involved with. “

He made a decision to accept only roles that elevated human dignity, and went four years without a job. Finally, he and some friends founded a film production company called Metanoia that produced the overtly pro-life Bella, winner of the Toronto International Film Festival’s “People’s Choice” award, and the pro-family Little Boy, which critics panned for its religious overtones but audiences loved. Verastegui also acted in both films.

Ms. DiFiore didn’t have Hollywood in mind when she first opened her home to pregnant women in crisis but her success in changing women’s lives and saving their babies at her Several Sources Shelters for more than 30 years attracted the attention of writer and film director Ron Krauss, who told the Houston Chronicle that Gimme Shelter “deals with some of the most life-changing and affirming things we can imagine: A mother and her child.”

At the Pro-Life International Symposium, Ms. DiFiore will announce details of a second film, currently in production, that was inspired by her work.

Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life and author of Abolishing Abortion, also will speak at the event, which is an official World Meeting of Families gathering but is also open to the general public.

“The fact that abortion, and alternatives to abortion, are being brought to the big screen is a very positive development that was a long time coming,” Father Pavone said. “So many millions of women have been wounded by choosing abortion and no matter how warmly it is embraced by the entertainment industry, abortion is always the worst possible option. Films like Bella and Gimme Shelter highlight the fact that no matter how dire the circumstances seem, there is always a better choice.

“Families attending the World Meeting will be uplifted by Eduardo’s message and Kathy’s work. I hope everyone will make time for this vital symposium.”

For more information about the speakers and the event, go to www.ProLifeWorldEvent.com

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Pro-Life International Symposium At World Meeting Of Families Is Open To All

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

PriestsForLife

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: September 9, 2015

Contact: Leslie Palma

347-286-7277

Speakers to include Eduardo Verástegui, producer of “Bella” and “Little Boy”

PHILADELPHIA — Can you find the common thread in this group?

The “Brad Pitt of Mexico.”

A charismatic international pro-life leader and author.

The woman whose life’s work inspired a Hollywood movie.

The niece of the nation’s most revered civil rights leader.

A member of the nation’s fastest-growing voting bloc.

A Catholic journalist/author/TV and radio host.

All six will headline the Pro-Life Symposium at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. The symposium will take place from 6 to 7:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 23 in the Grand Ballroom of the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The symposium is free and open to the general public, as well as World Meeting attendees.

Addressing the international, multicultural audience will be:

  • Eduard Verástegui , an actor and producer who turned his back on stardom to concentrate on projects – including the movies “Bella” and “Little Boy” — that reflect his Catholic faith.
  • Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life and author of Abolishing Abortion a new manifesto for the pro-life movement.
  • Kathy DiFiore, whose decision to devote her life to pregnant women in crisis was the basis of the Hollywood film “Gimme Shelter.”
  • Dr. Alveda C. King, niece of Martin Luther King Jr. whose work as director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life has galvanized the African-American pro-life community.
  • Astrid Bennett Gutierrez, Director of Hispanics for Life and executive director of Los Angeles Pregnancy Services.
  • Teresa Tomeo, a best-selling author and radio host whose “Catholic Connection” reaches millions of listeners five days a week. Ms. Tomeo will serve as mistress of ceremonies for the symposium.

“The theme of this year’s World Meeting of Families is ‘Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive,” Father Pavone said, “but the family can be fully alive only if all its members are protected, including the youngest children. Nothing is more destructive of the family than abortion, and every member of the family feels its devastating effects. It is time to proclaim the need for full protection of the children and healing of the whole family. That’s why we felt it was so important to include this pro-life event in the World Meeting schedule.”

Tickets are not required for the event and even those not registered for the World Meeting are welcome. For more information, directions and a schedule of speakers, go to www.ProLifeWorldEvent.com

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

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