As the Church begins her observance of the Year of Faith today, Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, announced initiatives to take place this year that will highlight the integral connections between the faith and the commitment to the pro-life cause.
In a statement released today, Fr. Pavone stated, "In his encyclical letter Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life, 1995), Blessed John Paul II reminded us, 'The Gospel of God's love for man, the Gospel of the dignity of the person and the Gospel of life are a single and indivisible Gospel' (EV, 2). Therefore, as the Church calls her children to embrace and proclaim with new vigor and joy the Gospel of Christ, this is at the same time a call to witness to, and to build, a Culture of Life."
The pastoral team of Priests for Life, which leads a worldwide family of interrelated ministries including Rachel's Vineyard and the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, as well as the African-American outreach led by Dr. Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King, Jr., will carry out a number of catechetical and other efforts to highlight the theme of the connection between faith and pro-life.
As part of the observance, Priests for Life will lead a pilgrimage to Rome from June 10-17, 2013 in order to take part in a celebration on June 16 with the Holy Father in Saint Peter's Square focused on the sanctity of life. The event is among the official items on the calendar for the Year of Faith released by the Vatican.
In the Year of Faith, Believe and Proclaim the Gospel of Life
Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, issued the following statement today as the Church begins her celebration of the Year of Faith:
The worldwide family of Priests for Life (an international Association of the Faithful) welcomes the Year of Faith, which begins today, Thursday, October 11, 2012, the twentieth anniversary of the publication of The Catechism of the Catholic Church and the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council.
Priests for Life, like the whole Church, is irrevocably committed to proclaiming Jesus Christ as the hope, the Savior, and the life of the world.
In his encyclical letter Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life, 1995), Blessed John Paul II reminded us, "The Gospel of God's love for man, the Gospel of the dignity of the person and the Gospel of life are a single and indivisible Gospel" (EV, 2).
Therefore, as the Church calls her children to embrace and proclaim with new vigor and joy the Gospel of Christ, this is at the same time a call to witness to, and to build, a Culture of Life.
This is why one of the official events that the Vatican has announced in the calendar for the Year of Faith will be a celebration with the Holy Father focused on the theme of the sanctity of life, to take place in Saint Peter's Square on Sunday, June 16, 2013.
Given that fact, Priests for Life announces today that during the Year of Faith, we will implement a number of efforts to help the faithful -- both clergy and laity -- to understand and teach the integral connections between saying "Yes" to Christ and saying "Yes" to life.
a) We will make available in new formats to the clergy and laity our reflections on the readings of the liturgy for each Sunday and how those readings connect with the theme of life. Such reflections are available in written form at www.priestsforlife.org/liturgy and in video form at www.YouTube.com/priestsforlife.
b) We will initiate a series of catechetical resources that show the integral connection between various aspects of our faith and the call to defend the most vulnerable among us, the unborn. This series will start with a new resource for the Advent-Christmas season called Christmas for the Unborn.
c) We will present special seminars and study days, through the travels of our pastoral team to parishes, seminaries, conferences and local communities, focusing on how the pro-life message and movement are integral to the new evangelization.
d) We will lead a national pilgrimage to Rome from June 10-17, 2013 in order to take part, with the Holy Father, in the special celebration for the Gospel of Life on Sunday, June 16. (See www.priestsforlife.org/pilgrimage for more details.)
e) We will conduct a multi-faceted media campaign, via radio, television, and internet, to highlight the ways in which embracing the faith means embracing life, with special focus on how the witness of the Gospel leads us to serve those who are pregnant and in need, and to bring healing to those wounded by abortion.
f) We will expand our educational efforts in the arena of political responsibility, especially in these first few weeks of the Year of Faith, showing how the witness of faith demands that we vote in a way that affirms rather than denies the Gospel.
g) We will renew our call to the faithful to see the pro-life movement as not simply a cause but as a spirituality, an aspect of discipleship, and therefore we will invite them to undertake our program of training in pro-life spirituality and to become Missionaries of the Gospel of Life. (See www.MissionariesoftheGospelofLife.org.)
The implementation of these initiatives would not be possible except for the dedication of our pastoral team, who lead our interrelated family of ministries: Fr. Denis Wilde, O.S.A, Associate Director; Fr. Victor Salomon, Director of Hispanic Outreach; fulltime associates Fr. Scott Daniels, O.P. and Fr. Walter Quinn, O.S.A.; Janet Morana, Executive Director and co-founder of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign; Dr. Alveda King, Director of African-American Outreach; Dr. Theresa Burke, founder of Rachel's Vineyard Ministries; Kevin Burke; Bryan Kemper, Director of Youth Outreach; and Marie Smith, fulltime associate of our Gospel of Life Ministries and director of the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues.