My Day at Notre Dame

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life

There was an eerie stillness and silence across the Notre Dame campus as my colleagues, a few of the seniors and I walked across the campus very early on the morning of Commencement Day. It was the calm before the storm of what we knew was an historic day.

I started with a national Foxnews interview along with Fr. Richard McBrien. We were asked our views of the Commencement. My message was: Everyone can imagine people they would protest speaking at a commencement: an avowed racist, anti-Semite, or advocate of terrorism. So the failure to object to one who is unwilling to call for an end to abortion is the failure to see that abortion is as bad or worse than those other evils. We have to stop trivializing abortion.

Moreover, the university gave the President an honorary law degree. Law exists to protect human rights; but this president has admitted that he doesn’t know when a child receives human rights. How can he defend human rights when he doesn’t know who has them?

After speaking to various media, I greeted people on campus who were coming from all over the country to stand with the courageous students who boycotted their own commencement and invited me to lead them in an alternate ceremony.

After I greeted and blessed the demonstrators who were at the campus entrance, and concelebrated a special Mass for Life, I led the Class of 2009 Vigil for Life. We meditated on the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary, on the victory of life over death, and on the fact that Jesus is King over every nation, over the courts, the Congress, and the White House. As I gave the students and their families reflections on these truths, the current occupant of the White House was calling the graduates to have “open minds, open hearts” and a spirit of dialogue.

Now dialogue with our opponents on this issue is something we at Priests for Life specialize in. I maintain friendships with abortion advocates and practicing abortionists. The clarity of our own convictions never means we despise, demonize, or shut out other people. And yes, we are willing to collaborate with others in morally legitimate ways to reduce the numbers of abortions.

But the President’s remarks had a glaring omission. While willing to dialogue and to promote adoption, he gave no indication of any willingness to protect the children in the womb. And that’s the crux of the issue. In his remarks, he referred to the Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court decision that outlawed segregation. Certainly, his call for open minds does not include openness to reconsider the segregation issue. There’s a right answer to it, period.

So it is with the protection of the unborn. And as quiet again descended on campus at the end of the day, I reflected…Open minds, yes, but for the purpose of eventually firmly closing upon the truth! And isn’t that supposed to be the purpose of Catholic universities?

Prominent Priest Comments on Abortion Poll

Contact: Margaret
Date: May 15, 2009

Staten Island, NY – Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, commented today on the Gallup Poll just released about the views of the American public on abortion.

“In recent years, we at Priests for Life have been saying that the pro-life movement is winning, and that one of the signs is the shift of opinion polls in our direction. This new Gallup poll reinforces that fact, showing the highest levels Gallup has ever measured of people indicating they are “pro-life” and indicating that all abortion should be illegal,” Fr. Pavone said.

“There are many varied reasons for the shift, not the least of which is that as people realize how extreme President Obama’s position is on this issue, they are prompted to think more clearly about their own,” Fr. Pavone said.

See Fr. Frank’s article, “Ten Reasons Why the Pro-life Movement is Winning,” at

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

Christendom And Notre Dame Schedule

Attend Christendom College 2009 Commencement Exercises and Homilist at the Baccalaureate Mass
Front Royal, VA
Friday, May 15, 2009 to Saturday, May 16, 2009

Fr. Frank Pavone will be honored at Christendom College with the Pro Patria et Deo Medal in recognition for his outstanding work.

Fri., May 15- 5:00PM Baccalaureate Mass-Fr. Frank will be Celebrant and Homilist

Sat., May 16 – 11:00AM – Fr. Frank will give remarks at Commencement Ceremony.

Attend Notre Dame Prayer Protest
South Bend, IN
Saturday, May 16, 2009 to Sunday, May 17, 2009

Fr. Frank Pavone will attend and participate in the Notre Dame Commencement Prayerful Demonstration!

Sunday, May 17th

9:00 am Fr. Frank is interviewed on the campus of Notre Dame! (They will interview him as being opposed to commencement and Fr. Richard McBrien will be interviewed who is for it)
The segment will re-air at 6PM ET on Fox News which is the Fox News Channel.

10:45 a.m.: Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament held in the Chapel of Notre Dame, Our Mother located in the Coleman-Morse Building

11:15 a.m.: Sunday Mass – Fr. Frank to concelebrate. Location: South Quad (near the Rockne Memorial. This outdoor Mass will be celebrated on-campus for all those who have traveled to Notre Dame for this weekend to stand alongside the University’s students.

12:30 p.m.: Rally On The Quad – Location: South Quad (near the Rockne Memorial)
Following Sunday Mass, a rally affirming the uniquely Catholic and pro-life foundation of Notre Dame will take place on South Quad. This rally will feature speakers with strong connections to the University who embrace Notre Dame’s Catholic identity and hold it to a higher standard of conduct that demands defending the fundamental human right to life.

2:00 p.m.: Class Of 2009 Vigil For Life. Location: Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes
At the conclusion of the Rally, those supporters in attendance will be urged to join seniors who have decided not to attend graduation at a prayer vigil on campus. Fr. Frank Pavone, will be leading a Scriptural Rosary during this prayer vigil.

3:45 pm : Final Blessing And Departure of Travelers

Please see for more information.

An Alternative Ceremony at Notre Dame

This Sunday the President will be honored at Notre Dame, and many people who honor the unborn will be protesting the event, both inside and outside the campus. I will lead a prayer vigil with those students who have chosen to boycott their own commencement ceremony and hold an alternative ceremony on another part of the campus. We will pray the glorious mysteries of the rosary – the mysteries that bring to our attention the victory of life over the forces of death, and the exaltation of our human nature to the heights of heaven. As human beings are being thrown in the garbage by abortion, we have to do everything we can to cry out against this evil in the midst of those who trivialize it and ignore it, including Presidents.

–Fr. Frank

The Notre Dame Response: Don’t Show Up!

Dear Friend,

This Sunday I will have the privilege of being with many of the pro-life students of Notre Dame University. Seniors who have decided not to take part in their graduation have invited me to lead them in prayer, in an alternate ceremony on another part of the campus, at the very hour that pro-abortion President Obama will speak and be honored by the University.

In standing with these students, I am standing with the true spirit of Notre Dame: a pro-life spirit, in harmony with human reason and Catholic Faith. The scandal that has been generated does not represent what Notre Dame is all about; it represents a radical betrayal of what Notre Dame is all about. I am encouraged by the pro-life activities of so many student groups on this campus – activities that are carried out all year round.

Hundreds of thousands of Catholics, hundreds of priests, and dozens of bishops have called upon Notre Dame to end this scandal by withdrawing its invitation to President Obama. The result of that demand is not in our control. But one final response to this scandal is fully in the control of each graduating senior: don’t show up. Don’t participate in an event which will only serve to obscure rather than highlight the Church’s pro-life teaching and the true spirit of Notre Dame. Instead, come to the Class of 2009 Vigil for Life. The seniors who do this are manifesting the real meaning of commencement: they are carrying out the witness to truth and service that their hard-earned degrees have prepared them to give in the world.

We shouldn’t at all be surprised that many others will fail to understand not only the courageous actions of these students, but also the concern voiced by so many across our nation. After all, the fact that many don’t have a problem with Barack Obama sitting in a place of honor at a Catholic Commencement is simply a corollary of the underlying problem that so many don’t have a problem with Barack Obama sitting in the White House. Our concern is not just that he is at odds with Catholic teaching. Our concern is that he is at odds with American teaching, and the very meaning of public service – which requires being able to tell the difference between serving the public and killing the public. He should neither be at Notre Dame nor in the White House.

Nearly a thousand priests and deacons have joined their voices to a statement that Priests for Life has written, and we invite more to sign up at Meanwhile, we invite all the faithful to join the Notre Dame students in a Rosary Campaign for reparation for this scandal, and for the conversion of the President and all who support legal child-killing. Please let us and the students know how many rosaries you pledge to pray this week; go to

And finally – let every commencement ceremony include a prayer for those who would have graduated had they not been killed by abortion. It’s the least we can do!

Fr. Frank Pavone

National Director, Priests for Life

National Right to Life in Charlotte, NC

Next month, the National Right to Life convention will be held in Charlotte. Hundreds of pro-life activists will gather from around the country to sharpen their skills in talking about abortion, lobbying for pro-life laws, electing pro-life candidates, and healing those wounded by abortion.

Just as important, these pro-life people will strengthen one another with their sharing of information, experience, and encouragement.
The National Right to Life Committee is one of the most respected and effective lobbying groups in the United States, as acknowledged by supporters of abortion as well as opponents. National Right to Life has also played an irreplaceable role in getting pro-life candidates elected to public office, and then keeping them pro-life once they get there.
For information on how to register for this conference, visit

–Fr. Frank

Observing Mother’s Day

This weekend we observe Mothers’ Day. It is an opportunity not only to thank our Mothers and to thank the Lord for them, but also to pray for all mothers who are afraid to be mothers. So many are already mothers and are just finding out that they are carrying their child within them. They need our encouragement and support, no matter how unplanned, surprising, or shocking the pregnancy may be to them or to us.

The fact that motherhood begins before the mother realizes it reminds us of Jesus’ words, “It was not you who chose me; it was I who chose you to go forth and bear fruit that will last.” God’s choice always comes before ours. When he chooses that someone is to be a mother, let us respond with joyful support.

–Fr. Frank

I’m Not Going to Take This Anymore!

Dear Friend,

(Before you read this special letter, may I urge you to join our Prayer Campaign – – in which between now and May 17, we are joining forces with the pro-life students at Notre Dame to have a million rosaries offered in reparation for the scandal that the University has created by honoring the most pro-abortion President in history.)

(Thank you for your support of Priests for Life. If you already responded to the following appeal online, I appreciate your support. This email is intended for those who did not respond when we sent it last week.)

There is only one reason why I sent you this email.

I need you to rush Priests for Life a contribution … TODAY!

To do so, simply click here and follow the instructions.

In fact, the size of your gift isn’t as important as is the fact that you send something.

Here’s why it is so critically urgent that you do this now … before you move on to your next email.

This past February a tiny baby girl was born alive during a botched abortion. You may have read about her or heard her tragic story talked about on the news. It happened in Miami, Florida.

Rather than be protected and nurtured, this living, breathing little girl was mercilessly stuffed in a plastic biohazard bag and callously thrown out with the trash.

As I read that heartrending story and thought of that helpless, innocent tiny baby, I became enraged.

More to the point, and borrowing a famous phrase from the movie Network, I said to myself:

“I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!!!”

In fact, the story line of Network fits our pro-life situation today. Do you remember the movie? Made in the 70s, it was the story of a TV anchor who went into a rant on live TV about all that had gone wrong with the world. The character’s name was Ed Beale.

During his on-air tirade, he captured the thinking and fears of his viewers when he said:

We know things are bad – worse than bad. They’re crazy. It’s like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don’t go out anymore. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we are living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, ‘Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won’t say anything. Just leave us alone.’

Doesn’t that “just leave me alone” attitude remind you of a lot of our fellow pro-life Americans? I’m afraid a lot of them are simply overwhelmed by the enormity of our fight to end abortion.

Which fits in perfectly with what the character Ed Beale said next. Getting really angry, his voice begins to rise as he looks into the camera and says:

Well, I’m not gonna leave you alone. I want you to get mad! … I don’t know what to do about [all the problems in the world]. All I know is that first you’ve got to get mad.

Then Beale begins to yell at his viewers:

You’ve got to say, ‘I’m a HUMAN BEING! My life has VALUE!’

So I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell:


Things have got to change. But first, you’ve gotta get mad!

Now I’m no fan of Hollywood. But I’ll be the first to admit that this time Hollywood got it right.

In order for us to bring an end to abortion and change our culture …

… we’ve got to get mad!!!

And believe me, there’s plenty for you and me to be angry about.

Abortion-on-demand throughout all nine months of pregnancy is still the law of the land!
In spite of our Declaration of Independence which proclaims every person’s unalienable RIGHT TO LIFE, the United States still has the most extreme abortion laws of any country in the industrialized world!
Over a million innocent tiny boys and girls are still being slaughtered every year in the USA alone … 3,300 of them every day!
Human babies are still being used like laboratory rats and guinea pigs for cruel human experimentation!
The body parts of babies killed in abortions are still being sold!
Women are still being lied to about the terrible consequences of abortion!
For almost forty years, in spite of tremendous effort and much prayer …

… the killing continues!

And it’s not going to change until you and every other pro-life American gets mad!

Again, though, as I’ve told you before, I’m not talking about the sin of anger. I’m talking about righteous anger … the kind Our Lord had when He cleared the temple of the moneychangers and the profiteers.

When God created us, He instilled in us lots of passions. One of those is anger. And, for those who have a right conscience, that anger gets triggered whenever we encounter injustice.

Well there is no greater injustice in today’s world than the evil of abortion where the youngest members of our human family are butchered and slaughtered!

So get mad! Get angry! That’s the only way you’re going to change anything.

Then channel the energy of your anger into productive pro-life activity.

And here’s a specific project I’m counting on you to get behind and support.

Do you remember the Freedom Riders who helped create the civil rights movement of the 1960s?

They were ordinary everyday people – blacks and whites – who were determined to end the injustice of racial segregation in the South … in a non-violent manner!

In May of 1961 a group of them boarded Greyhound and Trailways buses in Washington, D.C. Their destination was New Orleans.

And at cities all along the way they intended to defy the Jim Crow laws that prohibited blacks from using the same restrooms as whites … drinking from the same water fountains as whites … eating in the same restaurants as whites … and even sitting in the same areas of bus terminals as whites.

As their buses entered the Deep South, violent, unruly mobs greeted them. The Freedom Riders were beaten with baseball bats and metal pipes. They were refused medical treatment at area hospitals. One bus was set on fire. They were arrested for disturbing the peace.

And yet, in spite of the beatings and jailings, more people came forward and volunteered to take the place of those who were too injured to continue.

In the weeks that followed, more Freedom Rides took place.

And by November 1961 – just six months after the first bus left Washington – the injustice of segregation at bus terminals throughout the South was ended.

From that success sprang the civil rights movement that ended segregation.

Inspired by the bravery and conviction of those Freedom Riders, one man stepped up and became the face and voice of justice and equality for all Americans. That man was Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

From 1961 to his assassination in 1968, Martin Luther King traveled from city to city across America speaking to the people and imploring them to rise up and cast off the chains of racism and bigotry. His mission was justice for all.

And justice is what prompts our pro-life movement. Justice and love. That’s why our bishops have called abortion:

“[T]he fundamental human rights issue for all men and women.”

Unfortunately, tens of millions of Catholics and other Christians have turned a blind eye to that truth! That reality can lead to only one conclusion:

If we’re ever going to end abortion, we’ve got to do what the Freedom Riders of the sixties did and challenge the status quo.

For years now too many of our fellow pro-lifers have been sitting on the sidelines waiting for others to end the evil of abortion.

Well, the days of hand-wringing and fence-sitting are over!

Like the Freedom Riders of the 60s, we’ve got to challenge the status quo, take to the streets and demand an end to the injustice of abortion.

And that is exactly why Priests for Life is reviving the Freedom Rides and why I’m counting on you to click here and help fund this important project!

We’re going to go on a months-long, cross-country Pro-Life Freedom Ride! We’re going to invite America to join us. And in city after city we’re going to rouse the people from their slumber and get them to shout out with us:

We’re mad as can be and we’re not going to take it anymore!

The wanton killing of the youngest and most defenseless members of our human family has got to stop! Now!

In every city we visit we’ll …

… fire up local pro-life activists!

… activate the clergy – Catholic, Protestant, Jewish … all of them!

… recruit and train new leaders for our movement!

… defy local ordinances and protest outside abortion clinics!

… establish “Abortion Free” zones in minority neighborhoods where abortionists at Planned Parenthood clinics commit their deadly crimes!

… organize prayer vigils!

… expose local abortionists for all to see!

… enlist young people to join our fight against abortion!

… SHOW people the grisly consequences of abortion!

… provide a forum where the victims of abortion can give their testimony!

Our goal is threefold:

1. To re-ignite the fire of righteous anger within the people of life!

2. To create SOLIDARITY within the ranks of the pro-life movement!

3. To put down solid pro-life roots in every city that we visit!

As I hope you can see, the Pro-Life Freedom Ride will rouse from their slumber those of our fellow pro-life workers who have become jaded and lost their passion.

Equally important, it will bring more of our fellow Americans into our movement.

That’s because our Priests for Life team is made up of dynamic speakers. Each one of them is literally on fire to preach the Gospel of Life. To a person they speak with the power and authority of the Holy Spirit.

One member of our team is especially compelling. She is Dr. Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Following in the footsteps of her uncle, Alveda is having a tremendous impact on everyone who hears her, and most especially within the African-American community.

Her unflinching defiance before those who are waging genocide on Black Americans is inspirational. Quoting the words of her uncle, she reminds all Americans everywhere of the truth that:

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

That’s the message our Pro-Life Freedom Ride will drive home to all we meet!

I think you can tell how excited I am about this project. I’d love nothing more than to gas up our bus and get on the road tomorrow. But I can’t. Too many details have to be worked out.

One of them – and without question the most important one – is to come up with the money needed to fund this historic Pro-life Freedom Ride project.

Which is why I’m counting on you to click here and follow the instructions to send Priests for Life the largest contribution you can make today.

It’s going to cost Priests for Life literally hundreds of thousands of dollars to pull this off. That money is needed to:

Charter the “Pro-Life Freedom Ride” bus for a year.

Print all the materials we will be giving away during our travels. These will include:

Our brochures on how to encourage priests and pastors to become active members of the pro-life movement … especially our pamphlets “Addressing Abortion with Confidence – A Message for Clergy” and “How To Encourage Your Priest To Be Actively Pro-Life”.
Copies of my “Ending Abortion” book.
Statements by our U.S. bishops, including their powerful 1998 “Faithful Citizenship” document.
Teachings of the Church, most especially the late Pope John Paul II’s Evangelium Vitae.
Photographs of the mangled bodies of babies killed in abortions.
And much, much more.

Buy advertising space on radio stations, local newspapers, and on the Internet to promote “Pro-Life Freedom Ride” appearances and events.
Rent whatever equipment we’ll need at our various events (for example, microphones, sound systems, speakers, overhead projectors and the like).
Pay for food and lodging as our “Pro-Life Freedom Ride” makes its way across the country.
Right now initial plans place our Freedom Ride early in 2010 … just in time to activate, mobilize and educate voters so that they can advance the Culture of Life in the voting booth.

But don’t think the Pro-Life Freedom Ride project is all about politics.

Nothing could be further from the truth. If there’s one thing we’ve learned over these past forty years, it’s this:

Political progress advances only to the extent that we write the Gospel of Life on the hearts of all Americans!

So rather than having a specific political purpose, our Pro-Life Freedom Ride will aim to rouse our fellow Americans from their slumber and get them to join us as we shout out for all to hear …

… we’re mad as can be and we’re not going away until we end the injustice of abortion!

And so today I am asking you to be ready to make whatever sacrifice is necessary so you can send Priests for Life the largest gift you can to support our Pro-Life Freedom Ride and all our work to end abortion.

Of this much I am absolutely certain:

Without your help, we are powerless to act.

But with it, we can win the fight against abortion.

So please click here and follow the instructions. Be as generous as you possibly can. Do it for the sake of that little baby girl in Florida … and all the victims of abortion.

And if I may ask you one more favor. Each year I survey our supporters to learn how we can serve their needs more effectively. After giving your donation, would you take a moment and fill out the short survey I’ve placed at It is very important to me to know what you’re thinking about our ministry!

Thank you. And know that in thanksgiving for your support, I will remember you at each Mass that I offer; as will the other priests here at Priests for Life. God bless.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life and Gospel of Life Ministries

NOTE: If you prefer to send a check, please make it out to Priests for Life and send it to us at PO Box 141172, Staten Island, NY 10314. If you have any questions, call us toll-free at 888-735-3448.

The Lord Walks With Us

On the first Easter Sunday afternoon, two disciples were walking on the road to Emmaus, discussing all the events that had just happened. However, they did not yet realize that Jesus had risen from the dead. Even when Jesus began walking with them on that road, they did not recognize him.
We do not know what changes the risen body causes in our appearance. But aside from that factor, we read in this Gospel account that the disciples were “looking downcast.”
Often we are too absorbed in our own disappointment to see that hope is right in front of us. This is the case with many who are pregnant, afraid, and tempted to abort. Despair and fear can lead to the violence of abortion – unless we intervene and show that the Lord is walking with us.

–Fr. Frank

Pray For The Conversion of President Obama

Dear Friends,

We at Priests for Life are joining with the students of Notre Dame, calling upon believers to offer rosaries for the conversion of President Obama and in reparation for the scandal of him being honored during the Notre Dame commencement ceremony. Go to to sign up.

Here is what the Notre Dame students are saying on their website at

Call to action

“In recent weeks the announcement of President Barack Obama as Notre Dame’s commencement speaker has caused much controversy. We, the concerned students at Notre Dame, are attentive to this and have led several efforts to voice our opposition to the decision to honor President Obama with a doctor of laws degree, given his stance on abortion. We know that this controversy has gained much attention worldwide, but we are aware that our story is merely one case among many in which the struggle of Catholics in political life becomes clear. Our sad situation is an occasion for Catholics across the country, and worldwide, to reflect on the tragedy of abortion, the real danger of policies opposed to life, and the important role we must play in fighting for the dignity of all human life. There are many important and necessary ways for us to fulfill this role. We remember, however, that Notre Dame is indeed Our Lady’s University and that our strongest weapon to fight this public scandal and disregard for the importance of life is to have recourse to prayer.

As such, we now call for a Rosary Crusade of One Million Rosaries.

We students will pray the rosary daily for 40 days – from Wednesday of Holy Week (4/8/09) until the day of commencement (5/17/09). We will pray especially for conversion of heart for President Obama, that he might grow to respect life from conception to natural death and that his policies might reflect that (in particular that he will reverse his pro-abortion stance). As a secondary intention, we will pray for the University of Notre Dame, and all Catholic universities, that they might grow in their understanding of what it means to be Catholic and truly embrace their Catholic identity. Finally, we pray that this country, and all countries throughout the world might embrace a greater respect for life in all its stages.

But we know that we cannot achieve this without help. We have found many internet petitions that have been signed in support of this effort and know that one of them has well over 200,000 signatories already. If only a fraction of you join us in prayer for 40 days, we will reach our goal of One Million Rosaries, and perhaps we will even surpass it. We hope that you will join us in prayer, and encourage others – through whatever means – to do the same. We encourage you to visit our website to report how many rosaries you have said for this intention (

Many of us have responded angrily to this situation, questioning why Our Lord would allow such a public scandal. It is to remind us to put all of our hope in Him, and to redouble our efforts to pray for an end to abortion in this country and across the world. Perhaps all we need to do is to recall the words of our own fight song. Assured of Victory, we call to mind the words of the Blessed Mother given at Fatima: ‘In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph.’

Onward to Victory.”

Friend, please join us in this effort by signing up at and we will let the Notre Dame students know of your commitment.

Thank you,

Fr. Frank Pavone