Conclusion of Another Year

The conclusion of another year should help us reflect upon what we have done and what we have failed to do. Tonight, an exchange is completed — God gives us the gift of time and we use it in loving service to others.

What have we done this year for the defense of life? Whatever we did, we can be sure that God multiplies the effect of our efforts. We can also be sure that the New Year will offer us the chance to do even more. Let us resolve tonight that we will increase the amount of time and energy we devote to what the Pope and bishops have called the number one moral issue: restoring the right to life!

–Fr. Frank

Speaker Pelosi Apparently Out of Touch with Women, Says Fr. Pavone

Staten Island, NY – Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, the Catholic Church’s largest pro-life ministry, commented today on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s statement that because God gives humans free will, women should be able to exercise free will with regard to abortion.

“I would think someone in Speaker Pelosi’s position would realize that women do not get abortions because of freedom of choice; they get them precisely because they feel they have no freedom and no choice. Moreover, I doubt the Speaker would argue that because God grants us free will that the government should allow us to choose whether to pay taxes,” said Fr. Pavone.

“It’s time to listen to the voices of those who have had abortions, like the women in the Silent No More Awareness Campaign. The pro-life movement is not about taking away their freedom. It’s about taking away their despair,” Fr. Pavone concluded.

Christmas for Two Weeks

The world thinks that Christmas is over, but the Church continues celebrating it for the next two weeks. The liturgy and its readings and prayers focus on the many different aspects of the incarnation, and the many ways that it shapes our lives.

The birth of a child brings great hope about what that child might do in life.

The birth of Christ brings great hope because of what he already did. Our joy in his birth is reflected in the birth of every baby. As we continue to celebrate Christmas, let’s pray that all who welcome Christ’s birth may welcome the birth of every child, no matter how inconvenient or unexpected that new life may be.

–Fr. Frank

Feast of the Holy Innocents

This Feast of the Holy Innocents leads Christians to reflect on the tragedy of abortion, and today leads many to pray in front of abortion facilities, where innocent blood is shed. Just as Christmas should be celebrated every day in our hearts, so the Feast of the Holy Innocents should be celebrated every day. Our hearts should be broken as the bodies of these babies are broken, and the souls of those who kill them are weighed down with the burden of guilt and despair. Yet we are the people of Life, and we bring into this world the hope that comes from the birth of Christ and from the birth of every baby. We bring the hope of forgiveness and the determination to work daily for an end to the modern-day slaughter of the innocents.

–Fr. Frank

“Come, Lord Jesus, Do Not Delay,”

Tomorrow night, Christians gather around the Manger. “Come, Lord Jesus, do not delay,” the Church’s liturgy prays.

On Christmas Eve, as darkness covers our towns and cities, Christians gather in their Churches. In the silence of the night, the sound of bells will ring, and echoing the Christmas angels, strains of “Glory to God in the highest” will be sung.

What is the glory of God? The human person, alive, and reflecting at every moment the wonder of God’s love. Human life, in fact, is always a reflection of God’s glory — whether big or small, healthy or sick, born or unborn. Let that be our conviction, and our message, this Christmas.

Please be assured of my prayers for you and your family at Midnight Mass, and my best wishes for a Merry Christmas.

–Fr. Frank

The Good News of Christmas is for Everyone, including the Unborn.

Behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people…A Savior has been born for you” (Luke 1:10-11).

The good news of Christmas is for everyone, including the unborn.

In fact, we can say it is addressed especially to them, because they are the most helpless.
The good news of Christ’s birth was announced first precisely to the lowly, not to the great and powerful. The ministry of the One who was born for us continued to follow that pattern: He consistently sought out those who were on the outskirts of society.

We are called to do the same. To welcome the Savior means to welcome the obligations that His mission places on us. This Christmas, let us resolve to intervene for the unborn child.

–Fr. Frank

Fr. Pavone: Christmas and Politics Do Mix

Coalition Forming Regarding Elections 2010

Washington, DC. — Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, the largest pro-life ministry in the Catholic Church, announced today that a coalition is being formed to educate and mobilize voters for the elections of 2010.

“Many people are deeply concerned about the developments in the health care debate and feel there isn’t much they can do,” said Fr. Pavone. “But no matter how bad things get, the thing we can always do is mobilize at the voting booth to elect those who will shape public policy in the direction we the voters want it to go. Priests for Life has already begun our formal efforts to prepare for the 2010 elections. After the New Year begins, we will announce special gatherings and seminars to mobilize voters. See for details.”

The election-related efforts will include a coalition of organizations and Churches committed to do the following:

a) promote voter registration efforts
b) educate voters on the positions of the candidates
c) educate the candidates themselves on the primary importance of upholding the right to life in public policy
d) promote a massive prayer campaign for the elections, with a nine-week novena starting September 1, 2010
e) mobilize voters once early voting starts, and on Election Day itself (November 2, 2010)

Dr. King’s Christmas Sermon

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life

On Christmas of 1967, Martin Luther King Jr. preached the following words: “The next thing we must be concerned about if we are to have peace on earth and good will toward men is the nonviolent affirmation of the sacredness of all human life. Every man is somebody because he is a child of God…Man is more than …whirling electrons or a wisp of smoke …. Man is a child of God, made in His image, and therefore must be respected as such….And when we truly believe in the sacredness of human personality, we won’t exploit people, we won’t trample over people with the iron feet of oppression, we won’t kill anybody.”

Christmas is a marvelous celebration. I love the festivity and decorations, the music and the meals. Christmas celebrates the greatest gift that we receive, Jesus Christ, and should therefore be a season of great festivity.

But in receiving such a tremendous gift, we receive a correspondingly great obligation, namely, the duty to welcome. Christ comes, but he does not come alone. He brings his love, but in doing so, he brings us the burden of loving all whom he loves. Yet his yoke is easy, his burden light, for he gives us also the power to love all whom he loves.

Christmas, therefore, takes away the option of excluding people from our love. God has a face now, and in that face we understand the dignity of all who share human nature, including our brothers and sisters in the womb.

We also understand that all who share that human nature belong to the One who takes that nature upon himself at Christmas. This Feast makes it clear that no human being can own another, or oppress another. Now, one of our brothers in the human family is God. To claim to be able to own or oppress anyone who shares a human nature is, therefore, to claim to be able to own and oppress God himself.

Vatican II taught, “By his incarnation the Son of God has united himself in some fashion with every human being” (GS, 22). Hence The Gospel of Life states, “It is precisely in the “flesh” of every person that Christ continues to reveal himself and to enter into fellowship with us, so that rejection of human life, in whatever form that rejection takes, is really a rejection of Christ” (EV #104) and again, “life, especially human life, belongs only to God: for this reason whoever attacks human life, in some way attacks God himself” (EV #9).

As we celebrate Christmas, let’s echo Dr. King’s words and let’s pray this beautiful prayer written by our Pastoral Associate Jim Pinto:

Face Prayer

Heavenly Father, I embrace your grace this day,
So that I might not:
Think of another,
Speak to another or
Touch another,
without first looking for
Your Face in the other.
I ask all this through
Jesus Christ:
God Incarnate,
God with Skin,
God made Poor,
God with a Face. Amen!

The Feast of His Becoming Human

Christmas, for which we are now preparing, is not simply the feast of the birth of Christ; it is the feast of His becoming human, the reality called the Incarnation. Christ took flesh within the body of the Virgin Mary when she said “Yes” to His coming, nine months before His birth. Christmas, in its full meaning, is the feast that celebrates that moment, along with His birth, as one wonderful reality of God becoming one of us. Jesus was an embryo, a fetus, an unborn child. Life in the womb, which was already sacred because it comes from God, is now made even more holy, and worthy of our every sacrifice.

–Fr. Frank

“Messiah,” or “Christ” means “Anointed one.”

At midnight Mass of Christmas, we hear the glorious announcement that a Savior has been born for us. From the beginning of time, prophets announced that the Messiah of the Lord would come. “Messiah,” or “Christ” means “Anointed one.” God anointed many people to carry out special missions for him.

On Christmas, this prophecy was fulfilled in a surprising way, because the angels did not simply announce that Jesus was the Messiah of the Lord. They said the newborn child was Messiah AND Lord. God did not just send a Messiah. He came himself. This Child is the God who made us all. And by coming in this way, he joined every human life, born and unborn, to Himself. Christmas is, indeed, the feast of the dignity of every human life.