Archive for March, 2010

The Day Terri Died

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

On March 31, 2005, Terri Schiavo was killed. She was a disabled woman whose estranged husband, and the courts to which he went, decided that she should be deprived of water and food.
Terri was not in a coma, she was not on life support, and she did not have a terminal illness. Terri was one of those people who cries out for our extra love and support, which her parents and siblings were ready to give her for the rest of her life. I was at Terri’s bedside during her final hours and moments. As she was dying from lack of water, there stood by her head a display of beautiful live flowers, immersed in water. As I blessed and absolved Terri, I assured her of your love. Now I implore you to educate your neighbors.

–Fr. Frank

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Today Marks Fifth Annual National Memorial for “Terri’s Day”

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Ave Maria, FL – Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, will be the celebrant and homilist tonight at the Annual National Mass for Terri’s Day at the Ave Maria Oratory of Ave Maria University in Naples, Florida.

“On March 31, five years ago, Terri Schiavo died a court mandated and government enforced death,” said Fr. Pavone. “I saw for myself, as I held her hand and prayed at her bedside that this death was not ‘peaceful’ and ‘beautiful’ as euthanasia advocates want us to think. Moreover, as health care is placed more and more in the hands of the government, we have to be more vigilant than ever to protect the Terris of today and tomorrow.”

“Terri’s Day” was established by Terri’s family and Priests for Life to foster education, prayer, and activism to counter discrimination against the disabled. We urge Churches, schools, organizations, families, and individuals to observe this day. Suggested prayers and activities are at www.TerrisDay.org.

The National Mass for Terri’s Day will be held tonight, March 31, at 5:00 pm, at 5040 Ave Maria Boulevard, Ave Maria, FL 34142. A light reception will follow.

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March 31 Marks Fifth Annual National Memorial for “Terri’s Day”

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ave Maria, FL – Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, will be the celebrant and homilist at the Annual National Mass for Terri’s Day Wednesday night, March 31 at the Ave Maria Oratory of Ave Maria University in Naples, Florida.

“On March 31, five years ago, Terri Schiavo died a court mandated and government enforced death,” said Fr. Pavone. “I saw for myself, as I held her hand and prayed at her bedside, that this death was not ‘peaceful’ and ‘beautiful’ as euthanasia advocates want us to think. Moreover, as health care is placed more and more in the hands of the government, we have to be more vigilant than ever to protect the Terris of today and tomorrow.”

“Terri’s Day” was established by Terri’s family and Priests for Life to foster education, prayer, and activism to counter discrimination against the disabled. We urge Churches, schools, organizations, families, and individuals to observe this day. Suggested prayers and activities are at www.TerrisDay.org.

The National Mass for Terri’s Day will be held on March 31 at 5:00 pm, at 5040 Ave Maria Boulevard, Ave Maria, FL 34142. A light reception will follow.

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Tomorrow is Terri’s Day

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

On March 30, 2005, Terri Schiavo had her last full day of life on this earth. I spent her last night by her side, praying with her, reading Scripture to her, and assuring her of the love of so many of you.
Terri had not received a drop of water in nearly two weeks.

As I reached out my hand to touch hers, I could also reach it out to touch the vase of flowers that was next to her. And that vase was filled with water. The flowers were nourished; Terri was deprived of nourishment. Court orders saw to it that none of us could give her some of the water that nourished the flowers.

In a culture of death, law is divorced from humanity. And we are all victimized in the process.

–Fr. Frank

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Joint Statement–Gospel of Life Ministries, Life Issues Institute, and the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues New United Outreach to Save the Lives of Unborn Children Globally

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Date of release: March 26, 2010
The Gospel of Life Ministries (GOL), Life Issues Institute, and Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues (PNCI) announce a new united effort to save the lives of unborn children from abortion and advance a culture of life worldwide. The Gospel of Life Ministries is integrating the work of the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues (PNCI), previously a project of Life Issues Institute, into its mission to equip pro-life advocates to engage in the political process and ensure that elected and appointed officials uphold their obligations to protect life.

GOL and PNCI will synergize their efforts to promote respect for the inviolable dignity of life and help religious and elected leaders around the world defend laws and policies which recognize the sanctity of life when confronted by new unprecedented pro-abortion pressure.

The head of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Thoraya Ahmed Obaid recently said: “I believe that religion is the final frontier in our work to promote human rights, including the rights of women and the right to sexual and reproductive health.”

The Gospel of Life Ministries and Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues will assist individuals of all faiths to uphold cherished religious and cultural beliefs against abortion and build pro-life coalitions in national capitals around the world to defend laws protecting the unborn.

Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Gospel of Life Ministries, welcomes the outreach of PNCI and sees great potential for advancing a culture of life. “We know that elected officials around the world who stand up for the protection of the unborn child can face intense pro-abortion pressure and ridicule. We hope to offer these defenders of life support, assistance, and encouragement through the work of the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues and equip the faithful to exercise their responsibilities of faithful citizenship.”

“Lawmakers serving in national governments around the world have been subjected to tremendous pro-abortion lobby efforts since it was determined at the Cairo population conference that the power to change policy on abortion rested in their hands,” according to Marie Smith, Director of PNCI. “We are hopeful that with this new concerted outreach with the Gospel of Life Ministries we will be able to assist and encourage lawmakers globally to use their positions to advance laws and policies that save the lives of unborn children and help their mothers.”

“I extend my heartfelt thanks to Life Issues Institute for its support over the past three years and look forward to a continued cooperation on behalf of the pre-born and their mothers.”
Bradley Mattes, Executive Director of Life Issues Institute said, “PNCI has established an effective network with legislators, heads of state, ambassadors, ministers, religious leaders, and pro-life activists these past three years. We have been happy to assist their efforts. Now, I am pleased to see that PNCI is ready to expand its reach and I wish them great success.”

Contact information:

Gospel of Life Ministries
Margaret Sciarrino
Tel. (718) 980- 4400, x251
margaret@priestsforlife.org

Life Issues Institute
Bradley Mattes
Tel. (513) 729-3600
info@lifeissues.org

Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues
Marie Smith
Tel. (703) 433-2767
MSmith@pncius.org

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Why Abortion Breaks All the Commandments: Part 1

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life

Abortion does not only break the Fifth Commandment, “Thou shalt not kill.” It breaks all the commandments. In this and following columns, let’s reflect on how each Commandment illumines and strengthens our pro-life commitment.

The First Commandment is “I am the Lord your God; you shall not have other gods besides me.” There are many ways of having false gods. Pope John Paul II once wrote that to think we are the ones who decide whether a child should be created is to say that God is not God. At the root of the contraceptive mentality, and at the root of the so-called “pro-choice” mentality, is idolatry. We place our choices before God’s choices. We break the first of all the commandments. In the Old Testament, we read that God’s people committed idolatry when they sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire to demons. Until we end the child sacrifice of legal abortion, we are guilty of the same kind of idolatry. We are called instead to worship the Lord of Life!

The Second Commandment is “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.” This does not only mean that we shouldn’t use the Lord’s name in cursing when we are angry. It also means that we should not use God’s name or His Word to justify actions that he abhors.
There are religious groups and individuals in our society who do exactly that when it comes to abortion. They say they are “prayerfully pro-choice.” Groups like the “Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice” claim that God’s word allows abortion. They hold “pro-choice” Bible studies, and they even carry out pro-choice liturgies to bless the “choice” of those who abort.
This is a distortion of God’s word and an abuse of his name. It is a direct violation of the second commandment. We are called instead to honor the name of God by honoring the lives he creates.

The Third Commandment requires us to Keep Holy the Lord’s Day. Scripture tells us the Lord rested on the seventh day. This was not because he was tired, but rather because he was foretelling the Sabbath day that Jesus would rest in the tomb after his work of offering the sacrifice of his passion and death. On that day the Lord preached to the dead and bid them to leave the place of death and to come with him into life eternal.
Keeping holy the Lord’s Day, then, reminds us that God is on the side of human life. It also reminds us that he is Lord of life. All our activities and choices are under him, which is why we pause on the Lord’s Day to worship him in Church.

We will continue our reflections on the Commandments in the next column. Meanwhile, those who want to nourish their pro-life spirituality with reflections like this for every day of the year can obtain my book Pro-life Reflections for Every Day at priestsforlife.org/store.

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I AM the Way and the Truth and the Life- Part 10

Monday, March 29th, 2010

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It’s Holy Week!

Monday, March 29th, 2010

We are now in Holy Week, the high point of the Church’s year. On Holy Thursday, we will receive, as if for the first time, the gift of Jesus’ body and blood, given at the Last Supper. On Good Friday, we will kiss the cross, the instrument of our salvation. On Holy Saturday, we will meditate by his tomb, when he descended among the dead. We will keep vigil for his resurrection. And on Easter, we will celebrate with triumphant joy the victory of life that came with his resurrection.

Holy Week is also the center of our commitment to defend the sanctity of life. Holy Week is all about how life conquers death, and how human beings are raised to the heights of heaven. May it deepen our pro-life commitment.

–Fr. Frank

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Next Week is Terri’s Day

Friday, March 26th, 2010

Next week marks the anniversary of the murder of Terri Schiavo. She was deprived of food and water, as police officers stood over her bed to make sure nobody gave her any. She did not have any terminal disease and was not on life support. Her loving parents and siblings were ready to care for her for the rest of their lives. Yet through the actions of her estranged husband and the erroneous decisions of the courts, she was killed anyway. It is perfectly logical and moral to forego useless treatments.
But that’s not what Terri’s case was all about. In this case, it was not that treatments were considered useless; it was that a life was considered useless. And that type of judgment is dangerous to us all.

–Fr. Frank

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Preach Pro-Life During Holy Week

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

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