Welcoming the New Mass for Human Life

Monday, October 31, 2011

With the start of Advent on Nov. 27, Catholics will begin using a new, and much-discussed, translation of the Mass. Along with this there are two brand new texts for a Mass “For Giving Thanks to God for the Gift of Human Life.” This is the result of a long process that actually started with Cardinal John O’Connor of New York more than 20 years ago.

The opening prayer for the first of these masses reads as follows:

God our Creator,
we give thanks to you,
who alone have the power to impart the breath of life
as you form each of us in our mother’s womb;
grant, we pray,
that we, whom you have made stewards of creation,
may remain faithful to this sacred trust
and constant in safeguarding the dignity
of every human life.

Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, explained the significance of this new text.

“Drawing images from Genesis 2:7 and Psalm 139, the prayer affirms that only God can create. Parents cooperate with his creative power, but the conception of each new life is a direct choice and act of God,” Father Pavone said. “He alone owns human life — not parents, nor doctors, nor government — and he alone can take it.

Our role, as the prayer indicates, is to carry out a “sacred trust” as “stewards.” In “The Gospel of Life,” Blessed John Paul II said it this way: “Yes, every man is his ‘brother’s keeper’, because God entrusts us to one another” (EV, 19). Some think it’s none of their business to defend the life of someone else’s child. But God Himself makes it our business. The child scheduled to be killed today by abortion is our brother, our sister, our sacred trust.

“We safeguard human life in a variety of ways, including speaking words of encouragement, teaching, assisting parents, and shaping public policy. This mass text is especially appropriate to use in pro-life gatherings of those who work in the legislative and political arena”

The opening prayer for the second of these Masses reads:

O God, who adorn creation with splendor and beauty
and fashion human lives in your image and likeness,
awaken in every heart
reverence for the work of your hands,
and renew among your people
a readiness to nurture and sustain
your precious gift of human life.

“Echoing the imagery of Psalm 104 and drawing from Genesis 1:26, this prayer focuses on how human life itself reflects the image of the Creator, and therefore should evoke in our hearts a reverence and awe which should outweigh any fear in welcoming or defending human life,” Father Pavone said.

Father Pavone said this Mass is especially appropriate to use in gatherings of those who assist moms and dads in pregnancy centers, and who do spiritual and educational work in the pro-life movement.

Priests for Life has alerted every priest in the nation today regarding the texts and urges every priest to use them frequently.

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.

Frightening abortion statistics

Some abortion supporters who don’t like the statistics that African American women have a higher abortion rate try to explain that away by claiming that the abortions among non Blacks aren’t being adequately reported.
But this shows a lack of awareness of how the abortion industry operates. First of all, statistics coming from the abortion show a better picture of how many abortions occur than do statistics from the government, and they show the discrepancy among African Americans. Furthermore, to the extent that abortionists fail to report abortions, they do not do so based on factors of race, but rather because they are careless, unscrupulous, and undisciplined practitioners, some of whom simply do not want to be known as abortionists. The disregard of abortionists for matters of conscience knows no bounds.

Must-have pro-life book: Ending Abortion; Not Just Fighting It is a collection of lifesaving and informative pro-life essays from Fr. Pavone. Click here to order your copy today.

We must protect life at every stage

The service that the Church carries out to humanity embraces life at every stage and in every circumstance. Our “ethic of life” is indeed consistent, because love is indivisible. To fail to respect a human life at any stage of its development is to break the principle that holds it sacred at every stage of its development.

That is why one may never use our duty to life at one stage as a justification for destroying it at another. Some have tried to do this in the health care debate, by their willingness to expand child killing in the process of helping adults get medical treatment. This approach is self defeating, because as soon as we tolerate the killing of children, we undercut every rationale to provide health care to both children and adults.

Must-have pro-life book: Ending Abortion; Not Just Fighting It is a collection of lifesaving and informative pro-life essays from Fr. Pavone. Click here to order your copy today.

The Power to Save Lives

We are all familiar with the power of ultrasound images have to save lives. Now we have a tool far more powerful than ultrasound. It is called embryoscopy. Though rarely used, this procedure has yielded powerful video footage of the unborn child. A tiny camera is placed up against the amniotic sac to yield full color video of the child from about four to twelve weeks old. A video containing this footage has been made which has such strong medical, secular credentials that it has won eleven awards and been endorsed by National Geographic. Now Priests for Life is distributing this video within the pro-life community and seeks to get it into all the churches, pregnancy centers, and schools across America. Find out more at www.priestsforlife.org

Must-have pro-life book: Ending Abortion; Not Just Fighting It is a collection of lifesaving and informative pro-life essays from Fr. Pavone.   Click here to order your copy today.

We must open our eyes to see His love

In John’s Gospel, we read the story of the man born blind. He receives his sight, and then gets the spiritual eyesight to know that Jesus is Lord. The Pharisees, instead, insist on remaining blind about Jesus, even though the evidence of his power is staring them in the face.
So it is today with those who support abortion. In spite of clear and present evidence about who this child is, and how violent abortion is, some refuse to see. That is why, along with presenting the evidence, we pray that they may have open hearts to receive that evidence.
The same openness of heart that enables one to believe in Jesus enables one to welcome the truth about the unborn child. But if we miss who the child is, we’ve really missed Jesus too.

Eight PA Residents Join Missionaries of the Gospel of Life

YORK, PA — Peg Pritchard’s secret? The personal invitation.

Eight men and women made their promises as Missionaries of Evangelium Vitae (MEV) on Saturday at St. Joseph’s Church here. Last year, 13 made promises. Next year? Who knows, but people already have told Mrs. Pritchard they would like to be part of her next Life Cell.

“I guess the numbers are good,” said Mrs. Pritchard, who made her promise in 2008, along with her friend and Life Cell co-facilitator Vicki Crispo. “There is such a passion that we have, that I think people see it and know it and feel it. When people ask me about MEV, I say, ‘Maybe you should consider it. Just come and see.’ The personal invitation works very well.”

For the Missionaries of the Gospel of Life (“Evangelium Vitae”), a ministry of New York-based Priests for Life, clergy and laity devote 10 months to a year studying the 1995 encyclical written by Pope John Paul II and then commit the rest of their lives witnessing to the dignity and respect of all individuals, from conception to natural death, focusing in particular on the protection of the child in the womb.

“It’s pro-life spirituality. What we stress first and foremost is their relationship with the Lord,” Mrs. Pritchard said. “After they make their promises, He will direct them and they will discern what God is asking of them, and He will equip them for it.”

Some are moved to pray outside abortion clinics, others to work at pregnancy resource centers or to reach out to post-abortive men and women…some will begin Respect Life groups at their churches.

“One mother is raising her children to recognize and respect the dignity of every person,” Mrs. Pritchard said, “and I told her, ‘you are right where you are supposed to be.’ ”

Those who made their promises Saturday include Deacon Dan and Bernadette Bernardy, Rachel Bramucci, Stephanie Burns, Edna Christ, Nancy Marquette, Wendy Matarese and Maria Mullen.

Worldwide, 1,622 people are in formation with MEV. When the Rev. Paul Schenck, director of Respect Life activities for the Diocese of Harrisburg, accepts the promises in York, a total of 206 people will have earned the distinctive MEV pin.

“The work we do for the unborn is a charism. It’s a gift of the Holy Spirit. It is a vocation,” said Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life. “Pro-life is a spirituality. It’s an integral aspect of our identity. The pro-life cause is a cause that chose us before we chose it.”

Mrs. Pritchard’s commitment to pro-life began when she was a child and had just learned about the Holocaust. “I talked to my Mom about it, and I asked, ‘why didn’t anyone do anything?’”

Years later, in 2003, the mother of four sons attended a Women of Grace conference in Doylestown, PA, with her friend, Mrs. Crispo, and together they heard, loud and clear, the call to stand up for the unborn.

“I needed to witness and bring to fruition that unsettled feeling I had as a child when I learned about the Holocaust,” Mrs. Pritchard said.

Father Schenk later invited the women to learn about MEV. In 2008, Father Denis Wilde, OSA, associate director of Priests for Life, accepted their promises. During a mass at 9:45 a.m. Saturday, eight more people will commit themselves to be lifelong missionaries of the Gospel of Life.

To learn more about the MEV program, visit www.MissionariesoftheGospelofLife.com.

Silence will rock college campuses tomorrow

Tens of Thousands of young people across the country will sacrifice their voices tomorrow for the Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity, and they will do it in honor and memory of a young abortion abolitionist and her unborn daughter who were killed in a car accident Oct. 8 in Georgia.

“Tomorrow, students will be sending a loud and clear message that abortion must end and all innocent human life must be protected from conception to natural death,” said event organizer Bryan Kemper, founder Stand True Ministries and Youth Outreach Director for Priests for Life.

“The day is about sacrifice and that is why it is fitting that this year’s event is dedicated to Kortney Blythe Gordon and her baby Sophy. Kortney was a beacon of light and sacrificed more than anyone can ever imagine in her fight as an abortion abolitionist.”

Mrs. Gordon, 28, was the field director for Students for Life of America.

For the eighth annual Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity, students at 1,200 colleges, high schools, middle schools and home schools have pledged to remain silent in solidarity with thousands of unborn children permanently silenced by abortion every single day.

“Last year, we heard back from 64 girls who canceled their abortions because of the Pro-life Day of Silent Solidarity and dozens of kids who changed their hearts and are now pro-life,” Kemper said. “These are just the ones we have heard back from; we have no idea how many lives were actually saved. But we do know that just one life makes this whole day worth the effort.”

The Pro-life Day of Silent Solidarity is a project of Stand True and Priests for Life and is co-sponsored by LifeNews.com, Students for Life of America and Survivors.

Father Pavone asked, “Are you willing to give up your voice for a day for those who will never have a voice?”

For more information, visit silentday.org. To interview Kemper, call him at 540-538-2581.

Father Pavone hails House passage of the Protect Life Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Father Pavone issued the following statement about Thursday’s 251-172 vote for the Protect Life Act in the House of Representatives.

“On its way to being passed by the House, the Protect Life Act (H.R. 358) was described by its detractors as a waste of time, a distraction that took the focus off the economy, and a death sentence for women facing life-threatening pregnancies.

“It is none of those things.

“Saving lives is never a waste of time, and this bill, at its core, is about saving lives, but it also represents the majority of the American people who do not want their tax dollars paying for abortion. Those who voted against the bill contradicted the wishes of their constituents, and should be held accountable in the elections.

“Repairing the economy and creating jobs is crucial, but it has never been and will never be as crucial as preserving the right to life. The right to life is the foundation on which all our other rights are built. We must protect life first, and then look for solutions to our other problems.

“As for the claim that the Protect Life Act would leave pregnant women bleeding to death on emergency room floors, that is pure theatrics.

“The American people know what the Protect Life Act would and would not do. It would prohibit their tax dollars from being used to pay for abortions, and it would protect the conscience rights of medical workers who oppose abortion. It’s a good bill, a necessary bill, and the House took an important first step in passing it.”

Father Pavone urged supporters to make their views known to their senators.

Fr. Pavone: ‘Voices from the Womb’ will change hearts and minds

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, issued the following statement about “Voices from the Womb,” a project that gave federal lawmakers an opportunity to see babies in the womb via ultrasound.

Fr. Frank said, “The ground-breaking project called ‘Voices From the Womb,’ which brought live ultrasound to the U.S. Capitol Thursday, was a stroke of brilliance that will now be repeated across the nation. It should be required viewing for lawmakers in every state that has yet to pass a bill ensuring that a mother has an ultrasound before aborting her child.

“Abortion supporters claim these laws don’t respect the woman’s ability to make informed choices,” Father Frank continued. “But on the contrary, they precisely enhance that ability, by helping her see what she often finds out too late, that the baby is far more developed than her abortionist admits.”

Father Pavone applauded the National Pro-Life Center for organizing “Voices from the Womb,” together with the Stanton Project, the Christian Defense Coalition and the Knights of Columbus, which supported the project financially.

“When pro-life groups work together, we can change hearts and minds, and laws,” he said.

To hear the sound of a baby’s heartbeat at various stages of development, go to http://www.priestsforlife.org/ultrasound.html

Advancing Truth Through Testimony

The Christian Faith advances through testimony. Jesus gives testimony to the Father; the Apostles give testimony to the Resurrection; Paul gives testimony to his conversion; Augustine gives testimony in his Confessions; you and I give and receive the testimony of how Jesus changes the lives He enters. That is why the Silent No More Awareness Campaign is so powerful and necessary. Men and women wounded by abortion and then healed are speaking out about the lie of abortion and the power of Jesus. They are giving testimony to why life must be protected. The power of their testimony is calling many to repentance and healing. If you feel called to give a testimony about your abortion, or know someone else who does, contact us at silentnomoreawareness.org.