Today’s Pro-Life Reflection


This reflection is taken from my book Pro-Life Reflections for Every Day, which is available for purchase at:

“No one can have greater love than to lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).

Reflection: Jesus Christ made the sacrifice of himself “through the eternal spirit” (Heb.9:14). It is in the Holy Spirit that we too have the power to love, which consists in giving ourselves away for the good of the other. Such is to be our response to the unborn and to all the vulnerable.

Prayer: Lord, may the world see us, your disciples, giving our very lives to other human beings. Seeing this love, may they discover and receive the Spirit who inspires it. Amen.

Today’s Pro-Life Reflection


This reflection is taken from my book Pro-Life Reflections for Every Day, which is available for purchase at:

“You are at my side, with your rod and your staff that comfort me” (Psalm 23:4).

Reflection: Some want “living wills” in order to make their wishes known regarding medical treatment. But the better solution is a health care proxy, that is, a person you appoint to speak for you if you cannot speak for yourself. Such a person can consult doctors and clergy when the actual circumstances arise. This eliminates the need to try to predict the future by making treatment decisions today for circumstances of a tomorrow nobody can foresee.

Prayer: Lord, you are already in our future; be our protection and comfort each day. Amen.

Priests for Life Congratulates Rep. Chris and Marie Smith

Pro-life warriors to receive Evangelium Vitae Medal
from Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture

STATEN ISLAND, NY – Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life and Gospel of Life Ministries, issued the following statement today after learning that New Jersey Rep. Chris Smith and Marie Smith, founder and director of the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues, have been named the 2014 recipients of the Envangelium Vitae Medal from the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture.

Father Pavone said: “Chris and Marie Smith have been fighting for the rights of the unborn on the national and international level for decades. They are two of the most effective pro-life leaders I have ever had the privilege to know and it’s an honor to work with them.”

Rep. Smith is co-chair of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives and has authored numerous pro-life bills in his 33 years of service. Most recently, he introduced the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, calling for a government-wide prohibition on taxpayer funding for elective abortion.

Through the Parliamentary Network, which became part of Gospel of Life Ministries in 2010, Mrs. Smith works internationally to advance the culture of life. Her work is a critical part of the Gospel of Life family of ministries as she works with lawmakers, religious leaders, and laity around the world to protect unborn children and their mothers from the violence of abortion. As a representative of Priests for Life at the United Nations, Mrs. Smith advocates for life-affirming solutions to global challenges that respects the dignity of life from conception to natural death. For more information about the Parliamentary Network, go to

Previous winners of the Notre Dame Evangelium Vitae Award include Richard Doerflinger, associate director of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities; Helen M. Alvaré, associate professor of law George Mason University, and Mother Agnes Mary Donovan and the Sisters of Life.

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

Today’s Pro-Life Reflection


This reflection is taken from my book Pro-Life Reflections for Every Day, which is available for purchase at:

“Doctors and nurses are also responsible, when they place at the service of death skills which were acquired for promoting life” (John Paul II, The Gospel of Life, n.59).

Reflection: Pro-abortion politicians will often say to us, “Legislators should not be practicing medicine.” But we’re not asking them to practice medicine, but to prevent the abuse of medicine. Medicine is for the purpose of preserving life; abortion takes life. Surgery helps the body do what it is supposed to do; abortion stops the body from doing what it is supposed to do. There is no disease that abortion cures, and no proven medical benefit.

Prayer: Lord, may all doctors preserve life. Amen.

Today’s Pro-Life Reflection


This reflection is taken from my book Pro-Life Reflections for Every Day, which is available for purchase at:

“Among important issues involving the dignity of human life … abortion necessarily plays a central role…. its victims are the most vulnerable and defenseless …. It is imperative that those who are called to serve the least among us give urgent attention and priority to this issue of justice. This focus and the Church’s commitment to a consistent ethic of life complement one another’ (US Bishops’ Pastoral Plan for Pro-life Activities, 2001).

Reflection: Consistency does not mean all issues are of equal weight; it means all people are of equal value.

Prayer: Lord, give us the wisdom to meet the greatest needs with the greatest sense of urgency. Amen.

National Prayer Service to Include Award for Host of Emmy Award-winning Pro-life Television Series

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Brad Mattes, CEO of the Life Issues Institute, will be honored with the National Pro-Life Recognition Award, given annually by the National Pro-Life Religious Council.

Mr. Mattes will receive the award during the 20th annual National Memorial for the Preborn and Their Mothers and Fathers, to take place from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Jan. 22 in the DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.

Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life and President of the National Pro-Life Religious Council, said, “Each year, this award is given to someone who has served the pro-life movement in an exemplary way,” Father Pavone said. “That certainly describes Brad Mattes. He has devoted his life to making sure the truth about abortion is known throughout the country and across the globe.”

Headquartered in Cincinnati, Life Issues Institute was established by pro-life pioneer Dr. Jack Willke and his recently deceased wife, Barbara, to develop and globally disseminate effective pro-life educational material. Dr. Willke chose and trained Mr. Mattes to carry this work into the future.

Its weekly television show, Facing Life Head-On, which Mr. Mattes hosts and serves as executive producer, is a three-time Regional Emmy winner that is available to more than 100 million households in the United States and Canada.

Mr. Mattes also hosts Life Issues, a daily radio commentary carried on nearly 1,100 radio outlets across the nation. He is president of the International Right to Life Federation and is a frequent international speaker and lecturer on abortion and related life issues, including the impact of abortion on men.

“I greatly admire the National Pro-life Religious Council because these are the people who walk their faith even when it’s hard to do so,” Mr. Mattes said. “In past years, we’ve seen many religious leaders forsake biblical truths for temporal gain or prestige. The National Pro-Life Religious Council is often ‘a voice of one calling in the wilderness,’ working to counter a moral and ethical vacuum in society.  I’m honored to be the 2014 recipient of their National Pro-life Recognition Award, and I’m blessed to serve alongside them.”

The National Memorial, which is always held on the morning of the March for Life, is the nation’s premiere prayer event, bringing hundreds of interdenominational clergy together to pray for an end to abortion. Last year’s event drew more than 1,500 people to Constitution Hall to pray for the unborn, for the re-emergence of a culture of life and a restoration of religious liberty.

“The 2014 event has been in the planning stages since the day after the 2013 March for Life, and it promises to be bigger and even more spirit-filled than last year,” said Father Pavone, who noted that the event is co-sponsored by the National Pro-Life Center on Capitol Hill, Faith and Action, Priests for Life and Gospel of Life Ministries.

The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required. The prayer service begins at 8:30 and will end at 10:30, providing plenty of time to get to the March for Life Rally. For the convenience of Catholics in attendance, Mass will be celebrated at 7:30 a.m. Constitution Hall is at 1776 D Street NW, at 18th Street.

For information, go to

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

Today’s Pro-Life Reflection


This reflection is taken from my book Pro-Life Reflections for Every Day, which is available for purchase at:

“Blessed is she who believed that what the Lord has said to her would be fulfilled.” (Lk. 1:45)

Reflection: The Rosary is a devotion strongly embraced by the pro-life movement. In the Hail Mary we praise a mother, and we worship the fruit of her womb. Our salvation began because a mother said yes to the life within her! In the rosary we also say, “Pray for us sinners.” We know that sin that is in the world, but we start by repenting of the sin within us. That is the best way to rebuild the Culture of Life.

Prayer: Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Today’s Pro-Life Reflection

Light of the World

This reflection is taken from my book Pro-Life Reflections for Every Day, which is available for purchase at:

You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14).

Reflection: In elections, each of us has but one vote. Yet we can all influence thousands of votes. And we should start with the people who need the least amount of urging – those who already agree with us on the key issues of the day, and who would probably support the candidates we support. Let’s reach for the “low-hanging fruit,” thereby getting more results for the energy we expend.

Prayer: Lord, let me not miss the opportunities you give me to mobilize your people to do good! Amen.

The Pope, Abortion, Mercy and Context

National Catholic Register

I have been privileged now to have been with Pope Francis four times since he has been elected to the papacy, and have been very encouraged by his approach to pro-life issues.

I have had two conversations with him about the work we do at Priests for Life.’ Our executive director, Janet Morana, has also spoken with him about our work. On all these occasions, he could not have been more encouraging.

That is why I was not alarmed when media outlets began reporting on his “criticism” of the focus of many leaders in the Church on issues like abortion.

The Pope is not criticizing the Church’s focus on abortion. He is actually protecting it. He is protecting it from being seen just as a “rule” or a “directive,” detached from the fundamental teachings of the faith that make us Christian in the first place, and detached from the compassion and mercy that Christ extends to those who have had abortions.

Regarding that latter point, the Pope made a special point to encourage me in my work as pastoral director of Rachel’s Vineyard Ministries throughout the world.

The Pope, who came to know of the ministry in Argentina, said to me, “Rachel’s Vineyard is very good; it is an excellent work! Go forward with that!”

The reason he is particularly affirmative of Rachel’s Vineyard, and of the Church’s overall work of healing after abortion, comes out in the recent interview that made headlines. He made it clear that in dealing with abortion, we have to extend mercy to those who have committed this sin. We who reject abortion do not reject those who have had abortions. Rather, we embrace them with forgiveness and peace.

The Pope is a man of peace: not only an advocate for peace in Syria and around the world, but for peace in the ravaged heart and soul of those who have had abortions.

This is the “context” in which the Pope wants the Church’s “No” to abortion to be understood. The “No” to abortion is only because we say “Yes” to the human person: the baby, yes, and with equal reverence the mom and dad and everyone else. There is not a pro-life leader I know who would not embrace that message.

The Pope, furthermore, is saying that moral imperatives – like the “No” to abortion – flow from the truths of the faith. He illustrated this in the homily he gave on June 16 to a massive crowd that had gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the worldwide “Day of the Gospel of Life.” Interestingly, the Pope did not use the word “abortion” in the homily, but his message was one of the strongest denunciations of it that I have heard.

He declared:

“The Scriptures everywhere tell us that God is the Living one, the one who bestows life and points the way to the fullness of life…The commandments are not a litany of prohibitions – you must not do this, you must not do that, you must not do the other; on the contrary, they are a great “Yes!”: a yes to God, to Love, to life.”

“All too often, as we know from experience, people do not choose life, they do not accept the “Gospel of Life” but let themselves be led by ideologies and ways of thinking that block life, that do not respect life, because they are dictated by selfishness, self-interest, profit, power, and pleasure, and not by love…As a result, the Living God is replaced by fleeting human idols which offer the intoxication of a flash of freedom, but in the end bring new forms of slavery and death.”

This, again, shows us what the Pope means by putting Church’s pro-life stance “in context.” He is not simply saying here that “abortion is wrong,” as if that is just some temporary “rule” separated from the really essential, permanent teachings of the faith. Instead, by explaining that God himself is life, and that attitudes that deny life are “idols,” he is saying that support for abortion is a denial of the faith itself and in fact a denial of belief in God.

By doing this, he is answering in a definitive way those who try to say that fighting abortion is just a “hobby” or an optional aspect of the Church’s work. He is answering those who see the Church’s opposition to abortion as nothing more than a plank in a political platform that might change when a new pope is elected, much like an administrative policy might change when a new president is elected.

Indeed, every teaching of the Church is to be understood in the context of all the other teachings, and indeed, of the entire history of the Church, which stands as a voice for all the oppressed and marginalized, including children still in the womb.


More commentary from Fr. Frank about the Pope’s words:

I am Not Alarmed by the Pope’s Interview

No, the Pope is not diluting the anti-abortion focus of the Church

Today’s Pro-Life Reflection


This reflection is taken from my book Pro-Life Reflections for Every Day, which is available for purchase at:

“It must be his angel” (Acts 12:15). 

Reflection: God assigns an angel to watch over us at every moment of our lives. Each unborn child has a guardian angel, too. If God cares enough about each unborn child to create that child and then assign him or her an angel, then certainly he expects us also to exercise some care and vigilance to speak up for and protect the lives of those children.

Prayer: Send your angels, O Lord, to the assistance of all who are tempted to abort, and to all who work to persuade them to choose life. Amen.