Archive for the ‘Charity’ Category

Fr. Pavone: Nellie Gray was “a tireless warrior for the unborn”

Monday, August 13th, 2012

Fr. Frank & Nellie Gray at the 2012 March for Life

Miss Nellie Gray, Founder of the March for Life, has died.“Nellie Gray and the March for Life had a most profound effect on my life,” said Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life. In 1976, when he was a senior in high school, Father Pavone went to the March for Life with his mother and grandmother. Although he had been quietly considering the priesthood before that, the March cemented both his vocation and his passion for pro-life issues.

“Every year since 1974, Nellie Gray has mobilized a diverse and energetic army for life,” said Father Pavone, who has attended every march since his first one. “Her own commitment to the cause never wavered. She was a tireless warrior for the unborn and her motto was ‘no exceptions.’ “

After his ordination in 1988, Father Pavone was assigned to a parish in Staten Island, NY. Every year he led a busload of parishioners to the March for Life. He took over as national director of Priests for Life in 1993, and the following year, attending the event in his new capacity, Miss Gray invited him to say the opening prayer at the March for Life Convention that annually precedes the March.

In 2008, the National Pro-Life Religious Council, which Father Pavone serves as president, presented Miss Gray with its Pro-Life Recognition Award. Later that day, Miss Gray tripped and fell on the stage at the opening rally for the March and had to be taken to the hospital with a head injury.

“As a colleague in national pro-life leadership, Nellie was always an inspiration to the rest of us,” Father Pavone said. “Her devotion was on display that same year, 2008, when, despite being in the hospital during the March for Life, she nevertheless was present at all all-day meeting of national leaders the very next morning, with a patch on her head.”

Every year since its founding in 2003, Miss Gray invited the women of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign to stand on the rally stage holding signs that said, “I Regret My Abortion,” and she arranged for a larger group of post-abortive men and women from Silent No More to be in the vanguard of the March.

Dee Becker, Nellie, Georgette & Janet

“We are so grateful that Nellie Gray shared our vision of Silent No More, and recognized that the women who have had abortions speak with unquestioned authority about the ways they have been harmed by this choice,” said Janet Morana, executive director of Priests for Life and co-founder of Silent No More. “Every year more women and men come to march and to share their testimony. Nellie Gray helped make that possible for us.”

Miss Gray is also credited for realizing that African-American pro-life leaders had to become more vocal and visible in the fight for life.

“Nellie Gray knew that abortion took a heavy toll from the black community and she urged us to lend our voices to the fight against this terrible injustice,” said Dr. Alveda King, director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life. “She was a visionary.”

Bryan Kemper, founder of Stand True Ministry and director of Youth Outreach for Priests for Life, said: “My heart is broken by the loss of Nellie Gray, a true pro-life hero and role model. At the same time I celebrate that Nellie is with our Lord who she loved so dearly. I have had the honor of working with Nellie for years and every time I March in DC in January, I know she will be watching over us and praying for us. Nellie Gray, I will miss you dearly.

The 2013 March for Life will mark the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe vs. Wade decision, and the 39th anniversary of the March.

“It was an anniversary that broke Nellie Gray’s heart every year, and every day,” Father Pavone noted. “In January we will march in her memory, in her honor, to save the unborn children to whom she dedicated her life.”

To offer your spiritual bouquet, your promise of prayers and to share your memories of Nellie go to http://www.priestsforlife.org/data/prayer_request.aspx.

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This Christmas, Let Us Welcome the Unborn

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

“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.

Please take a moment to check out my Holiday Wish on behalf of the cause Pray to End Abortion.

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You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Jesus said, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. You should be happy that they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” This command to love and serve those who cannot repay us strengthens our resolve to love and serve the unborn children, who are in danger of being killed by abortion. They cannot know right now that we are helping them and speaking up for them. They cannot repay us. These are the ones we should love and serve above all.

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 signed copy today.

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Offering Our Prayers for the Unborn

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

The month of November is dedicated in a particular way to praying for the dead. This includes children who died before birth. These children did not have the opportunity to be baptized; the Church teaches, however, that we can hope for their salvation, and that we can entrust them with confidence to the mercy of God. The Lord loves these children even more than we do, and provides in mysterious ways for them to take hold of the eternal life we have in Christ. Praying for these children is an important way in which we recognize them as real persons, and in which we make reparation for the brutal way in which some of them were treated by abortion. If you want Masses offered for unborn children, simply send me their names 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.

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We must open our eyes to see His love

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011


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.

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We Are Called to Be Watchmen

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

The prophet Ezekiel tells us that we are to be watchmen for each other, warning the sinner to turn away from his wicked ways, that he may live. Ezekiel says that if the sinner converts, we share the reward, but that even if he does not convert, we will save ourselves by warning him. This is especially true when it comes to dissuading people from abortion. Abortion supporters tell us we should mind our own business, but the Word of God tells us that warning the sinner is our business. This is also called fraternal correction, and is one of the spiritual works of mercy, admonishing the sinner. John Paul the Second wrote in The Gospel of Life, “God has entrusted the life of every individual to his or her fellow human beings.”

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Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Friday, August 5th, 2011


In a few days we will celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Like every Feast, it is a celebration of Jesus Christ. This feast shows us that because of her unique role as his mother, Mary received from Jesus a full share, body and soul, in his victory over death. The feast is a reminder that in Christ, we all will share resurrection of the body.
Mary has it now, because in the human family, which God decided to join, there can be no closer bond than mother and child. They belong together; their destinies are intertwined.
That is one of the central messages of the pro-life movement. To love and care for a mother necessarily means protecting, loving, and caring for her child. Mothers can never benefit from the destruction of their children.

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The Transfiguration

Thursday, August 4th, 2011


One day, the Lord Jesus took Peter, James, and John up on a mountain, and was transfigured before their eyes. His clothes became as bright as the sun, Moses and Elijah were seen speaking with him about his upcoming passion, and the Father’s voice was heard declaring that he was his Son.
All this was a sign to those apostles that they should not be troubled by the events that would unfold. The betrayal and crucifixion of Jesus were to fulfill the Father’s plan for our salvation.
The Transfiguration is also a sign to us. Circumstances can make us forget that every human life is part of the Father’s plan, and that the glory of God is to be seen in every person, no matter how burdensome, unplanned, or ill that person may be.

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Your Reward is Great in Heaven

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.
So many pro-life leaders I know, including myself, have been falsely accused in public of advocating or even doing violence. Pregnancy centers, which compassionately serve parents and their babies every day, have been falsely accused of deceiving the public. Activists who try to change the laws have been falsely accused of opposing democracy.
The litany goes on and on, and proves that pro-life people are living this beatitude. They should rejoice, for their reward in heaven indeed is great. The children, who cannot know how much pro-life people love them, cannot repay them. They will be repaid in the resurrection of the just.

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Blessed Are the Pure of Heart

Friday, July 8th, 2011

Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God. This beatitude impels us to ask ourselves what our deepest longings and desires are, what motivates our choices, and how consistently we want to do what is right. The pure of heart seek to please God before they please themselves, even at the cost of great sacrifice.
Having a pure heart protects us from the temptations of the culture of death. Meeting the needs of a vulnerable child in the womb requires a new and selfless center of gravity. We put the child first and our own plans and conveniences last.

And when we speak up for that child, we stop worrying about the criticism we might receive. The pure of heart don’t care about that. They only care about doing what’s right.

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