FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: June 3, 2014
Contact: Leslie Palma
NEW YORK, NY — As initially announced following the canonization of St. John Paul II, Priests for Life has dedicated our ministry and organization to his special protection.
This was carried out in two separate ceremonies during the week of May 19. At the monthly meeting of the entire pastoral team of Priests for Life on Wednesday, May 21, this dedication was made at the conclusion of Mass by Father Frank Pavone, National Director. But two days prior to that, Fr. Frank, along with Janet Morana, Executive Director, and several staff, were privileged to visit with Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, who was visiting in the United States. Cardinal Dziwisz was the longtime secretary and personal assistant to John Paul II.
The Cardinal himself prayed the prayer of dedication of the ministry of Priests for Life to the protection of St. John Paul II, and in that ceremony, the Cardinal presented to Fr. Frank and to the entire team of Priests for Life a first class relic of St. John Paul II.
In presenting the relic, the Cardinal said, “This relic of St. John Paul II is his blood, blood that was taken on the Saturday that he died. This blood is ever a symbol of love. May it signify our love for the family and for life, in defense above all of the lives of unborn children.” [See the letter of authentication]
The visit with the Cardinal was arranged in order to interview him for our Defending Life series on EWTN. The principal theme of the interview was the “Be Not Afraid” John Paul II International Center, established by Cardinal Dziwisz in Krakow in 2006.
The Center is meant to create a living memory of John Paul II, to preserve and spread his legacy, and to promote the values by which he lived and which he inspired us to follow. Priests for Life is working to spread awareness of the Center, and of the foundation which supports it here in the United States, the Friends of St. John Paul the Second “Be Not Afraid” Center, Inc., based in Linden, New Jersey (see www.JohnPaul2USA.org).
Father Frank worked at the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Family under the pontificate of John Paul II. The Pontifical Council for the Family fosters the pro-life work of the Catholic Church. Fr. Frank stated, “I was privileged to converse with Pope John Paul II multiple times about the defense of life against abortion and other threats. The core of his teachings and example was and remains the dignity of the human person. In promoting the John Paul II International Center, we at Priests for Life obviously want to give primary attention to this core teaching of St. John Paul II. All who do pro-life work need his intercession today more than ever, both to withstand the attacks that come from all directions and also to avoid the temptation to think that somehow the defense of the unborn should be less of a priority than other issues. Both for the Church and the state, there is one moral imperative today that stands above all the rest: to end abortion.
“I had the opportunity to discuss with John Paul II on multiple occasions the work of Priests for Life, and he expressed strong support and encouragement,” Fr. Frank explained. “Given that personal contact with him, and given the priority he placed on the defense of the right to life, it is highly appropriate that we place our entire ministry and activity under his special patronage.”
A video of the dedication with Cardinal Dziwisz and Father Pavone is available at
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.