Archive for the ‘Sanctity of Life’ Category

Christmas Is Not Simply the Feast of Christ’s Birth

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Christmas, for which we are now preparing, is not simply the feast of the birth of Christ; it is the feast of His becoming human, the reality called the Incarnation. Christ took flesh within the body of the Virgin Mary when she said “Yes” to His coming, nine months before His birth. Christmas, in its full meaning, is the feast that celebrates that moment, along with His birth, as one wonderful reality of God becoming one of us.

Jesus was an embryo, a fetus, an unborn child. Life in the womb, which was already sacred because it comes from God, is now made even more holy, and worthy of our every sacrifice.

Great tool for planning your pro-life activities: The 2012 Priests for Life calendar is a great way to keep pro-life front and center in your home throughout the year. Click here to order yours today.

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Christmas is God in Human Language

Friday, December 16th, 2011

Christmas is God in human language. It is not simply about the birth of a child, but rather the coming of the one who will preach the Sermon on the Mount, instruct us by parables, and establish His Church.

This is why it makes no sense to welcome the child but reject His teachings. It is inconsistent to prepare for and celebrate Christmas but refuse to accept the fullness of the Gospel that this child proclaimed.

That Gospel has taught from the beginning that life must be protected, including life in the womb. There can be no such thing as a “pro-choice Christian.” A rejection of even a single life is a rejection of Christ Himself.

This Advent and Christmas, let us welcome Christ and all those whom He loves.

Great tool for planning your pro-life activities: The 2012 Priests for Life calendar is a great way to keep pro-life front and center in your home throughout the year. Click here to order yours today.

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Introducing Cyber Mondays!

Monday, November 28th, 2011

Take advantage of this Cyber Monday by ordering products that will help you in your pro-life work.

Ending Abortion, Not Just Fighting It is a collection of stirring and informative pro-life essays by Fr. Frank Pavone in which he shows that with proper instruction, steadfast prayer and unrelenting determination, people of good will can end the scourge of abortion in our land. Today’s Cyber Monday price for this book is $5.00 and the first 100 orders get a copy signed by Fr. Frank.

Our second deal for the day is the 2012 Priests for Life Calendar. With this calendar you can share in the joy of the work of Priests for Life and use it to plan your pro-life activities throughout the coming year.

Order both items at CyberMondayProLife.com

Read some praise from Bishops for Ending Abortion, Not Just Fighting It.

…I look forward to reading this collection of essays of which I am certain will be very informative and a source of encouragement to all those seeking to protect human life. I am especially grateful to you for your dedication and service on behalf of the pro-life movement. Please be assured of a special remembrance in my thoughts and prayers for you and those dear to you. May Almighty God bless you with an abundance of happiness and peace, and may Mary our Mother watch over and protect you always. With prayerful best wishes, I remain Sincerely yours in Christ, Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua, Archbishop Emeritus of Philadelphia

[Bishop Fabian Wendelin Bruskewitz] is happy to endorse the book, which has something to inspire anyone who reads it. All aspects of the abortion issue are addressed in these powerful and precise essays. This book is to provide a boost of vitality to those who love and defend innocent life. — Rev. Andrew Menke, Vice Chancellor

Your book “Ending Abortion” is like dew on the parched landscape in America. It will educate and encourage all who read it to continue the battle for life with renewed vigor. With kindest personal regards, I am Most Rev. James C. Timlin, Bishop Emeritus of Scranton

Fr. Pavone’s new book helps us to strengthen our convictions with clear teaching and compelling motivation. — Most Reverend Anthony M. Pilla, Bishop Emeritus of Cleveland

Your Book will be a special blessing for all those committed to the pro-life movement, giving us much food for thought, insights from experiences over the recent decades, and an agenda with concrete ideas and suggestions for the future. — Adam Cardinal Maida, Archbishop of Detroit

I am happy to endorse your work and, in particular, this new book…A critical challenge for us today is transforming a culture of death into a culture of life. In his thoughtful book, Fr. Frank Pavone offers us a very helpful and wide-ranging set of essays on promoting life in our contemporary society. The book: Ending Abortion, Not Just Fighting It, is both encouraging and challenging for all of us who are concerned about respect for human life in American society. — Most Reverend Francis Kane, Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago

Father Pavone’s book, Ending Abortion, Not Just Fighting It, gives a very informative pro-life summary of the prayerful and pastoral ways of dealing with all the critical issues that are connected to the evil of abortion. — Bishop Michael Pfeifer, O.M.I. of San Angelo, TX

The book is indeed an important resource in promoting a deeper understanding of the need for all people to work for the protection of all human life, especially at its earliest and most vulnerable stage. This book also comes at an important time in our history, when the value of life is denigrated at all levels of society. As people who recognize the image and likeness of God in every human life, we must as the Church work to protect those whose voice is ignored and whose identity is disregarded. I am confident that your words and your books will help support that work, and through your efforts and your leadership, we will indeed come closer to the goal of a nation that protects all people and all life from the moment of conception to natural death. I commend you for the fine work you are doing in prompting the pro-life movement, both at a local and at a national level, and I hope that through this book and our shared ministry of preaching the Gospel of Life, more people will actively join the cause and become activists in the pro-life struggle. Thank you again for the gift of this book, and I wish you continued success in contributing to a world where the protection of all life remains our goal. — Most Reverend Arthur J. Serratelli, S.T.D., S.S.L., D.D., Bishop of Paterson, NJ

I commend you for your courageous efforts for the cause of life. And I am happy to provide a few words of commendation for your book and your continuous, persistent labors of love for the unborn: “The Right-to Life of the Innocent Unborn is the premiere civil rights issue of our time, and Father Pavone stands as one of the principal heralds of this important movement. His book Ending Abortion, Not Just Fighting it, is a clarion call for coordinated and consistent efforts to end abortion. I recommend this book highly for those who want to learn more about the why’s and how’s of supporting pro-life efforts and desire to help reverse the lamentable Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision of 1973.” Thank you, Father Pavone, for this very helpful and very readable book! — Most Reverend Robert J. Baker, S.T.D., Bishop of Birmingham, AL

Thank you for addressing this critical issue and for all that you do to promote a respect for all human life from the moment of conception to the point of natural death. — Most Reverend David A. Zubik, Bishop of Pittsburgh, PA

Father Frank Pavone has been a consistent and strong leader in the pro-life movement for many years, even in the face of the many obstacles which we face, he has remained steadfast and clear of vision. This new book reminds us that abortion is not simply about a social problem, it is about relationships. People are involved. The person of the unborn. The persons of the mother and father. The persons of those who run abortion mills and perform or participate in abortions, as well as those of us who demonstrate and teach against this tremendous evil which is being permitted by our government at various levels. This thoughtful book will help many to recognize the various aspects of the evil which is encroaching upon us, and, it does this from a very positive vantage point, i.e. that we are not just fighting abortion: we plan, with God’s help, to eliminate it. — Archbishop John J. Myers, Archbishop of Newark

Congratulations to you on your accomplishments. I pray that your insights will motivate all people to save the lives of millions of unborn infants. You are remembered in all of my prayers every day.
Bishops Joseph Howze, Bishop Emeritus of Biloxi, MS

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Eight PA Residents Join Missionaries of the Gospel of Life

Monday, October 24th, 2011

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.

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Life is of Inestimable Value

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

In the thirteenth chapter of Ezekiel, we read these words, which the Lord told Ezekiel to speak to the people: “Will you ensnare the lives of my people but preserve your own? You have profaned me among my people for a few handfuls of barley and scraps of bread. By lying to my people, who listen to lies, you have killed those who should not have died.” The ongoing tragedy of abortion is an example of how lies kill those who should not have died, and the most fundamental lie behind abortion is not that the fetus isn’t a baby – rather, the lie is that one has a right to kill that baby. The lie is that a few handfuls of barley – that is, economic reasons – can be balanced against the value of a life.

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Praying for a Culture of Life

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

In their pastoral plan for pro-life activities, the Catholic bishops of the United States have asked that at every mass a prayer be offered for the defense of human life.

To help parishes fulfill this request, Priests for Life prepares an entire set of Prayers of the Faithful for each Sunday of the year, based on the readings for that Sunday.

Among these petitions each week is a prayer for an end to abortion and other forms of violence, and for the growth of a Culture of Life.

We also provide homily hints and bulletin inserts for each Sunday.

You can find these resources at priestsforlife.org, and we also provide them weekly via email.
Help your pastor today by bringing him these weekly pro-life resources for the liturgy. Visit priestsforlife.org for information.

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Baby Joseph: A Life Worth Living

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

I learned with sadness tonight of the passing of Baby Joseph Maraachli, the boy from Canada who, earlier this year, made international headlines as his family fought to give him the basic care he needed in order to breathe. I extend my condolences and prayers to his family.

This young boy and his parents fulfilled a special mission from God. Amidst a Culture of Death where despair leads us to dispose of the vulnerable, they upheld a Culture of Life where hope leads us to welcome and care for the vulnerable.

From my first conversation with Baby Joseph’s parents, they expressed to me their trust in God. They had no demands of Him regarding how long their son would live. They just wanted to fulfill their calling to love their child unconditionally and to protect him from those who considered his life worthless.

And they fulfilled that calling. After encountering, to their astonishment, the unwillingness of the Canadian medical and legal establishment to give their son a simple tracheotomy, they turned to Priests for Life, and we arranged for the child to receive that treatment at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center in Saint Louis. I’ll never forget the night I flew in the medical jet to pick up the baby and his dad. (Mom and their older child joined us shortly thereafter.) It was the middle of the night. It was cold, and yet new hope and joy were born on that Kalitta MedFlight. Joseph’s Dad Moe was literally pinching himself, saying he could hardly believe that his son was now free from the prison of a hospital where he had been, and able to receive a new evaluation and care.

And what a joy it was, after those weeks in Saint Louis, to celebrate Holy Thursday and, on that day, to see Joseph go home with his parents, breathing on his own without tubes or machines. Nobody denied that he had a serious, degenerative neurological condition, and nobody was unwilling to accept professional medical judgement. What we refused to accept, however, was the arrogance of medical and legal professionals who presumed to judge the value of his life, and to say he wasn’t worth treating. Yes, there is such a thing as a worthless treatment, but there is never such a thing as a worthless life.

That’s the line that needs to be drawn in the sand again and again. That’s the prophetic witness that needs to thunder from our pulpits and be lobbied in the halls of government.

I praise God tonight for the tens of thousands who stood with Priests for Life and other prolife groups to save Baby Joseph. We remain convinced that the value of life is not measured in months or years, but rather reflected in the love we share moment by moment. We all loved Joseph, because God entrusts us to the care of each other. In that conviction we will continue to counteract the culture of death and restore protection and equality to all, born and unborn.

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Statement of Fr. Frank on Passing of Baby Joseph

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Amarillo, TX – Fr. Frank Pavone issued the following statement this morning on the passing of Baby Joseph Maraachli, the infant who earlier this year was flown from Ontario, Canada to St. Louis to receive treatment previously denied to him, which allowed him to spend his last months at home with his parents.

“I learned with sadness last night of the passing of Baby Joseph, and extend my prayers to his family. This young boy and his parents fulfilled a special mission from God. Amidst a Culture of Death where despair leads us to dispose of the vulnerable, they upheld a Culture of Life where hope leads us to welcome and care for the vulnerable.

“From my first conversation with Baby Joseph’s parents, they expressed to me their trust in God. They had no demands of Him regarding how long their son would live. They just wanted to fulfill their calling to love their child unconditionally and to protect him from those who considered his life worthless.

“I praise God tonight for the tens of thousands who stood with Priests for Life and other prolife groups to save Baby Joseph. We remain convinced that the value of life is not measured in months or years, but rather reflected in the love we share moment by moment. We all loved Joseph, because God entrusts us to the care of each other. In that conviction we will continue to counteract the culture of death and restore protection and equality to all, born and unborn.”

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Remembering 9/11

Friday, September 9th, 2011

On September 11, 2001, terrorists attacked our land in an event that we should never forget.

We lament the loss of thousands of lives, and the destruction of our buildings, yet earthquakes or tsunamis can also cause the same damage.

What makes terrorism different? The evil of September 11 was that some human beings had a blatant contempt for the right of other human beings to live.

As we fight terrorism, the evil we fight is a reflection of the evil we do. The same contempt for human life is found in every abortion clinic. What moral difference does it make if a victim is five feet tall or five inches tall, or if the instrument of death is an airplane or surgical forceps?

As we recall September 11, let’s resolve to defend all life.

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In Life Just as in Death

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

St. Paul declares, “None of us lives as his own master and none of us dies as his own master. While we live we are responsible to the Lord, and when we die, we die as His servants. Both in life and in death we are the Lord’s.” God’s absolute dominion over human life is the basis for the Church’s opposition to abortion and euthanasia, and any other kind of violence against human life. The “pro-choice” side chants, “My body, my life, my choice!” and the pro-euthanasia side chants, “My death!” But this reading declares that Christ is Lord both of the living and the dead. When the Church defends life, she not only defends the rights of the human person, but also the rights of God Himself, and His absolute dominion over human life.

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