Pro-life themes on the silver screen


Speakers at World Meeting of Families Pro-Life International Symposium will highlight the value of family-friendly films


PHILADELPHIA — The culture of death has been winning at the box office for decades, but that is changing. Two of the speakers at next week’s Pro-Life International Symposium at the World Meeting of Families are in the vanguard of a growing movement working to spread a pro-life message on the silver screen.


Eduardo Verastegui, producer of 2007’sBella and this year’s Little Boy, and Kathy DiFiore, whose work to hope homeless pregnant women was the inspiration for 2013’s Gimme Shelter, will be among the dynamic pro-life leaders who will headline the free event at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 23 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.
Verastegui , who grew up in northern Mexico, had a successful career that traded on his good looks. He sang in a boy band, acted in a Spanish-language soap opera and performed in a steamy Jennifer Lopez music video. But when a young woman he hired to help him improve his English began speaking to him about God and the road he was traveling, he had a change of heart.


“I realized I was using my talent in a very selfish way,” Verastegui told Christian Broadcasting Network in a 2007 interview. “In my opinion, I was poisoning our society with the projects I was involved with. “


He made a decision to accept only roles that elevated human dignity, and went four years without a job. Finally, he and some friends founded a film production company called Metanoia that produced the overtly pro-life Bella, winner of the Toronto International Film Festival’s “People’s Choice” award, and the pro-family Little Boy, which critics panned for its religious overtones but audiences loved. Verastegui also acted in both films.


Ms. DiFiore didn’t have Hollywood in mind when she first opened her home to pregnant women in crisis but her success in changing women’s lives and saving their babies at her Several Sources Shelters for more than 30 years attracted the attention of writer and film director Ron Krauss, who told the Houston Chronicle that Gimme Shelter “deals with some of the most life-changing and affirming things we can imagine: A mother and her child.”


At the Pro-Life International Symposium, Ms. DiFiore will announce details of a second film, currently in production, that was inspired by her work.


Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life and author of Abolishing Abortion, also will speak at the event, which is an official World Meeting of Families gathering but is also open to the general public.


“The fact that abortion, and alternatives to abortion, are being brought to the big screen is a very positive development that was a long time coming,” Father Pavone said. “So many millions of women have been wounded by choosing abortion and no matter how warmly it is embraced by the entertainment industry, abortion is always the worst possible option. Films like Bella and Gimme Shelter highlight the fact that no matter how dire the circumstances seem, there is always a better choice.


“Families attending the World Meeting will be uplifted by Eduardo’s message and Kathy’s work. I hope everyone will make time for this vital symposium.”


For more information about the speakers and the event, 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: For All Mothers

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

“And you yourself a sword will pierce” (Luke 2:35). 

Reflection: Today we honor Mary under the title of Our Lady of Sorrows. Mary’s heart was pierced with a sword many times, as she took part in her Son’s sufferings, most notably at the foot of the cross. The Sorrowful Mother is also a symbol of the many sorrowful mothers who feel they cannot continue their pregnancies, as well as the many who suffer so deeply because they have aborted a child. Mary intercedes for them today, and so must we all.

Prayer: Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us and for all mothers who bear pains of body and soul. Amen.

Today’s Pro-life Reflection: Feast of the Triumph

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

“We also glory in our sufferings” (Romans 5:3).

Reflection: Today is the Feast of the Triumph of the Holy Cross, by which Christ redeemed the world. Because His death destroyed our own, the cross is a symbol of ultimate triumph over evil, and a symbol of the cross we must embrace in everyday life. Persecution and opposition have been promised by Christ. Especially if we work to save the unborn, we are subject to ridicule and rejection. Our plans for pro-life activity should not be geared towards avoiding rejection, but rather should count on it.

Prayer: Lord, may we see the cross as our triumph, today and forever. Amen.

Today’s Pro-Life Reflection: Laws permitting abortion change the very nature of the state.

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

“In this way democracy, contradicting its own principles effectively moves towards a form of totalitarianism. The State is no longer the “common home” where all can live together on the basis of principles of fundamental equality, but is transformed into a tyrant State, which arrogates to itself the right to dispose of the life of the weakest and most defenseless members” (John Paul II, The Gospel of Life, n.20).

Reflection: Some see laws permitting abortion as a minor flaw; the Pope is saying here that they change the very nature of the state.

Prayer: Lord, free us from the tyranny of governments that think they can dispose of human life. Amen.

Today’s Pro-Life Reflection: You will be me treasured possession.

Babies in Womb

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

“You will be my treasured possession” (Exodus 19:5).

Reflection: Dr. James McMahon was an abortionist in Southern California and performed partial-birth abortions. When asked by the American Medical Association news how he justified doing it, he admitted that the baby was a child, but then said there was a more important question, “Who owns the child? It’s got to be the mother,” he explained.

Prayer: Lord, nobody but you is the owner of human life – no doctor, no state, not even a mom or dad. Keep us humble; keep us mindful that we are servants, and that you alone are our Master. Amen.

Take this prayer to Office Depot!


You may have heard that an Office Depot in the Chicago area refused to make copies of my Prayer for the Conversion of Planned Parenthood and that the organization’s corporate office said it is policy not to require employees to print anything they find objectionable. Office Depot believes that my prayer calls for persecution of those who support, and perform, abortion.

Nothing could be further from the truth!

The prayer does not call for their persecution, but for their conversion, enlightenment, and salvation!

Here’s what happened:

We have announced a national prayer campaign ( to bring an end to the evils of abortion and Planned Parenthood. I wrote several prayers that you can find at that website, and have urged people to pray and distribute them.

On August 20, 2015, Maria Goldstein placed her order for printing one of those prayers at the Office Depot in Schaumburg, IL. Ms. Goldstein was told by an Office Depot employee that the printing of her flyer was “restricted by corporate policy” and that her order would not be filled. Ms. Goldstein contacted the Office of the Chairman multiple times to discuss the company’s refusal to fill her order. Diane Demma from the Office of the Chairman stood up for the Office Depot employees’ refusal to print Ms. Goldstein’s flyer and offered no other alternatives.

So Ms. Goldstein has now secured the services of a law firm, the Thomas More Society, to defend her rights.

No reasonable person could find my prayer objectionable or threatening.

Office Depot’s actions are unreasonable, and stand in the way of loving and prayerful pro-life people carrying out the work of this movement.

That’s why I’m asking you to take direct action, because Office Depot still has the chance to make things right.

Let’s challenge Office Depot all around the country by doing what Maria Goldstein did — bring them the prayer to print!

Please click here and I’ll give you more details about our call to action!


Today’s Pro-life Reflection: We Will Never Forget


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

“Deliver us from the evil one” (Matthew 6:13). 

Reflection: The evil of September 11, 2001 was not simply that lives were lost, but that some human beings had a blatant contempt for the right of other human beings to live. 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? The evil we fight is a reflection of the evil we do.

Prayer: Lord, on this sad anniversary, I resolve to defend all life, whatever threatens it. Amen.


Time to Fight Back: Business Blocks Printing of Pro-life Prayer




NEW YORK  — On the eve of another national prayer campaign to end the evils of Planned Parenthood, Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life and author of Abolishing Abortion, has asked pro-life advocates everywhere to fight back against an effort to restrict the freedom of pro-life advocates.


“One of the prayers I wrote for this campaign was taken to an Office Depot in a Chicago suburb by Maria Goldstein, who wanted to make a few hundred copies for her parish,” explained Fr. Frank. “The store refused to print it and the Chicago Tribune reports that an Office Depot spokeswoman said this is because the prayer ‘advocates the persecution of people who support abortion rights.’ Actually, the opposite is true: the prayer advocates their conversion, enlightenment, and salvation.”


“Let me be clear: Priests for Life, and I personally, have a long record of promoting respect and dialogue with those who advocate abortion. Just ask the father of the pro-choice movement, Bill Baird, with whom I have held joint press conferences over the years calling for respect in both word and deed across the lines of the abortion debate.


“I am proud of Maria Goldstein for standing up for her rights, and I call upon Office Depot to reconsider this decision by evaluating more carefully the words of the prayer and the intent of its author.”


Maria Goldstein has enlisted the help of a Chicago-based law firm which has given Office Depot five business days to agree to print the flier or it will take the matter to the Cook County Human Rights Commission and the Illinois Department of Human Rights.


Fr. Frank went one step further, and called on supporters of Priests for Life across the country to bring the prayer to Office Depot outlets in their own communities to have it copied.


“Let’s see how many come to the same erroneous conclusion, or whether some measure of reason will prevail instead.”


The prayer campaign that utilizes this Prayer for the Conversion of Planned Parenthood (see, and several other prayers with a similar theme, launches again this Saturday, September 12 and runs through the 20th. It will take place again from October 10-18th. See details at



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


Priests for Life to honor the unborn at National Day of Remembrance


NEW YORK — The Priests for Life pastoral team will honor babies lost to abortion during the third annual National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children this weekend. The event was founded by Priests for Life, Pro-life Action League, and Citizens for a Pro-life Society. See

The Day of Remembrance also launches a week of prayer and fasting (September 12-20) to end abortion and the evils of Planned Parenthood (

The coast-to-coast services at gravesites and memorials take on added significance this year in light of the scandal of Planned Parenthood’s harvesting and sale of baby body parts.

“Most of the babies buried in these gravesites across the country were recovered after their bodies had been illegally disposed,” said Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life and author of Abolishing Abortion. “In many cases, pro-life people who attended the funerals and burials had the opportunity to give some honor to these bodies, which had been so dishonored in the abortion clinic.”

Father Pavone said it’s more important than ever for pro-lifers to attend these nationwide services because America’s awareness of what happens to children after abortion has been heightened and the memorial will underscore the point that these babies are human beings who have been subjected to numerous indignities, beginning with their brutal murders.

Father Pavone will speak Saturday, Sept. 12, at the 30th anniversary service for more than 16,000 babies buried in the Odd Fellows Cemetery in Los Angeles. The babies were discovered in a locked storage container and were the subject of a three-year court battle between pro-lifers who wanted to honor them with a burial and abortion advocates who wanted them disposed as medical waste, thus stripping them of their humanity. The babies finally were buried in 1985.

The service at the Odd Fellows Cemetery is sponsored by the Silent No More Awareness Campaign and Foot Soldiers for Life, and will begin at 10 a.m. PT. A Spanish service will take place at 11 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 13.
Father Denis Wilde, OSA, associate director of Priests for Life, will deliver the keynote address at  the Ocean County Memorial Park Cemetery in Toms River, N.J., where 100 babies are buried. The service   will begin at 10 a.m. ET.

Priests for Life Youth Director Bryan Kemper will speak at the gravesite for six babies at Woodland Cemetery in  Dayton, Ohio, at noon ET on Saturday.

Father Stephen Imbarrato will lead the service at the Tomb of the Unborn Child at Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell, Conn., at 4 p.m. Friday.

Priests for Life, Citizens for a Pro-Life Society and the Pro-Life Action League sponsor the annual National Day of Remembrance.

“As we work to defund the abortion industry and to pass laws on the state and federal level that protect children living in the womb, it is only right — and a natural aspect of a culture of life — that we honor and mourn the over 56 million children who already have died in this American holocaust, and be present to those who have been buried,” Fr. Pavone added.

The prayer campaign that also begins on Saturday asks Churches to incorporate specific prayer intentions into their worship services, and urge their members to pray individually and in their families, for and end to abortion and the evils of Planned Parenthood. Specific prayers are offered at that focus on the conversion of abortionists, the healing of those who have had abortions, and the strengthening of public officials.

For more information about Saturday’s memorial services, including a state-by-state list of locations, go to

Fr. Frank also announced that in Philadelphia, the memorial service for the babies killed by Kermit Gosnell will be held on Saturday, October 24. The date of that service was moved due to the Pope’s upcoming visit to Philadelphia.

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: Keep Us Close to You


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

“If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, then the one who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit that dwells in you” (Rom.8:11). 

Reflection: The Holy Spirit gives life, bringing forth creation at the beginning of time, descending upon Mary to bring about the Incarnation, bringing about the Eucharist from mere bread and wine, and descending upon the graves of God’s people to raise them from the dead.

Prayer: Holy Spirit, come and work through your people to build the Culture of Life. Keep us close to you; fill us with yourself. Amen.