The Priests for Life, a Catholic organization that opposes abortion, will conduct a groundbreaking ceremony at 7:15 p.m. Thursday on the land adjacent to the Bishop DeFalco Retreat Center, 2100 N. Spring, for its new international headquarters and the formation house for the trainees of a new society, the Missionaries of the Gospel of Life.
Cardinal Renato Martino, the president of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace will preside over the event, according to Priests for Life.
The Rev. Frank Pavone will conduct a mass in which he will become the first member of the society and will receive the first group of lay associates into the society.
"Abortion is the paramount moral tragedy of our day," Pavone said. "(The groundbreaking) is highly significant for the whole church. It's a practical implementation of the things we've been working toward. It's larger than most of the things we and the church experience."
Amarillo will in turn become an international center for the pro-life movement, Pavone said.
"There will be people in Amarillo from all over the world who are involved in the movement," he said. "This is very important for Amarillo."
The Rev. John Yanta, bishop of the Amarillo diocese, welcomed Priests for Life into Amarillo in December, 2005. "Our diocese is proud to partner with Priests for Life in this work of the Holy Spirit," Yanta said.
Claudia Stravato, executive director of Planned Parenthood of Amarillo and the Texas Panhandle said her organization was notified by the Planned Parenthood Security Group that the American Life League and Priests for Life were to be in Amarillo this week.
"They asked that we take appropriate measures to notify local law enforcement and counsel our staff since these groups are known nationally to stage disruptive protests. We have taken appropriate measures," Stravato said. "While we support their right to freedom of expression, we believe they are protesting the wrong organization for the wrong reason."
Click here to return to story: http://amarillo.com/stories/082206/new_5397595.shtml