CATHOLIC NEW YORK
April 26, 2001
Change in Plans
Priests for Life will work with bishops' program in media campaign
by Brain Caulfield
Weeks after announcing a multimillion-dollar media campaign for abortion
alternatives and post-abortion healing, Priests for Life is joining efforts with
Project Rachel, which launched its own advertising efforts last year.
Project Rachel, the Church's outreach to women who have suffered an abortion
and those who have been affected by the decision, was started in the Archdiocese
of Milwaukee in 1984 and now operates in more than 130 dioceses.
On March 29 Father Frank A. Pavone, Priests for Life's national director,
announced a $12 million "media blitz" over the next two years which would
include billboards, television advertisements and the production of a pro-life
television series to be aired on general audience stations. The campaign's theme
was "Hurting from abortion? The doors of the Church are open" (CNY, March 15).
The campaign will be delayed and relaunched in coordination with Project
Rachel, Jerry Horn, senior advisor of Priests for Life, told CNY.
The change in strategy came after Father Pavone met April 16 with Cardinal
William H. Keeler of Baltimore, Md., chairman of the Committee for Pro-Life
Activities of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB). In a joint
April 17 press release of the NCCB and Priests for Life, Father Pavone said that
he welcomes the partnership with diocesan abortion healing ministries and that
he wants his organization to be an added resource and encouragement for programs
already in operation.
"There is no need to initiate separate campaigns with the same end, offering
the same services," he said. "Priests for Life will continue to work in harmony
with the goals of the bishops, both nationally and at a diocesan level."
Father Pavone is a priest of the New York Archdiocese and maintains
headquarters named for Cardinal O'Connor on Staten Island, with 25 lay
In the press release, Cardinal Keeler said he was "very pleased with this
decision" and that he "looks forward to working more closely with Priests for
Life." He noted the "enormous success of the Church's outreach to those harmed
by abortion" in its Project Rachel campaign.
Project Rachel launched a major media effort last year in the areas of
Baltimore, Arlington, Va., and Washington, D.C. Many women and men seeking
healing and hope after abortion responded to the advertisements.
"This program reached so many that the local dioceses will sponsor a modified
campaign again this spring, and other dioceses have already conducted or are
preparing similar efforts," Cardinal Keeler said.