LONG ISLAND CATHOLIC
July 18, 2001
Visiting priest brings message of Priests for Life to Point Lookout
By Chris Caputo
Point Lookout - "Let's not be silent or indifferent," said Augustinian
Father Walter Quinn, echoing the words of Pope John Paul II in his letter, "The
Gospel of Life" ("Evangelium Vitae"). Father Quinn spoke at all the
Masses this past weekend at Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Church here
representing Priests for Life. "Silence gives consent," he added.
Priests for Life was started in 1991 to help priests around the world spread
the gospel of life to their people. The mission of Priests for Life is to unite
and encourage all clergy to give special emphasis to the life issues in their
Father Quinn, a member of the Augustinian Province of St. Thomas of
Villanova, Pennsylvania, travels throughout the nation preaching on abortion and
euthanasia to groups of priests and laity. "I am convinced that the main focus
of the gospel of life reaches people in and through the Church at the parish
level," he said in an interview before the weekend.
"This is the most important moral problem we are facing," he said, describing
abortions. "The clergy are the prophets of God. We need to wake up God's people
of the world."
Father Quinn said he receives an ovation from the people more than 70 percent
of the time he speaks. "People really want to hear about these topics," he said
Father Quinn said that Priests for Life encourages everyone to "stand up and
be counted," to protect and defend human life including that of the unborn and
the elderly. "There is nothing that destroys human life more than abortion," he
told the parishioners, noting that 4,400 abortions are performed each day -- one
every 20 seconds.
"God is certainly not pleased," he said, referring to the statistics.
Promoters of legal abortion argue that people are given a choice to make a
decision on their own. "A choice to do what?" Father Quinn said. "They haven't
really said anything."
When thinking about a "choice," Father Quinn said, one must see if it is
right or wrong, good or bad.
Priests for Life, now with three full-time priests in addition to the
director, Father Frank Pavone, offers assistance to priests and laity in a
variety of ways. Training and individual assistance is provided for priests to
help them preach more effectively against abortion. Video and audio tapes,
newsletters, and bulletin inserts are available as pro-life resources for clergy
and laity. The organization also provides pro-life groups with links to the
Priests for Life has staff available 24 hours a day to assist people looking
for alternatives to abortion or those in need of healing or consolation
following an abortion. The toll-free telephone number of Priests for Life,
headquartered in Staten Island, is 888-PFL-3448.
"Forgiveness is instantaneous, but healing takes a long time," he said.
'Go strengthen your brethren'
Priests for Life speak to parishioners who attend Mass each Sunday. When
people ask "Why are we preaching to the choir?" Father Quinn said, he responds,
"What we do here in church should not stay in the church."
He noted that almost 70 percent of all Catholics do not attend Sunday Mass
regularly. "We want the people who do come to church to become more
knowledgeable," he said, and spread the news to those outside the doors. "Go
strengthen your brethren," he challenged the parishioners.
"We believe in God, an almighty God of Life."