By Claudia I. Provencio
The Catholic Sun
Diocese of Phoenix, AZ
Like a commanding general, Fr. Frank Pavone lifted the morale of
troops in the trenches of the pro-life movement in Phoenix during a visit
The priest, the national director of Priests for Life, was the featured
speaker of the Blackstone Fellowship, a nine-week leadership development program
for students who are both Christians and aspiring lawyers.
Fr. Pavone, whose organization works to end abortion, encouraged students
June 17 to use their talents to shape public policy and restore the culture of
"Either life wins, or no one wins," said Fr. Pavone, who is on the road about
80 percent of the time conducting pro-life strategy seminars and speaking at
national and international pro-life gatherings.
He encouraged them to use one-on-one conversations to help pro-choice
opponents see the truth.
Through his efforts Norma McCorvey, the former "Jane Roe" of the U.S. Supreme
Court’s Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion, became Catholic and now
leads the pro-life ministry "Roe No More."
University of Notre Dame student Courtney Tawresey, 23, one of 84 national
fellows, said she was moved by Fr. Pavone’s passionate defense of life, which
she said was "a calling put on my heart before I even knew Christ."
Although raised in an atheist family, Tawresey entered the Catholic Church on
Easter. In college, she became involved in the pro-life movement and hopes to
use a law degree to help others see that the "right to privacy and the right to
choose" are destroying society.
She plans to make it her life’s work. She is discerning religious life with
Sisters of Life, an order based in Bronx, N.Y., and founded in 1991, that is
devoted exclusively to the protection of human life.
Supporting the grassroots
Following his speech to America’s future lawyers, Fr. Pavone spoke to 40
Arizona Right to Life volunteers, including a handful from Tucson, at the
organization’s Phoenix headquarters.
He encouraged the group to engage churches in the presidential election and
the fight against abortion.
"At the core of every human rights issue is the right to life itself," he
said. "Without life, we don’t have anything at all."
This election year, abortion should be on the mind of every American, not
just those with religious convictions, Fr. Pavone said. He argues that "it is
indisputable" what abortion does: kill.
"If you elect people who are going to let this continue you might as well
elect somebody who says they support terrorism," he said. "We must challenge
them to show us the difference between a person blown apart by a bomb and a
person torn apart by the instruments of the abortionists."
Arizona Right to Life president John Jakubczyk said the impromptu visit
reinvigorated his staff and volunteers.
"He’s one of the top pro-life leaders in the country," Jakubczyk said. "By
having him take the time to speak to the grassroots, it reminded them how
important they are to the success of the movement. Without individuals who are
willing to sacrifice their time for the cause, those babies die."