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 employees.
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.