Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, announced today that the new International Headquarters of his association of clergy, to be opened in June, will be dedicated to and named after John Cardinal O’Connor, Archbishop of New York.
Cardinal O’Connor, who ordained Fr. Pavone in 1988, and released him to be full-time director of Priests for Life in 1993, has been a major supporter of the organization from its very beginning. The Cardinal is recognized as the foremost Catholic leader on the abortion issue in the United States.
Fr. Pavone said today: "Although he is an Archbishop and a Cardinal, the greatest joy of His Eminence is simply to be a priest, and he is truly a ‘priest for life.’ Throughout my seminary years, listening to the Cardinal preach on pro-life issues clearly and compassionately was my best pro-life formation. He is responsible for so much of the success we have had at Priests for Life in the last seven years. The Cardinal has helped us every step of the way, both publicly and behind-the-scenes, and he deserves much of the credit for the enormous growth we have experienced. It is only fitting that we name our new building after him."
The association of Catholic clergy, whose mission is to train, motivate and encourage priests to effectively advance the Gospel of Life, started in California in 1991. When Cardinal O’Connor gave Fr. Pavone permission to take it over two years later, it immediately began to expand its outreach. Today, it has five full-time priests, 30 lay staff members, offices in New York, California, Washington DC, Minneapolis, Michigan, and Rome, a website that records over 200,000 visitors a month, and a global media outreach that includes television shows broadcast into 88 million American homes, radio programs on Catholic Family Radio Network and Vatican Radio, and a nationally syndicated pro-life newspaper column.
"Wherever I go in the world, people express to me their gratitude for the Cardinal’s leadership," Fr. Pavone said. "The love and respect that pro-lifers have for him is truly inspiring. We at Priests for Life are honored and proud to be counted as part of his pro-life legacy."
The new International Headquarters of Priests for Life will provide for abundant office facilities for priests and administrative staff, as well as a warehouse for the organization’s pro-life resources, multi-media studios, and a beautiful chapel. More information on the grand opening in June will follow.
"It is our greatest hope," said Fr. Pavone, "that the Cardinal’s health will permit him to attend the dedication ceremony."