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Priests for Life Newsletter

Volume 7, Number 5
September - October 1997

 

Contents

Deacons for Life and Family

General Intercessions for use at Mass or Prayer Services

Homily Starters

You're Never Too Old to Save a Life

Pilgrimages for Mary and Life

Respect Life Month

Annuities

Spanish Translations

 

Deacons for Life and Family

by Rev. Mr. Keith A. Fournier
Director

 

Receive the gospel of Christ, whose herald you now are. Believe what you read, teach what you believe, and practice what you teach.

--Words spoken by the Bishop to the newly ordained Deacon at the reception of the Book of the Gospel.

 

Deacons for Life and Family (DLF) is an association of Catholic deacons dedicated to proclaiming the Gospel of Life, promoting the Culture of Life, and serving the family. The Permanent Diaconate offers a great resource in our struggle against the Culture of Death and our mission of rebuilding a Culture of Life. Ordained for word, service, and sacrament, deacons often work in the arena of social justice. Pro-life and pro-family work is at the heart of social justice.

Deacons are a vital resource in the present struggle against the Culture of Death. DLF, in the legacy of Human Life International, Priests for Life, and Seminarians for Life, seeks to stand in the midst of this current darkness as a beacon of light. We seek to proclaim and demonstrate the truth about life and family in the midst of an age mired in selfism and the dance of death.

Among our goals, we make Church teachings, and spiritual and practical resources available to deacons so that they can preach the Gospel of Life, incarnate the truth in their ministry, and teach and serve effectively. St. Francis of Assisi, a deacon himself, once said "I preach the gospel at all times and sometimes I use words." DLF seeks to preach that Gospel of Life through our homilies as well as our presence, our witness, and our dedicated service to the Church in the midst of the world.

Additionally, because of the unique witness of the married Permanent Deacon’s vocation, our members can effectively teach and demonstrate the Church’s teaching on the family. The family is indeed the first community, and sacramentally reflects the life of God in a profound and prophetic way.

The effective witness of the Catholic family in our age is an essential part of the ongoing work of the Church.

Finally, deacon members of this movement need spiritual nourishment. Recognizing our littleness and our need for the bread of life, we want to help our brother deacons develop a totally formed conscience and a profoundly deep prayer life in order to make their diaconal apostolate effective.

In order to help deacons in their vital pro-life and pro-family work, DLF will institute a prayer network and provide information via the internet and newsletters. This will assist them in their service on behalf of the unborn, their mothers, the elderly, the infirm and disabled, and the family.

Lumen Gentium, reminds us that deacons "... strengthened by sacramental grace.... are dedicated to the people of God, in conjunction with the bishop and his body of priests, in the service of the liturgy, of the Gospel, and of works of charity." In a very special way DLF seeks to be an example in the world by effectively proclaiming and demonstrating the truth of the faith by living out the Gospel of Life.

 

For Respect Life Month...

Remember our Resources

We remind all clergy of the helpful resources we offer for parishes and schools: homilies, bulletin inserts, brochures for the bookrack, audio and video tapes for adult education groups, activity suggestions, and most importantly, our network of clergy who have special experience in dealing with the pastoral aspects of abortion. Call us at 718-980-4400 for details or for an order catalogue.

 

GENERAL INTERCESSIONS FOR USE AT PRO-LIFE MASS OR PRAYER SERVICE

 

CELEBRANT:

WE TRUST IN THE MERCY AND POWER OF GOD. THEREFORE, WE NOW PRAY WITH CONFIDENCE.

DEACON (or Lector):

FOR THE HOLY CATHOLIC CHURCH THROUGHOUT THE WORLD, THAT SHE MAY CARRY ON HER MISSION OF LIFE WITH FAITH AND JOY, WE PRAY TO THE LORD...

THAT GOD MAY PROTECT ALL BABIES, AND KEEP THEM SAFE FROM THE SCOURGE OF ABORTION, WE PRAY TO THE LORD...

FOR ALL WOMEN WHO HAVE HAD ABORTIONS, AND FOR THOSE WHO FEEL TEMPTED AND AFRAID, WE PRAY TO THE LORD...

THAT GOD MAY BLESS ALL DOCTORS AND NURSES, AND HELP THEM USE THEIR SKILLS TO HEAL AND FOSTER LIFE, WE PRAY TO THE LORD...

FOR ALL ELECTED OFFICIALS, THAT THEY COURAGEOUSLY ADVANCE THE CAUSE OF LIFE, WE PRAY TO THE LORD...

FOR ALL WHO WORK IN THE PRO-LIFE MOVEMENT, THAT THEY MOVE FORWARD WITH HASTE TO THE GREAT DAY OF VICTORY, WE PRAY TO THE LORD...

THAT GOD STRENGTHEN ALL PRO-LIFERS WHO SUFFER RIDICULE, REJECTION, OR IMPRISONMENT, WE PRAY TO THE LORD...

FOR ALL WHO HAVE DIED, THAT THEY SHARE THE FULL GLORY OF HEAVEN, WE PRAY TO THE LORD...

 

CELEBRANT:

WE PRAISE YOU, O GOD, LORD AND GIVER OF LIFE, AND WE LOOK TO YOU IN THE SURE HOPE THAT YOU WILL GRANT THESE PRAYERS THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD. AMEN.

 

HOMILY STARTERS  

As you prepare your homilies for Respect Life month and beyond, the following "thought-starters" may provide some assistance. God bless your preaching!!!  

Those who buy abortions do not do so because of freedom of choice, but because they feel they have no freedom and no choice. The Church, instead, offers help to find alternatives to abortion.  Priests for Life knows of a woman who had 22 abortions. Even for her, the doors of the Church are open, and forgiveness is available.  "Love your neighbor as yourself" means to recognize the neighbor as a person like yourself. That is precisely where the abortion mentality fails regarding our preborn neighbors.  Signs on many of our beaches alert people to the laws protecting sea turtles and their eggs, yet children in the womb have no legal protection from abortion.  Some say, This is my body, so I can control it even if it means the baby must die! Jesus says, This is my body, given up for you, that you may live! Which way do we live those words.  Being pro-life is more than saying you would never have an abortion. It is saying that you care enough about mothers and their babies that you will try to stop others from having one!  Abortion is everyone's concern. You may be too old to have a child, but you are never to old to love and save one!  We have more evidence than ever that abortion destroys the lives and health of women. This country's abortion facilities are the most unregulated surgical facilities in the nation, and former abortion providers even admit to routinely using instruments that were not sterilized.  The pro-life message is not "love the baby and forget the woman"; rather, it is, "Why can't we love them both?"     

 

Pilgrimages for Life

Regina Tours was founded by Mr. James Adair when he was a volunteer pilgrimage promoter. His goal has always been the same: to transport as many Catholic pilgrims as possible to famous shrines throughout the world. Mr. Adair started his personal apostolate of taking pilgrims to the Marian Shrines of Europe in 1982. Regina Tours officially incorporated and began business in November of 1985, It has become the largest Catholic-only pilgrimage operator, transporting 4 to 5 thousand pilgrims per year. In January of 1997 Regina Tours allowed itself to become part of the CHT group of Jersey City, NJ. Mr. and Mrs. Adair are the parents of 8 children, the oldest of whom is the General Manager of Regina Tours. One of their sons is presently a student at Borromeo Seminary for the Diocese of Cleveland. An increase in priestly and religious vocations is one of the special aims of this apostolate. Mr. Adair has witnessed the conversions, healings, and emotion involved in these group pilgrimage tours, but most important are the number of passengers who are drawn to the center of the Catholic faith in the Eucharist. At its inception Regina Tours was dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe as Patroness of the Unborn. As Mr. Adair says, "Maybe by creating more devotion to her through pilgrimages, we can help stop abortions." In communion with this goal, Priests for Life likewise encourages the faithful, with their priests, to make pilgrimages of this kind. In fact, we invite our priest members to become chaplains for such pilgrimages. Fr. Frank Pavone, now working in Rome, will also meet with those pilgrimage groups who come there, according to what his schedule permits. For more information, call 1-800-CATHOLIC.

 

Resources in Spanish available soon!! Priests for Life is happy to announce that our entire range of brochures is currently being professionally translated into Spanish. We hope to have them available very soon. Please spread the word among those who minister to Spanish-speaking persons. Inquire about availability at (718) 980-4400 or 888-PFL-3448. 

 

Priests for Life Introduces Charitable Gift Annuities

Priests for Life is happy to announce that our friends and supporters now have another way to assist us in our important work. In addition to your prayers and regular contributions, you can now help us with a charitable gift annuity.

An annuity provides you with many benefits, and at the same time supports our pro-life work in the United States and throughout the world.

In exchange for your gift (minimum suggested gift is $5,000), Priests for Life will pay you a set amount each year for the rest of your life. Part of your initial gift is tax-deductible and part of each year's payment is considered tax-free income by the IRS.

So you get tax benefits and a guaranteed income for the rest of your life.

Perhaps most important, your gift will help spread the faith and help put an end to abortion.

For additional information, contact our main office at: P.O. Box 141172 Staten Island, NY 10314; (718) 980-4400; e-mail: pfl@priestsforlife.org

 

You're Never Too Old to Save a Life!

People beyond childbearing age may tell us, "Abortion is not my problem--I'm too old for that!"

While such people may be too old to have a child, they can never be too old to save a child. By our active concern, any one of us can save the life of a baby scheduled to die. To try to save our youngest brothers and sisters is an expression of love. Are we ever too old to save a life? Are we ever too old to love?

Parents and grandparents, furthermore, have a crucial, sometimes decisive role in the attitudes of their children and grandchildren toward abortion. Do they pass on a concern for life? Do they convey compassion, so that if their daughter or granddaughter were to become pregnant, she would know she could turn to them for understanding, rather than turn to the abortionist?

Despite age, people can continue to make their voices heard in arenas of public opinion and the political process.

Let nobody say they are too old to be concerned about abortion. As long as we possess life, we have the duty to defend life.

Our members are encouraged to remember the following intentions when they pray the Liturgy of the Hours: 

September intention: For blessings upon all pro-life organizations.

October intention: That parish pro-life organizations may grow in numbers and effectiveness.

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Priests for Life
PO Box 141172 • Staten Island, NY 10314
Tel. 888-735-3448, (718) 980-4400 • Fax 718-980-6515
mail@priestsforlife.org