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Priests for Life Newsletter

Volume 13, Number 4
July-August 2003

Priest Profile- Rev. John T. Catoir, J.C.D.
National Christian Voter Registration Sundays
Divine Mercy
Bulletin Insert in Spanish
General Intercessions
Prayer Intentions
From the Abortion Providers
Calling All Priests
Assist Our Work

"Proud to Be Associated…"

Priest Profile- Rev. John T. Catoir, J.C.D.

By Anthony DeStefano, Executive Director

"When I first came to know of Priests for Life, I was very suspicious of your organization," admits Fr. John Catoir, founder and president of St. Jude Media Ministries, and well-known author and radio personality. "I have to tell you, I initially thought Priests for Life was some ‘elite group’ priests who were trying to set themselves apart from the rest of the clergy in terms of their devotion to the pro-life cause. I felt this was very manipulative. There seemed to be an implication that unless one joined your group he was not pro-life."

We’re happy to report that Fr. Catoir doesn’t feel this way any more. "Abortion, the death penalty, and the other life issues are so central that there is definitely a need to focus on them. The moral imperative of being for life is so powerful, overwhelming and true that one must be actively pro-life. As I’ve learned more about the work and mission of Priests for Life, I’ve come to see that you have a very important role to play in the Church and in society."

"Abortion stops a beating heart. That really sums it all up," continues Fr. Catoir. "I’m proud to be associated with Priests for Life."

Fr. Catoir's whole life has been devoted to helping the general public recognize the inherent dignity of every human being, regardless of race, religion, background, physical condition or age. Born in Manhattan in 1931, he served two years in the Army during the Korean War before entering Immaculate Conception seminary in New Jersey. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Paterson in 1960. Receiving a doctorate in Canon Law in 1964, he was soon appointed the Judicial Vicar of his Diocese where he served for nearly ten years. During that period, the Canon Law Society of America elected him to their Board of Governors.

In 1978, Fr. Catoir was tapped to be executive director of The Christophers, a Catholic multi-media organization based in New York. He served in that position for nearly 18 years, where he hosted the well-known nationally syndicated TV program, "Christopher Close-up."

In 1997 the board of directors of Eva’s Village, New Jersey’s most comprehensive poverty program, asked him to be their executive director. This program feeds over a thousand free meals a day to the poor and homeless, and shelters hundreds of homeless men and women each year. They also have a free medical clinic for the poor, and a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center, which houses recovering addicts.

Over the years, Father Catoir has received four honorary doctorates, and has been elected president of three distinct national organizations. He is the author of more than 20 books, and writes a biweekly syndicated column for the Catholic News Service. Recently, he completed the third book of his Joy Trilogy, entitled "Enjoy Your Precious Life" (subtitled - "Spiritual Joy Through Faith and Will -Training," Alba House Publishing Co., Staten Island, NY).

Fr. Catoir can be reached by email at, at his website,, and by mail c/o Nazareth, Box 745, Chester, NJ 07930.


National Christian Voter Registration Sundays

The prophets of old had the opportunity to challenge kings who departed from God's law. In our nation, we have the opportunity not only to challenge them but to choose them.

Yet too many Christians are not even registered to vote; polls in the 2000 elections, in fact, showed only half of Christians registered, and only half of those going to the voting booth. Yet our participation in the election process is an obligation for us. To take part in this process is a virtue. Here's what our bishops have written on the subject:

"We encourage all citizens, particularly Catholics, to embrace their citizenship not merely as a duty and privilege, but as an opportunity meaningfully to participate in building the culture of life. Every voice matters in the public forum. Every vote counts. Every act of responsible citizenship is an exercise of significant individual power…We get the public officials we deserve. Their virtue -- or lack thereof -- is a judgment not only on them, but on us" (1998, Living the Gospel of Life, n.34).

Priests for Life is happy to announce that specific weekends over the next two years will be designated as National Christian Voter Registration Sundays. Groups such as the Christian Coalition and the National Pro-life Religious Council are likewise joining in this effort and calling for this observance. This is simply a way to encourage pastors to do what any Church is entitled to do: to give their congregation an opportunity to register to vote, if they are not registered already. It only takes five minutes, filling out some information about one's name, address, and citizenship.

This activity, conducted in a non-partisan manner, is perfectly legal within all the guidelines of the IRS and the FEC. (For more detailed verification, consult the "Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations," published by the IRS and posted at, and the "Political Activity Guidelines for Catholic Organizations" published by the legal counsel of the US Bishops' Conference and posted at

The upcoming Voter Registration Sundays will be September 7, November 9, and January 18. Interested pastors and parish volunteers will be given guidance on how to proceed. See for more information!


Divine Mercy

Fr. Frank Pavone, Founding Director

The Holy Father has given a new gift to the pro-life movement.

The faithful are increasingly familiar with the picture of Jesus standing with his hand pointed to his heart, from which red and pale rays emanate. The words "Jesus, I trust in you" are at the bottom. This image represents the devotion to Divine Mercy, based on revelations given to St. Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938). The image itself was revealed to her, as was the "Chaplet of Divine Mercy," in which we pray the following words:

"Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world."

Pope John Paul II has fostered this devotion within the Church, and has declared the Sunday after Easter to be Divine Mercy Sunday. Many of the faithful, especially in the pro-life movement, practice this devotion.

Indeed, the link between this devotion and abortion is established by St. Faustina herself and recorded in her "Diary." Fr. Seraphim Michalenko, MIC, who was a principal translator of St. Faustina's diary, and the postulator of her cause of canonization, writes the following:

"On at least three occasions, from 8:00-11:00 in the evening, she felt like her insides were being torn apart. She suffered so much that she thought she was going to die. The doctors couldn't figure out what was ailing her, and no medication was able to alleviate her sufferings. Later, she was given to understand that she was undergoing those pains for mothers who were aborting their children (Diary, 1276).

"On another occasion, she had a vision of an angel coming with thunderbolts to destroy one of the most beautiful cities of her country. And she felt powerless to do anything about it (Diary, 474). What antidote did the Lord give her? The Chaplet of Divine Mercy. [She explained] that the city was to be chastised for its sins, primarily the sin of abortion." ("Wombs of Mercy," Marian Helpers Bulletin, Summer 1995, p.13).

Now the Pope has personally emphasized this connection once again, by signing a special Papal Blessing for those who pray the Chaplet for an end to abortion. The blessing, signed on the Feast of the Annunciation, March 25, 2003, is addressed to the Eucharistic Apostles of the Divine Mercy and to "all the faithful worldwide who join them in offering the Divine Mercy Chaplet…for mothers, that they not abort their offspring; for infants in danger of being put to death in the womb; for a change of heart of providers of abortions and of their collaborators; for human victims of stem cell research, genetic manipulation, cloning and euthanasia; and for all entrusted with the government of peoples, that they may promote the Culture of Life, so as to put an end to the culture of death."

God cannot fail to hear our prayer; let's not fail to pray it.


Bulletin Insert in Spanish

"Todo llamado en favor de los derechos humanos es una ilusión si se ataca el derecho a la vida" (Obispos de los EU, Faithful Citizenship, 1999)

¿Qué pasaría si le dijeran que todos sus derechos están garantizados y asegurados, excepto su derecho a la vida? ¿No sería esto una promesa falsa? Después de todo, nuestros derechos no sirven de nada si no estamos vivos para disfrutarlos.

Éste es el problema con los candidatos que parecen buenos porque promueven todos los derechos, pero impiden que los niños nazcan privándoles así el poder disfrutar de esos derechos. Ése es el problema de la mentalidad "pro-aborto". Escoger terminar con la vida de un bebé por medio del aborto es negarle a ese bebé todos sus derechos presentes y futuros.


General Intercessions

The bishops' Pastoral Plan for Pro-life Activities calls for pro-life petitions at every Mass. You will find intercessions in English and Spanish, tailored for each Sunday of the year, at

Prayer Intentions

You are encouraged to remember the following intentions as you pray the Liturgy of the Hours:

July intention: That men may grow in the authentic spirit of fatherly responsibility.

August intention: That preachers in all denominations may courageously preach about abortion and euthanasia.


From the Abortion Providers…

"Dr. [M.C.]…testified that the fetal skull is generally not intact following dismemberment of the body -- the jaw is often removed with the neck…[R]emoving the head intact…ensures that no parts of the skull are left behind" (Ohio: Women's Medical Professional Corp. v. Voinovich, 911 F.Supp. 1051).


Calling All Priests

If you have not already signed the commitment pledge to preach on political responsibility, please do so and send it to us. The text is at

Assist our Work!
Priests for Life is supported only by the generosity of individuals like you. Every gift you give goes to saving lives, and is tax-deductible.

Priests for Life
PO Box 236695 • Cocoa, FL 32923
Tel. 321-500-1000, Toll Free 888-735-3448 •