Priests for Life Newsletter

Volume 16, Number 3
May-June 2006

 

“I hope that many priests and deacons will join the Priests for Life. This Association needs many members to educate and encourage all the priests and deacons who must all work together to stop the terrible war against unborn children.” – (Blessed) Mother Teresa of Calcutta, January 24, 1995 letter to Priests for Life.

 

 

Table of Contents

 

 

 

Our Other Ministries

 

Healing After Abortion

 

Clergy Training

 

Ecumenical Outreach

 

Youth Outreach

 

Washington DC Outreach

 

Calling All Priests: Please Sign the Common Statement Below

 

On February 28, 55 members of the US House of Representatives signed a “Catholic Statement of Principles.” They claim to be “committed to…protecting the most vulnerable among us.” Yet most of the signers oppose a ban on partial-birth abortion. You can read their statement, and see their voting records, at www.priestsforlife.org/statement.

 

In response, we ask you to sign the appeal below. A strong showing of priests behind this appeal will make it clear to “pro-choice” legislators that they cannot continue use their ‘Catholicism’ to make their abortion positions more acceptable. We will post the statement and deliver it to the legislators and the media. Please sign onto our statement online at www.priestsforlife.org/statement. If you need to fax it instead, you may use one of the following numbers: 718-980-6515, 718-980-6944, 718-980-3900, 718-980-6932, 718-980-2137, or 718-980-7191. Thank you!

 

An Appeal to our Public Officials

 

The Catholic Church, and we as Catholic priests, are pro-life in the most comprehensive sense of the term. We proclaim and call our people to work for a just society that safeguards human life and dignity at every stage and in every circumstance. All life issues are interconnected, and one cannot claim to respect life at one stage but throw it away at another.

 

That is why Pope John Paul II, in Christifideles Laici, declared, ‘Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights -- for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture -- is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination’ (n. 38). That is also why the United States Bishops wrote in 1998: “The failure to protect and defend life in its most vulnerable stages renders suspect any claims to the 'rightness' of positions in other matters” (Living the Gospel of Life , n.23).

 

To all Catholics in public office who want to be committed to protecting the most vulnerable among us, we appeal today: Take to heart the words of the bishops and the Holy Father, and do not exclude unborn children from the vulnerable people you want to protect! As priests committed to a consistent ethic of life, we applaud every effort to advance human dignity. But we likewise oppose the attempt of some in public office to soften the contradiction between being Catholic and being “pro-choice” on abortion. Tolerance of abortion not only contradicts the Catholic Faith; it also contradicts the American way, which is one of equality for every human being, and likewise contradicts human decency, which stands against all forms of violence. There is simply no excuse for a public official to fail to call for the protection of the lives of the youngest infants.

 

Please sign at www.priestsforlife.org/statement

 

Name: ______________________________________

 

Parish: ______________________________________

 

City: _________________  State: _________________

 

Three New Full-Time Priests on Staff!

 

Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, announced recently that three additional priests have joined the Priests for Life pastoral team: Fr. James Marshall, a Jesuit, Very Rev. Patrick Healy, a Josephite, and Fr. Dennis Weber, a priest of the Servants of Charity. Fr. Marshall and Fr. Healy have been given permission to work with Priests for Life on a full-time basis. Fr. Weber has begun working with us on a part-time basis. All of them will assist in proclaiming the pro-life message in parish visits nationwide, and ministering to the pro-life movement at events to which they are invited. This brings the number of our Priest-Associates on staff to ten, nine of whom are full-time.

 

In this newsletter, we will get to know Fr. Marshall a little better, and will have the biographical sketches of our other new Priest-Associates in future issues.

 

BIOGRAPHY FOR FR. JAMES A. MARSHALL, S.J.

 

Fr. James A. Marshall, S.J., was born and raised in El Paso, Texas, and entered the Society of Jesus in 1991.  He was ordained to the priesthood in June of 2003 and served in parishes in College Station, El Paso, and Spring, Texas, and Albuquerque, New Mexico.  He is currently a priest associate with Priests for Life.

 

Fr. Marshall earned a B.B.A. in Business Computer Systems from New Mexico State University and first heard his priestly calling as a graduate student at Texas A&M University.  As a Jesuit scholastic, Fr. Marshall earned a M.A. in Philosophy from St. Louis University and a M.Div. from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley.  He spent three years as a theology teacher at Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas, Texas, and a year as a chaplain resident at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas.

 

Fr. Marshall became interested in pro-life work during his years of theology studies in California.  The shocking realities that nearly half of all Bay Area pregnancies ended in abortion and that the casualties of the one-day tragedy of 9/11 were but a fraction of abortion’s every day casualties (multiplied by 365 days a year over many years) stirred in him an urgency to work in this area.

 

In his short time as a priest, Fr. Marshall has spent many hours on the sidewalks by abortion facilities in the cities he has worked, counseling women and men and praying.  He was a weekly guest on a Spanish-speaking radio talk show whose focus was abortion and has helped organize Rachel’s Vineyard and other post-abortion retreats, as well as retreats for Project Gabriel and other pro-life volunteers.  Fr. Marshall has served on the board of Fertility Care Services of El Paso, an organization that promotes the Creighton Model of natural family planning; he believes that the spiritual principles of St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises are a potentially indispensable tool for fighting the battle against the culture-of-death.

 

In a profound way, Fr. Marshall has experienced his work with the poor, the handicapped, the imprisoned, and youth as Christ’s invitation to enter into His wounds.  These deeply loved children of God are some of His most neglected and so reflect the image of the crucified Christ Himself.  Fr. Marshall yearns for the day when God’s most abandoned and despised children, the countless holy innocents aborted in the womb, will be reunited with their mothers and fathers at the Lamb’s Wedding Feast. 

 

Seminarian Pro-life Conference

 

Every summer, Priests for Life sponsors a national pro-life conference for Seminarians. This year, the conference will be held from August 18-24 in Amarillo, Texas, at the new headquarters of Priests for Life and the newly-formed Missionaries of the Gospel of Life. Most Reverend John Yanta, Bishop of Amarillo, will speak about why he is a bishop who is also a pro-life activist. Fr. Frank Pavone will share the insights he has gained from 13 years of preaching about abortion every day across the nation. Other national experts will come to speak about healing after abortion and new initiatives in the pro-life cause.

 

Those who attend the conference are welcome to stay for an evening celebration on August 24th that will include the Groundbreaking Ceremonies for the new facilities of the Missionaries of the Gospel of Life, the first Society of Apostolic Life dedicated exclusively to ending abortion and euthanasia.

 

Sponsorship is available for seminarians who need it. To register, email seminarians@priestsforlife.org, or call Dan at 888-735-3448, ext. 260, and send a $50 deposit to Priests for Life -- Seminarian Conference, c/o Janet Morana -- Dept. J, PO Box 141172 Staten Island, NY 10314

 

 

A Vatican Invitation

 

Priests for Life, in conjunction with the Pontifical Council for the Family, invites you to attend the World Meeting of Families, to be held in Valencia, Spain from July 1-9, 2006. This world gathering is called by the Pope every three years to celebrate the divine gift that is the family. It brings together hundreds of thousands of families from the five continents to pray, talk, learn, share and go into depth on the understanding of the role of the Christian family as a domestic Church and basic unit for evangelization.

 

Some of the highlights: July 4-7: Theological/pastoral conference with presentations from experts on life and family; July 8: an evening gathering of prayer, song, and testimony; July 9: Concluding Mass with the Holy Father.

 

The Pontifical Council for the Family, which organizes this event, is the Vatican office that has pastoral responsibility for the Church’s ministry of life and family throughout the world. Fr. Frank Pavone has served as an Official of this Council, and Priests for Life enjoys a close working relationship with them. His Eminence, Alfonso Cardinal Lopez-Trujillo, has been on the Priests for Life Advisory Board of Bishops since its inception.

 

For further information, visit www.emf2006.org/en

 

 

Vocations

 

Priests for Life is accepting applications now for its new community, the Missionaries of the Gospel of Life. Those who feel a vocation to the priesthood or diaconate and want to do full-time pro-life ministry may email vocations@priestsforlife.org for more information on how to obtain an application. Please mention this to people you know who are inclined in this direction. Training for the next group of those accepted will start on August 18 in Amarillo, Texas. Visit www.priestsforlife.org/vocations for additional details.

 

 

Prayer Intentions

 

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

 

May intention: That many graduates may devote themselves full-time to the pro-life movement.

June intention: For fathers who are trying to save their unborn children from abortion.

 

Be a Lay Affiliate of the Missionaries of the Gospel of Life!

Priests for Life has established a new community in the Church, the Missionaries of the Gospel of Life, which trains priests, deacons, and laity for pro-life ministry. Along with those who live in community, we also have lay affiliate members who, make certain commitments to prayer, personal study, and pro-life work to the extent that their duties permit. We provide opportunities for local gatherings in which they learn the spirituality of the Society and gather with other people who are making a similar commitment.

Very simply, whatever pro-life work a person is already doing can now be done in the context of the spiritual commitment to belong to this Society, and with the special blessing of the Church which such membership brings.

Jim Pinto, full-time Pastoral Associate of Priests for Life, is the coordinator of our lay affiliates program.

For some throughout the pro-life movement, there is a sense of isolation from the local Church, particularly when there isn't the leadership or encouragement that should be available at the parish level. Pro-life activists are sometimes made to feel like "outsiders."

With the establishment of our new Society, however, as an official "Society of Apostolic Life," the blessing and support of the Church will be felt in a new way and pro-life activists will be affirmed in what they are doing by their unity with other members of the Society.

This new Pro-life Society is a direct response to the call issued by John Paul II in Evangelium Vitae: “What is urgently called for is a general mobilization of consciences and a united ethical effort to activate a great campaign in support of life. All together, we must build a new culture of life” (EV, n.95).  

 

The members of this Society witness before the Church and the world to the priority of the right to life as the foundation of all other rights, and to the absolute claims to respect and protection that this right makes upon every individual and community in the human family. The Society promotes and defends the natural human right to life, in the light of the Gospel, focusing in particular on ending the scourge of abortion.

 

The members of our Society undertake a process of spiritual and pro-life formation, and then make special promises to defend human life and to collaborate with the Society by following its spirituality and sharing its mission to the extent that their duties allow.

 

Members participate in four overarching spiritual disciplines:

 

If you would like to inquire about joining the lay affiliates program of the Missionaries of the Gospel of Life, please take the following steps:

 

You will be updated on the latest opportunities to assist you in discerning your lay membership in the Missionaries of the Gospel of Life!

 

A Distant Thunder

 

There are pro-life people who work in Hollywood, and two of them – Jonathan and Deborah Flora – have created a new tool to help the American people wrestle with abortion. “A Distant Thunder” is a powerful new 35-minute film that combines courtroom drama and supernatural warfare to help reveal the reality of what abortion does to a baby, and to the baby’s mother. The film helps the viewer wrestle with the issues and their implications, but is not presented in explicitly pro-life or religious themes. What it does, instead, is to help the viewer touch some of the aspects of the abortion issue that the other sides tries so desperately to cover up. In touching these painful and often scary facets of the issue, the viewer has the opportunity to let the light of conscience and compassion inform his or her conclusions.

 

The court case is about a partial-birth abortion that went wrong. The abortionist is on trial, not for having done a partial-birth abortion, but for what he did when the procedure went awry. One of the key witnesses is the nurse who witnessed the abortion. She testifies to how the procedure takes place, and to what went wrong this particular time. The nurse’s eyewitness testimony reveals to the jury the incredible details of a partial-birth abortion. In the film, the reaction of the jury to these details is predictable. They are disgusted and horrified, as are the American people in general when they hear about this procedure. The reaction of the defense attorney is also predictable. He objects that it is unnecessary to relate these graphic details in the courtroom. This brings to mind a scene from “Judgment at Nuremburg” when, after a film is shown in the courtroom of the indisputable horror of the Holocaust, the defense argues that it is inappropriate to show such graphic imagery in the court. Similar objections were made in the halls of the US Congress when the diagrams of partial-birth abortion were shown during the debates about whether to ban it. Defenders of evil always want to hide what it looks like from the eyes of the public.

 

The film proceeds to a surprise ending that brings together the human, divine, public, and personal aspects of abortion. Without a doubt, A Distant Thunder will become one of the most powerful tools to assist people to re-evaluate abortion.

 

Order Form

Please mail your order to: Priests for Life P.O. Box 141172, Staten Island, NY 10314

Or fax it to (718) 980-3900 or Email: orders@priestsforlife.org 

 

Please send me _________  copies of the DVD “A Distant Thunder” (Product #1888) at $16.00 each, for total of $____________ Quantity 

 

Donation $__________

 

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__I have made my check payable to: Priests for Life.

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Our educational material at Priests for Life is always derived from original sources. Moreover, our daily interaction with the pro-life movement, government, media, and Church at every level and our extensive contacts within the abortion industry provide insights that you can find in few other places, if any. Keep on top of Priests for Life products at www.pflstore.com!

 

Stay Connected with us!

 

Subscribe to our Email services:

Information and inspiration every two weeks from Fr. Frank Pavone: subscribe@priestsforlife.org

Weekly email with pro-life liturgical resources for priests and deacons: clergy@priestsforlife.org

 

Watch our TV Programs:

Defending Life on EWTN every Friday at 10pm ET (repeated Saturday at 2:30am).

Gospel of Life on Sky Angel’s “Angel One” every Monday at 3:30am ET, Tuesday at 2:00 am, Thursday at 8:30am, and Saturday at 7:30pm.

 

Listen to our Radio Programs:

Life on the Line is on every weekend on AM stations nationwide. Consult www.LifeOntheLine.com for stations and times.

 

Come to hear our speakers:

It won’t be long before one of our speakers will be near your community again! The schedule of most of the public talks given by our pastoral team is posted on our website at www.priestsforlife.org/speakers.

 

Please publicize this information in your parish bulletins and pro-life newsletters to assist more people to come into contact regularly with the latest pro-life information!

 

Newsletter Issues

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

Subscribe to Fr. Frank's bi-weekly prolife column (free): subscribe@priestsforlife.org 

Click here to See What Abortion Looks Like!

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