Priests for Life Newsletter

Volume 16, Number 6
November-December 2006



Table of Contents


Election Day – November 7


Whether you are reading this before or after Election Day, please be sure to visit our website  for critical information about the midterm elections!


Before and on Nov. 7, please vote and to get as many other people as possible to vote! Visit, Call and email your friends, co-workers, fellow parishioners, and get them to the polls! Take the day off on Election Day and work to get pro-life candidates elected! The results of Tuesday’s elections will impact how quickly we can restore protection to the unborn!


ZERO. That’s the number of Churches that have lost their tax-exempt status by urging people to vote, helping them get to the polls, and teaching them that Christians are to vote as Christians, evaluating candidates by their fidelity to God’s law, starting with the protection of life!


"At all times and in all places, the Church should have the true freedom to teach the faith, to proclaim its teaching about society, to carry out its task among men without hindrance, and to pass moral judgment even in matters relating to politics, whenever the fundamental rights of man or the salvation of souls requires it."  -- Second Vatican Council: Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (Gaudium et Spes), n.76.



Priests for Life Holds Groundbreaking for New Community of Priests and Laity to End Abortion 

Fr. Pavone becomes first Moderator General in Mass celebrated by Cardinal Martino


For the first time in Church history, a community of priests has been established whose primary mission is ending abortion.


On August 24, Priests for Life held a groundbreaking ceremony in Amarillo, Texas, for its new headquarters and the central house of the new community, the Missionaries of the Gospel of Life.  


Cardinal Renato Martino, the President of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace presided over the ceremonies, which started with a mass in which Fr. Frank Pavone professed his permanent promises in the presence of Bishop John Yanta, Bishop of Amarillo, and thereby was incardinated into the Society and installed as its first Moderator General.


His first act as Moderator General was to present to the first two seminarians of the Society the emblem of the Missionaries of the Gospel of Life. Patrick O’Donnell and Daniel Cochran completed their Year of Inquiry and began the Year of Aspirancy, reporting on August 25 to Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut.


Fr. Pavone then received the promises of the first group of Lay Associates, consisting of James Pinto, Jr. (the national Coordinator of the Lay Associates program), Janet Morana, Dr. Paul Schenck, Kevin Burke, and Joy Pinto.


He also introduced the four men who were just accepted for their Year of Inquiry: Heriberto Reyes, David Mullen, James Snow, and David Begany.


Concelebrating the Mass with Cardinal Martino and Bishop Yanta were Most Rev. Jose Gomez, Archbishop of San Antonio; Most Rev. Charles Grahmann, Bishop of Dallas; Most Rev. Kevin Vann, Bishop of Fort Worth; Most Rev. Michael Pfeifer, OMI, Bishop of San Angelo; Most Rev. Placido Rodriguez, CMF, Bishop of Lubbock; Most Rev. Renee Gracida, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi; Most Rev. George Fitzsimons, Bishop Emeritus of Salina, KS; and numerous priests, including the full-time and part-time members of the pastoral team of Priests for Life.


Following Mass, the groundbreaking ceremony was held at the site of the new facilities. Each of the Priest-Associates of Priests for Life read a prayer asking for God’s favor upon a particular aspect of the ministry of Priests for Life and the Missionaries of the Gospel of Life. Cardinal Martino said a prayer of blessing over the land itself.


In addition to remarks by Cardinal Martino, Bishop Yanta, and Fr. Frank Pavone, several special guests gave words of greeting at the groundbreaking ceremonies. These included Dr. Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King, Jr. and a member of the Priests for Life pastoral team; Norma McCorvey, the former “Jane Roe” of Roe vs. Wade, whom Fr. Pavone received into the Catholic Church in 1998; Bob and Mary Schindler, the parents of Terri Schiavo, along with her brother Bobby; and Mary O’Connor Ward, the sister of Cardinal John O’Connor, who ordained Fr. Pavone and gave him permission in 1993 to lead Priests for Life. Cardinal O’Connor and Fr. Pavone discussed the idea of a community of priests dedicated to pro-life ministry back in 1993, and the Cardinal encouraged Fr. Pavone to explore the possibility.


Fr. Pavone received various letters of congratulations from civic and religious leaders, some of which were read at the ceremony. Among those who wrote were President George W. Bush, Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) (pdf format), Dr. James Dobson (pdf format), Sandra Cano (the “Mary Doe” of Doe vs. Bolton, the companion case to Roe vs. Wade), Fr. Paul Marx, OSB, and Deacon Keith Fournier (Director of Deacons in the Service of Life, a national ministry of the Missionaries of the Gospel of Life).


At the conclusion of the ceremony, the Cardinal, with all the bishops and Fr. Pavone, took shovels in their hands and broke the ground to the cheers of all who were present.


“The mission of Priests for Life bears new fruit today,” Fr. Pavone explained. “Abortion is the paramount moral tragedy of our day. The Church acknowledges that in her teaching. She is also called to acknowledge that by the allocation of personnel and institutions focused exclusively on defending the right to life of the unborn. Our ministry, and our new community, is an example of that commitment.”


“This is an historic day,” Bishop Yanta commented, “and only God knows how significant it will prove to be for the pro-life movement in this country and around the world. Our diocese is proud to partner with Priests for Life in this work of the Holy Spirit.”


Fr. Pavone added, “We invite those who feel the call to devote their lives entirely to the protection of the unborn to come to us. Working in union with the entire pro-life movement, we will never turn back, and we will overcome.”


Last December, Cardinal Martino commented that this “community founded for the purpose of working to protect human life may seem like a sign of contradiction—but it may just be what the world of today needs! The call to protect life is not only a foundation of our faith as Catholics, but it is the very basis of our recognition of human rights and the right to life.”


On the morning of the groundbreaking, Fr. Pavone also convened a unique strategy meeting of priests from various organizations who work full-time on the pro-life cause. The next day, held a strategic meeting of pro-life leaders to discuss future initiatives of the movement. Cardinal Martino was present for both meetings.



December Brings Special Pro-life Feasts


The liturgical seasons and feasts always provide insight and incentive to our pro-life commitment, because they point to its source. The month of December, in particular, provides several high points.


The Advent season, of course, is a time to adore the Unborn Jesus. Christ redeemed human nature by assuming it, including in its earliest stages of development. Advent urges us to accompany in prayer, led by our heavenly Mother, all those mothers who are carrying children within them. Christmas, moreover, is not only the Feast of Christ’s Birth, but is more fundamentally the Feast of the Incarnation. All who share a human nature are in some way united with God through this event.


December 8 is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary (nine months later being her birthday, September 8). Again, our attention is focused on the fact that God calls us from before our birth for the mission he has for us in life.


The patroness of the pro-life movement, Our Lady of Guadalupe, is honored on December 12, and the one to whom her image was revealed – St. Juan Diego – is honored on December 9. Our Lady’s image, in which she is pregnant, converted Aztecs and ended human sacrifice. The image today stops many abortions as it is brought to the killing centers worldwide.


December 28 is the feast of the Holy Innocents. They remind us of the thousands of babies slaughtered each day in the womb.


Finally, on December 31 this year, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Family. The family is the sanctuary of life, where life, both born and unborn, is to be welcomed and nurtured. Without family, there can be no life, and without life, there can be no family.



 Oración a la Virgen María

Santa María, Madre de Jesús y Madre nuestra, nos dirigimos a Ti en este día, ya que fuiste Tú la que dijiste "SI" a la vida. "Concebirás y darás a luz a un Hijo", dijo el ángel. Sin importar la sorpresa y la incertidumbre que esto te causaría, Tú dijiste "SI". "Hágase en mí según tu palabra".

Santa María, oramos hoy por todas las Madres que tienen miedo de ser Madres. Oramos por todas las que se sienten amenazadas y abrumadas por sus embarazos. Intercede por ellas, para que Dios les conceda la gracia de poder decir "si" y el valor de llevar a plenitud su embarazo. Que reciban la gracia de rechazar la falsa solución del aborto. Que puedan decir como Tú, "Hágase en mi según Tu Palabra". Que puedan vivir y sentir la ayuda de todos los Cristianos y sepan que la paz viene al hacer la voluntad de Dios. 


Prayer Intentions      


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


November intention: That the disabled may be recognized and protected as persons at all times.


December intention: For the healing and reconciliation of all who have had or participated in abortions.


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Ending Abortion, Not Just Fighting It

By Fr. Frank A. Pavone, M.E.V.


In a collection of stirring and informative pro-life essays, the author convincingly portrays the negative ramifications that the abuse of freedom and the right to choose have unleashed on our society since abortion was legalized. Father Pavone insists that people of goodwill can end the scourge of abortion and restore the right to life for those who cannot speak for themselves.


216 pages. Size 5-1/2 x 8-1/4.
Published by Catholic Book Publishing Co.
Flexible cover
ISBN 0-89942-131-8
Price $9.95.

Place your advance order now.

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