Priests for Life - Gospel of Life Ministries
March - April 2008 Vol. 18 www.priestsforlife.org Number 2

Priests for Life is Supported Only by You!

Priests for Life is not subsidized by dioceses, the Bishops’ Conference, or the Vatican. We rely completely on donations from individuals like you!

All contributions are tax-deductible, and may be designated for specific projects if you so choose.

You may donate at www.priestsforlife.org/donate, or by making a check payable to “Priests for Life” and sending it to PO Box 141172, Staten Island, NY 10314. You can indicate your donation on the form on page 4 and send that in as well.

If you wish to support us with a monthly donation, you may sign up online or call us at 718-980-4400, ext. 232, and we will arrange to charge your credit card automatically, in the amount you designate and for the time period you designate.

 
Priests for Life Names Director of Hispanic Outreach

Fr. Victor Salomon, Priest-Associate of Priests for Life, has been named Director of Hispanic Outreach. In that capacity, he will preach in Spanish-speaking parishes, represent Priests for Life at Hispanic conferences, expand the range of materials that Priests for Life publishes in Spanish, and produce television and radio programs in Spanish. We are grateful for Fr. Victor’s commitment to the pro-life cause and the mission of Priests for Life!

 Join our 2008 Novenas

At www.PrayerCampaign.org, Priests for Life provides a daily ongoing Novena to End Abortion, as well as special novenas that correspond to particular liturgical seasons and feasts of the year.

The remainder of this year’s novenas and/or special seasonal prayers include the following:

Novena starting on Terri’s Day: (Mar. 31) to April 8
Pentecost Novena for Life: May 3-11
Independence Day Novena: June 26-July 4
Novena for the 40th Anniversary of Humanae Vitae: July 17-25
Assumption Novena for Life: August 7-15
Novena to Blessed Mother Teresa: August 28 – Sept 5
Novena to St. Gerard Majella (Patron Saint of Pregnancy and Childbirth):
October 8-16
Novena for Priests, leading to Priesthood Sunday: October 18-26
Our Lady of Guadalupe Novena: December 4-12
Election Novena: Nine weeks of prayer starting September 1, Labor Day, and ending on Election Day, November 4.

We invite you to participate in and promote these prayer opportunities on your websites
and newsletters. 


Priests for Life Reaching
our Nation’s Youth

At this time of the year we invite schools to plan to remember the unborn at their commencement ceremonies this year. We challenge each school to mention in the school yearbook and at the ceremony itself that there are many students who would have been graduating had they not been lost to abortion. Honor their memory, and at the same time assure those who have had abortions that the mercy of Christ and the Church are available to them.

Here is feedback we recently received.

On behalf of Carroll High School, I'd like to say thanks for bringing Fr. Pavone to us today.

His approach was excellent. I liked how he focused on facts, and the respectful way that he approached the issue and the students.

I liked also how he tied in the abortion issue with all the other justice issues of our day, including poverty, war, capital punishment, euthanasia, etc….

We had initial fears that he might be a polarizing figure and create a defensive reaction among those who are unsure of their position on abortion. To the contrary, he spoke the truth about this issue in both a bold, yet respectful way. I feel confident that his approach probably knocked a few kids off the fence, to the pro-life side of course!

God Bless,
Dennis Brun, Campus Ministry Department
Carroll High School, Dayton, Ohio
Self-Sacrifice in
the Defense of Life
Fr. Peter West; Priest-Associate, Priests for Life

Fr. Peter West 
Fr. Peter West 
 On Palm Sunday, Jesus rode into
Jerusalem on a donkey. Though he was God he humbled himself to come among us as an embryo. He was born in a stable, worked as a humble carpenter and now he rides into Jerusalem on a donkey knowing he will be betrayed, rejected and crucified.

Christ’s Passion reminds us of how great his love is for us. He humbled himself and willingly submitted to such tremendous suffering for us. The Passion should remind us of our dignity and the dignity of each and every human being created in the likeness of God.

Cardinal John Henry Newman points out that even if you were the only sinner in the world, Jesus would have undergone his Passion just for you. We are made in the image and likeness of God, redeemed by His blood. Our destiny is to share everlasting happiness with him in heaven. This dignity belongs to every human being from the moment of conception to natural death. If we fail to appreciate our dignity in the eyes of God or out of sinful pride reject God in His commandments, then we will begin to evaluate others falsely by wealth, health, prestige, outward appearance, size, stage of development.

Many live as if there was no God or they make themselves like gods or claim rights that belong to God alone - who lives, who dies, interfering with God’s plan for procreation through contraception, in-vitro fertilization, abortion, cloning and experimenting on human embryos, euthanasia or physician assisted suicide. We can be tempted to separate ourselves from others, caring only about ourselves and our families alone, with little thought given to eternal life or correcting injustices. But Jesus taught us that we must imitate his humble service. He taught us the way to salvation was to take up our own cross and follow him.

A true follower of Christ will not be afraid to make sacrifices and even face death. By his death and resurrection Jesus has taken away the sting of death. Shortly before his own death Pope John Paul II said “We must get used to thinking confidently about the mystery of death so that the definitive encounter with God occurs in a climate of interior peace.”

Christians don’t fear death, but nor do they cause death. When the early Christians embraced the faith they rejected abortion and infanticide that were common at that time. The Second Vatican Council called abortion and euthanasia infamies that poison human society. It said they do more harm to those who practice them than to those who suffer the injury. Sin always hurts the sinner more than anyone. Judas and Pontius Pilate did more to harm themselves than they did to hurt Jesus.

A woman who had an abortion once said to me about her abortion “The baby dies once, but the woman dies a little bit every day.” But the good news is that Christ died for sinners. Through Rachel’s Vineyard retreats and other post abortion ministries we promote a message of forgiveness and hope.

The Society of Centurions is a group of former abortionists who have now repented. They are named after the Roman centurion spoken of in the Gospel of St. Luke who repented of his role in the crucifixion, glorified God and said “This man was innocent, beyond doubt.” (Luke 23, 47)

All of us called by Christ to serve; to spread His Gospel of mercy and life. What kind of disciples will we be? Will we be like the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. John the Apostle and St. Mary Magdalene who stood faithfully at the foot of the Cross or will we be like Peter who denied Jesus, Judas who betrayed him, Pontius Pilate who condemned an innocent man or the crowd who called out for Barabbas?

Blessed Franz Jagerstatter, an Austrian, was beheaded by the Nazis in 1943 when he refused to join the army. In the spring of 1938 he voted against the annexation of Austria by Germany. Afterwards many citizens were arrested, tortured and killed. In response Blessed Franz said “I believe what happened that Holy Thursday 1,900 years ago when the crowd was given a free choice between the innocent Savior and the criminal Barabbas.”

Sometimes when we vote, we are given a similar choice. Do we vote based on personality, party affiliation or self-interest and forget the unborn or do we vote for people we know will advance our values, starting with the defense of the most important human right – the right to life.

Ask God to help you recognize your dignity as a child of God who died for you. Pray that God will help you to protect the dignity of others, especially those most threatened. Through the Eucharist which Christ left us as a memorial of his suffering and death, may he give us the strength to build a culture of life.

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Priests for Life

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 

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