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Priests for Life Newsletter

Volume 4, Number 3
Summer 1994

Contents

Fr. Frank Visits Mother Teresa In Calcutta and brings Home Special Message to Priests

PFL Receives Cardinal Mahony's Endorsement

The Streets: We Can Do More Than You Think!

Let's Face Our Fears, Part 3

Mother Teresa sends pro-life message to American Priests mteresatrio.jpg (23474 bytes)
Fr. Frank speaking to Mother Teresa's sisters
Mother Teresa
shares encouragement
with Fr. Frank

Fr. Frank Visits Mother Teresa In Calcutta
And Brings Home Special Message to Priests

From June 18 to 21, Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, visited with Mother Teresa at her Motherhouse in Calcutta, India. During the four day visit, Father was able to say Mass several times for the sisters, give them two talks on the pro-life movement, and have several personal meetings with Mother Teresa.

Priests for Life is co-sponsor of the National Youth Day (Denver, 1994). Fr. Pavone had been asked by Youth Day director Kevin Cunningham to assist in extending to Mother Teresa an invitation to speak to the youth of America on the need to be active in pro-life work. During the visit, Mother Teresa gave a message of encouragement to the youth of America to be active in fighting abortion, and said she will try to attend the National Youth Day in Denver.

Mother Teresa was excited to hear about the work of Priests for Life, and expressed her desire that the priests not hesitate to teach and preach on the sanctity of life. She gave Fr. Pavone a hand-written message for the priests which reads, "Dear Priests of Jesus: Be only all for Jesus through Mary. Be not be afraid to let Jesus use you for His own and as His own. Be holy. Let us pray. God bless you. Mother Teresa."

She also expressed her desire to have priests enroll themselves in "Veronica Intercessory," whereby they will be personally prayed for by one of the Missionaries of Charity sisters. Priests for Life can provide more information on this.

Mother Teresa specifically requests that every priest distribute throughout his parish copies of her speech at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington. Priests for Life will assist in this distribution. Interested priests can receive a master copy from the Priests for Life office, together with distribution suggestions.

After hearing one of Fr. Pavone's talks to her sisters, Mother Teresa said to Fr. Pavone, "This would be very good for our priests," and took him to the Archbishop's residence in Calcutta for a meeting with the vicar general to arrange for a series of talks to the priests, seminarians, and religious of India. Priests for Life is quickly acquiring an international character.

Priests for Life is very grateful to Mother Teresa for her leadership on pro-life issues. May all priests follow her courageous example!

 

From the Director

P.F.L. Receives Cardinal Mahony's Endorsement

My brother priests,

Priests for Life is currently reaching over half of the priests in the country with encouragement to confront the abortion tragedy. Roger Cardinal Mahony, Chairman of the NCCB Pro-life Committee, has been kept informed of our activities, and after a recent meeting with me and Fr. Jim Heyd, sent us a strong letter of endorsement. He writes in part, "I am also very honored to offer my approval and endorsement of Priests for Life so that many of our brother priests in the Dioceses and Archdioceses across the country may come to know about this outstanding work and to embrace it as a very special and personal apostolate for themselves.

"It is my fond hope that many chapters of Priests for Life will be established throughout our country, and that many of our brother priests will take a very active role in the overall mission and goals of this fine priestly fraternity. I know of no other work in the Church today that so clamors for the active, visible, and vocal involvement of the priests of our nation than Priests for Life."

We have also received personal encouragement from Mother Teresa (see accompanying article).

We are blessed to have Sue Finn here at the main office as a full-time assistant. She has been with Priests for Life since May and is assisting in the expansion of our projects.

We are currently compiling specific action plans. Priests who are full members (see form inside) will receive direct mailings about action steps that need to be taken to help bring an end to the killing.

Preach vigorously, act decisively, and please be in touch with us as we continue to save lives.

Sincerely,

Fr. Frank A. Pavone

 

PFL needs your help!

Priests for Life is saving lives by reaching thousands of priests and laity with materials and encouragement to bring an end to abortion, yet there is so much more work that needs to be done.

PFL is supported solely by the donations of private individuals, and we need your help. We want to continue to travel to bring the pro-life message to priests around the nation, and around the world. We plan to open numerous PFL Chapters, to distribute Mother Teresa's pro-life speech, and much more. Please send in a generous donation today, and each month. Thanks for helping us to save lives and help moms. God bless you!

 

The Streets: We Can Do More Than You Think!

As you know, the F.A.C.E. bill (Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances) was recently signed into law by the President. Also, the Supreme Court ruled against pro-lifers in the Madsen decision. The F.A.C.E. bill makes it a federal offense to peacefully blockade abortion mills or to physically hinder or attempt to physically hinder a woman from procuring an abortion. In the Madsen decision, the Supreme Court said that a local city can pass a 36 foot zone ordinance around an abortion mill in which a person cannot peacefully pray, pass out literature, speak a pro-life message or share information.

abortionmills32d.jpg (24707 bytes)
Fr. Tom Ganley and Fr. Frank lead pro-life activity at New Jersey abortion mill.

These rulings indicate that our government, in conjunction with the pro-abortion industry, is declaring war on the free speech of pro-lifers and of Christians.

We have a responsibility at this time to encourage our people to exercise their First Amendment rights without fear. The only way to keep our rights is to exercise them. We must lead our people out into the streets, both at abortion mills and elsewhere, to continue to sound the trumpet against the killing of babies. If we are silent, who will speak up for the babies? If nobody speaks up, how can the killing ever stop?

The pro-abortion movement does not only want to keep abortion legal. They want us to go away. Our response must be, "We will NOT go away." The fact that pro-abortion legislation is being passed in Washington D.C. does not absolve us of responsibility to save the babies being killed down the street. Just as our right to life is inalienable, so our duty to defend life is inalienable.

The danger to the babies is not that Bill Clinton is sitting in the White House, but that we are sitting in our houses! We need to get out on the streets and stop the killing once and for all.

Since the passage of the F.A.C.E. bill, Fr. Frank Pavone has led several Life Chains, pickets, and prayer vigils in front of abortion mills and on public streets. Please organize similar demonstrations of the truth in your community. If you need further assistance or suggestions please contact the PFL office. Let's get out on the streets, where the truth needs to be spoken!

 

Let's Face Our Fears, Part 3

Fr. Frank Pavone

1. Do I simply feel inadequate to the task of addressing abortion? There may be variations on this theme, which are addressed in the next several questions. In general, there may be a lack of self confidence. If so, we need to strengthen our confidence by becoming more informed about the issue, by speaking with other priests who are active in the movement, by prayer, and by experience. There is sometimes a fear that we will give the issue the wrong emphasis ("coming down too hard," "fostering guilt," "sounding uncaring"). To help counteract this, we can resolve that our speaking on abortion will always include reference to the help available to women in need, as well as to the peace and forgiveness Christ offers through His Church.

2. Do I believe abortion is too complex to be addressed in the homily? If this is our attitude, we can ask, "How is it complex?" Certainly it is psychologically complex. Morally, however, it is quite straightforward: abortion is a direct killing of an innocent person, and is therefore always wrong. Nothing can justify it. Is it "too complex to denounce killing in a homily? Is it "too Complex" to point out injustice toward the most defenseless members of society? Is it "too complex" to proclaim that there is help available for pregnant women, and that there are better choices than abortion? How is this any more complex than addressing racism, poverty, warfare, or drug abuse?

3. Does the complexity of a large and varied congregation deters me from addressing abortion? Any good public speaker knows that a primary rule is "Know your audience." A Sunday congregation is a varied audience, in terms of age, education, and spiritual maturity. The problem of addressing such a group is not limited to abortion. For ANY subject, we must exercise sensitivity and prudence. At the same time, our audience is not in a vacuum, nor are they living in a Christian society. We must consider the shocking, confusing, and erroneous messages they are constantly hearing outside the Church. Young people are being corrupted. Our challenge is to provide them with truth that will counteract the corrupting errors they hear elsewhere. If our criterion in preaching is that every person will immediately understand everything we say, we are using an unrealistic and unnecessary criterion. People will so differ, furthermore, in their estimation about what is "appropriate", that there will ALWAYS be some criticism. We must live with that. We should make it clear that we are always open to speak with people privately if questions or misunderstandings arise due to our preaching. Using prudence, we must at the same time ask, "If they don't hear the truth from us, exactly where and when will they hear it?" Do we allow a pro-abortion-rhetoric-saturated society, intent on covering up the truth about how terrible abortion is, to have the first, last, and only word with people whom we are responsible to shepherd?

 

Why One Teen Wants To Hear About Abortion In Church

"Teens want to hear about abortion so that they can better understand what abortion really is and what the effects are. They need to know that there is another choice besides abortion. Teens may not know about these things if they don't hear about it in church."

-- a teen from NY

 

From Our Brother Priests . . .

I am stationed in tourist country . . . From time to time I preach about the sacredness of life and against abortion. It's amazing what a fine bit of positive feedback I get from worshipers, including the many visitors. A good number say to me, "Come to our parish; we never hear anything against abortion."

-- A Midwest Member

 

You're Invited to a November Conference

Join other Priests for Life at the annual "Totus Tuus" Conference of the Apostolate for Family Consecration, to be held in Philadelphia from Friday, November 18 (9:00 am) to Sunday, November 20 (6:00 pm). At Friday's luncheon, special emphasis will be given to priests and deacons who will take part in a question and answer period with several Cardinals from Rome. Banquet fee is $24.50. For more information, call 614-765-4301.

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