Priests for Life Newsletter
Volume 7, Number 1
January - February 1997
Project Genesis-A Clarification
Two Powerful Poems
"Priest Profiles: Fr. Robert Rousseau"-Anthony DeStefano
PFL Travels by Land, Air, and Sea!
From The Director
My Brother Priests,
At a magnificent liturgy at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the
Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. the night before the 1996 March for
Life, Bernard Cardinal Law declared in his homily, "How scandalous it is to see
the evidence of Catholic votes supporting those who deny the Gospel of Life."
Again that evidence confronts us as we look back at the 1996 elections.
Are we not in a situation now that demands a profound examination of
conscience? What does it mean to shepherd our people in a country whose highest
leaders defend laws that claim to legitimize abortion? Regarding such laws, our
Holy Father has written, "a civil law authorizing abortion or euthanasia ceases
by that very fact to be a true, morally binding civil law…. There is no
obligation in conscience to obey such laws; instead there is a grave and clear
obligation to oppose them by conscientious objection" (Evangelium
"Conscientious objection" is a phrase that you and I need to translate into
practical pastoral action in our schools and parishes. There are many dimensions
to that translation. Here are a few:
1) clear and unambiguous preaching which proclaims that laws must obey
the Law: We need to help our people recognize the existence of higher laws and
authorities than those of our government.
2) prophetic witness to elected officials: Personal visits to
lawmakers on every level are more important than ever. Such visits are needed to
alert lawmakers to the horrors of abortion.
3) marches, rallies, parades, and other peaceful public demonstrations:
Unless we gather people visibly in large numbers, and do so regularly, to
proclaim this message, how will elected officials know that there are large
numbers of us who want the laws changed?
4) Old-fashioned leafleting: In organized ways, we need to blanket our
neighborhoods with clear, professionally prepared leaflets that accurately
communicate our message.
5) Use of the media: Let’s train our people to diligently use
editorial pages, call-in programs on radio and TV, public-access cable stations,
and other opportunities to call for change in our nation’s policies. Call us for
sample letters to the editor!
6) Pro-life training and retreats: The year 1997 will be marked by
aggressive efforts on our part to carry out both retreats and training seminars
so that both clergy and laity can spiritually and intellectually equip
themselves to persevere in the task that lies ahead.
My brothers, we who are priests must also be prophets. Our prophetic role,
particularly in regard to our government, will place greater and greater demands
upon us in the months ahead.
Nor is it too early to prepare for the elections of 1998 and 2000. Now is the
time to call for greater involvement in the electoral process. Now is the time
to form people’s consciences on the issues. Now is the time to ask how much
longer we will allow policy-makers to ignore our youngest brothers and sisters.
Now is the time to clarify one and for all whether, in the words of our bishops,
we will be "a sect fleeing the world" or "a community of faith called to renew
the earth" (Political Responsibility, Sept. 1995).
Be not afraid.
Fr. Frank Pavone
Project Genesis - A Clarification
As most readers of the Priests for Life Newsletter know, priests wear
many different hats. One of mine, before I joined Priests for Life, was a
co-author of the Project Genesis family life curriculum. In an earlier
edition of the Priests for Life Newsletter, there was an article about
Project Genesis. This article was a Notice of Publication. It did not intend
to imply that Project Genesis was a Priests for Life publication or a
Priests for Life undertaking. Project Genesis is neither. The Notice of
Publication was printed in the Newsletter as a service to the readers. It
was thought that the readers of the Priests for Life Newsletter might be
interested in a pro-life, chastity-based family life curriculum. Inquiries
concerning Project Genesis should be directed to the publisher, Leaflet
Missal Co., 976 Minnehaha Ave., St. Paul, MN, 55104, (612) 487-2818.
(Rev.) Richard M. Hogan
Associate National Director
From the Mailbox
We get lots of mail at Priests for Life, much of it is quite instructive.
Look at these excerpts:
"I reserve the right to kill the loves ones I am responsible for when the
alternatives are worse than death…. That’s because I truly love them and have
their best interest at heart."
-- A Scientist
"Although I think abortion is the taking of a human life I would still get an
abortion if I got pregnant. Why? Because I don’t ever want to be pregnant."
-- An e-mail message
"In your work, Father, please relate to those you minister to that Life is a
choice they will never regret, abortion is."
-- a woman who was abandoned during her pregnancy but chose life
"I became a Catholic because of the Church’s strong stand for life."
-- A young man
Get this Video!
Norma McCorvey, the Jane Roe of Roe v. Wade, is not only a friend of
pro-life, but a friend of Priests for Life. We strongly recommend the new video
which tells the story of her conversion to Christ. To order Reversing
Roe, call 1-800-371-3404 and ask for Operator #50.
Intentions for the Liturgy of the Hours
That the faithful more deeply study the words and actions of Christ, to know
how to care for the least of our brothers and sisters.
That God may bless and strengthen the pro-life efforts of college students.
Two Powerful Poems
I recently came across these two poems at opposite ends of the country. One
was used as a prayer at a conference of the National Abortion Federation,
addressing the child to be aborted. (I heard it on a tape.) The other was
written by a pro-life activist, also addressing a child in danger of abortion.
One is the perfect reverse of the other.
--Fr. Frank Pavone
Copyright: December, 1979
Come, pass this way, unseen one
Come, walk through the shadows of life
I invite you, want you, need you
Do not drop back into the unknown void.
Come forward into the bright
Sunshine, feel the softness of the snow,
See the vivid brightness of the stars.
Run over the warm hot sands
Of time, with pink chubby toes,
Reach out cherub arms, innocent
Hands to catch butterflies, fish,
Worms, puppies, whatever pleases your heart.
Grow in happiness, love, agony, despair
Let life be kind or cruel, it matters not.
Just come forth, there is love,
Delight waiting, watching, wanting
You. Come forth dear little heart.
Prayer Used at National Abortion Federation
"Greetings, little one. Little sister, little brother,
Great wise ancestor.
You want to come to our house,
Maybe you think we would make good parents for you---
Well, the food is short now----
The winter was too long, and the summer too hot.
We have too many mouths to feed.
My husband works too hard already.
We cannot open our home to you now.
Try again later, little one, or find a better place.
Go in peace now, go in peace."
We receive many requests to know what corporations donate to the abortion
industry. For help on this or on other aspects of knowing the opposition and
what to do about it, we recommend that you contact Life Decisions International,
PO Box 419, Amherst, NY 14226, (716) 839-4420. Learn about the marvelous work
24 Hours of Reparation
January 22, 1997 marks the 24th anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade
decision. The Eucharistic Adoration Society of Buffalo, NY is promoting a
national project of holding a 24-hour period of adoration, on or around the 22nd
of every month, in reparation for abortion. One arrangement would be for each
diocese to have this project in just one parish each month, and change the
parish each subsequent month. For more information, contact Sister Mary Gormley,
625 Abbott Road, Buffalo, NY 14220, (716) 826-6192.
A Message from Rome
The Vatican has asked us to announce that, unlike its custom in previous
years, the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations
cannot offer any contribution to UNICEF this year. Some of UNICEF’s activities
contradict the true good of children, such as the evidence of its advocacy to
advance national policies favoring abortion. You may contact us for the full
text of the Holy See’s press release.
Priests for Life Travels: By Land, Air, and Sea!
Literally hundreds of speaking invitations have flooded our Priests for Life
office. On the ones we do accept, we want to reach as many people as possible.
Recently, in Dayton, Ohio, local pro-lifers were so eager to get the Priests for
Life message to as many as possible that they chartered a helicopter so Fr.
Frank could speak in four Churches on the same Sunday. It was all on their own
initiative and at their own expense.
Travels for Priests for Life seminars and talks have recently included Newark
NJ, Ridgefield CT, Philadelphia PA, Lynchburg VA, Spokane WA, Portland OR, Coeur
d’Alene ID, Lafayette LA, Rome, Albuquerque NM, San Diego CA, Springdale AR, and
various New York locations. Future travels include San Antonio TX, Fort Wayne
IN, Baton Rouge LA, Jefferson City MO, Orlando FL, Modesto CA, Tulsa and
Oklahoma City OK, and yes, even Alaska and Hawaii. In a few months, Fr. Pavone
will have personally visited all of the 50 states to encourage the clergy and
laity in the pro-life movement. Fr. Richard Hogan’s travels are also greatly
increasing. You may call our office for specific details on our travel
Priest Profiles - Fr. Robert Rousseau
--by Anthony DeStefano, Chief of Staff
As Fr. Pavone often says on his travels across the country, "When you
dedicate yourself to pro-life work, extraordinary things begin to happen."
Case in point, Fr. Robert Rousseau, former pastor of St. John the Evangelist
Church in Watertown, CT.
One cold November night, five years ago, Fr. Rousseau made a startling
discovery. Just minutes after meeting with his parish pro-life committee, he
found an abandoned baby in the dark vestibule of his church.
The little girl, a strong healthy strawberry-blonde, was only three or four
hours old! She immediately captured the hearts of the parishioners of St.
John's, who, like the kindly town folk in Bret Hart's famous story, "The Luck of
the Roaring Camp," were deeply touched by the sudden appearance of a helpless
infant, just weeks before Christmas.
"So many people came forward to offer their help," Fr. Rousseau later
recalled. "This little gift from God made the whole pro-life concept real in
such a flesh-and-blood way."
Fr. Rousseau named the baby Carolyn Marie, because she had been found on the
feast of St. Charles. (He added "Marie" in honor of the Blessed Mother.) In
accordance with the law, he handed her over to the state authorities, who placed
her in a temporary foster home. Happily, an out-of-state couple adopted her soon
afterwards. (The birth-parents never came forward.)
The most miraculous part of the story, however, was still to come. Fr.
Rousseau, a longtime member of Priests for Life, had always been devoted to the
pro-life cause. Understanding that to be pro-life is to be pro-woman, Fr.
Rousseau felt a burning need to do even more for women in distress--women who,
like the birth-mother of Carolyn Marie, were tempted to abandon, abuse, or even
abort their unwanted babies.
With the parishioners of St. John's fully behind him, Fr. Rousseau founded
"Carolyn's Place," a crisis pregnancy center dedicated to offering care,
concern, and love to any woman in a problem pregnancy situation.
"Our mission," says Fr. Rousseau, "is to live out what Jesus commanded: Love
God has certainly blessed Father's work. Carolyn's Place is now staffed by 42
hard-working volunteers. Headed by Mrs. Ellen Cavallo, it offers pregnancy
testing, job referral services, adoption information, a 24-hour hot-line,
educational youth program on abstinence, and financial, legal, and medical aid
for mothers in need. Fr. Rousseau, who is currently the pastor St. Ann's Church
in Bristol, CT, serves as Chairman of the Board and Spiritual Director of the
We at Priests for Life salute you, Father, and all the staffers at Carolyn's
Place. You are indeed living out Christ's command!
(For more information on Carolyn's Place, call (860) 945 6700, or write to
587 Main Street, Watertown, CT 06795.)
Defending Life II To Air in January
Priests for Life is proud to announce that Fr. Pavone’s new Defending
Life Series will begin airing on Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) on
Saturday, January 14, 1997. The shows will be broadcast into an estimated 50
million American homes!
These brand-new episodes, taped in the summer of 1996, include some of the
most powerful pro-life programs ever produced. Among those interviewed by Fr.
Pavone for the series are: Vicki Thorn, founder of the National Office of Post
Abortion Reconciliation and Healing; Sandra Cano, the plaintiff in the Doe vs.
Bolton decision (which was the companion case to Roe vs. Wade in 1973); and
Brenda Shafer, a registered nurse who witnessed the partial birth abortion
The programs will air every Saturday at 9 PM Eastern Time. They will be
Mondays, 4:30 AM Eastern Time (broadcast in Europe as well as the U.S.);
Thursdays, 1:30 PM Eastern Time; and Fridays, 10:00 AM Eastern Time.
Priests for Life strongly urges all our members to promote these shows as
much as possible. Please announce the scheduled dates and times for the series
in your parish bulletins and pro-life newsletters. Tell your friends, co-workers
and relatives about it. Do whatever you can to spread the word ----- it will
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