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Priests for Life Newsletter

Volume 7, Number 1
January - February 1997 

Contents

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 Vitae, #72-73).

"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.

Sincerely,

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director

 

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

January intention:

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.

February intention:

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

 

Come Forth

Copyright: December, 1979
By: RoseMarie

 

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.

Come forth.

 

 

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."

 

Corporate Funding

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 they do!

 

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.

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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 itineraries.

 

 

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 one another."

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 center.

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.)

 

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT!

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 procedure.

The programs will air every Saturday at 9 PM Eastern Time. They will be repeated on

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 save lives!

PFL Previous Newsletters

 

 

Priests for Life
PO Box 141172 • Staten Island, NY 10314
Tel. 888-735-3448, (718) 980-4400 • Fax 718-980-6515
mail@priestsforlife.org