Priests for Life, a national pro-life organization made up of over 40,000 priests and deacons, announced today that Fr. Frank Pavone, its National Director, has been asked by Pope John Paul II and the Pontifical Council for the Family to come to Rome to assist the Church in coordinating pro-life activities for the entire world. The assistance will take three basic forms: 1. Training bishops and priests worldwide in various facets of the pro-life mission 2. Formulating pro-life strategy for national and international organizations 3. Internationalizing Priests for Life
Fr. Pavone will be leaving for Rome at the end of February, but will continue to be in charge of Priests for Life in the United States. His work on Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) will continue, as well, with a new 14-part television series already scheduled for production in Birmingham, Alabama, this summer. Fr. Richard Hogan, Associate Director of Priests for Life, based in St. Paul, Minnesota, will be taking on much of Fr. Pavone's busy travel schedule for 1997. Mr. Anthony DeStefano, Priests for Life's Chief of Staff, will assume the role of Executive Director of the organization.
Fr. Pavone stated: "This is obviously exciting news for all of us at Priests for Life. We have been given a great opportunity to influence the course of history. The Vatican itself wishes to implement our ideas and strategy on a global level. There is no telling what impact we can now have. "We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to our membership, and also to the leaders of the pro-life movement, who have been so supportive of our efforts. Though I will be spending much of my time in Rome in coming months, I want to give my assurance that I will be even more deeply involved in the pro-life activities taking place in the U.S. Indeed, the Vatican has made it clear to me that it is intensely interested in what is going on in North America, and it wants my assistance in forging even closer relationships with the leadership here, both in the Church and in the Pro-Life Movement. We want every pro- life group to know that they are part of this new development and will benefit from it. We will be at their service." Executive Director, Anthony DeStefano, said about the new developments: "I think this is one of the most hopeful signs of victory we have seen in a long time in the war against abortion. The fact that the Pope is requesting Fr. Pavone's help is portentous news. A signal is clearly being sent by the Church. "This is also a great tribute to Fr. Pavone's work. When he took the helm of Priests for Life, three years ago, this association was relatively small and unknown. Now it is recognized all over the country as one of the most effective, dynamic organizations in the pro-life movement. That's a tremendous testament to Fr. Pavone's vision and leadership."