Fr. Stephen Imbarrato
Pastoral Consultant, Priests for Life
One would be hard pressed to find a Catholic priest who wouldn’t describe
his path to the priesthood as a "grace filled journey." Father Stephen
Imbarrato of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, New Mexico, has good reason to
make that claim.
For Father Stephen, who was ordained in 2005, that grace includes great
blessings – such as the joy of adopting a son as a single person and his
dedicated involvement in various pro-life initiatives.
It also includes the knowledge that it was a painful past – namely his
own complicity in an abortion 35 years ago- that brought him to the pro-life
movement in the first place, opened him to the priesthood and now allows him
to preach the Gospel of Life “from the standpoint of mercy.”
In 1974, he said, “I did not stand up for my girlfriend when I got her
pregnant,” and today he counts himself as sharing the guilt for her decision
to abort. It wasn’t until years later as a seminarian that he learned she
had been carrying twins.
Fr. Imbarrato began pro-life work in the early nineties as a political
activist, but soon realized the call to pro-life ministry joining Lifenet of
NJ as a member of their Speaker Bureau. When he entered Holy Apostles
Seminary in 2000, he directed their Life League (HALL) and while still in
the seminary founded St Gerard's Center for Life in Hartford. He was also
National Coordinator of "Seminarians for Life" a ministry of Priests for
Life. As a Deacon, he was the 1st post-abortive man to give his witness as
part of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign.
Ordained to the priesthood in 2005, Father soon founded Project Defending
www.defendinglife.org ) which now has many pro-life ministries and
activities under its direction including the Holy Innocents Chapel located
directly across from Planned Parenthood. Father Stephen celebrates Mass in
the Chapel twice a week and leads a Eucharistic Procession to the Planned
Parenthood, the only ministry in the US with regularly scheduled Eucharistic
processions to an abortion mill.
Fr. Stephen is currently Pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in
Bernalillo, NM as well as President of Project Defending Life.
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