Priesthood: Never a Moment's Doubt
November 16, 2011
In my new column below I share with you my very personal thoughts on my
own vocation to the Sacred Priesthood and my recent anniversary of
ordination this past Saturday. I thank each and every one of you for your
support over the years and ask that you please make it a daily practice to
pray for all ordained clergy.
But before we get to that, let me first give you some other important
The 2012 Priests for Life Calendar is available, please order your copy
today. Use the calendar to plan your pro-life activities throughout the
coming year and it will be just one way you can share in the joy of the work
of Priests for Life. Order at our online store at
which offers many great Christmas gift ideas. Another website where you can
find links to more Catholic products is
with every purchase; a portion is donated to Priests for Life.
As we approach Thanksgiving, I invite you to go to
www.priestsforlife.org/thanksgiving/index.aspx and let me know the blessings
you wish to thank God for. I will include them with all the others I receive
and remember all of them during our special Thanksgiving Day Mass.
Please join us in saying an Advent Prayer for Life each day during
Advent, from November 27-December 24 and a Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe
from December 4-12. Find the text of both prayers at
In the New Year please think seriously about inviting one of our Priests
for Life speakers to your area. Find out more information about our entire
team and request a speaker at
The elections of 2012 are less than a year away so start informing
yourself about the candidates now. Events related to the elections coming up
soon are as follows: (for more information see
November 19: Louisiana Run-Off Election Day: In some state legislative
races, no candidate took at least 50% of the vote in last month's primary.
The top two finishers in those contests will compete in this run-off
November 19: Thanksgiving Family Forum – Iowa: The FAMiLY LEADER, Citizen
Link, and the National Organization for Marriage are co-sponsoring the
Thanksgiving Family Forum – A Family Discussion with the Republican
Candidates at the First Federated Church in Des Moines, Iowa. The discussion
will allow you to see a more personal side of the candidates. C-SPAN will
televise the event from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Eastern.
November 22: Republican Presidential Debate – Washington, DC: The
American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation, and CNN will
co-sponsor this second Republican presidential debate to focus on foreign
policy and national security. CNN will televise the event from Washington,
DC at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life
Priesthood -- Not a Moment's Doubt
By Fr. Frank Pavone
The seminary rector called the members of my class in one by one on that
peaceful evening. The hallways and chapel of St. Joseph's Seminary
(Dunwoodie) in New York were quiet and still.
My turn came, and the rector told me that on behalf of the Archbishop of
New York (John O'Connor), he was conveying to me that I had received the
call to the priesthood.
For the twelve years prior to that night, I was hearing that call to
priesthood on the inside. Now, I knew beyond a doubt that the call was
coming from God. The Church had affirmed it. From the rector's office, I
walked into the quiet, dark chapel and knelt before the tabernacle. "Now I
know for sure, O Lord. I no longer have to discern my vocation. Now my focus
is simply to live it faithfully."
Since then, there has not been a single day, not even a single moment, in
which I have questioned or doubted my call to the sacred priesthood. Not
once have I had to look back, or to the left or the right. In fact, I have
told many people that they will not find a priest happier than I am in my
work and vocation.
On November 12 of this year, I celebrated my 23rd anniversary of my
ordination. Many good wishes, prayers, and congratulations poured into my
email, Facebook and Twitter, and our Priests for Life headquarters.
As I observed this anniversary, surrounded by the joyful love of the
Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, a charismatic, Franciscan community of
Sisters here in Prayer Town, TX (www.dljc.org), I thought often of the
mosaic over the back door of my home parish. Seeing it had drawn me towards
the priesthood, because it shows the Lord giving the Eucharist, with the
words, "He who eats this bread will live forever."
I thought of Cardinal O'Connor, who ordained me, and taught me how to be
both a priest and a pro-life leader. I thought of my friend Fr. Benedict
Groeschel, CFR, who vested me at my ordination ceremony.
Priesthood is indeed a vocation to give life, and in my case, to be spent
in the defense of the most defenseless lives of all, the unborn.
I make it a practice to pray each day for those to whom I have ministered in
the past -- all those whom I have baptized, absolved, anointed, married,
confirmed and blessed, all those to whom I have preached, for whom I have
offered mass, to whom I have given communion, and whom I have buried, in the
sure hope of the resurrection. I also pray each day for those whom God
knows, in his Providence, that I will minister to in the future. It's a
beautiful practice that I recommend to priests and deacons; it wraps up our
entire life of ministry in one movement of prayer and praise.
Thank you, everyone, for helping all of us who are ordained to remain
faithful and joyful in our ministry!
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