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Priesthood: Never a Moment's Doubt

November 16, 2011

Dear Friends,

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 updates.

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 www.priestsforlife.org/store which offers many great Christmas gift ideas. Another website where you can find links to more Catholic products is www.catholicgalleria.com and 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 www.prayercampaign.org.

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 www.priestsforlife.org/speakers/index.aspx.

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 www.politicalresponsibility.com ).

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 election.

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.

Blessings,

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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