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Welcoming the New Mass for Life

October 31, 2011

Below you will find my latest column about the new Mass "For Giving Thanks to God for the Gift of Human Life." The brand new texts for this special Mass are a result of the overall new translation of the Mass that Catholics will start using in Advent. I'm very excited that we have these texts; let's encourage our parishes to use them frequently! And, if you are not a priest yourself, please pass this column along to your parish priest so that he can get acquainted with this new resource!

But before we get to my column, let me first give you some other important updates.

Many primary elections are coming up soon so it’s important to educate yourself about the Candidates now. A list of primary dates for each state can be found at www.priestsforlife.org/states.

Other events related to the elections and coming up soon are as follows: (for more information see www.politicalresponsibility.com)

November 5th is the Illinois Republican Party Presidential Straw Poll to be held in Illinois’ 102 counties, giving more people a chance to participate.

November 8th is Election Day in the following States: Kentucky, Mississippi, New Jersey and Virginia.

On Nov. 8, Mississippi will also vote on “Amendment 26” (the Personhood Initiative) which states, “The term ‘person’ or ‘persons’ shall include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof.” If this Amendment passes, abortion will be illegal in Mississippi and a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade will have been issued.

November 19: Louisiana Run-Off Election Day

The month of November is a special time to remember and pray for the dead. Please let us know whom you want us to pray for at www.priestsforlife.org/data/prayer_request.aspx. On that page you can also order Mass cards for your deceased loved ones and friends to share in the fruits of all the prayers, Masses, and good works of the priests of Priests for Life! We will send you a supply of cards free of charge. Keep them on hand, and when you use them, send us back the name, with your offering.

Please join us in saying and Advent Prayer for Life each day during Advent, from November 27-December 4. Order your free prayer cards now, while supplies last! Order the prayer cards and find the prayer at www.priestsforlife.org/novenas/advent-novena.htm.

Finally, view my latest YouTube video at http://youtu.be/IMLFo_MupHw on which I explain that pro-life work is a spirituality and that the Missionaries of the Gospel of Life take special promises to live that spirituality on a daily basis.

Blessings,

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life

Welcoming the New Mass for Human Life

Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director, Priests for Life

With the start of Advent, Catholics begin using a new translation of the Mass. Along with this there are two brand new texts for a Mass "For Giving Thanks to God for the Gift of Human Life." This is the result of a long process that actually started with Cardinal John O'Connor of New York over twenty years ago.

The opening prayer for the first of these masses reads as follows:

God our Creator,
we give thanks to you,
who alone have the power to impart the breath of life
as you form each of us in our mother's womb;
grant, we pray,
that we, whom you have made stewards of creation,
may remain faithful to this sacred trust
and constant in safeguarding the dignity
of every human life.

Drawing images from Genesis 2:7 and Psalm 139, the prayer affirms that only God can create. Parents cooperate with his creative power, but the conception of each new life is a direct choice and act of God. He alone owns human life -- not parents, nor doctors, nor government -- and he alone can take it.

Our role, as the prayer indicates, is to carry out a "sacred trust" as "stewards." In "The Gospel of Life," Blessed John Paul II said it this way: "Yes, every man is his 'brother's keeper', because God entrusts us to one another" (EV, 19). Some think it's none of their business to defend the life of someone else's child. But God Himself makes it our business. The child scheduled to be killed today by abortion is our brother, our sister, our sacred trust.

We safeguard human life in a variety of ways, including speaking words of encouragement, teaching, assisting parents, and shaping public policy. This mass text is especially appropriate to use in pro-life gatherings of those who work in the legislative and political arena.

The opening prayer for the second of these masses reads,

O God, who adorn creation with splendor and beauty
and fashion human lives in your image and likeness,
awaken in every heart
reverence for the work of your hands,
and renew among your people
a readiness to nurture and sustain
your precious gift of human life.

Echoing the imagery of Psalm 104 and drawing from Genesis 1:26, this prayer focuses on how human life itself reflects the image of the Creator, and therefore should evoke in our hearts a reverence and awe which should outweigh any fear in welcoming or defending human life.

This Mass is especially appropriate to use in gatherings of those who assist moms and dads in pregnancy centers, and who do spiritual and educational work in the pro-life movement. The reverence for the work of God's hands feeds the love which is expressed in that "readiness to nurture and sustain" human life. As Blessed Teresa of Calcutta said, "The mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love, that is, to give until it hurts" (Prayer Breakfast, 1994).

Let's use these new Mass texts often!

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