When urgent requests came in from New Zealand and Australia for expert speakers to help reenergize their respective prolife movements, Fr. Pavone, who had previously been to both of those countries, responded to the need and again dispatched Dr. Burke and Bob Lalonde to continue to build on our Outreach Ministries in that part of the world.
On September 10 thru 12 picturesque Queenstown played host to Voice for Life's annual conference and was attended by hundreds of clinicians, counsellors, CPC hot line operators, nurses and prolife advocates from around the country.
Dr Burke who had just returned from addressing the Academy for Life's Study Group in Rome on post abortion healing made the 27 hour flight to Queenstown to keynote the conference and lead a full day of Clinical Training that covered a wide range of topics such as Understanding Repeat Abortions, Trauma Bonds, How Emotional Trauma Impacts the Brain, Facilitating Connections and Emotional Truth, PTSD and Abortion.
Conference attendees actively participated in the various sessions and shared their own common experiences and the unique situation in New Zealand with the Mauri culture where the law permits them to retrieve their aborted babies and body parts to take home with them and grieve over and bury.
Other speakers included: a video conference presentation by renowned UK expert. Dr Peter Saunders, on the topic of Care not Killing: Lessons from the UK. Dr Fergus Aitcheson - What happens When we Die? and others.
Bob Lalonde, recently returned from the European Parliament, Brussels; Westminster, UK; and the Irish Parliament; also gave conference participants an overview of PFL's various international prolife ministries like Silent No More, Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues, and Missionaries of the Gospel of Life as well as some current initiatives such as the Freedom Rides with Dr Alveda King. Participants told us they follow PFL closely both thru Fr. Pavone's EWTN Defend Life Series and the PFL media rich website.
Catherine Gillies, Voice for Life National President, who is also a Professed Member of Missionaries of the Gospel of Life lay association and the Leader of Rachel's Vineyard in New Zealand, was pleased with the national turnout and grateful for the participation of Priests for Life.
On behalf of Fr Pavone, at the conclusion of the conference, Theresa and Bob presented Catherine with a signed copy of father's Pro-life Reflections for Every Day with the inscribed message "May the Lord continue to amplify your pro-life voice!". And another book to Fr Quinn, a long-time pro-life advocate and pastoral leader.
From Queenstown, Dr Burke and Bob boarded a flight to Sydney and Brisbane, Australia for several more days of meetings and talks.