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Former Priests for Life employee “wanted to be a baby saver!”

Priests for Life


April 26, 2019
   
 
Once Elisa Fagundes saw the graphic images of abortion victims, she knew she had to get involved in the pro-life movement.
 
“Their humanity, their features - a perfect hand, a face, a leg. It is so obvious that they are people like the rest of us.  I had to do something about it,” she says. “I wanted to be a baby saver!”
 
Now married and the mother of four, Elisa was a teenager when a new priest was assigned to her parish on Staten Island, Father Frank Pavone.
 
“My brother Anthony (DeStefano, now vice chairman of the board of Priests for Life) and I attended Fr. Frank's Mass in Latin at St. Charles and we were really impressed by his intelligence and his fire,” she recalls. “His homilies always centered on the Eucharist and pro-life activism.”
 
Now a resident of Ontario, California, she came to work in the early years of Priests for Life as a receptionist and correspondence secretary.
 
“I fielded all kinds of questions from the public, and by the grace of God, handled the occasional crisis call,” she says.
 
Although she left Priests for Life when the first of her four children was born, she very much enjoyed her time in the Staten Island office.
 
 “It was overall joyful,” she says. “Even if the work seemed never-ending, and sometimes monotonous, knowing you are in the biggest battle, the battle to save defenseless babies, you go on and be faithful.
 
Asked what it was like to work so closely with Father Frank and Janet, she says:
 
“They ask a lot of you! Father really wants total commitment.  But so did our Lord when He chose his Apostles. Janet is an excellent example of one totally committed to the cause.”
   
 
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