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Priests for Life Newsletter

Volume 12, Number 5
September - October 2002


Preaching the Elections

The mid-term elections are upon us. We don't endorse candidates or parties. We do endorse involvement and we endorse the Culture of Life. Please urge your congregation to get out and vote! Urge them to know the candidates, and how their positions will or will not protect human dignity, and above all the most fundamental right to life.

An abundance of information can be found on our website at www.priestsforlife.org/government/polresp.html.

Here are two suggested prayers for the General intercessions:

That God's people may exercise their responsibility to vote in this year's elections, we pray to the Lord.

That as we exercise the privilege of voting for our elected officials, our choices may reflect the Gospel of Life, Justice, and Peace, we pray to the Lord.


Expelling Planned Parenthood from School

Fr. Frank Pavone, Founding Director, Priests for Life

It is widely known that many American schools allow Planned Parenthood and similar organizations on campus to discuss abortion, birth control, pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and other issues related to the sexual activity of students. What is not so widely known is that Planned Parenthood gives away nothing for free. True, the students might not pay, but the taxpayers do, through Title X grants from the government. For Planned Parenthood to get its money, it needs to have access to the students -- and the money comes even more through the birth control pills and STD treatments than it does through the abortions.

In other words, not only does Planned Parenthood bring its morally corrupted message to our children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, but by doing so it gets the money it needs to continue to become more powerful and effective -- and that money comes from us.

Numerous efforts have been undertaken for decades to de-fund Planned Parenthood by legislation, or to appeal to schools in the name of fairness and moral concerns to stop inviting Planned Parenthood into their classrooms.

We now have a new way to accomplish these goals. You may have heard by now that new evidence has been collected demonstrating that the overwhelming majority of abortion facilities nationwide break the law by failing to report statutory rape. The clinics, in fact, have the duty to report any suspected sexual abuse of minors. When minors come to them for abortions, birth control, or pregnancy testing, that is all the evidence they need to make a report.

Litigation is now being launched nationwide against these abortion clinics, and Planned Parenthood is going to be a key defendant.

Here's where the schools come in. If your school district refers students to Planned Parenthood, and they in turn get into a lawsuit for failure to report, the school is exposed to legal trouble as well, because they can be guilty of negligent referral. If they get embroiled in a lawsuit, it is your tax money -- whether you have a student in the school or not -- that will have to pay for it.

Every school district in America has been sent a letter alerting them to this problem. Now, Priests for Life will coordinate an effort to have concerned taxpayers go to their school board meetings and ask questions like the following:

What is our School District doing to insure that the employees who provide referrals adhere to state laws requiring the reporting of sexual activity by underage children? How is our School District protecting itself legally against possible claims against it?

Right now the American people are taking seriously the issue of adults sexually abusing children and having it covered up by major institutions. Moreover, school boards are notoriously timid when it comes to knowingly exposing their districts to lawsuits. This effort can lead thousands of school districts to closet their doors to Planned Parenthood!

We need people to go to their school board meetings. We will provide guidance, and specific questions that need to be raised. If you want to help, contact Priests for Life, Child Protection Project, PO Box 141172, Staten Island, NY 10314, (718) 980-4400, ext. 224; email: schools@priestsforlife.org; website: www.priestsforlife.org/schools


Prayer Intentions

You are encouraged to remember the following intentions as you pray the Liturgy of the Hours:

September intention: That youth leaders have the courage and creativity to speak about abortion.

October intention: For strong and effective pro-life homilies throughout the Church.


Recommended Activities

1. Commission your parish Respect Life Committee during one of the Sunday liturgies. This commissioning gives the members special encouragement and manifests to the whole parish the integral role that the pro-life message and mission has within the Church.

A suggested format would be to call the members forward after the homily, ask them some questions, say a prayer of blessing, and present them with a symbol of their mission.

Questions could be:

Are you resolved to promote the church's teachings on the dignity of human life, as outlined in The Gospel of Life?

Are you ready to work together with your pastor, under the guidance of the Bishops' Pastoral Plan for Pro Life Activities, to pray, educate, shape public policy, and provide concrete assistance to women in crisis pregnancies?

The prayer of blessing can be:

Father of all life, we thank you that you have called us into being and made us the people of life. Bless our brothers and sisters who dedicate themselves to be a voice for the voiceless, a defense for the defenseless. By their example enable all of us to proclaim, celebrate, and serve the Gospel of Life. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

The symbol given to members of the committee can be the Precious Feet, the pro-life rose, or a copy of The Gospel of Life.

2. Place on the cover of the parish bulletin a phone number for alternatives to abortion. This number can be that of a local pregnancy assistance center, a diocesan resource, or a national pro-life hotline.

3. Include a pro-life petition in the General Intercessions of every Mass, as our bishops have asked us to do in their Pastoral Plan for Pro-life Activities. Suggested prayers in English and Spanish can be found at www.priestsforlife.org/prayers/intercessionindex.htm


In Spanish…

Suggested General Intercessions:

-- Por la Santa Iglesia Católica en todo el mundo, para que pueda cumplir su misión de promover la vida con fe y alegría, roguemos al Señor...

-- Que todos los que han sido ordenados para proclamar el Evangelio, nunca duden en defender y hablar por las victimas del aborto, el infanticidio, y la eutanasia, roguemos al Señor...

-- Que todos los niños aun no nacidos, sean bienvenidos y protegidos en este mundo en lugar de ser temidos y rechazados, roguemos al Señor...

Suggested bulletin insert:

"Por ser los maestros principales de la Iglesia, tenemos por tanto que explicar, persuadir, corregir y amonestar a los que desde sus funciones de liderazgo contradicen el Evangelio de la vida con sus acciones y política. Las autoridades católicas en la vida pública que desoyen la enseñanza de la Iglesia sobre la inviolabilidad de la persona conspiran indirectamente en la matanza de vidas inocentes." ( Los Obispos Católicos de E.E. U.U., Vivir el Evangelio de la Vida, 1998, no.29).


Recommended Books

(See a fuller list of pro-life books we recommend on our website at www.priestsforlife.org/books)

Detrimental Effects of Abortion

by Thomas Strahan

A pastor should know how abortion is damaging his flock. This book is the only publication to list, all in one place, all the major statistically significant studies on abortion. It includes brief descriptions of the findings of the studies. Topics include abortion decision-making, standard of care, adolescents and abortion, and the physical, psychological, and social effects of the procedure.

ISBN Number 0-9648957-0-6

Published in 2001 by Acorn Books/Elliot Institute, PO Box 7348, Springfield, IL 62791-7348; Phone 217-525-8202; Website www.afterabortion.org


Holy Apostles College and Seminary

By Anthony DeStefano, Executive Director

Young men from all over the country who are considering the priesthood have approached Priests for Life with the question: Where can I go to best integrate my vocation to the priesthood with my call to intense pro-life work?

Indeed there are several fine seminaries in the United States that give emphasis to the life issues in their formation programs. But there is one that we believe deserves special mention. In fact, this seminary is a veritable Shangri-La for future pro-life activist priests. Its name is Holy Apostles.

Holy Apostles Seminary was founded by Fr. Eusebe Menard, O.S.M., in 1956. Initially its purpose was to be a college preparatory seminary that served older candidates for the priesthood. Since 1977, when it added a theology program, it has functioned both as a college seminary and as a major seminary. To this day, however, it continues to have a special concern for candidates between the ages thirty-five and fifty.

The seminary is located in the beautiful, lush hills of the Connecticut River Valley. Its campus is made up of small, charming buildings, which accentuate the simple, familial lifestyle of its occupants. Indeed, Holy Apostles Seminary has a distinctly Franciscan flavor to it: its setting non-institutional, its faculty informal, its students humble, welcoming and cooperative.

The person who sets the tone for this wonderful place of prayer and preparation is its president, Fr. Douglas Mosey, C.S.B. Fr. Mosey was ordained in 1974 as a priest of the Basilian Fathers, a teaching community in Detroit, Michigan. He later received his Ph.D. in theology from the University of St. Michael's College in Toronto, Canada. In 1990, Fr. Mosey joined the faculty of Holy Apostles as a teacher and was appointed vice rector in 1993 under the well-known Fr. Ronald Lawler. In May of 1996, Bishop Daniel Hart of the diocese of Norwich asked him to serve as president and rector-- which he has been doing now for over six years.

There has always been a strong commitment to the pro-life cause at Holy Apostles. In the years that Fr. Mosey has served as rector, however, that commitment has intensified. "Our hope," says Fr. Mosey, "is that the pro-life spirit permeates all dimensions of life here and formation here. As the bishops have indicated, if we get this issue right, all the other issues will fall into place."

Fr. Mosey believes that pro-life should never be an "add-on" to seminary life. On the contrary, it should be manifested in all the activities of both the faculty and students. "Whether in the classroom or in the chapel, we must breathe, act and pray pro-life," he insists. "Pro-life needs to be part of the very fabric of the institution."

And indeed it is. The Student Life League at Holy Apostles is undoubtedly one of the most active in the world: Every month it sponsors lunch meetings that focus on the dissemination of pro-life information in the greater community. Every Saturday morning it holds two prayer vigils at the Hartford abortion mill. On the same day it sponsors a Holy Hour dedicated to "mercy for life."

In addition, the student league publishes and distributes four newsletters per year, provides a large section of the seminary library with pro-life resources, sponsors periodic devotions like the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplets for pro-life intentions, and organizes the annual trip to Washington D.C for the March for Life. Currently it is trying to raise money to complete a Tomb of the Unborn and Scriptural Stations of the Cross, having already secured the necessary permissions.

The seminary also sponsors a full-year of pro-life field ministry coordinated by Sr. Maryann Linder that includes a whole host of speakers and training seminars on topics related to abortion and euthanasia, ranging from CPCs, to Project Rachel, to Chastity and Abstinence, to NFP.

"Our greatest hope," says Fr. Mosey, "is that when we send our priests out into the world, the pro-life training we have given them becomes part of their very priestly identity."

With such a fine rector and such an amazing seminary, is there anyone who can doubt that Fr. Mosey's wish will not come true?

You can contact Fr. Mosey by calling (800) 330-7272, or by writing to Holy Apostles Seminary, 33 Prospect Hill Road; Cromwell, CT 06416-2027. You can find it on the web at: www.holyapostles.edu


Priests for Life
PO Box 141172 • Staten Island, NY 10314
Tel. 888-735-3448, (718) 980-4400 • Fax 718-980-6515
mail@priestsforlife.org