Priests for Life Newsletter
Volume 13, Number 4
Profile- Rev. John T. Catoir, J.C.D.National
Christian Voter Registration Sundays
Bulletin Insert in Spanish
From the Abortion Providers
Calling All Priests
Assist Our Work
"Proud to Be Associated…"
Priest Profile- Rev. John T. Catoir, J.C.D.
By Anthony DeStefano, Executive Director
"When I first came to know of Priests for Life, I was very suspicious of your
organization," admits Fr. John Catoir, founder and president of St. Jude Media
Ministries, and well-known author and radio personality. "I have to tell you, I
initially thought Priests for Life was some ‘elite group’ priests who were
trying to set themselves apart from the rest of the clergy in terms of their
devotion to the pro-life cause. I felt this was very manipulative. There seemed
to be an implication that unless one joined your group he was not pro-life."
We’re happy to report that Fr. Catoir doesn’t feel this way any more.
"Abortion, the death penalty, and the other life issues are so central that
there is definitely a need to focus on them. The moral imperative of being for
life is so powerful, overwhelming and true that one must be actively pro-life.
As I’ve learned more about the work and mission of Priests for Life, I’ve come
to see that you have a very important role to play in the Church and in
"Abortion stops a beating heart. That really sums it all up," continues Fr.
Catoir. "I’m proud to be associated with Priests for Life."
Fr. Catoir's whole life has been devoted to helping the general public
recognize the inherent dignity of every human being, regardless of race,
religion, background, physical condition or age. Born in Manhattan in 1931, he
served two years in the Army during the Korean War before entering Immaculate
Conception seminary in New Jersey. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of
Paterson in 1960. Receiving a doctorate in Canon Law in 1964, he was soon
appointed the Judicial Vicar of his Diocese where he served for nearly ten
years. During that period, the Canon Law Society of America elected him to their
Board of Governors.
In 1978, Fr. Catoir was tapped to be executive director of The Christophers,
a Catholic multi-media organization based in New York. He served in that
position for nearly 18 years, where he hosted the well-known nationally
syndicated TV program, "Christopher Close-up."
In 1997 the board of directors of Eva’s Village, New Jersey’s most
comprehensive poverty program, asked him to be their executive director. This
program feeds over a thousand free meals a day to the poor and homeless, and
shelters hundreds of homeless men and women each year. They also have a free
medical clinic for the poor, and a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center, which
houses recovering addicts.
Over the years, Father Catoir has received four honorary doctorates, and has
been elected president of three distinct national organizations. He is the
author of more than 20 books, and writes a biweekly syndicated column for the
Catholic News Service. Recently, he completed the third book of his Joy Trilogy,
entitled "Enjoy Your Precious Life" (subtitled - "Spiritual Joy Through Faith
and Will -Training," Alba House Publishing Co., Staten Island, NY).
Fr. Catoir can be reached by email at
JCatoir@aol.com, at his website,
www.messengerofjoy.com, and by mail c/o Nazareth, Box 745, Chester, NJ
National Christian Voter Registration Sundays
The prophets of old had the opportunity to
challenge kings who departed from God's law. In our nation, we have the
opportunity not only to challenge them but to choose them.
Yet too many Christians are not even registered to vote; polls in the 2000
elections, in fact, showed only half of Christians registered, and only half of
those going to the voting booth. Yet our participation in the election process
is an obligation for us. To take part in this process is a virtue.
Here's what our bishops have written on the subject:
"We encourage all citizens, particularly Catholics, to embrace their
citizenship not merely as a duty and privilege, but as an opportunity
meaningfully to participate in building the culture of life. Every voice
matters in the public forum. Every vote counts. Every act of responsible
citizenship is an exercise of significant individual power…We get the public
officials we deserve. Their virtue -- or lack thereof -- is a judgment not only
on them, but on us" (1998, Living the Gospel of Life, n.34).
Priests for Life is happy to announce that specific weekends over the next
two years will be designated as National Christian Voter Registration
Sundays. Groups such as the Christian Coalition and the National Pro-life
Religious Council are likewise joining in this effort and calling for this
observance. This is simply a way to encourage pastors to do what any Church is
entitled to do: to give their congregation an opportunity to register to
vote, if they are not registered already. It only takes five minutes,
filling out some information about one's name, address, and citizenship.
This activity, conducted in a non-partisan manner, is perfectly legal within
all the guidelines of the IRS and the FEC. (For more detailed verification,
consult the "Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations," published by
the IRS and posted at www.priestsforlife.org/elections/p1828.pdf, and the
"Political Activity Guidelines for Catholic Organizations" published by the
legal counsel of the US Bishops' Conference and posted at
The upcoming Voter Registration Sundays will be September 7, November
9, and January 18. Interested pastors and parish volunteers will be given
guidance on how to proceed. See www.priestsforlife.org/vote for more
Fr. Frank Pavone, Founding Director
The Holy Father has given a new gift to the pro-life movement.
The faithful are increasingly familiar with the picture of Jesus standing
with his hand pointed to his heart, from which red and pale rays emanate. The
words "Jesus, I trust in you" are at the bottom. This image represents the
devotion to Divine Mercy, based on revelations given to St. Faustina Kowalska
(1905-1938). The image itself was revealed to her, as was the "Chaplet of Divine
Mercy," in which we pray the following words:
"Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your
dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those
of the whole world. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and
on the whole world."
Pope John Paul II has fostered this devotion within the Church, and has
declared the Sunday after Easter to be Divine Mercy Sunday. Many of the
faithful, especially in the pro-life movement, practice this devotion.
Indeed, the link between this devotion and abortion is established by St.
Faustina herself and recorded in her "Diary." Fr. Seraphim Michalenko, MIC, who
was a principal translator of St. Faustina's diary, and the postulator of her
cause of canonization, writes the following:
"On at least three occasions, from 8:00-11:00 in the evening, she felt
like her insides were being torn apart. She suffered so much that she thought
she was going to die. The doctors couldn't figure out what was ailing her, and
no medication was able to alleviate her sufferings. Later, she was given to
understand that she was undergoing those pains for mothers who were aborting
their children (Diary, 1276).
"On another occasion, she had a vision of an angel coming with thunderbolts
to destroy one of the most beautiful cities of her country. And she felt
powerless to do anything about it (Diary, 474). What antidote did the Lord give
her? The Chaplet of Divine Mercy. [She explained] that the city was to be
chastised for its sins, primarily the sin of abortion." ("Wombs of
Mercy," Marian Helpers Bulletin, Summer 1995, p.13).
Now the Pope has personally emphasized this connection once again, by
signing a special Papal Blessing for those who pray the Chaplet for an end to
abortion. The blessing, signed on the Feast of the Annunciation, March 25, 2003,
is addressed to the Eucharistic Apostles of the Divine Mercy and to "all the
faithful worldwide who join them in offering the Divine Mercy Chaplet…for
mothers, that they not abort their offspring; for infants in danger of being put
to death in the womb; for a change of heart of providers of abortions and of
their collaborators; for human victims of stem cell research, genetic
manipulation, cloning and euthanasia; and for all entrusted with the government
of peoples, that they may promote the Culture of Life, so as to put an end to
the culture of death."
God cannot fail to hear our prayer; let's not fail to pray it.
Bulletin Insert in Spanish
"Todo llamado en favor de los derechos
humanos es una ilusión si se ataca el derecho a la vida" (Obispos de los EU,
Faithful Citizenship, 1999)
¿Qué pasaría si le dijeran que todos sus derechos están garantizados y
asegurados, excepto su derecho a la vida? ¿No sería esto una promesa falsa?
Después de todo, nuestros derechos no sirven de nada si no estamos vivos para
Éste es el problema con los candidatos que parecen buenos
porque promueven todos los derechos, pero impiden que los niños nazcan
privándoles así el poder disfrutar de esos derechos. Ése es el problema de la
mentalidad "pro-aborto". Escoger terminar con la vida de un bebé por medio del
aborto es negarle a ese bebé todos sus derechos presentes y futuros.
The bishops' Pastoral Plan for Pro-life Activities calls for pro-life
petitions at every Mass. You will find intercessions in English and Spanish,
tailored for each Sunday of the year, at
You are encouraged to remember the following intentions as you pray
the Liturgy of the Hours:
July intention: That men may grow in the authentic spirit of fatherly
August intention: That preachers in all denominations may courageously preach
about abortion and euthanasia.
From the Abortion Providers…
"Dr. [M.C.]…testified that the fetal skull is
generally not intact following dismemberment of the body -- the jaw is often
removed with the neck…[R]emoving the head intact…ensures that no parts of the
skull are left behind" (Ohio: Women's Medical Professional Corp. v.
Voinovich, 911 F.Supp. 1051).
Calling All Priests
If you have not already signed the commitment pledge to preach on
political responsibility, please do so and send it to us. The text is at
Assist our Work!
Priests for Life is supported only by the generosity of individuals like you.
Every gift you give goes to saving lives, and is tax-deductible.