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Priests for Life Newsletter

Volume 14, Number 4
July - August 2004

Table of Contents

Priests for Life Associate Director Present for Bill Signings
Update from the Director: The Mission of Priests for Life
Deadlines for Voter Registration 
Abortifacients…The Other Forbidden Grief

Parish Education Program

Priests for Life Episcopal Board of Advisors

Priests for Life opens Washington, DC Office

Announcing Gospel of Life Ministries

Prayer Intentions

Our Latest Products -- Original Intent; Respect Life Petitions

In the News …

Priests for Life Associate Director Present for Bill Signings

Janet Morana, Associate Director of Priests for Life, was present for the signing ceremonies of two bills which have advanced in law the standing of the unborn child: The ban on partial birth abortions (signed on November 5, 2003) and the Unborn Victims of Violence Act (signed on April 1, 2004). In her words of greeting to President Bush, Janet expressed the gratitude of Priests for Life for the President's continuous call that "every child be welcomed in life and protected by law," and for not hesitating to do what can be done in the political and legislative arena.

The Feinstein amendment, defeated by only one vote, would have created a separate and additional federal crime for "causing the termination of a pregnancy," but would not have recognized the unborn child as a separate victim. All the Republicans except four voted to protect the unborn child; all the Democrats but four voted not to protect the child.

 

Update from the Director

The Mission of Priests for Life

Dear Brother Priests and Lay supporters,

From the time Priests for Life was first established, our intention was not to found new structures, but to network and encourage people within the existing structures of the Church, to accomplish the mission laid out by our bishops.

That remains our task and vision today. Priests for Life does not come into a diocese in order to impose some "outside" plan or agenda, or to take away anything of what is already there. Rather, we want to lend an additional measure of support for what is already planned. We are an association of priests helping our brother priests work in union with their bishops and the pastoral plans of their diocese.

We are always ready to offer our perspective from a national level, and the many projects and strategies we have come to learn from pro-life groups in every state. We likewise are ready to connect you with others in different parts of the nation who are doing similar things. Finally, there are many people who come to us, saying that they want to help the pro-life movement. We meet them in our travels, they hear us on TV and radio. We want to channel them back to you, so that they can assist local efforts. So let us know what you are doing; alert us to your programs and plans, and we will be ready to help you!

With prayers,

Fr. Frank Pavone

National Director

Deadlines for Registration

Often we think that a political race is a contest between two candidates. It is not. It is, rather, a contest between two teams, and the team that has the greater number of effective activists is the one who wins. This winning is not accomplished by big money or media, but ultimately by people "on the ground" who actually show up at the polls. This is why the activation of our parishioners is the key to doing what the bishops call for in Living the Gospel of Life, namely, using the power of the vote to build up the culture of life.

To that end, our people need to be registered to vote. Registration deadlines for each state are posted on our website at www.priestsforlife.org/vote/deadlines and we ask you to alert your people to these dates. We also urge you to make voter registration forms available to your people in Church. This is consistent gospel activity -- we don't just preach nice words about "renewing the face of the earth"; we give our people the tools to do it!

Abortifacients…The Other Forbidden Grief

By Janet Morana and Theresa Burke, Ph.D.

We’ve learned a good deal about the emotional and spiritual pain of abortion. Aside from surgical procedures, the Pill, the IUD, and other hormonal "contraceptives" such as the morning after pill, Depro-Provera and Norplant can also cause an abortion of human life.

Ovulation is not always suppressed by oral contraceptives. In these cases, the egg is fertilized, conception takes place, and a new human being begins to develop. These abortifacients interfere with the pregnancy by changing the lining of the uterus so that a newly conceived child cannot implant in the womb. This hostile environment causes the child to die.

Janet Morana, Associate Director of Priests for Life and co-founder of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, shares her personal story:

"Three months before my wedding date I started taking birth control pills. I continued taking the pill for two years until it seemed like it was time to start a family…. Eventually, I had a tubal ligation.

"As I began to study the teachings of the Church I learned about God's beautiful plan for marriage, including what NFP was all about.

"My grief finally hit me as I watched a video about the wonder of life and I realized completely what taking the birth control pills really meant: aborting new life. I came to grips with the fact that I had not only shut myself off to life, but had also destroyed an unknown number of children. At the end of that video I began to sob uncontrollably. I was overwhelmed with sudden feelings of grief and remorse. I was able to come to grips with these feelings of grief and loss recently at a Rachel's Vineyard Retreat. It was a first step in having my feelings validated, and I began to deal with my loss in a new light."

The Church has always asserted that the method by which a child is killed, or the age at which the killing occurs, do not make an abortion any less real or wrong. The Church can therefore serve at the forefront in ministry to the countless hearts wounded by abortifacients. Our church continues to be a prophetic guide in a new movement to re-claim inner voices that have been silenced, paralysed and obscured by the demands of a contraceptive and abortive culture.

Priests for Life invites all who have experienced the grief of abortion to share your testimony. Contact Janet@priestsforlife.org

To find out more information about attending a Rachel's Vineyard Retreats for healing after abortion, visit www.rachelsvineyard.org.

 

Parish Education Program

Our study guide to the US Bishops' document "Living the Gospel of Life" is an excellent way to prepare your parish for the elections! It can be conducted as a six-week study and discussion group from mid-September to the end of October. More information is at www.priestsforlife.org/gospel. The guide is $10. Call (718) 980-4400, x239.

 

If you have had an abortion…Please visit www.SilentNoMoreAwareness.org. The Silent No More Awareness Campaign is a project of Priests for Life and NOEL, and enables women to speak out about how their abortion hurt them. Also visit www.RachelsVineyard.org, to learn about retreats on which you can find healing. Rachel's Vineyard is also a ministry of Priests for Life.

  

Priests for Life Episcopal Board of Advisors

His Eminence Alfonso Cardinal Lopez-Trujillo

President, Pontifical Council for the Family

His Eminence Renato Cardinal Martino

President, Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace

Most Rev. John F. Donoghue

Archbishop of Atlanta

Most Rev. Charles J. Chaput OFM Cap.

Archbishop of Denver

Most Rev. Edwin F. O'Brien

Archbishop of Military Services

Most Rev. John J. Myers

Archbishop of Newark

Most Rev. John W. Yanta

Bishop of Amarillo

Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted

Bishop of Phoenix

Most Rev. Ronald M. Gilmore

Bishop of Dodge City

Most Rev. Sam G. Jacobs

Bishop of Houma-Thibodaux

Most Rev. Emilio S. Allue

Auxiliary Bishop of Boston

Most Rev. Rene H. Gracida

Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi

Most Rev. Paul V. Donovan

Bishop Emeritus of Kalamazoo

Most Rev. James D. Niedergeses

Bishop Emeritus of Nashville

Most Rev. James C. Timlin

Bishop Emeritus of Scranton

Most Rev. James S. Sullivan

Bishop Emeritus of Fargo

Most Rev. Francis A. Quinn

Bishop Emeritus of Sacramento

Most Rev. Albert H. Ottenweller

Bishop Emeritus of Steubenville

Most Reverend Juan Fremiot Torres

Bishop of Ponce

Most Reverend John Quinn Weitzel

Bishop of Samoa Pago Pago

 

Priests for Life opens Washington, DC Office!

Priests for Life has opened an office in our nation's Capitol, literally across the street from the Supreme Court! With the assistance of Dr. Paul Schenck, our pastoral associate, and his brother Rob, this office opened in April, and will be a companion office to our international headquarters in New York and our office in Rome. Our Washington office will serve as a center of communications with our nation's leaders in the White House, Congress, and the Court, as well as with the many organizations that are based in Washington, including the headquarters of the US Bishops' Conference. This new office will also serve as the headquarters of Gospel of Life Ministries, a partner organization with Priests for Life.

 

Announcing Gospel of Life Ministries

Many people want to spread the message of Priests for Life to their friends who are not Catholic. Now, we have given you a way to do that. Gospel of Life Ministries is a new organization that takes the writings, teachings, and television programs that Fr. Frank Pavone and Priests for Life have produced, and presents them in an ecumenical format.

Pope John Paul II calls for this kind of effort when he writes in The Gospel of Life, "Service of the Gospel of life is thus an immense and complex task. This service increasingly appears as a valuable and fruitful area for positive cooperation with our brothers and sisters of other Churches and ecclesial communities, in accordance with the practical ecumenism which the Second Vatican Council authoritatively encouraged. It also appears as a providential area for dialogue and joint efforts with the followers of other religions and with all people of good will. No single person or group has a monopoly on the defense and promotion of life. These are everyone's task and responsibility. On the eve of the Third Millennium, the challenge facing us is an arduous one: only the concerted efforts of all those who believe in the value of life can prevent a setback of unforeseeable consequences for civilization" (#91).

Dr. Paul Schenck, a pastoral associate of Priests for Life and a former Anglican pastor and priest, brings his extensive knowledge and experience of the Protestant world to his role as Executive Director of Gospel of Life Ministries. We encourage you to invite your friends or relatives who are not Catholic to visit www.gospeloflife.com for more information.

The entire set of General Intercessions for each Sunday may now be obtained from us at www.priestsforlife.org/prayers. The intercessions contain a pro-life petitions, and are in English and Spanish.

Suggestions for bringing the respect life theme into your homily are now given for every Sunday of the year at www.priestsforlife.org 

Can you make a gift to enable us to send this newsletter to every priest in your diocese? Call Jerry at (718) 980-4400

Prayer Intentions

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

July intention: For all who volunteer their time and talent to the pro-life cause.

August intention: That medical students and nurses may resist any pressure to take part in abortion or euthanasia.

Our Latest Products -- Original Intent; Respect Life Petitions

Respect Life Petitions

In order to help parishes fulfill the request of the bishops that "parishes should include in the petitions at every Mass a prayer that ours will become a nation that respects and protects all human life, born and unborn, reflecting a true culture of life," Priests for Life is happy to make available our booklet "Respect Life Petitions," which will put on your desk, in a single place, all the respect life petitions you will need for every Sunday of the three-year liturgical cycle. Each of them is based on the readings assigned for the Mass of that particular day. A more limited section of petitions in Spanish is also included.

Original Intent

This is one of the best books in existence about the relationship between the Constitution, the Courts, and religion. Learn how to explain what "Separation of Church and State" means and what it doesn't mean. Read about how the Founders of our Country were religious men who praised Jesus and proclaimed his Gospel. Learn why our Founders did not establish a "Democracy." Learn what the Founders really thought about the role of the courts and who has the right to interpret the Constitution. Great gift for students, teachers and clergy!

Order form

(Please mail to Priests for Life, PO Box 141172, Staten Island, NY 10314 or fax to 718-980-3900)

Name: ________________________________________________

Address: _______________________________________________

City: _________________________State: _________ Zip: _______

Phone: _______________________Email: ____________________

r Please send me ____ copies of Original Intent, at $13.00 each, for total of $___________

r Please send me ____ copies of "Respect Life Petitions" at $2.00 each, for total of $___________

r Additional Donation $___________

Total Donation $___________

r I made my check payable to: Priests for Life.

r Please charge my contribution to my credit card:

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