Father Frank Pavone is one of the most prominent pro-life leaders in the world. Originally from New York, he was ordained in 1988 by Cardinal John O’Connor, and since 1993 has served full-time in pro-life leadership with his bishop’s permission. He is the National Director of Priests for Life, the largest pro-life ministry in the Catholic Church. He is also the President of the National Pro-life Religious Council, and the National Pastoral Director of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign and of Rachel’s Vineyard, the world’s largest ministry of healing after abortion. He travels throughout the country, to an average of four states every week, preaching and teaching against abortion. He produces programs regularly for religious and secular radio and television networks. He was asked by Mother Teresa to speak in India on the life issues, and has addressed the pro-life caucus of the United States House of Representatives. The Vatican appointed him to the Pontifical Academy for Life and to the Pontifical Council for the Family, which coordinates the pro-life activities of the Catholic Church. He was present at the bedside of Terri Schiavo as she was dying and was an outspoken advocate for her life. He was invited by members of the Class of 2009 at Notre Dame to lead an alternate commencement ceremony for those students who refused to attend the ceremony in which President Obama was honored. Fr. Frank was invited by members of Congress to preach at the prayer service they had in the Capitol just prior to the vote on health care reform. He received the “Proudly Pro-life Award” by the National Right to Life Committee, and numerous other pro-life awards and honorary doctorates. He is the author of four books, Ending Abortion, Not Just Fighting It; Pro-life Reflections for Every Day; Abolishing Abortion, and Proclaiming the Message of Life. Norma McCorvey, the “Jane Roe” of the Supreme Court’s Roe vs. Wade abortion decision, called Fr. Frank “the catalyst that brought me into the Catholic Church.”
Janet Morana addresses Bishop’s Respect Life Dinner in Colorado Springs
By: Janet Morana, Executive Director
I was honored to be invited by Bishop Michael Sheridan to give the keynote address in October at the Bishop’s Respect Life Dinner in the Diocese of Colorado Springs, Colorado. More than 800 people were in attendance at the event at the Broadmoor Hotel. In addition to at least a dozen priests and two tables of young Catholics, people also attended from the Archdiocese of Denver and the Diocese of Pueblo, Colorado.
I spoke about the Silent No More Awareness Campaign and our Healing the Shockwaves of Abortion initiative, which is an outreach to all the different groups of people who are impacted by the loss of a child to abortion.
Bishop Sheridan has served for many years as an Advisor to Priests for Life, so I was happy to have a chance to thank him publicly for his continuing support for Father Frank Pavone and the mission of our Priests for Life family of ministries.
A special thank you to Ray Clift, who volunteered to pick me up at the airport.
Priests for Life’s Alveda King Addresses Florida Catholic Dioceses at Statewide Respect Life Conference
By: Fr. Frank Pavone
TITUSVILLE, FL – Two of the major ministries of Priests for Life, and one of its medical advisors, were represented at the annual conference on October 20-21 organized by all the Catholic Dioceses of Florida, the home of the new, expanded Priests for Life headquarters.
Evangelist Alveda King, Director of Civil Rights for the Unborn for Priests for Life, was a featured speaker at the 31st annual Florida statewide Respect Life conference. The theme of the event was “For the Least of Them” and it was hosted by the Archdiocese of Miami in Weston. Representatives of the Catholic dioceses in the state were among the 450 people in attendance.
Ms. King gave two talks during the conference. In the first, she described the devastating impact abortion has had on the African- American community because of abortion providers like Planned Parenthood targeting minorities.
In her second speech, attended primarily by priests, Ms. King talked about the vital role of priests and pastors in defending the unborn. She also distributed copies of “Proclaiming the Message of Life” by Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life. The book gives pro-life sermon suggestions for all three cycles of Mass readings in the Catholic liturgy.
Ms. King linked the legalization of abortion to the 1962 Supreme Court decision that removed prayer from public schools and led to a creeping secular humanism that ultimately was able to dehumanize the child in the womb.
“By dehumanizing that child,” she said, “then it’s OK for the mother to do whatever she wants to do.”
Sharing personally from her own life experiences, she said her mother had considered aborting her, until her grandfather intervened, and how she herself had two abortions before her conversion to the pro-life cause.
“I bought the lie,” she admitted.
Ms. King urged priests to speak about abortion from the pulpit and not to worry that their words will be hurtful to women and men in their congregations who might be suffering the after-effects of abortion. To the contrary, she said, clergy who speak openly about abortion “are really setting people free.” The Archdiocese of Miami, which hosted this year’s conference, recently asked for a supply of Fr. Frank’s book Proclaiming the Message of Life so that they could distribute it to all their priests. The books gives prolife preaching tips for the readings of the all the Sundays of the year for all three liturgical cycles.
In a letter of greeting that Ms. King read at the conference, Father Pavone announced that the ministry’s move from New York City to Titusville had been completed and that the organization is still hiring staff and welcoming volunteers.
Addressing conference attendees, Father Pavone wrote:
“All of us at Priests for Life thank you for your commitment to the most important and urgent task our nation and our Church face right now, and that is to restore full and equal protection to the children in the womb. This is the priority meaning of the term “pro-life” and the most fundamental goal of the pro-life movement. This is, in fact, the civil rights movement of today, as Alveda first told me when we began working together almost twenty years ago.
“Friends, we will succeed in this task, but only if we work together and let no divisions stand in our way. Let us hasten to victory!”
Priests for Life medical advisor Dr. Anthony Levatino also addressed the conference, sharing the deeply personal story of how the tragic death of his young daughter ultimately led him to stop performing abortions and to speak out for the unborn. In 2015, Dr. Levatino marched with the women and men of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, carrying a sign that read “I Regret Performing Abortions.”
Also at the Respect Life conference, Donna Gardner, director of Rachel’s Vineyard for the Diocese of Palm Beach, spoke about the way men are wounded by abortion and her efforts to bring the post-abortion healing program inside men’s prisons. Rachel’s Vineyard operates under the umbrella of Priests for Life.
Conference attendees from around the state of Florida were encouraged to contact Priests for Life for opportunities for pro-life volunteer activities and paid positions at the new, expanded Priests for Life headquarters in Titusville.
To access photos, videos and audio from the conference, visit www.PriestsForLife.org.
“You Changed My View on this Issue Today,” and Other Beautiful Feedback
By: Fr. Frank Pavone
On a recent trip to Michigan, it again became as clear as day what an impact the ministry of Priests for Life is having all over the country. At the conclusion of one of the Masses at which I preached, a gentleman approached me to thank me for preaching on abortion, and he said, “You changed my view on this issue today.”
Later I met a man who said that he heard me speak years ago at a conference at which I was discussing the value of children as a gift from God. “I credit you,” he said, “for the three additional children I had since then. I thought I was finished, but you gave me the vision to be open to new life.”
Several other conversations touched upon last year’s presidential election. “Father,” one woman told me, “by your messages during the election season, you helped me see that I could vote for Donald Trump.” She was referring, of course, to the many talks and videos in which I pointed out that no matter what uneasiness people might have regarding a candidate, we always need to choose the best of the viable options, and that we are not voting for canonization, but rather for someone who will sign the right laws and appoint the right judges. We also vote for the party, and by bringing in a President, we bring in a whole army of like-minded people to staff the federal administration.
And in regard to the election, last summer I gave a major talk at a large banquet in Michigan. The talk was duplicated and sent around the state by the Michigan Right to Life leaders. Many people on this recent trip referred to that talk, and said, “Father, you deserve credit for turning Michigan towards Trump in the election.”
Praise God for this beautiful feedback. For every comment we hear, there are many similar ones left unsaid. God is using the ministry of Priests for Life to make a difference. Thank you for your support and making a difference with us!
Blessing of the Titusville Headquarters
By: Fr. Frank Pavone
On Saturday, October 21, Fr. Frank Pavone, joined by the other priests who work fulltime for Priests for Life and by the whole pastoral team, staff, and guests, blessed the new, expanded world headquarters of Priests for Life, the largest ministry in the Catholic Church focused on ending abortion.
The Administration and pastoral team had met in the previous days for one of their regular planning sessions, and so the blessing was the culmination of a week of good work and final preparations of the building. Various local volunteers joined the staff for the celebration.
During the blessing ceremony, Senior Vice President Jerry Horn read the unanimous resolution of the Board of Directors of Priests for Life renewing Fr. Frank to a new term of leadership of the organization, commending him for his leadership, and calling attention to two anniversaries in 2018: the 30th of his ordination to the priesthood and the 25th of his leadership of Priests for Life.
In his remarks, Fr. Frank reviewed the basics of why this building, and the ministry it serves, exist in the first place. “It cannot be more fundamental: you can’t kill babies. This conviction, and the actions to which it leads, flow from our humanity. That’s why the pro-life movement, including Priests for Life, are created from the ground up – literally the grassroots. We do not do this work because of some decree coming from on high, or some leader who has gathered us together and told us to do it. Our common humanity tells us to do it, and that’s why we will never stop.”
Fr. Frank thanked all who were responsible for the purchase, fundraising, and renovation of the new building. In a particular way, he pointed out the daily, detailed planning of every square inch of the building and its design by Executive Director Janet Morana. “She had the vision of how this building, in all its details, could best serve our mission.”
Priests for Life at Yale University
By: Kevin Burke, Pastoral Associate
On October 7th Pastoral Associate Kevin Burke was a speaker to a full conference room of students at Yale University for their 5th annual Vita Et Veritas Conference.
After his presentation the student team that invited Kevin to speak shared the following:
“Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and experience with us at the Vita conference. We are so grateful for everything you are doing for women and men suffering after abortion losses.” One student shared, “I was touched to learn of how the child’s cells live on in the mother. It made me more excited to have my own child someday.”
After his presentation many students approached Kevin for an opportunity to share appreciation for the content of his presentation and their own insights and feedback.
The Call and the Rosary Rally
By: Fr. Frank Pavone
The weekend of October 7th-9th saw a remarkable outpouring of prayer, praise and preaching in Washington, DC, with both Catholic and Evangelical gatherings at the Capitol, on the mall, and at the Basilica Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Fr. Frank Pavone and Evangelist Alveda King spoke at these events on behalf of Priests for Life.
Two of our friends and colleagues instrumental in the Evangelical events invited us to speak and pray at the three-day long event on the mall. Allan Parker of the Justice Foundation also heads up Operation Outcry, which – like our Silent No More Campaign – ministers to those who have had abortions. Allan invited Fr. Frank to pray at the rally on Saturday for those who have had abortions, and for the Supreme Court, to which Operation Outcry is submitting signed affidavits from people who have had abortions, showing that it damages rather than helps women and families. At the rally Fr. Frank pointed out that the chairs in which the Supreme Court Justices sit are tailor-made to match their height; so he prayed that God would send graces tailored to each one of them – so that those already practicing the Faith would remain faithful, and that those who promote wrong ideas would repent. “May the Supreme Court Justices recognize that they are not supreme,” Fr. Frank prayed, and concluded, “we submit the Supreme Court of the United States to the Supreme Court of Jesus Christ!”
Lou Engle, Founder of The Call, had Alveda King and Fr. Frank speak and pray on Monday, presenting the “Esther moment” and a special call to women to rally to the cause of life.
The National Rosary Rally also took place that weekend, and Fr. Frank was a keynote speaker at it on Saturday, on the Capitol lawn. “Many of these legislators are faithful disciples of Christ,” Fr. Frank told the crowd. “We are not only called to ‘hold their feet to the fire;’ we are called to hold their hands in the air, as Aaron and Hur held up Moses’ hands to help the Israelites in battle.” Fr. Frank pointed out that a key aspect of the battle right now is to pressure the Senate to pass the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.
On Monday, at the National Shrine of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Priests for Life also co-sponsored and was present for an all-day event of prayer, fasting, and preaching. The “International Week of Prayer and Fasting,” led by Maureen Flynn, had its 25th annual observance. Fr. Frank greeted many of the faithful who participated, encouraging them in their pro-life commitment.
Fr. Frank Pavone Hails Landmark Settlement of Five-Year Legal Struggle against HHS Mandate
By: Fr. Frank Pavone
TITUSVILLE, FL – “We got everything we were fighting for,” said Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, as he announced today a legal resolution between Priests for Life and the federal government, ending a five-year religious liberty battle over the Obama administration’s HHS mandate.
“The protracted war on religious freedom launched by the Obama administration through its HHS mandate is finally over – and freedom has won a complete victory!” declared Fr. Pavone. “Today, the Trump administration has done what the Obama administration could have and should have been done five years ago – respect the rights of Americans to practice their faith. Thank you, President Trump!”
Fr. Pavone (National Director of Priests for Life), Janet Morana (Executive Director), and Evangelist Alveda King (Director of Civil Rights for the Unborn) – all plaintiffs in this lawsuit which went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to fight the Obama administration’s HHS mandate – announced that they have reached a settlement agreement with the government that ends their legal struggle.
Under the terms of the binding agreement, the government affirms that the so-called “contraceptive mandate” cannot be legally enforced against Priests for Life, and that it is fully exempt from any obligation to cooperate in any way with the provision of contraceptives or abortion-inducing drugs in its health care plans. Further, the agreement provides that Priests for Life is exempt not only from the mandate, but also from “any materially similar regulation or agency policy,” thereby providing additional protection should another Obama-like administration take office in the future.
“The HHS mandate that gave Priests for Life the choice between helping to provide abortions or paying crushing financial penalties was really no choice at all,” added Fr. Pavone. “No American should ever be forced to choose between following his/her faith and following the law. We would never be complicit in the taking of human life, and the Obama administration knew it. I praise God that the Trump administration has ended this attack on all religious faiths.”
Father Pavone thanked Robert Muise and David Yerushalmi, Co-Founders and Senior Counsel of the American Freedom Law Center, which represented Priests for Life in the case.
Muise, who was lead counsel for Priests for Life throughout the protracted litigation, commented: “We fought for five long years to achieve our goal of defending the religious rights of Priests for Life. Make no mistake, this was an important and necessary fight. And this victory is not simply a victory for Priests for Life – it is a victory for all freedom-loving Americans who cherish our very first freedom: religious liberty.”
Priests for Life’s initial lawsuit was the fourth in the nation to be filed among what would turn out to be scores of legal challenges to the mandate. It was the lead case to come before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and Priests for Life v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services was the second listed case in the U.S. Supreme Court action Zubik vs. Burwell.
Video and photos of the plaintiffs signing the agreement, as well as the whole history of the case, can be seen at www.IStandWithPFL.com.
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Dear Father Pavone,
As a faithful supporter of Priests For Life and to continue my support, I am rushing my best gift immediately in the amount of: