The pro-life effort is not simply a cause, a movement, or a political position. All that has its place. But pro-life is, at its core, a spirituality. The Gospels and the teachings of the Church not only teach us why we are pro-life; they teach us how to live it. There are specific virtues we need, and these virtues shape pro-life activity and strategy. (Fr Frank Pavone)
STATEN ISLAND, NY (Catholic Online) - This week and next, Priests for Life is announcing new efforts in the pro-life education of the clergy and laity. Building on the work of the last two decades, Priests for Life will present renewed initiatives to train people how to live out their commitment to protecting human life.
"The pro-life effort is not simply a cause, a movement, or a political position," explained Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life. "All that has its place. But pro-life is, at its core, a spirituality. The Gospels and the teachings of the Church not only teach us why we are pro-life; they teach us how to live it. There are specific virtues we need, and these virtues shape pro-life activity and strategy."
Priests for Life just produced new programs for EWTN that reflect this spirituality, and this week Fr. Frank will present it, at the invitation of the Vatican, to a conference of jurists sponsored by the Pontifical Council for the Family. Then, at the end of the week, Fr. Frank will again present this approach in Chicago.
The Archdiocese of Chicago's Respect Life Office, with the blessing of His Eminence Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., has invited Fr. Frank to lead a special leadership retreat for Parish Respect Life Coordinators to help them spiritually and mentally prepare for Respect Life Month and another great year of pro-life parish ministry.
"Several years ago, I went to a pro-life retreat that was led by Fr. Frank, and since then, I have wanted to provide this type of experience to all of our Parish Respect Life Coordinators" said Margie Breen, Director of the Respect Life Office of the Archdiocese of Chicago.
"I first came to know of Fr. Frank Pavone and Priests for Life from Father's appearances on several different EWTN shows. First, it was Father asking people to view the horrible abortion pictures on his Priests for Life website that got me involved in the pro-life movement. Second, I credit Father for my full time pro-life ministry. It was during one of his EWTN homilies that he asked people to leave their current full time work and find ways to work full time in the pro-life movement. I stepped out in faith, and God opened the doors to my current ministry as Respect Life Office Director. The road hasn't been easy, but it never is when you are working to fight one of the worst injustices of our time. I am grateful to Father Frank and Priests for Life for their important ministry!," Margie concluded.
Fr. Frank explained, "This retreat will be designed to impart the pro-life spirituality on which we have trained activists around the world for years. It is a spirituality based on the teaching, life and example of three pro-life icons whom I was privileged to know personally and who shaped profoundly my own vocation to pro-life activism: Blessed John Paul II, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, and Cardinal John O'Connor, who ordained me to the priesthood and gave me permission to devote myself full-time to the defense of the unborn."
Fr. Frank added, "From its inception, Priests for Life has had a close and fruitful relationship with the Archdiocese of Chicago. When Cardinal O'Connor released me to be the first full-time director of the organization, Cardinal Bernardin of Chicago permitted Fr. Jim Heyd to be the Associate Director. Cardinal George later permitted Fr. Heyd to work with us full-time. On many occasions over the years, the Archdiocese and its parishes have welcomed Priests for Life. Now, with the exemplary work of Margie Breen, and under the inspiring leadership of Cardinal George, the Archdiocese continues to advance the pro-life cause, and I am honored to assist in that effort."
To hear some of Fr. Frank's training seminars in pro-life spirituality go here. Stay tuned to PriestsForLife.org for more announcements about these efforts.
Priests for Life is the nation's largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.
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