ANNOUNCING: The John Cardinal O’Connor Institute for the Pro-life Training of the Clergy

The John Cardinal O’Connor Institute
for the Pro-life Training of the Clergy

“Nothing changes the objective reality: abortion kills babies in their mothers’ wombs.  Abortion is not merely the removal of some tissue from a woman’s body.  Abortion is not the removal of a living ‘thing’ that would become human if it were allowed to remain inside the woman’s body.  Abortion is the destruction of an unborn baby.  Pregnancy is the period for this new human life to mature, not to ‘become human’ — it already is.  This is why the Church considers abortion the killing of a human being, and why the Second Vatican Council called it an ‘unspeakable crime’.”

– John Cardinal O’Connor


June 10, 2014

Dear Mary,

The late Cardinal John O’Connor wrote those words in July 1990.

I’ve sent them to you because they capsulize the reason you are such a fierce pro-life warrior.  You recognize that abortion is an “unspeakable crime” against humanity.  You understand that the child who suffers such excruciating pain during an abortion is your brother or sister.

You further understand that, due to its diabolical nature, abortion is destroying the very soul of America and corrupting our entire culture.

That’s why you work so tirelessly and so faithfully in the Lord’s pro-life vineyard.  It’s why you are so dedicated to helping our work here at Priests for Life prosper.

And it’s why I sent you this most urgent of appeals for help.

In light of your longstanding partnership with Priests for Life and the fact that we work side by side to end America’s abortion holocaust:

I need you to CLICK HERE and make the largest contribution you can to Priests for Life!

Here’s why.

You and Priests for Life have a golden opportunity to deal a crushing blow to the abortion industry.

But we can’t take full advantage of the moment without an immediate infusion of money.

With the summer now fully upon us and the economy in a shambles funds here at Priests for Life are at an all-time low.  But I’ve never been one to hold back on a project when the Hand of God is so clearly involved in it, as is the case today.

That’s why I’m coming to you with so much urgency and why I’m asking you to consider making a contribution to Priests for Life.

To do so, simply CLICK HERE and follow the instructions.

The gift you make to Priests for Life today will allow us to launch a special project that goes to the heart of our mission and is the very reason for our existence.

It’s also one of the reasons you chose to join the Priests for Life family in the first place.  Namely:

To TRAIN priests and deacons on how to be dynamic preachers of the Gospel of Life, rouse our fellow Catholics from their slumber, prod them into joining us on the front lines of the fight, and help us end the injustice of legalized abortion-on-demand in America.

The name of the program that will do this specialized pro-life training is:

The John Cardinal O’Connor Institute for the Pro-Life Training of the Clergy

As you know, it was the late Cardinal O’Connor who ordained me to the priesthood in 1988.  Five years later, in 1993, he released me to work full-time to train and mobilize the clergy in the defense of life.  He told me that, in his opinion, there was no work in the pro-life movement that was more timely or more important.

Blessed Mother Teresa certainly seemed to agree with Cardinal O’Connor.  In a note she sent back in 1995 she wrote:

[Priests for Life] needs many members to educate and encourage all the priests and deacons who must all work together to stop the terrible war against unborn children.  Often priests and deacons do not know what to say or do to educate their people about the terrible evil of abortion.  I am praying that those who joined Priests for Life will be able to strengthen and support those priests and deacons who feel unable to lead their people in the struggle against abortion.

As you can tell, Mother Teresa was speaking directly to you when she sent me her note.

You are one of the “many members” Mother spoke about.  You give your all so that Priests for Life can do work you know is important, namely: “To educate and encourage all the priests and deacons.”

From the day you decided to work with Priests for Life to end the crime of abortion in America, you began to “strengthen and support those priests and deacons who feel unable to lead their people in the struggle against abortion.”

You’ve been a faithful member of the Priests for Life family ever since.

That’s why I’m writing to you as I am today.

And why I’m confident you will take ownership of The John Cardinal O’Connor Institute and help make it the hammer which the People of Life will use to crush the abortion industry and bring us closer to the day when we make abortion, not merely illegal, but unthinkable.

That is one of your primary objectives as a disciple of Christ.

It is also the reason Priests for Life exists.

And The John Cardinal O’Connor Institute is going to play a key role in helping both of us fulfill the mission God has called us to.  Two of the many things that the John Cardinal O’Connor Institute will do are:

1. Send out our priests and Pastoral Associates to dioceses all across the country where they will stay for an extended period to: (1) Help train priests and deacons on how to effectively preach the Gospel of Life.  And (2) Meet with local activists and help them carry out their pro-life work.

2. Bring priests and deacons here to our headquarters in Staten Island and train them on how to preach the Gospel of Life, energize the People of Life and get them actively involved in the fight to end abortion.

Based on the depth of your commitment to our work here at Priests for Life and the pro-life movement in general, I’m sure this is music to your ears.

Having a program like this has been a vision of mine for many years.

But it was only during meetings I had with Mary Ward-Donegan, the late Cardinal O’Connor’s sister, that the vision began to take shape in my mind.  Mary was very excited during our meetings and has written a note encouraging you to support this vital new Priests for Life program.  You can click here to read her note.

Well, after many months of hard work and countless hours of planning, The John Cardinal O’Connor Institute is ready to begin its work.

But in order to do so, I need your immediate financial help.

Please CLICK HERE and do as much as you can.

Your gift is urgently needed because the Most Reverend Michael Sheridan, the Bishop of Colorado Springs, has invited Priests for Life to his diocese after I described to him the kind of visits we would like our priests to make for multi-parish events.  Many other dioceses will follow as well as we continue to offer a plan for thorough pro-life immersion.  We’ve confirmed the following dates and parishes with Bishop Sheridan:

July 19/20: Corpus Christi Church

July 26/27:  St. Mark Church

Aug. 23/24: St. Gabriel the Archangel Church

Fr. Denis Wilde, OSA, will be our point man in Colorado Springs, and he will not only preach in those parishes but also visit many other parishes during the week and will meet with priests, deacons, pro-life leaders and activists.  But we need your help in order to get him there … and keep him there as long as the mission lasts.

Father’s work in Colorado Springs will be our “beta test” for this particular dimension of the Institute.  Looking to the future, the goal is to include other members of the Pastoral team so that every diocese in the country is immersed in pro-life training.  These Pastoral Team members include:

Fr. Victor Salomón – Born in Venezuela, Fr. Victor is part of the Hermandad de Sacerdotes Operarios Diocesanos (Diocesan Laborer Priests) and the Director of Priests for Life’s Hispanic Outreach mission.

Janet Morana – Janet is the Executive Director of Priests for Life, Co-Founder of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, Co-host of EWTN’s “Catholic View for Woman” and the author of “Recall Abortion.”

Dr. Alveda King – Alveda is the niece of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., a minister of the Gospel, civil rights activist and the fulltime Director of African American Outreach at Priests for Life.

Kevin Burke – Kevin is a co-founder of Rachel’s Vineyard, which is Priests for Life’s post-abortion healing ministry.

Bryan Kemper – Bryan is the fulltime Director of Priests for Life’s Youth Outreach ministry, called Stand True Ministries.  Bryan works year-round to bring the energy of America’s youth into the pro-life movement.

Beginning in Colorado Springs – and working in full cooperation and union with other bishops – we will go about the necessary work of making every Catholic diocese in the United States


We are doing this because of what Dr. Bernard Nathanson told me after he converted to the pro-life movement.  His words haunt me to this day.  He said that he and his pro-abortion colleagues in the 1960s and 70s …

“… would never have gotten away with what we did if you (the clergy) had been united, purposeful, and strong.”

That’s why the work of The John Cardinal O’Connor Institute is so vital to our fight to end legalized abortion in America.  Through it:

You and Priests for Life will help the clergy in the United States become UNITED, PURPOSEFUL and STRONG!

And it all begins today with you today.  That’s because the cost just to send Fr. Wilde to Colorado Springs will run into the thousands of dollars:

Round-trip coach airfare:   $600
2-week car rental:  $300
Gasoline:   $200
14 days lodging:  $560
Meals:     $420

Total travel budget:  $2,080

There are 195 dioceses in the country.  If we are to send Father Denis or one of our Pastoral Associates to each and every one, it will cost Priests for Life $405,990.

Now we don’t need all of that money right now.

But we do need a hefty portion of it, and that for three critical reasons:

1. We have a significant presence in the Philadelphia Archdiocese and, with Archbishop Chaput’s permission, Fr. Wilde is reaching out to the pastors to arrange for parish visits.

2. Once word gets out of what we are doing in Colorado Springs and Philadelphia, I know for a fact that we will receive dozens and dozens of invitations from other bishops to come into their dioceses and assist them in stirring the flames of love for the unborn.

3. We are finalizing the details to do pro-life training sessions with the Fraternity of Priests.  I’ll let you know once the actual date for this John Cardinal O’Connor Institute session is set.

Bottom line:

The potential for The John Cardinal O’Connor Institute to play a leading role in our mutual ambition to crush the abortion industry is boundless.

But in order for it to fulfill its mission, the Institute must be fully funded.

Which again is why I’ve sent you this urgent email and my request that you CLICK HERE and make as large a contribution as you can.

Priests for Life is underwriting the entire expense of The John Cardinal O’Connor Institute.  No diocese will be charged or asked to reimburse so much as a single penny for any of the costs we incur when we send anyone to their dioceses.

We’re making that pledge so as to make it as easy as possible for any bishop to invite us to conduct a John Cardinal O’Connor Institute training session in their diocese.

However, the only way I can fulfill that offer to the bishops is if you and your fellow Priests for Life family members:

a) Recognize the tremendous value of The John Cardinal O’Connor Institute.  And …

b) Take on the burden of providing Priests for Life with the funds needed to make The John Cardinal O’Connor Institute possible.

I’m absolutely certain of the first condition.

And based on the loyalty and generosity you have shown when it comes to supporting Priests for Life, I am confident of the second condition as well.

Which again is why I’m so confident you will CLICK HERE and help with as large a gift as you give Priests for Life today.

Cardinal O’Connor, Blessed Mother Teresa and Dr. Nathanson all knew that the end of abortion will only happen when the clergy in America is UNITED, PURPOSEFUL and STRONG

The sole mission and purpose of The John Cardinal O’Connor Institute is to make that happen.

And with your help today – and through the grace of God – we will use the Institute to make every diocese in America an ABORTION-FREE DIOCESE.  Once we accomplish that, we will crush the abortion industry and end the slaughter of the youngest members of our human family.

That said, please take a moment right now to:

CLICK HERE and take ownership of The John Cardinal O’Connor Institute.

I cannot recall being as excited about a Priests for Life program as I am about The John Cardinal O’Connor Institute.  I pray that you share my enthusiasm and will take ownership of this project so that we can end America’s abortion holocaust once and for all.

Thank you.

I look forward to hearing from you in the next few days.  In the meantime, know that I am praying for you and will remember you at each Mass I offer (as will Fr. Denis, Fr. Salomón and all the priests of Priests for Life).  May God bless you.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director
Priests for Life and Gospel of Life Ministries

P.S. As you can tell by the tone of my email, I’m really counting on you to CLICK HERE and help make The John Cardinal O’Connor Institute a smashing success.  But I’m not the only one.  The late Cardinal O’Connor’s sister, Mary Ward-Donegan, is counting on you as well.  That’s why she wrote the note I told you about in this email.  She more than anyone knows just how desperately her brother wanted to win victory over abortion.  He was an outspoken champion for life.  And with your help today, we will mold and form more bishops and priests to be as passionate in their preaching of the Gospel of Life as was the late John Cardinal O’Conner.  If you haven’t already done so, you can click here to read Mary’s note.
NOTE: If you prefer to send a check, please make it out to Priests for Life and send it to us at PO Box 141172, Staten Island, NY 10314.  If you have any questions, call us toll-free at 888-735-3448.

Priests for Life
PO Box 141172
Staten Island, NY 10314
Phone: 888-PFL-3448
Fax: 718-980-6515

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