It’s official! This past Thursday, August 24, Bishop John Yanta of the Diocese of Amarillo received my profession of promises into the Society he gave me permission to found, the Missionaries of the Gospel of Life. In a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, and concelebrated by eight other bishops, I became the first “Moderator General” of this new community of priests and lay persons dedicated exclusively to ending abortion and euthanasia. This means that I am no longer incardinated in a diocese, but rather into this new Society of Apostolic Life. Hence, the new letters at the end of my name are “MEV”, which stands for the Latin words for “Missionaries of the Gospel of Life” (Missionarii Evangelii Vitae).
After the Mass, we had a groundbreaking ceremony on the 60 acres of land on which the new headquarters for Priests for Life and the Missionaries of the Gospel of Life will be built. Cardinal Martino blessed the land in a ceremony attended by numerous dignitaries, special guests, and members of the local community, as well as by the six men whom we have accepted as our first seminarians. Among our special guests were Norma McCorvey (the former “Jane Roe” of Roe vs. Wade), Bob and Mary Schindler (the parents of Terri Schiavo) and their son Bobby, Dr. Alveda King (niece of Martin Luther King, Jr.), and Mary Ward (sister of the late Cardinal John O’Connor, who ordained me and gave me permission to lead Priests for Life and explore the idea of a community of priests dedicated to ending abortion).
Some video footage of these events can be seen here, and more will be prepared in the days ahead.
During those days in Amarillo, we also had an historic meeting of priests from several different ministries who are involved in full-time pro-life work. We prayed together and discussed strategic initiatives by which we can collaborate more closely. The next day, we had a similar meeting of pro-life leaders from a wide range of groups. Cardinal Martino participated in both meetings. Many thanks to all of you from our Priests for Life family for your ongoing support. This is simply a beginning! Let’s push forward harder than ever with the work that needs to be done for our unborn brothers and sisters!
Fr. Frank Pavone, MEV
God is so good!