.- A national pro-life leader is calling for the creation of a new religious community for men, whose charism would be the defense and promotion of life. The director of Priests for Life, Fr. Frank Pavone, said he is “convinced that the time has come” for such a community.
“I have met numerous young men across the country ready to devote their lives to their unborn brothers and sisters,” he said.
The purpose of the community would not be to take over pro-life work in the country and take away every Christian’s basic call to defend the sanctity of life, but to “raise a trumpet call to the whole Church to give the defense of life the priority it deserves, at every level of Church life and ministry,” he said.
With a shortage of priests in North America, Fr. Pavone admitted that some people might fear that a new community would divert priests away from parishes and toward this specialized work.
But Fr. Pavone believes that the pro-life movement is the source of many new vocations. “Many will be led to the priesthood precisely because such a pro-life community exists. And this community would serve parishes nationwide,” he said.
Fr. Pavone recalled how the late John Cardinal O'Connor’s call to set up a community of religious women dedicated to pro-life work received hundreds of responses. The first eight women entered the newly formed Sisters of Life on June 1, 1991. There are now more than 45 members and several convents in the New York City area.
In the meantime, Priests for Life will continue to help priests become stronger in their pro-life work within their assignments as diocesan priests and within other communities, he said.
Men who are interested can contact Fr. Pavone at [email protected]