Cardinal Renato Martino, the President of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace is to preside at the groundbreaking ceremony Aug. 24th Amarillo, Texas, for Priests for Life’s new international headquarters and formation house for the seminarians of the new the Missionaries of the Gospel of Life.

During the mass, Priests for Life national director Fr. Frank Pavone will become the first member of the Missionaries of the Gospel of Life and he will receive the promises of the first group of lay associates. The new priestly community was founded by Fr. Pavone.

Bishop John Yanta of Amarillo welcomed Priests for Life into his diocese and officially established its new community in December. The second group of seminarians for the society arrived Aug. 17.

“This is an historic day,” the bishop said, “and only God knows how significant it will prove to be for the pro-life movement in this country and around the world. Our diocese is proud to partner with Priests for Life in this work of the Holy Spirit.”

Last December, Cardinal Martino said the new community “may seem like a sign of contradiction—but it may just be what the world of today needs! The call to protect life is not only a foundation of our faith as Catholics, but it is the very basis of our recognition of human rights and the right to life.”

Fr. Pavone will also take this opportunity to convene a strategy meeting of priests who work full time on the pro-life cause and pro-life leaders.

Guests expected to attend the ceremony include: Dr. Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King Jr. and a member of the Priests for Life pastoral team; Norma McCorvey, the former “Jane Roe” of Roe vs. Wade, whom Fr. Pavone received into the Catholic Church in 1998; Bob and Mary Schindler, the parents of Terri Schiavo; and Mary O’Connor Ward, the sister of Cardinal John O’Connor, who ordained Fr. Pavone and gave him permission in 1993 to lead Priests for Life.

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