By Terry Vanderheyden

AMARILLO, Texas, December 22, 2005 ( – Priests for Life’s new Society of Apostolic Life, the Missionaries of the Gospel of Life, has received official approval from its bishop.

On December 12, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the unborn, Bishop John Yanta of Amarillo, Texas, signed the approval for the Society that will train priests, deacons, and lay missionaries to devote their lives to the unborn. Priests of the Society make special promises related to the defense of human life, and are at the disposal of the Society to travel throughout the United States to do the pro-life work that is required.

“What this means is that this morning, the new Society actually became a canonical reality in the Church,” said Fr. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life. “Up to now it was a project, an idea, a movement that we have all indeed been involved in and working toward!”

“But now, by God’s grace, we can say that there exists – for the first time in Church history – a Society of Apostolic Life that will train priests, deacons, and lay missionaries to work full time to end abortion in America and worldwide! Please praise the Lord together with me at this historic moment.”

Fr. Pavone requests that men interested in becoming a priest or deacon for the society consider participating in a discernment retreat to be held January 6-8 in Amarillo. Those interested can contact Priests for Life at [email protected].

“It has been a dream of mine for over a decade to form a community that can accept seminarians who want to devote their entire ministry to the defense of the unborn,” said Fr. Pavone in March when he formed the society. “While there are religious communities that give special emphasis to the right to life, the Church has no ‘institutional’ society of men whose exclusive focus is to protect innocent human life from the tragedy of abortion and euthanasia. It is time for such a community. I am grateful to Bishop Yanta for allowing me the opportunity to make this dream a reality.”

Fr. Pavone credits Pope John Paul II with the inspiration for the Society, saying that the community’s mandate will be modeled after the former Holy Father’s encyclical, The Gospel of Life. “Our efforts move forward as a living memorial of this great Pope, and we dedicate this new initiative to him, the Pope of Life.”

Fr. Pavone also said that the Missionaries of Life is also open to lay members. To find out more about this aspect, see:

See related coverage:
  New Society of Priests Devoted to Pro-Life Cause Announced by Fr. Frank Pavone and Bishop Yanta

Visit the Priests for Life website at:


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