Archive for the ‘Easter’ Category

Remembering Mother Angelica

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

In 1994, just a year after taking the reins of Priests for Life, Father Frank Pavone was invited to speak at several events in Birmingham. While he was there, arrangements were made for him to be on EWTN’s live show with Mother Angelica.

Father Frank always wore the “Precious Feet” pin that model the feet of a baby at 10 weeks’ gestation, and I had suggested to him, some time before this appearance on EWTN, that we should glue pink and blue ribbons to the pin. So Father Frank and Mother were in the midst of a conversation on the show, when Mother interrupted him and asked about the pin. “You need new ribbons,” she asserted, “they’re faded.” Her trademark laugh followed, and then she was back on point with their previous conversation.

The next day, the two of them had a private meeting in Mother’s office. With her characteristic bluntness, she said, “The network needs a pro-life show. Would you do it?” Of course Father Frank said yes! Then Mother picked up the phone and said to whoever was on the line, “We’re going to have a show with Father Frank. Make it happen.”

That’s how it was with Mother Angelica. If she wanted you on the air, you were on the air. If she felt a comment needed making, she made it. She was totally led by the Holy Spirit.

Our first season of “Defending Life” aired in 1995 and in the 21 years since, we have featured scores of pro-life ministries on the show and raised awareness of the pro-life cause in ways that just wouldn’t have been possible if Mother Angelica had not opened that door.

I remember another time, it was still in the 90s, when Father Frank and I were at EWTN taping “Defending Life.” He was on the live show again, and as I was waiting I walked into a reception area and found Mother Angelica there. She told me about land she had just purchased in Hanceville, about an hour away from EWTN in Irondale. The property was a former soybean farm, and it was just acres and acres of nothing. But she envisioned a monastery, with a church big enough for an eight-foot monstrance.

Her vision was fulfilled in 1999 when the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament opened in Hanceville, with an eight-foot monstrance in the chapel.

The monastery was beautiful, and I understood Mother Angelica’s desire to get her cloistered sisters away from the hustle and bustle of EWTN, but the truth is I also miss seeing them, and her, when I go there four times a year to tape our shows. It was inspirational to see them at Mass and to hear their singing, and in and around the set, there was always a chance to catch a glimpse of her. They were spiritual, special years.

I was very fortunate to have a chance to visit her at the monastery in 2000. I was at EWTN and one of our guests on “Defending Life” and I received permission to visit one of the sisters and while we were there, Mother Superior let us know that Mother Angelica would like to come out to greet us. Through the iron grate that separated the sisters from the rest of the world, she shook my hand and it was a truly mystical, spiritual moment. In her presence, I felt the very near presence of God.

“May the angels lead you into paradise; may the martyrs receive you at your arrival and lead you to the holy city Jerusalem. May choirs of angels receive you and with Lazarus, once a poor man, may you have eternal rest.”

 

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Easter is Coming

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

MEVs John and Elaine Testa are greeted by Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, during the Walk for Life West Coast in San Francisco in January.

http://www.priestsforlife.org/articles/4137-new-mev-couple-is-fighting-for-the-unborn-on-many-fronts

John and Elaine Testa, who recently made their final promises as Missionaries of the Gospel of Life (MEV), sent this beautiful message out to their email list today. Take a moment to read it, and click on the link above to read more about the Testas and their full-time commitment to life.

 

Easter is Coming

There once was a man named George Thomas, pastor in a small New England town. One Easter Sunday morning he came to the Church carrying a rusty, bent, old bird cage, and set it by the pulpit. Eyebrows were raised and, as if in response, Pastor Thomas began to speak…. 

“I was walking through town yesterday when I saw a young boy coming toward me swinging this bird cage.. On the bottom of the cage were three little wild birds, shivering with cold and fright.

 

I stopped the lad and asked, “What do you have there, son?”

“Just some old birds,” came the reply.

“What are you going to do with them?” I asked.

 

“Take ‘em  home and have fun with ‘em,” he answered. “I’m gonna tease ‘em and pull out their feathers to make ‘em fight. I’m gonna have a real good time.”

“But you’ll get tired of those birds sooner or later. What will you do then?”

“Oh, I got some cats,” said the little boy. “They like birds. I’ll take ‘em to them.”

 

The pastor was silent for a moment. “How much do you want for those birds, son?”

 

“Huh?? !!! Why, you don’t want them birds, mister.

They’re just plain old field birds. They don’t sing. They ain’t even pretty!”

“How much?” the pastor asked again.

 

The boy sized up the pastor as if he were crazy and said, “$10?”

 

The pastor reached in his pocket and took out a ten dollar bill. He placed it in the boy’s hand. In a flash, the boy was gone. The pastor picked up the cage and gently carried it to the end of the alley where there was a tree and a grassy spot. Setting the cage  down, he opened the door, and by softly tapping the bars persuaded the birds out, setting them free. Well, that explained the empty bird cage on the pulpit, and then the pastor began to tell this story:

 

One day Satan and Jesus were having a conversation. Satan had just come from the Garden of Eden, and he was gloating and boasting. “Yes, sir, I just caught a world full of people down there. Set me a trap, used bait I knew they couldn’t resist. Got ‘em all!”

 

“What are you going to do with them?” Jesus asked.

 

Satan replied, “Oh, I’m gonna have fun! I’m gonna teach them how to marry and divorce each other, how to hate and abuse each other, how to drink and smoke and curse. I’m gonna teach them how to invent guns and bombs and kill each other. I’m really gonna have fun!”

 

“And what will you do when you are done with them?”

Jesus asked. “Oh, I’ll kill ‘em,” Satan glared proudly.

“How much do  you want for them?” Jesus asked.

 

“Oh, you don’t want those people. They ain’t no good. Why, you’ll take them and they’ll just hate you. They’ll spit on you, curse you and kill you. You don’t want those people!!”

 

“How much? He asked again.

 

Satan looked at Jesus and sneered, “All your blood, tears and your life.”

Jesus said, “DONE!” Then He paid the price.

 

The pastor picked up the cage and walked from the pulpit.

 

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