So many here have shared their disappointment with priests who, for whatever reason, fail to be strong voices in defense of the unborn. Sadly I must agree. BUT, there is something you can do to make a change; in your parish or in your entire diocese.
1. Most all Diocese’s websites have a directory with email contact info for every parish in their diocese. In many cases, the parishes are shown by individual church and county. Most email address go either to the pastor or office administrator. These resources become your target list. For example, I checked for a list for the Diocese of Wichita and found an alphabetical listing of 91 individual parishes.
2. Create a respectful, well prepared, and constructive suggestion on how you think they can become better front line leaders in support of the unborn. I cannot stress enough that your communication must be positive and respectful. If you are very happy with your parish’s stand and activity for Life, thank them.
3. Facebook Apostles as well as many other Catholic social media sites provide excellent content for sharing with your priests. I highly favor Fr. Frank Pavone’s social media which provides timely information on events, prayer novenas, legislative imperatives, etc. Note, when sharing info of others let your reader(s) know the source. Priests for Life is highly creditable and gets immediate attention
4. Recently, I sent some communications to all 95 parishes in my own Diocese in New Jersey. I used it to share a suggestion that one General Intercessory Prayer for the Unborn be added weekly at all Masses. I also mass communicated Father Pavone’s press release about joining in a national day of prayer for the unborn on September 12th.
5. The first message took me 90 minutes to cut and paste a form message to each individual email address. For my second message, I created a group address of all the individual email address as a template first. By investing in this step, my second message only took me 20 minutes to reach all my parishes. I am poised for further action. Experience is the best teacher.
6. IMPORTANT. It is not enough just to send out a “F.Y.I.” note. I suggest you also make a request of them to spread the info within their parishes by pulpit announcement, sermon, bulletin announcement, etc. as appropriate. NOTE. Most parishes have to submit their copy for the upcoming Sunday bulletin by the Tuesday beforehand. If info is timely and needed for your next bulletin, you must contact them by that day.
7. I’m sure you all know that no matter what you do, there are usually politics at hand. There is always the possibility of some pushback. For me, I am committed to the Pro-Life cause and I am willing to take that risk. Use your best judgement on who you might communicate with. In my two messages, I only received one negative response. In such cases, always best to listen and respond if necessary with respect.
8. If you have any appropriate title or belong to any appropriate Pro-Life groups, use them in your communications. It helps with credibility. In my case, ironically, the diocese awarded my 3 year studies and I now hold their Certificate in Catechetical Leadership. And for me, I sign my name with my title, Director, FacebookApostles.org.
9. Don’t over due it. You don’t want to be labeled a trouble maker.
10. It is VERY important for you to know that under Church Canon Law, that as a member of the Lay Faithful you are guaranteed the right to make your views known to your priests, pastors, and bishops. I used it once and I call it the “Lay Card.”
11. Finally, pray for your priests and for their positive response.
Director, Facebook Apostles.org
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