TITUSVILLE, FL — Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, and Janet Morana, Executive Director, today recalled their friend and longtime partner in the pro-life movement, Joe Scheidler, who died this morning.
“I was a new parish priest in the late 1980s when I first contacted Joe Scheidler, whose work I knew of through his newsletters and his book, Closed: 99 Ways to Stop Abortion,” Father Pavone recalled. “That was the start of our long collaboration, looking for ways to end the legal killing of children.”
Mrs. Morana, a parishioner of the Staten Island parish to which Father Pavone was assigned following his ordination, said the two of them decided to call Mr. Scheidler after reading the book and were thrilled when he answered the phone.
“Joe was called the godfather of the pro-life movement, and I always called him Godfather when I spoke to him,” Mrs. Morana said. “In our early years, he was one of the people who taught us how to be pro-life activists. He was an inspiration to us and gave us practical advice drawn from his many years as a passionate and fearless champion of the unborn.
Priests for Life, which Father Pavone took over as national director in 1993, has had long partnership with the Scheidlers and their organization, the Pro-Life Action League.
“I have countless memories of Joe, whether we were together fishing on Lake Michigan, praying to the Lord inside the Supreme Court as they were hearing his case, or saving babies in front of abortion mills. Every conversation with him was an inspiration to double my pro-life efforts,” Father Pavone said.
Father Pavone and Mrs. Morana recalled traveling to Chicago in 2006 to celebrate with Mr. Scheidler when the Supreme Court case Now vs. Scheidler was decided 8-0 in his favor, three decades years after the case was filed
“Joe’s victory was a victory for the whole pro-life movement,” Father Pavone said. “And the inspiring example of his life will bring us many more victories in the future.”
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