Special to The Hays Daily News

SALINA -- Father Frank Pavone believes in "preaching to the choir." That's one reason the National Director of Priests for Life is coming to the Salina Diocese on Sept. 5 and 6, where he will be the main speaker and presenter at a banquet and conference. These events are open to people of all religious denominations.

Pavone will speak at the Respect Life Banquet, which will begin with a social hour at 6 p.m. at the Holiday Inn, 1616 W. Crawford St. His talk, titled "A Dozen Reasons Why the Pro-Life Movement is Winning," is meant to motivate those already actively working to protect all human life.

"Preaching to the choir is a particular form of preaching, consisting of nurturing the commitment of those already committed, deepening the conversion of those already converted, and guiding the activity of those already active," Pavone said in his recently released book, "Ending Abortion, Not Just Fighting It."

Paul S. Coakley, bishop of the Salina Diocese, encourages people of all faiths to attend.

"Pavone has dedicated his ministry to giving voice to the voiceless. His is one of the clearest voices in our country speaking on behalf of the unborn and the dignity of human life from conception to its natural end," Coakley said.

On Sept. 6, Pavone will begin by celebrating the 8 a.m. Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral, 118 N. Ninth. He will be the main presenter at the Respect Life Conference beginning at 10 a.m. at St. Mary, Queen of the Universe, 230 E. Cloud. Pavone will give three presentations titled, "The Right to Die? You Won't Miss Out On It!," "Praying: The Right Way to End Abortion," and "Political Responsibility, According to the United States' Bishops' Document, in Living the Gospel of Life."

Carol Otter of Norton, president of the Salina Diocese Respect Life Commission -- the group that planned this two-day event -- said she is eager for Pavone's presentations.

"I am excited to meet Pavone and to be able to learn from him about life issues and the church's teachings on the sacredness of life," Otter said. "I believe it is important that we have the correct information to share with others and particularly be able to answer questions with facts."

This is precisely why Pavone believes in "preaching to the choir." Once the "choir" understands the ramifications of the message, he says in his book, then they can reach a "far greater audience who will never come looking for the message."

Pavone is one of the most prominent pro-life leaders in the nation and the world. In addition to being the national director of Priests for Life, he is also the president of the National Pro-life Religious Council and the National Pastoral Director of Rachel's Vineyard, the world's largest ministry of healing after abortion. He produces programs regularly for religious and secular radio and television networks. He was asked by Mother Teresa to speak in India on life issues, and was invited to address the pro-life caucus of the United States House of Representatives. He has served as an official of the Pontifical Council for the Family at the Vatican, which coordinates the pro-life activities of the Catholic Church. He received the Proudly Pro-Life Award by the National Right to Life Committee. Norma McCorvey, the "Jane Roe" of the Supreme Court's Roe vs. Wade decision, called Pavone "the catalyst that brought me into the Catholic Church."

Tickets are $20 for the banquet and $20 for the conference, which does include lunch. They can be reserved by contacting Donetta Robben at (785) 625-9356 or (877) 447-4383 or by e-mail at rachelsvineyard@salina diocese.org.