Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Y-LIFE Confirms Conference Speaker Fr. Stephen Imbarrato

One would be hard pressed to find a Catholic priest who wouldn’t describe his path to the priesthood as a "grace filled journey." Father Stephen Imbarrato of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, New Mexico, has good reason to make that claim. For Father Stephen, who was ordained in 2005, that grace includes great blessings – such as the joy of adopting a son as a single person and his dedicated involvement in various pro-life initiatives.

It also includes the knowledge that it was a painful past – namely his own complicity in an abortion 35 years ago- that brought him to the pro-life movement in the first place, opened him to the priesthood and now allows him to preach the Gospel of Life “from the standpoint of mercy.”

In 1974, he said, “I did not stand up for my girlfriend when I got her pregnant,” and today he counts himself as sharing the guilt for her decision to abort.  It wasn’t until years later as a seminarian that he learned she had been carrying twins.

Fr Imbarrato began pro-life work in the early nineties as a political activist, but soon realized the call to pro-life ministry joining Lifenet of NJ as a member of their Speaker Bureau. When he entered Holy Apostles Seminary in 2000, he directed their Life League (HALL), and while still in the seminary founded St Gerard's Center for Life in Hartford. Ordained to the priesthood in 2005, Father soon founded Project Defending Life (www.defendinglife.org) in his home diocese of Santa Fe, NM, which has many pro-life ministries and activities under its direction including the Holy Innocents Chapel directly across from Planned Parenthood. Father Stephen celebrates Mass in the Chapel twice a week and leads a Eucharistic Procession to Planned Parenthood, the only ministry in the US with regularly scheduled Eucharistic processions to an abortion mill.

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