Pro-life leaders with an impact win Catholic honors

Louisville, Ky., Aug 6, 2019 / 11:24 am (CNA).- Three Catholic pro-life leaders have won recognition for their diverse work, including outreach to pregnant and parenting women and public policy efforts.

The People of Life Award, presented by U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities, honors those whose work has shown “significant and longtime contributions to the culture of life” in the spirit of Pope Saint John Paul II’s 1995 encyclical “Evangelium Vitae,” the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said Aug. 6.

One honoree, Cheryl Holley, has worked for three decades in ecumenical and multicultural efforts to unite pro-life communities. With the Archdiocese of Washington, she has coordinated two conferences on women’s sexuality and life issues.

She said her passion is “to work with teenage pregnant mothers and to share with them their God-given dignity.” She added that “education and the knowledge of God’s unending love are the keys to eliminating abortions and sexually transmitted diseases.”

Holley and two others were recognized at the awards dinner at the annual Diocesan Pro-Life Leadership Conference, held this year in Louisville, Ky. Over 100 Catholic diocesan pro-life leaders and guests attended.

Another recipient of the People of Life Award was Chuck Donovan, recognized for “his tireless dedication to developing critical public policy protections for conscience rights and the rights of unborn children.”

Donovan is president of the Charlotte Lozier Institute, the education and research arm of the Susan B. Anthony List pro-life advocacy group. His long career in the pro-life movement includes service as the National Right to Life Committee’s legislative director from 1979-1981. He has held a leadership role at the Family Research Council and co-chaired the Heritage Foundation’s Religious Liberty Working Group.

A third recipient of the award, Marian Derosiers, won praise for “her joyful and dedicated pro-life service,” the U.S. bishops’ conference said.

She has worked for decades in the Diocese of Fall River. She presently serves as the diocese’s pro-life director and led the diocese’s post-abortion ministry Project Rachel for 25 years. Additionally, she is director of advancement at Bishop Connolly High School and works to help women and children at the diocese’s transitional home for women.

There have been 37 People of Life Award recipients since 2007, when the award was established.


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