Three honored as ‘People of Life’ during national conference

Three individuals received national awards for their work in the pro-life movement Aug. 5 at the 2019 People of Life Awards and Dinner Banquet held in the undercroft of the Cathedral of the Assumption in downtown Louisville.

Pro-life leaders from dioceses around the country attended the awards dinner, sponsored by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The honorees were Cheryl Holley, Marian Desrosiers and Chuck Donovan.

The People of Life award recognizes Catholics who answer the call to pro-life work as outlined by St. John Paul II’s 1995 encyclical “Evangelium Vitae,” a news release from the USCCB said.

The award honors those “dedicating themselves to pro-life activities and promoting respect for the dignity of the human person,” the release said. “It is bestowed in honor of their significant and longtime contributions to the culture of life.”

Cheryl Holley is the director of the Josephite Pastoral Center in Baltimore and is on the board of the Gabriel Network, which serves pregnant women and children in Maryland and Washington, D.C. Holley has worked to unite pro-life communities through ecumenical and multicultural efforts for three decades.

Chuck Donovan, a native of Louisville, is the president of the Charlotte Lozier Institute, the education and research arm of the Susan B. Anthony List political action committee. Donovan has been involved in the pro-life movement for four decades. He served as legislative director of the National Right to Life Committee from 1979 to 1981, in leadership at the Family Research Council and as co-chair of the Heritage Foundation’s Religious Liberty Working Group.

Marian Desrosiers is honored for work in the Diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts. In addition to her time as the diocesan pro-life director, she also led the diocese’s Project Rachel Ministry, which provides pastoral care for individuals who have been involved in an abortion, for 25 years. Today, Desrosiers is the director of advancement at Bishop Connelly High School and continues to serve women and their children in her diocese’s Women’s Transitional Home.

The honorees join 34 other People of Life award recipients since the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities established the award in 2007.

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