Bishops Honor 3 Pro-life Advocates

Confer People of Life Award

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HOUSTON, Texas, AUG. 16, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The U.S. bishops recognized three individuals for their lifetime commitment to the pro-life movement: William May, Monsignor Philip Reilly, and Patricia Bainbridge.



These three individual were given the People of Life Award on Aug. 9 in Houston, at a ceremony with over 85 diocesan pro-life directors from across the country who were gathered for an annual conference.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston and chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities, presented the awards.

These individuals were honored for their "significant contribution in service to the culture of life," and for "dedicating themselves to pro-life activities and promoting respect for the dignity of the human person."

William May, who contributes to ZENIT's bioethics column, is a senior fellow of the Culture of Life Foundation. He has been appointed by the Holy See to several commissions and advisory groups, including a committee that compiled background information for the publication of "Dignitas Personae."

May has taught at several Catholic universities, and has authored over 225 articles and 24 books. He has been given many awards, including the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice medal, which was given to him in 1991 by Pope John Paul II.

May has been married for 52 years, and has seven children and 15 grandchildren.

Monsignor Philip Reilly has been fighting abortion since before the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision in 1973. He helped to organize the first March for Life in Washington, D.C., in 1974.

Monsignor Reilly, who was ordained 50 years ago, has spent over 25 years counseling and praying outside abortion clinics. He founded the Helpers of God's Precious Infants, Inc., in 1989 to gather people for this prolife outreach.

Patricia Bainbridge served for a decade as director of the Respect Life Office and Natural Family Planning Coordinator for the Diocese of Rockford, Illinois.

Prior to that, she founded the Christian Action Council of Western New York, co-founded Life Decisions International, and served on the board of Christian Tapes for the Blind and Disabled.

Bainbridge currently serves as chairman of the board of Human Life International and board member of several other prolife organizations.

She has been married for 40 years, and was received into full communion with the Catholic Church along with her husband in 2001.

The People of Life Award has been given to 11 people since 2007. Recipients include: John Bruchalski, Molly Kertz, Thomas Marzen (awarded posthumously), Carolyn Brown-Davis (awarded posthumously), Ann Dierks, Ralph Miech, Hanna Klaus, Virginia McCaskey, and Vicki Thorn.

Two college students were given the People of Life Student Leader Award: Thomas Nellson and Lauren Roselli.