Three champions of the pro-life cause were honored on August 5 at the 2019 People of Life awards for their lifetime contributions to the movement.
The awards were presented during the annual Diocesan Pro-Life Leadership Conference taking place in Louisville, Kentucky. This year’s honorees are Cheryl Holley, Marian Desrosiers, and Chuck Donovan. Approximately 125 diocesan Catholic pro-life leaders and guests attended the private awards dinner, including Archbishop Joseph Naumann, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The People of Life award recognizes Catholics who have answered the call outlined by Pope Saint John Paul II in The Gospel of Life (Evangelium Vitae, 1995) by dedicating themselves to pro-life activities and promoting respect for the dignity of the human person. It is bestowed in honor of their significant and longtime contributions to the culture of life.
Over the past three decades, awardee Cheryl Holley has led the way in uniting pro-life communities through ecumenical and multicultural efforts. Holley is the Director of the Josephite Pastoral Center and she is a board office of the Gabriel Network, serving pregnant women and children throughout Maryland and Washington, DC. Holley says her passion is “to work with teenage pregnant mothers and to share with them their God-given dignity.” She believes that “education and the knowledge of God’s unending love are the keys to eliminating abortions and sexually transmitted diseases,” which has led her to coordinate two conferences on women’s sexuality and life issues with the Archdiocese of Washington.
Awardee Chuck Donovan—a native of Louisville—is the President of the Charlotte Lozier Institute, the education and research arm of pro-life PAC Susan B. Anthony List. Donovan has been a guiding force in the pro-life movement for four decades, as Legislative Director of the National Right to Life Committee from 1979-1981, in leadership at the Family Research Council, and as co-chair of the Heritage Foundation’s Religious Liberty Working Group. Donovan, a prolific author, and speaker was honored for his tireless dedication to developing critical public policy protections for conscience rights and the rights of unborn children.
Awardee Marian Desrosiers was honored for her joyful and dedicated pro-life service in the Diocese of Fall River. In addition to her time as the diocesan pro-life director, she also spent 25 years leading the diocese’s Project Rachel Ministry, which provides pastoral care for individuals who have been involved in an abortion. Desrosiers today is the Director of Advancement at Bishop Connolly high school and continues to serve women and their children in her diocesan Women’s Transitional Home.
The awardees join 34 other People of Life award recipients since the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities established the award in 2007.