WASHINGTON — Three Catholic women leaders from diverse fields in the pro-life movement were recognized for their contributions with the 2013 People of Life Award for their lifelong dedication.
Frances Hogan, Sister Jane Marie Klein and Barbara Thorp received the award Aug. 4 at the Diocesan Pro-Life Leadership Conference, sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities.
Cardinal Seán O’Malley, archbishop of Boston and chairman of the USCCB’s pro-life committee, presented the awards.
Since 2007, the annual People of Life Award is given to persons who demonstrate Blessed John Paul II’s call in his encyclical Evangelium Vitae (The Value and Inviolability of Human Life) for the faithful to be “people of life and for life.”
Frances Hogan was recognized as a person who has upheld the dignity of life through her work as a lawyer and advocate against euthanasia. Hogan is a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, and she is a co-founder of Women Affirming Life, a group of Catholic women who seek to display the dignity of all human life in their careers, personal lives and communities.
Hogan has also been a board member and consultant for various pro-life organizations, including the Pro-Life Legal Defense Fund, the Value of Life Committee and the USCCB’s pro-life committee.
Hogan also helped to guide the Massachusetts Catholic Conference in defeating the 2012 ballot initiative to legalize physician-assisted suicide.
Sister Jane Marie Klein, a member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration, was recognized for her work in health care and her advocacy for conscience protections. She is a member of the board of trustees for the Franciscan Alliance, a group of Catholic hospitals and health-care facilities in Michigan, Indiana and Illinois. She previously served as the group’s president.
Sister Jane has also spoken on the importance of conscience protections, most notably during her March 2013 presentation on Capitol Hill on the Health Care Conscience Rights Act.
Barbara Thorp has worked in social work and pro-life advocacy in the Boston area and with the Archdiocese of Boston for 35 years. With the archdiocese, she helped to start and direct Project Rachel, a post-abortion healing ministry, and she has aided pregnant women in crisis situations by managing the Cardinal’s Fund for the Unborn.
Thorp has also worked on developing end-of-life information for parishes in the Boston area, and she helped organize counseling and support for students and staff at The Newman School in Boston in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings in April.