2012 People Of Life Awards To Therapist, Religious Sister

August 7, 2012 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON—A Sister of Social Service and a psychotherapist receivedthe 2012 People of Life Award for lifetime commitment to the pro-life movement,at an August 6 ceremony at the annual Diocesan Pro-Life Leadership Conferencein Anaheim, California. The honorees were Vincent Rue, PhD, and Sister PaulaVandegaer, SSS.

Cardinal DanielDiNardo of Galveston-Houston, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activitiesof the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), presented the awards. Over85 diocesan, state and national Catholic pro-life leaders attended the awards dinnersponsored by the USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities.

Theaward recognizes Catholics who exemplify the call by Pope John Paul II in TheGospel of Life (Evangelium Vitae, 1995) to dedicate themselves topro-life activities and promoting respect for the dignity of the human person.

Rue,a practicing psychotherapist and traumatologist for 36 years, was the firstmental health professional to provide clinical evidence of post-abortion traumaamong women and the first to describe the adverse impact of abortion on fathersof aborted children. As co-founder of the Institute for Pregnancy Loss, he treatsmen and women traumatized by abortion and is a leading researcher in this field.Through published studies and as a legislation/litigation consultant, Rue'sexpertise has helped shape pro-life laws and influenced court decisions.

Sister Vandegaer, a licensedclinical social worker, has worked to build Christ-centered communities ofsupport for abortion-vulnerable women and their families. Since 1967, she hashelped to form hundreds of pregnancy help centers. She is the founder andcurrent Program Director of International Life Services, an agency of 44centers serving 28,000 women internationally annually. In 1989, she founded theScholl Institute of Bioethics dedicated to research, service and education forthose faced with difficult bioethical decisions. In 1997 she started Volunteersfor Life, a group of volunteers who live in Christ-centered community,dedicating themselves to service agencies in the Los Angeles area. She is best-sellingauthor of the first textbook for pro-life counselors, Introduction to Pregnancy Counseling (2000), and has lectured andconducted counselor training in 50 states and in Australia, Ireland, Belgiumand Croatia.

ThePro-Life Secretariat has honored 17 other leaders since 2007.

Formore information on the bishops' People of Life campaign, visit www.usccb.org/catholic-giving/opportunities-for-giving/people-of-life.

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Keywords: People of Life Awards, U.S. Conference of CatholicBishops, USCCB,, Secretariat for pro-Life Activities, Evangelium Vitae, Pope John Paul II, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo

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