WASHINGTON—The upcoming2018 People of Life awards will recognize the extraordinary lifetime achievementsof three inspiring individuals: an advocate for persons with disabilities, adiocesan priest involved in abortion healing ministry, and a leader in theeffort to oppose assisted suicide.
Theawards will be presented during the annual Diocesan Pro-Life LeadershipConference taking place July 29 to August 1 in Phoenix, Arizona. This year'saward winners are Janice Benton, Monsignor Joseph Ranieri, and James J. Hanson (whowill be recognized posthumously). Over 125 diocesan, state, and nationalCatholic pro-life leaders and guests from across the country will attend theevent with the Most Reverend Thomas Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix, the MostReverend Brendan Cahill, Bishop of Victoria, and the Most Reverend EduardoNevares, Auxiliary Bishop of Phoenix. Bishop Olmsted and Bishop Cahill serve onthe Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of CatholicBishops.
The People of Life award recognizesCatholics who have answered the call outlined by Pope Saint John Paul II in TheGospel of Life (Evangelium Vitae,1995) by dedicating themselves to pro-life activities and promoting respect forthe dignity of the human person. It is bestowed in honor of their significantand longtime contributions to the culture of life.
Even beforebeginning her nearly 15 years as the executive director of the NationalCatholic Partnership on Disability (NCPD), Janice Benton had already spent 25years in ministry and advocacy for and with persons with disabilities. Jan hasbeen a prophetic voice in upholding the dignity of every human life, especiallythe marginalized and those at risk of neglect or assisted suicide.
Msgr.Joseph A. Ranieri is the Coordinator of Pastoral Care of Priests in theArchdiocese of Washington, where he has also served as parish priest, pastor,and in countless other roles throughout his 60 years of priesthood. Monsignor Ranieriassists his diocesan Project Rachel Ministry in many capacities. He is also anactive member of the Project Rachel Ministry National Training Team for theU.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Finally,the secretariat will honor James J. Hanson posthumously for his tirelessefforts to oppose assisted suicide and for his own personal witness to thedignity of every human person, especially those facing a terminal illness. J.J.Hanson served as president of the Patients' Rights Action Fund, promoting measures that protect patients' civil rights andworking against efforts to legalize assisted suicide.
The awardees join 31other People of Life award recipients since the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activitiesestablished the award in 2007. More information on previous recipients and onthe People of Life campaign is available at www.usccb.org/about/pro-life-activities/people-of-life/people-of-life-award.cfm
Keywords: United StatesConference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, abortion, assisted suicide, People ofLife, terminal illness, Evangelium Vitae, Pope John Paul II
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