This weekend, a national pro-life award, called the Life Prizes, was given to two full-time members of the Priests for Life pastoral team. Dr. Alveda King, director of African American outreach for Priests for Life, and Marie Smith, wife of Congressman Chris Smith and director of the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues, were honored for their tireless work on behalf of the unborn. Both Marie and Alveda travel and speak as part of the Priests for Life/Gospel of Life team around the world, and are convinced that the Church needs to be fully activated in order to transform both culture and law. We congratulate Alveda King and Marie Smith. You can learn more about what they do or invite them to visit your community by going to priestsforlife.org.
Dr. Alveda King, director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life, and Marie Smith, founder and director of the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues, an outreach of Gospel of Life Ministries, are among six winners of this year’s “Life Prizes” bestowed by the Gerard Health Foundation.
Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life and Gospel of Life Ministries, congratulated the winners, who will receive the “Norinne A. and Raymond E. Ruddy Memorial Pro-Life Prize” at a ceremony Jan. 22 in Washington, D.C.
“Dr. King and Mrs. Smith are well-deserving of this honor, which recognizes the profound commitment they have to bringing an end to abortion throughout the world,” Father Pavone said.
Dr. King has worked with Father Pavone since 1999 and became a full-time Pastoral Associate at Priests for Life in 2005. She is also a member of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, a joint initiative of Priests for Life and Anglicans for Life. She is the daughter of Rev. A.D. Williams King, who was the brother of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Click here for her full biography.
“This Life Prize Award comes as a very welcome surprise and a dream come true,” said Dr. King. “The desire to plant seeds for life, to be a light, a lamp for life in a dry and barren land, all of this comes true with this Life Prize Award.”
Mrs. Smith’s organization, the Parliamentary Network of Critical Issues, came under the Gospel of Life umbrella earlier this year. Based in Washington, D.C., PNCI assists lawmakers and religious leaders around the world to more effectively advance pro-life laws and build sustainable pro-life leadership.
Mrs. Smith’s pro-life activism began in college, where she also met her husband, Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), who is widely considered to be the leading pro-life member of the House of Representatives. In her past position as International Director of Feminists for Life, Mrs. Smith advocated for the protection of women and children from the violence of abortion, internationally and at the United Nations. The Smiths are the parents of four children and grandparents of two.
“It is an honor to receive a Life Prize award for my international pro-life work and I thank the Gerard Health Foundation for this generous recognition of my pro-life work,” Mrs. Smith said. “I am grateful to Father Frank Pavone for his support and the assistance of the Gospel of Life Ministries for the vital work of the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues in building pro-life leadership in capitals around the world.”
Father Pavone also congratulated the other Life Prize winners, including Kristan Hawkins, executive director of Students for Life of America; Jeanne Head, the United Nations Representative for the National Right to Life Educational Trust; the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network, and Douglas Smith, legislative director of the National Right to Life Committee.
“It is a joy to collaborate with all the leaders who have been given these prizes,” Father Pavone said. “And I thank Ray Ruddy for his initiative in establishing these prizes. More philanthropists should follow his example, because more money is spent killing children in the womb than saving them, and that has to change.”