At the 2008 Legatus International Fall Summit, which I have been attending here in Seattle, the Cardinal O’Connor Pro-life Awards were presented on Friday night, October 3. Peggy Hartshorn, President of Heartbeat International, presented the awards to the following recipients: Sr. Paula Vandegaer, Chris and Joan (Andrews) Bell, and the Sisters of Life.
Sr. Paula is the Executive Director of International Life Services. Based in Los Angeles, she coordinates pregnancy centers and trains volunteers who devote themselves full-time to pro-life work. Sr. Paula has been doing this work for decades and is highly respected in the movement. She has an advanced training institute at which Priests for Life Associate Director Janet Morana spoke this past summer.
Chris and Joan Bell live in New Jersey. Chris runs the Good Counsel Homes, which take in moms and babies, no matter what challenges they are facing socially, physically, or emotionally. Joan (Andrews) Bell is best known for her heroic witness in the Rescue movement. For peaceful intervention to save babies, she spent some 6 years in jail, with over two years in solitary confinement.
The Sisters of Life were founded in the early 1990’s by Cardinal John O’Connor, Archbishop of New York. They have both a contemplative and active dimension to their community, and their full-time ministry is pro-life work.
They take a special fourth vow for the defense of human life.
Priests for Life congratulates these recipients, all of whom are friends and colleagues of ours, and thanks Legatus for recognizing the importance of their work and witness.
Fr. Frank and Peggy Hartshorn (l.), both previous recipients of the Cardinal O’Connor Pro-life Award, join this year’s recipients, Chris and Joan (Andrews) Bell and Sr. Paula Vandegaer (r.) at the Legatus Summit in Seattle.