Congratulations for Priests for Life’s “Life Prizes” winners

Priests for Life

STATEN ISLAND, NY --  Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, offered his congratulations today to two full-time Priests for Life associates chosen to receive the “Norinne A. and Raymond E. Ruddy Memorial Pro-Life Prize” for 2009-2010. The $100,000 prizes are awarded annually to individuals or organizations that work to protect and preserve the sanctity of life.

The Gerard Health Foundation will present the awards on Saturday, Jan. 22, in Washington, D.C., to Dr. Alveda King, full-time director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life, and Marie Smith, founder and full-time director of the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues, a ministry of Priests for Life/Gospel of Life. 

“It is very gratifying to have the Foundation recognize the commitment Dr. King and Mrs. Smith share in spreading the pro-life message across the nation and the world,” Father Pavone said. “Both of them travel extensively to ensure that as many people as possible, in as many locales as possible, hear their message about the sanctity of all human life.”

Dr. King, the niece of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., came on board 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. 

Dr. King is the mother of six children, and the grandmother of six, with another three on the way. Click here for her full biography: .

Mrs. Smith’s organization, the Parliamentary Network of Critical Issues, came under the Gospel of Life umbrella last 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 and her husband, Rep. Chris Smith, (R-N.J.) are a power couple in the pro-life movement and have been working on the cause, together and separately, since meeting in college. The Smiths have been married for 33 years and are the parents of four children and grandparents of two.


Priests for Life is the nation's largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit