We continue here our series highlighting the members of the Priests for Life Family who serve on our staff and pastoral team.
If Eugene Vigil is Alveda King’s right-hand man, it might come in handy to be ambidextrous. He’s a busy guy.
In 2006, he began to volunteer at a pregnancy help center in Atlanta and then was hired as its office manager. The building had an unused office and the center’s founder invited Alveda to use it for her work for her personal ministry. That’s where Eugene first met her and because she didn’t have an assistant, he volunteered to help her manage her busy schedule.
In 2009 Eugene moved to Virginia Beach with his job with Norfolk Southern. On Mother’s Day 2010 he texted Alveda good wishes and she replied that Priests for Life was going to hire an assistant for her and urged him to apply.
“And as they say, the rest is history,” he says.
Eugene has had a number of interesting addresses in his lifetime.
“I was born in Morelia, Michoacán in Mexico’s Distrito Federal,” he says. “When I was 8 years old we moved to Houston, where I lived for two years and then moved to Atlanta in the summer of 1969 when I was 10 years old. I consider Georgia as the place I grew up and that’s where I currently reside.”
Eugene was already familiar with the ministry of Priests for Life before he sent that fateful text to Alveda.
“My dad introduced me to Priests for Life and Father Frank Pavone. He began telling me about Father Frank when he first took over as National Director of Priests for Life,” in 1993.
The mission of Priests for Life is very meaningful for Eugene:
“I had a conversion in 1999 and God instilled in me a love of souls. Also, back in the late 70s and early 80s I had gotten a girl pregnant twice and we had abortions both times. I guess in a way I’m doing penance for my own sins of abortion.”
His duties include assisting Alveda in everything she does. That’s a tall order.
“I coordinate her calendar with Priests for Life activities and other speaking trips; help her write blogs, send out press releases, help schedule media interviews, handle her social media accounts, network with other black pro-life leaders, research, editorial duties, and attend meeting and participate in conference calls,” he says.
He does all that from a home office in Dallas, Georgia, but he has lots of interaction with the in-office and other off-location staff.
“I’m involved in the daily morning briefings and communicate with staff via GoToMeeting, emails and telephone,” Eugene says. “I mostly work with the travel department coordinating Alveda’s travel trips, with the communications department scheduling interviews, and with the web designers/IT working on the Civil Rights for the Unborn website.
And although he doesn’t see them often, he says he enjoys working with Father Frank and Janet.
“Father Frank attends the Martin Luther King Commemorative Service annually in January and I am tasked with driving him around while he is in Atlanta. On a couple of occasions a separate event was also planned while he was in Atlanta and I assisted him with the logistics of those events,” he says. “Most of my contact with Janet is associated with the travel department and coordinating Alveda’s trips. My experiences with both Father Frank and Janet have always been pleasant and I have enjoyed working with and for both of them.”