People of Life E-Newsletter

May 2010





Dear James,

Thanks for reading the May edition of the People of Life e-newsletter, and welcome to our new subscribers. Get involved, meet our staff, find new prayers, and more! In this edition, we bring you the latest on pro-life issues, people, events, and the bishops' plan to fix the flaws in the health care reform bill.







WASHINGTON - - Two Catholic University of America students received the first ever "People of Life" Student Leader Award at the Office of Campus Ministry Appreciation Dinner last month.  Lauren Roselli, a senior, and Thomas Nellson, a junior, were recognized for their continuous pro-life commitment and witness to fellow students and to the D.C. community.
 The People of Life Award recognizes those who have answered the call outlined by Pope John Paul II in The Gospel of Life by dedicating themselves to pro-life activities and to promoting respect for the dignity of the human person.
Roselli served as president of the campus group Students for Life for the past 3 years, and organized 458 students, the most ever, who attended the annual March for Life. She also trained and coordinated over 200 student volunteers who organize hospitality for the thousands of pilgrims who attended the National Prayer Vigil for Life in January.
Nellson coordinated a team of student volunteers who handle safety and activities for over 1200 youth hosted overnight in CUA's athletic center during the National Prayer Vigil. In addition, his team organized events to help the high school students grow in faith and their understanding of life issues.
Mary McClusky, Special Project Coordinator of the USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, presented the Student Leader Awards and . . . finish article.



Bishops "Refuse to Choose"
Latest Efforts to Reform Health Care Bill

  "Life Issues Forum" column
by Richard Doerflinger

           Some teachers like to pose riddles to their students on "lifeboat ethics." People of various ages and professions - a sea captain, a cabin boy, etc. -- are drifting at sea in a lifeboat, with limited provisions, and we have to decide which passenger to kill so the others can survive.
            The final situation with health care reform this spring might have been crafted to stump these students.  The House of Representatives had passed a reform bill that the Catholic bishops commended for ensuring access to health care for the poor and immigrants, and for respecting longstanding current laws on abortion and conscience rights.  But the Senate refused to consider this bill.   Instead it approved its own version that was deficient in all these areas, and said: This is our final answer.  Due to a change of one Senate seat, that chamber said it no longer had 60 votes to pass a bill with further substantive changes (though it could make purely fiscal changes under a "reconciliation" process requiring a simple majority).
            So the final "take it or leave it" bill could be improved on affordability for the poor.  But it would perpetuate injustices to both legal and undocumented immigrants.  It excluded a conscience rights provision that keeps government entities in other federal health programs from discriminating against doctors, nurses and hospitals that don't provide abortions.  It refused accommodations for religious institutions that need to purchase health coverage consistent with their moral values.  And it violated the Hyde amendment, which keeps every other federal program from funding elective abortions and health plans that cover such abortions.  The federal government would now subsidize plans covering abortion, and require those plans to collect a special fee for such abortions from every purchaser whether they object or not. Finally, the bill appropriated its own new funds from the Treasury that were exempt from the Hyde policy, including billions of dollars for community health centers serving the poor.
            So who would the Catholic bishops throw off the boat?. . . keep reading.

To receive Life Issues Forum columns bi-weekly through e-mail, please send a note with name, diocese, and e-mail address to to


Commemoration of Roe v. Wade
Events in January

  • Mark your calendars to join us for the National Prayer Vigil for Life on January 23-24, 2011 in Washington, D.C.
  • If you can't make it to Washington, contact your diocesan pro-life office to participate in local events.
  • Sponsor your own parish prayer vigil or witness at your local abortion facility.


About People of Life

People of Life is the pro-life action campaign of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Our mission is to promote respect and legal protection for all human life, from conception to natural death. For more information, visit here.

"We are a People of Life because God, in his unconditional love, has given
us the Gospel of Life, and we are called to act accordingly."
- Pope John Paul II, The Gospel of Life

In This Issue

New!: First Ever Student Leader Award

Latest on Health Care Bill

Commemoration of Roe v. Wade Events

Meet the Intern

Prayer Corner: Word of Life


Meet the Intern



Intern Susie Oppelt

As an intern, Susie Oppelt spends her time researching and writing on pro-life topics, including crafting the monthly Word of Life series. She earned her undergraduate degree in theology at the University of Notre Dame. Though originally from Colorado Springs, CO, she currently lives in Silver Spring, Maryland and just completed her first of two years studying for her Masters in Theological Studies at the John Paul II Institute for the Studies of Marriage & the Family. "This internship has reignited my desire to serve the Church and do all I can to fight for the dignity of life, both now and in my future career," said Susie. As a member of the internship program, she is an essential part of People of Life's important work supporting the bishops in their mission to spread the Gospel of Life and build up the culture of life.


  Prayer Corner: Word of Life

Pro-Life Petitions for May 30

For all who suffer with depression, grief, or anguish following an abortion: that they will turn to the Lord who will wipe away all their tears through an outpouring of His merciful love, we pray to the Lord . . R:  Lord, hear our prayer.


The Word of Life series is a monthly liturgical resource containing prayer intentions, bulletin quotes, and occasional homily notes for use in the parish. To subscribe, send a note to

For more pro-life prayers, visit our Prayers for Life page.


Upcoming Events


  • May 31, The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary


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