WASHINGTON — A lawyer, a Franciscan health care executive, and a diocesan leader and social worker received the 2013 People of Life Award for lifetime commitment to the pro-life movement during an August 4 ceremony at the annual Diocesan Pro-Life Leadership Conference held this year in Boston. The honorees were Frances X. Hogan, Franciscan Sister Jane Marie Klein and Barbara Thorp.
Cardinal Sean O’Malley, OFM Cap., of Boston, chair of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), presented the awards. Over 150 diocesan, state and national Catholic pro-life leaders and guests from across the country attended the private awards dinner at the conference, sponsored by the USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities.
The People of Life Award recognizes those who have answered the call outlined by Pope John Paul II in The Gospel of Life (Evangelium Vitae, 1995) by dedicating themselves to pro-life activities and promoting respect for the dignity of the human person. It is bestowed to a practicing Catholic in honor of his or her significant contributions in service to the culture of life.
Frances “Fran” X. Hogan serves as a corresponding member of the Pontifical Academy for Life and is co-founder and former president of Women Affirming Life, a national group of Catholic women who witness to the value of all human life through their professions, their families and community services. Hogan is a partner at the law firm of Lyne, Woodworth and Evarts and a graduate of Mount St. Joseph Academy in Flourtown, Pennsylvania, Regis College in Weston, Massachusetts, and Boston College Law School. Hogan has served in a variety of volunteer leadership roles at local, state, national and international capacities throughout her career. She is on the board of the Massachusetts Catholic Conference (MCC) and currently chairs its Pro-Life/Pro-Family Sub-Committee and facilitated the successful effort to defeat the 2012 ballot question on physician-assisted suicide. She also served on the boards of the Pro-Life Legal Defense Fund, the Value of Life Committee and Massachusetts Citizens for Life, where she also served as president. For many years she served as a consultant to the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities.
Sister Jane Marie Klein was honored as an advocate for Catholic health care and conscience rights. In 1996, she became chairperson of the Board of Trustees of Franciscan Alliance, a 13-hospital Catholic health care system in Indiana, Illinois and Michigan after serving as the corporation’s president and CEO. She formerly held senior administrative positions in several of the system’s hospitals and also worked in medical social work and accounting in her early health care ministry. Sister serves on a number of hospital and business boards and is a member of the Fort Wayne-South Bend diocesan finance council. She has been a member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration provincial council for over 20 years. In March 2013, Klein presented at a Congressional press conference at the introduction of the Health Care Conscience Rights Act (H.R. 940, S. 1204), and is featured in the USCCB video, “Speak Up for Conscience Rights.”
Barbara Thorp earned her master’s degree in social work from Rutgers University and served the Archdiocese of Boston in various capacities for 35 years, including as director of the Office of Pastoral Support Outreach and Child Protection, director of the Pro-Life Office and a Catholic Charities social worker. Thorp developed and directed the archdiocesan post-abortion ministry, Project Rachel. She managed the Cardinal’s Fund for the Unborn to provide aid to pregnant women in crisis, supervised the crisis pregnancy program, Pregnancy Help, and helped develop end-of-life resource manuals for parishes. She was a founding member of Women Affirming Life with Fran Hogan. Her writings from a pro-life/pro-choice dialogue have been published in The Boston Globe. Of special note, following the Boston Marathon bombings, Barbara led special crisis and support counseling for students and staff at The Newman School in Boston.
Hogan, Klein, and Thorp join 20 other People of Life awardees since the Pro-Life Secretariat inaugurated the award in 2007. More information on the People of Life Award and the bishops’ People of Life campaign is available online: www.usccb.org/about/pro-life-activities/2013-people-of-life-award.cfm.