Women’s Care Center Foundation announced as 2019 Notre Dame Evangelium Vitae Medal recipient
Observer Staff Report | Sunday, October 7, 2018
The Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture announced the Women’s Care Center (WCC) Foundation as the 2019 Notre Dame Evangelium Vitae Medal recipient in a press release Sunday.
The Evangelium Vitae Medal is “the nation’s most important lifetime achievement award for heroes of the pro-life movement,” the release said. It is named after St. John Paul II’s encyclical of the same name, which was published in 1995 and focuses on “life issues.” Recipients are awarded a medal and $10,000.
“The Women’s Care Center sets the standard nationwide for compassionate and comprehensive care for mothers, babies and families,” O. Carter Snead, the director of the Center for Ethics and Culture, said in the release. “In its work and witness, the Women’s Care Center embodies the unconditional love and radical hospitality that anchors and sustains a culture of life. It is our privilege to honor them with the Evangelium Vitae Medal.”
The first WCC opened just south of the Notre Dame campus in 1984. Every year, more than 26,000 women visit one of its now 28 locations spanning across 11 states nationwide, according to the release. The facilities offer parental classes, counseling, education and “referrals for mother and baby wellness care” for women with unplanned pregnancies.
University President Fr. John Jenkins serves on the board of the WCC Foundation. He praised the organization for its service to women with unplanned pregnancies.
“The Women’s Care Center gives women in crisis the support they need for themselves and their children before and after birth,” Jenkins said in the release. “The WCC provides compassionate, non-judgmental, loving care to women most in need. They are a beacon of hope — here in South Bend and in every community they serve.”
Ann Manion, volunteer president of the WCC Foundation, expressed gratitude for the University’s recognition.
“Women’s Care Center is honored to be the recipient of this year’s Evangelium Vitae Medal,” she said in the release. “We are grateful to the University of Notre Dame for including us among the heroes of the pro-life movement who have received this award in the past. On behalf of our counselors, nurses, sonographers and the entire Women’s Care Center family, we are deeply grateful for this recognition, which will advance our life-saving mission to pregnant women in 11 states.”
The recipients are announced on the first Sunday each October, which is designated as “Respect Life Sunday.” Last year, the Center for Ethics and Culture recognized Harvard Law professor Mary Ann Glendon with the 2018 Evangelium Vitae Medal.
The Center for Ethics and Culture will present the award in a Mass and banquet April 27.