NEW YORK –– New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan told a group gathered recently for the Human Life Foundation's annual awards dinner that "being pro-life requires us to be heroes."
"Everyone here this evening supporting life is a hero!" he said at the event held at the Union League Club in midtown Manhattan.
The foundation presented its 2013 Great Defenders of Life Award to a married couple, Eric and Susanne Metaxas, for their outstanding service to the pro-life movement.
Eric Metaxas is the author of the best-selling books "Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy" and "Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery."
He also is the founder and host of Socrates in the City, an ecumenical discussion forum that encourages busy professionals in New York City to think about "life, God and other small topics" and the creator of "Veggie Tales," a children's television series that relates biblical stories and moral lessons through the use of animated vegetable characters.
Susanne Metaxas is the president and CEO of the Midtown Pregnancy Support Center, offering unwed and impoverished mothers support so they can keep their babies. The center has received a number of Human Life Foundation "baby-saving" grants throughout the years.
Under Susanne's guidance, the center has seen an increasing number of clients seeking its support, said Maria Maffucci, foundation director and the daughter of its founder, Jim McFadden.
"Eric and Susanne represent both arms of our foundation – the educational advocacy for life through words and reasoned arguments, and charitable, practical help offered to mothers and babies," said Colleen Barry, a foundation volunteer.
Eric Metaxas, tongue-in-cheek, took official "objection" to the fact that he had to share his award with his wife, claiming it was a sign of creeping political correctness to honor both of them simultaneously.
After the laughter died down, he praised his wife's work with young mothers at the Midtown Pregnancy Support Center and the Human Life Foundation's commitment to safeguarding the lives of children, the elderly and the disabled in the U.S. and around the world.
The foundation supports pregnancy centers throughout the world
"Just as the good Samaritan promised to return to the man he found on the road, tonight, the Human Life Review promises to defend not only the unborn among us, but the millions of children yet to be conceived and the millions of parents yet to become pregnant," said Nicholas di Iorio, master of ceremonies for the Sept. 26 event.
The foundation publishes Human Life Review, a quarterly academic journal devoted to life issues.
Abortion is its primary focus, but it also includes articles on infanticide, genetic engineering, contraceptives, cloning, in vitro fertilization and fetal-tissue experimentation, as well as end-of-life issues, such as euthanasia and assisted suicide.