The University of Notre Dame honored the pro-life work of Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey and his wife, Marie Smith, director of the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues (PNCI), with the 2014 University of Notre Dame Evangelium Vitae Medal on Saturday, April 5.
The award was celebrated with Mass in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart presided over by Archbishop Allen Vigneron of Detroit.
According to the University’s website, the award honors those whose work proclaims the Gospel of Life.
“In their work and in their persons, Congressman Chris and Marie Smith are extraordinary witnesses to the inalienable dignity and matchless worth of every member of the human family, born and unborn,” said Carter Snead, the director of the University’s Center for Ethics and Culture. “It is likewise fitting that Congressman and Mrs. Smith should receive this award at Notre Dame, an institution that proudly affirms the equal dignity of every human life from conception to natural death.”
Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life issued a statement, calling the couple “two of the most effective pro-life leaders I have ever had the privilege to know.”
Past recipients of the Evangelium Vitae award include professor Helen M. Alvaré of George Mason University and Mother Agnes Mary Donovan of the Sisters of Life.
Since being elected more than thirty years ago, Rep. Smith boasts a stellar pro-life record and is chair of the pro-life caucus. His wife, Marie is the director of PNCI for Gospel of Life Ministries, an international organization which works to defeat the Culture of Death and replace it with a new Culture of Life.
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