Joy Crimmins has been the Director and Facilitator for Rachel’s Vineyard Retreats for post abortion healing in Central PA and MD since 2001. Joy had chosen abortion in 1979 and again in 1980. In 1999 she attended a Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat for her own healing and the healing journey began. After realizing how many men and women were suffering silently as she did for years, she became and advocate for those wounded by abortion. Joy also has founded several non profit programs, most recently Helping Hands for Hope that provides hands on assistance to homeless women who are pregnant or homeless women with children. Helping Hands for Hope provides rental assistance and mentoring for women who choose life and find themselves homeless.
Joy has a passion for life and assisting those faced with the hardships of raising a child alone and homeless.
Tamara (Stearns) Cesare has been with Catholics United for Life since its beginnings in the 1970s. Before freestanding abortion facilities existed, she prayed outside of the hospitals where abortions were performed. As a teenager, Mrs. Cesare participated in the first “Sidewalk Counseling” efforts in the early 1980s, and went on to teach Sidewalk Counseling across the country. She became interested in photography in order to create a visual documentation of abortion and as a tool to convince ordinary, grassroots people that they too could make a concrete difference by being on the street in front of abortion mills. She photographed the babies that were saved, but was also part of the Sidewalk Counseling training group that discovered and photographed the remains of children killed by abortion. Mrs. Cesare met her husband, Mark Cesare, through their pro-life efforts. They have been married over 25 years, have 8 children and are expecting their 8th grandchild. As the president of CUL, she is also the national director for the Ignite Your Torch Catholic Youth Conferences.
Stephen G. Peroutka, Esq., JD, LHD
Stephen G. Peroutka is chairman of the Board of Governors of the National Pro-Life Center. An attorney with his own firm, Peroutka and Peroutka Law near Annapolis, Maryland, he is widely known for his philanthropy and commitment to the Gospel of Life. In 2006, he received the John Paul II Respect Life award from Cardinal William Keeler, chairman of the Respect Life Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Dr. Peroutka is a graduate of Loyola University School of Law and received the Doctor of Humanities, honoris causae, from the Thomas More College of the Liberal Arts in Merrimack, New Hampshire. He is founder and CEO of National Pro-Life Radio, the nation’s only all pro-life radio network, and the voice of Face the Truth Coast 2 Coast heard on SiriusXM Satellite Radio’s channel 131 every Sunday, 4:30-5 PM ET.
Father Frank Pavone
Father Frank Pavone is pastoral director of the National Pro-Life Center on Capitol Hill. As National Director of Priests for Life, Father Frank worked with Father Paul Schenck in laying the groundwork for the founding of the National Pro-Life Center. A member of the Board of Directors, he plays a strategic role in the overall mission and ministry of the center and provides spiritual direction to the staff. Fr. Pavone is a relentless and indomitable voice for the unborn, the incapacitated, the elderly and all victims of the culture of death – renown for the scope and success of his pro-life work.
Deacon Keith A. Fournier
Deacon Keith A. Fournier serves as the John Paul II fellow of the National Pro-Life Center and directs the William Bentley Ball Religious Freedom Project on Capitol Hill.
Attorney Fournier is a member of the Virginia State Bar who made three appearances before the United States Supreme Court as co-counsel. He spent most of his legal career in constitutional law, focusing on religious liberty, pro-life and pro-freedom causes. He now limits his law practice to the selective representation of clients.
Deacon Fournier is completing his doctorate in Moral Theology at the Catholic University of America, where he finished all academic requirements and comprehensive exams. He’s writing his dissertation on the topic: “Donum Ergo Sum: The Theological Anthropology of the Gift in the Blessed John Paul II’s Human Love in the Divine Plan.”
The Rev. Paul Chaim Benedicta Schenck BA, MA, EdD, LHD.
The Rev. Paul Chaim Benedicta Schenck BA, MA, EdD, LHD. is a priest of the Diocese of Harrisburg where he is Director of Respect Life Activities, Bishop’s liaison to the Catholic Medical Association Guild and a parish administrator. He attended a missionary bible college, an Evangelical seminary and a Catholic University. He was ordained in the Evangelical Anglican tradition where he was a pastor, a college and seminary trustee and instructor in bible, ethics and homiletics. He and his family united with the Catholic Church in 2004.
While a Protestant minister in western New York, Fr. Schenck challenged a federal court order prohibiting pro-life activities. Convicted of violating the order for distributing bibles, leading prayers and sidewalk counseling on public sidewalks, he was sentenced to two years in federal prison. His case, Rev. Schenck V Pro-Choice, reached the United States Supreme Court which ruled 8-1 in his favor striking down the order as a violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution. Today, he is engaged in pro-life ministry in three capital cities, Harrisburg, PA, Annapolis, MD and Washington, DC where is chairman of the National Pro-Life Center on Capitol Hill near the Supreme Court. He is currently related to three religious liberty cases in the US Supreme Court.