Having received news of Nellie Gray's death, I wish to express my sincere condolences and prayers for her family and for all who came to know and love her in the Pro-Life Movement. Her love for life and her dedication to protecting the unborn, the most vulnerable among us, have inspired countless generations of Catholics and non-Catholics alike, and we will miss her tremendously.
Nellie Gray will be remembered as the Joan of Arc of the Gospel of Life. The architects of the pro-abortion movement in the United States thought that the opposition would go away, but close to 40 years later the issue is still very much alive, thanks in part to the annual March for Life and because of people like Nellie who are committed to the culture of life. Having participated in every single March for Life since its inception, I have witnessed firsthand her advocacy and dedication. I was honored by her presence in Boston in 2009, when during the Boston Catholic Women's Conference we conferred upon her the Culture of Life Award.
Her death is a great loss for both our Church and our country, but her life has left a meaningful and lasting impression upon the hearts of those who knew her and upon the many hearts of those whose lives she saved. We will keep Nellie Gray and all those who mourn her death in our prayers. We ask God to grant her eternal rest and peace, and we give thanks to Him for the gift of her life.
(Issued Aug. 14, 2012)