By Matthew Plese
Almsgiving is a hallmark pillar of Lent yet it is something that we can and should do all year in order to support worthy causes, advance the Kingdom of God on earth, and atone for our sins by our sacrifice. I've written before of several worthwhile charities for Catholics (see my post: 10 Traditional Catholic Charities: Almsgiving for Traditional Catholics), but it is also important to consider our impact on the pro-life movement in addition to worthwhile missionary endeavors.
But as Traditional Catholics, which pro-life charities are worth pursuing? While all pro-life charities should be committed to the fight against abortion, some do so from a purely materialistic and irreligious perspective that is not worthy of supporting (e.g. atheists for life). On the other hand, some Catholic charities are staunchly Protestant and are not supportive of Catholic blessings, Masses, prayers, or priests. These charities should also be avoided.
Here are 12 Pro-life Charities for Catholics:
1. Human Life International
Human Life International "defends both the God-given life and dignity of all human persons from conception until natural death and the natural family based on marriage—the fundamental human institution defined by a lifetime union between one man and one woman that is open to life. As followers of Jesus Christ and members of the Catholic Church, our goal is to build a Culture of Life and of Love around the world through education, outreach, and advocacy."
Like the PRI (mentioned further down this list), Human Life International was founded by a priest - Fr. Paul Marx.
2. American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property
American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) is "an organization of lay Catholic Americans concerned about the moral crisis shaking the remnants of Christian civilization. Its earliest origins date back to January 1971, when the first TFP members started to group around the publication Crusade for a Christian Civilization. Today, with over 120,000 active members, volunteers and donors, the TFP is on the front lines of the Culture War, peacefully defending the values of tradition, family and private ownership. The first TFP was founded in Brazil in 1960 by Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira. The American TFP is one of many autonomous TFPs that now exist around the world dedicated to the same ideals and at the service of Christian Civilization"
3. Sisters of Life
The Sisters of Life is "a contemplative/active religious community of women founded in 1991 by John Cardinal O’Connor for the protection and enhancement of the sacredness of every human life." As stated on their website: Our missions are carried out with the heart of the Church and with the hope of revealing to those we serve the inherent goodness and beauty of their own lives, so that each person may see and experience the truth that they are an unrepeatable creation of the Master. We welcome pregnant guests to live with us in the Holy Respite of one of our convent, assist pregnant women in need of practical assistance through our Visitation Mission, host retreats at Villa Maria Guadalupe Retreat Center, [and] invite those who have suffered abortion to hope and healing through day and weekend Entering Canaan Retreats."
4. Center for Family and Human Rights - C-Fam
The Center for Family and Human Rights - C-Fam is formerly known as the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute exists "to defend life and family at international institutions and to publicize the debate". They are attacked by the liberal left for their "radical" pro-life, and anti-LGBT stance which of course is in line with the unchanging teachings of the Faith.
5. 40 Days for Life
After living most of his life as a Protestant, David Bereit, Founder and CEO of 40 Days of Life, entered the Catholic Church in 2018. 40 Days for Life is a prayer and fasting campaign outside of abortion facilities. In times past, it was considered an evangelical charity but with this change, I'm encouraging their support.
Patti Armstrong wrote in the National Catholic Register on April 25, 2018: "He estimates that 75%-80% of 40 Days participants are Catholic, as is his wife of 26 years. And as of this past Easter, Bereit is Catholic, too. He entered the Church from the Presbyterian tradition, during the Easter vigil Mass at St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception parish in Fredericksburg, Virginia. His wife, Margaret, was his sponsor, his high-school son Patrick was an altar server, and his 20-year-old daughter Claire and mother-in-law were there to welcome him into the Church. He recently spoke to the Register about his decision."
6. Population Research Institute
The Population Research Institute is "a non-profit research group whose goals are to expose the myth of overpopulation, to expose human rights abuses committed in population control programs, and to make the case that people are the world’s greatest resource. Our growing, global network of pro-life groups spans over 30 countries."
The Population Research Institute was founded in 1989 by Fr. Paul Marx (1920–2010), a family sociologist, a Catholic priest and Benedictine monk who had established Human Life International as well. PRI became an independent institute in 1996. Steven W. Mosher, the current president of PRI, is a practicing Catholic.
7. Priests for Life
Popularized by their national director, Fr. Frank Pavone, Priests for Life "refers to a very specific effort to galvanize the clergy to preach, teach, and mobilize their people more effectively in the effort to end abortion and euthanasia." They continue, "On another level, Priests for Life represents a family of ministries that reach and enrich every aspect of the pro-life movement, for clergy and laity alike, in a wide variety of activities. This has come to pass precisely because priests are not ordained for themselves, but for the people. So, in activating clergy, we are activating all the segments of the Church, the pro-life movement, and the wider society in the defense of life."
8. The Women's Center of Greater Chicagoland
The Women's Center of Greater Chicagoland "is a nonprofit organization that reaches out to women contemplating abortion with services and support that affirm the dignity of life of both mother and child." They often raise money at Catholic charities in their Baby bottle campaigns and funds directly support pregnant women who are contemplating abortion. These are true warriors helping save lives each and every day. They also have a chapel on their premise and have close relationships with traditional Catholic priests at the Chicagoland Institute of Christ the King Shrine.
9. Thomas More Society
Named for the martyr for the sanctity of the Sacrament of marriage, the Thomas More Society is "a not-for-profit, national public interest law firm dedicated to restoring respect in law for life, family, and religious liberty." They are lawyers who help protect, defend, and advance pro-life laws. They often battle the lawyers of abortion giants liked Planned Parenthood. They need our support to advance the laws necessary to secure a pro-life society.
Be familiar with charities in your area too. For example, Tepeyac is an excellent organization for those in and around the Virginia area to support. Tepeyac is "a pro-life, OB/GYN, integrated healthcare practice with professional medical expertise that cares for the whole person. Tepeyac offers a full range of obstetrical and gynecological services, including well-woman care and cancer screenings, fertility consultation, minimally invasive procedures, global maternal care, a perinatal hospice, and level I and II ultrasounds while respecting the dignity and the intrinsic worth of each patient."
11. American Life League
The American Life League "is an American Catholic grassroots pro-life organization. The group opposes abortion under any circumstance and opposes all forms of contraception, embryonic stem cell research, and euthanasia."
12. Children of the Immaculate Heart
Another regional charity worth supporting is "Children of the Immaculate Heart," which is supported by Matt Fradd. Children of the Immaculate Heart (CIH) is "a 501 (c)(3) non-profit corporation operating in San Diego, CA. Our Mission is to serve survivors of human trafficking and open the door to their restoration in Jesus Christ. We currently have a housing and rehabilitation program for adult women who are survivors of trafficking and have children. We are also in the process of opening a residential treatment facility for minors who are survivors of human trafficking."
They continue, "CIH sees the rise in human trafficking as evoked by the widespread cultural objectification of women, the breakdown of the family, sexual activity outside of marriage, pornography, abortion, and contraception. Because human trafficking arises from these issues, CIH seeks to evangelize both the individual human heart and society as a whole."
In addition to the above, support those traditional Catholic communities and parishes who regularly pray outside obituaries and do what they can to raise money for pregnant women. While this does not often occur in liberal or middle of the road "Catholic" parishes, it is a part of the Traditional Catholic community.
Next time you are considering donating to a pro-life charity such as on #GivingTuesday, please do so to a pro-Catholic one. And even more important, try to support ones that are truly traditional Catholics.
Matthew Plese is a Third Order Dominican who resides in Chicago, IL. Matthew is a practicing Certified Public Accountant and Catechist. He is the President of CatechismClass.com, an online based organization whose mission is to make the best in Catholic religious education and Sacramental preparation available for those who need it. Matthew writes a monthly piece on apologetics and catechesis for Catholic Family News and a weekly column for the Fatima Center. He is also the author of Catholic Book Summaries: 54 Traditional and Contemporary Classics; Eschatology: The Catholic Study of the Four Last Things; and Understanding the Precepts of the Church. He also blogs at A Catholic Life.
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