Archdiocese names 2012 Champions for Life winners

| September 12, 2012 | 0 Comments

Stephen Thie, second from right, helps carry the cross at the annual Good Friday Prayer Service for Life, which took place this year on April 6 at the new Planned Parenthood facility on University Avenue in St. Paul. Thie, a recent graduate of St. Thomas Academy, is the annual Champions for Life winner in the youth category. Dave Hrbacek / The Catholic Spirit

The annual Champions for Life Award winners will be honored at a luncheon Oct. 18 at St. Peter in Mendota. The awards, given by the Archdiocesan Office of Marriage, Family and Life, recognize the pro-life activities and achievements of Catholics in the archdiocese. Winners were named in five categories this year.

Stephen Thie, a recent graduate of St. Thomas Academy and member of Holy Spirit in St. Paul, is the winner in the youth category. He is honored for his work and leadership with STA’s Respect Life group.

His passion and dedication drew other students to join the group. He also was a member of the Archdiocesan Respect Life Youth Advisory board, and he has encouraged more young men to get involved in the pro-life movement.

The winner in the church, school or group category is Prenatal Partners for Life, which assists parents who learn of their unborn child’s poor diagnosis and connects them with parents who have been through this experience.

Mary Kellett of St. Raphael in Crystal is the founder of the group, and has gone through this experience herself. Her son, Peter, was born with a rare disorder and died in August 2011 at the age of 6. That experience motiviated her to start the organization. She has received much support and guidance along the way from her parish.

Pat and Sandy Foley of St. Michael in West St. Paul are the winners in the team, couple or family category. Pat has been the director of the Wakota Life Care Center since 1983, which is the year he and Sandy got married. Sandy uses her background as a nurse to help out at the center, and their seven children have been actively involved as well.

Andrea Kullmann of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Hastings is the adult category winner. She has been the executive director of the Hastings Life Care Center since 2009 and has been active in the pro-life movement for the last 26 years. Wisconsin Right to Life, Pro-Life Action Ministries and Birthright are among the organizations she has served.

At Hastings Life Care Center, she has implemented innovative programs such as Earn While You Learn, 24/7 Dad, and Daddy Boot Camp.

A special award this year goes to Father Richard Hogan, who was active in the pro-life movement until his death on June 14, 2011 at the age of 59.

Father Hogan co-authored “Covenant of Love — Pope John Paul II on Sexuality, Marriage and Family in the Modern World” with his then-priest friend, Bishop John LeVoir of the Diocese of New Ulm. He also wrote two additional books on Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body and was an author and editor for the Image of God series, a textbook program for Catholic religion programs for grade-school age children.

He also served as associate director of Priests for Life for five years, regularly appeared on EWTN and hosted the “Theology of the Body” TV series.

Father Hogan was pastor of St. Raphael from July 1, 2009 until his death. He also served at St. Mathias in Hampton, St. Mary in New Trier, Blessed Sacrament in St. Paul, St. Vincent de Paul in Brooklyn Park and St. John Vianney and St. Augustine, both in South St. Paul.

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Category: Respect Life