By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
DES MOINES — Iowans for LIFE (IFL), an organization that advocates for the entire spectrum of life from conception to natural death, will present three nationally recognized pro-life leaders to inspire the faithful.
Dr. Raymond Guarendi will serve as keynote at IFL’s fifth annual fundraising dinner Oct. 1. His presentation will be “Family by God’s Choice.” Also during the dinner, the second annual LIFE (Life Is for Everyone) Award will be presented to LIFE founder Carolyn Thompson. The award recognizes an individual involved in prolife education and/or advocacy consistent with IFL’s mission. Jack Williams, EWTN radio host and former Iowa Catholic Radio program manager, will serve as master of ceremonies.
Guarendi, the father of 10, is a practicing clinical psychologist and an authority on parenting and behavioral issues. He also is an author and nationally syndicated radio host. His show, The Doctor Is In, airs weekdays on EWTN radio affiliates, including Iowa Catholic Radio (Monday through Friday, noon to 1 p.m.). His national TV show, Living Right with Dr. Ray, is in its fourth season. He also has been featured on Oprah, CBS This Morning, 700 Club and other television programs.
Guarendi will draw on decades of experience that he and his wife have gained in building a family through adoption of 10 children, less than 11 years apart in age. He will discuss his adoptive family, dispel adoption misconceptions and advocate for adoption as fundamental to a culture of life and to raising children who value life.
Thompson, a retired registered nurse, founded Iowans for LIFE in 1972 and helped form the National Right to Life Committee in 1973. In 1974, she along with U.S. Senator Harold Hughes spoke to thousands at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., for the first annual March for Life. Under Thompson’s leadership, major legislation was passed including the Conscience Clause (protecting healthcare personnel from participating in abortion), the Feticide Section of the Criminal Code and suspension of tax money to pay for abortions. She helped differentiate IFL in its earliest days by calling on members to endorse a fully consistent life ethic meeting all elements of Catholic doctrine.
Williams, a Catholic radio broadcasting veteran of 15 years, has worked on the front lines of the pro-life movement via the March for Life in Washington, D.C., the Knights of Columbus and sidewalk counseling and prayer outside abortion clinics in Iowa, Michigan and Alabama.
ILF is incorporating spiritual adoption as part of its event theme this year, since some adults are not in a position to adopt a child. A concept inspired by the late Archbishop Fulton Sheen, spiritual adoption encourages people to pray that the life of an unknown but specific child be spared from abortion.
The ILF event begins with a social at 6 p.m.; the banquet follows at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 1 at the Holiday Inn-Airport/Conference Center, 6111 Fleur Drive in Des Moines.
Tickets are $50/person or $500 for a table for eight. For more information, contact Mary Beth Beacom at (515) 778-8456 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Register online at: http://www.iowansforlife.org/life-events/IFL-Dinner.cfm