New awards initiated recognising service to life and family

Defending life and the natural family is the duty of every person.  Without life, the first and fundamental right, no other rights, privileges, or duties could exist.  Without the natural family, and the commitment of marriage between one man and one woman, for life, society soon falls apart. 

As society turns its back on cherishing human life from conception to natural death, and no longer sees the value of family, there are still many in our communities speaking up for what is right and just.

Family Life International have initiated three new awards to honour those who steadfastly work with courage, and true charity in defence of life and family.  The Awards are:

  • Dr. H.P. Dunn Award for Pro-Life Witness in the Medical Profession
  • Saint Gianna and Pietro Molla Award for Service to Life and Family
  • Life Defenders Award

The Awards were presented to recipients at the recent Go Forward in Hope International Pro-Life and Family Conference held in Auckland.

Dr. H.P. Dunn Award for Pro-Life Witness in the Medical Profession

Dr. Martin Ng receiving the Dr. H. P. Dunn Award for Pro-Life Witness in the Medical Profession at the Go Forward in Hope Pro-Life and Family Conference in Auckland.

Dr. Dunn was a pro-life obstetrician and gynaecologist, who along with Professor Liley, and many other faithful servants of life, established the formal pro-life movement in New Zealand more than 50 years ago. 

Among several other titles, Dr. Dunn penned “The Doctor and Christian Marriage,” in which he explained…   He always stood steadfast in his deeply held conviction that married couples must remain open to the gift of life, and that every human being ought to be protected from the very first moment of their existence at conception.  

With the blessing of his son, Bishop Emeritus Patrick Dunn, Family Life International has established this new award in Dr. Dunn’s honour.  It is awarded to a medical professional whose dedication to defending life from conception to natural death witnesses to the truth and beauty of Catholic teaching.  For those medical professionals who take seriously their responsibility to uphold the dignity of every person, and to “first do no harm,” even amidst great pressure and persecution, the award offers encouragement.

Dr. Martin Ng, an Auckland GP, is the first recipient of the Dr. H. P. Dunn Award for Pro-Life Witness in the Medical Profession.  Dr. Ng has worked courageously to defend life and to advance important interventions in saving pre-born lives from abortion, in recent years.

Dr. Martin Ng gave his inspiring testimony at the recent Go Forward in Hope Conference.  In time, we hope to be able to share his incredible journey with you.

Saint Gianna & Pietro Molla Award for Service to Life and Family

Saint Gianna once said, “We must be living witnesses of the beauty and grandeur of Christianity.”  To be sure, the marriage between Gianna and her husband Pietro, and their family life, surely gave witness to that beauty.  Together, they gave witness to the sanctity of life and the immense importance of marriage and family life.

Therefore, it is fitting to have created an award to recognise the selfless efforts of people within the community who work to serve life and family.

The first recipient of the Saint Gianna & Pietro Molla Award for Service to Life and Family is Catherine Gillies.

Catherine Gillies accepting the Saint Gianna & Pietro Molla Award for Service to Life and Family at the Go Forward in Hope Pro-Life & Family Conference in Auckland.

A well-known, and respected member of the New Zealand pro-life movement, Catherine has spent countless hours, over more than 40 years, listening to the abortion stories of friends.  She has a deep compassion for women and men who suffer after their abortion, and through her willingness to listen and to walk with them through their grief, anger, and despair, has helped many find hope and healing.

Catherine graciously shared her knowledge in a two-hour workshop at Family Life International’s Go Forward in Hope Conference, inspiring those in attendance to understand, and walk with those wounded by the great tragedy of abortion.

Life Defender Award

Every week, spanning many years – sometimes decades – courageous men and women take to the streets to pray and witness outside abortion facilities throughout New Zealand.  These lovers of life and of truth are a beacon of light in the darkness.  Although there are many positive interactions on the street, these individuals certainly take their fair share of abuse on behalf of the unborn.

In Proverbs we read:

“Rescue those who are being take away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.  If you say, ‘Behold, we did not know this,’ does not he who weights the heart perceive it?” 

Proverbs 24:11-12

These selfless people make an effort to pray, fast, and be present right where the killing takes place.  They do everything they can within their power to reach out to those entering the doors of that particular place of death; they do so without any reward.

In order to honour the commitment and sacrifices of these men and women, Family Life International have established the Life Defender Award.  The people who pray and witness outside abortion facilities don’t expect recognition, let alone a medal, but this award is precisely that. 

The recipients of this first round of Life Defender Awards are:

  • Deborah Railey
  • Helen Lelo
  • Ida D’Silva
  • Kath Marr
  • Michele O’Neil
  • Nelson Gomes
  • Nick Mooney
  • Norman Stanley

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