Cardinal O'Connor Conference on Life

The largest collegiate pro-life conference in the nation

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Our Twentieth Annual Conference

Panel Discussion

Pro-Life Priorities: Strategically advancing a culture of life

Each year, leading intellectuals and activists convene to discuss that year’s Conference theme. Our 2019 Conference theme is “Pro-Life Priorities: Strategically Advancing a Culture of Life.” We will attempt to consider the strategies that shape how the pro-life movement currently operates and how it might do so more effectively in the future, while still remaining devoted to a genuine consistent ethic of life.

Panelists

Jeanne Mancini

Jeanne Mancini

Jeanne Mancini was appointed to the role of President of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund in the fall of 2012. In this capacity she proudly directs the small non-profit organization committed to restoring a culture of life in the United States, most notably through the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., held on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

Previously Jeanne worked with the Family Research Council (FRC), where she focused on issues related to the inherent dignity of the human person, including abortion, women’s health, and end-of-life issues. Prior to FRC Jeanne worked for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the Office of the Secretary. Her federal government experience includes global health policy, as well as domestic and international health care issues. Before working in public policy, Jeanne worked for the Catholic Church in a variety of positions involving educating on life issues, human sexuality, marriage, and family.

Jeanne has made frequent media appearances including interviews on MSNBC, CNN, FOX, ABC, CBS, and others. Jeanne’s writings have appeared in The New York TimesU.S. News and World ReportUSA Today, the Washington Post and numerous others publications.

Jeanne holds an undergraduate degree in psychology from James Madison University and a Master’s degree in the theology of marriage and family from the Pope John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family. Jeanne resides in northern Virginia with her husband, David.

George Weigel

George WEigel

George Weigel, Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, is a Catholic theologian and one of America’s leading public intellectuals. He holds EPPC’s William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies.

From 1989 through June 1996, Mr. Weigel was president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, where he led a wide-ranging, ecumenical and inter-religious program of research and publication on foreign and domestic policy issues.

Mr. Weigel is perhaps best known for his widely translated and internationally acclaimed two-volume biography of Pope St. John Paul II: the New York Times bestseller, Witness to Hope (1999), and its sequel, The End and the Beginning (2010). In 2017, Weigel published a memoir of the experiences that led to his papal biography: Lessons in Hope — My Unexpected Life with St. John Paul II.

George Weigel is the author of more than twenty other books, including The Cube and the Cathedral: Europe, America, and Politics Without God (2005); Evangelical Catholicism: Deep Reform in the 21st-Century Church (2013); Roman Pilgrimage: The Station Churches (2013); Letters to a Young Catholic (2015); and The Fragility of Order: Catholic Reflections on Turbulent Times (2018). His essays, op-ed columns, and reviews appear regularly in major opinion journals and newspapers across the United States. A frequent guest on television and radio, he is also Senior Vatican Analyst for NBC News. His weekly column, “The Catholic Difference,” is syndicated to eighty-five newspapers and magazines in seven countries.

Mr. Weigel received a B.A. from St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore and an M.A. from the University of St. Michael’s College, Toronto. He is the recipient of nineteen honorary doctorates in fields including divinity, philosophy, law, and social science, and has been awarded the Papal Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, Poland’s Gloria Artis Gold Medal, and Lithuania’s Diplomacy Star.

Catherine Hadro

Catherine Hadro

Catherine Hadro is the host and producer of EWTN Pro-Life Weekly, an international television show dedicated to pro-life issues from a Catholic perspective. Based out of EWTN’s Washington, D.C. studio, Hadro regularly interviews politicians, Church leaders, and cultural figures on life issues ranging from conception to natural death. Past guests include USCCB Pro-Life Committee Chair Archbishop Joseph Naumann, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, former presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, and leading political commentator Ben Shapiro. In the two years since its launch, EWTN Pro-Life Weekly has quickly become a go-to source for analysis on top pro-life news and issues.

Prior to her current role, Hadro was a reporter, producer, and a founding team member for EWTN News Nightly. In that capacity, she had the opportunity to travel to Rome for Saint John Paul II’s canonization and to Cleveland and Philadelphia for the 2016 Republican and Democratic Conventions. Hadro closely followed and reported on major pro-life news stories, from the House Select Panel on Infant Lives hearings on Capitol Hill to the Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt case at the Supreme Court.

Catherine Hadro anchored EWTN’s day-long live coverage of the 2018 and 2019 March for Life. Her writings have appeared in America Magazine and The Washington Examiner. In NARAL Pro-Choice America’s 2018 report entitled “The Insidious Power of The Anti-Choice Movement”, Hadro is proud that EWTN Pro-Life Weekly is listed first under “Anti-Choice Media.” 

Outside of her professional work, Hadro and her husband, Matthew, currently serve as Co-Chairs for The Leonine Forum’s Intellectual Committee. The two reside in Virginia. 

Hadro graduated magna cum laude from Florida State University with a degree in Advertising.

EWTN Pro-Life Weekly airs on EWTN, the largest religious media network, on Thursdays at 10:00 pm eastern time and Sundays at 10:00 am.

Daniel K. Williams

Dr. Daniel K. Williams

Daniel K. Williams is a professor of history at the University of West Georgia and the author of Defenders of the Unborn: The Making of the Pro-Life Movement before Roe v. Wade.  As a historian of modern American religion and politics, he has written extensively on cultural conservatism, the Republican Party, and the pro-life movement.  His work has been published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Politico, and Christianity Today.  He has also written a landmark history of the Christian Right titled God’s Own Party, which was published by Oxford University Press.  His forthcoming book on the 1976 presidential election between Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter will be published in the spring of 2019 by the University Press of Kansas.   

Dr. Williams holds a Ph.D. in history from Brown University and a B.A. in history and classics from Case Western Reserve University.  He was a James Madison Program Visiting Fellow in Religion in Public Life at Princeton University in 2011-2012.

Dr. Williams and his wife, Nadya Williams, are parents of two children (with a third on the way), and are active members and Sunday school teachers at a pro-life evangelical Presbyterian church in Carrollton, Georgia.   

Steve Aden

Steven H. Aden

Steven H. Aden joined Americans United for Life in August 2017 as its Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel, overseeing all legal operations of America’s most effective pro-life organization. Aden is a highly experienced litigator, having appeared in court against Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry dozens of times and appointed by the attorneys general of six states to defend prolife laws.  Mr. Aden secured court victories that upheld an Arizona law that resulted in six abortion businesses ceasing to offer abortion, applied Missouri’s abortion laws to chemical abortion and upheld the right of Louisiana regulators to shut down dangerous abortion facilities. A prolific author and analyst on sanctity of life issues and constitutional jurisprudence, Aden is admitted to the bars of the District of Columbia, Virginia, and Hawaii (inactive), and is a member of the bars of the U.S. Supreme Court and numerous federal circuit and district courts. He has practiced law since 1990 and earned his J.D. (cum laude) from Georgetown University Law Center and his B.A. from the University of Hawaii.