The Cardinal O’Connor Conference on Life strives to promote intellectually rigorous discourse on the dignity of human life. Rooted in the Catholic tradition, the Conference is named in the honor of His Eminence John Cardinal O’Connor, the late Archbishop of New York and a Georgetown University alumnus, who principally committed himself to caring for the defenseless and eloquently advancing the pro-life argument. We aim to encourage discussion among men and women of all faiths and backgrounds, including students, professionals, academics, and clergy. Attendees will leave the Conference equipped with the arguments and information necessary to better promote a consistent ethic of life in their own communities.
Traditionally held on the day before or after the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., the Conference was founded by Georgetown University undergraduate students in January 2000 and later named in honor of John Cardinal O’Connor. Cardinal O’Connor was renowned as a champion of the unborn and the Cardinal O’Connor Conference on Life seeks to continue his mission. Each year, our attendees have the opportunity to hear from the nation’s leading advocates in the pro-life movement, participate in small group discussions, meet other collegiate leaders, and experience the momentum that the movement brings to our nation’s capital each year during the March for Life.
Originally created for college and high school students, the Conference now attracts students, academics, clergy, and activists from around the country to reflect on a variety of pro-life topics. The Conference has grown to be the largest collegiate pro-life conference in the United States and to host many prominent pro-life speakers, including Helen Alvaré, Dr. Robert George, Margaret Colin, Dr. Michael Pakaluk, Deirde McQuade, Archbishop Burke, Cardinal O'Malley, Dr. Charles Camosy, Ross Douthat, Jennifer O'Neill, Mother Agnes of the Sisters for Life, the Little Sisters of the Poor, Serrin Foster, Rep. Chris Smith, Dr. Wanda Franz, Dr. Mildred Jefferson, Dr. Alveda C. King, Rep. Henry Hyde, Richard Doerflinger, Jeanne Mancini, George Weigel, and Timothy Cardinal Dolan.
On January 19, 2019, the Conference celebrated its twentieth anniversary with a keynote address delivered by Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Cardinal O’Connor’s second successor as Archbishop of New York.