Pro-life advocate Helen Alvare‚ to speak in South Carolina

COLUMBIA – Helen Alvare, pro-life spokeswoman for the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, will give a series of lectures and meet with priests from the Diocese of Charleston on Wednesday, Sept. 3, at the University of South Carolina.

Alvare‚ will also address USC Honors College students and Carolina Scholars on Sept. 4 before traveling to Mepkin Abbey in Moncks Corner, where she will meet with religious and education leaders from the Lowcountry.

Alvare‚’s visit is sponsored by the University of South Carolina and the Diocese of Charleston.

Alvare, who is 1994 was named by Time magazine as one of the top 50 leaders in America under the age of 40, will talk about the importance of respecting life and will address topics such as abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide and capital punishment.

“In the USC tradition of bringing notable religious leaders and encouraging intellectual debate on spiritual and religious topics, it is a privilege to host Helen Alvar‚, who has distinguished herself as a national spokeswoman on such an important topic,” said Dr. Donald Jones, a USC religious studies professor and coordinator of Alvar‚’s visit to USC.

“Her message – respect for human life – while Catholic in origin, transcends that faith community and will have broad appeal to a general audience,” he said.

She will give three lectures at USC on Wednesday. Although each is intended for a specific audience, all are free and open to the public, and early seating is recommended.

The schedule for Sept. 3 is as follows:

1) 2-3 p.m. “Respect for Life: A Radical Proposition?” USC Capstone House campus room. Intended for USC students, faculty, and high school students.

2) 4-5 p.m. “Euthanasia: Courts Reflect on Aging, Sickness and Disability,” USC Law School auditorium. Intended for USC Law School faculty and attorneys.

3) 8-9:15 p.m. “The Third Millennium: Who Will be Free to Live?” Russell House ballroom. Intended for a general audience.

On Sept. 4 at 2 p.m. she will speak at Mepkin Abbey in Moncks Corner on the topic “Respect for Life: Spiritual Reflections.”

Often appearing on national news and talk shows, Alvare‚ is sought for her articulate and conversational approach to discussing topics associated with the sanctity of life.

Her message, based on Pope John Paul II’s encyclical letter, “The Gospel of Life,” is that respect for all human life should be a heartfelt commitment, emanating from one’s relationship with God, to protect the well-being of others. She has appeared on “Firing Line,” “Newshour with Jim Lehrer,” “Nightlight,” “Crossfire,” “Today” and “Good Morning America” and has been interviewed by many daily newspapers.

Most recently, Alvar‚ has been heavily involved in federal congressional hearings on behalf of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops on the issue of partial birth abortion.

In the September issue of George magazine, Alvare‚ will be honored as one of the top 20 most intriguing women in the United States.

She holds a law degree from Cornell University, a master’s degree in theology from the Catholic University of America and a bachelor’s degree from Villanova University.


For more information about Helen Alvare’s visit, call Dr. Donald Jones in USC’s Religious Studies Department at (803) 777-2283.