September 27, 2013

Archdiocese to honor two pro-life advocates for their service at Respect Life Mass

By Natalie Hoefer

Angela WalkerFor her work in pro-life ministry, Angela Walker will receive the Archbishop Edward T. O’Meara Respect Life Award at the Respect Life Mass on Oct. 6 at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis.

“I was stunned,” says the vice president of Central Indiana Life Chain. “I kept saying, ‘There are so many other people more worthy than me.’ However God wants to use me, that’s what I want to do.”

Walker became involved in pro-life ministry as her Christ Renews His Parish team sought a cause to serve together in the early 2000s.

“We kept coming back to pro-life,” she says.

The group of women from St. Lawrence Parish in Indianapolis started a Gabriel Project chapter in their parish, which Walker currently co-chairs. Through the Gabriel Project, she also participates in 40 Days for Life, praying at the Planned Parenthood abortion center at Georgetown Road and 86th Street in Indianapolis.

Walker owns and operates a day care center, cares for special needs children through the Visiting Nurses Association, and works with special needs adults for Noble of Indiana. She and her husband, Tom, also serve as foster parents.

In addition to her pro-life efforts, Walker volunteers with the Boy Scouts of America, and has found joy in taking the Eucharist to Catholics in nursing homes on Fridays for the last 19 years.

“I love life, from newborns to the elderly, children with special needs—I just love all life,” says Walker.

Mariajosé MaldonadoWalker will be joined by Mariajosé Maldonado in receiving an award at the Respect Life Mass.

Mariajosé, daughter of Karla and Josue Maldonado, will receive the Our Lady of Guadalupe Pro-Life Youth Award.

A senior at Lumen Christi High School in Indianapolis, she will be recognized for her summer volunteer efforts with Birthline, a service for pregnant women in crisis and young mothers who have recently given birth.

Fluent in Spanish, Mariajosé assisted Hispanic women who sought Birthline’s assistance.

“They would leave a message. Then I would call them back and set up an appointment for them to come to the Birthline building,” she says. There, she would meet them to help supply them with clothes, food, formula, baby shoes, blankets and more.

“I love to help people,” says the member of St. Patrick Parish in Indianapolis. “If I’m able to help, I’m happy to do it.”

When Mariajosé sees pregnant teenagers carrying their baby to term, she is impressed by their courage.

“The first thing I think is, ‘She made the right decision to have her baby.’ It also makes me thank God for giving me what I have and to value my family.”

Faith is a strong value in her family—and in Mariajosé. When she heard she would receive the award, Mariajosé says, “The first thing I did was thank God. He made this happen.” †


Related: Faithful called to participate in Respect Life Sunday Mass, Life Chain

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