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887 Highland Ave. · P.O. Box 7 · Fall River, MA 02722 · Tel. 508-675-0211 · FAX 508-675-5204


News Release


September 4, 2009







FALL RIVER — Five residents of the Fall River diocese including the director of the diocesan Pro-Life Apostolate will be recognized by Massachusetts Citizens for Life (MCFL) for their dedicated work for the pro-life movement over many years.


Diocesan Pro Life Director Marian Desrosiers will receive the group’s Ignatius O’Connor Award, honoring “outstanding contributions to the pro life movement,” and State Representative Elizabeth Poirier and her husband Kevin Poirier of North Attleboro will receive the Dr. Joseph Stanton Award, recognizing “outspoken courage in defense of life, through tireless personal example.”


In recognition for MCFL regional work, Madeleine Lavoie of the Greater Fall River Chapter will receive the Local Chapter Service Award and Patricia Stebbins of the Cape Cod Chapter will receive the Pro-Life Community Award.


Massachusetts Citizens for Life is the state’s oldest and largest right to life advocacy group whose membership represents a wide variety of backgrounds, occupations, and faith traditions. The awards will be presented at the MCFL Annual Dinner on September 18 in Randolph.


In honoring Desrosiers, MCFL said it was recognizing her longtime work for the pro-life movement going back to the mid 1980s when she became involved through her parish of Christ the King in East Sandwich. In 1993 she joined the Pro-Life Apostolate of the Fall River Diocese as its assistant director and in 2005 was appointed director. The group highlighted her contributions over the years, noting in particular her development of a Power Point presentation on the dangers of the Freedom of Choice Act, which is now used throughout the country; her numerous talks to young people where she offers a compelling message on the importance of abstinence and chastity; and her contributions as co-author of a book that has become a widely used resource in post-abortion healing.


Desrosiers, who resides in Bourne, is a mother of six, four of whom are surviving, and a grandmother of four.


MCFL explained that it is awarding the Dr. Joseph Stanton Award jointly to Elizabeth “Betty” and Kevin Poirier because of their advocacy of pro life measures as members of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. She has served as state representative for the 14th Bristol District since 1998. She succeeded her husband Kevin in the post after his 21 years of service in that same legislative seat. MCFL called them “beacons of light in the Massachusetts State Legislature” for their efforts in the House to restore the right to life of unborn children.


The Poiriers are residents of North Attleboro, where they attend St. Mary’s Parish. They have three children and three grandchildren.


At the regional level, MCFL is recognizing Westport resident Madeleine Lavoie as “the unsung hero” of its Greater Fall River Chapter, for the years of leadership and organizational skills she has provided for its programs and activities. From the MCFL Cape Cod Chapter, Patricia Stebbins of Sandwich will be honored for her efforts in establishing the Cape Cod Family Alliance 12 years ago and for her dedication to the development of the organization ever since.