Julia Gilberto '15 Presented Diocese of Worcester's Pakaluk Pro-Life Youth Award
Assumption College junior Julia Gilberto of Weston, Mass., is this year's recipient of the Diocese of Worcester's Ruth V.K. Pakaluk Pro-Life Youth Award. She was presented the award by Bishop Robert McManus on March 25 during the annual diocesan Mass for Life, celebrating the Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord, at the Cathedral of St. Paul in Worcester.
Gilberto, a double major in Human Services and Rehabilitation and Theology at Assumption, is involved in the College's campus ministry program, and is president of Assumption's Advocates for Life student organization, which participates in the annual national March for Life in Washington, D.C., and is sponsoring this week’s Respect Life events on campus.
"Julia's living faith, demonstrated so beautifully in her enthusiasm and perseverance, give prayerful and powerful witness to her Catholic faith, and the 'cause of life,'" said Allison LeDoux, director of the Diocese of Worcester's Respect Life Office. "We are grateful for her tremendous example to others of what it means to build a 'culture of life,' and we are delighted that Bishop McManus selected her to receive this award."
Gilberto is "very committed to the Pro-Life movement and all aspects of it—speaking out against abortion, domestic violence, and human trafficking, as well as working to promote a culture of life on campus," said Fr. Dennis Gallagher, A.A., Assumption's vice president for mission and acting director of Campus Ministry. "We share in the joy of this blessing for Julia and Assumption College."
The award, in memory of the late Ruth Pakaluk, one of the diocese's leaders of the Pro-Life movement, is annually presented to a member of the youth community who has shown heroic witness to the intrinsic value of each human life. Pakaluk was a wife and mother of seven who worked for the unborn and displayed courage in the face of adversity. Since her death in 1998, the diocese continues to bestow this award in her honor to young people that exemplify the values of its namesake.
"I am honored to receive this award and hope that it can represent all of the students in Assumption College's Advocates for Life who have worked hard to make the club so successful this year," Gilberto said. "I feel very blessed to go to a college that supports a Pro-Life club—one that fosters a campus community that cares and protects all human life, from conception to natural death."
Photo: Assumption College President Francesco Cesareo, Ph.D., and Julia Gilberto