Mary FioRito

Cardinal Francis George Fellow

EPPC Fellow Mary Hallan FioRito is an attorney, public speaker, and commentator on issues involving women’s leadership in the Catholic Church, work/life balance for mothers, and Catholic Church administration. Her interests also include human life issues, primarily abortion, post-abortion aftermath, and contraception.  After she received her Juris Doctor degree from Loyola University School of Law in 1993, the late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin selected her as Director of Pro-life Activities for the Archdiocese of Chicago, the third largest Catholic diocese in the United States, home to more than 2.5 million Catholics. She was responsible for all activities related to abortion, post-abortion counseling, assisted suicide and euthanasia. Ms. FioRito worked in various capacities for the Catholic Church for more than 28 years, including serving as the Archdiocese of Chicago’s first female Vice-Chancellor. In 2003, she was promoted to the position of Executive Assistant to the late Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., a role she held until the time of the Cardinal’s death in April 2015.

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EPPC Fellow Mary Hallan FioRito is an attorney, public speaker, and commentator on issues involving women’s leadership in the Catholic Church, work/life balance for mothers, and Catholic Church administration. Her interests also include human life issues, primarily abortion, post-abortion aftermath, and contraception.  After she received her Juris Doctor degree from Loyola University School of Law in 1993, the late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin selected her as Director of Pro-life Activities for the Archdiocese of Chicago, the third largest Catholic diocese in the United States, home to more than 2.5 million Catholics. She was responsible for all activities related to abortion, post-abortion counseling, assisted suicide and euthanasia. Ms. FioRito worked in various capacities for the Catholic Church for more than 28 years, including serving as the Archdiocese of Chicago’s first female Vice-Chancellor. In 2003, she was promoted to the position of Executive Assistant to the late Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., a role she held until the time of the Cardinal’s death in April 2015.

Ms. FioRito’s professional experiences give her a wealth of knowledge and insight into issues affecting the Catholic faith and its impact on women and the family. She is the contributor to two books: Breaking Through: Catholic Women Speak for Themselves, edited by Helen M. Alvare, and Promise and Challenge: Catholic Women Reflect on Complementarity, Feminism, and the Church, a selection of essays by Catholic women scholars called together by the Ethics and Public Policy Center. She is a regular contributor to A Closer Look With Sheila Liaugminas, a national Catholic radio program. In 2000, Newsweek magazine selected her as one of the “Women of the New Century,” highlighting her contribution to the nation’s conversation about abortion law and policy.

Ms. FioRito serves on the Board of Directors of numerous pro-life and charitable organizations, including Aid for Women, a pregnancy resource center and maternity home, and the National Office for Post-Abortion Reconciliation and Healing. She and her husband are the parents of three daughters.

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Texas Program Offers Real Alternatives to Abortion

Mary FioRito

Pro-life centers and charities that serve pregnant women will need to prepare themselves, yet not be deterred from their work. Lives—and the truth—are at stake.

Articles

Newsweek / September 20, 2021

Pro-Lifers Cheer New Texas Law, While Abortion Advocates Show Their True Colors

Mary FioRito

Given abortion’s long association with eugenics, it wasn’t necessarily surprising that some opposing the new Texas law voiced appalling statements about people living with a variety of disabilities.

Articles

Our Sunday Visitor / September 7, 2021

Xavier Becerra Is a Poor Choice for HHS Secretary

Mary FioRito

For many active Christians and Catholics, and others of goodwill who respect the free exercise of religion and religious beliefs, Xavier Becerra’s nomination indicates that Joe Biden’s aspiration to unify a divided country was simply empty rhetoric.

Articles

Chicago Tribune / March 6, 2021

Repealing Abortion Notification Law Would Be Tragic Mistake

Mary FioRito

Eliminating the Illinois Parental Notification of Abortion Act would strip away critical protections for young girls and enable predatory men.

Articles

Chicago Sun-Times / February 10, 2021

President Biden’s Mexico City Policy Repeal Contradicts His Own Recent Statements

Mary FioRito

As a direct result of President Biden’s decision, massive amounts of federal funding once again will flow indiscriminately to foreign-aid groups such as Planned Parenthood International and similar organizations whose chief aim is to profit from an increased number of abortions around the globe, including in countries that reject abortion in law.

Articles

National Catholic Register / January 30, 2021

Remembering the Legacy of Pro-Life Pioneer Joseph Scheidler

Mary FioRito

Joseph Scheidler’s death marked the end of an era for a movement that was often defined by his style of pro-life advocacy — advocacy that was so effective that the National Organization of Women brought lawsuit after lawsuit against him to try and stop it.

Articles

Our Sunday Visitor / January 28, 2021

People of Praise Deserves Ours

Mary FioRito

America has a lot to learn from Amy Coney Barrett’s ‘covenant community.’

Articles

The Wall Street Journal / October 1, 2020

Pardon Me? Pro-Life Heroine Anthony Left a Lasting Pro-Life Legacy

Mary FioRito

Susan B. Anthony believed that by directly challenging unjust laws, she was not just being a good citizen of the United States, but she was remaining obedient to God, who created both man and woman in his image and likeness.

Articles

Our Sunday Visitor / August 21, 2020

‘Choose to Be Catholic and Carry Jesus Into the Public Square’: A Congressman’s Advice to…

Mary FioRito

To help ease the pain of an experience cut short, a slew of celebrities, elected officials and notable personalities offered virtual commencement addresses. But one virtual address stood out from almost every other.

Articles

Our Sunday Visitor / June 22, 2020

From Gowns to Masks: One Woman’s Ministry of Charity

Mary FioRito

A Chicago-area woman’s act of charity for one child quickly — but sadly — blossomed into a full-time ministry. When the COVID-19 epidemic began to hit the Chicago area hard, she was suddenly compelled to change the focus of her work.

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Our Sunday Visitor / June 11, 2020

Blessed Engelmar Unzeitig: A Patron at the Time of an Outbreak

Mary FioRito

While volunteers in times of medical emergency do not have an obvious patron saint, they might very well find one in Blessed Engelmar Unzeitig, known as the “Angel of Dachau.”

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Simply Catholic / April 7, 2020

A Passionate Pioneer Remembered

Mary FioRito

One woman whose name is seldom mentioned led a life that inspired all who encountered her, and her dynamic personality and rhetorical brilliance changed the mind of a president of the United States on one of the most contentious issues of the day. Her name was Dr. Mildred Fay Jefferson.

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Knights of Columbus / January 29, 2020