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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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.

Articles

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.”

Articles

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.

Articles

Knights of Columbus / January 29, 2020

True Empowerment: 2020 March for Life Theme Returns to Pro-Life Beliefs of Early Feminism

Mary FioRito

Pro-life women hope to achieve genuine equality for women, working for a world in which every pregnancy, planned or unplanned, is always accommodated and celebrated as a gift that only women can bring.

Articles

Our Sunday Visitor / January 17, 2020

The Consistent Ethic: Context and Controversy, Application, Misunderstandings, and Practical Considerations

Mary FioRito

Among the movements for social justice and equality, the pro-life movement is quite possibly the most diverse and inclusive.

Articles

Who Was Caryll Houselander, and Why Was She Called ‘a Divine Eccentric’?

Mary FioRito

Caryll Houselander’s writings contain the depth and insight of a theologian, although she had no formal theological training. Her artwork, children’s stories, and letters provided inspiration, guidance and comfort to a generation of English Catholics during and after the two World Wars.

Articles

Simply Catholic / September 25, 2019

Melinda Gates Is Wrong: Birth Control Isn’t Poverty Control

Mary FioRito

Even if the poor do achieve a momentary “lift” from the widespread use of artificial contraceptives, as Melinda Gates contends, it is a lift that will likely have no lasting impact. You don’t eliminate poverty by eliminating the poor.

Articles

National Catholic Register / August 14, 2019

A Better Choice Than Late-Term Abortion: Perinatal Hospice Care

Mary FioRito

The idea that late-term abortions are sometimes the only way to spare children from a life of constant pain is unsupported.

Articles

America Magazine / April 9, 2019

Why ‘Unplanned’ is the R-rated movie every Catholic should see

Mary FioRito

It’s a good thing that “Unplanned” exposes abortion for the violence that it is; it’s part of the reason I recommend it.

Articles

Our Sunday Visitor / April 1, 2019

In Illinois, a Pro-Life Democrat and Not So Pro-Life Republican

Mary FioRito

Governor Bruce Rauner and congressman Dan Lipinski run for reelection. Each faces a tough primary opponent challenging his views on abortion.

Articles

National Review Online / February 12, 2018

The GOP Governor Will Pay a Price for Taxpayer-Funded Abortion in Illinois

Mary FioRito

Last week, Republican governor Bruce Rauner took an action so shocking in its duplicity and so out of step with the views of Illinois voters that many political watchers say it has likely ended his career in electoral politics.

Articles

National Review Online / October 5, 2017

Celiac Disease Does Not Mean “No Eucharist for You!”

Mary FioRito

Hysteria aside, celiac disease is serious business. The Church can better address this issue with more consistent treatment of parishioners with the disease.

Articles

Aleteia / July 12, 2017