The Right to Life League mourns the loss of Sister Paula Vandegaer, a pro-life powerhouse and a tremendous friend to the League.
A pioneer in the pro-life movement, Sister Paula was a Sister of Social Service, a member of the Academy of Clinical Social Workers, and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She began her pro-life ministry in 1967, the year abortion was legalized in California—and the year the League was founded.
An active supporter of the Right to Life League, Sister Paula focused on determining how best to help the women who came to the League with unexpected pregnancies.
“Sister Paula was a guiding light for the pro-life movement in California and she literally wrote the book on crisis pregnancy counseling,” says Anne Hennessy, former CEO of the Right to Life League.
“She was a creative thinker, an energetic activist, and above everything, an inspiration to us all.”
Sister Paula was the founder of International Life Services, the Scholl Institute of Bioethics, and Volunteers for Life. She was responsible for the formation of pro-life centers and the training of counselors across the nation and in Australia, Canada, Scotland, Belgium, Croatia and Hungary. She created the first counseling manual in the pro-life field, developed one of the first pregnancy counseling hotlines, and helped to found Heartbeat International.
She completed her book on healing after abortion before she died, and it will soon be published.
“This is a tremendous loss for the pro-life movement, and for all who knew and loved Sister Paula,” says Hennessy. “But continuing with our efforts to save the lives of the unborn, reaching out a helping hand to women in unexpected pregnancies, and working to change abortion laws is the surest way to honor her memory."
May God reward and bless Sister Paula, and grant her a place of refreshment, light, and peace in Christ.
Photo: Right to Life League former CEO Anne Hennessy (left) with Sister Paula Vandegaer