Author, former professor and pro-lifer Donald DeMarco received the Catholic Civil Rights League’s Archbishop Adam Exner Award for Catholic Excellence in Public Life. Photo courtesy of Mary DeMarco

Academic DeMarco takes rights league’s Exner Award

  • June 19, 2015

TORONTO - The Catholic Civil Rights League once again highlighted the power of the pen by awarding author Donald DeMarco the award for Catholic Excellence in Public Life. 

“DeMarco has had a distinguished career,” said Christian Elia, the league’s executive director. “He certainly could have received the Archbishop Adam Exner Award years ago for his remarkable engagement in explaining, defending and promoting our Catholic faith in the public square.” 

Phil Horgan, president of the Catholic Civil Rights League, called DeMarco a “national Catholic treasure,” for his relentless projection of his faith through everything he does. 

“His work gives witness to our faith in a world which is increasingly seeking to exclude Christian perspectives from the public square,” said Horgan. “The Catholic Civil Rights League is delighted to recognize Don for that continued witness.” 

DeMarco’s published work includes 28 books and hundreds of articles, many of which appeared in The Catholic Register and the Social Justice Review. And with two more books expected to be printed this year, “DeMarco shows no signs of slowing down,” added Elia. 

In addition to his writing, DeMarco has taught at 12 different academic institutions, including St. Jerome’s University in Waterloo, Ont., Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Connecticut and Australia’s John Paul II Institute.

DeMarco was to receive his award on June 18 during the Catholic Civil Rights League’s annual spring dinner. 

“The first reaction to hearing the news was a sense of unworthiness considering the dignity of the award,” said DeMarco. “That was followed by a sense of gratitude and a commitment to become more worthy of the honour. I am (still) not sure what I have done to deserve the award.” 

Previous recipients include the driving force behind the founding of Catholic Insight Fr. Alphonse de Walk and Catholic author and artist Michael O’Brien. 

Keeping with the theme of writers, the evening’s keynote speaker was to be Charles Lewis, former religion reporter for the National Post and an anti-euthanasia activist.

DeMarco also intended to speak during the event wishing to “honour Archbishop Exner, who I knew personally, and say a few things about what the award represents and how much work there is still to be done.” 

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