Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Steven W. Mosher and Dr. Claude Newbury

3/25/2010 (5 years ago)

Population Research Institute (www.pop.org)

Like a pro-life Johnny Appleseed, Father Marx planted pro-life organizations wherever he went.

Even today, the pro-lifers whom Fr. Paul Marx enlisted, encouraged and helped organize still constitute the essential core of the pro-life movement around the world.

Even today, the pro-lifers whom Fr. Paul Marx enlisted, encouraged and helped organize still constitute the essential core of the pro-life movement around the world.

Highlights

By Steven W. Mosher and Dr. Claude Newbury

Population Research Institute (www.pop.org)

3/25/2010 (5 years ago)

Published in U.S.


FRONT ROYAL, VA. (Population Research Institute) - Fr. Paul Marx, OSB, Founder and long-time Chairman of Population Research Institute (PRI), was a pioneer in the worldwide pro-life movement.  He was a man of God but also a man of action in the mold of St. Paul, his name saint.  He understood the dangers posed by abortion, euthanasia, and contraception as well as the organizations that promoted these evils. He foresaw the Demographic Winter that the agents of Population Control have now brought about. 

He knew the mortal harm that birth control would cause everywhere, including its effect on the loss of faith of Catholics and on the Catholic Church itself. And he organized a worldwide movement to meet these threats to life and family head on and defeat them.

Born on 8 May 1920 in St. Michael, Minnesota, Fr. Marx was the 15 of 17 children born to his devout Catholic parents.  The example of his parents gave him an instinctive understanding of the sanctity of life and the centrality of the family.

Fr. Marx received his bachelor´s degree from St. John´s University, Collegeville, Minnesota.  He continued his studies at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and the Catholic University of America, where he received a Doctorate Degree in Family Sociology. He did post graduate work at Harvard, the University of California at Berkeley, and the American University in Washington, D.C.

He was ordained to the priesthood on 15 June 1947 by the Order of St. Benedict.  After nearly two decades on the faculty of St. Johns University, and at his own request, he was allowed to work on pro-life issues full time beginning the late sixties.

As soon as abortion became in issue in the 1960s, Father became actively engaged in promoting life, writing his first pro-life article in 1967.  

He celebrated the release of Humanae Vitae in 1968 with its condemnation of abortion, sterilization, and contraception, but found himself increasingly scandalized in the months that followed by the widespread dissent that greeted this teaching of Pope Paul VI.  Even his own brother, a Benedictine theologian, joined the dissenters. 

Determined to defend what he saw was a prophetic document, Father Marx founded the Human Life Center at St. John´s University, in 1972.  Father´s outspoken defense of life quickly gained him a national reputation, but within his own community there was criticism.  Many there were uncomfortable with his condemnation of contraception and his opposition to abortion. Father Marx was gradually ostracized by many of his confreres and ultimately forced to leave his beloved St. John´s Abbey.

The Abbott gave him a used car and $2000 and sent him on his way.  He drove to Washington, D.C. where, with the assistance of a few lay friends, founded Human Life International (HLI).  Then, like his namesake, he began the pro-life missionary journeys that would earn him the title of "The Apostle of Life."  

Over the course of the next four decades, Fr. Marx visited over 90 countries in his tireless campaign to promote the Culture of Life, urging local pro-lifers to organize and defend life from conception to natural death. 

He undertook the task of spreading the pro-life message with apostolic zeal, blessed as he was with a rare combination of visionary leadership and boundless energy.  Everywhere he went he encouraged knowledge about Natural Family Planning/Natural Fertility Regulation and alternatives to abortion.  He showered hundreds of thousands of Rosaries and Holy Cards on every part of the world.  He supplied mountains of pro-life literature, pamphlets, films, videos, posters and models.

Like a pro-life Johnny Appleseed, Father Marx planted pro-life organizations wherever he went.  He founded Population Research Institute (PRI) in the U.S., Family Life International in the U.K., Family Life International in New Zealand, Family Life International in Australia, and literally dozens of other groups around the world. 

This network of organizations, under his direction, and with the help of generous donors and under God´s grace, grew to be the greatest pro-life organization in the World.  The effectiveness of Fr. Marx and his organizations caused the International Planned Parenthood Federation to label him "Public Enemy Number One." 

Even today, the pro-lifers whom he enlisted, encouraged and helped organize still constitute the essential core of the pro-life movement around the world.

Once a year, during the Easter octave, he held a "World Conference."  He assembled an unsurpassed slate of speakers who, over the course of four or five days, educated the thousands of pro-lifers who attended.  Over the course of nearly four decades, Father Marx reached hundreds of thousands in this way.  

He also brought to these conferences people from all parts of the underdeveloped world, paying for their airfares and accommodations.  These went back home heavily laden with pro-life literature and, most importantly, acutely aware of the dangers to life posed by the anti-life forces.  

Father Marx knew that the battle was not just a material one, but a spiritual one as well.  His conferences always opened on the Wednesday after Easter with Holy Mass and closed with Holy Mass on Divine Mercy Sunday.  A smaller chapel would be set up where the Blessed Sacrament would be reserved and where the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, Confessions, Benediction, the Rosary and other devotions were offered throughout the day and into the late evenings. 

Fr. Marx brought many, great and small, into the church, including Dr. Bernard Nathanson.  Dr. Nathanson was a founding member of the National Abortion Rights Action League and an infamous abortionist, who had personally presided over the abortion of tens of thousands of unborn children.

In the midst of all this, Fr. Marx somehow found time to write 13 books.  In The Death Peddlers he warned of the coming push for euthanasia.  This prophetic book sold over a million copies.  His 1997 autobiography, Faithful for Life, was another bestseller. Fr. Marx retired to St. John´s Abbey in 1999, but continued to be actively engaged in the fight for life.  He attended and spoke at PRI conferences—Minneapolis, Minnesota in 2000, Santa Clara, California, in 2002, Lincoln, Nebraska in 2003, and London, England, in 2004.  Even after he grew too infirm to travel, he kept up a worldwide correspondence with fellow pro-lifers from every corner of the globe, and continued to write articles for the PRI Review and other publications.  Most importantly for us at the Population Research Institute, he served as the Chairman of our Board of Directors from 1996 onward until his death.  In his capacity as Chairman he gave us constant encouragement, sage advice, and a bountiful blessing of prayer and Masses.  He personified the motto of St. Benedict of Nursia´s "Ora et Labora" "Pray and Work".  Fr. Marx exemplified the great strength and virtues of a true son of St. Benedict and gave all of us who now mourn his passage into eternity a superb model of faith and action, of endurance and courage, of generosity, kindness and vision, of wisdom and hope, all attributes which the pro-life movement needs in such great measure today. Can anything more be said to better honor the memory of this truly great and holy monk than the words of Pope John Paul II who in a meeting with Fr. Paul Marx OSB said "Fr. Marx, you are doing the most important work on earth." Now that Father has gone ahead of us, those of us who knew him are, to a man, determined to redouble our efforts on behalf of God's little ones.  At the same time, we are confident that Father Marx, from his higher vantage point, will continue to remember us and our common struggle today to the company of Heaven. We are told by those at his bedside that, at the moment of his death, Father raised his arms towards Heaven and said, ´Take me home.´   Can anyone doubt that, when he arrived at his destination, he was greeted with the words that all faithful Catholic long to hear:  "Well done, good and faithful servant.  Well done." -----Steven W. Mosher is the President of the Population Research Institute.  Dr. Claude Newbury for many years directed Father Marx´s pro-life work on the continent of Africa.  Both knew and worked with Father Marx for a quarter century.

---

PRI is a 501(c)(3) educational organization. We work to reverse the trends brought about by the myth of overpopulation. Our growing, global network of pro-life groups spans over 30 countries. To date, we have successfully eliminated $790 million in U.S. tax dollars to International Planned Parenthood, UNFPA, and other anti-life aboritionists while redirecting much of this to family friendly programs like Child Survival.

See our current project.

Donate now to directly affect the lives and well-being of mothers and children around the world.



Comments


More U.S.

Remains of four early leaders of America uncovered in Jamestown with Catholic artifacts Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Under the floor of a Jamestown church, four body remains of the earliest English colonial leaders in America were unearthed. One was identified as Captain John Smith's rival, who researchers speculate to be part of a secret Catholic cell because of some artifacts ... continue reading


BREAKING: Planned Parenthood caught in FOURTH VIDEO showing the horrific practices of selling aborted baby organs

Image of Dr. Savita Ginde, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains' Vice President and Medical Director, standing in the harvesting lab.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Another new Planned Parenthood expose video has been released, making this the second video this week and the fourth revealing hidden camera video in total. The Center for Medical Progress claims to have hours upon hours of footage exposing Planned Parenthood of ... continue reading


AMC movie theaters issue warning to moviegoers urging them to stay vigilant during visit Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A unusual video message is being played at AMC Theaters in Central Florida, urging the audience to keep their eyes open to any bad agendas and malicious or suspicious actions within the establishment. The short film came to be after violent incidents inside movie ... continue reading


A massive 30,000 more immigrants expected to arrive to U.S. before year's end Watch

Image of Illegal immigrants continues to cross the U.S. border.q

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The number of illegal immigrant children and teens in the United States continues to increase. The United Nations and other humanitarian groups predict that a total of 30,000 more are expected to reach the U.S. before the year ends. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic ... continue reading


The youngest convicted murders released from jail after 15 years Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

At just 12 and 13-years-old, two siblings confessed to killing their father's girlfriend and both were charged with first-degree murder as adults, despite evidence they were sexually abused by a family member. Yesterday, the two first faced the world they once knew. ... continue reading


Satanic statue secretly unveiled in Detroit, drawing Christian protest Watch

Image of Satanists secretly unveiled a nine-foot, one-ton statue of Baphomet, the horned devil god of satanic practice in an undisclosed location in Detroit this past weekend.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Satanists secretly unveiled a nine-foot, one-ton statue of Baphomet, the horned devil god of satanic practice in an undisclosed location in Detroit this past weekend. This has spurred on heavy protest from the city's Christian community. Hundreds gathered at Detroit's ... continue reading


Will Pope Francis be warmly welcomed in the United States? Watch

Image of Pope Francis will be in the United States in September.

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis will visit the United States for the first time ever in his lifetime during September. However, amid the excitement, the American populace may have lost some warmth towards the pontiff, who they once believed revived the Catholic Church in the country. ... continue reading


Will religious beliefs be acknowledged when Boy Scouts starts allowing gay leaders, volunteers? Watch

Image of Jennifer Tyrrell of Bridgeport, Ohio, a Cub Scout den leader who was kicked out in 2012 for being openly gay, embraces her son Cruz Burns.

By Kevin J. Jones, CNA/EWTN News

The Boy Scouts of America is moving to change its leadership standards in order to allow openly homosexual adult leaders and volunteers. While the organization promises that individual church-affiliated councils can choose their own leaders, at least one critic ... continue reading


THE THIRD VIDEO: The latest and most shocking footage of Planned Parenthood's abortion practices (WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO) Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

First there was a video revealing Planned Parenthood Federation of America's Senior Director of Medical Services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola casually discussing selling aborted baby organs over lunch, and admitting to using partial-birth abortions to get her hands on intact ... continue reading


Planned Parenthood HACKED, private employee information revealed Watch

Image of

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Planned Parenthood's website was hacked by a group of hackers who managed to gain access into Planned Parenthood and acquire the site's databases, including the names and email addresses of employees. These details were released by the hackers to the public. MUNTINLUPA ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Exodus 40:16-21, 34-38
16 Moses did this; he did exactly as Yahweh had ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 84:3, 4, 5-6, 8, 11
3 Even the sparrow has found a home, the swallow a ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:47-53
47 'Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like a dragnet ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 30th, 2015 Image

St. Peter Chrysologus
July 30: St. Peter Chrysologus, Bishop and Doctor of the Church ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter