Passionately pro-life: This year’s Respect Life honoree Rosie Prier plays a vital role behind the scenes
By Walt Schaefer
“I will never forget that day,” said Rosie Prier: Dec. 14, 1996. “I was the only person available to initially counsel a woman who came to our women’s center thinking we were the abortion clinic. After talking with me, then having an ultrasound, she left deciding to carry her pregnancy to term, praise be to God!”
The 2017 recipient of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati’s Respect Life award says she has been “passionately pro-life for as long as I can remember.” Nominated by Elizabeth New Life Center’s director, Vivian Koob, Prier received the award at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains on Jan. 14, during a Mass for Life prior to the annual March for Life in Washington D.C.
“Rosie Prier has been a stalwart pro-life advocate ever since she was a young woman,” Koob wrote in her nomination letter. “She was the first employee hired at Elizabeth’s New Life Center (ENLC) in 1995. Rosie is director of operations at ENLC and is one of the most valuable people on our staff.
“Over the years, Rosie has demonstrated her passion for life runs deep and true. She helps ENLC in so many ways to serve more women in need who are in crisis and she supervises some of our most critical programs like the material assistance program, the middle school sexual risk-avoidance program, and Holy Family Prenatal Care. She oversees facilities, IT, finance and grant writing at ENLC. Through her Respect Life coordinator position at Precious Blood Parish and her work promoting the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops materials on the many aspects of being pro-life, Rosie has touched all of the issues.”
Prier is the wife of Deacon Mike Prier, who serves at Precious Blood, St. Rita, and St. Paul’s parishes in Dayton. In seventh grade, she organized a fundraiser for Birthright with other students. As an adult she volunteered before taking the position at ENLC. “I started as Vivian’s assistant,” she said. “We purchased the building next to the abortion clinic on Main Street on purpose” to operate next to it.
ENLC moved after the abortion center closed, and now operates centers in Dayton, Sharonville, Kettering, Lebanon, and Sidney, with a new one soon to open in Forest Park (see page 18).
Prier said that though she has counseled women, “I’m not good at that. I’m definitely more of an analytical person, a behind-the-scenes support person. I’ve always been very grateful that I could work in a ministry where I can be useful, even though I don’t have skills or gifts to sit across from a woman and help her in that time.”
One of her many responsibilities is overseeing grant writing and implementation. While ENCL does not get sig-
nificant funding directly from the archdiocese, many churches sponsor and donate to its mission. Other funds come from contributions and grants. One important state grant helps ENLC provide 10-week classes on baby care. Another helps ENLC work as part of a collaborative that provides “sexual risk avoidance eduction” at public schools.
“We consider it our prevention arm,” Prier said. “We go into health classes
and talk about healthy relationships and avoiding sexual risk. We cannot come at it from a religious perspective, but truth is truth and health is health. We can encourage middle school and high school students to postpone sexual activity until marriage, ideally.”
Prier, of Englewood, is the mother of four and has 11 grandchildren. She holdss a degree in consumer science from Xavier University.
Eight people were nominated for this year’s award and all received certificates at the Mass.