Toronto, ON May 29, 2015 – The Catholic Civil Rights League (CCRL) is pleased to announce that it has chosen scholar, writer, seminary professor, and pro-life activist Dr. Donald DeMarco as winner of this year’s Archbishop Adam Exner Award for Catholic Excellence in Public Life. The award will be presented at the CCRL’s annual Spring Dinner on June 18 in Toronto, featuring a keynote address by Charles Lewis, anti-euthanasia activist and former religion writer and editor with the National Post.

CCRL President Phil Horgan confirmed the League’s selection:

Professor DeMarco is a national Catholic treasure.  His work gives witness to our faith in a world which is increasingly seeking to exclude Christian perspectives from the public square.  The CCRL is delighted to recognize Don for that continued witness.  He has been a great friend of the League, and we look forward to presenting him with the Exner Award this year.

For Spring Dinner tickets, please email or call 416-466-8244 or 1-844-722-CCRL

Dr. DeMarco, a long-time supporter of the CCRL, said:

I have worked with several of the past recipients and always held them in such high regard that I never considered myself to be in their league.  It is on the basis of our common passion for justice that I can, humbly and gratefully, accept this most distinguished award.  My heartfelt thanks to the Catholic Civil Rights League.

About Dr. Donald DeMarco

Dr. Donald DeMarco has been a corresponding member of the Pontifical Academy of Life, a founding member of the American Bioethics Advisory Commission, and has served in various editorial capacities for several publications.  He is currently an Adjunct Professor at Holy Apostles College & Seminary in Cromwell, CT and is a Senior Fellow with Human Life International.  He is the author of innumerable articles both scholarly and for the general public, and 28 books, including “Architects of the Culture of Death” which has been translated into Spanish, Croatian, Czech, Estonian and Polish.  An earlier book, The “Heart of Virtue” has been translated into Korean.  Dr. DeMarco has made presentations in all of the Canadian provinces and in most states south of the border. He has won several awards for his writing and currently writes regular columns for several periodicals.

His latest books:  “How to Remain Sane in a World that is Going Mad”, “Poetry that Enters the Mind and Warms the Heart”, “How to Flourish in a Fallen World”, and “In Praise of Life”, are all of 2015 vintage.  He is currently working on “Ten Major Moral Mistakes”.

Dr. DeMarco lives in Kitchener, ON with his wife, Mary.  They have five children and 12 grandchildren.

About the Archbishop Exner Award

The CCRL established the Archbishop Exner Award in 2004 to honour Archbishop Adam Exner, OMI, Archbishop Emeritus of Vancouver, upon his retirement and to recognize outstanding achievement in advocacy, education, life issues, media and culture, and philanthropy. Previous recipients include:

Gwen Landolt, long time national Vice-President of REAL Women of Canada, pro- life advocate, promoter of the family in national and international circles (2014)

Fr. Alphonse de Valk, CSB, pro-life activist, writer and editor (2013)

Michael D. O’Brien, artist and author, for creative work incorporating authentic Catholicism and Catholic teaching (2012)

Michael Coren, author and broadcaster, for his outspoken defense of Catholicism in media (2011)

Suzanne LaVallee of Quebec for leadership in education (2010)

The late Frank Chauvin of Windsor, Ontario, founder of Haiti’s first orphanage for girls and initiator of an application for review of the process by which Henry Morgentaler was awarded the Order of Canada (2009)

Dr. and Mrs. Andrew and Joan Simone of Toronto, co-founders of Canadian Food for Children, for services to philanthropy and international aid (2008)

Campaign Life Coalition President Jim Hughes of Toronto for service to the pro-life movement (2007)

J. Fraser Field of Vancouver, founder of Catholic Educators’ Resource Centre, for service to education (2006)

The late Regina business leader Frederick W. Hill for philanthropy and community service (2005)



About the CCRL

Catholic Civil Rights League (CCRL) ( assists in creating conditions within which Catholic teachings can be better understood, cooperates with other organizations in defending civil rights in Canada, and opposes defamation and discrimination against Catholics on the basis of their beliefs. The CCRL was founded in 1985 as an independent lay organization with a large nationwide membership base. The CCRL is a Canadian non-profit organization entirely supported by the generosity of its members.

For further information:

Christian Domenic Elia, PhD
CCRL Executive Director