Jacqueline Bonk to Head Diocesan Pro-Life Office
On August 21, Bishop Michael F. Burbidge announced the appointment of Mrs. Jacqueline Bonk as Director of the newly created Pro-Life Office of the Diocese of Raleigh. Mrs. Bonk is charged with developing, designing and facilitating the implementation of pastoral pro-life activities, as well as the education and invitation of the faithful to participate in protecting the sanctity of all human life. Bishop Burbidge made the announcement at the annual Respect Life Seminar gathering of parish Respect Life Coordinators meeting in Raleigh. The Bishop announced that Mrs. Bonk will serve in a part-time capacity, with her role beginning immediately.
Mrs. Bonk is an Administrator at Wake Technical Community College. For 15 years she has also been Diocesan Director of Project Rachel, a healing ministry for men and women who have chosen abortions in the past. She said the Pro-Life Office will be involved with the entire spectrum of pro-life advocacy, including abortion, embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia and the death penalty. “Among other activities,” she said, “we’ll be providing direction to parish pro-life coordinators, coordinating Diocesan pro-life events and working with the Diocesan Communications Office to develop pro-life communications.
Mrs. Bonk described herself as “thrilled and honored” at the appointment and enthusiastic about the work ahead. She said, “We will be communicating the truth, the truth of the Gospel and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which reflect our teaching of the fundamental dignity of the human person.”
Bishop Burbidge stated: “I am pleased to welcome Mrs. Bonk as the Director of our newly created Diocesan Pro-Life Office. I am confident she will bring great zeal and direction to her new work. I also express my gratitude to Sister Joan Jurski, O.S.F. for her many years of dedicated service to the Diocese of Raleigh in her role as Director of the Office of Respect Life/Peace and Justice.
“The creation of the new Diocesan Pro-Life Office will allow Sister Joan to increase her efforts in the areas of Peace and Justice and Parish Social Ministry, with particular emphasis upon issues such as immigration, hunger, peacemaking, poverty, and homelessness. Likewise, Mrs. Bonk will have the ability to expand the focus of the important pro-life education and formation work we have already done as a Diocese on issues such as abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research and the death penalty. The effect of this new structure thus strengthens the work both of the Pro-Life Office and the Office of Peace and Justice, as it will allow Mrs. Bonk and Sr. Joan to give greater attention to these important moral and human issues and how in each we are called to safeguard human life with love and respect at all times.”