THE FOUNDER of Pro-Life Philippines, Sis. Pilar Verzosa, passed away after a massive storke last Sept.9 at De La Salle University (DLSU) Medical Center.

She died 15 days before her 68th birthday.

One of Verzosa’s projects in Pro-Life Philippines was the Pregnancy Counselling Hotline, which offers emotional and spiritual assistance to women with unwanted pregnancies, abandoned by the child’s father, orafraid to inform their parents of their situation.

“Sister Pilar’s objective in forming the pregnancy hotline is to help pregnant women in crisis. That’s the reason why Pro-Life Philippines grew,” said Lorna Melegrito, executive president of Pro-Life Philippines. “Women are calling our hotline (733-7027), seeking for advice about their situation. Sister Pilar had the idea to create not just a counselling, but an educational training program for prevention [of unwanted pregnancy].”

Verzosa gave lectures to different schools about the importance of chastity, and became an advocate of natural family planning among married couples.

She established Pro-Life Philippines in 1975, influenced by Fr. Paul Marx, founder of Human Life International (HLI) which is considered the “largest international pro-life organization in the world.”

Pro-life Philippines Foundation is a non-profit, nationwide organization which functions as an educational body and coordinator of pro-life groups. It provides information on life issues, while seeking to raise the consciousness of Filipinos concerning respect and responsibility for human life.

“Without her, there will be no Pro-life [Philippines]. She started it all. That is her legacy,” Melegrito said.

Through the efforts of Verzosa, President Corazon Aquino issued Proclamation No. 214 declaring the second week of February as “Respect and Care for Life Week” in 1988, and President Gloria Arroyo signed Proclamation No. 586 declaring March 25 as the “Day of the Unborn in the Philippines”in 2004.

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The wake for Sis. Pilar was held last Sept. 9 to 11 at the Good Sheperd Chapel in Quezon City. Her remains were cremated last Sept. 12 and interred in the chapel.

Sister Pilar’s Life

Born in Vigan, Ilocos Sur on Sept. 24, 1944, Verzosa earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from St. Paul College of Manila. When she was 22 years old, Sis. Pilar joined the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd—an international group of religious women in the Church.

She travelled extensively to speak in local and international pro-life conferences and established Crisis Pregnancy Centers and Pro-Life Philippines chapters around the country.

Verzosa also chaired the screening committee of the Pondong Pinoy Foundation. She was also the head of the projects committee of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Office on Women, and represented the CBCP at the Beijing and New York World Conferences of Women.

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