Front Royal, VA, 03/20/10 – After a period of declining health, Fr. Paul Marx passed away this morning, March 20, 2010, at 8:10 am.
Fr. Paul Marx, OSB, Founder and long-time Chairman of Population Research Institute (PRI), was a pioneer in the worldwide pro-life movement. As soon as abortion became an issue in the 1960s, Father became actively engaged in promoting life, writing his first pro-life article in 1967. In 1972, he founded the first of his many pro-life organizations, the Human Life Center at St. John’s University.
Father Marx went on to found Family Life International in the U.K., New Zealand, and Australia, Human Life International in the U.S., and literally dozens of other groups around the world.
Born on May 8, 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 June 15, 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 in the late sixties.
He undertook the task of spreading the pro-life message with apostolic zeal, urging Americans to resist the legalization of abortion at home, and organizing resistance to anti-life population control programs abroad. He was blessed with a rare combination of visionary leadership and boundless energy.
Over the course of his long life, Fr. Marx wrote 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 best-seller.
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.
Fr. Marx retired to St. John’s Abbey in 1999, but continued to be actively engaged in the fight for life. He kept up a worldwide correspondence with fellow pro-lifers from every corner of the globe, promoting the defense of life, and continued to write.
Most importantly for us at the Population Research Institute, he served as the Chairman of our Board of Directors from 1996 onward.
Says PRI President, Steven Mosher, “in his capacity as Chairman he gave us constant encouragement, sage advice, and a bountiful blessing of prayer and Masses. He will be sorely missed by those of us who remain behind.
“At the same time, we are confident that, from his higher vantage point, he 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.’ “
“We at PRI are determined, in honor of this great Apostle of Life, to redouble our efforts on behalf of God’s little ones.”
Fr. Marx’s wake will be held Thursday at 7 p.m. at the St John’s Abbey Church in Collegeville, MN. The funeral will be on Friday at 3:30 pm at the St. John’s Abbey Church in Collegeville, MN.