Culture of Life
The de Nicola Center is the most prominent and energetic locus at Notre Dame for pro-life teaching, research, and advocacy. The Center maintains four dedicated restricted funds earmarked for (1) general pro-life programming, (2) student and faculty participation in the March for Life in Washington, D.C., (3) the Notre Dame Vita Institute, and (4) the Notre Dame Evangelium Vitae Medal. Donors may designate their gifts to these restricted funds. In addition to these programs, the Center frequently sponsors panels and workshops on a variety of life issues.
The Vita Institute is an intensive interdisciplinary intellectual formation program for leaders in the national and international pro-life movement. Participants gather for a week on the campus of Notre Dame to study the fundamentals of the life issues with world-renowned scholars across a wide range of disciplines, including social science, biology, philosophy, theology, law, communication, and counseling. Learn more about the Vita Institute, and how to apply.
The Notre Dame Evangelium Vitae Medal is the nation's most important lifetime achievement award for heroes in the pro-life movement, honoring individuals whose outstanding efforts have served to proclaim the Gospel of Life by steadfastly affirming and defending the sanctity of human life from its earliest stages. Announced annually on Respect Life Sunday (the first Sunday of October), the Notre Dame Evangelium Vitae award consists of a specially commissioned medal and $10,000 prize, which is presented at a spring banquet. Learn more about this year's honoree, the medal itself, and past medal recipients.
Each semester, the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture sponsors a Bread of Life Dinner, an opportunity for students and faculty to meet, reflect on, and discuss their attitudes surrounding the life issues in a casual atmosphere outside the classroom. A university representative offers a brief 15-minute reflection, followed by time for conversation over dinner. Read more about past Bread of Life presentations.
The de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture provides transportation and travel grants for Notre Dame students, faculty, and staff to attend the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. Every January, hundreds of Notre Dame students make the 15-hour trip to the nation’s capital, where they join hundreds of thousands of participants to mark the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, pray for an end to abortion, and serve as joyful witnesses to the sanctity of all human life. In 2013, Notre Dame was honored to be chosen to lead the 40th anniversary march, and in 2018, a record-breaking contingent of more than 1,100 Notre Dame students, faculty, and staff participated.