Newsworthy Dads Articles

Pro-Life Point Man

Father of five heads up bishops’ D.C. office

Tom Grenchik is Executive Director of the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities at United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). He was the founding director of the Pro-Life Office for the Archdiocese of Washington, where he served for 16 years.

Grenchik, age 50, lives in Riverdale, Maryland, with Diane, his high school sweetheart and wife of 28 years. They have five children: Michael, age 27, married to Leah; Katie, 25; Maria, 23; Peter, 14; and Chris, 12. Grenchik is a member of Knights of Columbus Prince George’s Council 2809.

Fathers for Good: What is the goal of the U.S. bishops in pro-life activities?

Grenchik: The Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities supports the ministry of the U.S. bishops by acting collaboratively to advance the teaching of the Church that all human life is sacred from the moment of conception to natural death. The USCCB advocates for policies that protect and respect human life and dignity, with special concern for those who are unborn, disabled, or terminally ill; seeks to eliminate legalized abortion; opposes legalization of assisted suicide or euthanasia; opposes domestic and foreign abortion funding and efforts to force states and health plans to fund abortion; and supports medical research that respects human life, while opposing human cloning and harmful experiments on human embryos.

FFG: What is the cause behind the polls showing most Americans “pro-life”?

Grenchik: We do feel that the culture is changing.  In many ways we are seeing the “Springtime of Hope” or the “Springtime of Faith” that Pope John Paul II predicted. Many young people now embrace and take action on the Church’s teaching on the sacredness and dignity of every human life.  Still, we have much work to do.

FFG: As a father, how do you bring the pro-life message home to your children? How can a family "live pro-life"?

Grenchik: Most of our kids have all grown up going to pro-life events, concerts and prayer efforts. I guess being “counter-cultural” can be exciting at times. Life is a tremendous gift and we have always looked for every opportunity to celebrate that gift as a family. I’d encourage other dads to find creative ways to celebrate within their own families and at larger events. It’s also important that kids see their parents caring for others in need, such as a sick relative, or volunteering at a food pantry or a pregnancy center.

FFG: What is the highlight for you at the Washington March for Life?

Grenchik: While the March is a wonderful event, I’m even more impressed by witnessing the many thousands of young people “prepare” for the March through the many prayer efforts and youth Masses all around the city. All our works must be grounded in prayer, and our young people have really grasped that. The pro-life movement is God’s movement and the victory is his.