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The Diocese of Gary has announced a funding source to perpetually support pro-life activities in Northwest Indiana.

To be known as the Dorothy Abel Purcell Pro-Life Foundation, it is a gift of the James F. Purcell family of Munster.

The charitable foundation, which has taken almost two years to establish, has been approved as a 501-C-3 charitable corporation by both the Internal Revenue Service and the State of Indiana, said the Rev. Theodore Mens, diocesan director of pro-life activities, meaning that all donations will be fully tax-deductible.

The Rev. Mens expressed his appreciation to the Purcell family for its generosity. "Donations will be added to the initial capitalization of the foundation. Funds for pro-life activities will be the result of earnings," said the Rev. Mens. "Initially, they will be small, but will grow over time."

James Purcell called he and his wife, Dorothy, who died in 2008, "strong supporters of the culture of living," believing that "all babies are beautiful" and should be given an opportunity to live from conception to natural death. Before her death, Dorothy Purcell asked her husband to fins a way to help the Rev. Mens with his pro-life activities.

Purcell, who conferred with Mens, said he believes the foundation is a fitting memorial to his wife.

Operations will be guided by a non-family board of directors including James Purcell as president, the Rev. Mens as secretary and treasurer, Ann Marie O'Connell, John Dunn and Joseph Tschida.

Advisors include Willard E. Bransky of Ziegler Wealth Management, legal counsel Tony Prasco of Burke, Costanza & Cuppy, and Ronald Shuman, CPA and principal with Steiber, Reuth & Shuman.

James Purcell and Dorothy Abel met as students at the University of Notre Dame and St. Mary's College, respectively, and married after graduating in 1942 and 44. The parents of 11 children, they were married for 64 years.

The foundation's address is 8350 Parkview Ave., Munster, IN 46321, and the phone number is (219) 923-4238.

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