Published July 9, 2015
SMYRNA—Brendan Dudley is the new director of Respect Life Ministry in the Archdiocese of Atlanta. Mary Boyert, who has served in the post for more than 15 years, retired July 1.
A native of Detroit, Dudley spent the past three years in Cincinnati, Ohio, as the director of faith formation at St. Cecilia Church. His other professional experiences include writing for Human Life International and teaching high school courses in theology and philosophy throughout southeast Michigan. Dudley has also been a parish catechist and chastity speaker for more than 10 years, both in the Detroit area and Washington, D.C.
Dudley is a graduate of The Catholic University of America, receiving a bachelor of arts in theology and politics. He continued his academic studies with the completion of a master of arts in theology from Sacred Heart Major Seminary, studying under Dr. Janet Smith and Dr. Ralph Martin.
His study and ministry has involved an emphasis on Catholic sexual ethics and medical ethics. His particular interests include the relationship between law and morality, the writings of Pope St. John Paul II about human dignity, and the importance of interreligious dialogue as a means for evangelization and cultural renewal.
Dudley’s enthusiasm for respect life ministry also comes from his personal background. He was born four months premature, weighing less than two pounds at birth, and faced numerous struggles throughout his first year of life. He describes how “hearing the stories and seeing the video footage of my time in the hospital has been a constant inspiration in my efforts to help build a culture of life.”
He adds, “I am excited to be taking on a leadership role in the archdiocese, and I want to thank Mary Boyert for her many wonderful years as the director of Respect Life Ministry. I hope that I can build upon her remarkable accomplishments.”
Dudley believes that the “Church today faces an increasingly difficult battle to protect life, support authentic love, and promote justice, but we should always remain confident that the power of the Holy Spirit will continue equipping us with the gifts and strength necessary for guiding others toward a life-changing relationship with the risen Jesus.”
On a personal note, he is excited to live in Atlanta near his parents and sister.
In an online message to respect life leaders and volunteers, clergy and Chancery co-workers, Boyert, who has been a pro-life advocate in Georgia for decades, said “after more than a total of 40 years in the movement, it is now time for me to step back, spend more time with my family, and let new leadership continue this crucial work.”
She said also that she would remain involved in the effort even in retirement.
For more information on Respect Life, visit www.archatl.com and click on “Ministries & Services.”