Jeanne Mancini was appointed to the role of President of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund in 2012. As president, she directs the organization’s efforts to restore a culture of life in the United States, most notably through the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., held on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
Jeanne lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan from 2003 to 2005 while she worked for the Cardinal Maida Institute located at the St. John Center for Youth and Family in Plymouth. The associate director, she worked under Fr. John Riccardo and taught adult formation classes about theology of the body, the feminine genius and other topics.
Her previous roles include working with the Family Research Council (FRC), where she focused on issues related to the inherent dignity of the human person, including abortion, women’s health and end-of-life issues. She also worked for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the Office of the Secretary.
Her federal government experience includes global health policy as well as domestic and international health care issues. Jeanne has made frequent media appearances including interviews on MSNBC, CNN, FOX, ABC and CBS. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, USA Today and the Washington Post among other publications.
Jeanne holds an undergraduate degree in psychology from James Madison University and a Master’s degree in the theology of marriage and family from the Pope John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family. She now lives in northern Virginia with her husband, David.
What was the last book you read?
“Finding the Bright Side, Chasing the Art of What Matters” by Shannon Bream for fun and inspiration and “Into Your Hands Father” by Fr. Wilfred Stinnisen for spiritual reading.
What is your biggest fear?
Crowds! I get a little claustrophobic. It is ironic since my job is to help run the world’s largest annual pro-life event, the March for Life!
What is your biggest pet peeve?
Traffic. It is a major part of life in D.C. but not something I’m very patient with.
Who do you admire?
So many! In the Detroit area, I greatly admire Fr. John Riccardo, who I was blessed to work with a number of years ago.
If you had unlimited resources, what would you do?
I would give a lot of money to the March for Life to be able to do more to build a culture of life.
What is your favorite feast day?
Hard to name just one! St. Anne’s Feast Day (July 26) and St. Gianna’s Feast Day (April 28) would be at the top of the list, plus any Marian feast day. Also St. Joseph.
What is your best quality?
I’m a pretty good listener.
What is the biggest risk you’ve taken?
One that comes to mind is a crazy thing that a friend and I did when we were in high school. We were driving by a hospital and got an idea (inspiration?) that we should go talk to someone inside the hospital. We did, went to a random floor, found a man and told him that God loves him.
What is your earliest memory?
Moving from California to Connecticut. My dad was in the military and we moved around quite a bit when I was young, but my earliest memories were the specifics of this move. My mom and dad house hunting (I didn’t like that I got left behind!), and shortly after traveling across the country with all of us (me and three siblings and one on the way), camping and seeing sights.
We visited a friend with a pig farm on our trip. On our last morning there, I didn’t want to leave the pigs (I’ve always really, really loved animals), so I went and hid in the pig pen. It took my family a while to find me, and when I was found, we had to quickly get in the car and continue on the cross-country journey. My pajamas got ditched shortly into the trip, because, they smelled — appropriately — like a pig pen!
What virtue do you most admire in others?
Strength and gentleness.
What words do you use too much?
“And” and “like.”
What gives you the most happiness?
Honestly, my relationship with God — prayer, sacraments, etc. And then family, my closest friendships, deep talks with my husband, being outdoors, a great meal, going for a run and playing with our dog, Tobias.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
Get on my knees and start the day with an Our Father. Coffee is a close second.
What talent or skill do you wish you had?
I don’t pick up languages easily and would love to have that skill.
What are you most proud of?
I’m pretty shy by nature and I’m proud that I’ve let God use me in ways that I wouldn’t naturally have been drawn to such as tough media interviews and speaking to large crowds.
What is your vision of heaven?
All prayers answered. No pain or wounds. No tears. All of the joy, hope, peace and relief of “Resurrection Sunday” in one place. The Communion of Saints, including loved ones that have gone before us.
What was your first job?
With the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, working in a youth shelter with young people who were victims of abuse and/or neglect.
What is your most cherished possession?
Our dog, Tobias! (Is a pet a possession?)
What is your most embarrassing moment?
There are many, but one that comes to mind is tripping on my way up the stairs to make a speech when I was in high school.
What is your favorite hobby or pastime?
Hiking in the woods, napping, cooking, enjoying a leisurely meal with family.
What do you value the most in your friends?
Honesty, depth, goodness, humor, faith.
Who is your favorite author?
In the way of spiritual books, I tend to read many by Fr. Jacque Phillipe. With fun, light books, my husband and I have been listening on roads trips a lot to Mary Higgins Clark lately. I also love Jane Austen.
Who is your fictional hero?
One would be Jean Valjean from Les Mis.
Which saint do you turn to for intercession the most?
Blessed Mother, St. Anne and St. Gianna
How do you define a “Missionary Disciple”?
A personal follower of Christ who has been “sent.”
What keeps you up at night?
These days it would be worries about running a small nonprofit, overall business direction, fundraising, etc.
How do you want to be remembered when you die?
An apostle of the New Evangelization.
What is your life motto or mantra?
Not that I embody this well, but I love the phrase “Be only all for Jesus through Mary” coined by St. Teresa of Calcutta.
What makes you laugh?
How do you define success?
To live my professional and personal vocation well and with elegance.