Dr. Colbert retires, leaves behind legacy of defending life

June 16, 2015

Surrounded by her coworkers, friends and family, Dr. Marcella Colbert smiled when Daniel Cardinal DiNardo recognized her achievements, dedication and now legacy of the Respect Life cause with the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. 

“We are all grateful here at the Archdiocese for your singular commitment and the various issues that surround it in the world, the Church and the local Archdiocese,” Cardinal DiNardo said. “Together with Bishop Sheltz, I want to express our deep gratitude to Dr. Colbert for her years of service.”

On June 5, Colbert retired from her position as director of the Respect Life Office at the Archdiocese.

With the help of many volunteers, Colbert has sown great seeds of Respect Life understanding within this local Church, said Cardinal DiNardo.
“I didn’t ask for this job, to be frank, I never thought of myself as working within the Church,” Colbert said. “But Archbishop Fiorenza persuaded me otherwise without much difficulty.

“I have to thank him and everybody following his steps, including Cardinal DiNardo, for the great privilege to serve Christ and His Church in this capacity. It’s not always easy, but what is?”

With a lengthy and illustrious background in medicine, Colbert cemented a legacy of more than two decades of Respect Life work. A major hallmark of that work is The Gabriel Project. 

An international program that offers hope and assistance to women experiencing a crisis pregnancy, Colbert’s insights and efforts led to a trademark of The Gabriel Project, as well as speaking engagements around the country. The program is now active in dioceses around the nation.

While she will be retiring from the office, Colbert, who is a member of the University Faculty for Life, plans to continue her work for Respect Life as a writer and speaker, as well as spend time with her family, children and grandchildren.