On July 30, he was recognized by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and received the award for excellence in the category of Specialty Programming – Military Programs, for a documentary on fallen U.S. soldiers and their families. The winning episode, “A lifetime of sacrifice,” tells the stories of three military families affected by having children and spouses serving overseas; two families lost family members, while another had their son return a double amputee. One wife told the story of losing her husband and days later learning she was carrying their second child.
Mattes, who received the award at a July 30 ceremony, said it was “pretty exhilarating” to win a second time. He told LifeSiteNews: “I guess we were a little surprised by the first one in 2010, to think a pro-life program would be acknowledged on that level. Once we broke through that glass ceiling, or brick wall however you want to say it, I guess we’re less surprised.”
Mattes said that it is not only the message but how it is delivered that matters. “Our goal all along with the program was to do it well, or not do it at all,” he said, “so we made sure that we had the resources, and abilities, and talented people to do it.”
Last month, Mattes, who also serves as a board member of LifeSiteNews.com, was named Dr. Jack Willke’s successor as president of the International Right to Life Federation. Willke will remain on the board of the IRLF and serve as president emeritus.
The IRLF is a worldwide federation of pro-life groups seeking legal protection for all human life from conception to natural death. Its two vice presidents are Jim Hughes, national president of Canada’s Campaign Life Coalition, and John Smeaton, director of the United Kingdom’s Society for the Protection of Unborn Children. Hughes told The Interim that Mattes’ 37 years of experience in the pro-life movement, most of them beside Willke at the Life Issues Institute, will serve him well in his new (additional) role. “Brad works ceaselessly to educate people about abortion and to uphold the Culture of Life.”
Mattes told LifeSiteNews, “I feel immensely honored that the board has chosen me to lead this organization into the future.” But he stressed, “it is not done by one individual,” and said he looks forward to working “together to protect innocent life from womb to tomb.”
John-Henry Westen, editor-in-chief at LifeSiteNews congratulated the IRLF on its new appointment. “Brad is a man of deep faith whose commitment to life and passion for defending the defenceless is second to none,” said Westen. “We know he will be a worthy successor to the great Dr. Willke.”
In addition to his duties hosting Facing Life Head-On, heading up both the Life Issues Institute and IRLF, and serving on the boards of LifeSiteNews and the Terri Schiavo Life and Hope Network, Mattes also hosts a daily radio commentary entitled Life Issues, and speaks throughout the United States and around the world.
– With files from Kathleen Gilbert and Katie Craine of LifeSiteNews.com.