Archive for the ‘Abortion’ Category
By Kaitlyn McCarthy Schnieders
The face of the pro-life movement is changing. Roe v. Wade was once the cause of those who remember when abortion was illegal. Now, 40 years after the landmark Supreme Court decision, the pro-life mantle has been taken up by those who’ve never known a world without abortion. One glance at the young people who attend the Jesuit Mass for Life in Washington, D.C., confirms that fact.
Every year to commemorate the Roe v. Wade decision, the Society of Jesus hosts a Mass and rally in the nation’s capital for students of Jesuit institutions. What began as a small gathering now attracts more than 700 attendees. Students from across the country, hailing from more than 30 Jesuit schools, pack St. Aloysius Church near Capitol Hill, often leaving just standing room.
This year, the Jesuit Mass for Life will be celebrated by Jesuit Father Gerry Stockhausen and feature Jesuit Father Phil Hurley as homilist. A number of Jesuits from around the country are also expected to concelebrate.
Steven Trottier, a graduate of De Smet Jesuit High School in St. Louis and a current student at Notre Dame, is a past attendee. Trottier says he learned about pro-life issues at De Smet, which prompted him to attend the Jesuit Mass and rally.
“I think student involvement brings youth, energy and excitement together, giving the pro-life movement a driving energy,” says Trottier. “Young people want their voices heard. The youth is the future of the pro-life movement and with all of our access to technology and media, we can stay informed of public policy concerning issues of abortion and life.”
For many students, attending the Mass and rally is often the culmination of a semester’s worth of work — saving money, attending meetings, hosting bake sales and sacrificing their time to fund the trip to Washington.
“This will be a significant experience of service of faith and promotion of justice for many students because the Masses, prayer services and holy hours that they participate in while in Washington are done alongside a series of talks about what it means to take one’s faith into the public square,” says Jesuit Ronald O’Dwyer, currently studying theology at Boston College and one of the event’s organizers. “Just being in Washington sparks these conversations.”
Patrick Grillot, president of Students for Life at Saint Louis University, says the March for Life creates an opportunity to promote the importance of valuing human dignity with fellow students before, after and during their trip.
“At SLU, we are especially committed to supporting pregnant and parenting students and have raised about $100,000 for our endowment. I believe this holistic, consistent life ethic approach is gaining steam across the country. One of the major critiques of the pro-life cause has been that its supporters do not value life after a child’s birth; we cannot allow this belief to exist in perception or reality.”
That consistent ethic of life is exactly what the Society of Jesus has been advocating for, working to restore a respect for all human life. In their statement on the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Jesuits vigorously affirmed their opposition to abortion and their support for the unborn:
“As all human life is sacred and should be protected by law, the Society of Jesus believes in a consistent ethic of life from conception to natural death, an ethic which includes our opposition to the death penalty and assisted suicide and our support for improved palliative care. All human life deserves dignity and respect, and all of God’s children, particularly the most vulnerable, must be protected and supported by the laws and policies of our nation.”
Matt Cuff, policy associate for the Jesuit Conference, which is organizing the event, says, “Our students know that coming to the Mass and rally isn’t enough, nor is opposition to abortion enough. We need to be advocates for programs that improve the lives of mothers, especially in low-income neighborhoods. In today’s political environment that means opposing cuts to government programs that serve low-income mothers as vigorously as we oppose abortion.”
January 25, 2013
Mass starts at 9:30 am
St. Aloysius Church
19 I St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
The Jesuit March for Life Rally begins immediately following Mass.
The rally features student speakers from both Jesuit high schools and universities. There will also be reflections from Jesuit Father Stephen Spahn, director of Ignatian Programs at Georgetown University, and Mary Peterson, founder and executive director of Maggie’s Place, a community that provides housing for expectant women who are alone or on the streets.
The Ignatian Pro-Life Network, a union of pro-life groups from Jesuit high schools, colleges, universities and parishes across the U.S., held the annual Mass for Life & Rally yesterday in Washington, D.C.
Marchers attended the Mass for Life at St. Aloysius Church along with the Rally for Life following the Mass, to hear speakers and student reports from schools before joining the March for Life. Jesuit Father Joe Laramie was the guest homilist, the full video of which is now available:
To learn about Jesuit Conference’s statement on the abortion issue, read “Standing for the Unborn”.
To follow the Ignatian Pro-Life Network, visit the Ignatian Pro-Life Network page on Facebook.
The Ignatian Pro-Life Network, a union of pro-life groups from Jesuit high schools, colleges, universities and parishes across the U.S., invites participants to the annual Mass for Life & Rally on Jan. 23, 2011 in Washington, D.C.
Marchers are encouraged to attend the Mass for Life at 9:30 a.m. at St. Aloysius Church along with the Rally for Life following the Mass, to hear speakers and student reports from schools before heading out for the March for Life.
In preparation, groups can also read the Jesuit Conference’s statement on the abortion issues, “Standing for the Unborn”, before the march.
To follow the Ignatian Pro-Life Network’s plans for the 2012 Mass and Rally for Life for Jesuit institutions and to sign up to attend, visit the Ignatian Pro-Life Network page on Facebook.
Today, pro-life groups from Jesuit high schools, colleges, universities and parishes from across the US are banding together as part of the Ignatian Pro Life Network’s annual Mass for Life & Rally on the Mall in Washington, DC.
The participants will gather on the Mall following today’s Mass for Life where they will hear from speakers and students before heading out to join others at the March for Life.
National Jesuit News recently spoke with the Ignatian Pro Life Network’s coordinator, Jesuit Father Phil Hurley about the importance of Jesuits and their partners to be involved in pro life advocacy work and Father Hurley shared with us his own personal story on why this work means so much to him in the video below.
Students from 20 Jesuit schools gathered today to attend the Mass at St. Aloysius Church before moving out to the streets of Washington to be a part of the March for Life today. National Jesuit News was there and streamed these videos from the Mass and from the March.
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To find out more about how the Jesuits are advocating for the rights of the unborn, please click on the image below.