As the anniversary of the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision approaches, the Cardinal Newman Society (CNS) applauded the witness of Catholic colleges to the pro-life movement.
“For more than three decades, students at many Catholic institutions have been working toward the end of abortion by prayer, protests and sidewalk counseling,” said CNS president Patrick J. Reilly, “We salute them and their institutions for their steadfastness.”
Joseph Esposito, CNS Research Director and editor of The Newman Guide toChoosing a Catholic College: What to Look For and Where to Find It, noted that all 21 colleges recommended in the guide have strong pro-life programs.
“These colleges’ pro-life efforts reinforce their commitment to a Catholic identity and to day-to-day living of Catholic teachings,” Esposito said.
“Over the next several days, administrators and students from these colleges will be participating in the flagship March for Life in Washington, D.C., as well as one in Chicago, the Walk for Life West Coast in San Francisco, the Silent Memorial Walk for Life in Atlanta and other events all over the country,” added Reilly, who will address the national March for Life Convention in Washington, D.C., on January 21, “It is truly heartening to see thousands of collegians engage the culture.”
Among the colleges heavily involved in events leading up to and including Jan. 22 is Christendom College, where every member of the student body—nearly 400—is expected to participate in the March for Life in Washington, D.C. Christendom has participated in all previous 34 marches.
Another college that expects to send all of its students to the 2008 Washington event is Magdalen College of Warner, N.H. Students there also have attended commemorative activities in Concord, the state capital.
Last year, more than 1,000 students from Franciscan University of Steubenville made the five-hour trip from Washington, D.C., for the March for Life, where the university’s green-and-white banner has become a fixture.
As with other colleges, Franciscan students participate in ongoing pro-life activities, including weekly sidewalk counseling outside abortion clinics. The university has a Tomb of the Unborn on campus, complete with an eternal flame.
Benedictine College, another Newman-recommended college, has an active Ravens Respect Life group. Benedictine students have participated in every March for Life in Washington. In 2007, the campus contingent reached a record number of 98. The college is located 1,100 miles from the nation’s capital, making it an 18-hour bus trip.
Ave Maria University students in Ave Maria, Fla., will participate in the Washington March for Life as well as the March for Life St. Augustine, which drew people from throughout Florida in its first march in 2007.
Students at Thomas Aquinas College were instrumental in launching the Walk for Life West Coast in San Francisco in 2005, and about two-thirds of students regularly participate. Also, as a tribute to campus pro-life activist Angela Baird, students protested at an abortion clinic in Ventura, Calif., for six years; the clinic closed six years to the day of her death in a hiking accident.
A college news release noted the peaceful and prayer itinerary which succeeded in shutting down Family Planning Associates: “The students follow a two-page prayer sheet that includes the 20-Mystery Rosary, the Salve Regina, which is sung after the Rosaries, a Divine Mercy Chaplet and intercessory prayers.”
“The commitment of these young people and their colleges are making an important impact on the country,” Reilly said. “One day abortion will be prohibited, and the efforts undertaken by them as well as millions of their parents and other pro-life warriors will be richly rewarded.”
He also urged those Catholic campuses that have been less active in the pro-life movement to increase their involvement. “There is no reason why all 225 Catholic colleges and universities should not be actively engaged in this necessary movement,” he said.
The pro-life colleges recommended in The Newman Guide are: Christendom College, The College of Saint Thomas More (Tex.), Franciscan University of Steubenville, Magdalen College, Thomas Aquinas College, The Thomas More College of Liberal Arts (N.H.), University of Dallas, University of St. Thomas (Tex.).
Also, Ave Maria University, Holy Apostles College & Seminary, John Paul the Great Catholic University, Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy, Southern Catholic College and Wyoming Catholic College.
And, Aquinas College, Belmont Abbey College, Benedictine College, The Catholic University of America, DeSales University, Mount St. Mary’s University and St. Gregory’s University.
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