Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Call to "Disregard the Mandate"

On January 24, more than a dozen alumni of the University of Notre Dame, submitted a letter to the editor to The Observer calling on Father Jenkins to disregard the HHS Healthcare Mandate. The letter ends:

"There may come a point when the government attempts to force the University to change, either through a revocation of federal funding or through the courts. If that day comes, we will be standing beside you.
Father Jenkins, we encourage you to clearly announce Notre Dame's intention to disregard the HHS regulation as an infringement of the freedom of religious exercise and to state in succinct terms that there can be no compromise on this particular issue."

The full letter can be read by clicking here. You can 'sign the letter' by adding your name and class year under 'comments' at the bottom of the letter.

Friday, January 27, 2012

March for Life Reflections 4

"I had the opportunity to go to the You and Me exhibit on Saturday. It was created by the Sisters of Life for World Youth Day last fall. There were a series of posters and ipod recordings that intertwined music and personal stories of four people who were placed in a difficult situation and chose a loving option. The people were real people who really had the ability to speak to my heart. I especially liked the story of a young man who considered himself to be honest and strong, went to church, and was dating a girl. He told us about how he felt when she told him she was pregnant. I hadn't thought before about all the pressure that a guy feels in that situation. His first instinct was to give the normal lines, don't worry, you can just get a quick abortion and no one will ever have to know, because he was still in school and knew that he couldn't handle it. He knew his family would find out, and thought that she would be the one who would ultimately have to carry the baby. Thankfully, he just told her that they both needed to think about what to do. He struggled with a battle between his fears and the encouragement of friends against a stronger voice that challenged him to be courageous, trust God, and help his girl friend. As he listened, he realized that he couldn't tell her to have an abortion, so he went to her and told her that he would help her in any way he could. When she realized that he wasn't going to ask her to get an abortion, she cried and cried. She told him that without his support, she knew she wouldn't have been able to carry their baby. It meant so much to her that he didn't abandon her, nor become angry at her.

As the music played, I walked around a corner and saw a beautiful picture of their three year old son playing and laughing. Because they were students, they decided that the best thing for their son was to find him a loving family to adopt him. This family spoke about the blessing the boy is, and then it returned to the young man. He finished his education and is very thankful that his son was born and is with a loving family right now. "

-Kellie Raddell
ND class of 2013

"I have never considered myself a “die-hard” pro-lifer or even vocalized my opinion until I came to Notre Dame. I believed that the unborn baby is a living being that deserves the right to life, but I always felt uncomfortable talking to others about this opinion. I received a couple e-mails about the trip, but I never thought I would actually go. Then, over break I decided maybe it was time for me to check it out. What was the worst that could happen? I am happy I did.

Last weekend I met some of the coolest people, I became a lot closer with the friends I went with, and most importantly I learned how important the pro-life movement really is. By coming together and standing up for an important issue, you learn more about people than you ever would sitting in a classroom. I realized that if people work together they can make a big difference. Marching for four hours was worth the night bus rides and uncomfortable sleeps. It was a pilgrimage for the unborn babies that will never know life. I plan to make that pilgrimage until the laws change and everyone has a fair chance at life. "

-Tatum Snyder
ND class of 2015

Thursday, January 26, 2012

March for Life Reflections 3

"This was my fourth trip to DC for the March for Life (my third with ND RTL). In previous years, after returning, I would respond along the lines of, 'Great! There were a lot of people at the March and I had a good time in DC.' and think no more of it when asked how the trip went. But this year, I began to feel uneasy with that response.

The reason we go to DC is to speak out against the culture of death in this country. Is that really an event that I should return from feeling like I 'had a great time?' Is it ok for me to spend a day exploring monuments and museums in addition to attending the March and other Pro-Life events like Masses or the Sisters of Life exhibit? Was the weekend really about the March or rather about building new friendships while riding the Metro and eating at IHOP? Should I really enjoy participating in an event that is speaking out about an unspeakable evil?

After pondering this questions for a while and trying to find an adequate way to express 'how the trip went' to my friends who asked; I have concluded that all of these things are not only okay, but really the reason we go to DC to March for Life in the first place. Thinking on the lively religious from El Instituto del Verbo Encarnado (The Institute of the Incarnate Word) and the children they bring to the March led me to this conclusion. Every year, I can't wait to March alongside IVE because, amongst their large group of priests and sisters, a few jam on their drums while the others dance and sing, all the way from the Mall to the Supreme Court. IVE has shown me that the March is not about anger or resentment or sadness (although these emotions are definitely felt to varying levels), but rather the March is truly about Life. Supporting Life. Enjoying Life. Loving Life. The March is a celebration of Life rather than just another angry protest. Looking around while there, it is easy to see this. All around you are thousands upon thousands of children and parents, priests, brothers, and sisters praying, singing, dancing, all with smiles upon their faces; new friendships are being formed, old ones are being cherished, and spirits are being uplifted. This is the key to the Pro-Life movement -- it is a movement of love.

Now, I am proud to say that I enjoyed my trip to DC to March for Life. I formed new friendships with great people and also spent quality time with old friends both while Marching to support Life and exploring the past of our great country. I hope that once we have beaten this scourge which is upon our nation, we continue to gather in DC to celebrate this human victory each year. I think that all Pro-life people should continue to gather to show that it is not and never was a political victory, but a victory for all humans and that we will never be content to let things return to how there are now. (In addition, there are other Pro-Life issues which need to be addressed besides Roe v. Wade.) We should continue to gather to show those who oppose life that the Pro-Life movement always was and will be a movement of love and hope and a celebration of Life. With all this in mind, I look forward to returning to DC next year, hopefully to celebrate a great victory for human dignity, but in the least to join again with El Instituto del Verbo Encarnado in a great Celebration of Life."

-Zach Harris
ND class of 2013

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

March for Life Reflections 2

The following are reflections by students who attended the 2012 March for Life:

(all Notre Dame students who attended the March for Life received the name of a child aborted in South Bend last year, along with the date of his/her abortion...)
"Laura. Putting a name to the unborn child makes it even more real. This is a life! A living human being crafted by God. Tears filled my eyes as I pondered the countless Lauras killed by abortion."

-Angela Bermudez
ND class of 2014

"While I have participated in marches in my hometown, this was my first time both traveling with the Right to Life group and visiting DC. I was initially pretty nervous about coming along, and I didn't really know anyone else going very well. Fortunately, the experience of exploring DC with a great group of young people passionate about living out their pro-life beliefs is a darn good way to grow in friendship.

I had an amazing time exploring the city, and the march was a wonderful experience. However, after the march I met an elderly man on the subway who shared a remarkable story. Twenty five years ago, when his wife was expecting, he had continuously tried to persuader her to have an abortion. Thankfully, she chose life for her son despite her husband's stance. This child grew up, was an all-American baseball player, excelled in law school, and was practicing law by the age of 25. The man on the subway stressed how extremely proud of his son he was. He told me his son was the best thing to happen in his life, and he expressed his joy that his wife had refused to listen to his mistaken advice. He now sees how blind and foolish he had been, and every day he asks God for forgiveness and thanks him for the brilliance his son has brought into his life.

More recently, the old man had been hospitalized for 11 days, and he beamed as he told me his son was at his side every minute of it. He kept repeating to me all his son had accomplished and how proud of him he was. I could clearly see the Lord at work in this man's life, and the growth of faith, love, and respect for every human being that he had experienced was both touching and inspiring.

I am so glad that I rode in the same train car as this man. I felt Christ speak to me through his story, and he gave me great hope and confidence that God is clearly working in us, and that he uses each human life to bring about the joy and peace of His Kingdom."

-Joe Rumpza
ND class of 2013

"My first time on the March for Life far exceeded my expectations. I went to a public high school where I quickly learned it was better to avoid talking about abortion. Being pro-life in a culture of death is often lonely. Coming here makes me realize that the pro-life movement is alive. My fellow ND students, people across the nation, the wonderful religious orders, like Sisters of Life, have inspired me with the vigor in which they defend life. Notre Dame is often criticized for its failure to defend life, but it is here that I have found a passion to do more."

-Angela Bermudez
ND class of 2014

March for Life Reflections 1

The following are reflections by students on the 2012 March for Life.

"The gravity of abortion hit me hardest when I was in the Right to Life office one day. Each March for Life attendee received a remembrance card to pray for an individual child who had been aborted. In order to make these cards, Notre Dame RTL had a stack of papers - at least 300 - which were photocopies of real clinical forms filled out for performed abortions. Each paper had the mother's age, the baby's age, the method of abortion, and the date of the murder, among other informaiton.

That's when it hit me - this isn't some abstract cause that we're fighting. This is a very real, present tragedy that murders children and traumatizes their mothers every day. If we have any sense of compassion, we must fight to protect these women and children, and their families, from abortion"

-Amanda Bambury
ND class of 2014

"The March for Life is a thing that I grew up with, and every year that I get a chance to go I take it to show my support for the truth and for those unborn babies without a voice. It is remarkable how many people year to year come and show their support."

-John Walter
Holy Cross College class fo 2013

" I have been coming to the March for Life for a few years, but this year being a senior made it extra special. I listened more, watched more, and took advantage of this being my last year as an ND student experiencing this. It is awesome, and I hope to come back to the NDRTL group later and see what progress has been make. Father Jenkins said it perfectly today, "We will not let a court decision mask the fundamental truth.""

-Sara Teising
ND class of 2012

"It's so easy to forget why we're in D.C. When you're in awe of the beautiful monuments, museums, history, and grandeur of our nation's capital... In the midst of all the fun we have on this trip, it is essential to remember that we were brought to this wonderful city by tragedy. We are not here for ourselves, but for millions of children who are killed and silenced each day."

-Amanda Bambury
ND class of 2014

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Footprints Issue III Now Available

We have just finished issue III of Footprints, the official newsletter of the University of Notre Dame's Right to Life Club. Contained in this issue are:
  • A brief reflection on Project Mom's Fall Baby Shower
  • The Fall 2011 Bread of Life Dinner
  • The winner of our fall 2011 Pro-Life Essay Contest
  • and more!
Footprints can be reached on the newsletter page of our website (visit and click "Newsletter"). If you have friends or family who would like to subscribe to receive Footprints in the future, they can sign up online. Here is a direct link to this issue of Footprints: