Generations for Life Youth Outreach News

Save the date! Generations for Life will hold their next Youth Leadership Conference Saturday, October 22, 2005. Check the Generations main page for updates.

In other Generations for Life news:

Generations at the March for Life

GFL at the March

At the Supreme Court at the conclusion of the March for Life, Jan. 24, from left: Annie Casselman, Eric Scheidler and John Jansen [Photo by Jack Ames]

The 32nd Annual March for Life was a huge success. Despite snowstorms that blanketed much of the nation, more than 100,000 people—most of them under 25—came from all over the U. S. to Washington, DC in a strong show of opposition to abortion. Generations for Life proudly took part in the March, and we had the good fortune to meet up with some of our affiliates. We saw Jessica Bodoh from Crusaders for Life in Necedah, WI, and spent some time with Jillian Roemer from Human Life Alliance in St. Paul, MN.

Annie and I were inspired by the enthusiasm of the March participants—a sign of good things to come for the pro-life movement.

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Annie and John Spread the Pro-Life Message in Recent Talks

On January 14, John gave a chastity talk to a receptive group of teens at St. Peter the Apostle Parish in Itasca, IL. After the presentation, he and the youth ministry staff conducted a frank question and answer session on chastity and sexual morality.

Three-Day Parish Presentation

Annie gave a series of talks at St. Bernadette’s in Rockford on chastity the last week of January at the invitation of eighth grade teacher Kevin Rilott. The series started with a preparatory talk Wednesday evening January 26 to the seventh and eighth grade parents. On Thursday, Annie spoke to the seventh and eighth grade students of St. Bernadette School.

Then on Sunday morning, January 30, she spoke to the seventh and eighth grade religious education students. Annie’s message was well received by all and she has been invited to return in two years to run the entire three-talk series again.

Pro-Life Talks Convert Pro-Choice Teen

On January 30, John gave his first pro-life PowerPoint presentation to the youth group at St. Peter Damian Parish in Bartlett, IL. Yvonne Florczak-Seeman of Love From Above Ministries followed John’s presentation with a deeply personal and moving account of her own experience of abortion, its damaging consequences, and the power of God’s healing and forgiveness.

The event was a huge success and proved to be very eye-opening for the teens. At the end of the evening, one girl tearfully confessed that she had been pro-choice before that night and did not think the presentations would influence her, but admitted that they had completely changed her perspective.

Deanery Meetings Bear Fruit

Pat Mulheran, the youth minister for the Newman Center at Northern Illinois University, invited Annie to speak to a group of young ladies who were attending a “Girls’ Night Out” on February 3. Pat had met Annie along with other religious educators of the Dekalb Deanery of the Diocese of Rockford on November 23 (see story on column 4 on other recent deanery meetings). About thirty high school and college age women listened as Annie talked to them about self-respect, dating, and purity. Pat has invited Annie back to give a pro-life talk in March.

ByzanTeens Join Caroling Day

ByzanTEEN Carolers

The ByzanTeens (from left): Natasha Fedosenko, youth director Catherine Baranko, Tracy Dorencz, Katie Kenes and Julie Dorencze. Annie Casselman in background, to the left. Not shown but present: Alexandra Fedosenko and Richard Norley [Photo by EJS]

Among the carolers joining us at this year’s Abortion Mill Christmas Caroling Day were members of the “ByzanTeens,” a vibrant youth group from Annunciation of the Mother of God Byzantine Catholic Church in Homer Glen, IL. Among the ByzanTeens are members of the pro-life club at Joliet Catholic Academy, with whom Generations Director Annie Casselman has worked in the past.

In his homily the following Sunday, Annunciation pastor Fr. Thomas Loya praised the group for their powerful pro-life witness, which helped to save two babies from abortion.

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Making Connections

In order to spread the mission of Generations for Life, John and I have been attending deanery and vicariate meetings throughout the Rockford and Chicago dioceses.

Rockford DREs Receptive

On January 18, I attended a religious education meeting at the Aurora Deanery. A few days later, one of the religious educators contacted me about a family member devastated by losing his daughter to an abortion he didn’t want. We agreed on the need for outreach to men hurt by abortion.

On January 20, I was warmly welcomed at a meeting with the Directors of Religious Education at the Rockford Deanery. DREs throughout the diocese have been receptive to the mission of Generation for Life, and I look forward to working with them.

John Meets New Youth Director

On January 27, John met with Jesus DeLeon, the director of Youth Ministry for Vicariate III in the Archdiocese of Chicago. DeLeon brings many years of youth ministry experience to his new position. He is supportive of Generations for Life and wants to help promote the pro-life message.

We look forward to working with him in the future and to forming relationships with the parishes and communities in the vicariate and throughout the Archdiocese.

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