Generations for Life Director Annie Casselman and Co-Director John Jansen have been blessed with many opportunities to share the pro-life message over the past few months, including school and youth group talks throughout northern Illinois, and attendance at great regional events.
John speaks on abortion to teens at St. Patrick Parish in Lake Forest, IL [Photo by Casey Ross]
On January 8, John was invited to St. James the Apostle Parish in Glen Ellyn. After attending Mass with members of the church’s youth group, John presented GFL’s Pro-Life 101 talk to the group. Several members came up to John after the presentation to thank him for sharing the pro-life message, and two groups of students asked for information about starting pro-life clubs within their schools.
Two days later, John spoke to the fledging pro-life club at Lincoln-Way Central High School in New Lenox at the club’s second meeting. This group was started just one month earlier by senior Margaret Motto, who had been inspired by her attendance at GFL’s Youth Leadership Conference in October. Following John’s talk, Margaret reported that one open-minded student who attended the meeting out of a sincere desire to learn more about abortion went from being “unsure and ?pro-choice’ to 100% pro-life!”
John Receives Invaluable Project Reality Training
On January 18, John attended a teacher training in Rosemont, IL hosted by Project Reality, a group at the forefront of abstinence education statewide and throughout the nation. The training session guided educators through Project Reality’s Game Plan curriculum, which the group developed in partnership with former NBA player A. C. Green. Annie had attended a previous training session, and both Annie and John are greateful for the many helpful insights they have received from Project Reality for effectively conveying the abstinence message to students.
On January 22—the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions—John gave the Pro-Life 101 presentation to the youth group at St. Patrick Parish in Lake Forest. John found this experience especially enjoyable, as the teens were very eager to hear the pro-life message, and asked numerous questions following the talk.
500 Students Hear Annie’s Chastity Message
On January 28 Bill Crow of St. John Neumann Parish in St. Charles, IL, brought Annie in to talk to over 200 high school teens on the topic of chastity. On February 12, Annie returned at the invitation of Charlotte Traversa to speak to over 300 junior high students. Both audiences were respectful and open to her message.
Annie Casselman, with daughter Hannah, and John Jansen at the Festival of Faith, Feb. 17 [Photo by Diane Pietrzak]
On January 29, John was invited back to speak to the youth group at St. Peter Damian Parish in Bartlett, where he had spoken a year earlier. Following John’s Pro-Life 101 talk, Yvonne Florczak-Seeman of Love From Above Inc. gave a moving testimony detailing the pain she suffered due to her personal experience with abortion.
GFL at the Festival of Faith
On February 17, Annie and John joined 1,600 teens, teachers, and youth advocates at the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Festival of Faith in Rosemont, IL. Fr. Stan Fortuna, CFR, began the day with a rousing performance that emphasized the importance of living chastely as a means of achieving holiness. Later in the day, Cardinal Francis George spoke on “Our Call To Be Radically New.” The Thomas More Society Pro-Life Law Center graciously displayed GFL materials at their exhibition table.
Iowa teens lead the 33rd Annual March for Life, Jan. 23 [Photo by Eric Scheidler]
GFL Co-Director John Jansen and other League staff were among the enormous crowd that exceeded 100,000 at the 33rd Annual March for Life in Washington, DC on January 23. Leading the March was a line of teens from Iowa—many of whom attended GFL’s teen conference at the Iowa Right to Life convention in 2004—followed by dozens of women holding I Regret My Abortion signs. John and Ann and Eric Scheidler, along with Eric’s son Sam, marched with a group of “ByzanTeens” from Annunciation Byzantine Catholic Church near Chicago who processed with a special pro-life icon of Mary and Elizabeth, with Jesus and John in their wombs.
The ByzanTeens gather around their distinctive pro-life icon [Photo by Eric Scheidler]
The presence of teens and young adults—by far, the largest perennial contingent at the March—was especially massive this year. Prior to the March, more than 22,000 of them filled the MCI Center for a Mass concelebrated by several Catholic bishops.
Enthusiasm for spreading the pro-life message has energized teens across the country to do more to put their convictions into action, as witnessed by the number of requests GFL has recently received from groups wanting to know how they can start a pro-life club.
Generations for Life is proud to announce the launching of our new GFL Blog, offering news and commentary to pro-life teens on the life issues, with contributions from GFL Director Annie Casselman, GFL Co-Director John Jansen and League Communications Director Eric Scheidler. The new GFL Blog is part of an all-new Generations for Life website that also features information about our youth outreach, excerpts from the GFL Curriculum, and a pro-life Q & A section. The site will also soon feature a comprehensive listing of GFL pro-life clubs throughout the country. Please visit generationsforlife.org soon—and help spread the word about this great new pro-life site.
Links and Related Pages
- Generations for Life—GFL’s new website and blog