- New Curriculum Now Available!
- Students Picket at Playboy HQ
- Pro-Life Retreat
- Club Update
- Spreading the Good News
by Annie Casselman and John Jansen
During the school year, Generations for Life is inundated with requests from students for help starting up pro-life clubs and preparing school projects. We usually look forward to the summer months as a less demanding time—but not this past summer. Throughout June, July, and August, we spent countless hours revising, editing and proofreading the Generations for Life Curriculum, working closely with our printer to produce a sleek, colorful, user-friendly pro-life club guidebook for the new school year.
The new GFL Curriculum provides all the tools needed to form, maintain and mobilize a pro-life club in any school, church or youth group—or to revitalize an already established club. It covers everything from getting the club off the ground and recruiting members to making each meeting throughout the year purposeful and fun. A sturdy, custom vinyl binder and color-coded divider tabs make the new curriculum both attractive and extremely easy to use.
New Curriculum Orders Pour In
Since the release of the new Curriculum, we’ve been busy promoting it. On September 28, we were guests on Next Wave Live, an EWTN Radio show hosted by Next Wave Faithful director Stephanie Wood. We’ve also done interviews promoting the GFL Curriculum on KVSS, a Catholic radio station in Omaha, NE, and on the nationally syndicated USA Radio Network.
Our work promoting the Curriculum has been paying off, with orders pouring in from pro-life groups in a dozen states and Canada. We’ve also provided pro-life literature and other materials to pro-life groups from as far away as Nigeria and India.
Order Your Curriculum Today
The newly revised edition of the GFL Pro-Life Curriculum is a great asset to any pro-life group. Order your copy for $29.00, plus shipping, by phone at 773-304-LIFE or order at the League’s online store.
By John Jansen
Students protest the June 8 fundraiser [Photo by JDJ]
On June 8, Joe and Ann Scheidler and I joined dozens of teens, parents, and abstinence educators in a picket outside of Playboy magazine’s headquarters in downtown Chicago. We were there to protest a fundraiser benefiting the Illinois Coalition for Adolescent Health—a group that has formed a coalition with Planned Parenthood of Greater Chicagoland with the goal of stripping funding from abstinence-only education in Illinois schools and making condom-based sex education programs compulsory.
The fundraising event’s activities included a VIP reception with Christie Hefner, the daughter of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner and Playboy CEO since 1982. It was she who decided that the company could make more money by producing increasingly harder-core pornography—something that even her father was reluctant to do for a long time. For anyone who had already failed to grasp the true intentions of the Illinois Coalition for Adolescent Health, this fundraiser at the headquarters of the world’s most notable purveyor of filth made it clear that “adolescent health” means nothing to them.
The anti-family Coalition had recently succeeded in achieving their harmful goals in the Chicago Public Schools, so it was fitting that Chicago public school students played a major role in the protest.
After spending the summer months working on the new GFL Curriculum (see story above), we were excited to get back to meeting and working with students, and building up the next generation of pro-life leaders.
John Jansen speaks with a pro-life mom after his presentation at St. Anthony Church in Garden Plain, KS Oct. 15 [Photo by Sarah Beying]
On Saturday, October 15, John delivered GFL’s “Pro-Life 101” presentation to a receptive audience of teens and adults at St. Anthony Parish in Garden Plain, Kansas. Prior to the talk, he was given a tour of the parish’s Pro-Life Outreach, which offers cribs, high chairs, strollers, and other baby items to mothers in need. Everyone at St. Anthony’s showed John gracious hospitality, and he was impressed at the parish’s strong commitment to the pro-life mission.
For the fifth year in a row, St. Mary Parish in Sycamore invited Annie to speak to the 9th grade Confirmation students on the topic of chastity. This year, the class was divided into two groups, so Annie gave two separate talks to two enthusiastic and welcoming groups of teens on November 1 and 15. Annie’s talks at St. Mary’s have become an an annual tradition!
Rockford Embraces New GFL Curriculum
On November 4, at the invitation of Patricia Bainbridge, the Respect Life Coordinator of the Rockford Diocese, Annie spoke to over 100 participants at an all-day conference for diocesan parish Respect Life coordinators and Natural Family Planning instructors on the topic, “How to Attract and Involve Teens in Your Parish.” Her audience was receptive and welcoming.
After the talk, she sold the entire stack of Generations for Life Curriculums that she brought with her, giving us high hopes that GFL clubs will be popping up all over the Rockford Diocese in the near future. Many thanks to Patricia Bainbridge for inviting Annie to speak and allowing her the opportunity to share the important message of involving our teens in what Pope John Paul II called “the most important work on earth.”
On November 7, John was invited to attend the Lifesavers’ club meeting at Rosary High School in Aurora, IL (see related item under “Club Updates”). Club members talked with him about the impressive projects the group had done in previous years, and John offered several suggestions for what the group could do in the future to make their club even more effective.
On November 12, John gave a talk titled “Defending Life” to the youth group at St. Mary’s Parish in Mokena, IL, in which he spoke about the principles that undergird the pro-life position—the recognition that every life is a gift from God, and the need to make a gift of one’s life to others.
On July 23, the Students for Life of Illinois hosted a successful Leadership Retreat in Rockford. Joe Scheidler attended the event, accompanied by his daughter, Generations for Life Director Annie Casselman. During his talk to the enthusiastic student leaders on “Activism and the Spiritual Battle,” Scheidler asked the students to talk about the struggles they have encountered at school because of their pro-life convictions.
One student told about a professor who discovered he was active in the campus pro-life club and lowered his grade for the term to a D-. When the student confronted the teacher about this and then reported it to the Dean of Students, he received the appropriate grade—the grade for which he had worked very hard—an A!
John-Paul Deddens, the founder of the group and organizer of the retreat, commented to Annie, “The retreat went very well! God provides. Your dad was great and the whole group loved him!”
Heartbeat Teens at County Fair
Even though school was out for the summer, the GFL-affiliated Heartbeat Teens in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, didn’t take a break from their pro-life efforts. The group set up a booth at the Fond du Lac County Fair. They made up pro-life quiz game based on the Game of Life, passed out pro-life information cards, and awarded a $25 gift certificate to the fair goer who guessed the number of Life Savers in a jar. They also sold fetal models, bumper stickers, rulers, and bracelets.
Great job, Heartbeat Teens!
Student Zeal over New LifeForce Club
One of the most rewarding parts of our work at Generations for Life is to witness the dedication so many teens have for the pro-life cause. We catch a glimpse of this dedication in a report recently received from club moderator Toni Berton on the first meeting of the newly formed LifeForce pro-life club at St. Peter Parish in Geneva, IL:
We had such a great turnout . . . [T]he most surprising part was two-fold in that once they realized that they were going to run the group, it seemed to really get their attention.
I think it’s one thing to have someone lead you but it’s a completely different attitude when you get to lead yourselves, so this was a great inspiration for them. The other beautiful surprise of the evening was that we, as the leaders, decided to have the meetings once a month, considering that the kids had so much going on with school and family, etc. But they totally surprised and encouraged us with the fact that they felt we should meet once a week!
Wow! What a testament to their focus and intentions! Praise the Lord!
Commemorating the Victims of Abortion
On Friday, October 6, the eve of the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, students and teachers from Rosary High School in Aurora, Illinois, gathered in their auditorium for an all-school recitation of the Rosary. As they arrived, they found 157 seats marked “Saved,” which required some of the students to sit on the floor.
Those 157 saved seats represented 26 percent of the student body of 447 girls—the number of girls who would have been present had they not lost their lives to abortion during the four years the current students were born, when 26% of all pregnancies ended in abortion.
At the end of the day, campus minister Sandy Iwanski noted that the school’s community prayer book contained a new prayer intention: “For the girls who would have been here today if they had not lost their lives to abortion.”