High schools, grade schools, youth rallies, churches, pregnancy resource centers, and college campuses—all have provided audiences in recent months for pro-life and chastity talks by Generations for Life’s Annie Casselman and John Jansen, along with League communications director Eric Scheidler.
Annie with teens at Notre Dame’s pro-life teen rally, March 4 [Photo by Ann Scheidler]
On January 7, John gave GFL’s “Pro-Life 101” presentation to a Confirmation class of 50 teens at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Naperville, Illinois. On February 27, he gave the same presentation to five Human Development classes at Proviso West High School in Hillside, Illinois. After each of the talks, John asked the students to fill out an anonymous survey asking what their opinions on abortion were before and after the presentation.
Pro-Life 101 Talk Makes Converts
John was happy to see that a large number of students had already been pro-life and that many others had changed their opinions, saying they now believe it’s always wrong, or at least wrong under most circumstances. One student wrote, “I learned a lot. I thought at first when you get an abortion it was just an egg, but I see it’s not—it’s an actual baby.”
On January 20, Annie and Eric gave chastity talks to teens from St. Alexander Church in Villa Park, Illinois attending a retreat at the Quality Inn in Elmhurst, Illinois at the invitation of Luciana Santacroce. Annie spoke to the girls, Eric to the boys. John was originally scheduled to give the the boys’ talk, but Eric stepped in when John had to leave town for a funeral.
On March 3, John attended a pro-life conference sponsored by the Respect Life Office for the Archdiocese of Chicago. At a breakout session for teens and young adults, John spoke about the GFL mission and the accomplishments of some of the pro-life clubs GFL has helped to start. The message was very well received, and John sold several copies of the GFL Curriculum.
Annie Visits Joe’s Alma Mater
Annie was invited by Notre Dame University’s pro-life club to speak on chastity at their teen rally on March 4. Her mother Ann Scheidler came along to watch Annie’s daughter Hannah during the talk. Unable to resist a visit to his alma mater, Joe Scheidler joined them. Teens came from as far as Chicago to attend the conference. There was also a great group of kids from Joe’s hometown of Hartford City, Indiana. After the talk, Annie, Hannah, Joe and Ann had brunch and visited with cousins who live in South Bend.
On March 10, John gave an abridged version of the “Pro-Life 101” presentation at the Life Youth Rally at St. Jude Parish in New Lenox, Illinois, John’s second year speaking at the event. On March 13, he met with the Pro-Life Club at Resurrection High School in Chicago, and discussed with club members ways they could make their club even more effective and influential on their campus and within their community.
Diocesan Press Covers Talk by John
On March 30, John gave a talk on Effective Pro-Life Communication at St. Joseph’s Parish in Joliet, Illinois to over 100 junior high students from four local grade schools. Paul Storer, a reporter for the Joliet Diocesan newspaper, the Catholic Explorer, attended the event. The following week, Storer wrote a fine article about the talk and the pro-life club at St. Joseph’s School, which had arranged John’s visit.
John presents GFL materials the Respect Life Conference, March 3 [Photo by Ann Scheidler]
On April 3, John met with a dozen students from Chicago’s Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, who had given up a day of their spring break to volunteer at the Cicero Avenue branch of the Women’s Center, a pregnancy resource center located near the GFL and League offices.
On April 25, Annie gave a chastity talk to seventh and eighth grade students at Annunciation School in Aurora, Illinois. Parents were invited to attend and many did. The talk was very well received by both parents and students.
The Generations for Life staff is grateful to have had so many opportunities to spread the pro-life message. Please pray that we will continue to be blessed with such opportunities.