Generations for Life Youth Outreach News

School Year Brings Many New Opportunities for GFL

John Jansen with Rockhurst University’s Hawks for Life Club

John Jansen with members of Rockhurst University’s Hawks for Life Club

With a new school year now underway, I am grateful to have had many opportunities to share the pro-life and chastity message with teens. October—Respect Life Month—was especially eventful.

On October 4, I was invited to St. Joseph Parish in Downers Grove, Illinois to give an overview of Generations for Life’s work with pro-life clubs at an event sponsored by iiLife, a new pro-life teen group linking several parishes in DuPage County.

On October 7, after helping coordinate the League’s protest at Chicago City Hall over the proposed Bubble Zone ordinance (see story, page 1), I drove out to Rockford, Illinois to give a chastity talk to junior high students at St. Bernadette School. The message was well received, and Kevin Rilott—the longtime pro-life activist who arranged my talk—said he would like for me to come back and speak at the school again.

At the Crusaders for Life club meeting in Lombard, Illinois on October 16, I spoke about the importance of prayer in the life of a pro-life activist. Putting this into practice at the end of the meeting, I joined the club members in praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.

On October 26 and 27, I was invited for the second year in a row to give my “Making the Case for Life” talk to two seventh grade CCD classes at St. Michael’s Parish in Orland Park, Illinois. I was particularly impressed with the students’ curiosity, as they asked numerous questions after my talks, particularly regarding fetal development.

On November 4, I gave a chastity talk to junior high students and parents at Notre Dame Parish in Clarendon Hills, Illinois. As at St. Bernadette’s a few weeks prior, the message was very well received.

1,000 Precious Feet Pins out in Kansas

I had already made plans to man GFL’s display table at the National Catholic Youth Conference in Kansas City on November 19-21, so I was glad to accept an invitation to speak to Rockhurst University’s Hawks for Life Club the night before the conference started. I gave my “Making the Case for Life” talk, and was treated to dinner by the club’s officers afterward.

Attendance at NCYC far exceeded expectations—over 22,000 were there! I gave out all 1,000 of the Precious Feet pins I brought, as well as hundreds of pro-life stickers provided by Stand True, and pieces of pro-life literature provided by Human Life Alliance. I also had some great conversations with teens interested in starting their own pro-life clubs.

I’m already looking forward to being at the next NCYC in 2011 in Indianapolis—although next time I’ll make sure to bring more materials to meet the demand of Catholic teens looking to spread the pro-life message.

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GFL Down South

Annie Casselman and family

The Casselmans visiting Eureka Springs, AR on Thanksgiving (from left): Emma, Annie, Hannah and Robert

In February 2009, my husband Robert learned that he had been accepted into the internship program at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Little Rock, Arkansas. In June, we moved our family down South, eager to embrace the opportunities the Lord had ready for us.

So far the move has been nothing but positive. The mission of Generations for Life has always been national in scope, and my move has provided new ways to fulfill that mission.

Upon arriving, I contacted the Diocese of Little Rock, Arkansas Right to Life, and the youth minister of my parish, Immaculate Conception. I was welcomed with open arms.

Sharing the Stage with Old Friends

The Diocese invited me to give an address to all the Parish Respect Life Coordinators at a conference in August, where I spoke about the need to reach out to our parish teens. I shared the stage with Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life and Janet Morana of Silent No More Awareness, who were both surprised and happy to see me in Little Rock. I made many connections there with wonderful Arkansas pro-lifers!

The youth minister at my parish asked me to speak to the youth group at Immaculate Conception. My October 14 talk on chastity was well received.

Finally, I’ve been in touch with Arkansas Right to Life about helping with their fight against Planned Parenthood in Fayetteville.

I’m keeping busy advancing the mission of Generations for Life, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to reach out personally to the teens of Arkansas.

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Pro-Life Webinar Reaches round the World

Screen shot from John Jansen’s June 24 pro-life webinar

A few weeks after I gave my “Making the Case for Life” talk to the Homeschoolers 4 Life Club in Lansing, Michigan last March, the club’s moderator, Maureen Wittmann, asked if I would be interested in doing it again as a live online seminar, or “webinar.” I would give the presentation from my computer, and participants would be able to see and hear me, while posting questions and interacting with other viewers through a chat window. Although I had never previously taken part in a webinar, much less conducted one myself, I was thrilled at the prospect, so I made arrangements with Maureen to conduct the webinar on June 24.

Webinar Slots Totally Packed

Prior to that day, nearly all the spaces reserved for my webinar had been claimed, and within minutes of sending out an e-mail notice to League supporters that morning, the remaining spots were taken, with nearly 200 people on the waiting list!

The main part of my presentation lasted about an hour, and after that I fielded questions “chatted” to me by participants for another 30 minutes.

The webinar went smoothly, and I really enjoyed the opportunity to share the pro-life message live, from the desk in my office, with other pro-lifers across the U.S. and around the world—some from as far away as the Philippines! I was inspired by the positive feedback I received, and Maureen is eager for me to do another webinar again in the future. I can’t wait!

If you would like to watch the “Making the Case for Life” webinar, you can download it here.

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