Nebraska Pro-Life Teens: Taking the Next Step

John Jansen gives a talk at the "March for Life: The Next Step" conference

I was privileged to give a series of talks this past Friday at the Archdiocese of Omaha’s pro-life teen conference held at V.J. & Angela Skutt High School in Omaha.

The Archdiocese’s Respect Life Apostolate organized the event, which served as a reunion for high school students who attended the Archdiocese’s March for Life pilgrimage in January, and to encourage them to ramp up their involvement in pro-life activities. That’s why the Apostolate selected “The Next Step” as the very appropriate theme for this conference.

The first talk I gave was titled “Making the Case for Life”, which dovetails with the League’s Sharing the Pro-Life Message handbook — copies of which were given to everyone present. This talk was very well received, as evidenced by student Clare Ellis, who commented, “This talk helped me as well as others in understanding better how to talk to people that are pro-choice and have a better discussion.”

After dinner, I gave a talk on how to start a pro-life club using the Generations for Life Pro-Life Curriculum.

After that, I led a Pro-Life Protest Sign Workshop. To do this, I first showed several examples of effective, well made protest signs — as well as several examples of ineffective signs — and explained why they were so.

nebraska2The teens were then divided into smaller groups, given posterboard, markers, and a specific protest scenario (for example: “A benefit dinner is being held at a fancy hotel in Omaha to raise money for Planned Parenthood”), and their job was to create a sign that could be used at a picket of the event.

I was very impressed with the effort the groups put into their signs, and many teens made comments indicating that they not only enjoyed the workshop, but found it educational as well. One student, Hayley Wiegand, commented, “Everyone loves making signs, and how we know how to make strong and impactful signs about an issue that matters.”

After the Sign Workshop, the conference concluded with a concert by Social Contradiction, a highly talented Catholic Praise and Worship band led by University of Nebraska student Sean Carney (who, coincidentally, is the son of Don Carney, who produced three of the League’s most popular videos, No Greater Joy, Face the Truth, and Action Speaks Louder than Words).

By all accounts, the conference was a great success, and I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of it!

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