LINCOLN (SNR) – A record number of students attend the annual “Pro-Life Day” held at Pius X High School in Lincoln Tuesday, Sept. 22.
Molly Milana, director of campus ministry at Pius X, said the annnual event gives the students “a way to display our pro-life beliefs, to pray for conversion and healing, and to be a voice for the voiceless.”
“This event gives them an opportunity to act on that belief,” she said.
About 75 Pius students were joined by another 75 students from four other Catholic high schools in the Diocese of Lincoln – Aquinas in David City, St. Cecilia in Hastings, Lourdes Central in Nebraska City and Bishop Neumann in Wahoo. The students, along with 10-15 adults, prayed outside Planned Parenthood in Lincoln, where abortions are performed on Tuesdays.
“While there was a lot of traffic at the clinic on Tuesday, I couldn’t help but be overjoyed by the presence of so many young people,” Milana said. “Our kids lined 48th Street and stood in the rain to pray the rosary, sing the Divine Mercy chaplet, and close with the Ave Maria. It was truly beautiful.”
When the students returned to Pius, guest speaker Jay Watts of Life Training Institute presented “Dialoguing about the case for life and why life matters.” He also held a question-and-answer session for the students.
Katie Aschoff, a senior at Aquinas, said every time she attends Pro-Life Day, she feels more committed to the cause.
“(Watts) gave us different examples of conversations he had to defend the pro-life cause and helped us to learn how to defend the unborn using science and logic. I feel more informed on the pro-life cause and how to defend it,” she said.
Aquinas junior Lizzie DeWispelare agreed.
“He did an amazing job of not so much looking at the religious side of being pro-life, but explaining why abortion is scientifically wrong,” she said.
After Watts’ talk, the campus ministry students led games, and the group finished the day at Valentino’s for a meal and fellowship, which is also an important part of the day.
“I found out a lot of people are excited about their faith, and the protection of unborn children,” said Caleb Brezina, a sophomore at Aquinas.
“The great thing about coming together with students from other schools is seeing how many students there are that want to defend the unborn,” Aschoff added. “Sometimes it’s easy to forget just how many of us there are. Also, getting to know the other students is really cool and a lot of new friendships can come out of it.”
The event is held during a regular school day, so students who participate miss at least a half-day of classes – but then must make up that work when they return. While that task can be daunting for some students, Milana said there has been an increased interest in being “an active presence in the cause for life.”
“At Pius, we went from a group of about 50 students last year to over 70 this year – and this doesn’t include the large number who approached me after the sign-up deadline!”
They also saw some of the largest numbers from other schools as well.
“I think the undercover videos from this summer have also played an important role in opening eyes to the importance of our cause,” Milana said.
“I think this event makes students think,” she said. “It reminds them that we need to fight and that they play an invaluable role. They can make a difference, and they see it when they stand in a line, 150 strong, and pray together as one.
She added that a schedule change for the event this year “allowed us to begin the year on a ‘Pro-life note.’”
“I think we will see a number of these students attending their first National March for Life as a result of this one small experience,” she said.
Editor’s Note: More information about sign-ups for the National March for Life is available here.