Catholic Schools Are ‘Vehicles’ of Pro-Life Movement, Say Pro-Life Leaders
With a growing emphasis on the Church’s pro-life teachings in Catholic education and demand for pro-life curricula, Catholic schools have the opportunity to become indispensable “vehicles” in the pro-life movement, said The Cardinal Newman Society’s Dr. Jamie Arthur.
“As an apostolate of the Church, Catholic schools become a vehicle through which pro-life teachings are conveyed and students are given the opportunity to defend the sanctity of life and dignity of the human person,” stated Arthur, manager of the Newman Society’s Catholic Education Honor Roll.
“We’ve talked to a lot of teachers who have told us that they would like to incorporate pro-life principles into their curriculum, but they don’t have the time to do all the research,” Cathy Daub told the Newman Society. Daub, director of the American Life League’s Culture of Life Studies Program (CLSP), is part of one organization hoping to meet those needs by doing the research that teachers need to be successful in the classroom.
“The beauty of this program is that we work with the best of the best in the pro-life movement—pro-life leaders, lawyers, scientists—and we’re marrying them to teachers, home school parents, school administrators,” Daub said.
The CLSP offers educational supplements that can be easily adapted to classroom lessons and even entire courses. “There’s nothing else out there like this program,” Daub said. “There are a lot of virtue-based programs but nothing that is similar to the Culture of Life Studies Program, in that we are taking the experience of those in the pro-life movement and the experience of teachers, home school parents, and administrators in creating these supplements.”
“Faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church, all of our supplements use Scripture, the Catechism, and other Church documents to explain and support the Church’s position on life issues,” Daub continued. “This battle will only be won by equipping the younger generations with absolute truth and the courage and wisdom to stand up for that truth,” Daub said. “The best way to accomplish this is to bring together teachers with pro-life leaders and subject-matter experts.”
Pro-life education is a “natural fit especially in Catholic schools,” Daub observed. “We are called to witness to the Gospel of Life. We are called to stand up and fight. The CLSP will offer teachers and parents a place to go to both educate themselves and learn how to best communicate the pro-life truths to their students.”
Missy Stone of Students for Life of America (SFLA), a pro-life organization that provides resources and training for students at both the high school and college level, confirmed the growing need for this education.
“Especially in high school and middle school students, they are still in a place where they are developing their worldview and when they go to college their worldview is very much under attack,” said Stone, who serves as the national field director for SFLA. Students “get into the academic world and all of a sudden morality comes into question and they are kind of caught off guard,” yet Catholic schools are already primed with a pro-life foundation, she noted.
Getting students educated in the pro-life movement while they are young is so important, you can see it now with young people taking over. You see at the March for Life that it’s all young people, and I think that really scares organizations like NARAL and Planned Parenthood because they’re seeing the shift and this is a worthy investment. Some people overlook us because we’re young, but if we can get them when they’re here, they’re going to be the ones running the country and are going to be on the college campus.
If you look at any other civil rights or social justice movement, it really gained momentum when the young people led the charge and when they got involved… This is the place where we need to put our time and our money and our effort.
“A most recent example of the living witness was the overwhelming participation of Catholic high school students in the 2015 March for Life,” the Newman Society’s Arthur said. Additionally, “on school campuses, pro-life Masses, special events sponsored by right to life clubs, Adoration, programs and speakers for respect life activities, and a host of events to support ministries and organizations associated with ‘life’ were held in conjunction with the March” and demonstrate the fruit of a strong pro-life education, said Arthur.
“Working with schools throughout the nation, it is wonderful to see the effects of Catholic education through which educators are able to instill in their students the value and dignity of human life,” Arthur said.