Archbishop Charles Chaput will meet with and commission young men and women “to build a culture of life in our time” at a High School Respect Life Leadership Day at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary Oct 13.
The students, drawn from the respect life clubs of the various high schools, will also attend workshops on a variety of life issues and listen to keynote speaker Immaculate Heart Sister Sheila Galligan of Immaculata University on the message, “I came so that all might have life in and have it to the full.”
Workshop speakers include:
• Father Rayford Emmons, who will call attention to the epidemic of abortions in the African American community promoted by Planned Parenthood and other urban abortion clinics which result in the abortion of approximately 60 percent of all black pregnancies.
• Megan Mastroiani will discuss how contraception has led to the devaluation of a woman’s worth in society to that of an instrument of sexual pleasure.
• Adam and Sara Dickerson will speak on the depth, beauty and challenge of the Church’s teaching on all that is encompassed in our sexuality as male and female.
• Laura Wolk, who was recently profiled in The Catholic Standard & Times, will speak on how children who are born with disabilities have been marginalized and devalued by society.
• Peter Colosi will speak to the many dangers that physician-assisted suicide presents to humanity, including the slippery slope toward ending lives of people with non-terminal conditions.
• Dr. Lester Ruppersberger will address the exploitation of young people, especially college students, who are offered large sums of money to donate their sperm and ova.
“Throughout the whole day they will cover topics pertinent to pro-life,” said Stephen Bozza, director of the archdiocesan Respect Life Office.
Abortion and euthanasia are the most important issues because life is most vulnerable at the beginning and at the end. “It’s up to us to defend life vigorously in both of these spectra; if we don’t we are not going to be able to defend life in between.”
One of the challenges, he believes, is abortion is the fruit of a promiscuous culture, and it is important to call students to a worthy life. It is especially important at their age, so that they are well-grounded before they go off to college.
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia will officially mark Respect Life Sunday through a special Mass celebrated by Archbishop Chaput at the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul on Oct. 2.
Delegations from a number of schools throughout the Archdiocese will be in attendance as well as men and women representing various pro-life groups, according to Bozza.
Music will be provided by the Cathedral Choir.
Refreshments will follow in the Cathedral Chapel Hall after the Mass.