Yesterday, we joined tens of thousands of individuals traveling across the country to protest the legalization of abortion in this country, which has taken the lives of over 55 million babies. Together, we marched through bitter cold and amidst the protests and harsh words of the proponents of abortion. We marched not only to protest, but also to pray for a culture of life that respects the dignity of the human person form the moment of conception to natural death. The March for Life brings together many people: from all over the country, from all different backgrounds, and from all different faiths. We are united in our belief that life begins at conception, and should continue until natural death.
Marching is only the beginning of our efforts as a pro-life community. We need to pray more fervently today and every day for an end to the cultural of death. We march not only to protest, but to pray for a conversion. A conversion of the hearts and minds of women considering abortion, the conversion for our elected leaders, voters, friends, family, and so many people of good will who still do not understand the dignity of the most vulnerable members of our society. The most vulnerable people in our society are the unborn, but every vulnerable person deserves our protection – the homeless, the immigrant and undocumented worker, the elderly, the imprisoned, and of course the mother who is facing a situation so desperate and seemingly hopeless that she feels like her only option is abortion.
If we want to help the most vulnerable members of our society, if we want to see a culture of life in our lifetime, it’s not enough to march. We must make the culture of life present in our everyday lives. This upcoming year, I challenge you to continue your pro-life efforts past the March for Life. I encourage you to find ways to witness the pro-life message in your daily lives. Volunteer at a women’s shelter. Join a pro-life group at your school or parish. And finally, join us every day of the year through your prayers and intercessions. Pray for our society and our country. Pray for the oppressed, the lonely, the homeless, the forgotten and especially pray for women thinking about aborting their child, that they would find the help and hope they need to choose life. The March for Life reminds us that our advocacy for the dignity of the unborn and vulnerable must continue throughout the year, and not only when the March approaches. Keep the spirit of the March in your hearts and continue to promote the dignity of all life.
Casey Tisdell is a Senior Psychology Major and Vice-President of Students for Life at The Catholic University of America
Basketball and world peace… what do the two have in common?
As an athlete, I could tell you a lot about the positive benefits of athletics. There are many physical, emotional, mental, and social benefits and developments that come with participation in sports. As a softball coach for 8 years, I can also tell you about the many success stories that my players have had because of youth athletics.
Through my years coaching, there is one story in particular that sticks out in my head, it was about 5 years ago, my Junior year of high school. One young girl, about the age of 9, joined my Little League softball team. She was one of the most difficult kids I had ever coached; between the arguing over every piece of instruction she was given, the fighting with the other girls, and the bad sportsmanship, which resulted in many games spent on the bench, we struggled. I was so frustrated with her, until things changed about 10 weeks into the season, when her grandmother came to me to say thank you. She told me that this girl’s father had left her and her mother wanted little to do with her. Her grandmother signed her up for softball to get her out of the house, and into something to bring her out of herself. She told me that the time, attention, and patience I gave this girl helped her cope with the immense difficulties she was facing at home. I went home and cried that night.
To be honest, I would have never experienced any of this if my father hadn’t pushed me to influence other girls the way I had been influenced as a 7 year old girl by my coaches. He taught me to turn what I love into something I could give back to the community. I never fully realized the immense positive effect youth athletics had on children until that day. Thankfully, someone else did. Two men, Brendan and Sean Tuohey started the program Peace Players international. This organization used youth athletics, specifically basketball, to bring together developing communities and bring kids out of their homes to do something to create a better world for themselves. They created PPI – Peace Players international.
What I want readers to bring back from this is the power of turning what you love into something greater than yourself. Brendan and Sean Tuohey turned what they were passionate about into a program working towards a bigger goal – international social justice. While God may not call you to something as large-scale as that, maybe he’s calling you to change the life of the little girl on the neighborhood softball team. Each person has a different calling to help change the world… what’s yours?
Casey Tisdell is Senior Psychology Major at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.