Laudetur Iesus Christus!
Nunc et in aeternum! Amen.
Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord
Imma write something else pertaining to today’s feast day in a bit but I want to share this with you all because I think it’s an excellent cause.
I was quite active in the campus pro-life organization when I was in college. I was an officer for a year or so and I was the coordinator of spirituality and religious events sponsored by the group. The Aquinas College (Grand Rapids, MI) Students for Life group has been active for quite a few years and is comprised of students, faculty, and staff who are passionate about the defense of and promotion of the consistent life ethic: that every life is of incomprehensible value and dignity from the moment of conception to natural death. Our focus was abortion and birth control because being on a college campus, we have a lot of persons on campus who are of the age group that is typically targeted by such organizations as Planned Parenthood in their advancement of the culture of egocentricism and death. We did do other things such as have “letter writing parties” where people were invited to join us in writing letters to prisoners. We had drives of all kinds from baby supplies to drives for supplies needed at homeless shelters and food banks.
We also faced a lot of adversity. During my time in the group, we had our displays vandalized and destroyed. We were accused of vandalizing the library. We were spit on and yelled at. Two memories that stick out to me in particular. The first one took place during out bi-annual Pro-Life Awareness Week. We were all pleased that things had been pretty quiet and our things had not been defaced or stolen like they were apt to be done. We had all developed rather dry wits when it came to that. We would say, “Oh look, no Sharpie expletives on this poster … yet!” I would say, “Oh look, they haven’t corrected our statistics with their hyperbolic and out-dated cliches!” Why was it always black Sharpie? How about some vim and vigor with some red or even lavender?
Well, that was kinda dashed to Hell when we were walking across campus to hang out and also doing some recon on some of the stuff we had put up (with the approval of the College … not the blessing … there’s a difference). We had set up some crosses in front of the 1950s Shrine to Our Lady at which we would say our daily pro-life Rosary (Latin once a month, btw) along with a nice banner with a basic pro-life stat (college students❤ statistics).
“What’s on the crosses, you guys?”
“What do you mean?”
I walk up to one, “Are you $#!++ing me? How cliche. Seriously.”
Some of the campus liberals/feminists had put clotheshangers on all of our crosses (we had quite a few).
Then one of my friends said, “Look what else they did!”
They had stolen our banner and replaced it with one of their own with their typical cockamamie stats and outdated cliche slogans.
“What should we do, Allie?”
“Well, take the sign down and collect the hangers. Let’s hang our pro-life t-shirts from the hangers and show them off.”
Needless to say the banner was given a proper cremation/destruction. This is just part of the stuff that comes with standing up for the Truth when you have persons who are so opposed to it.
Another one happened my senior year.
I was sitting in my droll history class taught by the then-president of the College who had recently blacklisted me as a puppet of the Church for allegedly ratting out the College’s disdain for the Church’s teaching on human sexuality by means of doing absolutely nothing save writing an email.
My phone vibrates in my pocket with a text.
Knowing that the prof is going to banter on ad nauseam about this, that, or another thing, I went to read it.
“Now they’ve really done it. Come down to the plaza after you’re done with class.” It was the VP of the club.
“We’ve been purged.”
My blood started to boil because I knew what happened without seeing it.
We had gotten this idea from somewhere, cannot recall where, to have a sidewalk chalking party where we wrote and drew pro-life things. We had expressly forbidden anything like “Abortion is homicide” because we were acutely aware of the great number of post-abortive women on campus and that would not help the healing process. I made many references to Project Rachel and Silent No More Awareness.
So yeah, it wasn’t anything overly “offensive” though Truth is Truth … it’s all in how you present it. Don’t water it down but you can’t beat people over the head with it … it don’t get absorbed like that as ideal as we would like that to be so.
As soon as we were dismissed, I packed up Aloysius and my books and made a bee-line for the stairs and raced down and out of the building to the campus plaza between the main academic building (ever so originally call the Academic Building, the AB) and the dining hall (not a dining hall, the dining hall for the campus … there were only about 2,000 students in the College) where some of the other members were standing and evaluating what had happened.
Our chalking party had taken place the night before after dinner because we were quite sure it wasn’t going to rain for the next few days so our etchings, in theory, would last at least a few days. In theory.
In reality, it wasn’t Sister Rain and Brother Wind to blow our cutesy and Truth-y sketchings, it was the usual suspects: the campus feminists/liberals who took it upon themselves to expunge the sidewalk of our handiwork and replaced it with, you guessed it, their own cliches and hyperbolic stats of unTruth.
Well, since we didn’t want people to think that this crap was true, we made sure to exorcise every trace of sidewalk chalk from the concrete while rolling our eyes. As we did that, some expressed support, others said that we were practicing censorship (nvm the fact that our stuff had been censored first and our stuff was the Truth). Nothing new.
I am very happy to say that since I graduated, things have gotten better. Like Father Z says about liturgy and Catholic culture in general, “brick by brick” (he has mugs and stuff with that on them with Papa Bene rebuilding a wall).
Things have gotten better so much so that something that while I was there we dreamt of but knew we could never pull it off because of the animus aimed at anything pertaining to the Truth or the Church has come to fruition!!!!!
THANK GOD the College got a new President who, as I have heard and read, wants to reinvigorate the Catholic identity of the College and is working toward gradually doing so and trust me, there are some in the College who have been waiting for this to happen for a very long time! Laudetur Iesus Christus!
What is that formerly impossible thing that has come to be? The Students for Life group at Aquinas College has set up a pro-life scholarship with the kind and generous support of a couple of married alumni (they attended the College during the Days of the Giants)!
What was the inspiration and background on this coming to be? (all of the following citations come from this page from the College)
“You can make a difference” is more than a slogan to Aquinas College’s Saints for Life student club. The members remain committed to uphold the dignity and sanctity of life. They participate in marches for life locally and in Washington D.C.[pretty much every year we sent people to DC for the March], contribute to baby pantries, and offer educational opportunities surrounding the sanctity of life. Yet, they began to question what assistance is available to the young single mother and/or single father who recognizing the countless challenges of raising a child alone yet choose to welcome and to parent this new life.
The leadership of Saints for Life discovered that often young, single parents postpone obtaining a college education or permanently negate the possibility of ever obtaining a college degree. The group began to discuss the possibility of establishing a scholarship for these students. Initially, members thought they might raise a few hundred dollars for an annual scholarship. It was decided they would share their vision with College administration.
Who benefits from the scholarship?
The Saints for Life scholarship is based on financial need of pregnant and/or parenting traditional age students with custody of their child. This award is available to men and women who are enrolled at least part time at Aquinas College. This scholarship is not automatically renewable, however previous recipients may reapply for up to five years. The student(s) must maintain an acceptable GPA and be in good standing with the College. The decision for awarding the scholarship is determined by the Financial Aid office with the input, when needed, of the Campus Ministry Office, or Dean of Students Office. A confidential application may be obtained from Career and Counseling Services, Campus Ministry or Health & Wellness Services. If there is no one who meets the first criteria of pregnant and/or parenting, then priority will be given the student(s) who has demonstrated on-going leadership within Campus Ministry and/or is majoring in Catholic studies/theology and maintains an active Catholic faith within a local parish.
Now please do not start thinking that the group is condoning pre-marital relations. It goes beyond that. I know of some young women who have quite sadly ended their pregnancies because they could not afford to care for the child, etc..
This scholarship was set up not just to help students at AQ who are raising a child on their own but also to hopefully encourage imitation in other faith-based schools to foster greater respect for life.
The Director of Campus Ministry, Mary Clark-Kaiser, present to witness this historic occasion said, “We need to spread the news far and wide to other faith based colleges. The students who inspired this here could inspire other student organizations around the country.” Mr. Huhn [one of the benefactors sponsoring the scholarship] readily agreed. “This is our hope that others join us in this endeavor. We know there are many who believe as strongly as Nancy Huhn and I do in the sanctity of life. I believe this is just the beginning!”
Isn’t this wonderful?!?!?! I KNOW!!!! Please, do follow this link to read more about the scholarship. Please share it with your friends and family. Please prayerfully consider helping the AQ Students for Life in bringing this dream to a reality and help promote life either by means of financial assistance and/or with prayer!
All right, Imma write something on the Feast of the Transfiguration in a bit. I have a few things that I need to do and then I’ll be back. Don’t get too crestfallen in my absence. At least, try not to.
Have a nice afternoon!