Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel!

| Sharon Wilson | June 6, 2013 | 1 Comment
From left, Miranda Kroyer, Hailey Zweber, Leah Purselike, Alicia Curti, Kara Steichen, and Jayme Jones of Lakers4Life pose in front of their school, Prior Lake High School. Curti and Jones are seniors, Kroyer, Zweber and Preslicka are juniors and Steichen is a sophomore. Dave Hrbacek / The Catholic Spirit

From left, Miranda Kroyer, Hailey Zweber, Leah Purselike, Alicia Curti, Kara Steichen, and Jayme Jones of Lakers4Life pose in front of their school, Prior Lake High School. Curti and Jones are seniors, Kroyer, Zweber and Preslicka are juniors and Steichen is a sophomore. Dave Hrbacek / The Catholic Spirit

Time was, I shrank from what was right
From fear of what was wrong;
I would not brave the sacred fight,
Because the foe was strong.

These words, written by Blessed John Henry Newman more than 150 years ago, speak of courage and fear. As Catholics, we are called to stand up for what we believe in, and our current culture certainly is a strong foe. But a few high school students have taken up the challenge to brave the sacred fight.

Students from St. Michael in Prior Lake are attempting to bring their values into the public square in an unprecedented and courageous way.

After a handful of students attended the March for Life in Washington, D.C., it spurred a core group of about a half-dozen youth to start a pro-life club at their local public high school. Pro-life clubs are fairly common in our Catholic schools, but a club professing a pro-life stance is rarely seen in a public school.

How did they do it?

Like many acts of bravery, it just required taking the first step. “We went to the activities director and asked to start the club,” said Leah Preslicka, one of the club’s leaders.

The youth filled out the necessary forms and set up a meeting. “I was surprised by how easy it was,” said another leader, Miranda Kroyer. Both are juniors at Prior Lake High School. Leah and Miranda are also student Respect Life Ambassadors for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Taking a stand

The Prior Lake High School pro-life club meets to share ideas, enthusiasm and learn more about being pro-life. Meeting twice a month, the club has attracted more than 30 students for its meetings.

One of the ideas the group is putting into action is making signs with the students’ ultrasound pictures on them and a picture of themselves now with a caption that says: “I am pro-life.” Hosting speakers and screening pro-life movies are also part of the meetings as well as taking a political stand by writing to their legislators.

It is a way for the students to share their values with others, although they have to steer clear of advancing religion at the public school.

Getting parish support

Jesus told his disciples: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.”

Club members are fueled by their faith, the impetus to do good works and the support they receive from their youth group leader, Pat Millea, director of high school faith formation and confirmation at St. Michael.

“It really is a great effort; they’ve done such an impressive job getting this thing off the ground,” Millea said.

“We wouldn’t have had the enthusiasm to start the group had it not been for the kids who came back from the March for Life excited to do something,” said Preslicka. “They wouldn’t have had the opportunity to go if it wasn’t for the youth group at St. Michael.”

Added Kroyer: “We can’t bring religion into it, which is kind of sad. But having the club has given me the opportunity to express my beliefs to others. Now that people know that I am pro-life because of being part of the club, it gives me the opportunity to share my beliefs one on one.”

In their own way, this group is braving the sacred fight.

Blessed Newman certainly dealt with his own foes and fears, but courage to follow our faith runs true today.

So when my Saviour calls I rise,
And calmly do my best;
Leaving to Him, with silent eyes
Of hope and fear, the rest. 

— “Sensitiveness” by Blessed John Henry Newman

 

Wilson is the Respect Life coordinator for the archdiocesan Office of Marriage, Family and Life.

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Category: Commentary

  • Patty

    Brave young people. They have wisdom well beyond their age.