By Thomas Burgess, Brother Martin High
Photo | COURTESY BROTHER MARTIN HIGH SCHOOL
Every October, Catholics across the United States participate in Respect Life Month, where Catholics “realize … our personal call to help others encounter God’s transforming, life-giving love and to defend the sanctity of every person’s life, at every stage and in every circumstance.” – United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
For the last three years, Brother Martin’s Crusaders for Life and Justice Team has hosted a Respect Life Week in the month of October to commemorate Respect Life Month, and to initiate a deeper awareness of respect life issues for the Brother Martin student body.
This year, various displays on campus dove deeply into a multitude of topics, including capital punishment, Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry. Additionally, Crusaders donated over 1,000 diapers for local mothers and their babies.
Kicking off the week, Mia Bordlee, youth programs co-director for Louisiana Right to Life, exhibited resources for students. Students for Life of America also sponsored a “Sock it 2 Planned Parenthood” display of 3,500 baby socks, each representing the number of abortions occurring each day in the United States alone. Under the informative banner, students obtained cards with information about alternatives to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, which performs over 300,000 abortions annually.
Jannique Stewart from Life Training Institute spoke during a school-wide assembly as well. In her moving testimony, she discussed common arguments used by abortion advocates and how to respond by using science and philosophy to support our pro-life beliefs.
Concluding the week, students viewed a powerful display of the number of deaths via capital punishment per state since 1976. From 565 in Texas, to a single execution in Wyoming, these numbers varied significantly, but are all very real and resulted in the death of a human being.
As Catholics, we are called to stand strong in our opposition to abortion, physician-assisted suicide, euthanasia, capital punishment, torture, sexism, homelessness, poverty, unjust war and “ableism” (discrimination against individuals with disabilities). Our opposition to these issues is based on a commitment to respect the life and dignity of each individual person.
T.J. Burgess is senior at Brother Martin High School in New Orleans.