As a high school moral theology teacher, and especially after a tumultuous political season, I’m deeply invested in whether my students gain a solid understanding of a consistent Catholic ethic of life—which recognizes the human person’s inalienable dignity from womb to tomb. Whatever their future vocation, I hope they retain a deep-in-their-bones conviction that all human life, and indeed all of God’s creation, has profound value that must be nurtured and protected.
If education is to be transformative, it must engage the mind, capture the imagination, and spark a desire for real engagement with the world. Julián Carrón writes, “Education is not explaining reality or forming some argument about it; it is helping another person . . . enter into reality” (“A Communication of Yourself,” in Disarming Beauty: Essays on Faith, Truth, and Freedom, 168). This kind of education is not a passive memorization of facts, but rather an “encounter.” Such encounters captivate the attention, propose “a hypothesis of meaning,” and inspire students to search for what is good, true, and beautiful.
This past Friday marked the 48th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in America. This coming Friday marks the 48th annual March for Life, a rally that upholds the sanctity of human life from conception through natural death and protests the tragedy of abortion. While the March for Life is traditionally a large-scale event held in Washington, D.C., due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year it will consist only of a small group of leaders in the pro-life movement, with the rest of the country invited to participate virtually in the national rally.
Over the past few months, the McGrath Institute for Church Life’s Office of Life and Human Dignity has been hosting a series of webinars entitled “Conversations that Matter.” The goal of this series is to spark authentic dialogue that deepens our commitment to our fellow sisters and brothers without the polarization and vitriol that currently characterize these conversations. This semester’s focus is the “Intersection of Justice and Pregnancy.” These particular webinars are structured to widen the scope of understanding about the work of the pro-life movement, societal structures that impact women, and supporting women who are in crisis. In learning more about these topics, we hope that conversations will move beyond the categories of pro-life and pro-choice to empathy and creativity in support of both moms and their unborn children.
Looking for new ideas or resources to engage your faith or your ministry? Here are our weekly curated links, including offerings in each of the following categories: Prayer for the Home, Educational Opportunities, Resources (for ministers, educators, parents, etc.), and Flourishing and Fun.