Mid-March brought with it the infamous pro-life Youth Conference put on year after year by the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children. 2016's conference was no let down. It was a fabulous weekend which not only provided well over a hundred enthused young adults with lots of encouragement, great company and a superb ceilidh; but also equipped the next generation with knowledge needed for fighting the pro-life battle. As Catholics it is crucial we don't bury our heads in the sand when it comes to issues that can overwhelm, but stand strong and proclaim the truth with love. The weekend conference inspired us all to do just that in regards to pro-life matters. The heart wrenching testimonies that we heard, could not have demonstrated more effectively how personal these issues are and how sensitively they must be dealt with; whilst also highlighting how essential it is, for every life affected, to speak out for justice and the right to life.
The wonderful speakers inspired us with the work they do and have done, in striving to make sure care is given to the lives most at risk of being neglected: the unborn; the disabled; the elderly; the dying. Some of the other speakers opened our eyes to issues perhaps generally less well known. To name a few: Fiorella Nash and her empowering feminist talk highlighted the reality of gendercide, whilst Uju Ekeocha illuminated attitudes to abortion in Africa, their pro-life energy, and the pressure the African countries face from the Western world to legalise abortion.
Alongside a spectacular and inspiring line up of speakers, there were stalls by groups such as: APS (Alliance of Pro Life Students) providing a huge amount of support for university pro-life groups, and LIFE offering positive alternatives and fantastic educational pro-life talks and workshops for students, and more. This meant pro-life work could very realistically be extended beyond the weekend by those attending. Keep the efforts of inspired individuals in your prayers that we may witness the fruits of their work!
Finally, the cherry on the cake for me was the great joy of meeting so many wonderful, life-loving, like-minded young people. Nothing is more inspiring, in a world riddled with abortion, hurt and confusion, than the hope and commitment that is experienced when in a room full of young pro-lifers. It was noticeable, and as a young Catholic, heart-warming, to see that a great number of those who attended were Catholic. It is a superb display of Christ's love to see Catholics' compassionate and uplifting pro-life work which so ardently protects the vulnerable and defenceless. I urge you readers to not be disheartened! We are the pro-life generation. And, I am proud to say, it is passionate young Catholics who are leading the way most wonderfully. They inspire me and I applaud them!
In a nut shell…
· If you get the chance to go to next year's Youth Conference - don't miss it! There is often funding available for young people to attend. (Find this year's speakers online!)
· If you are looking to get involved or know more about the pro-life cause - don't hesitate! (There's no time like the present...!)
· If you are keen to get involved in a pro-life event coming up - get to March for Life UK in May, and LIFE Charity's big relaunch in June!
Thank you for your prayers and please keep praying for a world that upholds utmost respect for all human life from fertilisation to natural death. With God's grace the pro-life joy will be unstoppable.
Mary, mother of all life - pray for us.
Clare works for LIFE charity, based in the North West. If you are interested in finding out more/booking a compassionate pro-life talk in your school/youth group, please contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org