BY ALEX GRUBER
Knights for Life organized the second annual Pro-Life Week at St. Norbert College from April 27 to May 1. Pro-Life Week is annually observed by various groups across the nation to call for an end to abortion in the U.S.
Knights for Life started with a prayer vigil held at 7:30 p.m. on Monday at Old. St. Joseph Church. Father Andrew Ciferni discussed the intrinsic value of all life originating from the Big Bang while community members and students held lighted candles.
“Perhaps when we recognize that sanctity, we can move to a common ground of hope for the protection of all life,” Ciferni stated.
On Tuesday, April 28, at 7 p.m. Father Jim Nielson presented “Art as a Catalyst for Deepening Questions on the Death Penalty” in the Bush Art Center. Nielson showed several collections that centered on the death penalty, in particular last meals requested by those on death row.
“If we want to deepen compassion, we have to think about each other,” said Neilson. Father Nielson also noted the recent plea of the Richard family, whose son was the youngest victim of the Boston Marathon bombing of 2013, against executing Dmitri Tsarnaev.
Ellen Mommaerts, Director of the Norbertine Volunteer Community, spoke about her experience as an adopted child at the Cassandra Voss Center on Wednesday, April 29, at 6 p.m. The Mommaerts family adopted Ellen as a baby and gave her a loving, supportive home. Mommaerts grew up knowing she was adopted but did not meet her birth mother until she was 19, when she also found out that she had a biological sister, Laurie, who also spoke at the event. Mommaerts ended her speech with a meditation on Psalm 139.
“For me, it really is about the sanctity of life, claiming my life and being grateful to God for every bit of my life, even when it’s really hard,” said Mommaerts.
Thursday, April 30 marked the high point of Pro-Life Week. Knights for Life hosted Serrin Foster, the president of Feminists for Life, in the Hendrickson Dining Room at 6:30 p.m., where she delivered her most notable speech, “The Feminist Case Against Abortion.”
Foster focused on the shift from viewing abortion as an act of violence to a critical right for women in the 1970s, noting that, without notable exception, all of the “first-wave” feminists of the 1800s and early 1900s strongly opposed abortion as murder.
Foster also highlighted the need for rights like paid maternal (and paternal) leave and mother-friendly policies on college campuses, going through a checklist of resources that SNC already offers and could provide in the future to mothers.
“Pregnancy can be a detour, but it doesn’t have to be a dead end,” Foster said.
She concluded her speech saying, “There are so many choices that we have, but we have to adhere to the basic feminist policy of non-violence, non-discrimination and justice for all.”
Knights for Life ended Pro-Life Week on Friday, May 1, by showing the documentary “The Human Experience” in the Campus Center at 7 p.m.