fbpx

Recap: 2015 NCLN Symposium: Without Exception

Written by Anastasia Pearse, Executive Director

Words cannot express how grateful we are to all the students who joined us over the weekend for our Annual Symposium! We are so incredibly impressed with your energy, enthusiasm, conviction, and commitment to speaking up about this injustice in our country, without exception. Wear your t-shirts with pride and keep the momentum up from the weekend! Know that your passion is contagious, and necessary in order to sustain the Pro-Life Student Movement on our campuses!

12075096_10156199390495160_2496647709549320702_n
For those who could not attend the symposium, below are some highlights from our speakers!

 

Without Exception: Anastasia Pearse
  • As pro-lifers we know that there are no exceptions when it comes to saving innocent human beings.
  • There are no exceptions when it comes to showing love to all human beings.
  • We must be willing to live a pro-life lifestyle, without exception.
  • As pro-life students on your campus you are: present, you are peers, and therefore you are powerful.
CPxo5ouUYAADy87

 

Talking to the Victims of the Sexual Revolution: Jonathon VanMaren
  • We need to understand the culture around us to most effectively reach them with the pro-life message
  • We are talking to a culture of that sees human beings as a commodity.
  • What does pornography have to do with abortion? It perpetuates the idea that humans can be used.  Objectification of humans leads to dehumanization, which leads to victimization. We have a society whose acts have lead to commodification of the human body.
Talking to Those Who are Ignorant: Josh Canning
  • Three keys to speaking to the ignorant:
    1. Show compassion for their concerns about abortion. Usually a person’s good intentions are involved.
    2. Tell stories. It allows you to empathize together about the persons involved in the story.
    3. Ask questions – get to know their opinion and what they do know.
  • We must develop a heart that is as big as that of those we talk to, but then bigger.
Talking to Those Who are Complacent and Apathetic: Daniel Gilman
  • If we’re complacent we’re empowering a system that slaughters babies.
  • Being pro-life is not a charitable cause. It is an emergency.
  • We need to show the complacent the hope found in action.
  • Give them immediate opportunities to take action!
  • The only reason we’ve had horrific genocides is because good people are doing nothing to stop it.
Effective Conversations: How to Win Hearts and Rescue Children from Abortion: Devorah Gilman, CCBR
  • 3 Goals in pro-life conversations: understand, love & inspire.
  • We live in a society where parents are legally responsible for the ordinary care of their children. What about the preborn?
  • Truth without love is ineffective. And love without truth is a lie.
CPyOKhkWEAAj-kD
  • Ask 4 questions to show that abortion is a human rights violation in any conversation:
    1. Do you believe in human rights? Who gets human rights?
    2. If two human beings reproduce, what will their offspring be?
    3. If something is growing, isn’t it alive?
    4. Doesn’t it logically follow that abortion is a human rights violation because it kills an innocent human?
  • In any difficult circumstance thought to justify abortion, the person you’re speaking to needs to know you care.
  • Steps to effective conversations:
    1. Find common ground.
    2. Use analogies
    3. Ask questions.
  • We must learn to show the truth rather than tell. Show, don’t tell.
Recruiting Your Team: Anastasia Pearse, NCLN
  • Successful recruitment is the result of effective outreach and sustained relationships.
  • Who are two people you can think of right now that you can make a prolife impact on?
  • Too often we focus on impacting “society”, rather than those around us. One person at a time, we can change the world.
  • Avoid the exhausting event syndrome and keep it simple! REV up your campus with Regular, Engaging and Visible activism!
Leading Yourself: Rebecca Richmond, NCLN
  • The only cure for a selfish culture is a culture of selfless individuals.
  • Is what is holding us back from doing activism more important than the message we are trying to share?
  • Your club is more than weekly meetings and activities. Your club is a movement.
CP1p_OxWUAEwvjp
Euthanasia: The Key Issues and Argument: Fr. Kevin Belgrave, St. Augustine’s Seminary
  • The ultimate solution to euthanasia is a renewal of relationship between us and those who are suffering.
  • Euthanasia isn’t about killing pain, – doctors already do that – it’s about killing patients.
  • Euthanasia creates a “duty to die” – people feel coerced to choose to die to let their family carry on.
  • When suffering people want to die because they feel they are a burden, that is a sign that we are not doing enough to support them.
Top 10 Ways to Sustain  Yourself and  Your Team: Clay Imoo, Archdiocese of Vancouver
  • Sustaining yourself and your team is vital for long-term success, avoiding burnout, and growth
  • Give your team members some TLC: Training, Leadership, and Care.
  • Who we are communicates far more eloquently than what we say or do.
  • Ways to keep your team members: build relationships, meet regularly, know what motivates them! Let them know they are making a difference
  • Ways to keep your team members: affirm them, give them a variety of responsibilities, encourage risks, encourage them to grow.
  • Relationships are vital to your ministry. Make them a priority!
  • Clarify expectations: what do you expect from your team? What do they expect from you?
CP3gaDSWgAAy8RW

 

To see more photos from the Symposium, visit our National Campus Life Network facebook page!
Share Button

BC Pro-Life Leaders Workshop

Today's BC Student Workshop was a success! Complete with activism at the end of the day. We are so thankful for our students and the local pro-life organizations that support us! Join us for more activism tomorrow night in Abbotsford!
Saturday’s BC Student Workshop was a success! Complete with activism at the end of the day. We are so thankful for our students and the local pro-life organizations that support us! Join us for more activism tonight in Abbotsford!
Share Button

The Pro-Life Leaders’ Book List – Part 2

books banner

Welcome to part 2 of our series on the top book recommendations from Canada’s Pro-Life Leaders! In part 1, we heard from Jonathon Van Maren (CCBR), Anastasia Pearse (NCLN), Alex Schadenberg (EPC), Andrea Mrozek (IMFC), and André Schutten (ARPA). Click here to read part 1 (and stay tuned for part 3 next week!).

_______

forsytheMike Schouten, WeNeedALaw.ca

Politics For The Greatest Good, by Clarke D. Forsythe (InterVarsity Press, 2009).

“The author is a leading policy strategist in bioethical issues and senior counsel for Americans United for Life. His book is a must read for grasping an understanding of what it means to be prudent in the public square. Forsythe explains how advances made against injustices of both past and present only occur when there is a willingness work incrementally. He proves that incrementalism is moral, uncompromising, and ultimately the only effective strategy as we seek to overturn the injustice of abortion.”

_______

soul of Stephanie Gray, International Pro-Life Speaker

The Soul of the Apostolate by Dom Jean-Baptiste Chautard

“This book calls those active in doing apostolic, or ministry-based, activity to a life of deep prayer from which their action springs. It highlights the necessity of prayer being the “soul” of their work, so that they run on Divine inspiration, not human, and it highlights the dangers of doing otherwise.”

 

_______

 

 

Claculture warrissa Canaria, Central Campus Coordinator for National Campus Life Network

How to Win the Culture War, by Peter Kreeft

“Although not focused on abortion, this gem serves as a great reminder of all that we need to do as active pro-lifers to defeat the lies of the culture. By knowing what we’re up against and understanding that overcoming it is in our desire to be saints, you’ll be motivated and activated to do even the littlest things that will go a long way in this battle!”

 

_______

tacticsMaaike Rosendal, Campus Outreach Director of the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform

Tactics, by Greg Koukl.

“It is one thing to know the science and philosophy that the pro-life position is based on, but it’s something else to be able to explain that to others and also change their mind! That’s where Tactics comes in. It’s an easy read that provides you with practical tools which allow you (as Greg Koukl would say) to stay in the driver’s seat during everyday conversations. In fact, this book has shaped the apologetics we teach and use at CCBR, equipping all of us to become better ambassadors for the pre-born. And which pro-lifer wouldn’t want that?”

_______
Stay tuned for part 3 next week! And if you missed part 1, click here.

Share Button

Reflection on Virtuous Leadership

Written by Meagan Nijenhuis, 2014 Summer Intern

I was pumped. I’d made the long trek into Toronto: boarded the train in Guelph, was delayed 27 minutes by construction along the tracks, survived the crush of people arriving at Union, found the Northbound subway to Eglinton (Note: sometimes the flow of traffic isn’t going to the same place that you need to go), wove my way from the subway up to the light of day, headed through more construction down the road to the office, marched up the stairs (who does elevators?) and finally arrived at the office to the lovely, smiling ladies of NCLN. Woot! Made it!

We started going over what I’d be doing for the next six weeks and Rebecca handed me some additional reading: “Virtuous Leadership” by Alexandre Havard. “It’s a bit dry,” she said, “but a good read.” It looked dry. I figured I would get it over and done with so I started reading it on the train home. What an eye-opening treasure it was! A literary work of art, it unpacked the virtues that are necessary for effective leadership.

And oh did I need to hear it. I’ll be taking up the position of president for the Life Choice club at Guelph this fall. That’s just a tad intimidating. When you have a pro-life club to lead this often means dealing with chanting pro-choicers and challenging student unions, learning about all your club members so you know how best to delegate tasks, and holding meetings and activism several times a month. Havard had a few lessons to teach me about leadership.

virtuous leadershipTrue leadership is inextricably tied to a virtuous character. When we have virtue, we have the ability to turn our dream into reality. People will want to join us in bringing our dream to our campus and we’ll be able to empower them to that end. As Havard puts it, “the more deeply we live the virtues,… the more likely it is that we will change the culture.” The campus culture currently reeks of individualism, immorality and death. Only with virtue can we change the hearts and minds of the students around us.

As leaders we must live the virtues. Havard explains that with magnanimity we devote ourselves so generously to a cause that we give our very selves. We hold nothing back from our work and our zeal becomes contagious. The people on campus are more likely to pay attention when they see our hearts in it. Practicing humility, we seek to empower those around us by delegating tasks and training members so that we are not irreplaceable. Prudence critically analyzes what is the best way to make the biggest impact on campus. To carry forward these actions, we need courage, not just boldness and daring, but endurance in the the daily grind. Self- control is choosing to do what is necessary (like club accreditation *gag*) when we’d much prefer a trip to William’s with our club members. We need to be students of human nature to bring justice with love. We have this duty to everyone around us. Character ingrained with these virtues will make us the leaders our campus needs.

At Guelph, we have between 15 and 20 committed members who try to make it out to our weekly meetings. What Havard helped me to see in the virtues of humility and justice was that between the past president and myself, we were trying to lead the club alone. All our club members had to do was come and learn. We actually owe them so much more; our duty is to empower them as leaders. If I start delegating tasks, they will have so much more room to grow. We can be an unstoppable force on campus, reaching so many more people!

Our campus also needs us to be individuals, appreciating the unique qualities of each individual club member and of every person we bring the message to on campus. Justice requires it. If we are individualistic, however, we are ruined. We need to be unique while remaining interconnected. Please excuse the science major in me but I’d like to demonstrate with an analogy. We are like the zooids of a pyrosome (Say whaaaaaat?). This deep sea colony (the pyrosome) is essentially made up of thousands of tiny interconnected organisms (the zooids). The physical connection as well as the light sensitivity of each zooid creates bioluminescence so that the whole colony is aglow. We need similar relationships in order to help each other emit the light of the pro-life message in the dark waters of our campus.

Leadership is more than being able to stand up and talk to a crowd of people. It takes serious effort to develop ourselves into virtuous and excellent leaders but it’s so worth it. We will be able see the leaders growing around us, the hearts being changed, and the message of life blowing away the stench of the death culture on campus. Together, by becoming virtuous leaders, we will be able to make our dream a reality and end abortion in our lifetime.

Havard, Alexandre. Virtuous Leadership: An Agenda for Personal Excellence. New York: Scepter, 2007. Print.
Share Button

Apply Online Today!

Symposium 2014  Banner July

True patriot love.

We sing the words in our anthem, yet the word ‘patriot’ rarely seems to enter our vocabulary (unless we’re referring to Americans, of course). But in a society that has euthanasia knocking down the door and fully funds abortion-on-demand, true patriot love is sorely needed.

If we want to end abortion in Canada and build a Culture of Life, we need to start by transforming our own campuses. Our universities not only contain the age demographic most vulnerable to undergoing abortions, but also are responsible for forming and shaping young leaders who, in turn, shape the culture and the policies of our nation. To move our nation we must first must move our own wounded generation from a place of apathy to one of action.

We need a generation of patriots.

The Symposium is an intensive pro-life leadership training program, designed to equip and empower students to respond to and engage with the challenges of the university environment.

The program includes:

  • Training from the experts on the issues and effective campus strategies;
  • Skill development through interactive sessions and workshops;
  • Leadership formation;
  • Networking with student leaders from across Canada as well as leading members of the Pro-Life Movement.

Testimony buttonTheme buttonApply button

For regular updates, check out our Facebook event.

Location: Toronto, ON
Date: Friday September 26 , 2:30pm – Sunday September 28th, 1:00pm
The weekend includes overnight accommodations for Friday and Saturday night as well as meals.


  If your organization is interested in sponsoring this year’s Symposium,

please contact our Central Coordinator, Clarissa at central@ncln.ca for more information!

Share Button

Reach Campuses, Change Canada: A Message for Every Pro-Life Post-Secondary Student

By Rebecca Richmond, NCLN Executive Director

Canada’s pro-choice movement has been well-served by campuses.  Whether pro-choice or pro-life, campuses remain critical ground to take in the culture wars.  These venerable institutions are an engine for change and cultural transformation in our country – for better or for worse.

During a recent re-reading of Henry Morgentaler’s biography, I was struck by the manner in which universities were used to advance abortion on-demand.  As the Women’s Liberation Movement rose in the 60’s and 70’s, groups formed on campuses with abortion “rights” a core tenet of their mission.  They influenced the soon-to-be legislators, lawyers, doctors and educators.  They became legislators, lawyers, doctors and educators.  Even before the law changed, their associations, such as the Canadian Medical Association and the Canadian Bar Association, lobbied parliament to allow abortions.

And when Henry Morgentaler was arrested, “women across the country were politicized, activated” and able to spring to his support, says biographer Catherine Dunphy.[1]  And it was often university educated men and women – the business, arts, and political elites -that publicly or privately championed the cause, often funding and fundraising for it as well. photo 3

These days pro-choicers are calling on students to reclaim campuses for the cause.  A few years ago the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC) began a student project, and Joyce Arthurs has served, she wrote in an ARCC newsletter, as a consultant for student unions nationally.  Their student coordinator even noted with concern that, “Canadian campuses have become hotbeds for anti-choice activities in recent years.”[2] 

But our goal is not to merely worry pro-choicers.  We still have a lot of work to do.  But as we return back to school – or start at university or college for the first time – we can find ourselves overwhelmed.  The fact is that there are many good and noble things that can occupy our thoughts and time.

When I started my degree at the University of Ottawa, pro-life activism was not on my radar.  I was pro-life, to be sure, but I was focused on getting my education, accomplishing my goals and ultimately doing good in the world after graduation.  None of this was bad, but I was missing something: the fact that Canadian campuses are mission fields desperate for the pro-life message and that I could do good here and now and not just after graduation.

Our campuses contain the age demographic upon which the most abortions are performed each year; our campuses contain Canada’s future leaders; our campuses affect Canadian culture.  And unless there is an active pro-life presence on a campus, students are exposed to only the pro-choice message.

This year, in particular, I have been impacted by the sad reality that we are a generation that has come of age in the 25 years since the R. v. Morgentaler Supreme Court decision.  We are a generation that has known nothing but unrestricted abortion on-demand.  We are survivors, with a quarter of our generation having lost their lives to abortion.

That is who we are and we didn’t have a choice, but who we can become is what we get to choose.  We have the opportunity and the obligation to ensure that the next generation is not abandoned to the fate that ours suffered.

DSC_0431

The upcoming NCLN Symposium is entirely dedicated to forming student leaders who can lead Canada out of the shadows of R. v. Morgentaler.  This weekend’s theme is Out of the Shadows, and is open to all pro-life students in Canada as an incredible opportunity to be formed, educated, and equipped by top Canadian and American pro-life leaders as well as to connect with the cross-Canada Student Pro-Life Movement.

Many Canadian pro-lifers, including leaders such as the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform’s Stephanie Gray, Jonathon Van Maren and Maaike Rosendal, credit the Symposium with being “THE event” for pro-life students and “literally life changing” for them personally.

If you believe that abortion is the killing of innocent human beings, if you believe that women deserve better than abortion, and if you want to see Canadian culture respect life, it’s time to take action on campuses.  The Symposium is a great way to start.

I realize that I am asking you to let your heart break for injustice, over and over again.  I know that I am asking you to make a sacrifice and to take a risk.  But it is only in this way that we can move Canada out of the shadows and into the light of a Culture of Life. It starts with you; it starts with your campus.


[1] Catherine Dunphy.  Morgentaler: A Difficult Hero.  Toronto: Random House of Canada Ltd. 1996, pg. 100.

[2] Tara Paterson, “Pro-choice thinkers unite! A call-out for pro-active reproductive justice”. March 3 2012.

http://arccsynergy.wordpress.com/2012/03/03/pro-choice-thinkers-unite-a-call-out-for-pro-active-reproductive-justice/

Share Button

uOttawa Students For Life: Parenthood and Education: Must we choose between the two?

This post was written for uOttawa Students For Life by uOttawa Students For Life. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

by Thien-An Nguyen

After finishing a relatively brutal midterm, I was having a nice chat with one of my classmates. During our conversation, I learned that he had been a part-time student for more than half my life, and the reason for this long-term relationship with a Bachelor’s degree (as opposed to the standard four years) was that at the start of his post-secondary career, he had a daughter. As a result of her existence, he put his studies on hold for a while, and returned occasionally to pursue his love of learning. I was inspired by his dual commitment to his studies and to his family despite the obstacles.

That conversation got me thinking. Conventional wisdom tells us that there’s a dichotomy between education and family, that you can’t have both. Yet, the university campus is changing. It’s not just the domain of recent high school graduates. Education should be for people from all walks of life, including those caring for their families and, significantly, young single parents. Realistically, this means providing a variety of resources for pregnant women and single parents, such as campus day cares and classes offered online, at night, or on the weekend. In some respects, the University of Ottawa is not doing too poorly, with an on-campus daycare known as Garderie Bernadette Child Care Centre, though other resources could be improved, such as financial aid and scholarships and perhaps even a babysitter referral service.

Check out the deVeber Institute’s study on the availability of resources on Canadian university campuses for pregnant women and single-parent families and see how the University of Ottawa compares to other post-secondary institutions.

Pregnant women and single-parent families should not be forced to sacrifice their education for their families or the reverse. An accessible campus should also mean one that is conducive and open to parenting students.


Read the comments at the uOttawa Students For Life website.