We are nearing the end of Notre Dame Right to Life’s annual Respect Life Week, a week set aside every October when the club hosts a number of events which aim to engage students in discussions, service opportunities, prayer and celebrations centered around the importance of the innate dignity of all human persons. Our goal with these events is to show love to all people, particularly the most vulnerable and forgotten in society. With that goal in mind, this year’s Respect Life Week theme is “Love in Action.”
Some events change from year to year, others are constant. One recurring event which has caused some controversy in the past is the Rose Garden.
If you’ve walked across South Quad since yesterday evening, you may have noticed a new batch of flowers near O’Shaughnessy Hall. The quad is currently lined with rows of roses, red and white. This display memorializes the unborn whose lives were ended through abortion, as well as those who have suffered emotionally, spiritually and physically because of abortion. Each white rose represents a life lost to abortion. The red roses represent the many other groups of people wounded by abortion, including mothers, fathers, family and friends. They are centered around the cross, the source of hope and healing for all.
I understand that the Rose Garden is a startling thing to pass by on the way to class. The roses represent lives lost and wounded, it isn’t exactly a fun thing to be reminded of. But I believe that is exactly why we need to see it, because we need to be reminded.
Over 3,000 abortions take place in the United States every day. That’s 3,000 children who will never be born, and 3,000 mothers who go through the painful process of having an abortion. It can be all too easy to become desensitized by these numbers, to forget that lives are lost every minute to abortion. Notre Dame Right to Life will continue to set up this display as long as abortions still occur in the US, because we believe that these people must be remembered.
The display is in no way meant to be hurtful or accusatory. If you’ve been personally affected by abortion, if you’re represented by one of these many roses, please know that this display and our hearts are with you in love through the cross. Know that we stand by you as well.
To the side of the display is a sign with a quote from Saint John Paul II that reads, “you are irreplaceable, unrepeatable and unique.” It is a reminder to me of why I fight for respect of all people. Each and every human being has a definite purpose and an innate dignity. Each and every human being deserves the opportunity to live a joyful life. This is why we set up the Rose Garden on South Quad. This is why we celebrate Respect Life Week.
president, Notre Dame Right to Life
The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.