Notre Dame Right to Life celebrates family during You Are Loved Week
Morgan Johnson | Tuesday, April 2, 2019
Notre Dame Right to Life Club will seek to affirm the value of family and encourage students and faculty from different backgrounds to engage in the conversation surrounding the issue of human worth in their fourth-annual You Are Loved Week.
Through this year’s theme, “Pro-Life is Pro-Family,” the event week seeks to affirm the value of family and encourage students and faculty from different backgrounds to engage in conversation about the issue of human worth.
“There was a need on campus to not only focus on controversial issues like abortion but also the parts that make it holistic, which is what our club really values,” senior Sadie Facile, president of Right to Life, said. “We’re dignifying not only those in the womb but also those who are marginalized.”
The week began Sunday with a prayer service for life and family at the Grotto.
Monday’s events featured a tent on South Quad to distribute stickers and apparel as well as a Respect Life Mass in the Basilica and reception that followed.
A panel Tuesday at 7 p.m. in 138 DeBartolo Hall called “Witness to Love and Life: Insights from Notre Dame Families” will host Notre Dame community members to share their families’ stories.
“We wanted to encourage interactions with students who are isolated from family life,” senior Matt Connell, vice president of communications for Right to Life, said. “The individuals at the panel will talk about different aspects of family life like disability in the family, fatherhood and pregnancy and parenting at Notre Dame.”
To continue the events, the club will host backpack making 6 p.m. Wednesday in LaFortune Student Center, where volunteers can make blankets and fill backpacks for children in foster care.
Thursday’s keynote speaker, Alexandra DeSanctis, is a staff writer at the National Review and will address the developing abortion debate in America in her lecture, “Surrender is Not an Option: Reclaiming the Abortion Debate.” The talk is scheduled for 7 p.m. in 155 DeBartolo Hall.
On Friday, Angelus will take place outside the Main Building on God Quad at 12 p.m.
To create the week’s events, Right to Life focused on their three key pillars: education, spirituality and service. Through this combination, the club hopes to reach a broader audience to get involved in the issues at hand. Student organizers reached out to University organizations and centers, such as the Gender Relations Center, the Center for Ethics and Culture and the McGrath Institute for Church Life to support the week’s endeavors.
“We always want to be cognizant of common ground,” Right to Life vice president of programming junior Michaela Reyes said. “There’s so many clubs that support the dignity of life in so many ways and we wanted to draw those people together.”
Reyes said You Are Loved Week is intended to be a continuation of the conversation that occurred in last semester’s Respect Life week, which focused on the theme of “Pro-Life is Pro-Woman.”
“We wanted to go off of those ideas, because it’s actually about the whole family,” Reyes said. “You Are Loved Week says that every person has inherent human dignity and worth. The family is where we grow up and experience that and learn it or not. We want to focus on the family and affirm those values.”
Facile noted a primary goal of You Are Loved Week is for Notre Dame students to share in self-love and respect.
“You Are Loved Week came about from viewing a lack of dignity in other people and in ourselves,” Facile said. “Our worth and value is not dependent upon performance, grades, how many friends you have or what you’re doing this weekend. There’s a lack of love in ourselves that we wanted to inspire.”
Right to Life’s ultimate goal behind You Are Loved Week is to bring together different groups on campus that focus on service and affirming the dignity of the self in a broader and more unified manner than in previous years.
“We didn’t want to approach this week as something political or partisan,” Facile said. “This is just a time to encourage interaction with families and students. We wanted to engage in service activities that supports families in the community. This week is an open dialogue about real ways that we can support life. That’s really it.”