Pro-lifers from across the country gather in Washington, D.C., every year to stand against abortion. But for many Catholic college graduates, the March for Life is only the beginning of their witness to life.
The colleges recommended in The Newman Guide and featured in this Catholic College supplement online for their strong Catholic identity are forming pro-life doctors, politicians, business leaders and lawyers, and they are also graduating students who dedicate themselves to full-time pro-life work.
Ryan Eyrich said that Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, N.C., helped form him into the pro-life leader that he is today, noting specifically the Fr. Felix Hintemeyer Catholic Leadership program, traveling to the March for Life with the College, and “seeing our teachers, administrators, and the monastic community do all that they can do to support the on-campus student maternity home, MiraVia.”
Eyrich, who currently serves as the southeast regional coordinator for Students for Life of America, said that he’s still receiving “guidance and support” from leaders at Belmont Abbey.
Stephen Wallace, an alumnus of Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, said the pro-life campus culture had a deep impact on him. “Every human life was valued, and there was tremendous creative energy around how to bring the unborn into the circle of those human lives we respect and value as a nation,” Wallace explained. “Just as one example, I remember a battle of the bands on campus where it seemed like every third song dealt with the true need to care for both mother and child.”
Wallace is now an attorney and executive director of the Gabriel Network, which serves mothers in a crisis pregnancy in the Washington, D.C., area. He said that “being surrounded by peers who were passionate about pro-life work and were already doing it” at Franciscan University helped shape his approach to his work.
Another Franciscan University graduate, Mary McClusky, said that she “developed a passion for the truth, an appreciation for God’s goodness and His deep love and mercy for every person” at the University. These have been foundational to her work with Project Rachel Ministry, an abortion healing ministry.
Other graduates, Annie Surine and Mary Kate Sparrow, credit Franciscan University with helping inspire them to found Siena Adoption Services, a lower-cost adoption service.
Christendom College in Front Royal, Va., built the “theological and philosophical foundation” for Felicity Fedoryka’s work at the Front Royal Pregnancy Center. “No matter how difficult or taxing the work is, I know how important it is, because I know the infinite value of a human life,” she said.
Another Catholic college graduate said that he would not be where is he today without the education he received. “I was… inspired by the people I was surrounded with,” recalled David St. Hilaire, who attended Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., and now serves as coordinator for college councils of the Knights of Columbus, which involves him in much pro-life work.
Additionally, The Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack, N.H. is proud of a graduate who stood for pro-life values during her service in the New Hampshire House of Representatives. A recent graduate of the University of Mary in Bismarck, N.D., is working at the March for Life headquarters.
These graduates are just a few examples of the many pro-life leaders being formed at faithful Catholic colleges, which teach, witness, and defend the dignity of life all year long. This formation is making an important impact on students and is building up pro-life leaders who are so greatly needed in our nation today.
Bottom left photo of Mary McClusky: Renata Grzan at Renata Grzan Photography