Vitae Foundation honors archbishop in unique way

Debbie Stokes, right, president of the Vitae Foundation, announced that its first research-based curriculum would be named The Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann Curriculum to Advance the Culture of Life. LEAVEN PHOTO BY MARC ANDERSON

OVERLAND PARK — In what is a first for the Vitae Foundation, Debbie Stokes, its president, announced its first research-based curriculum during its annual Kansas City event held at the Overland Park Convention Center.

Stokes said the curriculum would be named in honor of the archbishop and called The Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann Curriculum to Advance the Culture of Life.

“Archbishop Naumann has a vision, a vision he shared with Carl Landwehr 30 years ago, and a vision that he still works for today — a vision of a culture that respects every life that God sends into the world,” said Stokes. “His vision resulted in today what is the Vitae Foundation and, led by [the] archbishop’s example, we are working tirelessly to build a culture of life.”

“To get us closer to achieve Archbishop Naumann’s vision,” she continued, “we want to combat the culture of death, giving our children the tools to address the pro-death rhetoric that they encounter every day.”

The curriculum will be available to archdiocesan schools during the 2019-20 academic year and will break down the foundation’s research findings into age-appropriate categories “to empower our youth to be messengers for a culture of life, to give them the tools to articulate their position in a way that will impact others, saving lives and families instead of polarizing them forever.”

“I never thought I’d have a curriculum named after me,” said Archbishop Naumann in accepting the honor. “My mother would be proud.”

Elsewhere in his remarks, he reflected on the organization’s history — it was founded in 1992 — and said the organization’s early leaders “dreamed about a pro-life educational effort like none that had ever been attempted before.”

“Vitae has succeeded beyond what certainly I could have imagined,” said Archbishop Naumann.

The archbishop said the organization’s success came as the result of God’s blessings and the dedication of all involved with the foundation, including its staff, volunteers and donors.

In closing, the archbishop thanked all those in attendance for their support and hoped they went “home tonight and feel really good about your investment and know that there are children alive, parents spared the agony and aftermath of abortion, because of your generosity, your commitment.”

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