Archdiocese Local

Where do we go from here? Archbishop to lead pro-life forum

by Joe Bollig

SHAWNEE — The upcoming prolife forum and call to prayer on Jan. 17 at St. Joseph Parish here is named after the question pro-lifers have asked themselves all through 2009:

Where do we go from here?

Giving up is not one of the options, said Ron Kelsey, archdiocesan prolife consultant.

“Christ doesn’t give us that choice,” said Kelsey. “We don’t have the choice of not protecting life from conception to natural death. We must be engaged in the battle, and never give up, as Winston Churchill said.”

The forum is in commemoration of the 37th anniversary of the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling on abortion, Roe v. Wade. It will be held from 3 to 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 17 at St. Joseph Church, 11311 Johnson Drive.

In his presentation, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann will address the issues of moral principles for Catholic voters, health care reform, and the Freedom of Choice Act. He will also answer questions submitted in advance. Following the presentation, the archbishop will preside over eucharistic adoration and the singing of the Divine Mercy chaplet.

Rather than being discouraged by the acts of an unfriendly presidential administration, pro-lifers are becoming more engaged, said Kelsey. The attacks on life have become stronger, but the Catholic voice for life is growing stronger, too.

“I think, because we’ve seen an escalation in the promotion of the socalled right to abortion, it has awakened or expanded the pro-life grassroots movement,” said Kelsey. “When we see such a strong assault on life, people wake up and say, ‘I’ve got to do something about it.’”

The surprisingly effective national postcard campaign against the Freedom of Choice Act is proof of the resilience of the pro-life movement, he said.

“We’re talking about one of the central values of our Catholic faith — that’s the value of life,” said Kelsey.

“It’s not something we can exercise our prudential judgment on and say, ‘Well, we can let this slide,’ or that there are different views,” he continued. “There are not different views. We are all called to protect all innocent human beings. Our Christian vocation mandates we do that. Therefore, we will never go away.”

There is no charge to attend the forum and call to prayer. For information, contact Kelsey, via e-mail at:, or by calling (913) 647-0350.

About the author

Joe Bollig

Joe has been with The Leaven since 1993. He has a bachelor’s degree in communications and a master’s degree in journalism. Before entering print journalism he worked in commercial radio. He has worked for the St. Joseph (Mo.) News-Press and Sun Publications in Overland Park. During his journalistic career he has covered beats including police, fire, business, features, general assignment and religion. While at The Leaven he has been a writer, photographer and videographer. He has won or shared several Catholic Press Association awards, as well as Archbishop Edward T. O’Meara awards for mission coverage. He graduated with a certification in catechesis from a two-year distance learning program offered by the Maryvale Institute for Catechesis, Theology, Philosophy and Religious Education at Old Oscott, Great Barr, in Birmingham, England.

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