Students in their first year at the formation center of the consecrated women in RI have been involved in a number of diocesan events in the past few months. Two events in particular introduced them to pro-life circles in the area.
On Saturday, September 29, the diocese hosted a pro-life rally featuring a range of speakers. One of the new students, Quinci Scherber, was invited to give the last speech of the day. To see her walk onto the stage, young and confidant, was like a breath of fresh to the largely senior audience.
Scherber spoke specifically about the right to life as a core element of the foundation of the U.S. government. Her manner was simple but clear, in no ways offensive or overbearing. She spoke as a student, relating what she had learned regarding the purpose of our government, the principles and laws it was founded on, and the content of the Bill of Rights. She then illustrated how the legality of abortion directly opposes everything our nation was founded on and claims to uphold.
At the closing of her speech she delivered a heartfelt and moving appeal to all present to remember the words of St. Paul “If I speak in human and angelic tongs but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal…” (1 Cor 13) She reminded the audience that the pro-life battle is one that can only be won by love, not only love for the unborn child, but also for the abortion doctors, politicians, and everyday citizens who support abortion. Scherber ardently urged those who worked for the right to life to remember the importance of love and where to find it: in Christ. She closed her speech with the words “When we learn to love, when we learn to be Christ for all those around us, then we can truly call ourselves Pro-life”.
As Scherber walked off the stage the deeply moved audience rose in standing ovation.
A few weeks later the first year class took part in the Life Chain, a designated time of prayer and peaceful witness across the country for the right to life. The students stood in the rain along a busy street with other prayer warriors, holding signs in support of life and praying the rosary or Divine Mercy Chaplet.
Responses were largely positive, though several people appeared slightly confused and surprised when they read the signs. The students agreed afterward that even if the only result of the day was that their witness made one person rethink his or her stance on abortion, it would still be well worth the time and effort.
Although there were few visible results of the time of prayerful witness, many of those attending found the experiencing deeply impacting. Daniela Haddad, one of the students remarked later “it’s one thing to say you believe something, and it’s another to stand on the street and hold a sign saying it.” Hanna Sternhagen shared her experience of taking part in the Life Chain “I felt so powerful, so united to all the angels and saints… we have the truth and the truth is so powerful.”
The students hope to continue doing all they can to support the diocese in pro-life work in the future.