At the end of November, I wrapped up my speaking for the year with these three highlights:
- On November 17 I spoke to hundreds of grade 9 and grade 11 students Notre Dame Catholic High School in Ajax, Ontario. At this school I partnered with Angelina Steenstra of Silent No More Awareness who shared her heartbreaking story of pregnancy from rape, followed by an abortion. But not only a message of suffering, hers was also a message of God’s mercy and hope, and was a perfect complement to my apologetics and inspirational talk.
- Later that day I drove to London, Ontario, where I spoke to the priests and seminarians at St. Peter’s Seminary. The rector, Fr. Stevan Wlusek, wrote, “Your passion and enthusiasm are deeply moving. As well, the well-researched and convincing content of your presentations have given our seminarians and guests meaningful and current information to help them in articulating a clear message proclaiming the Gospel of Life. As future priests called to be leaders and defenders of the Church’s message of the protection of human life from conception to natural death, your articulate, practical and memorable words will greatly help in their future ministries.”
- A few days after that I flew to Ireland for the first time where I spoke in Dublin at Viva La Vida, a training conference hosted by an amazing pro-life group called Youth Defence. When training others, my emphasis of late has been to seek to understand the abortion supporters we speak to, to really seek out where they are coming from and what their woundedness is. I was encouraged when it was that message which struck an attendee who wrote, “We were also told of how to consider people’s feelings, and to rely on the Holy Spirit in our battle for Life, and not to be forceful but to show by a loving example as goes in The Saint Francis Prayer (Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace), 'O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love.' We were taught in a practical way too with some amazing demonstrations of being confronted on a Street Outreach etc. A lot of food for thought I believe... I was brought to tears several times throughout the day and was touched by different aspects of the program.”