We at Students for Life of America, the nation’s largest pro-life youth organization, are proud to announce a brand new program aimed at developing dynamic, thoughtful and persuasive pro-life leaders in Catholic and Christian high schools, called Faith Foundations.
Close to half of the pro-life groups that work with SFLA are high school clubs and many are religiously-affiliated. However, this is a tiny amount compared to the number of faith-based high schools in existence in the country, many of whom lack a pro-life group or where their administrators are wary of bringing the pro-life message into their schools.
“Perhaps somewhat shockingly, we have encountered resistance to letting a pro-life group exist at Catholic and Christian high schools because administrators fear controversy or believe that abortion is solely a political issue,” said Kristan Hawkins, president of SFLA. “While these faith-based schools adhere to the pro-life position, they aren’t teaching the pro-life philosophy and theology in a way that they are able to build pro-life leaders, ones who will be knowledgeable and persuasive in their explanation of why they are pro-life. Faith Foundations is going to change that.”
Faith Foundations is partnering with Healing the Culture to provide faculty advisors and student pro-life groups with a dynamic and structured curriculum that presents the logical and natural law principles of the pro-life message in a way that allows students to understand the why of their beliefs. SFLA has also partnered with the Culture Project to identify pro-life students at their numerous presentations at schools on the dignity of human life and chastity.
“We’re excited that our partnership with SFLA will allow thousands of high school students to receive the deep, philosophical formation that can transform them into powerful pro-life evangelists in this culture,” said Camille Pauley, President and CEO of Healing the Culture. “Healing the Culture’s learning program is anchored to principles of logic, justice, ethics and human rights that have been known for many centuries and even millennia, yet we present this using contemporary methods that work for young people who are growing up in a relativistic, post-Christian culture.”
Faith Foundations will work with both Christian and Catholic high schools but will put particular emphasis on Catholic schools during this initial launch of the program as its seeks to partner with dioceses around the country to complement the work they are already doing, and grow the activity of the youth in that diocese.
“There is a huge misconception that pro-life groups already exist at faith-based schools and that all students at these high schools are pro-life and can speak to the reasons why, but that’s not just the case,” said Lauren Castillo, Director of Faith Foundations. “The reality is that there are many Catholic and Christian high schools without a pro-life group and those that have one will only go to the National or local March for Life and not do any other activities that engage their peers. We want to identify those motivated students and activate them to do more to meaningfully reach their peers with the reality of abortion, it’s life-affirming alternatives, and connect them with local pro-life resources like a pregnancy resource center.”
“As SFLA expands and grows and continues to make abortion unthinkable, creating enthusiastic pro-life leaders at faith-based high schools is a natural next step and we are thrilled to be able to launch Faith Foundations, with its own dedicated staff, to grow the pro-life generation,” said Hawkins.
For a Q&A with Lauren Castillo about Faith Foundations, see this link.