A reflection on the Respect Life Convention this past weekend.
Yesterday, along with four members of our Good Shepherd team, I attended the annual Respect Life Convention at the St. Charles Convention Center. The event is put on by the Respect Life Apostolate of the Archdiocese of St. Louis and is attended by a host of wonderful ministries, area stakeholders and political leaders, and interested citizens. Aside from the chance to learn about area prolife ministries and vendors, there are also great workshops and speakers (including a keynote this year from Sr. Grace Dominic, S.V. who reflected on the mystery of mercy as the foundation for a culture of life).
This year’s event was a rousing success by any measure, but there were two things that really stood out to me. First, the youth presence was palpable. Indeed our much loved Meghan Meehan and her PROS group from St. Dominic Savio had a vendor table set up at the convention for the first time. As I write this, I am proudly wearing my new PROS bracelet with their battle cry, “Every Life is Special.” I’m a hopeful realist, however. The battle for life may not be won in my lifetime, but I was deeply encouraged by the active presence of so many faithful, passionate young people willing to take a brave position in supporting the protection of human life at all ages and stages. My second observation is that Good Shepherd is better known that ever. Whereas we have plenty of work left to do in lifting our brand and raising broader support for our ministry, there has been a very visible change over the last few years. Early in my tenure, even our invitation to the convention was a bit of afterthought, because so few people knew what we do. This year, I spoke with guests ranging from professional colleagues, to gubernatorial candidates, to local parishioners who recognized our name and knew at least something about our mission and ministry.
I am deeply proud of our incredible staff and volunteers, and I am also proud of our unwavering commitment to life. I feel blessed to be part of this ministry. Happy Monday and God bless,