LOVE L I&F E 2 0 1 2 - 2 0 1 3
E d i t i o n
CONTENTS 01 02 03 04 06 08 10 11 12 14 15 15 16 17
is a movement of young people building a culture of life
Warmest greetings to all of you! The last year...
Our recent expansion has called for reorganization of our structure...
A cold Saturday morning, a high school student from...
NEW YORK CITY TEAM
When Cristina Barba and I chatted almost two years ago...
First stop, Nebraska - home of the Cornhuskers!
CAR WITHOUT AN ENGINE
I just love Ford Mustangs. The way they ride, their style, their sound...
TWO PURPOSES OF SEX
Sexuality not only refers to one’s “sex life,” but penetrates every...
CORE OF WHO WE ARE
Culture of Death. This is the term Blessed John Paul II used to...
Two years ago, I walked into the Generation Life Office...
Generation Life has been of great influence to my ministry...
Today’s world is wrought with conflicting messages for...
PREPARED TO PRESENT
This is the second year that Generation Life missionaries have...
As the new Director of Development, I am privileged to...
is a movement of young people committed to building a Culture of Life by educating our peers on the pro-life and chastity messages and developing new leaders for the pro-life movement. We believe that by spreading the message of chastity, we can end abortion at its root cause. HONORARY BOARD Mary Altomare Philip Altomare Molly Kelly John Stanton James J. White, IV SPIRITUAL ADVISOR Rev. Thomas Duffy BOARD OF DIRECTORS Mary Daly President Steven Santoleri Treasurer Kim Savage Development Chair Anne Marie Chiaravalloti Michael McMonagle Donna Parisi Peter Rawson David Santoleri Stuart Stone Uta Trogele
1 800 583 5290
Address 590 Snyder Ave West Chester Pa, 19382
Dear Friends of Generation Life, Warmest greetings! The last year has been a whirlwind of growth and new developments here at Generation Life, and I am pleased to once again share some important updates with all of you.
Cristina Barba National Executive Director
Cristina oversees the planning and execution of Generation Life’s many and varied programs. She has been involved with Generation Life since 2001, when she was a student at Archbishop Carroll High School in Radnor, PA. While attending The Pennsylvania State University—where she served as president of Penn State Students for Life—Cristina helped conduct conferences on campus, and she interned for Generation Life during her summers. Upon graduation, Cristina attended the Emmanuel School of Mission in Rome, Italy sponsored by the Pontifical Council of the Laity. In fall 2007, Cristina joined Generation Life’s full-time staff, serving as Parish Outreach Coordinator, College Outreach Coordinator, and Program Director before her promotion to Director in 2009. Under Cristina’s leadership, Generation Life launched the Missionary Program. In 2012, Cristina became Generation Life’s first National Executive Director. Cristina received Honorable Mention by Our Sunday Visitor as one of the Inspiring Catholics of 2012. Cristina has a passion for working to build a Culture of Life— especially for working to protect the unborn, affirming women in their dignity, and spreading the freeing message of chastity. Cristina brings a contagious enthusiasm and a tremendous spirit of dedication to everything that she does.
Many of you joined us for our First Annual Banquet on June 23rd to cap off the 2011-2012 school year. It was a fun-filled evening with family, friends, and benefactors, all of whom gathered in anticipation of hearing about the newest developments in our organization. At the banquet we formally announced… that Generation Life was going NATIONAL! We have decided to take this step to meet the increasing demands for GenLife missionaries all over. (Please save the date for our next Banquet- June 22, 2013.) The Team kicked off the 2012-2013 school year by gathering together in New York City for our second annual speaker training with 9 new beautiful missionaries. We opened our stay in New York with a private Mass and dinner with his Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan who bestowed his personal blessing on our mission and our team. His encouragement and supporting words invigorated us all. And… we are delighted that he invited a full-time team of GenLife missionaries back for a 2nd year in NY! This year, we have officially more than doubled our number of missionaries. We now have 15 missionaries, bringing our total staff to 21 beautiful young adults! The expansion of our missionary program - just this fall alone - has enabled us to speak to more than 18,000 students in 9 states across our country, as well as to students in 2 countries in Europe! Our decision to take the missionary program to the national level has helped to spread the prolife and chastity message to new cities and states in substantial ways. In addition to being asked to give our GenLife presentations, we are now receiving requests for full-time missionary teams from all over! You can read about this exciting expansion throughout our newsletter. Our model is grabbing the attention of diocesan representatives and even some bishops! We will be able to fulfill the requests of 7 dioceses this year! In addition to the Archdioceses of Philadelphia and New York, we will also be serving 5 new dioceses: Omaha, Lincoln, and Grand Island in Nebraska; Kansas City in Kansas, and Rockville Center in New York. Through our travels, we continue to encounter great longing in the youth. They desperately desire the Truth. It is humbling to see the messages we proclaim resonate in their hearts and motivate them to action. We are now regularly contacted by peers in Austria, Croatia, Germany, Australia, Canada, Slovenia and Ireland, all of whom seek to be involved in our mission! These amazing experiences have only recommitted us to the work we love, and we’re so grateful to be a part of this mission. Thank you for your continued spiritual, financial, and moral support which helps us to foster a Culture of Life in generations to come! For Life & Love,
Cristina M. Barba Cristina M. Barba National Executive Director Generation Life
Our recent expansion has called for reorganization of our structure, and in order to support our new growth, we have established a national team. The Generation Life National Team organizes and supports, recruits and trains, and commissions chastity and pro-life educators for the mission of the Generation Life. In addition, the National Team develops the curriculum that is presented to the thousands of students they reach every year.
Assistant to the Executive Director
Amanda grew up in Hopewell Junction, NY. She graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville in May 2011 with a double major in Theology and Catechetics. Amanda has a deep passion for promoting life and love. Ever since she heard a life-changing talk by Jason Evert in high school, she has been energized to take every possible step toward spreading this message of chastity. She explains her goal as the following: “My ultimate goal in life is do for others what the Lord has assigned me to do, that being, to imitate the name He has given me. The name Amanda means “worthy of love.” And thus, this is why I exist: to make it known to all people that they too are “worthy of love”!
Stephanie Santoleri Office Manager
Stephanie currently lives in Chadds Ford, PA with her family. She is the only girl of five children. Stephanie attended St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and graduated in 2008 with a major in Biology and minor in Italian. She is an active board member for Family Life Educational Foundation, which helps promote pro-life and family values through various forms of media. Stephanie is actively involved with the youth. In fact, five years ago, she became one of the youth ministers at her local parish’s youth group, SCOOP. She is still active with the youth group and enjoys taking the kids to various service events and retreats. Stephanie enjoys doing service within her local community and spending time with her friends and family.
Social Media & Communications Manager
David has extensive experience in many aspects of media. He has been involved with Generation Life since 2002, when he was a student at The Pennsylvania State University. As a student at Penn State, David was actively involved with the Penn State Students for Life and Penn State Newman Catholic Student Association. While working with Penn State Students for Life, David became familiar with Generation Life and began volunteering with GenLife during his time off. David has a passion for spreading the truth about the Catholic faith and building the culture of life. He also has a love for media and graphic design. In his spare time, David works on documentaries, photography and bookbinding. He is one of four children and loves going on mission trips around the world.
Emily is from Rochester Hills, MI and graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville with a degree in International Business and Spanish. Throughout high school and college, Emily developed a passion for the pro-life mission. After she was introduced to the Theology of the Body, she quickly got involved in chastity outreach and education work. Emily also has a passion for travel and while on a retreat in Rome during her study abroad experience in 2010, she met Cristina Barba. After graduating, Emily returned to Europe to continue post-graduate study on the integration of Catholic values into international management and economic systems. While continuing this research, she realized her true passion was to devote herself completely to spreading the message of chastity and she is excited to join the GenLife team where she will be able to combine her passion for this mission with her business background.
Philadelphia Team A cold Saturday morning, a high school student from Archbishop Carroll came to pray with her teacher, Barry Kirsch. It is not unusual that Mr. Kirsch has students join him at the abortion mill. His steadfast example of standing for life has inspired many to pray and petition on behalf of the unborn. However, this student seemed a little different. Her face looked determined and pensive, and she seemed to be paying particular attention to what the sidewalk counselors said and did. One of the hardest lessons for me to learn at the mill is that listening is more important than speaking, so I went over and listened to this student’s story and per usual, I am glad I did. In addition to her schoolwork, this motivated high school student had a job at a local convenience store. There she had befriended a twenty-year-old coworker. Earlier in the week her friend came in to work distraught and confessed that she was pregnant and considering an abortion. The student described how her heart broke for her friend. She knew abortion would end the life of the woman’s child, and she knew it would also scar the heart of this young mother but she wasn’t quite sure what to say or how to help. With great maturity, she realized that she needed support and guidance so she went to her parents and then to the pro-life coordinator at her school. She had come to the mill that morning and for the next few weeks to see firsthand how to speak with an abortion-minded woman and to offer Christ’s love. A few months later, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia kicked off the Year of Faith with a pro-life day for high school students at St. Charles Seminary. Generation Life was graciously invited to be part of the day. It was inspiring to see so many students and teachers from around our diocese come to be nourished by the Truth and to discuss how the pro-life movement was working in their own lives and the lives of those around them. Their testimonies were moving and the passion was evident. I shouldn’t have been surprised to see my high school friend sacrificing a day school for a day of prayer. When me she came up me excitement and joy oozed from her person. “God used me!” she exclaimed and then gave me an update on the whole situation. God had indeed used her, and praise God that she had had the courage to respond with an enthusiastic ‘yes’ to His call. She described how she poured out God’s love to her friend and her friend chose life. The mother and baby are both happy and healthy and living across the country with family. The girls keep in touch through Skype and have maintained a lovely friendship. I share this story because it is a story that hits close to my heart. It is one that inspires and humbles me. Here in Philadelphia we have a network of faithful pro-lifers striving to build a Culture of Life. Our brothers and sisters in the pro-life movement have been working for 40 years to undue the damage of Roe v. Wade and 60 years to repair the heartache of the birth control pill. Generation Life is an opportunity for young people to do the same. Generation Life is an amazing group of young adults who are responding to John Paul II’s call to a new evangelization. I am humbled and honored that they have invited me to join them in their mission. My heart has always desired to work in education and to work for God. Now, I have the opportunity to do both. I pray — and ask you to pray — that God gives me the strength and grace to navigate the work He has called me to and trust Him when he says, “I know the plans I have for you. They are for good and not for evil to bring you a future and a hope.”
Kyleen Roe Philadelphia Director
Kyleen became actively involved in the pro-life movement about three years ago and began praying at the abortion mill in Philadelphia two years ago. She is excited to do full time pro-life and chastity work since she has seen the harmful effects of abortion, contraception and promiscuity on men and women. Kyleen is thrilled to be joining a team of dedicated young people in building a Culture of Life right here in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia Team Leader
Will is from Winsted, Connecticut. He graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2010, where he studied Psychology and Theology. He served on several mission trips with Franciscan University. During his time as a missionary in Jamaica, Will combated increases in broken homes and fatherless children by speaking in high schools about chastity and dignity. He is passionate about building a culture of young people with pure and honest hearts. Will believes in the immense potential of the human person to grow, and hopes to challenge and encourage others to live a more meaningful life of virtue and principle during his time at Generation Life.
Stephanie grew up in South Dakota and graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville in May 2011. She studied Theology and Humanities and Catholic Culture. She has been active in spreading the Gospel of Life through campus ministries, women’s prayer groups, and spending her summers traveling and speaking to young people. Stephanie is passionate about liberating our generation from the many lies being told about human dignity and sexuality. She feels personally convicted to tend to the consequent wounds of this injustice and to help restore her generation to a culture of Truth, Beauty, and Goodness.
Lamar is a southern boy hailing from New Orleans, LA. He grew up going to Catholic school but didn’t have an appreciation for his faith until late in his high school career. After experiencing an interior conversion, he felt a call to continue learning about his faith after high school. Lamar graduated in December of 2011 from Our Lady of Holy Cross College in New Orleans, La with a major in Theology and a minor in Philosophy. He has spent the past three years as a youth minister working with high school students in the New Orleans metro area and is currently a student at the Theology of the Body Institute in Quarryville, PA, seeking certification. Lamar is excited to dive into ministry with Generation Life to help young people become the men and women God is calling them to be. In his spare time, Lamar loves to play the guitar and piano, swing dance, and play racquetball (but not at the same time).
DeVon is from the small town of Continental, OH. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville with a double major in Catechetics and Theology. DeVon has a great love for the Theology of the Body and wants to share this message with all people, for it truly has the power to change the world by converting hearts! Through Franciscan University’s Missions of Peace program, DeVon traveled to the country of Belize with a team of missionaries. They taught in several high schools there spreading the message of God’s love and the beauty of living a chaste lifestyle. At the close of that trip, she knew that this mission must continue in the United States, and subsequently, God led her to GenLife. DeVon believes that her generation deserves to hear the Truth about life and love, and thus be equipped to combat the lies that are tossed their way. She is excited to be on the GenLife team and to speak on these matters that are so near and dear to her own heart.
Kate grew up in PA and is a graduate of Bishop Shanahan High School. She attended Palm Beach Atlantic University, located in West Palm Florida, to study studio art, psychology, and dance with the hopes of eventually going on to further studies in art or dance therapy. Graduating in 2010 as Most Outstanding Artist, with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts, Kate went on to gain further experience in the arts. At PBA, Katelyn was also heavily involved with mission work overseas. Furthermore, after graduating, she traveled to Mumbai India offering art therapy and teaching dance and art to girls and boys at an orphanage for two months. Because of Kate’s heavy involvement in the art culture and missions, she understands the dire need for purity of our bodies and an unveiling of our true worth. In the future, Kate seeks to combine the art forms and use them to spread the message of purity and human dignity internationally. She looks forward to not only sharing her gifts with Generation Life but to also growing in knowledge about full-time ministry and the messages of our sexual worth.
NEW YORK TEAM Dear Friends of Generation Life, When Cristina Barba and I chatted almost two years ago about the possibility of franchising Generation Life to the Archdiocese of New York, to both of us it seemed like a dream. The dream became reality when we welcomed a team of trained, passionate, beautiful, young, articulate chastity and pro-life speakers last year. This group of four missionaries brought “GenLife NY” to life! Over the course of last year, I got to know (and love!) our team as they got to speak to hundreds of students throughout the Archdiocese. Completing over 200 talks last year, our GenLife NY team was invited to speak to middle and high school students in our Archdiocesan schools, students in our Archdiocesan religious education programs and youth groups, groups of parents, Archdiocesan staff, and fellow Catholics in the New York area. The positive response we heard from students and staff alike confirmed what we knew in our hearts—having four full-time Generation Life missionaries living here and proclaiming the messages of life and love to our young people is truly a gift—and a gift that was very much needed! The faith community of the Archdiocese of New York has surrounded our team with such love and excitement that it has spurred their complete financial support of a team of missionaries for the 2012/2013 school year. I have found that many of the bookings this year to date have come from locations who enjoyed a talk from Generation Life last year — and those new locations who heard how great (and much needed!) these talks have been. I am humbled at the sight of the amazing growth of Generation Life to dioceses throughout the country this year, encouraged by the success of last year’s missionaries in New York. As the Chastity Education Coordinator for the Archdiocese of New York, I could not be more thankful for the opportunity to work with our new team of Generation Life missionaries who will bless our area with the beautiful messages of life and love. It is with heartfelt gratitude that I thank all the donors who have supported this endeavor with prayers and financial gifts. The youth of the Archdiocese of New York (and dioceses beyond!) will forever be changed because of your generosity!
Kimberly Quatela Chastity Education Coordinator Archdiocese of New York
Emmanuel Peña New York Team Leader
Emmanuel was born and raised in Corona, NY. His parents emigrated to the United States in the 70’s from the Dominican Republic. Emmanuel is the youngest of twelve children. In the fall of 2002, Emmanuel began his college studies at York College, Jamaica, NY. He transferred to St. John’s University where he attained his B.A. in Philosophy in 2007. Emmanuel has served as a leader with Corazon Puro (Pure Heart), a bilingual group dedicated to promoting the Culture of Life by teaching chastity, Theology of the Body and the importance of every human life, mainly in the inner city of NY. His Dominican heritage is very much a part of him. He enjoys all kinds of music but mainly dancing to Merengue, Bachata, and Salsa. He also enjoys watching “well worth it” movies, especially thriller, suspense, foreign, and comedy.
Ellie is from Minnetonka, Minnesota. She graduated from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN this past spring where she studied Psychology, Catholic Studies, and Music. She participated in campus outreach through St. Paul’s Outreach, and the Catholic Studies Leadership Interns program at St. Thomas. Throughout the past four years, she has had a growing desire to be a missionary, particularly in our own country. She feels a calling to minister to the wounds of her generation, particularly those that come from a distorted view of the body and sexuality. She is excited to speak to high school students about their immense dignity and worth and to encourage them to live intentionally, seeking virtue and reflecting the beauty of their Creator.
Horacio hails from the city of Steubenville, OH. Originally from Miami, FL, Horacio moved to Steubenville at the age of four with his family when his father took up studies at Franciscan University. It was because of this move and his parents’ dedication and many sacrifices that Horacio was able to attend Catholic school from kindergarten through college. Horacio graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville, receiving a degree in Business Management and History. While at FUS, he was involved in many missions, organizations, and varsity sports including, Students For Life, domestic & international mission trips, AMDG Household, Soccer, and Track & Field. This passion for life and love is what Horacio hopes to spread to the people he encounters while serving with GenLife. He is honored to be a part of this team and mission!
Catherine, originally from Columbus, OH, graduated from the College of William and Mary in Virginia with a B.A. in Philosophy in 2012. Inspired by the life and witness of Blessed John Paul II, she spent her college years serving as President of Students for Life, a board leader for Catholic Campus Ministry, and a member of a Theology of the Body group, Greatness. Because of her pro-life work, she was selected as a National Wilberforce Fellow in 2011 and was awarded the Sophie and Hans Scholl award in 2012. Catherine has shared the messages of chastity, marriage, human dignity, and authentic femininity through various forums and publications, including CNBC, the National Catholic Register, and State of Affairs. She believes in the brilliance of the human person as male and female and in the massive capacity that every person has to love. Catherine is convinced that chastity is the sure way to happiness—and to freedom—and that it is never too late to choose a life of radical virtue.
Steven is from Ossining, NY. He graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2012 with Bachelor degrees in both Theology and Philosophy. After coming into college as a Psychology major, he soon realized that Theology and Philosophy were the subjects which instilled in him a true passion for study. In his sophomore year, he had the privilege of studying abroad and traveling through Europe. In his junior and senior years, he traveled to third world countries such as Jamaica and Honduras. Through these adventures, he developed a love for the human person, arriving at a true appreciation for man’s inherent dignity and worth displayed so beautifully through the richness of culture. He was able to see the richness of humanity grounded within man’s spirit; it was not a monetary wealth. Now having completed his undergraduate studies, Steven believes strongly that speaking to the youth about the sacredness of sex as well as the value of human life is intrinsic to helping men and women reach their heavenly destination after this life.
After the launch of our first missionary team in the Archdiocese of New York, Generation Life has received requests from all around the world for men and women with hearts on fire for the messages of chastity and pro-life. In addition to our Philadelphia and New York teams, Generation Life will be traveling the USA spreading the messages of Life and Love in the Archdiocese of Omaha, NE, the Diocese of Lincoln, NE, the Diocese of Grand Island, NE, the Diocese of Rockville Centre, NY, the Archdiocese of Kansas City, KS and as well as southern Florida. First stop, Nebraska - home of the Cornhuskers! Since arriving in Nebraska, Generation Life’s Travel Team has been keeping busy. We’ve received a big warm welcome with plenty of support for our mission as well as caring for the team and making us feel right at home. In just over a month, we’ve traveled to all three dioceses and talked to over 5,000 students, teachers and parents. The next month and half there is no sign of things slowing down and we’re eager to continue doing what we love so much! With such great reception, we are hoping and praying that this “pilot program” will allow for a full time team in Nebraska next year. We’ve fallen in love with the mid-west and find it refreshing to see that the youth have more of an innocence to them. Our missionaries have enjoyed being able to provide positive, uplifting encouragement and support to the youth here through their talks. In October, we were able to attend and present at the Bishop’s Pro-Life Conference in Lincoln. It was an honor to be able to listen to and present after George Weigel. In early November the ladies on team were able to have a table and attend Omaha’s Women Conference. It was a beautiful day meeting many wonderful and inspiring women among them being Danielle Rose. When not busy with talks we’ve been able to take in some of the local sites such as having a fun day out at the Omaha zoo with our FOCUS missionary friends. You can also always find us visiting the old market in downtown Omaha enjoying Nebraska’s finest beef and time together. All 5 of us feel blessed to be part of Generation Life’s first ever expansion travel team. It’s an amazing opportunity to travel across the US spreading the pro-life and chastity messages and being a witness to all whom we encounter. Although it will be hard to leave Nebraska, we’re excited for the next half of the year where we will venture off to Philadelphia, Florida, New York and Kansas.
Rebecca Hofmann Rebecca Hofmann Travel Team Leader
Rebecca Hofman Becca is from Stow, Massachusetts. She graduated from Merrimack College in 2007 with a degree in Sociology and French. For three years she worked at the International School of Boston as an administrative assistant and taught English as a second language. While living in Boston she became active with a prayer group called Pure in Heart America, which gave chastity and pro-Life talks. Through giving these talks, she saw that the youth was getting lost in the negative influences of today’s society. She knew she couldn’t stand back and watch this happen. A passion was stirred within her to be a positive witness of promoting pure love and she felt God was calling her to take a more pro-active role. This past year she left her job and became a missionary with NET Ministries Ireland. She gave retreats to primary and secondary schools spreading to the message of beauty and truth of the Gospel to the youth of Ireland. She is excited to be with Generation Life this year as she continues to follow her passion.
Stephanie Brown Stephanie is from Baytown, Texas (just east of Houston) where she lived for most of her life with her Mom, Dad and younger sister. After graduating from a public high school, she attended a community college for two years and then transferred to the Franciscan University of Steubenville, where she graduated with a major in Catechetics and a minor in Theology. Ever since the 8th grade, she has always wanted and felt called to be a missionary! In 2011, Stephanie was in China on mission for two weeks teaching the Theology of the Body to orphaned children. The year before that she was in Jamaica for another mission trip. Over the past two years, she has also gone on missions to Chicago and to a small Indian reservation in North Dakota as well.
Jose Carrillo Jose comes from a small town in San Diego, CA. There he spent the past couple of years at a community college in San Marcos, CA where he pursued his career in Criminal Justice as a Drug Enforcement Agent. Jose taught Theology of the Body for Teens to highs school students in the small town of Escondido, CA. There he realized his true passion and love of the teachings of John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. In 2011, he was able to attend his first course at the TOB Institute taught by Christopher West in Quarryville, PA. When he attended the second course in 2012, he was introduced to Generation Life and decided to join the mission that he feels so passionate about. Jose is the youngest on the team and is excited and honored to be sharing the beautiful messages of the chastity and pro-Life with other young people. He thanks God every day for the opportunity to be part of this team and prays for the Culture of Life!
Melissa St. Ledger Melissa is a graduate of Franciscan University, where she studied Theology and Psychology. She is from Annapolis, Maryland and loves every outdoor activity from fishing at the lake in Maine to skiing in the Austrian Alps. Since Melissa was a little girl, she has always had a heart for young children. After attending her first March for Life in high school, she has unceasingly sought out the truth and beauty of the world. Finding this truth in the message of authentic Life and Love, Melissa is thrilled to spend this year fully devoted to Pro-Life and chastity ministry.
Kevin Kast Kevin was born and raised in Roseburg, Oregon. He spent the past five years studying filmmaking at John Paul the Great Catholic University in San Diego, first receiving his Bachelor of Science in Media Communications in 2010, and then finishing up his MBA in Film Producing in 2012. Passionate about the power of stories, Kevin’s primary pursuit has been the art of film and storytelling. He believes that one day, “beauty will save the world,” and strives to bring beauty, truth, and goodness to all the art he creates. This is all, of course, motivated by a devotion and love for the teachings of the Catholic Church, and Kevin is excited to spend a year spreading the message of the beauty of chastity.
WITHOUT AN ENGINE
by Lamar Edwards, Philadelphia Team Missionary
just love Ford Mustangs. The way they ride, their style, their sound. Add in a leather interior and a manual transmission, and you’ve won my heart. Despite not having the best gas mileage, it’s a great car to own. But what good is a brand new car without an engine? It wouldn’t get very far, that’s for sure. I just love the pro-life movement. Out on the front lines saving lives, respecting each human life from conception to natural death, elaborating on the innate goodness of every human person. Add in the glory found in knowledge of the formation of a new human person from the moment of conception or the wisdom learned by talking with a man who lived 90 years full of life, and you’ve won my heart. But what good is the pro-life movement without chastity? It won’t get very far, that’s for sure. Chastity is the pro-life movement’s car engine. It’s the driving force behind the success of the movement’s endeavors. Without chastity, the pro-life movement will fail. Chances are if you are reading this, then you most likely agree that abortion is wrong. You would most likely stand with me at an abortion facility in protest. You may be willing to go to a soup kitchen with me to feed the poor, or visit a lonely widow at the local nursing home. But have you ever thought about your own sexuality? Have you ever thought that somehow, someway, the correct living out of your own sexuality is a foundational contribution to the pro-life movement? Well guess what—it is. Chastity is more than saying no to all sexually intimate
acts before marriage. It’s more than not having sex out of the fear of contracting an STD. It’s more than waiting to have sex because you don’t wait a child right now. Chastity is not about fear. It’s about love—something we all desperately want, regardless of race, color, or creed. Rather than shrink in fear at the thought of sex because we are told that x, y, and z will happen if we have it before marriage, chastity sees our sexuality as a great thing— something we can use to express deep, deep love to someone we truly care about. Chastity says, “I have a great gift in my sexuality and personhood, and you are worth fully giving that gift.” It sees the inherent dignity in the self and in the other. In essence, living chastity is loving selflessly, which always requires sacrifice. Selfless love has become foreign to the culture we live in today. Sexual conquest and the lustful lifestyle are encouraged in the name of “sexual freedom.” The condom “frees” from the fear of STD’s. The pill “frees” from the burden of pregnancy. And if that fails, abortion comes in to save the day. Even the legalization of euthanasia will “free” a person from pain and suffering—the crucial part of selfless love. Chastity is fundamentally opposed to these practices. Why? Because chastity is the ultimate proclamation that every person has dignity and is worth respecting, no matter how young or old. A culture of life and true freedom is a door to be opened. Chastity is the key that will grant us access to it. Find what a culture believes about sex, and that’s what you’ll find it believes about its persons. When we understand the greatness of our sexuality and our personhood, then we will naturally begin to live a lifestyle that safeguards ourselves and those who are most vulnerable.
“A culture of life and true freedom is a door waiting for use to walk through. Chastity is the key that will grant us access to it.” 10
THE TWO PURPOSES OF SEX S
believe), then why are billions of women getting pregnant from engaging in this activity? The answer of course is that sex is in a completely different category than these other activities. Thus, we must rediscover the purposes of sex! I propose that the two purposes of sex are procreation and bonding. The former may be easier to accept, and the latter perhaps not entirely controversial. However, this second purpose goes beyond the idea that sex helps couples bond. Sex, in fact, by Melissa St. Ledger, Travel Team Missionary exuality not only refers to one’s “sex life,” but penetrates is intended to facilitate the bonding of a man and a woman for every part of who we are as male and female, (no pun life. Biologically we can see this through a hormone in the body intended). How we view ourselves as men and women called oxytocin. This is a bonding hormone released during affects our everyday decisions, everything from what to physical contact, which is released in its greatest amounts during wear and what foods to eat, to more serious decisions such as the height of sexual intercourse. The scientists affectionately dub who to marry, how to relate to others, and what to do when faced oxytocin the “human super glue” because the bond it creates is strong enough to last a lifetime. with an unplanned pregnancy. When the purposes of sex are understood, and we live An obvious fact about abortion is that women who have our sexuality according to these truths, sex can be saved for an abortion do so because their pregnancy was unintended. If a marriage. In the context of marriage, the relationship of the woman plans to get pregnant, she would therefore not intend to “terminate” that pregnancy. However, let us dive a bit deeper into spouses is strengthened by this love hormone, and they become this idea. According to the Guttmacher Institute, “Nearly half even more ready to welcome new life into their family. Unfortunately, as weak persons we do not always live by of pregnancies among women are unintended, and about four the truth and many fall into prein ten of these are terminated by abortion.” The question that “...if sex is simply a recreational activity marital sex, finding themselves comes to mind is, “Why so many then why are billions of women getting in the midst of an unplanned pregnancy. In 2008, approximately unplanned pregnancies?” Some pregnant...” 84.3% of the 1.21 million abortions of these numbers I would chalk were performed on women who up to a lack of education about how fertility works. For example, while I was visiting the Omaha were unmarried (Centers for Disease Control). If we want to Essential Pregnancy Services crisis pregnancy center this week, decrease the number of abortions, this is a good place to start. If I was told by the RN that the clinic spends several hours a week these one million women had been informed about the purposes simply explaining to women how and when conception happens. of sex and encouraged to live chastely, perhaps they would not be The second reason I would suggest for so many unplanned faced with such a difficult decision and feel pressure to have an pregnancies is a lack of understanding of what sex is for. Hear abortion. This is the link between the pro-life cause and the me out... if sex is simply a recreational activity (i.e. grouped in chastity message. Namely, deeper understanding of the goodness the same category as singing karaoke, playing soccer, or baking cookies as the MTV/Planned Parenthood culture would have us and purpose of our sexuality leads to less abortion.
Every summer GenLifers visit the Jersey Shore to talk to people about the the messages of chastity and pro-life.
CORE OF WHO WE ARE
by Kevin Kast, Travel Team Missionary
ulture of Death. This is the term Blessed John Paul II used to describe our western civilized world. What more could be said of a culture that encourages and allows for its mothers to kill their unborn children? There is much wrong in our country today—all throughout, people are miserable, hopeless, and suffering, and immorality is rampant. It all culminates in abortion, the greatest of all these evils, and the defining battle of our generation. However, though it may lead to abortion, this mentality stems from elsewhere. At Generation Life, we seek to create a Culture of Life by stopping abortion at its root cause by spreading the message of chastity. There are many reasons abortion and chastity are intricately linked and part of the same battle. Societies don’t just wake up one morning and decide it’s suddenly ethical for women to murder their unborn babies. There is a subtle path of sin and disillusion that leads there. In Evangelium Vitae, Blessed John Paul II said, “If you want justice, work for chastity.” Though I do not believe he is speaking solely in regard to abortion, he is certainly
emphasizing it. Over 84% of abortions are performed on women not married to the father of their child. Here, the connection is simple. If our society truly lived out chastity, that would put a stop to 84.3% of the annual 1.3 million abortions. This would be a devastating economical strike against companies such as Planned Parenthood, who rely on those consistent abortions as their primary source of income. In addition to this obvious connection, there are other powerful reasons that chastity is the answer to our culture’s acts of injustice. Let’s say, hypothetically speaking, that all abortions today were performed on married women. With that 84.3% argument gone, would there be no more reason to fight abortion with the chastity message? Would Generation Life exchange the chastity ministry for something else? Absolutely not. Let’s continue to dive deeply into Blessed John Paul II’s statement, “If you want justice, work for chastity.” Chastity isn’t just the solution to ending 84.3% of abortions—it’s the solution to untwisting the lies our generation has bought into regarding our dignity. We have lost a sense of our worth and nobility, and if we want our world to recognize the beauty and dignity of the unborn, it starts with showing them their own beauty and dignity. According to a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health, suicide is now the leading cause of injury-related deaths in the United States. That means that suicide is responsible for more deaths than even car accidents. In the last fifty years, the suicide rate of young people has increased 200%. We don’t just live in a culture of death that doesn’t recognize the value of the unborn, we live in a culture where people don’t even see their own value.
Our society has fallen into hopelessness. We try again and again to combat suffering with comfort and convenience, especially with our sexuality. Yet this has simply sent us tumbling farther and farther down the rabbit hole of despair. Contraception didn’t free a generation from prudishness, it created a world where sex was seen as recreation and babies were seen as an inconvenience. Sex is no longer a beautiful act that brings forth life, it’s a representation of one’s right as a human being. There is no longer any sense of sacredness to the act, and no longer any sense of nobility connected to our sexuality. Instead of living as strong warriors or kings, men live as children looking for their next “candy” fix. Instead of believing themselves princesses, women believe their worth to be dependent on how much a man desires to use them sexually. This distortion of what gives our lives value has led us to this place of cultural depression. We need to imbue within others a true knowledge of self worth. If a young woman is trained to see herself as nothing more than an object and believes her sexuality and beauty are based on how much sexual pleasure she can give a man, (and thus has no concept of what a gift she is), then how in the world are we to expect that she would be able to recognize the gift of the life inside of her? Seeing the beauty in the lives of the unborn starts with a return to seeing our own dignity. Our sexuality is core to who we are as individuals. It is key to understanding why our lives have value in the first place, and why we are worth fighting and dying for. In order to escape this culture of death our society has fallen into, we must attack not with swords but with beauty. It is in the realization of our own worth and beauty, the realization that we are each worth waiting for, that we will finally come to see the truth and gift of the unborn baby. If we want justice, we must work for chastity.
Every year 1.2 million abortions are performed. That’s 3,300 everyday, 137 every hour, 2 every minute.*
About 9.5 million adolescents and young adults (ages 15–24) are diagnosed with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) each year.**
54 percent of women who have abortions had used a contraceptive method during the month they became pregnant.*
An estimated 4 in 10 sexually active adolescent females between the ages of 14 and 19 have an STD**
“I'd just like to say that I loved all of your group's presentation and you've all moved me to live out a chaste life to the best of my ability. You have strengthened my understanding of what it means to be a Pro-Life advocate. After your talk I feel empowered to get more involved so I am currently planning a prayer vigil at a local abortion mill.” -High School Male
Megan and Caitlin getting ready for beach outreach
STUDENT TESTIMONY by Caitlin McCarry West Chester University
Generation Life has had a long history of working with students from the local high schools and universities in the Philadelphia area. Generation Life believes that to end abortion, and to build a Culture of Life, we must empower and build leaders in our community. We have met some courageous students who are on fire for the messages of Life and Love. Whether it is by praying at the abortion mill or attending Generation Life Ambassador events, these exceptional young people find time amidst their busy life of classes and extracurricular activities to be active in Generation Life! These students remind us of the vitality of Generation Life’s mission and the importance of youth working with youth to build a Culture of Life.
wo years ago, I walked into the Generation Life Office in West Chester, PA expecting to help stuff envelopes for a holiday newsletter and be on my way in a couple of hours. What I did not realize is that I would meet a group of people who would change the way I thought about myself and everyone else around me forever. I was a senior at Bishop Shanahan High School and the President of our school’s Respect Life Club at the time. I had been looking for more ways to get involved in the movement and more activities I could offer to my fellow students who were in our club. I remembered GenLife from my freshman year in high school when a young woman came into our classroom and talked to us about chastity and pro-life issues. What intrigued me most about that woman was how young she was. In fact, she was just like me, she understood me, and I could relate to her. GenLife had the ability to connect with my peers and relate to them. I decided to e-mail Cristina Barba and see if I could help out in any way. Cristina got back to me almost immediately suggesting I come into the office and meet the missionaries. I
remember feeling a bit nervous when pulling up to the office; I was not exactly sure what I was getting myself into, but it turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life. We sat around a table for hours stuffing and labeling envelopes introducing ourselves and discussing the pro-life movement, but what really impressed me was seeing the enthusiasm of these young people. Their love for life and the respect they had for themselves was something I desired and was not used to hearing about so casually. I was overwhelmed by their welcoming and genuinely friendly personalities. I felt as if I had known them my whole life. I could see they had something that made them different than any other organization out there. From that day on, I got involved with Generation Life in every way I could: praying outside of the West Chester and Philadelphia abortion mills, giving church talks, participating in their annual Beach Outreach, and becoming a part of their ambassador program. Surrounding myself with those involved with Genlife allowed me to realize what had been written on my heart, who I was called to be, and what I was called to do. After being surrounded by these young people, I finally felt at home. Then it was time for me to graduate high school and enter into the college environment. It is not a surprise that the world we live in today consumes the youth with false images of what it means to be a man and a woman. After my first year in college, I saw first hand the damage that these lies can have on an individual. My friends who had never heard the message of chastity, true love and true freedom were expressing to me their regrets and pains. Looking back now, I realize how easy it would have been for me to be just like my peers had I not been involved in an organization like Generation Life. My life may have been so different if had I never written that e-mail and reached out to those young, fun-loving, life-loving, and purely joyful people! They have become my role models, my mentors, and my friends. I am eternally grateful to God for his divine providence in allowing Generation Life to exist and to those people who said yes to be a missionary. They will never fully understand how much they have changed my life… And how much they impact those students they speak to everyday!
by Elena M. Worlinsky Theology 9 Teacher and Campus Minister Mother Cabrini High School
eneration Life has been of great influence to my ministry as a teacher, promoting the dignity of life in a culture whose message is dramatically different. In this city, the effects of the culture of death are prevalent and seen everywhere you turn. Over the course of Generation Life’s first year working in the Archdiocese of New York, Mother Cabrini High School in Washington Heights, Manhattan was privileged to be able to have missionaries attend the school twice to spread the message of the Life and Love. At Mother Cabrini High School, we strive to help “young women of culturally diverse backgrounds become leaders and to grow in mind, character, heart and soul.” Generation Life contributes to our mission, challenging our girls to take hold of their whole self, body and soul, defending their dignity and the dignity of others at every cost. “Youth today yearn and cry out for the truth,” said Matthew Bizzarro, junior and senior Theology Teacher and Campus Minister at Mother Cabrini. “In today’s society it is very difficult for them to distinguish what is truth and what are the lies the world wants them to believe. Generation Life is countercultural and is teaching the kids the truth.” On the first visit to our school, the missionaries spoke in the gymnasium on the dignity of the human person from conception to natural death. The presentation used reason and science to help the young people recognize that life starts at conception. The missionaries spoke passionately and sincerely in front of the audience, displaying their knowledge and personality to the student body. During the second visit, the whole Generation Life New York Team was willing to spend all day at Mother Cabrini to accommodate our student body. Their talks focused on chastity and since the subject matter must be presented in an age appropriate manner, the grades were separated. Throughout the whole day Generation Life was able to be present to the students in their Theology classrooms for interactive question & answer sessions. In the classrooms, the students anonymously wrote personal questions that the missionaries collected, (e.g. on human sexuality, pornography and how to live chaste life). The missionaries answered based on the Church’s teaching and
“Everyone was kind of grumpy about having to go to a “sex talk”, but you made it a really enjoyable experience. You gave us all great pieces of food for thought and just good points on why to choose to live out chastity in our lives.” -8th Grade Student 15
added their own witness of their struggles and accomplishments. Amelina Castillo, senior at Mother Cabrini High School, said, “It was nice to have them answer personal questions. I felt like they understood us and that made it easier for us to understand them.” Generation Life was also invited to attend Mother Cabrini’s sacramental preparation retreat, the GRACE retreat. The missionaries graciously accepted the offer to come and spend a few hours in praise and worship, Eucharistic Adoration and time with the girls. The dynamic Generation Life team not only has the ability to educate young hearts and minds through the powerful message of life and love but their lives themselves testify to this message—young people living out their faith. Castillo shared, “The speakers were very insightful. They were passionate and their stories showed God’s love.” It’s visible for all the students, for the faculty and the whole city to see this message of life radiating so clearly.
EXAMPLES by Phil Gorrasi Associate Superintendent for Mission Effectiveness Archdiocese of New York
oday’s world is wrought with conflicting messages for young people. Permissiveness, sensuality and relativism all seem to be what the world is teaching, yet our Catholic schools need to proclaim a message that is quite different. We need to be counter-cultural and present our message in a positive, upbeat way that will show the young people that going against what the world teaches is more than okay. Last year, the Archdiocese of New York was blessed to have its first Generation Life team speaking in our schools and parishes. The young people that came to us were wonderful examples to our own young people. They brought their love of God, their love of the Church, and their beautiful spirit. They spoke the message of chastity and purity in a language that the young people could understand. They were able to show that “regular people” can proclaim and live chastity with joy! Having sat in on a number of sessions, I was moved by the excitement of the team but even more so by the spark visible in their audience. What they heard resonated with them and made them feel that it was okay to say no to pressure from a boyfriend or girlfriend, that it was normal to wait until marriage for sexual relations. The young men and women of Generation Life are wonderful examples of what is good—actually, great!—with the youth of today, and they are a gift to the Church, to the Archdiocese of New York, and most importantly, to the young people in our schools and parishes with whom they work. They have given to our youth a gift that is beyond price and they have shown how God works wonders with his creation.
TO PRESENT by Joseph Gerics, Ed.D. Associate Superintendent for Secondary Education Archdiocese of New York
his is the second year that Generation Life missionaries have worked in the middle and high schools of the Archdiocese of New York. The 50 high schools in the Archdiocese are quite diverse. Their locations vary from suburban counties north of New York City to inner-city neighborhoods in Manhattan and the Bronx. Most of the 50 schools are single-gender, while 11 are coed. Median enrollment is 475, but it varies widely, with two schools enrolling fewer than 100 students and three enrolling more than 950. Tuitions range from $2,000 to $39,000. Generation Life missionaries spoke at 14 high schools across the Archdiocese last year, and were generally well received. Chastity and purity can be difficult topics to address with high school youth, perhaps especially so for males. While religion faculties present the pro-life teaching of the Church in discussing sexual ethics and related topics, the Generation Life missionaries offer a slightly different perspective. Their youth is an advantage; they are only a few years removed from their own high school years. And they speak frankly from their own personal experience, offering a unique viewpoint that might not otherwise be available to students.
Generation Life presentations have been adaptable to a variety of settings. At Kennedy Catholic High School, a suburban coed school with 560 students, the missionaries spoke at two assemblies, one for boys and one for girls. Principal Father Mark Vaillancourt was especially appreciative of the boys’ assembly. Among other topics the male missionary addressed respect for women and the problem of pornography, “a platform that maybe our teachers wouldn’t be too comfortable addressing.” He noted, “Chastity is a countercultural virtue, and while we teach abstinence, sometimes the virtue of purity may be given short shrift.” Father Vaillancourt found his students receptive to “a good message that kids need to hear, that abstinence is possible”—even students he expected to be resistant to this message. He anticipates inviting Generation Life speakers in alternating years so that all of his students will experience their presentations twice. At Saint Barnabas, Generation Life spoke in both the elementary and high schools. St. Barnabas High School, a girls’ school of 230, is located in Yonkers. The missionaries addressed both large groups (two assemblies combining freshman with sophomores and juniors with seniors) and individual religion classes. “All their presentations, including the chastity talks, were very much drawn from their own experience—they tell their own stories—and the kids like that,” said Sister Joan Faraone, Principal. She characterized their witness talks as “interactive, more of a conversation than a lecture,” and found that students also appreciated the integration of contemporary music into the presentations. Generation Life missionaries are prepared to present in a variety of settings. In addition to the topics mentioned above, they can also address a broad range of topics, from contraception to an analysis of sexuality in the media.
In the 2011-2012 School year Generation Life reached over 80,000 students.
s the new Director of Development, I am privileged to join the Generation Life team. Generation Life impressed me with their approach and active response to the culture we live in that is so inundated with lies about our sexuality and authentic love. I saw people my age realizing that there was something wrong with this lifestyle and actively doing something about it. Since joining the team, I have not ceased to be impressed and inspired by the mission. I have meet Caitlin and countless other students whose lives have been changed after encountering Generation Life and learning about the pro-life and chastity messages. I have heard first-hand from students, facility, and staff of the schools we speak in, about how effective the talks are and how hearts are being changed. One thing I have heard reiterated again and again is the advantage we have because of our youth. Students can relate to and and look up to the Generation Life speakers who present in the classroom. After a pro-life talk at a high school in Omaha, one of the girls came up to a missionary in tears saying: “I just wanted to thank you for what you do. I am pro-life and sometimes it can be so hard, I can feel like I’m the only one who believes in this. It helps me to know that there are people speaking up about this!” I have also been continually humbled to work with the Generation Life team. The speakers are extremely passionate and committed to the mission. They are constantly reading and keeping up with the latest statistics and information and, as you have read earlier, they have sharp ability to see the connection between the pro-life and chastity message and can articulate that in a clear and approachable way. They are also fundamentally rooted in prayer and the sacraments and have made the commitment to daily mass and holy hour. Thanks to the work of Generation Life and the partnership of so many people, lives are being changed! We are keenly aware that this work would not be possible without the prayers and support of so many people. We are so excited about this mission, but we need your help! Please support Generation Life with your prayers and financial support. I ask that you consider giving to Generation Life at a level that is generous for you. Generation Life passes out commitment cards to the students we minister to encourage
them to commit themselves to a life of purity and chastity. A gift of $50 per month would cover the costs needed to print these cards. A gift of $100 per month would cover the expenses for a missionary to travel to schools, youth groups and retreats for an entire month! During that month, you could be responsible for bringing the pro-life and chastity message to over 1,500 students! A gift of $1,500 would cover the cost of training a missionary on theology of the body, pro-life apologetics and public speaking. Our missionaries receive training during their year so they can be witnesses and ambassadors for the pro-life movement in their everyday life beyond the time they spend at Generation Life. Your gift would be a life long investment! A gift of $2,000 would cover the expenses of a projector and computer for the talks given by the missionaries. We give multi-media talks and have videos and slide shows to emphasize the message and to give students real images of fetal development and to show that it is a real life in the womb! Get involved in building the culture of life by partnering with us as we seek to end abortion and spread the pro-life and chastity message. Thank your for your help and commitment in building the Culture of Life! Please be assured of our prayers for you! God bless,
Director of Development
P.S. Please include Generation Life in your legacy and consider leaving us in your estate plan.
“Every time I look at the “I’m worth waiting for” sticker I smile and think of how your speech really made an impact on my life.”
VISIT WWW.GENERATIONLIFE.ORG/DONATE 17
590 SNYDER AVE, WEST CHESTER, PA 19382 • 1 (800) 583-5290
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Be a Missionary be part of the movement
The Missionary Program is Generation Life’s newest endeavor to meet the culture of death head-on. In a society inundated with increasing promiscuity and abortion on demand, this program is an opportunity for passionate college graduates to reinstate authentic happiness and true freedom to their and future generations. Immersed in both formation and active service, the missionaries, at the completion if their year, are well equipped to continue fighting the battle for the sanctity of life and the virtue of chastity.
The Mission Formation Basic Info let’s build a culture of life
Serving on the missionaries will...
• have the opportunity to inspire tens of thousands of young people. • give talks to young people in classes, assemblies, retreats, churches, youth groups, conferences, etc. • pray and sidewalk counsel outside of abortion clinics. • foster leaders among teens and college students. • run our annual beach mission trips.
what you need to know
be formed and do not conform
• speaker training • pro-life and chastity apologetics • 2-day professional fundraising seminar • community life • spiritual formation - opportunity for spiritual direction - retreats - First Friday day of recollection • mentoring with a senior staff member • readings and discussions • in depth study of JPII’s Theology of the Body
Who? Recent college graduates When? June 1st through the
Where? Primarily in the greater
OR FOR ANY QUESTIONS EMAIL: MISSIONARY@GENERATIONLIFE.ORG
Philadelphia areas, New York City areas, as well on the road with our Traveling Team We provide housing and basic health insurance. Missionaries fundraise their salary. We offer assistance in fundraising training.
590 Snyder Ave West Chester, PA 19382 1-800-583-5290
Published on Feb 1, 2013