Ontario’s pro-life students once again pledged their commitment to developing a right-to-life ethic among their peers during this fall’s 11th annual Ontario Students for Life (OSFL) conference. More than 250 students from across the province took part in this year’s gathering at Bishop Smith High School in Pembroke, titled “Get a life, eh!”
Principal speakers included Angelina Steenstra, who runs a ministry to those suffering from post-abortion syndrome, pro-life physician and deacon Dr. Robert MacDonald, Dr. Michael Ferri, Sister Marilyn Carty, Father Roger Vandenakker, and Patrick McGurran. The conference also featured presentations by the Priests for Life and Lutherans for Life organizations.
Dr. MacDonald urged pro-life secondary students not to be timid about taking a pro-life stand in their local communities. “Often when people tell you to get a life, it means you should get out of your present self-involved state and go into the community,” he said. “That is what we should do with the message of life.”
Dr. MacDonald also criticized much of the mainstream media for its emphasis on anti-life issues and its efforts to marginalize people with opposing views. “We should be critical about what we see on the media, even the news,” he said.
In addition to the information sessions and social events, this year’s conference included activism. Students took part in a short Life Chain in Pembroke, during which they displayed right-to-life messages at busy intersections in the city.
According to OSFL secretary Ada Wong, the Life Chain was a high point of the conference. “We didn’t just talk about pro-life work, but we also acted on it,” Wong told The Interim. “We walked to one of the busiest intersections of Pembroke and set up a Life Chain. There is nothing more energizing than to have passing drivers honking their horns in support.”
OSFL president Ed Abbey, a Grade 13 student at St. Mary’s High School in Woodstock, believes students are waking up to pro-abortion rhetoric and distortion.