By Jeff Miller
Special to The Texas Catholic
PLANO — Sean Moothart’s freshman extracurriculars at John Paul II High School have included theater, distance running and the pro-life club that’s in its seventh year. His primary motivation for participating in the pro-life club will turn 3 years old next month and likes to play hide and seek.
Sean’s sister faced the prospect of being a single mother. “She still chose life,” said Sean, who lives in Plano and splits his Mass attendance between St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in his hometown and All Saints in Dallas. “I’m glad she did ‘cause now my nephew lives with us. He’s like the little brother I never had.”
Monica Luppi took over the club when she joined the faculty in January as a theology teacher. Luppi said she has been surprised and impressed by the students’ knowledge and enthusiasm for the pro-life cause.
“And they want to know how they can get more involved,” she said.
The club was started in 2008 by three students and placed under the direction of another theology teacher, Beth Riley. In 2013, Riley was recognized at the Dallas diocese’s annual Bishop’s Pro-Life Dinner as the Pro-Life Person of the Year.
“It was an honor to be selected,” Riley said. “The mission of the club has always been to support and promote all life from conception to a natural death through education, service, prayer and peaceful activism.”
Another freshman member this year, Alexis Hohman, noted that most of her cousins are adopted. “That really touches a special place in my heart,” she said.
This year’s service chairperson has been senior Sophie Druffner. Pro-life involvement has been a family affair; her parents met at a pro-life gathering in college.
“Ever since I was little, that’s been an important aspect of us being Catholic,” Sophie said. She has already explored pro-life opportunities for next year, when she plans to attend Vanderbilt.
Club members have participated in activities such as the Bishop’s Pro-Life Dinner, the Hike for Life and the march in downtown Dallas that marks the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. They raised thousands of dollars through a baby-bank drive and in conjunction with the school’s periodic “Dress Down Days,” in which student groups pay for the opportunity to leave their formal uniforms at home.
Meetings are typically held twice a month and scheduled both before and after the school day to accommodate as many of the 200-plus members as possible. Luppi typically introduces a teaching message during each meeting. At a recent session, she showed a video in which Harvard biologist Alexander Tsiaras provided depictions of a fetus from conception to birth.
Luppi’s plans for the 2015-16 school year include appearances at area abortion clinics.