By Seth Gonzales
The Texas Catholic
Students and faculty members at Cistercian Preparatory School have participated in the pro-life movement for a number of years, but it was only in April 2014 that the school formally organized its student-run pro-life club.
With the help of Father Paul McCormick and Father Ambrose Strong, students now lead the pro-life charge at Cistercian.
“We realized that we can’t really have a disorganized group,” said Joshua Maymir, a senior at Cistercian and the club’s chief coordinator. “It would be much more efficient and we would accomplish so much more if we were organized.”
In prior years, faculty members would invite students to participate in pro-life activities such as prayer rallies, pro-life dinners, and the March for Life. Now, the group is student-driven, something Father Strong said makes much more sense.
“We have a school full of morally conscientious and Christian people, so it’s something that ought to flow out of that Catholic and Cistercian spirit and character that belongs to this place,” Father Strong said.
As evidence that the student response is growing, Maymir pointed to the fact that for the first time, Cistercian’s bus transporting people to the March for Life in January was completely full. Father Strong estimated that of the 75 people on the bus, 40 or so were students.
In years past, Cistercian students participated in the National March for Life in Washington, D.C. and traveled to the nation’s capital on their own. With the club now formally established, Father Strong said plans are underway to join the Catholic Pro-Life Committee and participate in next year’s march as a school.
Aside from the March for Life, Maymir said the group participates in a number of activities throughout the year, including the Hike for Life, the Bishop’s Pro-Life Dinner, prayer rallies and a newly created movie night with Ursuline Academy’s pro-life club.
“There is a lot of pro-life sentiment here and it’s very easy to tap into,” Maymir said. “What’s harder to combat is apathy, and that’s really key because if you’re apathetic about pro-life, you’re still not doing much. So we need to encourage people to take action.”
To that end, the group also works with the Catholic Pro-Life Committee and tries to ensure a Cistercian presence at CPLC events.
“It just makes sense that we not leave the witnessing and leave the fight to other people, but actually invest ourselves and become a real part of it because it is connected to our identity and vocation as Christians,” Father Strong said.