By Jeff Miller
Special to The Texas Catholic
Pro-life education at Jesuit College Preparatory School might take a different form given the all-male enrollment, but there’s certainly no less of an emphasis than found at a co-ed school.
“We want our young men to realize that men in society have a very specific role in this conversation,” said Rich Perry, director of Jesuit’s community service program. “That is to be active listeners and active parts of the dialogue. Society has told our boys and has told men that this is not a men’s issue, that it’s a woman’s body. For our boys, as they live out their faith, this isn’t just about one person’s body. It’s about our family as a human family.”
Faculty leaders decided a few years ago to revamp the school’s pro-life initiative, moving away from having a formal club and instead integrating it into classrooms. That is overseen by Perry and by the director of campus ministry, Gretchen Crowder.
“We also talked about starting the dialogue a little earlier in the situation,” Crowder said. “It’s not just a dialogue of, ‘I have a friend who’s pregnant.’ It’s a dialogue of ‘I’m a teenage boy going to prom.’ Or, ‘I’m in this particular dating situation.’
“If pro-life is from conception to natural death, then you have a role in that your entire life.”
Senior Nico Rodriguez is president of the social justice club and is particularly interested in the death penalty.
“We found it to be an ineffective deterrent,” said Rodriguez, who lives in Dallas and attends All Saints Catholic Church. “On top of that, it’s far more expensive to execute someone than it is to put them away in prison for life.”
John Galindo, who attends St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in Grand Prairie, just chose his senior-class social justice emphasis for next year. Abortion and respect for the elderly are his primary interests.
Pro-life is often involved in students’ community service activities. Parker Thompson, a senior, volunteers at a school for youngsters with Down syndrome.
“It’s living the fact that all life is precious,” said Thompson, who lives in Plano and attends St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church. “It’s kind of like the fundamental of our faith.”
At an all-school prayer service for adoption last fall, junior Michael Lohr from Rockwall was among the speakers. Any fellow students who didn’t already know Lohr was adopted at birth learned it then.
“I thought it was really impactful for me to be able to share my story,” said Lohr, who attends Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church in Rockwall. “I think it also affected others.”
Jesuit finished first among area Catholic high schools in the “Change for Life” fundraiser that supports Catholic Charities Adoption Services.