Respecting life in every form in October – and the rest of the year

By Isabella Daley

October is commonly known as the month of Halloween and breast cancer awareness, but it is also celebrated as Respect Life Month. According to McNicholas Spanish teacher and moderator of Rockets for Life Tracey Canisalez, the Catholic Church chose the theme “Be not afraid” as the theme for the Respect Life program from October 2017 to September 2018.

While celebrating Respect Life Month can draw positive attention to the pro-life cause over the month, it is important to respect life in all its forms, all the months of the year.
“It is good to have a time when we can think about [respecting life] and reflect on it,” said senior Alyssa Taylor, a member of the McNicholas Rockets for Life. “We should definitely respect life all the time. And it doesn’t have to be October, but I am glad that we have this time to bring it to the forefront of our minds.”

The importance of standing up for life does not change throughout the year. Just as a student cannot earn decent grades by only working diligently for one quarter of the school year, people who care about life cannot make a change by only advocating for life for one month of the year. Senior Jordan McCormick, president of Rockets for Life, said that those who are pro-life should view Respect Life Month as “the reminder to [respect life] the whole year.”

“If you are pro-life, it should be year round,” McNicholas art teacher Willy Corbett said. He added that “[being] pro-life is not just [being] antiabortion” which is what many people mistake to be the entire agenda of the pro-life cause. Ending abortion is a central issue for many pro-lifers as abortion prevents babies from having a chance to start life, but it is not the only issue that supporters of the pro-life cause feel is important.

Being pro-life is about giving all people the respect they deserve as human beings regardless of the quality, stage, or apparent value of their life. Those who are truly pro-life see complete value in every life. Corbett said that those who believe in “the dignity of human life” must also believe in social justice for all people and vice versa.

Pro-life issues extend to respecting life in all people, especially those who are forgotten or cannot stand up for themselves, including the unborn, physically and mentally disabled, lonely, poor, homeless, people receiving the death penalty, elderly, and orphans. “We support life, we are pro-baby, pro-woman, pro-man, pro-family, pro-adoption, pro-helping and [pro] loving our neighbors” Canisalez said.

Taylor extended her pro-life beliefs to include standing against suicide and euthanasia. She said she believes in the need to focus on helping people to have more hope in life. “What the pro-life agenda should be is just…hope,” Taylor said.

In order to spread this hope and to create a stronger culture of life, more people must choose to stand up for life by respecting the dignity of every human being. Each person needs to advocate for more respect for life. As Canisalez said, “be a voice for the voiceless.” It is essential that people know “all are worthy of love and respect.” It is possible to make this known by being a positive example of love and respect in the world.

This can include participating in service projects, praying, sharing kindness, and becoming more educated about the pro-life cause.  One way McNicholas students can become involved in respecting life is by joining the Rockets for Life Club.  McCormick said, “all are welcome.”

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McNicholas’s Rockets for Life Club hosts the Pro-Life Poster Contest in October and displays entries around the school.  Art teacher Willy Corbett’s students participated in the contest with this year’s theme “We are God’s Masterpiece.”  Photos courtesy of Corbett.

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