By MAGGIE DeWITTE
Thanks to priests, deacons, legislators, dinner committee, IFL board and staff, the wonderful and talented musicians, Tom & Karen Quiner with Breakthrough Marketing, and all of you here this evening. We have a big goal tonight. We need to raise $100,000. I know it’s a lot, but I am praying that what you hear tonight will give you the confidence to invest in us.
Every year I worry about what to say to you all; this is our 11th banquet, and it doesn’t get any easier. I even put on my favorite Padre Pio tee shirt that says Pray, Hope and Don’t Worry in hopes that would help. C’mon St. Pio help a gal out, would ya?
I guess sometimes the enormity of this issue is so overwhelming that I wonder how I can say just the right words to help you understand how important the work that Iowans for LIFE does.
But as I wrote these words in preparation for tonight, I know that it isn’t about me. At. All. Its about what Christ is wanting to say through me, if I can just shut up for a minute- which isn’t an easy task and let Him say a few words.
Come Holy Spirit Come … that was my prayer and my plea. So this is what came to me. If you don’t like it, blame the Holy Spirit!
Our lives are a gift. All we are doing here on Earth is preparing for our time in eternity with Christ. There are jobs we all need to do; and sometimes it isn’t easy, but it’s the only way that will lead us to true happiness and freedom.
One job of mine has been to spread the message of life. Sometimes I do it well and other times I falter. And so it is with each one of you and what God has put in your heart to do for him here on Earth. And I know that you wouldn’t be here tonight if God had not put this message of life on your heart as well.
Iowans for life has been in the midst of this spiritual battle for life for 49 years; 49 years; and we are just as motivated now as we were in 1972 to build a culture of life.
Everything we do, and we do a lot, begins with prayer and discernment: is this what will help us win this battle? Will this change hearts and minds? Will this make a difference? I can tell you, we are never idle; we push, we challenge, we engage. And, in fact, you won’t find a harder working organization than Iowans for LIFE, you just won’t!
While we have our tried and true annual events, like this dinner, the March for Life in Washington DC, our booth at the Iowa State Fair, 40 Days for Life, and the Life Chain, you will always see new and fresh initiatives every year. Here are just a few that we have done in the last three years:
- Billboard campaign to combat PP’s egregious billboards around the state.
- Women’s Reproductive Health Resource Book- to educate on the problems of contraception
- A Clash of Creeds – a play production using St. Mother Teresa/ GK Chesterton, Ayn Rand and Margaret Sanger in their own words
- Apologetic’s Tool Kit- the most common abortion arguments and concise responses
- Respect Life Curriculum for Churches and Schools- we must start with our youth
- Weekly blogs & daily social media presence
- Pregnancy Resource Center Pamphlet
- Launching of our new Natural Family Planning website page
- Legislative Advocacy- Protect Life Amendment- In 2018 unelected judges in the Iowa Supreme Court legislated from the bench and created a made-up fundamental right to abortion in our Iowa Constitution. Since that time, IFL along with our partners in the Coalition of Pro-Life Leaders have been working tirelessly to pass The Protect Life Amendment. And guess what – finally this last session we got it done! Now we still have work to do, as to pass a constitutional amendment in Iowa, it must go through another legislative session and then a vote of the people, but we were more than proud to get that first hurdle passed. This amendment is vitally important, because as you know, we have some cases before the US Supreme Court that could actually overturn Roe v. Wade (the court decision that legalized abortion in our country). When that happens abortion law goes back to the state. We must be ready here in Iowa! As the spokesman for the coalition, I can tell you that there is not a more dedicated group of individuals and organizations that are ready to take on this fight and will fight until the bitter end.
One project that we built off our apologetics tool kit, is our apologetic Social Media Videos. I would like to show a couple of them to you right now. (Show video clips now).
This is the kind of work that you are going to see from IFL. Cutting edge video content that will educate and change hearts and minds.
And our latest project, The Holy Family Video Series which you will hear more about tonight is going to be spectacular.
Seriously – we have so many projects and events that I can’t even keep up. I had to look at our own website just to remember everything that we are doing.
This last year has been challenging, and we’ve all been through a lot. In my own life, I experienced almost losing my husband of 25 years to a heart attack last July. Tragedy brings perspective.
And while we are all dealing with our own personal issues, one issue is still ever present. And that is the issue of LIFE. We can’t live in our own bubble and not act. While this last year has been tough, we are going on 48 years of tough for our unborn brothers and sisters. A tragedy of a 61 million proportion. And every single one of those 48 years, Iowans for LIFE has been the driving force for change; for dignity; for value of all human life.
I recently read this passage from Servant of God Fr. Walter Cheesic Ciszek; he was an American Jesuit priest falsely convicted of being a spy in WWII; he spent 23 years in Soviet prisons 15 of those in solitary confinement. He writes:
“God cares for each of us individually, watches over us, provides for us. Every moment of our life has a purpose, every action of ours, no matter how dull or routine has a dignity and a worth beyond human understanding. No man’s life is insignificant in God’s sight, nor are his works insignificant. Yet what a terrible responsibility is here. For it means that no moment can be wasted, no opportunity missed, since each has a purpose in man’s life, each has a purpose in God’s plan. Think of your day, think of the work you did, the people you met, moment by moment. What did it mean to you and what might it have meant for God? No one can know greater peace in his life than the man who believes in this truth of the faith and strives daily to put it into practice. For what can trouble the soul that accepts every moment of every day as a gift from the hands of God and strives always to do his will? This is the ultimate question of faith, and each must answer it for himself in the quiet of his heart and the depths of his soul.”
And so I end how I began, our lives are a gift. Don’t waste a single second of it. We need everyone of you to help protect all life from fertilization to natural death. We. Need. You. It’s literally a battle for life and death. We will work, rest assured, and we won’t stop; but now I invite you in the quiet of your heart and the depth of your soul to stand with us for LIFE. God Bless.
[Pulse Life Advocates, formerly Iowans for LIFE, needs your support to spread a culture of life. Donate today.]