Fr. John Raphael to Speak at
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Although we are in the llth
hour---the 37th annual NRL convention begins
next week in Charlotte, North Carolina--I'd like
to make you aware of one more very important
reason you must join pro-lifers from around the
nation, if not for the entire convention, at
least part of it.
That reason is Fr. John
Raphael, SSJ. Fr. Raphael will be our Prayer
Breakfast speaker Friday, June 19. He is best
known nationally for the powerful speech he
delivered at the pro-life rally held at the
University of Notre Dame the day pro-abortion
President Barack Obama gave the commencement
address and received an honorary degree.
As explained in his biography,
"Convicted of the need for active witness for
the protection and defense of the sanctity of
life as a college student and seminarian, Fr.
Raphael has dedicated himself to bringing more
African Americans into the pro-life movement."
(He is currently principal of his high school
alma mater, St. Augustine High School, in
I watched Fr. Raphael's speech
It's only a little over twenty minutes long, and
I would strongly encourage you to watch and
listen for yourself.
Let me just make two comments.
He reminded the Notre Dame students who attended
the rally that they might be a minority on their
own campus, "but you are not minority in the
rest of this great nation of ours." Based on
recent polls, including Gallup, "60% of
Catholics are with you…52% of all Americans are
with you…and 51% identify themselves as prolife.
You are not alone."
Second, Fr. Raphael recalled
for his audience the various promises coming
from the University.
"Throughout this controversy
many words have been spoken affirming the
university's commitment to life," he said. "Our
task is to make the university's honor its now
oft-stated beliefs into practice."
He went on to say that, "If,
as we have been told, a dialogue is actually
taking place over there, between presidents of
Notre Dame and the United States, between the
university and the nation, then for the
university at least that dialogue must be shaped
by truth and charity and protecting the sanctity
of all human life, as the church understands
life, must be its goal."
Which means, Fr. Raphael said,
that "Ours must be the voice that continues to
demand proof, evidence of this [the University
of Notre Dame] administration's commitment to
build a culture of life, first here at Notre
Dame and then in the larger sphere of its
influence. This administration must be held
accountable everyday for its decision that
brought us here today."
Or, as he put it earlier in
his speech, "Faith without works is death; words
without actions are meaningless."
In addition to the Prayer
Breakfast, there will be seventy-two workshops,
five general sessions, and a closing banquet
Saturday June 20. And that doesn't even include
the separate three-day track for Teens for Life
and all the materials that pro-life advertisers
will have to equip you for the fight ahead.
It's not too late to register.
The web site for the convention can be found at
This is a great one-stop location. Everything
you need to know about registering, what all
will occur at the convention, the schedule is
there in one place.
I hope to see you next week!