By Marnie McAllister, Record Editor
Michael Schultz, a DeSales High School junior, is disturbed by statistics related to abortion.
He said during a program for youth at the Cathedral of the Assumption Feb. 14 that he’s heard there have been 57 million abortions since the procedure was legalized in 1973.
“When you think about it, that’s actually a third of my generation,” he said. “For every 10 kids my age, three of them are missing. That’s very shocking to me.”
It’s especially upsetting to him, he explained after the event, because “I’m adopted, and every single baby has a life to live. You have to consider that when you consider abortion.”
Schultz was one of about 40 young people who attended the event at the cathedral. It began with the monthly Helpers of God’s Precious Infants morning of worship, which begins at 7 a.m. and includes Mass, eucharistic adoration and a rosary procession to a downtown Louisville abortion clinic.
Despite the frigid air — a wind chill of 13 degrees whipped through downtown Louisville that morning — about 150 adults and young people took part. Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz led the procession and presided at the services.
He also opened the discussion with young people in the cathedral’s undercroft afterward. He told the teenagers gathered there that he sees hope for the pro-life movement in their generation.
The Jan. 22 March for Life in Washington, D.C., he said, “was filled with young people.”
“All the research says that a little more than 50 percent of people today say they are pro-life,” the archbishop said. “Twenty years ago you couldn’t say that; it wasn’t true. But if you interview people who are 25 and younger, it’s almost 60 percent. Because young people understand the sanctity of human life.”
He asked his listeners — mostly youth and their chaperones — to share their thoughts and experiences on either the March for Life or the local archdiocesan Walk for Life, also held on Jan. 22. (The archbishop had a similar listening session at St. Paul Church recently.)
Schultz, the first to speak, said that his experience of the March for Life was “very inspiring.” He said the experience was more poignant than it might have been because the bus driver for his group died in Washington.
“It made me think, life is so valuable,” he said, noting that he and those in his group prayed the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and the rosary for the driver as soon as they heard about his death.
Schultz said his enthusiasm for the pro-life effort was boosted at the annual archdiocesan-wide Pro-life Memorial Mass celebrated Jan. 18 at St. Martin of Tours Church.
He and his friends were so impressed — and inspired — that they wanted to bring it to more young people, he explained.
They planned and celebrated a Mass for Life just a week later, on Jan. 25, at St. Rita Church, which hosts a regional youth Mass on Sunday evenings at 6 p.m.
It was a busy week for Schultz. He found a donor, Belmar Florist, to provide roses for their Mass for Life, attended the March for Life in Washington and then Schultz spoke at his parish, St. Athanasius Church, about the March for Life and his hopes for a youth Mass. The parish spontaneously collected $2,000 as a result of his talk.
The youth at the St. Rita Mass collected another $500. The donations were divided between charities that help women in crisis pregnancies, Schultz said.
He closed his presentation by declaring, “We are the pro-life generation.”