Pro-Family Conference promotes ‘culture of life’

By  Nicole Lau, Youth Speak News
  • September 28, 2007
{mosimage}More than 100 people filled the auditorium of Bishop Marrocco School for the 5th annual Pro-Family Conference Sept. 21-23.

The conference, sponsored by the Religious Family Institute of the Incarnate Word and St. Augustine of Canterbury parish, brought together clergy and religious communities, youth, children and young families as the conference focused on the value of the nuclear family.

Conference speakers included Natalie Hudson, director of the Right to Life Association of Toronto, Dr. Gabriela Alfonso, a medical professional and member of St. Augustine parish, and Lifesite online editor John Henry Weston. Their talks concentrated heavily on life issues such as abortion, euthanasia and embryonic stem cell research.

{sidebar id=2}The conference mandate was “empowering the pro-life generation to fight the culture of death.” Joanne McGarry, executive director of the Catholic Civil Rights League, said the culture of death is caused by a contraceptive mentality, giving autonomy the highest importance in a society that existed in community.

During the conference, Alfonso gave a detailed discussion of the pro-life and pro-choice ideologies. This gave the audience an opportunity to choose understand the two sides of the strongly polarised debate. She said it was important to seek an objective truth so as to promote and advise others of morally good actions, which leads one to choose the right side after careful consideration of both. She dissected both arguments chose pro-life.

Hudson explained the pro-life philosophical system called “Life Principles,” empowering her audience to find a suitable language to use when speaking about the personhood of the fetus and the unborn. Her emphasis was to find a philosophical foundation to argue on behalf of life issues.

She provided a compassionate and clear method of dissecting the issues at hand, showing how to present arguments rather than confusing semantics. She offered personal stories about how she handled situations of heated debate.

The speakers helped the audience uncover the facts about the culture of death and then provide an alternative — a pro-life mentality leading to a culture of life. Audience members seemed engaged in the  lectures and personally challenged to bring the truth to the world. There was a clear focus on empowering youth.

The participants were spiritually nourished throughout the weekend with Reconciliation, daily Mass and eucharistic adoration offered throughout the conference. Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins was on hand to celebrate the Sunday Mass.

(Lau, 19, is a history student at the University of Toronto.)

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