For over 40 years, the first week of October has been a week of celebrating PRO-LIFE at DuBois Central Catholic. When you mention PRO-LIFE, you automatically think of the unborn. However, as Mrs. Becky Dutra, instructor of Theology and Campus Ministry Director likes to point out, PRO-LIFE is from “womb to tomb”.
Highlights of this years’ PRO-LIFE week included an All School Mass on Wednesday with Fr. David Whiteford and visiting priest, Fr. Michael Polinek, Vocations Director for the Erie Diocese, parents and alum. Fr. Polinek shared with everyone his experience as a young seminarian praying with others outside of a Planned Parenthood facility. Fr. Polinek witnessed a female college student give counsel to a pregnant woman that was about to enter. The counselor was giving her other options, but she wasn’t in the mood for a conversation. The student said to her as she was walking in, “Just give your baby a name.” Five minutes later the pregnant woman came out and approached the student. We thought there was going to be an altercation. Then they began laughing, then hugging! Fr. Polinek and the others praying had no idea what was happening. The female college student came over to Fr. Polinek and the other seminarians and explained the situation. It turns out the pregnant woman heard “Just give your baby a name.”, which took her back to her childhood where she remembered what she would name her baby when she became a mom.
Thursday, Campus Ministry hosted a luncheon for DCC Student Council members and new students in the high school. This annual event is held during Pro-Life week because it is one more way of supporting the well-being of the students in seeing how the school year is going overall and to make sure new students to DCC feel welcome and at home.
Seniors then put their faith and their theology curriculum in action by starting their weekly visits to the residents at Christ the King Manor. The students have the opportunity to establish friendships with the residents and to learn from them about history, relationships, and life. Past experience has proven that the weekly visits create connections with the residents who look forward to seeing their young friends each week. Everyone benefits from this experience that profoundly reminds students of the importance of the dignity of all human life.
DCC alum, Chris Tarcson, President of the DuBois Chapter of Citizens Concerned for Human Life spoke to students reminding them that they are considered the Pro-Life Generation. When speaking with someone who had an abortion or considering one remember to pay attention to the life of the baby because every child is unique; think about the Mother and what is bringing her to even consider abortion, for instance, too young and inexperienced to care for a child, cost. He reminded everyone that we all are called to be Christ to her. Lastly, he reminded everyone that no one is beyond redemption. God’s mercy is what redeems us.
The week ended in a retreat with National Evangelization Teams Ministries or NET. The mission of NET is to challenge young Catholics to love Christ and embrace the life of the Church. Teams of 10 to 12 young adults, from all over the country, Canada and Spain dedicate one year of their lives to traveling around the US to put on retreats for high school and middle school aged youth. The retreats consist of talks, dramas, games, small groups, and prayer. Sophia Ocana Delgado from Barcelona Spain reminded the students the importance of Prayer, Sacraments, Fellowship, and Service. Ocana Delgado said, “Be the image of God; the light in the dark.”
At the end of the day students had the opportunity to go on stage and share their thoughts with their peers. Sophomore Erich Lee said, “Basically, we went over very good points. We have Mass, Theology class and we don’t take time to appreciate it. This has been a good experience.” Senior, Gabriella Delzangle said, “God is here for us all the time. You can see God in everyone, even if you are not the best of friends with someone. Everyone matters!”
As headmaster, Mrs. Gretchen Caruso has often said, “Every parent should expect, from whatever school their child attends, an excellent education. DuBois Central Catholic offers a top-notch education and so much more. We offer faith, values, morals and want our kids to be the best version of themselves as God created them.”