Building a Culture of Life and Love

During October, Relevant Radio has teamed up with The Napa Institute and EWTN to promote the Rosary for Life, a daily Rosary prayed to end abortion and support all expectant mothers. Our prayers have had great effects on the legislation in this country and the Pro-Life movement is growing. John Morales of Morning Air believes that this is the generation that will make abortion unthinkable once and for all. In honor of Respect Life Month, he welcomed back Monsignor James Shea to talk about the effects of young adults on the pro-life generation in the United States.

Msgr. Shea began by expressing just how hopeful he was for the near future and the pro-life movement. He was born just a couple of years after the Roe v. Wade decision, and from a very young age, he was part of the campaign to make abortion illegal again. “There was a time when it was much [lonelier] to be a pro-life youth, but today, on a place like the campus of the University of Mary, those pro-life convictions are very common and indeed they would be predominant.” He went on to say that these pro-life groups based on college campuses across the country are being led by the best of our youth in efforts to change both policy and the hearts of our nation.

Since the inception of Roe v. Wade, over 63 million babies have been aborted in the United States, effectively decimating the population. Around 3.5 million people are born every year and an average of 1.34 million are aborted. As horrifying as those statistics are, we refuse to submit to the anti-life culture that permeates our society. Every year at the national March for Life in January, hundreds of thousands of people gather in Washington DC to speak out against the tragedy of abortion.

Msgr. Shea, who is the president of the University of Mary in North Dakota, has born witness to the explosive growth of the Pro-Life movement on his own campus, courtesy of the Collegians for Life. The largest areas of study at the University of Mary are their healthcare majors including Pre-Med, Nursing, and Physical Therapy. These students will be going on to work in hospitals and healthcare clinics, places where they can make a direct impact on health and life. Busloads of these students make their way to DC every January to participate in the March.

Msgr. Shea pointed out that the March for Life is never fueled by anger or bitterness. “And so, it’s a somber event, but it’s very prayerful. It’s not angry. You don’t have a whole lot of people rabble-rousing. The way that the media paints the Pro-Life movement is belied by the fact that there’s simply a very prayerful, joyful tone.” He added how encouraging it is to see that most of the participants at the march are teens and young adults. They are the future, and they are doing what must be done to preserve it. This revolution against abortion culture isn’t a movement motivated by retribution. It’s meant to serve as a beacon of light to bring people the truth and unite Americans under a culture of life and love.

Anybody who has been to the March for Life understands just what the Monsignor means about a joyful and prayerful tone. He recalled the story of the 2016 March for Life when a blizzard-caused accident gridlocked traffic on the Pennsylvania turnpike for almost 24 hours. Instead of worrying about their supplies, warmth, and when they would finally get moving again, the students of the University of Mary spread joy. They welcomed other stranded motorists onto their bus for food and drink, they sang songs, and they prayed together. They were even able to celebrate Mass. Msgr. Shea said that often, the mainstream media will ignore the March for Life or misrepresent it. With a feel-good story like that, they couldn’t! It made the front page of The New York Times.

“It reminded the students that being Pro-Life doesn’t mean raising your voice. It means investing deeply. It means being willing to sacrifice your own comfort and pay the price. And the very next year, we were asked to lead the March for Life.” Some of the motivation behind abortion comes from a place of self-servitude. People want to make sure that their lives aren’t inconvenienced by having to sacrifice their comforts and tendencies. The Pro-Life movement is founded on the idea that we are called to live lives of service, sacrifice, and love for others. There are no lives more innocent, more worthy of protection, or more deserving of our efforts than the lives of the unborn.

Listen to the full conversation below:

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John Hanretty serves as a Digital Media Producer for Relevant Radio®. He is a graduate of the Gupta College of Business at the University of Dallas. Besides being passionate about writing, his hobbies include drawing and digital design. You can read more of his daily articles at and on the Relevant Radio® app.