Letter to the editor


Portraits of students Neal Rylatt and Maximilian Von Arx are displayed at the January Life Breakfast as recipients of the White Rose Award.

Photo provided by Janine Schneider

On Jan. 17, two former students of Franciscan University were awarded The White Rose Award posthumously at the January Life Breakfast in Rockford, IL. The two students were Neal Rylatt and Maximilian Von Arx.

Rylatt attended Franciscan University in the Fall 2011 semester, before his relapse of Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) in October 2011, according to his bio. Rylatt passed away on May 4, 2012. In his time at Franciscan, he was actively involved with Students for Life, praying at the abortion clinic in Pittsburgh every Saturday.

Von Arx attended Franciscan University in the Fall 2017 semester. According to his bio, Von Arx paid weekly visits to the homeless men in downtown Pittsburgh while attending Franciscan. Von Arx passed away on October 20, 2017 in a hiking accident.

At the January Life Breakfast, the International Organization for the Family (IOF) began the first part of the program by reading “The Story of the White Rose,” a story depicting students from the University of Munich in 1941, who organized a resistance group called The White Rose to expose Nazi euthanasia program and tyranny against freedom, according to the document “The Story of the White Rose.” The leaders of this group were arrested and killed for their beliefs, dying a martyr’s death on February 22, 1943, according to the document.

The families of both Rylatt and Von Arx were presented a white rose and a certificate by the IOF.


Janine Schneider, friend of the Von Arx and Rylatt family

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