New program aims to train students in pro-life apologetics

BY LAUREN RAMSEYER
Staff Writer

“Many people here on campus want to be pro-life,” said Grace Daigler during her talk on pro-life apologetics on Sunday. “But I think it is really hard for a lot of us to have discussions about it with people who don’t share our views.”

Daigler has begun a new program entitled Equip to Engage that is a new Works of Mercy outreach through Students for Life to train and teach people how to defend life through effective intellectual discussions.

Daigler’s talk titled, “Crash Course on Pro-Life Apologetics 101,” was a one-time event covering the basics of holding a conversation with a pro-choice proponent.

“I want people to be able to have discussions with people who do not share their views (on abortion) effectively and to not be afraid to share their views,” said Daigler. “Before I trained … I was really eager to have conversations but I felt like when I talked to people, they didn’t always understand where I was coming from, or I was afraid to turn them off from the message.”

Daigler continued to say that students at Franciscan University do not have many opportunities to practice debating and discussing abortion because the majority of students and faculty share the same pro-life view.

“I think it would be a shame and a disservice for Franciscan (students) to graduate from this really pro-life college and not know how to talk about abortion.”

She laid out principle stances of the pro-abortion proponents, simple response steps, questions to ask and how to approach someone who may have seemed unapproachable at first.

During the talk, Daigler also said that Catholic pro-life individuals are representing Christ to the secular world and as such it is their duty to be as well educated on matters of the faith as possible.

When speaking on abortion, Daigler said that it was “the most important human rights issue of our day” and that it is up to her generation to end the legalization of murder in America. She encouraged students of Franciscan to learn how they can make an impact and talk to people about their faith, especially concerning abortion.

“I didn’t know how to talk to people about (abortion), especially people who were pro-choice,” said Jenny Sullivan, student and attendee of the talk. “It is something that I very strongly believe in, and I definitely want to keep going to other (Equip to Engage) events so I can learn and become more confident.”

Daigler also encouraged people to come to their weekly training sessions that take place every Sunday in the St. Leo Room in the J.C. Williams Center from 1 to 2:15 p.m. This time is set aside to practice talking to “pro-choice” advocates in role playing activities and is concluded by praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet.

Another event scheduled by the Equip to Engage program is their media outreach section on Thursday, Jan. 30, from 7 to 8 p.m. in the St. Leo Room. The evening is scheduled to create blogs and other media materials to spread the pro-life stance and beliefs as well as hone the attendees’ knowledge on the Church’s teachings on abortion.

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