Youth hear, respond to the heartbeat of the unborn
Alex Lucas considered him- self your average Catholic high school student who was against abortion but did little to spread the pro-life message.
Then the rising senior at Brother Martin attended the Louisiana Right to Life Federa- tion’s Camp Joshua in April and learned specifics about the pro-life cause and how to defend it as a high school student.
He credits a Camp Joshua mentor, Cisco Gonzales, a 2013 Brother Martin graduate, as being the “dynamic force” who challenged him to better
organize the pro-life effort at his high school.
“Cisco made a difference,” Lucas said. “He understands abortion completely and can explain why it’s wrong. When he mentored me in a small group at Camp Joshua, he told us, ‘Now that you know about abortion, you need to do something about it ... Now that you understand it is wrong, you can’t sit idly by.’”
That’s when Lucas decided to get more involved. He became a member of Brother Martin’s Crusaders for Life club and worked with mod- erator Joshua Thomas and also participated in a peace rally at St. Stephen Church. The pro-life bug had hit, and he knew he wanted to do more. But, what?
After walking in the Born to Run race in May in Audubon Park to raise money for the Woman’s New Life Center, an idea hit him. He noticed few young people participat- ing. After thinking about this, he was inspired to orga- nize a “non-confrontational day of simple prayer” for teens June 12 outside of the Causeway Medical Clinic in Metairie where abortions are performed.
Lucas began promoting the 12-hour event before the sum- mer break. He created a flier at Brother Martin and sent it to 11 Catholic high schools and several churches and CYO directors.
“My aim was to have the hours filled by groups,” he said. “The role of teenagers this day is simply to pray – pray for those women and
men who consider abortion and for the unborn.”
During the day of prayer, groups from various high schools and several adults walked around the clinic. Adults also were present to of- fer counseling to women who go to the clinic considering abortion.
“My goal for this day was ... a desire to get high school students more involved in the pro-life movement as it is ‘the right thing to do,’” he said. “I believe that abortion can be abolished in our lifetime if the pro-life movement continues to gain momentum like it cur- rently is. Secondly, I aim to ... illustrate the power of young people. I want to show others that we high school students can make a difference in a big way and encourage others to do the same.”
A few vigilant warriors who often pray the rosary at the clinic applauded Lucas’prayer
day and the abundance of youth who participated.
“I think it’s fantastic,” said Rita Moschella, a parishioner of Divine Mercy Parish in Ken- ner who prays weekly at the clinic. “It’s the youth realizing that they have lost people their own age. If they don’t do something about it (who will)? ... It’s a powerful sign.”
Sarah Mathew, a parishioner of nearby St. Angela Merici Catholic Parish in Metairie, is part of a regular group of that prays at the clinic.
“The young know there is a baby inside (a woman’s womb),” Mathew said, adding that this perspective changes only when they get older and adults try to make them believe otherwise. She was in Seattle at a March for Life event when middle school students on a bus gave her a thumbs up.
“I believe for all the people (who come here for an abor- tion) who are hardened of heart, seeing young people here is so beautiful,” Mathew said. “I believe we should see more.”
Lucas said he was slated to appear in a story depicting him as a student activist in the sum- mer issue of St. Charles Avenue Magazine. He also attended the Joshua Leadership Institute June 28-July 2 to train other youth to help in the pro-life cause. He’s a member of the St. Rita, Harahan, CYO and part of the Be the Voice Night at the upcoming National Right to Life Convention in New Orleans July 9-11.