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UST Celts for Life Group Marches for Life in Austin

From left to right, front row: Sr. Mary Augustine, Sr. Angela, Sr. Marie Fidelis, Sr. Mary Vincent, Sr. Mary Monica, Sr. Maria Lan, Sr. Jennifer, Sr. Mary Peter, Caroline Berrios (UST Admissions counselor), Sr. Mary, Sr. Teresa Catherine, Sr. Theresa Chau (Theology professor)  Middle row: Margaret and Jennifer Edozie, Vy Nguyen, Janelle Le, Rose Bujard, Maria Fernanda Ricaud, Dorothea Jacoby, Grace Ringen, Michaella Maniscalo, Diana Struve, Madeline Hill, Abigail Bielstein (Campus ministry), Sr. Catherine Thuy  Back row: Ethan Vaughn, Patrick Gunning (Campus ministry), Patrick Vaughn, Sebastian Delgado, Cody Groff, Chiara Le, Eric Bergman, and Dr. Christopher Wolfe (Political Science professor) On Saturday, Jan. 22, twenty-two pilgrims, including students, staff and professors, represented the University of St. Thomas at Austin's Texas Rally for Life. There, UST's pro-life club, Celts for Life (CFL), was joined by others, including many alumni and fellow Celts, to give a powerful pro-life witness at our State Capitol. Marking the day was radiant sunshine and blue skies, and some marchers saw it as a symbolic extension of their brimming joy and hope in the power of truth and love in building a culture of life.

Now is a Crucial Moment in the History of the Pro-life Movement

CFL Faculty Advisor Theresa (Chau) Nguyen said, "Even though CFL was not able to attend the March for Life in Washington, D.C., this year (as in previous years), this was the year to be present at our State Capitol. We were looking back in thanksgiving in 2021, a year of great achievement in pro-life legislation in Texas, and looking forward to a post-Roe world. Now is the crucial moment in the history of the pro-life movement, the decisive hour to make our presence and our voices heard. CFL stands for the dignity and sacredness of every human life. Life matters; every life is precious."

Celts for Life Lecture Series Prior to the March

CFL President, Madeline Hill, described the lecture series Celts for Life hosted in the weeks preceding the rally, educating their peers on the many aspects of being pro-life.

"Celts for Life spent this past November preparing for the march with a newly formatted lecture series," Hill said.

The series included the following:

  • Grace Ringen, CFL vice president, gave her pro-life testimony, which touched on her family's adoption story.
  • George Sepe, an education associate with Texas Right to Life, discussed the legal history of abortion.
  • UST Theology Professor Randy Smith spoke on practical tips in pro-life conversations.
  • Dr. Mario Enzler, dean of the Cameron School of Business, inspired with a lecture entitled Dignity of Life.

Finally, the night before the March, Campus Ministry led us in a beautiful and fruitful night of prayer and reflection,” Hill continued. “I am proud to say that the Celts were marching in Austin with intention and joy!"

UST Marchers’ Reflections

In reflection, marcher Ringen noted, "I'm so thankful for the opportunity to have represented our University at the March for Life in Austin. 2021 has been a monumental year for our state, with the passing of the heartbeat bill saving the lives of 100 babies every day! I am proud to be part of a pro-life Texas and the pro-life generation."

CFL treasurer, Chiara Le, reflects on the role of prayer and action at the march. "Prayer--especially the Rosary--is a guaranteed powerful spiritual weapon against abortion, but it's not enough on its own. We must also take action and be witnesses of love for mothers, fathers and children, and that's why we did both at the 2022 Austin March for Life!"

CFL Pro-Life Works, Scholarships for Pregnant Students to Stay in School

Among various pro-life works such as praying peacefully outside of Planned Parenthood and hosting speakers on life issues every two weeks throughout the academic year, the club also forms its members in pro-life compassionate communication skills and seeks out opportunities to help others. One particularly impactful grassroots initiative is CFL’s Pregnant and Parenting Student Scholarship, offered to students at UST who have chosen life for their children. No one should have to choose between their education and child, and CFL has helped lighten their financial load with $17,000 awarded to UST students over the past four years. Applications for those scholarships are now open, and CFL welcomes donations toward the scholarships.  Email ustceltsforlife@gmail.com