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CURRENT ISSUE:  January 20, 2014
VOL. 52, NO. 2   •   Oakland, CA
Other front page stories
World Day of the Sick:
Ill, caregivers recognized
by diocese on February 8
Youth-led pro-life group reaches out
Maria H. Lewis leads a pro-life ministry of young people.
Courtesy phoTOS

Maria H. Lewis believes "it's very important to talk to middle school students."

So important, in fact, that the founder of the Pro-Lifers of the Mystical Rose — a second-year college student herself — has launched "Be a Light," aimed at middle school students. She didn't just design the program, with guidance from area pastors, she led its inaugural meeting at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Brentwood on Jan. 9.

She invited local youth groups and middle school classes to an after-school meeting. Gathering in a classroom with half a dozen students who had answered her call, she was enthusiastic.

"I was so excited going in there," she said, "coming out even more."

The students responded well, she said, to her plan for prayer, followed by time in which the students would have the opportunity to express their concerns. They made a list of them for discussion.
Pro-Lifers of the
Mystical Rose




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When: Feb. 23, 2:30-5:30 p.m.

Where: St. Anne's of the Sunset, 850 Judah St., San Francisco

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"I realized there were so many things they don't know, but need to know," she said.

Her enthusiasm was shared by the middle-schoolers. "They wanted to come back, and bring their friends," she said.
The Brentwood group is the first of four she plans to start with. Students will meet monthly with a leader, and do projects twice a year. She has plans to take the program to the East Coast, and they don't stop there.

Lewis' organization, which she started Feb. 8, 2011, describes itself as a pro-life, youth-led organization.

Maria H. Lewis' program has been embraced by middle school students.
"I followed the great calling," she said. "It touched my heart that my fellow children were being killed every single day."

She shies away from taking credit for the movement. "It's all God," she said. "I just took one step forward."
Pro-lifers of the Mystical Rose give talks, counsel women and empower young people to action in the pro-life movement.

Topics for the talks include an introductory "What is Abortion? What is Life?" followed by "It Just Takes One Year to Save a Generation" and "Abortion and Politics," covering religious freedom issues.

Last August, the organization coordinated a conference in San Francisco. Plans are underway for the 2014 conference, which will be held in late September in San Francisco.

In the meantime, Pro-lifers of the Mystical Rose will be at the Walk for Life West Coast in San Francisco on Jan. 25. Its members will have a table at the Info Faire before the rally and walk. They will also participate in the walk. You'll recognize them by their distinctive dress.

The young women wear purple dresses; the young men wear black slacks, purple shirts and ties.

Purple, you might say, is their color. They mourn for the lost members of their generation. But they also have hope, that through efforts like theirs, abortion will end.

"With Christ the Light," she said, "there is always hope."

The three green leaves on their logo signify the Trinity, she said, and the rose is for "our mother Mary."

The counseling of women and men facing crisis pregnancies has touched Lewis' heart. "It breaks my heart to see these women and men facing these big crises in their lives," she said. Their pro-life approach is simple. "We're going to help you with absolute love," she said. "We can love them to love their baby into this world."

In developing the middle school program, she hopes to help young people from reaching crisis points in their own lives. As the students share the issues they face, she's hoping to give them the tools to defend their values.

This is an opportune time in their lives, she said. "Once they were innocent, and they get indoctrinated by society's evils," she said. "We want to preserve their innocence."

She wants her young students to know the right way is not just because parents say so, or their pastor says so, but because "we believe it ourselves."

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