The Gospel of Life
Evangelium vitae (The Gospel of Life) is the 1995 encyclical of St. Pope John Paul II, written to reaffirm church teaching around the value and sacredness of every human life. This month, our SMSA Ledgers for Life and Campus Ministry have taken special care to promote awareness of life’s sacredness. They have thoughtfully educated classmates about making choices that respect, protect, love and affirm the dignity of every human life. The church’s teachings regarding human life are at the heart of Jesus’ entire gospel message. We know that “life, especially human life, belongs only to God: for this reason whoever attacks human life, in some way attacks God himself” (EV 9). Not only does our Christian tradition teach us about the sanctity of life through the unborn and their right to life, but also by condemning practices like euthanasia and capital punishment. Pope Francis has ordered a revision of the Catechism of the Catholic Church to assert “the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person” and to commit the Church to working toward its abolition worldwide.
A year ago, our Ledgers for Life visited Washington DC and represented SMSA at the annual March for Life. Not only did they participate in the rally and its related events, but they also intentionally included time in their itinerary to honor fallen soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery and the National War memorials along the Mall that commemorate the sacrifices made in American wars. They also visited a Catholic food pantry serving vulnerable and homeless men and women, and the Holocaust Museum, which documents the effects of racism and genocide in many poignant and horrifying exhibits. Our students produced an impressive slideshow video presentation to share what they learned in our Nation’s Capitol last January. I am grateful for their love of life and one another. I am impressed with how they continue to share their faith in the dignity of all human life.
This month and all year long, our goal is to help our students grow in character and virtue. Understanding the sanctity of all life and all people is fundamental to our identity as Catholics and as Ledgers. I am grateful to our Ledgers for Life, their generous moderators and all who have shared their voice and talent to promote God’s greatest gift on the Ledge this January.
Our Lady of the Ledge, pray for us!
Be well, God bless.
Eamonn O’Keeffe, Principal Grades 9-12