Students for Life of America founder Kristan Hawkins to headline Midwest March for Life, Feb. 2 in Jefferson City


Kristan Hawkins, founder and president of Students for Life of America, will be the featured speaker at this year’s Midwest March for Life on Saturday, Feb. 2, in Jefferson City.

The author of Courageous: Students Abolishing Abortion in this Lifetime will speak at a rally in the State Capitol and will lead a pro-life afternoon summit for young people in sixth grade through college.

Activities are scheduled from 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m.

People are encouraged to take part in any or all of them.

Thirty life-affirming booths and vendors will be open from 7:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Selinger Catholic Hospitality Centre at St. Peter Church, 216 Broadway St. across from the Capitol.

A pre-march rally will be held outside the Selinger Centre at 9:30 a.m., followed by a pro-life march from there through downtown Jefferson City to the Capitol.

Speakers at the pre-rally will include:

•Zina Hackworth, founder of “More Rebellious Members,” a pro-life outreach to African American pastors, and of “This Race Will Self-Destruct,” which raises awareness about abortion and HIV/AIDS in the African American community;

•Mary Lovee Varni, Program Manager of the St. Louis archdiocese’s Respect Life Apostolate; and

•Kai Fowler of the Pregnancy Help Center of Central Missouri.

Father Paul Clark, moderator for pro-life ministry for the Jefferson City diocese, will lead the opening prayer and bless the processional cross.

Priests, deacons and religious will lead the march, accompanied by an honor guard of Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus.

The rally featuring Mrs. Hawkins’ presentation on the march’s theme, “Always Vigilant,” will start at 10:45 a.m. in the Capitol Rotunda.

Other speakers will include:

•Diane Vaughan RN, regional manager of ThriVe, a pregnancy resource center in St. Louis.

•Gunther F. Skaletz, a member of Our Lady of the Lake parish in Lake Ozark, who spent time in Nazi and Soviet internment camps during and after World War II; and

•Chuck and Linda Raymond of Silent No More Awareness, addressing remorse and redemption after abortion.

The Komaromi and Galbraith families of Jefferson City will sing at the rally, accompanied by accomplished pianist, state Rep. Hannah Kelley of Mountain Grove.

The LIFE Runners Jefferson City area chapters will be honored as the 2018 LIFE Runners Chapters of the Year.

They include Jefferson City, Blair Oaks (Wardsville), Helias Catholic High School, Immaculate Conception School, Jefferson City High School, St. Joseph Cathedral School, St. Martin School (St. Martins), St. Peter Interparish School, St. Stanislaus (Wardsville) and Thomas Jefferson Middle School chapters.

Starting at noon, lunch prepared by Knights of Columbus Precious Blood Council 4454 in Fulton will be available for a nominal price in the Selinger Centre Exhibit Hall.

The student seminar, “Joining the Pro-Life Generation,” will be held from 1 to 2:45 p.m. in lower level of the Selinger Centre.

Registration is required for the youth seminar so that enough materials are on hand. Call (573) 340-8444 to register.

Father Joseph S. Corel, pastor of St. Andrew parish in Holts Summit and vicar for prison ministry in the diocese, will celebrate a Mass for Life at 3 p.m. in St. Peter Church, closing the day’s activities.


Generational shift

Mrs. Hawkins got involved in pro-life activism on campus while studying at Bethany College.

She served at the Republican National Committee and then in the Department of Health and Human Services during President George W. Bush’s administration.

She was recruited to lead Students for Life in 2006.

The organization gives a voice to a generation of increasingly pro-life young people who are the direct targets of today’s abortion industry.

She and her staff have helped Students for Life of  America grow to more than 1,200 chapters, with a presence in all 50 states.

She has been interviewed over numerous media outlets and regularly speaks at pro-life conventions and events across the United States.

She and her husband have four children.

This will be the ninth annual Midwest March for Life in Jefferson City.

Dr. Gregory Thompson of St. Peter parish in Marshall organized the first march in 2011 when he realized that most people were not able to travel to Washington D.C. for the national March for Life.

He handed the event over to Mike and Kathy Forck, members of St. Andrew parish in Holts Summit and directors of the 40 Days for Life Campaign in Columbia.

Annual attendance continues to grow, with people of all ages traveling to Jefferson City from throughout the state and even from neighboring states.