Pictured with the Archbishop Cordileone are grand prize winners, from left, Julienne Rose Cancio, grades nine-12, Immaculate Conception Academy; Aliyah Passion, grades three-four, Holy Angels; Mia Fuentes, grades one-two; Shylah Doyle, grades five-six, Nativity; Scott Bell, grades seven-eight, St. Isabella.

This issue of Catholic San Francisco has a story from Vicki Evans, Respect Life Coordinator for the Archdiocese, who has been with the Walk for Life West Coast since day one:

With the launch of the Respect Life Program’s “Options United for Life: Northern California Pregnancy Resource Collaborative Network” last October, it seemed appropriate to raise awareness about these lifesaving pregnancy centers in schools and parishes. So the theme of this year’s 29th Annual Archdiocesan Respect Life Essay Contest highlighted pro-life pregnancy centers and clinics in their performance of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. 

Even young children sense that when a mom is expecting a new baby, she needs extra help.

Our first and second graders wrote about different ways to offer this special help: When a pregnant mom without close family or friends feels alone or afraid, even more help and support may be needed.

Third and fourth graders wrote about additional ways to help these women in need, maybe with the parish-based Gabriel Project in mind.

Fifth and sixth graders tackled the subject of adoption and how generous it is for a woman who feels she cannot raise her baby to give the gift of life to the baby, and the gift of the baby to adoptive parents yearning for a child.

Seventh and eighth graders delved deeper into what a crisis pregnancy center or clinic does and how its staff puts the corporal and spiritual works of mercy into practice in very tangible ways.

Finally, high school students analyzed the Reproductive FACT Act, which forces pro-life pregnancy centers in California to promote and refer for abortion, even when the performance of abortion contradicts the center’s core message about the sanctity of human life. This issue is very timely given that the Supreme Court will be considering the constitutionality of California’s law this year.”

We’ll publish the essays as soon as they are available!