More than 300 guests attended the 44th annual Morrison County Chapter of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL) pro-life dinner at the Falls Ballroom, Little Falls, Jan. 29. The theme for the dinner was, “Life is precious, handle with care” to emphasize MCCL’s belief that all human life is sacred and should be respected at all stages, from conception to natural death.
The Most Rev. Donald J. Kettler, bishop of the Diocese of St. Cloud, greeted the group. “The most important thing that we need is to make sure that we truly have that relationship with God,” Kettler told the group. “Nothing you can do that is against life because God is the creator of life.“
An intern for the state office of MCCL, Cailin Sullivan, told the group about three bills the office is working on to educate elected officials and citizens. The three bills are: A ban on taxpayer funded abortions, a requirement that abortion facilities be licensed and inspected, and a ban on abortion at the point the unborn child is capable of feeling pain (20 weeks).
The administrator of Father Pierz School of Religion, Julie LaFlamme, gave a presentation on the “Spiritual Adoption” program being used at the school. She highlighted the program and introduced students who presented their essays.
Emily Solinger, a senior and the daughter of Donna and Dave Solinger of Pierz, presented her pro-life essay. She talked about the stages of the baby’s development and the sacrifices and things mothers do for the life of their child.
In her essay, another Pierz senior, Magen Langer, daughter of Mark and Eileen Langer, told the stories about both Pope John Paul II and football star Tim Tebow. Their mothers, because of medical concerns, were told by their doctors that abortion would be their best option. Both refused the doctors’ advice to allow their sons to be born.
Essayist Kami Athman, the ninth-grade daughter of Lynn and Bill Athman of Pierz, explained why she was pro-life. She said life that cannot protect itself needs to be protected by others. “No life is greater than the next,” she said.
Krisandra Mielke from Randall was the guest speaker and told of her mother’s experience with an unplanned pregnancy and her own experience with loss.
Mielke said her experience helped her realize: “We are here to support women in all circumstances, whether planned like my family or unplanned like my mom’s.”
New baby items were collected at the dinner as part of the annual “Choose Life Drive” with items to be donated to Birthline for clients. Birthline provides individualized care and support to anyone facing a crisis pregnancy.
The pro-life dinner program will be televised on Little Falls Local Access Charter Channel 180. It will be broadcast Tuesday, Feb. 7, at 6 p.m.; Thursday, Feb. 8, at 9 p.m.; Tuesday, Feb. 14, at 8:30 a.m. and Thursday, Feb. 16, at 9 p.m. A video copy of the program and of programs from previous years are also available by contacting John Justin at (320) 632-6752.