By Ashley Gilliam, Youth Programs Director
On Thursday, January 18th, Trinity and I hosted our annual Geaux Forth rally for Louisiana students traveling to DC for the National March for Life. Over 700 students from the Archdiocese of New Orleans, the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, the Diocese of Lafayette, and Haynes Academy joined together to be inspired, hear amazing testimonies, and get excited to March the next day.
We kicked off Geaux Forth with some energizing music from Vigil Project before hearing from our Keynote
speaker, Kila Gonzales. Kila founded the nonprofits I Will Carry You: Birth + Bereavement Doula Services and The Angel’s Gala after experiencing a pregnancy in which her daughter was diagnosed with a fetal anomaly. She continued with the pregnancy and was able to meet her daughter and hold her in her loving arms until she passed. Kila remembers her daughter as “pure and perfect and everything good in this world,” and is so grateful she chose life! Students were inspired by Kila’s decision to love and protect her daughter for as long as she could, despite the heartbreaking diagnosis.
After Kila shared her beautiful testimony, our MC’s, College Director Harlee Barbier and Louisiana Christian University student Elijah McGrew, re-energized the students with chants, prizes, and a very fun Bobbing for Binkies contest. Hagan Menard, representing the college students in attendance, won by a landslide. Better luck next year, high schoolers!
Trinity and I, the Youth Programs Directors for Baton Rouge and Southeast Louisiana, respectively, took center stage to share with students about Human Dignity and the culture of death they are facing in Louisiana. I clarified how life-affirming and hopeful our Human Life Protection Act is and how it protects both mothers and their children. I then addressed the reality of the chemical abortion pill crisis in Louisiana. Trinity shared her story of joining the pro-life movement after she discovered her sibling had been aborted and learned all about the pro-life movement at PULSE Leadership Institute, 2022. She also encouraged students to get involved and shared practical tips the high school students could use to be actively pro-life.
Overall, despite a few weather-related challenges, we had a wonderful Geaux Forth and helped to educate and empower the NOW generation of the pro-life movement. We closed out the program chanting with the students that…
I AM THE PRO-LIFE GENERATION!
YOU ARE THE PRO-LIFE GENERATION!
WE ARE THE PRO-LIFE GENERATION!!!