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Loyola Marymount student restarts pro-life group after Planned Parenthood fundraiser

Joe Bukuras By Joe Bukuras for CNA

Students, Jesuits, and faculty taking part in the rosary rally held on LMU's campus in response to the university's refusal to cancel the Women in Politics club's Planned Parenthood fundraiser. | Photo courtesy of Megan Glaudini

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Nov 6, 2021 / 17:26 pm (CNA).

When Loyola Marymount University student Megan Glaudini heard that her university was not stopping an on campus fundraiser for Planned Parenthood, she felt “convicted” that she needed to do something.

“Upon hearing about the Planned Parenthood fundraiser on campus, originally, I was just completely disgusted and embarrassed and, and disappointed that the university would allow this to happen,” she told CNA in a phone call Nov. 6.

“I took a while to kind of discern what I really wanted to do, what kind of action would even make a difference, and I really felt convicted and like I needed to do something,” she said.

That “something” turned out to be resurrecting the long time, inactive pro life group, and planning a rosary rally before the Planned Parenthood fundraiser.

After meeting with an official in the university and many meetings, phone calls, and emails with students, Glaudini decided, “two days before the event,” to resurrect the campus ministry’s VITA program.

VITA, a latin word meaning “life,” is the “respect life” student group at LMU.

Leading VITA along with her friend, Andrew DiCrisi, Glaudini planned a rosary on the corner of Lincoln and LMU Drive on campus.

Glaudini, a Junior theology major at LMU, told CNA the purpose of the rosary was to “emphasize the spreading of love.” Some groups on campus were making things political, she said, but her intent was to stand up for “human dignity and the right to life.”

“I just feel like it’s my job here on this earth and especially on this campus to uphold the dignity and the values of my faith,” she said. “And that’s exactly what I thought I would be doing if we created this group and we’re able to pray this rosary together.”

The student group, Women in Politics, hosted the fundraiser Nov. 5 in Roski Dining Hall. The club described the event on an online university calendar as “an opportunity for us to raise money for a cause we really care about and have fun at the same time!”

In a Nov. 3 statement, the university told CNA that it is neither sponsoring nor endorsing the event.

Glaudini’s rosary rally pulled in over 20 people including faculty, Jesuit priests on campus, and students.

She told CNA that “everyone was just very grateful that we had put this on because here on campus, it feels like the Catholic population is just diminishing and with that goes our values and our dignity.”

“The professors and some of the professional staff really told me how refreshed they felt after what we have created because they felt like Catholic students wouldn’t care on campus that this Planned Parenthood fundraiser was happening, but we proved them wrong,” she said.

Glaudini said that the students who took part in the rosary rally were “so thankful” that they found other people on campus with like-minded values.

After the on-campus fundraiser was originally announced, it triggered a petition drive by an organization called RenewLMU that called on University President Timothy Law Snyder to cancel the event, which he did not. The group describes itself as “an alliance of students, alumni, faculty, donors, and other LMU supporters who seek to strengthen LMU’s Catholic mission and identity.”

Loyola Marymount graduate Samantha Stephenson, who led the petition drive for RenewLMU, told CNA: “A Catholic university should honor and defend the principles of Catholic Social Teaching, at the heart of which is the principle of human dignity.”

The petition garnered approximately 1,800 people signatures as of Thursday afternoon.

The Catholic school’s fundraising event received a lot of media attention, to which the school responded on Friday before the event took place:

“The event being held this evening by Women in Politics, an independent student organization, is neither sponsored nor endorsed by LMU. The university does not support, nor does it fundraise, for Planned Parenthood. LMU regrets the concerns this situation has caused our community members and Catholic partners. The university remains firmly committed to its Catholic, Jesuit, and Marymount values. Moving forward, LMU is reexamining and revising its policies and practices regarding student-organized activities to ensure stronger alignment with our mission.”

In a statement published in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles newspaper, Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles responded to the event before it took place.

“I am deeply disappointed that this abortion fundraising event is going forward as scheduled, although I acknowledge the university’s statement that it does not support Planned Parenthood and its pledge to review its procedures for future events.”

“As I expressed in my conversations with Loyola Marymount officials, respect for the sanctity and dignity of all human life is central to Catholic identity and must be a core commitment in Catholic higher education. I am hopeful that the conversation we have begun will continue,” the archbishop continued.

In addition to attending the Los Angeles March For Life Jan. 22, Glaudini told CNA that she is making plans for the VITA club to be more active on campus and is interested in hosting more rosaries in the future.

Gualdini said she hopes to get a meeting with the President, Timothy Snyder, because she feels like “we’re due for a conversation.”

“But we have been thinking about throwing our own fundraiser for emergency pregnancy centers and also adoption centers, so that’s something that we’ve been talking about,” she said.

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  1. Kudos to Megan Glaudini and Andrew DiCrisi and co.
    “Disgusted, embarrassed and disappointed” about covers the response the university’s action and rationalization evokes.
    Good to see RenewLMU’s support and that of Abp. Gomez.

  2. From the very bottom of my heart, I thank you for defending these unborn CHILDREN. How sick I am of the betrayal of Catholics and especially supposed Catholic institutions to our Faith. The “we wash our hands of this event” by Loyola ranks up there with the denials heard in Nazi Germany after WWII. There will be a day when Our Dear Lord straightens all this out, and it can’t come too soon.

  3. It is now official that LMU – a ‘catholic’ university – has joined the ranks of the CINO.

    Congratulations to those brave students and others who said “NO” in such a nice way. and thanks to ArchBishop Gomez for using the phrase “abortion fundraising event”, IOW stating that which was clearly obvious.

  4. If Loyola Marymount University refuses to sponsor or endorse VITA’s pro-life rosary, the administration is failing in its Catholic identity. Saying that they do not support or fundraise for Planned Unparenthood, is disengenuous, as long as they allow Women in Politics to hold such a rally. Support for neither event doesn’t alleviate the responsibility of the University to promote Catholic values; rather, it’s a spineless way of not standing up for anything. Women in Politics likely should be scrapped from their campus, and the administration should stand up for the dignity and value of human life at all its stages. Planned Unparenthood is one group that is totally against everything the Church teaches.

  5. I’m disappointed in the Archbishop. His statement is weak, like the tip-toeing of the university around a student group supporting a secular, non-Catholic cause. In contrast, Megan and those who stood firmly with her exhibited such fortitude! Their witness to truth and love is so powerful and I am grateful to them for it.

  6. Bravo to those young people who organized, attended and stood up strong and proud for Life. In this day and age where Christianity has been weakened and overtaken by modernisim and atheism the support for Planned Parenthood at a Catholic University is disappointing, disheartening and contrary to all Catholic teachings and principals. The students who organized the VITA rally were the few that stood strong as true Catholics, not just in word but in deed as well. May they be blessed always.

  7. In a Catholic institutional context does “academic freedom” allow for the promotion of fraudulence — of sin, of murder — over and above the truths of the Holy Gospel? Loyola Marymount ripped itself from a Catholic context in all but name decades ago. Along with much of the rest of “Catholic” higher education it is mere artifice, a pitiful scandal.

  8. Who runs Catholic colleges and universities. It can’t be Catholics. What in Hell is the purpose of a Catholic school but to inculcate and promote the Catholic Faith and the attendant achievements of Western Civilization. Students and faculty who promote abortion have no place in a Catholic institution. Are these places so hard up for money?

    • Amen! Calling itself “Catholic” means nothing if it does not uphold LIFE as the most important value. I hope every high school student considering attending a Catholic college will become aware that Loyola U has vacated its sacred duty to promote ALL life, and choose another truly Catholic college. What has happened to the Jesuit Order in this part of the USA???

  9. LMU has “concerns” over the Aztec fundraiser. Pope Francis is greatly “concerned” over the synodal way in Germania, and Cardinal Kasper, who arguable started the whole thing (lead speaker at the Synod on the Family, with his notions compressed into Chapter 8 and the notorious fn. 351), now expresses his “concerns.”

    Concerning these concerns (!), what about this:

    “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching [expressing concerns?] them to obey all that I have commanded you” (Mt 28:19).

    You mean, the Beatitudes AND the Commandments, both? The hour is late. God bless those students who still understand the coherence of the discounted sacramental life. The mission of today’s Jesuit spirituality, what exactly is that?

  10. I cannot help but share in the pain felt by all of the Saintly and Holy Jesuits in that once great order. How and when did satn manage to highjack an entire Catholic Order?

    • Well rather like Lucifer, the intellectual conceit of many in the Society of Jesus led them to believe they were greater than God. But they are only half of the apostasy at this school, the Order of Marymount Sisters get at least half the credit here.

  11. Such sophistry and prevarication by LMU. (if you do not know definitions of these words, LMU, open your dictionaries) Having the pro-death group on campus is an endorsement, pure and simple.

  12. Interesting point from Thomas Ryder above.
    I looked up Marymount (probably a pre-LMU description) and it says it offers “a values-based education”. Doesn’t inspire confidence. They also have a high school. I wonder how “values-based” that is.
    Yes, let’s give some of the credit to the female side of things.

  13. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’LORD, WE WERE A CATHOLIC COLLEGE! REMEMBER US?! But, the Lord will say, I never knew you, depart from me.

  14. As a forty year veteran of the March for Life in Washington, my fondest moments have always been engaging young students from various universities in attendance asking them about their prophetic experience from the “lion’s den.” It’s always encouraging to me to see how enthusiastic they are to be given the responsibility by God to give witness. It’s a very infectious experience for me to encounter their enthusiasm. I’m sure these students at Loyola Marymount, despite their appropriate initial disgust, are appreciating this gift also.

  15. I will remember what LMU has done and will add to my will that any school that is Pro-Choice be removed from my book of Christian Life well done / unless they REPENT before my turn for ETERNAL LIFE comes.
    David Crow Cope

  16. The once great and mighty Jesuit order has been compromised for decades. JP2 had to confront the Superior General of the order about their activities. If I encounter a Jesuit (much like the Franciscans) I am guarded in my expectation of any kind of orthodoxy.

  17. Kudos to LMU student Megan Glaudini and her friends and supporters for their timely push-back against an on-campus fundraiser for the human abbatoir calling itself Planned Parenthood. The organization’s student apologists deserve an award for tone-deaf thoughtlessness, however, for coming up with the line about — what was that again? Oh, right. “raise money for a cause we really care about and have fun at the same time!” Can’t make that stuff up.

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