Sunday, April 29, 2012

LifeSiteNews Gala 2012 -- the pro-life media enthusiast perspective

Lyle & Kathy Vestermark with John-Henry Westen
I have to admit it, I'm a pro-life media enthusiast. I am in awe of all the people who step out of the comfort zone to take up the guidon of the pro-life cause.They are heroes in their own right, defending and protecting the dignity of the human person, the sanctity of life, and exposing all who through their action or inaction continue the culture of death in our society.

Last night, I got to be among those heroes of the pro-life movement at the 1st Annual LifeSiteNews.com Gala at the Hilton Washington Dulles Hotel. This Gala was in celebration of their 15th year of providing truth about pro-life issues; things no one wants to talk about in the secular media.

Hosting the event were the co-founders of LifeSiteNews.com, John-Henry Westen and Steve Jalsevac. Others in attendance were, Abby Johnson, author of Unplanned, who gave the key note address; Thomas Peters of CatholicVote.org, and American Papist blog; Fr. Peter West from Human Life International; Michael O'Brien, Catholic essayist, novelist and painter; Dr. John Bruchalski, pro-life OB/GYNand founder of Tepeyac Family Center ; Judy Brown from American Life League; Deal Hudson from Crisis Magazinhttp://www.crisismagazine.com/e; Bradley Mattes from Life Issues Institute; I could go on and on. There were so many influential operatives of the pro-life effort in one place; I was simply beside myself.

But, imagine my surprise when we approached our table to find that John-Henry Westen, his lovely wife, Diane, and their 8 month old son were sitting with us! I almost fell off my chair. It was like backstage tickets to a rock concert! As we introduced ourselves, after I regained the ability to speak and lifted my jaw back into proper alignment with the rest of my skull, I told John-Henry that I was employed by Catholic Distance University.

His response: "You must know my sister, Miriam."

I was pleasantly stunned, again. "Of course, I know Miriam. We were in classes together. She and I still talk on Facebook and occasionally in the online campus at CDU!"

If I haven't admitted to this before on the blog, I will right now. I am lousy with names. I try diligently to remember something about a person that will help me hold onto their name. But try as I may, it's futile. If I don't have regular contact with a person, their name goes right out of my head. It's a curse. Especially for me, "a people person"!

How could I have not made that connection between Miriam and John-Henry before? I was mortified. But, hey...I was still having a conversation with someone whom I admire as a pro-life leader and writer. I draw upon the work of LifeSiteNews journalists constantly. They are my mentors -- to me, the little guy in the trenches of the blogosphere trying to touch a few hearts at a time with Catholic teaching on the dignity and sanctity of human life.

After the evening ended and I had shaken hands with Abby Johnson, had a hearty conversation with Deal Hudson, and enjoyed the company of John-Henry and his wife, my husband and I, along with our friends, Julie and Matt O'Donnell, headed to our car to make the arduous 5 min. trip home. (We were so fortunate to have this event right in our own back yard.) We were all blown away by the powerhouse presence at this event. I kept remarking about how fortunate I felt to be able to support such an amazing organization and to be in the same room with these giants of pro-life media.

Every good non-profit media organization, especially one that is despised among the secular media, needs to rely on support of its readership . Deal Hudson made an appeal to all of us in attendance to help beyond just the purchase of tickets to attend the event. Lyle and I made our pledge to LifeSiteNews.com because we depend on them to offer the truth about pro-life issues with Jesus at the heart of their efforts. Will you please join us in our support of this invaluable media outlet? To support LifeSiteNews.com, please click here to visit their website and see options for giving.

I still really haven't come down from my cloud. It was such an awe inspiring experience to meet the people I idolize in pro-life media, and hear Abby Johnson speak. I may just float on the delight of this experience for a good long while.
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4/30/12 **Updated to correct the name of LSN co-founder --  Steve Jalsevac, I mistakenly wrote his son's name instead.**


2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just a minor correction - Lifesite news was founded by John-Henry and STEVE Jalsevac, not his son (and editor) John. Cheers.

Kathy said...

Thank you. I have updated the piece.

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