SPUC interns: "We learnt how crucial it is for everyone, especially young people, to be actively involved in the pro-life movement every day."
Posted by SPUC interns on 11 October 2016
Alejandro and Alanis leafleting in Preston
Meet the interns
We are Alejandro and Alanis, and we interned at the SPUC headquarters in London this August.
We come from very different backgrounds. One of us, Alanis, is a law student from a small town in green mid-Wales, and the other, Alejandro, is originally from the exotic country of Colombia and is currently going into the second year of A-levels.
We both feel an affinity for SPUC's holistic approach to pro-life issues and have a huge desire to be part of a movement which seeks to protect every single life from conception until natural death. Although we were always instinctively against the killing of the unborn, without proper information we were not always fully aware of the many dangers of the anti-life agenda. This is why the internship was so important and eye-opening for us.
What did we do?
Over the past 5 weeks, we have had the opportunity to take part in numerous pro-life activities and work, including participating in the "3 Days to Live" campaign, campaigning against a Polish Medical Centre where unborn babies are aborted, promoting SPUC's 50th Anniversary National Conference, preparing university student packs, pavement counselling outside an abortion centre, honing our debating skills and doing general administrative work.
During our internship, we were fortunate enough to travel to numerous places in the UK such as Preston, the Liverpool area and Reading. We were tasked with spreading the pro-life message. Our work involved raising awareness of the "3 Days to Live" campaign, which involved providing information and discussing issues relating to euthanasia with people on the streets. During our visits, we also did a lot of door-to-door canvassing with general pro-life information, as well as visiting numerous parishes with the aim of discussing and promoting the SPUC message.
Alanis and Alejandro with Rhoslyn, SPUC's Youth and Education Officer
The Polish medical centre
One focus of the internship was campaigning against a Polish Medical Centre where babies are killed through abortion and IVF. Most people in the area were completely unaware of the horrors which are occurring right on their doorstep. We were able to raise awareness through praying at a vigil outside the centre, giving out leaflets at Polish cafes and other places as well as door-to-door canvassing and speaking with the Polish community about the ways they can help to end abortion at the centre.
We learnt the different methods of pavement counselling by watching lectures, discussions and reading the works of Msgr Reilly and others. Being able to put our newly acquired skills into practice was incredibly rewarding. On Wednesday afternoons, we attempted to help women who were arriving and leaving the Marie Stopes abortion centre on Whitfield Street (central London) by using these methods of counselling.
Last but not least, we spent time doing general administration, practising how to debate pro-life issues and reading academic pro-life literature, which is essential groundwork for effectively promoting the pro-life cause. Every day, we spent an hour reading this literature on various issues, which was also supported by useful debate practice and discussions with SPUC staff Rhoslyn Thomas, Dr Anthony McCarthy and Peter Smith.
"It is crucial for young people to be actively involved in the pro-life movement every day"
We helped out with general mailing and other duties which are crucial for running the office. We also emailed and telephoned the university pro-life groups and chaplaincies in England, Scotland and Wales to enquire whether they would like to receive pro-life information packages for their freshers' fayres. Our internship has now ended, however it has been a most fruitful and rewarding experience. We have met so many inspiring, humorous, and highly motivated people. We have learnt how crucial it is for everyone, especially young people, to be actively involved in the pro-life movement every day.
Alanis plans to put her acquired skills and knowledge into practice by starting a pro-life society at university and her local parish in New Brighton. Alejandro will be organising pro-life vigils in his area and will also start a pro-life society when he goes to university.
Alejandro, Jenny (who interned earlier in the summer), a conference attendee and Alanis at the SPUC National Conference