Food, Fun, and Courage!

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Photo: Matt Sande, PLW Legislative Director, Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt, Legislator of the Year, Dan Miller, PLW State Director, Sister Rosalia Bauer, FSPA (from left to right)

Over 100 people gathered in La Crosse Last Thursday, April 16, to celebrate three pro-life heroes who courageously live their convictions: Leif and Karen Arvidson and Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt. Laughter and lively conversations filled the room as attendees enjoyed drinks and a delicious meal.

The powerful keynote address, delivered by our very own State Director, Dan Miller, was interrupted by multiple rounds of applause, and our honorees ended the evening with stirring remarks of their own. A joyful and inspiring evening was had by all! We hope to see you next year!

Read La Crosse Tribune Coverage of the event here.

See photos from the event here.

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Our Biggest Auction Yet!

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We’re so excited to announce that Abby Johnson will be our speaker at Pro-Life Wisconsin’s 2015 Annual Auction Dinner, to be held at the beautiful Harley-Davidson Museum®!

If you don’t know Abby’s story, she is a former Planned Parenthood director who was deeply involved in promoting abortion… but who eventually had a profound conversion to the Gospel of Life!

Now an author, an international speaker, an adoptive parent, and the mother of a growing family, Abby is heavily involved in both helping women in crisis pregnancies and those who want to leave the abortion industry for good.

Save the date for this special event and invite a friend! Stay tuned for more exciting details!

Pro-Life Wisconsin’s 2015
Annual Auction Dinner

October 17, 2015
Harley-Davidson Museum®
400 W Canal Street
Milwaukee, WI 53201 

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Save the Date for the 2015 Awakening Hope Youth Retreat!

promoSave the date! The 2015 Awakening Hope Youth Retreat is coming coming up on July 24-26! This year’s extended overnight retreat will feature pro-life reflection, prayer, and FUN! The retreat will be held at the beautiful and scenic St. Vincent Pallotti Retreat Center in Elkhorn.

Awakening Hope is open to teens aged 13-17. Registration fee is $60 per person. Limited space available, so register early! Registration is due by May 4th. Contact Emma at escuglik@prolifewisconsin.org for more information.

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It’s Next Week! Don’t Wait!

registration_formOur 2015 Living Courage Awards Dinner is next week on Thursday, April 16, and seats are filling fast! If you’ve been delaying your registration, don’t wait any longer! You don’t want to miss this special event that honors passionate pro-life people that have the courage to live their convictions.

Join us in La Crosse for a night of food and inspiration as we show our appreciation for these dedicated pro-life leaders.

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Not Simply Preaching to the Choir

Much of the work that Pro-Life Wisconsin ETF does is to empower, strengthen, and support those who are already pro-life so that they in turn can evangelize the culture to respect all human life.  Ultimately, however, the goal is to change the hearts and minds of those who do not recognize the dignity of human life. Sometimes I am concerned that we are preaching to the choir or simply providing a community and nurturing those who are already pro-life. While this is good, people often ask if we do more to get the message out loud and clear to the audience who needs to hear it.  Isn’t this our ultimate goal after all? IT IS and we are doing more than ever to bring the good news of the Gospel of Life to a secular culture who is hungry to hear this message of compassion, joy and mercy.

The Holy Spirit prompts us when there are opportunities to spread the gospel of life, and that is exactly what happened to me at the Men of Christ Conference 2015. I attended the conference as one of the many vendor displays to encourage the men in attendance to actively live out their strong, life affirming beliefs through Pro-Life Wisconsin. Most of these men were already pro-life and knew about the education, legislation, and activism efforts of Pro-Life Wisconsin.

As I stood there handing out pens and encouraging these men to stay in touch with us through our newsletter, I noticed a young lady who was working as an usher for the venue, the Milwaukee Theater. Despite the crowds, she seemed a bit lonesome and bored.  She had been standing all day with nothing to do other than occasionally point someone in the direction of the restrooms. The Holy Spirit prompted me, “Reach out to her, give her a PLW pen and newsletter sign up form.” At first, I dismissed the idea, convincing myself that the reason I was there was to get men who were already pro-life to live out their beliefs. “Who knows if she is even pro-life, and if she isn’t then what if she gets upset with me?” I rationalized. I thought perhaps it would be better to avoid possible confrontation. Then the Holy Spirit nudged me again, “What is the mission of Pro-Life Wisconsin? What if this young lady simply needs an invitation? What if she is wrestling with her own beliefs on abortion, euthanasia, etc.?”

Finally, I took the simple step I knew the Holy Spirit was prompting me to do. I simply offered her a pen and newsletter sign up form.  She accepted it gratefully and then turned around to read our sign as if she had not even noticed it yet. She noticed that we were a pro-life organization and she immediately said, “I would never choose that for myself, but I’m pro-choice because I don’t think that I should make the decision for other women. What they want to do is their own business.” I engaged her briefly in conversation asking how, if she knew it would be a bad choice for her, she could support the choice to abort for someone else. She seemed to continue to ponder things as our conversation ended and she walked away.

Later in the day she approached the table again. This time she was a bit more joyful and happily announced, “I filled out your form to receive your newsletter.” She wanted to learn more about the good news of the Gospel of Life.

As the conference came to a close, I was one of the last vendor tables to pack up. As I began to put things away, she came around the corner eager to help me instead of just standing by idle. She helped me get everything in order, and we said good bye as if we had been friends for years.  The Holy Spirit had opened me up to extend an invitation to her, and in turn, she opened up to receive that invitation with joy. That day the Pro-Life Wisconsin’s outreach table’s only purpose may have been to reach out to this young lady and invite her to celebrate the dignity of every human life.  Even if this was the only heart and mind I was able to reach in that long Saturday, it was well worth it.

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Judge Rules Wisconsin Abortion Restriction Unconstitutional

planned_parenthood_wisconsin_ap_328On Friday, March 20, a federal judge declared a Wisconsin law requiring abortion doctors to get admitting privileges at a local hospital unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge William Conley, who earlier had put the law on hold, ruled that the 2013 law is unconstitutional. He issued a permanent injunction blocking its enforcement.

“The only reasonable conclusion is that the legislation was motivated by an improper purpose, namely to restrict the availability of abortion services in Wisconsin,” Conley wrote.

Read more about the decision here.

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Real Life Heroes: Meet Leif and Karen Arvidson

10456105_10203847757858244_8448083464345694337_nLeif and Karen Arvidson are passionate people. Whether serving the Church in Japan as missionaries, catechizing others, or praying outside an abortion clinic, they don’t do anything half way.

From the beginning of their marriage, which has been blessed with eight children, Mr. Arvidson and his wife, Karen, have been dedicated to the mission of the Catholic Church. Shortly after their marriage, they served for nearly two years as Catholic lay missionaries in Japan. Following their time overseas, the Arvidsons were very active in the Diocese of Madison, where they were involved in pro-life work, served at the local food pantry, facilitated Eucharistic adoration, prepared adults for the reception of the Sacraments of Christian Initiation, and helped couples prepared for celebration of the Sacrament of Marriage.

In 2010, Cardinal Raymond Burke named Leif Arvidson as the Executive Director of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Since then, the Shrine has become a focal point for pro-life activity in the La Crosse area, with many rallies, prayer vigils, and other events held at the Shrine’s beautiful Memorial to the Unborn.

In 2013, Leif and Karen made a discovery that left them saddened and angry. Karen, who was pregnant with the Arvidson’s eigth child, went to Franciscan-Mayo hospital in La Crosse for a routine 20-week ultrasound. The nurse on duty quickly noted that the ultrasound revealed a small hole in the baby’s heart—a symptom consistent with potential Down syndrome. When the Arvidson’s doctor entered the room, he explained the risks and quickly recommended an abortion. The Arvidsons were shocked and confused. Franciscan-Mayo was supposed to be a Catholic hospital. Why was a doctor at a Catholic hospital recommending they kill their own child? Later, the Arvidsons discovered that their doctor was actually an abortionist.

Thus began a multi-year journey of the Arvidsons leading a campaign to expose Franciscan-Mayo for employing a practicing abortion doctor. Protests were organize, media coverage exploded, meetings were held with hospital leadership, and the Bishop William Callhan of La Crosse weighed in—all due to the Arvidsons courageous efforts.

While the situation at Franciscan-Mayo is still developing, the Arvidsons have showed tremendous leadership in the La Crosse pro-life community, mobilizing many in their area to act on their pro-life convictions. Even more than their activism, however, the Arvidsons are a couple that has truly lived and embraced a culture of life, welcoming eight beautiful children into the world. Meet and celebrate this courageous couple at our Living Courage Awards Dinner on April 16 in La Crosse! Learn more about the dinner here.

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Celebrate 15 Years of Service!

inviteFor over 15 years, Peggy Hamill has served Pro-Life Wisconsin, first as a board member and then as State Director. It is no exaggeration to say that hundreds of lives have been saved due to her faithful work. Pro-Life Wisconsin would not have the impact we do today without her courageous leadership!

Now, we are celebrating Peggy’s legacy! Join us on Thursday, March 19, at the Country Springs Hotel in Waukesha to thank Peggy and wish her a happy retirement. The event begins at 6:30 p.m.

Heavy hors d’oeuvres and beverages will be served. RSVP by March 16. Call our office at 262-796-1111 ext 10!

If you wish to thank Peggy with a gift, she has requested that donations be made to the Hamill Love in Action Fund

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YOLO! Get your Pro-Life Wisconsin T-Shirts!

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It’s still a little cold out, but we are super excited to announce the launch of several new Pro-Life Wisconsin t-shirts! These fun shirts are designed to start conversations, send a life-affirming message, and help you look good at the same time!

There are four new designs:

1. “Life” - We aren’t just anti-abortion, we are PRO-life! Declare to the world that you stand for life with this colorful shirt.

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2. “Keep Calm and Choose Life” – This eye catching shirt plays off a popular meme, encouraging people to choose life for their babies!

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3. “YOLO” – YOLO means “you only live once.” Life is precious, and we only have one! This shirt encourages conversations about the value of each human life.

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4. “Love Life” - At Pro-Life Wisconsin, we love life. This trendy shirt declares it to the world!

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Order now!

Get your t-shirt for a donation of $15! To order, email Bonnie at office@prolifewisconsin.org with the design, size, and quantity you would like. You can also call 262-796-1111 ext. 10 to place an order.

 

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Honor Real Life Heroes at PLW’s Living Courage Awards Dinner!

registration_formYou are officially invited to the 2015 Living Courage Awards Dinner on April 16! Formerly known as the Spring Awards Dinner, this special event honors passionate pro-life people that have the courage to live their convictions.

This year, we are honoring three heroic pro-life activists, Leif and Karen Arvidson, our Activists of the Year, and Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt, our Legislator of the Year! Join us this April for a night of food and inspiration as we show our appreciation for these dedicated pro-life leaders.

Keynote Speaker: Dan Miller, PLW State Director

When: Thursday, April 16, 2015

5:30pm arrival and drinks
6:30pm Dinner

Where: Radisson Hotel, La Crosse
200 Harborview Plaza
La Crosse, WI 54601

Register Now Online!​

 

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