It’s a rare feat when the entire student body of a high school belongs to a club exclusively dedicated to defending unborn human life and supporting mothers. Yet since 2018, that’s exactly what has been happening at Chesterton Academy. A private Catholic high school in Mt. Angel, Chesterton Academy’s Students for Life club is as old as the school itself.
“Being pro-life is at the heart of Chesterton Academy, its community, its curriculum and its vision,” says senior Kristi Lange. “The pro-life club naturally flows out of what Chesterton Academy is as a school and who the members of its community are.”
Lange serves as the club’s president, presiding over monthly lunchtime meetings with her schoolmates. Members participate in apologetics training, prayer weeks, Life Chain (see page 2) and March for Life events, sidewalk counseling at Planned Parenthood and family-based game times together. Students also come to Oregon Right to Life’s Launch training and enter its student contests (see page 5), often winning or placing in multiple categories.
“In 2020, Chesterton Academy led the Oregon March for Life and I spoke at the March, encouraging all youth to stand strong as members of the pro-life generation,” Lange says. “Our club held signs during the speeches, helped direct traffic and led the front of the March by carrying the banner.”
That consistent witness comes from a deep conviction that faith belongs in every arena of life, including reproduction. “Our primary goal is to build up a culture of life in which the sacredness and dignity of the human person is protected and enhanced from conception to natural death, and the way we accomplish this goal is by being joyfully Catholic,” she explains.
The goal isn’t merely social, either. Lange and the rest of Chesterton Academy’s pro-life club members are aiming for lifelong advocacy on behalf of Oregon’s most vulnerable members.
“Being a pro-life advocate will create a culture of life in which the sacredness and dignity of all life is protected and fought for,” Lange says. “We have a responsibility to fight for the rights of our preborn brothers and sisters, offering ourselves as servants of God to protect women in crisis and ensure them that they are worthy of motherhood and that their children are worthy of life.”