Public invited to free Prayer Day event Wednesday, November 15

Jeanne Mancini speaking at the rally before the March for Life

BISMARCK, ND — To characterize Jeanne Mancini as the leader of the “pro-life generation” wouldn’t be overstating the influence she has on those million’s of young adults—ages 15 to 29—who have become the champions and the voices for the unborn and all who cherish the sanctity of life. She’d be the first to proudly say, however, that it’s each one of them, who has become the face of the movement over the years since she became president of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund in 2012—the small national organization committed to restoring a culture of life in the United States, most notably through the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. held on the anniversary of Roe v Wade.

Simply put, Mancini is their biggest cheerleader on a pro-life playing field that has many players—church organizations, clergy, religious groups, colleges across America, students at all levels and their parents, and many more. Many of them were present last January on the national stage at what many would regard as the largest, most successful and most powerful March for Life event in its history. Like she does every year, Mancini orchestrated it to perfection, from start to finish. Joining her were about a dozen special guests like Vice President Mike Pence and University of Mary student Katrina Gallic—all speaking at the pre-march rally on the mall of the Washington Monument, followed by the hundreds of thousands of them who marched down the streets of D.C. to the U.S. Supreme Court led by over 600 students from the University of Mary.

Now Mancini brings her own message of “Pray and Work: Building a Culture of Life,” to the free and very popular annual Prayer Day celebration, Wednesday, November 15. The event begins with a Prayer Breakfast at 8:30 a.m. in Chick’s Place, followed at 10 a.m. by Mancini’s keynote address in the adjacent and new Lumen Vitae University Center’s Founders Hall, on the University of Mary campus. The festivities conclude after the 11:30 a.m. Mass held in the beautiful Our Lady of the Annunciation Chapel.

National news outlets often call upon Mancini to offer expertise on the pro-life movement. She has made frequent media appearances including interviews on MSNBC, CNN, FOX, ABC, CBA and others. Jeanne’s writings have appeared in the New York Times, U.S. News and World Report, USA Today and she was interviewed by The Washington Post this past July, where she stated “I believe that everybody has inherent human dignity, from conception to natural death. And each person has the right to live out their unique mission. I can’t think of a more important social justice cause.” Reflecting on the contentiousness of the issue of abortion, Mancini goes on to say, “But you can’t back down because of fear, or what people think, or your reputation. You have to do what you know in your heart is right. How can you not?”

Gallic, now a senior at the University of Mary, represents the pro-life generation and was asked by Mancini to speak at last year’s event. Gallic accepted Mancini’s call and gave a powerful, heartfelt speech, lending enthusiasm, clarity and hope to their cause in front of hundreds of thousands people and on national TV—a special moment for Gallic that she’ll be forever grateful for.

“Before I left with the University of Mary students for D.C., I had a phone conversation with Jeanne Mancini about what to expect at the March and her advice on how to approach the speech,” said Gallic. “I could immediately recognize by speaking with her the depth of knowledge and vision with which she leads the March for Life. It’s often observed that the March for Life gets younger and younger every year. Every year more young people choose to take a stand for those in the womb who cannot. The pro-life generation is made visible to the world when each March for Life brings those youth—spread throughout the whole country—together in one place. Jeanne’s leadership of the March for Life is exemplified by the tone set at the March for Life, and further for the whole of the pro-life movement. The marchers are motivated by love for life and dedication to the truth. To set a tone like that in a crowd of almost 1 million people gathered around such an emotionally charged issue is no easy feat, and Jeanne, and her team, accomplish it year after year. People can expect to have an experience similar to mine when I met her: to encounter a woman on fire for life with the ability to bring the profound vision of establishing a culture of life into reality.”

In The Washington Post article, Mancini admits, there is more divisiveness in America. “And for folks like me, whose issues can be considered a little bit more contentious, there can be so much animosity directed towards us. Frankly, it’s a scary time to be a person that cares so much about this that you’re going to put your neck out. You kind of go back into your little cave because it’s gotten so ugly. That’s what really makes me cry, that you can’t even stand up for what you believe without being attacked for it anymore.”

But that is when Mancini has stood her ground the most—during those ugliest of times—and become the light of life, or “lumen vitae” in Latin, to so many who value the sanctity of life and especially these millions of young people that call themselves the pro-life generation.

“Every life is a gift,” Mancini adds. “Who am I to judge the value of this one’s life or that one’s? They could discover the cure for AIDS. They could be the first woman president.”

The 2017 Prayer Day event is free and open to the public. Those attending are strongly urged to register online by visiting www.umary.edu/prayerday, calling Ed Konieczka at (701) 355-8102, or emailing University Ministry at umin@umary.edu.