Kathleen O’Neill’s Address To The Pro-Life Vigil 2008, St Andrew’s Cathedral

04Nov08

As mentioned in a previous post, 13 year old Kathleen O’Neill gave fantastic witness of her pro-life activities at school.  I think you will agree, she is a very remarkable girl:

Hello my name is Kathleen O’Neill and I am in 3rd year at St. Andrew’s Academy, Paisley.

I am part of the Paisley Pro-Life Group and as Angela said Kay Smith recently came to speak
to us. She told the group about the Pro Life Day of Silent Solidarity, an idea that started in America
but is gradually spreading further.

Could I lose my voice for a day for those who will never have one?

My brother Kieran, sister Hannah and myself were all really keen to take part and my mum wrote
to our schools for permission. Hannah’s school opted instead to say a Pro Life prayer which
was handed out to her classmates and added to their RE jotters, Hannah was asked to explain
Pro Life to her classmates and they had a discussion.
Kieran and I were delighted when our headteacher Mr Quinn said he thought it was a good idea and
gave us permission.
Unfortunately, the date clashed with Kieran’s work experience placement and this meant I would
have to do it myself!!!

I told all of my teachers in advance and they were all very supportive.

As far as I knew I was the only one in school taking part, this made me even more nervous.

However Stand True (the American organisers) sent me regular emails to help me prepare  for
the day. These included accounts from students who had taken part in previous years

amongst these were accounts from 16 students throughout America who all said that
classmates had not gone through with planned abortions having been made to realise
there was another life involved.

The night before the Silence they sent me another email, the last lines of which were

TODAY 4000 OF MY GENERATION WILL BE SILENCED, TODAY 4000 OF MY BROTHERS
AND SISTERS LIVES WILL BE ENDED SIMPLY BECAUSE OF THEIR AGE, TODAY I WILL
STAND UP AND SHARE MY DREAM, MY IDEA AND MY VISION FOR THE WORLD

this made me more determined, despite my nerves, to take part. 

Then the day arrived!!! The website had suggested wearing a red armband with LIFE printed on it
and when people asked what this was about I had flyers (supplied originally by Kay) to hand out.

I handed  these flyers out to my friends at school to remind them what I was doing, they were all
really supportive throughout the day and a few joined me during lunchtime. Other students came
up to ask what I was doing and I gave them flyers also, no-one gave me a hard time. A few
asked if I was “doing that mad silence thing”.

It was a really great experience taking part, I hope more people next year take part, I know I will.

I hope I made a difference, even if only one more person is Pro Life.



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