Confirmation project promotes pro-life cause

Emma Simmons, right, a confirmation student at Our Lady of Victory Parish in Davenport, stands with her sponsor, Lynn Olds. Emma designed the T-shirts the two are wearing as part of a confirmation project.

By Anne Marie Amacher

DAVENPORT — As part of a confirmation project, students and their sponsors were asked to find a way to use their gifts or talents that God has given them.

Instead of the usual volunteering at various sites, eighth-grader Emma Simmons and her sponsor, Lynn Olds, took a spiritual journey to send out a pro-life message.

The two Our Lady of Victory parishioners were discussing various topics together, even before the confirmation assignment came up, Olds said. One thing that was important to them was the pro-life issue.

Since the presidential election last November, Olds has been thinking of the conflict within herself regarding voting for President Obama and having a pro-life stance. “It was bothering me. I was looking for something to do and wrote letters and did did other things to support my pro-life stance,” she said.


At the same time, during a retreat, Emma reflected on the pro-life issue. “I hadn’t told her of my conflict,” Olds said. So when Emma wanted to do her confirmation project to benefit some pro-life activity, Olds was more than happy to consider it.

“We both have a pro-life calling.”

Emma often shares the story of her older sister being a teen mother — so she was familiar with the pro-life issue.

Together, Olds and Emma decided to raise money to fight the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) that could come forward in Congress. When they checked into how their money could help, they were encouraged to write in the postcard campaign, but their donations for postage were not needed, as it was already covered.

Emma decided to donate proceeds from a T-shirt sale to Birthright instead.

She used her artistic talents to design a white T-shirt with the word “pro-life” and baby footprints going across the shirt. The back side reads, “Women have a lot of rights, but not the right to end a life,” illustrated with the footprints.

During an event at John F. Kennedy Catholic School earlier this month, Emma and Olds sold more than a dozen shirts. They set up a display in the church and provided order blanks for T-shirt purchases this past weekend and next.

Olds and her husband are financing the cost of the shirts.

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