The Fourth Annual Bishop’s Pro-Life Banquet

On February 20, Bishop’s Annual Pro-Life Banquet will be held at the Bossier City Civic Center.

This year’s event is being organized by Bernadette Boyd, a Catholic volunteer who is a parishioner at the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans where she is also a catechism teacher for first graders and a lector. Bernadette is excited about the upcoming event, “It is an honor for me to be involved in Bishop Duca’s Pro-Life Banquet. I appreciate the volunteers, donors and parishes who have assisted in promoting the Pro-Life Banquet. Each of us can make a difference. My children’s pro-life t-shirts say it all in a simple, yet profound way: ‘Use your voice to save a voice.’”

The pro-life banquet has two main purposes, said Boyd. “First, awareness of the sanctity of life, is the most important. For this, we are asking for prayers, support and encouragement for everyone to be faithful in God’s love to respect human life, which is the creation of God.”

In order to spread this awareness, resources are needed including volunteers, funds, services, prayers and support. “Realistically, we need to raise money for practical purposes. We need funds to help those choosing life with the resources to sustain the life,” said Boyd.

Tickets for the event are $50 per person, or $400 for a table of eight. These funds are used in a variety of life affirming ways in the local community.
“It is important to have resources available to support others in their decision to respect life, whether it be a pregnant woman’s or a family needing help with an elderly family member,” said Boyd.

Funds raised from this event in the past have been used to pay for the cost of the bus for people from our diocese to attend the Louisiana Life March in Baton Rouge. These funds also assisted with the cost of the pro-life billboard along Kings Highway close to the Hope Medical Group for Women. Funds assisted the 40 Days for Life program by purchasing the yard signs for two years now.  Two people were also able to attend training sessions in Dallas for pro-life ministry and one person attended a pro-life event in Dallas with this funding. The banquet committee voted to give a donation to Catholic Charities’ Gabriel’s Closet as well, which provides much needed infant items for new mothers in need and their babies.

Funds are especially important this year, as Bishop Michael Duca has given the diocesan pro-life community space at the Catholic Center to begin the initial plans for a Pregnancy Help Center (PHC). He has asked members to develop a plan of action over the next several months.

“The PHC will be a beacon of hope and life in our city and diocese,” said Boyd.

Each year the banquet brings in a speaker who is active in pro-life ministry. This year, Bossier natives Shak and Robin Hill will share their story and how living pro-life affected their life paths. Shak and Robin have raised 46 foster children and have six children of their own. Robin faced a life and death situation for herself and her child during her second pregnancy.

“Their story is one that can only be told by them to give it the true justice it deserves. I hope that many will come hear for themselves their testimony and hopefully all will be inspired,” said Boyd.

There are many ways you can register for the event. Pick up a registration form at your local parish or the Catholic Center, cut out and mail in the form printed here, or download the form from the diocesan website (www.dioshpt.org).

For those who cannot attend, we still encourage you to support the banquet.  If you would like to sponsor a table and send others to attend, that is a great way to support pro-life ministry. Also, there is a need to sponsor the student volunteers who will help at the banquet for $50. Any monetary donation will be helpful, especially with the needs for the new Pregnancy Help Center. In particular, your prayers, support and encouragement are needed for the efforts of the pro-life ministry in our diocese. With your support, our goal is to have 500 attendees at the Banquet!

by Jessica Rinaudo, Editor

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