The Notre Dame Office of Life and Human Dignity at the McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame has partnered with the Sisters of Life to produce an original, 12-part video series designed to educate and inform participants on how to accompany a woman experiencing the uncertainty and fear of unexpected pregnancy. “Into Life: Love Changes Everything” is produced by CampCampo Films and is the first free resource of its kind.
Jess Keating, program director of the Office of Life and Human Dignity, sees the series as an invaluable formation tool for pastoral leaders and hopes that it brings viewers into the Sisters of Life’s approach to working with vulnerable populations.
“Participants in this course can expect to be introduced to the theological framework used by the Sisters of Life in their ministry to pregnant women, have the opportunity to pray and reflect on how a spirituality of life is manifest in their own lives, and discover what it truly means to walk with a woman through an unexpected pregnancy,” said Keating. “The goals of the program are to cultivate and deepen a spirituality of life, to learn about the heart of the pregnant woman — her fears and her hopes — and to develop practical pastoral skills for effective listening and accompaniment.”
“Into Life” features more than 100 minutes of in-depth interviews with various members of the Sisters of Life. The series consists of 12 videos, personal reflection questions and group discussion questions. Although the program is designed to be completed in small in-person groups over the course of 12 weeks, it can be adapted to a wide variety of formats, including self-paced personal use. Each session is divided into three parts: viewing the video content, personal reflection and group discussion. Opening and closing prayers are also included. All session materials are included in the Facilitator Guide and Participant Guide.
Keating noted that the political weaponization of pregnant women has led to deeply harmful misconceptions that she hopes this series can address through dialogue and authentic relationships.
“What if we could take a step back and think about ‘pro-life’ in a different way? This program invites participants into a new vision of pro-life ministry, one grounded not in slogans, but in intentional accompaniment,” said Keating. “Rooted in the wisdom of the Sisters of Life, this series introduces participants to new ideas for building a culture of life and solidarity, offers the opportunity for prayer and reflection, and develops and refines skills for accompanying women through an unexpected pregnancy.”
The series explores the spiritual foundations of accompanying a woman into life, a contemplation of God’s presence in reality and the power of prayer. Later videos address themes of vulnerability, hope, fear and rejoicing in the mother. It places emphasis on being present to the woman and listening her into life as a practiced skill, touching upon the reality of healing after an abortion and motherhood through adoption.
“‘Into Life’ is truly for everyone,” said Sister Marie Veritas of the Sisters of Life. “Our hope is that every person who watches it will come to know deeply that their life is a gift, that they are good, made in God’s image, and that their life has profound meaning and worth. It is meant to be not only a resource for pro-life work, but for the whole scope of human relationships — because it’s ultimately about upholding each other, about listening and accompaniment, and about affirming the other in their goodness and worth. It’s about seeing and loving in truth. When we know we’re loved, we can soar.”
While the series was designed by and features the Sisters of Life, a Catholic religious order, and elaborates themes in Catholic teaching, practice and spirituality, participants from various religious backgrounds and affiliations are welcome and encouraged to engage with its resources.
According to Keating, “Even in a post-Roe world, there will continue to be women who experience unexpected pregnancies, who need authentic relationships, genuine dialogue, and intentional accompaniment. Even in a society where the dignity of the prenatal child is recognized and legally upheld, and women and children receive ample support, there will still be the need for loving, personal concern.”
The series can be accessed on the “Into Life” website.
Contact: Brett Robinson, director of communications, McGrath Institute for Church Life, 574-631-6109, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally published by mcgrath.nd.edu on March 25.at