Reprinted from the California Catholic Daily website (www.cal-catholic.com) – June 7, 2016 –
“The vocation of the Carmelite life is loving service to
God’s people overflowing from our prayer.”
Vox Vitae is a new Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to educating people to be a voice for life. Vox Vitae’s inaugural event is a five-day summer camp, August 1-5, at St. Therese Catholic Church and St. Joseph Campus in Alhambra.
Catherine Contreras, president of Vox Vitae, says that “a primary goal of Vox Vitae is to instill in the youth the knowledge of how precious they are because they are created in the image of God. With this confidence they will be able to handle societal pressures and embrace the culture of life. I have met so many Catholic youth who want to do their part to end abortion and bring
Catherine Contreras and Ramona Trevino
about a culture of life, but there has been no place for them to go that also nurtures their faith. Our faith comes first and then from our faith flows the obligation to be a voice for life and the desire to try to create a culture of life.”
Contreras’ view reflects the Carmelite spirituality that pervades Vox Vitae. Vox Vitae has the blessing of Contreras’ pastor, Father Philip Sullivan, a Carmelite, and is constantly in the prayers of both the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles and the the Cloistered Carmelite Nuns of the Carmel of Jesus in Alhambra. The sisters say on Vox Vitae’sblog, “This is the vocation of the Carmelite life – loving service to God’s people overflowing from our prayer.”
Vox Vitae’s day camp for youth and evening camp for adults is designed to draw people into a deeper union
with Christ and encourage them to act as a voice for life. Scheduled speakers include Doug Barry from EWTN, Tim Staples from Catholic Answers, Father Stephen Imbarrato from Priests for Life, Astrid Bennett Gutierrez from the Vida Initiative, Jesse Romero from Immaculate Heart Radio, and Ramona Trevino, a former Planned Parenthood clinic manager.
“Catholics are called to political and social involvement in order to create a Catholic culture in their community,” says Claire Miller, youth advisor for Vox Vitae. “Vox Vitae camp is the means for Catholic youth to develop the skills and connections to start making a difference.”
Bishop David O’Connell, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for the San Gabriel Region, endorses Vox Vitae. “These are sad days in California. Physician assisted suicide is now law. But instead of losing hope, let’s work together to prepare a whole new generation of youth who will be pro-life. This is why Vox Vitae pro-life camp is so important. I encourage you to send your youth to participate.”
The Vox Vitae missionaries work with teens, adults, and families throughout the year, fostering the ideals instilled at Vox Vitae Camp. Through presentations, advanced trainings, and the opportunity to join in their outreach events, the missionaries help each person be an effective and compelling voice for life.
“The Vox Vitae missionaries are young people united in their desire to live out their faith by being a voice for life,” says Mary Rose Short, Vox Vitae missionary director. “The missionaries live in community, joyfully embrace the teachings and beauty of the Catholic Church, and are committed to continuing spiritual growth and formation. The missionaries advocate for life from conception to natural death through a prayerful presence in front of abortion facilities, by lobbying elected officials, and with educational displays and dialogue on public campuses and sidewalks. As St. Teresa of Avila says, ‘We should desire and engage in prayer not for our own enjoyment but for the sake of acquiring the strength which will fit us for service.’”
Vox Vitae is currently accepting applications both for Camp and for the Missionaries.