May 5, 2015 // Local

Eighth Annual Respect Life Prayer Dinner held

Essay contest winners are Thomas Garcia, seventh grade, homeschooled; Mary Gibson, eighth grade, St. Pius X School; Melanie Garcia, a homeschooled senior; and Eoin Lyon, a sophomore from Trinity High School.

SOUTH BEND — St. Joseph County Right to Life held its eighth annual Respect Life Prayer Dinner on Tuesday, April 21, at the Kroc Center in downtown South Bend. Over 200 attended, and three local ministers, including Father Glenn Kohrman of Holy Family Parish, South Bend, led the gathering in prayer and reflection on the sanctity of every human life.

Winners of Right to Life’s annual teen essay contest were recognized: Thomas Garcia, seventh grade homeschooled; Mary Gibson, eighth grade, St. Pius X School, Granger; Eoin Lyon, a sophomore from Trinity High School; and Melanie Garcia, a homeschooled senior, who was the highest scoring essayist. Garcia read her submission aloud and received a standing ovation for her words on how the pro-life movement would change should abortion be made illegal, calling for “an army of love” to rally around every woman facing unplanned pregnancy, children facing abuse and trafficking, and the elderly often forgotten by society.

Josh and Rosary Comeau are witnesses to life as Josh battles brain cancer with grace and courage. Josh received the Hero of Life award for his faithful stance on the sanctity of every life even in the face of suffering.

Another standing ovation came after Josh Comeau received the Hero of Life award. Comeau is a local firefighter and parishioner at Queen of Peace Parish, Mishawaka, who is battling the same aggressive brain cancer that faced Brittany Maynard last year. He and his wife Rosary have five young children. Comeau spoke on the power of prayer and the reality that his life belongs to God. He closed by reading Psalm 23.


Jeanette Burdell becomes executive director
of St. Joseph County Right to Life

Jeanette Burdell

SOUTH BEND — St. Joseph County Right to Life announced the promotion of Jeanette Burdell to executive director. She will be responsible for the implementation of the organization’s mission, policies and programs on a day-to-day basis.

Board President Tom Gill said, “Since joining the staff as program director in 2013, Jeanette has moved every aspect of the organization forward. Her energy, creativity, dedication and grasp of our mission has made her a tremendous asset, not just to St. Joseph County Right to Life, but to the pro-life cause. We look forward to the continued contributions she will make to the growth of the organization and the fulfillment of our mission to educate and advocate for the protection of all innocent human life.”

Burdell was program director at SJCRL for a year and a half, and a counselor at the Women’s Care Center before she was brought on at SJCRL. She and her husband Marc Burdell have three children, the youngest of whom is graduating from the University of Notre Dame in a few weeks.



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