October 7, 2011

Pro-life award recipients stay informed, pray and volunteer

Victoria Nondorf, a member of St. Pius X Parish in Indianapolis, second from left, displays the 2011 Our Lady of Guadalupe Pro-Life Youth Award, and Dianna Meinecke, a member of St. Mary Parish in Navilleton, second from right, holds the 2011 Archbishop Edward T. O’Meara Respect Life Award following the archdiocesan Respect Life Sunday Mass on Oct. 2 at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis. Posing with Victoria and Meinecke are Father Peter Marshall, left, associate pastor of St. Pius X Parish, and Msgr. Joseph Schaedel, pastor of St. Luke the Evangelist Parish in Indianapolis and principal celebrant of the annual pro-life liturgy. (Photo by Sean Gallagher)

Victoria Nondorf, a member of St. Pius X Parish in Indianapolis, second from left, displays the 2011 Our Lady of Guadalupe Pro-Life Youth Award, and Dianna Meinecke, a member of St. Mary Parish in Navilleton, second from right, holds the 2011 Archbishop Edward T. O’Meara Respect Life Award following the archdiocesan Respect Life Sunday Mass on Oct. 2 at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis. Posing with Victoria and Meinecke are Father Peter Marshall, left, associate pastor of St. Pius X Parish, and Msgr. Joseph Schaedel, pastor of St. Luke the Evangelist Parish in Indianapolis and principal celebrant of the annual pro-life liturgy. (Photo by Sean Gallagher)

By Mary Ann Garber

Being pro-life “just makes sense to me,” St. Mary parishioner Dianna Meinecke of Navilleton said after learning that she was being honored by the archdiocese with the 2011 Archbishop Edward T. O’Meara Respect Life Award on Oct. 2 at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis.

Bishop Chatard High School senior and St. Pius X parishioner Victoria Nondorf of Indianapolis, who received the 2011 Our Lady of Guadalupe Pro-Life Youth Award during the Respect Life Sunday Mass, said she is determined to be a voice for the voiceless and cheerleader for the unborn among her peers as well as adults.

In the course of daily life, Meinecke and Victoria said they try to convey to others that it is important to be pro-life people.

To do that, they recommend staying informed about all the issues, praying and volunteering for pro-life activities.

Stay informed and pray

“I would just like to encourage people to become informed,” Meinecke said. “I learned so much about pro-life issues simply from reading the mailings of pro-life organizations. … Their mailings will go a long way to educate people on life issues. Also, with the Internet now, it is so easy to find good information as long as one takes care to make sure the source is solid.”

Meinecke and her husband, David, are the parents of three grown daughters—Elizabeth, Rebekah and Johanna—and raised them to respect the sanctity and dignity of life from conception until natural death.

“I would make a comment [to our children] that we want to respect babies’ lives,” she said. “As they got older, we were able to go to the abortion clinic in downtown Louisville and pray outside there. We also did the Life Chain.”

Meinecke founded a Confraternity of Christian Mothers chapter at her parish, and also is active in 40 Days for Life and Right to Life of Southern Indiana.

“I’ve never been afraid to say I’m a single-issue voter for pro-life,” she said, “because everybody is a single-issue voter whether it is their pocketbook or something else.”

A native of St. Louis, Meinecke said she is honored to receive a pro-life award named for the late Archbishop O’Meara, who also was born in St. Louis.

“I was 13 when Roe vs. Wade was decided,” she said. “… My parents must have contributed to National Right to Life, and they always gave me the paper that organization published to read. I learned so much from it.”

She also posted an educational brochure in her bedroom titled “The Diary of An Unborn Child,” which explains the miraculous stages of fetal development.

“It must have been a powerful influence,” Meinecke said, “because I still remember many of the thoughts from it even now.”

She is grateful for her Catholic faith and education, and founded the confraternity chapter at St. Mary Parish to help other mothers grow in their lives of faith and raise holy families.

The confraternity’s mission, under the special patronage of Our Lady of Sorrows, is to foster “the Christian home education of children by truly Christian mothers.”

Meinecke said her faith has helped her to support her husband on his cancer journey.

Her favorite devotional prayers are the rosary and Seven Sorrows of Mary as revealed to St. Bridget.

“It is pretty do-able for a mom to say just the seven Hail Mary’s a day and reflect on the seven sorrows,” Meinecke said. “Also, the confraternity has a short ‘Mother’s Daily Prayer for her Children.’ ”

Volunteer to save lives

“Abortion is murder,” Victoria explains to teenagers, and people need to talk about that terrible reality.

“It’s so incredibly wrong,” she said. “I think when you put it that way then that really starts to put things in perspective for teenagers who don’t know a whole lot about abortion. When you explain what it is, … that makes them see what an injustice it truly is.”

At Bishop Chatard, Victoria is a cheerleader and retreat team member. She also helps organize and participate in the Teens for Life Forum, Pro-Life Week, Pro-Life Day of Solidarity and service projects to help the poor.

The daughter of St. Pius X parishioners Mark and Tracy Nondorf also walks in the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., and enjoyed a mission trip to El Salvador.

Those school and parish events raise awareness about pro-life issues, Victoria said, and the day of silent solidarity is especially effective.

“You put a piece of red tape on your mouth or your shoulder,” she said, “and that is a symbol that we are standing in silence with those who do not have a voice.” †

 

(Related story: Respect Life Sunday Mass, Life Chain draw youths from across archdiocese)

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