On July 22 & 23, the Center for Ethics and Culture presented a special Notre Dame Vita Institute for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles at the invitation of Archbishop José H. Gomez. More than 100 participants from across Southern California took part in the weekend at St. John's Seminary in Camarillo, which was co-sponsored by the Archdiocesan Office of Life, Justice, and Peace. Sessions included presentations on the biological development of the unborn child from his or her earliest stages, legal issues surrounding abortion, physician-assisted suicide, federal policies toward embryonic stem cell research, analysis of popular philosophical arguments in support of abortion, and how to communicate the pro-life message across generations. Participants included nurses, doctors, college professors, priests, religious sisters, parish ministers, and pro-lifers of all ages.
The ND Vita Institute brings world-renowned faculty to present compelling research and the best reasoned arguments in support of human life. In addition to CEC director O. Carter Snead, professor of law at Notre Dame Law School, presenters included the Rev. Nicanor Austriaco, O.P., who earned his Ph.D. in molecular biology from M.I.T. and is professor of biology at Providence College; Ryan Madison, associate director of the CEC & concurrent professor of philosophy at Notre Dame; and the Rev. John Paul Kimes, canon lawyer at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith & Raymond of Peñafort Fellow in Canon Law at the CEC. Archbishop Gomez welcomed participants at a communal dinner and celebrated Mass for the Institute in the seminary chapel.
Professor Snead's presentation on the perils of physician-assisted suicide, which recently became legal in California, was featured in The Tidings newspaper of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, which also ran a brief highlight story about the Vita Institute.
This special ND Vita Institute for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles was a condensed version of the week-long ND Vita Institute that takes place each June on the Notre Dame campus. Hailed as the "premiere pro-life boot camp," the ND Vita Institute has produced more than 200 alumni who represent the senior leaders of the most high profile and important pro-life organizations from around the world, grassroots activists, and concerned citizens from across the full spectrum of pro-life vocations. For more information about the full Vita Institute, visit http://ethicscenter.nd.edu/vita