Priests for Life - Educational Resources
Fr. Frank Pavone
Fr. Denis G. Wilde, OSA
Fr. Walter Quinn, OSA



Death Penalty


Church Documents

Inspiring Stories


America Will Not Reject Abortion Until America
Sees Abortion

Prayer Campaign

Take Action

Social Networking

Rachel's Vineyard,
A Ministry of Priests For Life

Silent No More Awareness Campaign, A Project
of Priests For Life

Clergy Resources


“Memorial of Innocents” at Southern Methodist University gives PFL board member another reason to be proud

Leslie Palma-Simoncek
Director of Communications, Priests for Life

March 26, 2017



Left: Mustangs for Life at Southern Methodist University stand in front of the Memorial of Innocents last year on the Dallas campus.

Priests for Life board member David Rosa has no shortage of opportunities to be proud of his three children.  This weekend he’ll have bragging rights at Southern Methodist University, where his daughter Marisa, a senior engineering management, information, and systems major, and son Daniel, a sophomore marketing major and Spanish minor, will again take part in a highly visible demonstration of how deeply abortion impacts our nation.

Marisa is vice president and Daniel is service chair of Mustangs for Life, the pro-life group on the Dallas campus. For the fourth consecutive year, the group will stage a major pro-life demonstration and this year, as they did last spring, will erect 2,900 wooden crosses on the main quad. The crosses in the “Memorial of Innocents” represent the number of children legally murdered every day in the United States.

“The whole point is to get people talking about abortion,” said Daniel. “This is not just a political issue every four years. It’s a human issue every day. But right now we’re fighting apathy.”

The University of Texas at Arlington supplied crosses for last year’s memorial. Within an hour after being erected on a Sunday night, all of them were kicked down, with some thrown into the nearby fountain. Daniel said his friend saw the two girls responsible for the vandalism in the dark, and though Marisa filed a police report, no charges were ever filed.

But the Mustangs for Life were undaunted. A group of students, including Marisa and Daniel, got up extra early on Monday morning to set the crosses up again before classes started. After that, pro-life students volunteered to keep watch over the crosses into the early morning hours.

“SMU is a pretty conservative campus, but we do get flack from some groups,” Marisa said. Last year, a female student threw a cross at her. The college’s Women’s Interests Network said the crosses could “trigger” students who had lost children to abortion, and consulted with Planned Parenthood about a counter demonstration

“Some people say we are shaming women,” Marisa said, “but that’s not true.”

The same crosses will be erected this year and remain up through Wednesday night, when former presidential candidate Carly Fiorina will close out the pro-life event with a speech titled “Pro-life and Presidential: How One Woman Chose to Be Both.”

“People say that if you have a baby you can’t be a doctor, or a lawyer, or finish school” Marisa said. “Carly Fiorina was a mom and a CEO and ran for president. It can be done.”

Even though the crosses have caused some dissension on campus, Daniel recalled something that happened last year that convinced him people were getting the message.

“A 35-year-old woman riding a bike to class stopped to look at the display, and I began to talk with her. After a long conversation, she said ‘I finally have a chance to honor my child,’ lost to abortion. This is what made the Memorial worth it for me.”

Proud dad David – who is also father of son David II, a former SMU student – lost a child to abortion many years ago. Unsure of how to tell his wife, Alice, he booked the couple on a pro-life cruise with Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, and Executive Director Janet Morana in the hope that they would help him find the words. They did, and over time, Alice forgave him and he was finally able to forgive himself. The family’s devotion to the pro-life cause is now carried on in memory of Alice, who died last year.

“God’s redemptive grace, for my long-ago life and now in my healed post-abortive world, is truly manifested in watching my three children fight on a daily basis to save unborn babies and to initiate dialogue for healing for those they encounter who are post-abortive,” said David, who is planning to help erect the abortion memorial at SMU. “Their love, dedication and efforts are incentive for me to embrace God’s peace that surpasses all understanding every day, no matter what is happening.”

Help us spread the word. Share this with your social network.

Priests for Life
PO Box 236695 • Cocoa, FL 32923
Tel. 321-500-1000, Toll Free 888-735-3448 •