A few weeks ago, a video went viral of students at Riordan HS walking out on an assembly featuring a prolife speaker.  On November 8, the archbishop met with student leaders. Before those meetings he sent to Riordan students a letter from his heart.

First Things has just published the letter.

“To the young women I say: Your fertility is a blessing to be cherished, not a problem to be “fixed” or an appliance with an on-and-off switch to be flipped at will. God has given you the awesome gift of being able to conceive and bring to the light of day a new, unique human being, with an immortal soul…”

“To the young men I say: …You still have a ways to go before you mature into full manhood. If you want to remain a boy forever, then spend your life caring only about yourself and every little immediate pleasure that you desire, because to be a real man requires a life of sacrifice and virtue. It also means acting responsibly by showing respect toward women as your true equals and cherishing and respecting that awesome gift she has of bringing new life into the world.”

“To all of you I say: Do not be victims of the culture. There are powerful forces in our country that use slogans to co-opt you into being agents of their own self-serving agendas. You must see through the lies.”

Archbishop Cordileone went on:

“My earnest hope is that you will cultivate your idealistic energy for justice, while learning to see through so many lies of the culture in which we are living. Do not fool yourselves, though: Advocating for justice in an unjust society is not glamorous. Indeed, it will make you social outcasts, not welcomed in the circles of polite society, much less of the socially elite. You will be scorned, mocked, and ridiculed. You will have to develop very thick skin. Is it worth it?”

“Think of the abolitionists of the mid-19th century, or the advocates of civil rights of the mid-20th century: They did not fit into the societies of their times, advocating for politically unpopular and unfashionable causes. They risked, and some lost, their lives in the effort to correct the greatest injustice of their time. We now regard them as the moral heroes of their generation. The most renowned of them all, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., once said that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” This, though, only happens when a new generation of moral heroes rises up to correct the injustice. This requires a strong backbone, great spiritual stamina. Will you be the moral heroes of your generation? Do you have what it takes?”

“You will if, above all, you cultivate your life in Jesus Christ. He loves you. He gave his life for you. He is the one Savior of the world, who teaches us saving truth.”

The above comes from a Nov. 19 posting in First Things.