Meet the interns: Maria McCann

What motivated you to join the pro-life movement? What continues to motivate you?

I have always been pro-life, and during high school I was involved in occasional activities like the March for Life. But my perspective radically shifted when I attended the NCLN Symposium in the fall of 2015. I had never been confronted so viscerally with the reality of abortion’s violence. I had never considered that this was not a movement, this was an emergency, and I had a responsibility to act. My heart broke over abortion that weekend. My heart continues to break. But I have also witnessed first-hand that hearts and minds are changed, and children are spared from death, when we lovingly share the truth about abortion. If I know that my voice can make a difference for the pre-born, how could I possibly remain silent?

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When did you first come into contact with CCBR?

I heard Stephanie Gray speak about CCBR’s work a number of years ago, while I was still in high school. The funny/ironic thing is that I opposed the use of abortion victim photography at that time, and continued to oppose it for years afterwards. It was through multiple conversations with multiple CCBR activists that I gradually began to agree with that form of activism being ethical. When I tentatively started showing people “Choice” cards in my conversations about abortion, I was amazed at how quickly people changed their views, and I realized that maybe those CCBR people were onto something . . . 

What made you choose this organization? 

The CCBR’s dedication to effectiveness truly sets them apart as a pro-life organization. They are deeply serious about actually ending abortion in Canada--about radically changing our culture so that abortion will be unthinkable. I was blown away when I first read the EndTheKilling plan, and I want to be a part of making that plan a reality. 

If you had to name your greatest challenge in joining the pro-life movement, what would it be?

I struggle with the fear of being inadequate for the tasks given to me, especially when lives are literally on the line. So many of the activists and apologists who have trained me seem infinitely more equipped, with degrees in bioethics or philosophy and with years of experience in pro-life activism. I have had to learn that perfectionism can be just as damaging as apathy, because perfectionism can paralyze me into inaction. And I am strengthened with the knowledge that God does not call the equipped--He equips the called. 

What do you hope you will learn from CCBR this summer? 

I hope to grow in the knowledge, wisdom and character needed to be an effective pro-life activist and ambassador. I know that living with and working alongside so many amazing people will help me to grow in virtue. I also hope to improve my dialogue skills and my speaking skills, so that I can train other pro-lifers to become activists.

What has been your best experience in the pro-life movement so far? Why?

I had the privilege to work as an intern for National Campus Life Network last summer, and I will never forget that experience. I worked with such an incredible group of individuals and received so much formation and mentorship that helped me to become a pro-life leader on my campus. While I have discerned that I will be better able to serve the movement as a CCBR intern this summer, I am still incredibly grateful for that summer and for my NCLN family. 

Who in history inspires you to believe you can make a change? Why?

Moses inspires me because he chose to trust in God’s goodness and power when he knew that his own goodness and power were completely insufficient. He faced a monumental injustice and had to let go of those fears of inadequacy—the same fears that prick me—in order to follow God’s will, and his faithfulness was rewarded. “What if they will not believe me or listen to what I say?” Any pro-life activist can relate to that question! It is comforting to know God’s answer to Moses and to us: that He will always be with us, and will guide our words and actions.

If you were a coloured animal, what would you be?

A purple flamingo, because pink flamingos are way too ordinary and because I’m a UWO student (#purplepride). Also, you are now thinking about a purple flamingo, aren’t you?

You'll be doing activism outside all summer, so this one's important: ice cream or slushies?

No joke: I once sat outside eating ice cream . . . on a frigid winter day . . . while it was snowing. Ice cream is always the answer, regardless of the question.