Christendom College

Incoming Freshman Takes Second in National Pro-Life Oratory Contest

July 16, 2015

pennefather-1Incoming freshman Ann Pennefather is making waves in the national pro-life movement before arriving at Christendom this fall, winning second place in the 2015 National Right to Life Jane B. Thompson Oratory Contest held at the organization’s annual national convention, July 8-11 in New Orleans, La. Pennefather, who graduated from Seton School, was the Virginia representative at the national competition, after winning the statewide Alex and Geline Williams Pro-Life Oratory Contest this past May.

Presenting a speech on why children with disabilities are a gift from God, Pennefather turned to her experiences with her older brother Michael Joseph in order to point out how, despite being born with serious disabilities, he was able to teach everyone how to enjoy life to its fullest every day.

“Michael Joseph Pennefather has been beloved at Seton since before his birth. We are immensely proud of Ann for telling her brother’s story so eloquently on a national stage,” said Anne Carroll, Director of Seton Junior-Senior High School, and wife of the late Warren H. Carroll, founder of Christendom College.

Concerning her experience of taking the stage at the national competition, which also included presidential hopefuls Ben Carson, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal and Marco Rubio, Pennefather expressed gratitude for the opportunity, and hope towards a brighter future for the pro-life movement.

“I felt so blessed and inspired to be around so many young people who were also on fire for life,” said Pennefather.

Pennefather will be attending Christendom College this fall and plans on majoring in English language and literature — a passion she honed during her time at Seton, where she was an editor for the Seton student magazine, and also the 2015 winner of Seton’s Warren H. Carroll Scholarship for an essay she penned.

“I know the ability to write well is the key to success in most occupations. Understanding information, processing that information, and coming to conclusions that are true and just is the key to being able to bring the Gospel to the world in which I live. With an English major and a history minor [from Christendom], I have the possibility of a wide array of job options after graduation,” said Pennefather.

Pennefather is one of the latest in a long history of Seton School graduates to attend Christendom, joining ten other graduates headed to the college this fall. This impressive number includes Seton’s Class of 2015 salutatorian Nathaniel Reyes, one of Christendom’s two Padre Pio Full-Tuition Scholarship winners from this year.

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