Anne-Marie Welsh

Featured speaker Ryan Bomberger speaks with Rodney and Donna Bish,
and their daughter Michaela, just before the 42nd Annual Pro-Life
Breakfast. "Reading about his story made us want to attend," Donna
said.                                                      Photos by Anne-Marie Welsh

Fun. Bold. Creative. Fearless.

So says the website promoting Ryan Bomberger, co-founder of the Radiance Foundation and the featured speaker at the 42nd annual Pro-Life Breakfast sponsored by People for Life in Erie Jan. 11.

Two words: He delivered.

His 40-minute presentation — a riveting mix of stories, challenges and facts interspersed with videos, infographics, music and social media efforts his organization has created — led to a sustained standing ovation from the more than 600 people in attendance.

“Everything we do is predicated on the radical belief that life has purpose,” Bomberger told the crowd.

Noting that social media “is not really into the truth,” he said that much of what he creates is to highlight a God who enables triumph to rise from tragedy.

“Whether you were planned, or unplanned, whether you are abled or differently abled, whether you are red, yellow, black, brown or white, everything in life has purpose,” he insisted.

Bomberger does not shy away from provocation. He touts his personal truth and story in his talks and in his work, relying on a captivating slogan:  “Conceived in rape. Adopted and loved.”

“I am the one percent that is used 100 percent of the time to justify abortion,” he said. His organization is dedicated to breaking the myth that unplanned equals unwanted equals unloved.

“It’s a lie,” he said, “but it’s the DNA of the abortion industry.”

Several times during his presentation, Bomberger pointed out the difference between being an activist and his preferred approach, that of a factivist. Among the facts he shared at the breakfast:

  • Over 60 million children have been aborted in the United States since the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling.
  • The abortion industry ends the lives of 2,362 children every day in the United States.
  • Eighty-three lives end in abortion every day in Pennsylvania.
Tim Broderick, president of People for Life, said more than 600 people were
in attendance at the 2020 Pro-Life Breakfast in Erie.

The room at the Bayfront Convention Center was brimming with people of all ages from a wide variety of walks of life, as was the stage. After the invocation by Rev. Nicholas Mihaly of St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, speakers included Matt Blackburn on behalf of U.S. Senator Pat Toomey; State Senator Michele Brooks and Congressman Mike Kelly. Rev. Marc Miller, pastor of the West Erie Presbyterian Church, offered grace, and after Bomberger, Bishop Lawrence Persico of the Diocese of Erie offered remarks.

“When we talk about the fact that lives matter, I’m struck that today’s talk wouldn’t have occurred this morning if Ryan’s birth mother had decided to take the easy option,” Bishop Persico said. “We are here today because of a brave birth mother who was willing to go through the pregnancy and put her child up for adoption. Ryan’s presentation helps us understand that no matter how a child comes into being, we are all important. All life matters. Today’s talk is a testament to that point. Let’s continue the good fight in protecting life from conception to natural death.”

Prior to the meeting, Marielle Lafaro, first vice president of People for Life, spoke with the Diocese of EriE-News on the importance of the annual gathering.

“I always say I hope it motivates people, that it lights a fire under all of us, myself included,” she said. “When we come together, we build community and grow in fervor and conviction. This is something we need to keep plugging away at, keep speaking up for — convenient or not, comfortable or not, controversial or not. This is something that needs to be addressed. It needs to stay in the forefront of our conversations as a society and community. We’re doing it for love, to fight for love and for justice.”

The event also gave Tim Broderick, president of People for Life, the opportunity to present long-time volunteer Tim Hudacky

Tim Broderick reads the citation given
to long-time People for Life volunteer
Tim Hudacky.

with the 2020 Wagner Award. A truck driver who stops by weekly to pick up supplies and pamphlets for distribution, Hudacky was surprised by the recognition. Broderick said if he had six more guys like Hudacky, the rest of the organization could go on vacation.

Hudacky’s acceptance speech was short and to the point: “To God be the Glory!” he said.

For more information about Bomberger and the work of the Radiance Foundation, or to view some of the videos, memes and infographics he has created, visit www.TheRadianceFoundation.org.

From the website:

The Radiance Foundation is an educational, life-affirming, non-profit organization. Through creative ad campaigns, powerful multi-media presentations, fearless journalism, and compassionate community outreaches, we illuminate the intrinsic value each person possesses. We educate audiences about pressing societal issues and how they impact the understanding of God-given Purpose. We motivate people to peacefully and positively put awareness into action.