South Bend resident relates pro-life activism

first_imgShawn Sullivan, a lawyer, real-estate agent and pro-life activist from the South Bend community, spoke at Saint Mary’s on Tuesday night about with his involvement with the pro-life movement as director of the Apostolate of Divine Mercy in Service of Human Life.Sullivan presented a half-hour long talk for students and faculty in Stapleton Lounge titled, “The Pro-Life Movement in Saint Mary’s Backyard: the Who, What, Where, Why, When and How.” The event is the first in a series during Saint Mary’s Right To Life week, Saint Mary’s Respect Life Club member junior Jana Zuniga said.To contextualize the closest abortion clinic’s location, Sullivan began his discussion by drawing a map of where the clinic is located in relation to the Apostolate of Divine Mercy Chapel.“The epicenter of what’s going on in the pro-life movement is here,” Sullivan said. “This is where the spiritual warfare occurs. This is where Jesus does battle. We have a real presence right here.”Sullivan is currently the vigil director of 40 Days for Life campaign held during both the spring and fall seasons, he said. Since the campaign began in 2008, it has evolved with the Life Center, he said.“We eventually got a deal worked out [where] we would just come out and be there, and by the grace of the person who owned it allowing us to be there,” Sullivan said. “We did a spring campaign in 2009, and it allowed us to be more of a focal point when Obama came to Notre Dame in 2009. We got to meet a lot of people and evangelize the movement even more.”Sullivan said after his 12th campaign he spoke with Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades about putting a chapel next to the abortion clinic.“We [were] having meetings with the bishop, and we put a name to it, the Apostolate of Divine Mercy in Service of Human Life,” Sullivan said. “Everything else just [keeps] brewing, just keeps coming together.”Students were encouraged to visit the Chapel and consider participating in sidewalk counseling, Sullivan said.“It’s really fun to come out and see what we’ve got going on,” Sullivan said. “I really invite you to just show up. You can stop by on your own. [It’s] a principal way to spend your time. Our training is really simple. It’s really streamline, trusting God to be your shield.”Whether counselors talk with mothers for five seconds or 10 minutes, those words matter, Sullivan said.“So, say you’re talking to somebody for five seconds,” he said. “You could sit down with them and have a conversation. We call that ministry life support. If we get somebody to sit down, then a whole other ministry kicks in. We’ve got to go disintegrate their problems. It hits across the board. They can’t go home to parents. They can’t go home to boyfriends. They’re going to get fired.”In Sullivan’s time with the Life Center, he has witnessed more than 50 saves, meaning his team’s influence changed many women’s minds about aborting their babies, he said. The Life Center keeps in touch with all of the moms they come in contact with, often sending them necessary items for their child, he said.“I know we had a great save on the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade,” Sullivan said. “The husband didn’t want her to get it, and she didn’t want to get an abortion, but the last two ladies who got pregnant at her job were fired. So, we had to promise her legal help, save the marriage, save everything.”Tags: 40 Days of Life, Life Center, Pro-life, saint mary’slast_img read more

COVID-19 emboldens credit unions to take larger strides on contactless lending journey

first_img 18SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Allen Jingst Allen Jingst is senior vice president for fintech CUSO LenderClose. He has an extensive background in the technology sector, having led sales and development teams for Dwolla, and … Web: Details Analysts are busy making all sorts of predictions about how the coronavirus pandemic may change the way humans behave, the things we value, and the types of activities we enjoy. Their forecasts range from the obvious (e.g., more companies will reconsider remote working policies) to the provocative (e.g., robots, rather than humans, will take vitals in a healthcare system).One prediction that really resonated with our team is the idea of the investor mindset shift. As one startup CEO surmised, venture capitalists will look less at revenue and funding rounds, more at things like culture and flexibility, which can sustain a young, scaling business through market fluctuations and unforeseen circumstances.The analyst and startup communities are far from the only ones pondering change. The credit unions we talk with on a daily basis are beginning to think about the longer-tail impact of COVID-19, too. After weeks of hustle and bustle to maintain the mission critical areas of their cooperatives, credit union executives are likely able to exhale long enough to consider what’s next.To be sure, credit union leaders are still very much in the throes of COVID-19 navigation. They also have a fair amount of qualitative and quantitative data from the past several weeks providing insight into member behavior, preferences, and needs. All of this is igniting their strategic fires and exciting them about further investigating the big questions about the future of the movement and the members it serves.We work primarily with lending teams, and the big questions they are facing hover around the borrower experience. Well before the pandemic crisis, local lenders were already struggling to compete with megabanks and fintechs that were beginning to offer faster, simpler engagements for homeowners and homebuyers. As COVID-19 created further complexities, the playing field became even less level.But, here’s the thing about community lenders, credit unions in particular: They have a completely different way of looking at challenges. Whereas a megabank or big tech firm sees challenges as a threat to the bottom line or a potential disappointment to shareholders, credit unions see them as an impediment to a person’s, a family’s or a business’s financial success. When you’re driven by this kind of a value system, you can move mountains.It’s exactly what we’ve seen happen with the credit unions in our ecosystem the past few weeks. They did not allow quarantining, social distancing, or business closures to stop them from seeing member loans through to closing. They moved mountains. They pulled together their providers, mobilized their IT teams, lobbied their legislators – all to accelerate the legalization of contactless lending. I’m talking specifically about remote online notarization (RON). Since March, we have worked alongside some of the most progressive and people-centric credit unions in Iowa to execute the state’s first-ever RON to close a mortgage loan. It has been a harrowing, busy, and exciting experience, one of the greatest our company has experienced since its founding in 2015.All of this brings me to my post-COVID-19 prediction. Over the next year, maybe less, contactless lending will evolve from a ‘nice-to-have’ to a core expectation among borrowers. Digital technology has drastically changed daily life for nearly every person today, and with rare exception, it’s improved daily life. Technology hold-outs who have been “forced” to adopt new tools to cope with COVID-19 stresses are, often to their great surprise, loving the outcomes. All of the fears and objections which kept both credit unions and members from taking larger strides on their respective digital banking journeys have evaporated. Sure, there have been stumbles and hiccups; new technology has a way of generating them. But, given the right support and encouragement, both members and the cooperatives who support them will overcome them because they’ve seen the value of technology.Lots of things will change in a post-pandemic world, but many will stay the same. Credit unions will become braver and more intentional about adopting technology. Yet, the reason they’ll pursue digital maturity with newly dogged determination will be rooted in the unwavering tradition of people helping people.last_img read more