Campus Watch

Former Abortion Nurse At Steubenville

FRANCISCAN UNIVERSITY OF STEUBENVILLE, Jan. 16 — The Franciscan University of Steubenville marked the 28th anniversary of Roe v. Wade with a pro-life memorial service and an unusual speaker, the university announced. The speaker, Joan Appleton, is a registered nurse who assisted in over 10,000 abortions during the 1980s. Appleton was head nurse at a Washington, D.C.-area abortion business. But encounters with pro-life people led her to reconsider and eventually abandon her pro-abortion stance. She now directs Centurions, an outreach program offering guidance to abortion practitioners who have left or are considering leaving the abortion business.

Appleton discussed why she left the abortion business, as well as post-abortion trauma and other psychological and spiritual aspects of abortion. The memorial service then concluded with a candlelight procession to the nearby Tomb of the Unborn Child, where seven aborted infants are buried.

Focusing on Christ

LINCOLN JOURNAL STAR, Jan. 14 — The Nebraska daily profiled Curtis Martin, a cradle Catholic who fell away from the Church and spent his high school years partying. He went on to Louisiana State University — considered one of the nation's top “party schools.”

But instead of spending all his nights around a beer keg, he began to read a Bible his mother had given him. He returned to Christ, and, he said, “began to have more fun with my friends in college, with Christ-centered relationships, than I ever had before.”

To help students, in 1997 he founded the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, or FOCUS. It began with 24 students, but now has over 600 members on campuses in Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Illinois and Michigan.

The group recently held a Catholic student leadership conference at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, which drew 200 students. FOCUS reaches out to both Catholics and non-Catholics. Martin said the group used techniques adapted from evangelical Protestants, but stayed faithful to Catholic teaching.

The daylong conference featured workshops like “Leading a Bible Study” and “The Big Three — Chastity, Sobriety and Excellence.”

Renowned Dallas Professor Dies

UNIVERSITY OF DALLAS, Jan. 5 — The University of Dallas announced that on Dec. 31 it lost Dr. William Farmer, an adjunct professor of theology, to complications from prostate cancer.

Farmer was senior editor of the ecumenical International Bible Commentary, a volume drawing together the work of 118 scholars. “Dr. Farmer provided a strong ecumenical presence at the University of Dallas,” said Glenn Thurow, the university's provost.

Farmer had taught at the school since 1991, when he retired from Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, the former Nell Cochran.