The former senator from Pennsylvania will be speaking at the 2013 Gala, a benefit for John Paul the Great Academy. Rick Santorum, who won the 2012 Presidential Primary in Louisiana, will be speaking about faith, family and the public square.

Dr. Kevin Roberts, jpgacademy.org

Founder, President and Headmaster of the Academy, Dr. Kevin Roberts, says Santorum is "an ideal speaker for us this year." Dr. Roberts says each year they go through an extensive process of identifying as many as 20 possible speakers. He says a committee then looks at these people and even talks to a few of them, and the school meets with the parents and takes a formal survey about it. So what was it about Santorum that attracted them to him? Dr. Roberts gives three reasons:

People know him to be...first and foremost a man of God...a wonderful husband and father and...a man who has been really a model for how we advance what we believe in a charitable, friendly way in the public square.

Dr. Roberts also addresses a common theme in the event - a frustration that people of faith, particularly the Catholic Church, feel over what they say are assaults on their religion. First, he points out what he says is "an erosion in public attitudes towards people of faith," something he says has been happened over the past 40 to 50 years:

It's become more difficult for us to teach in our schools and to say in the public square those things that we know to be true from natural law and also from church teaching.

In a recent interview on ‘Mornings With Ken and Bernie,‘ Santorum spoke to the education side of this, saying "our educational system is failing" and that "unfortunately our public schools, by virtue of government regulations, are prohibited from getting involved in those areas (moral and spiritual components of education)."

The second area that Dr. Roberts points to in his argument that there is an assault on people of faith is the HHS mandate pushed by the Obama Administration. He says Catholic employers, including John Paul the Great Academy, are being forced to participate in a government program that pushes contraception and abortions, which go against their teachings:

In the same way that we wouldn't want Muslims or Baptists or people of any other faith to be discriminated against, we believe that Catholics in particular are because of the commitment we have to those teachings...They are not allowing Catholic employers, our school included, to fulfill our moral obligations according to natural law and church teaching.

Santorum has also spoken about his position on the birth control issue, defending it numerous times during his presidential run.

To purchase tickets for Senator Rick Santorum’s appearance at the Cajundome Convention Center Saturday March 9, 2013 visit www.jpgacademy.org or call 337-889-5346.