AVE MARIA, Fla. — Just weeks after vacationing in Sanibel, Vice President Mike Pence was back in Southwest Florida Thursday - this time, speaking to students at Ave Maria University.
Pence spoke on a variety of topics during his noon speech at the Prince Building on Ave Maria's campus. As a man of faith, he praised the volunteer work that students at the Catholic university do, both locally and in missions around the world.
"Thanks for putting feet on your faith," Pence said. "(You are) impacting this community, this state, our nation and the world. We are proud of all of you."
A staunch pro-life supporter, Pence thanked the Catholic students for their stance against abortion.
"The men and women of Ave Maria University have stood without apology for the sanctity of human life," Pence said.
The Vice President also spoke out against oppressive regimes in both South America and Central America.
"We will stand for freedom with the people of Nicaragua, and we will stand with the people of faith," he said.
Pence took an even more serious tone when he condemned the recent slayings at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand.
"No one should fear for their safety in a place of worship, be that a mosque, a church or a synagogue anywhere in the world," he said. "The hateful animus that motivated that killer is to be condemned universally."
Afterwards, students were enthusiastic about the Vice President's speech.
"Just the way he addressed things that we could really understand with our Catholic identity," said Ave Maria junior Stephen Wagner.
"It's a big opportunity for the school," said freshman Christopher Thomas. "Seeing the whole student body coming together."
Before the speech, Pence was given a tour of the nearby Mother Teresa Museum.