On Monday January 25, 2011 our religious family along with hundreds of youth and young adults from many of the parishes within our Province participated in the 38th annual March for Life in Washington, DC.
Many of the participants were students from St. Paul School and parish in New York City along with teenagers from the Brooklyn parish youth groups in Williamsburg and East New York, as well as parishioners and youth from Texas, Avondale, PA, Mt.Rainier, MD and Chillum, MD. We prepared at St. James over the weekend hosting a number of eductional and penentencial activites: a viewing of Blood Money (2011), a documentary of exposing the history and ideological background of the abortion legistlation and industry in our country; an evening of Adoration, the Rosary and confessions; and a dinner together in solidarity for the defense of life. On the morning of the March, we divided our nearly 400 member contingency to attend the Youth Rally and Mass for Life at the Verizon Center as well as at the satellite Mass at the DC Armory–a new location to accomodate the ever-growing number of marchers.
For some this was their first experience of the march but others have lost count as they return year after year to stand up for life. The youth shared with one another their experiences of past marches and the conversions of family and friends and even of themselves, and encouraged the new marchers as they made their way through the cold crowded streets. When we reached the State Supreme Court building we prayed and sang to Our Lady, the Mother of Life, for an end to abortion and for the defense of the dignity of human life from conception to natural death.
A few days earlier on the occasion of the 9th Annual March for Life in Paris, Pope Benedict XVI sent a message through the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone stating that “the Holy Father ‘encourages everyone engaged in the fight for life to contribute with constancy and courage to the establishment of a new culture of life, fruit of the culture of truth and love…By loving and honoring the life of every man and every woman, from conception until natural death, they work as well favor a dignified and fraternal existence for everyone,” Vatican Radio 1/21/2011
Let this message take root in our hearts as we continue on our pilgrimage through life so that in choosing life we may live (Deuteronomy 30:19).