Pro-Life March Story on CNY.ORG

The following article can be found on the CNY.org webpage….  (click here to see it there).  It includes quotes from two of our students.

Thousands of people, including dozens of busloads from the archdiocese, gathered at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on a bitterly cold January day to show their support for the right to life at the 38th annual March for Life.

The day’s theme was “Thou shalt protect the equal right to life of each innocent born and pre-born human in existence at fertilization—no exception, no compromise.” The march marked the Jan. 22 anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide. The march date was moved to the 24th, a Monday, to allow people to visit representatives on Capitol Hill. Participants first gathered on the National Mall and then marched along Constitution Avenue to the Supreme Court building.

Father Ignatius Smith, O.F.M., pastor of Holy Cross in Callicoon, told CNY that some 45 people from Sullivan County traveled together on the bus hired by the parish. This is the 15th year that the parish has attended the March for Life, he said, adding that over time the number of people attending has increased. “I think people more and more are becoming aware that life is precious and that the babe in the womb is a human person that God gave us to cherish and to love,” he said.

“I think everyone has to realize that life is sacred and we have to keep fighting until there is a respect for life,” he said.

Holy Cross parishioner Delia McDonnell told CNY that attending the march, and being counted present there, was crucial because “as well as prayer you have to have action.”

“We have to let people know what abortion really is,” she said. “It’s so important to spread the word that we are God’s creation.” She told CNY that she had been to more than 15 March for Life rallies and said attendance is growing. “There are so many people, young people, and people from other states,” she said.

She said that attending the rally is a hardship for many people. “It is a sacrifice,” she said, “for some more than others, but if we make the sacrifice, hopefully some unborn baby or a mother will benefit from it.”

The National Prayer Vigil for Life was held at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception Jan. 23-24 and a Rosary for Life was held in the shrine’s Crypt Church.

For the 15th year, the Archdiocese of Washington sponsored a pro-life youth Mass and rally the morning of Jan. 24. After the March for Life, several pro-life organizations held the National Pro-Life Youth Rally near the Supreme Court. The event’s founding sponsors are Students for Life of America, Rock for Life, 40 Days for Life and Human Life Alliance.

As in past years, young adults were visibly present at the march. Brendan O’Morchoe, a senior at Fordham University who is president of the Respect for Life Club there, was one of some 40 Fordham students who traveled to the event. He told CNY, “Just by being present, we can show our elected officials and the abortion industry that we stand for life.” He said that the group is there to “support those who march with us in legislatures and those who counsel on sidewalks across America every day.”

“It is especially important for young adults to be active in fighting for the right to life because we are a pro-life generation, and we have the capacity to see an end to abortion in our lifetime,” he said.

Teenagers from across the archdiocese were also out in numbers at the rally. Kristen Gold and Sylvia Smith, both juniors from Kennedy Catholic High School in Somers, were among the marchers. The two girls are also president and vice president, respectively, of the school’s Right to Life Club.

Kristen told CNY, “I have a strong sense of justice and I feel it is so unfair that people make decisions for the unborn children. Many people make abortion out to be a woman’s right thing. They forget that it is a human life inside of the woman.”

She said that leaders in Washington “can’t ignore us when there are thousands of us standing outside their offices.”

Her classmate, Sylvia, told CNY, “It’s really important that people our age get involved in this cause because a lot of the abortions are coming from teenagers who don’t know what to do and who are confused.”

She said she wanted to attend the march “to help out with making people more aware of why this is such an important issue.” She said, “Our school is pro-life and we support the life of all.”

Other Washington events related to the anniversary included the Cardinal O’Connor Conference on Life for college and high school students at Jesuit-run Georgetown University; the American Life League’s Personhood Conference; a Rock for Life concert; a witness event sponsored by the Silent No More Awareness Campaign; and a Mass sponsored by the Ignatian Pro-Life Network, a union of pro-life groups from Jesuit high schools, colleges universities and parishes.

Catholic News Service contributed to this article