Youth travel through storms to give witness at March for Life
By Adelaide Mena
Students from Benedictine College in Kansas carry the March for Life sign at the head of the March, Jan. 22, 2014. Credit: Addie Mena/CNA.
Students from Benedictine College in Kansas carry the March for Life sign at the head of the March, Jan. 22, 2014. Credit: Addie Mena/CNA.

.- Young people from around the U.S. and its territories travelled hundreds, even thousands of miles, through winter weather conditions to attend the March for Life and speak out in defense of the unborn.

Timothy Olive, 21, from St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, traveled over 1,500 miles by plane to attend the March, along with more than 70 people from the territory's diocese.

"This is a special event for us … because we're a U.S. territory, the laws of abortion apply down there. There's lots of abortions. We have to step up to the plate and do what we have to do,” Olive told CNA during Wednesday's event.

The day before the March for Life, a snowstorm travelled through the northeastern United States, leaving more than six inches of snow in Washington, D.C. Temperatures in the nation's capital dipped into the single digits the morning of Jan. 22, rising only to the low teens for the March itself.

While the unexpected weather disrupted some travel plans – particularly from pro-life supporters coming from east coast cities such as Philadelphia, New York, and Boston, the foul weather did not keep the hundreds of thousands of participants in the March for Life indoors.

While no official attendance count has yet been released, in the past several years between 350,000 and 650,000 people have participated in the March for Life.

Pre-march events such as the National Prayer Vigil for Life and the Youth Rally and Mass for Life reported similar attendance to previous years' participation.

Olive reflected that the March for Life is "a spiritual awakening for our youth" traveling from the U.S. Virgin Islands.

"A third of our generation since 1973 is missing. It's very sad for all of us: 56 million citizens gone."  

He said he would pray for those who support abortion "so that they know what's going on" and know "that's not right."

Sofia Quiñones, 17, from St. Augustine, Fla., who experienced her first snowfall the day before the March for Life, said that while the weather was cold, it was exciting and "feels like a movie."

“The whole meaning of this gathering for this purpose is so meaningful for me,” she said, because "it's a life."

"A person's a person, no matter how small."

Shaya Oliver, also 17 and from St. Augustine, explained that the group travelled “about 12 hours" to attend the March for Life.

She said participating in the March was exciting because  "I've never been a part of a group that big all fighting for the same thing," and she was eager to give witness to other teenagers about “the negative things” that happen to women and society after abortion.

Though Monica Rivera, 19, only had to travel from her dormitory at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., the cold weather and travel concerns still affected the Miami, Fla. native.

"This is the coldest I've ever been," she said, adding that her plans with her brother, a seminarian traveling with the Archdiocese of Miami, had also been changed.

 "Their flight was canceled because of the snow," she explained.  "They're flying straight in and marching."

Rivera stressed that while she was marching to "defend those who don't have a voice," it is important that "while we do this, we pray."

"That's the most important part."

Not all travelers to the March for Life found the weather uncomfortable.  Arshad Williams, 17, from Chicago, said that the winter storm felt warm compared to the those he had been experiencing at home.

Williams did not travel for the relatively warmer weather, however, but to "support the cause" and reach out to other young people.

"A lot of abortions are happening among young people," he said, emphasizing that it's important for him to tell other youth "what you know to dissuade them from abortion."

Megan Fisher, also of Chicago, said she wanted to make the 700-mile bus ride for some of those who are closest to her.

"I wanted to come to save the babies, especially all the disabled ones."

"My younger brother is multiply handicapped, and most people abort them," Fisher explained.

Instead of being a burden or someone to discard, she continued, people with disabilities should be loved. "He's such a blessing."

Andrew Chorich, 15, a freshman at Mt. Carmel High School in Highland, Ind.,  said he came to his first March for Life in order to "experience what it is like" and to "support the Catholic Church" and its defense of life.

“Every day there's three thousand kids being murdered.”

“There's no justice in such a situation."

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 23, 2014

Wednesday within the Octa ve of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:8-15


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Acts 3:1-10
Gospel:: Lk 24:13-35

Saint of the Day

St. Adalbert of Prague »


Homily of the Day

Mt 28:8-15


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: