For the 28th year, more than 80 St. Benedict at Auburndale (SBA) students and chaperones traveled to Washington, D.C., to participate in the Annual March for Life. The date marked the 45th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, that legalized abortion in the U.S.
The students and chaperones (which included 12 Christian Brothers High School students and 11 Memphis Catholic High School students) traveled approximately 17 hours by bus. Upon arrival, the group checked in at Catholic University of America to set up their sleeping bags for the night’s lodging with 1,300 other students from around the country on the floor of the gymnasium in CUA’s Athletic Center.
Then they trekked to the nearby Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception to attend the Annual Pro-Life Vigil Mass concelebrated by many of the nation’s cardinals, archbishops, bishops and priests. Two Memphis Diocese priests, the Rev. Patrick Gallagher and the Rev. Patrick Hirtz, concelebrated at the Vigil Mass and the next morning at the Mass associated with the Archdiocese of Washington’s Youth Rally at the Capital One Center. The Archdiocese holds this rally and Mass for young pro-lifers from around the country.
The Memphis group then made its way to the Mall near the Washington Monument for the March for Life pre-march rally to hear many speakers, particularly Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and the mother of Tim Tebow, who was advised by her doctor to abort Tim when she was pregnant with him, declaring him a “tumor.” The highlight of the rally was a live feed speech from President Donald Trump. This was after he was introduced by Vice President Mike Pence. This was the first time in the history of the March that a sitting President addressed the pro-life group live.
Afterward, the Memphis contingent along with hundreds of thousands of others marched down Constitution Avenue to the Supreme Court Building where pro-lifers and post-abortion mourners were making statements.
and witnessing to the negative impact abortion has had on their lives. They paused to take in the view of our nation’s judicial center and to grasp the magnitude of the Roe v Wade decision. Since 1973, over 60 million unborn babies have reportedly been aborted, over 3,000 per day, in the U.S.
That evening, the Memphis group then made the 17-hour trip back home, arriving early the next morning.
Sponsor of the trip, Sharon Masterson of St. Benedict, said she was was once again gratified by the students’ continued perseverance. She thanked them for their sacrifice in making the long trip and for their witness as the “pro-life generation” on behalf of the right to life for all.
St. Benedict senior Erin Haff, a leader of St. Benedict Students for Life, said, “We’ve gone to the March for Life each year and we know we’re making a difference because the crowds get larger, with more students.”
Her twin sister, Emily Haff, said, “This is the highlight of our year and is such a rush when you see the thousands of people, mostly young, marching for this cause.”
Ty Stripling, a senior, said that this march is the “ultimate civil rights march. These unborn children are created by God and have a right to life like anyone else. We are just the ones marching for them and their moms.”