St. Benedict students join the National March for Life in nation’s capital

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For the 30th year, 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 47th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, that legalized abortion in the United States.

The students and chaperones (which included 16 CBHS and six Immaculate Conception students) traveled approximately 17 hours by bus, arriving in Washington.

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. The Pastor of Holy Angels Church in Dyersburg, Reverend 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. He has traveled with the SBA group for a number of years.

The Archdiocese holds this rally and Mass for young pro-lifers from around the country, and each year the youth get stronger in their commitment to stopping the culture of death that abortion has created during their young lives.

Following the Youth Rally & Mass, the Memphis group then made their way to the Mall near the Washington Monument for the March for Life pre-march rally to hear many political and religious speakers.

Following the rally, with hundreds of thousands of others, the Memphis contingent 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 that brought the abortion culture to our country in such a huge way.

Since 1973, over 63 million unborn babies have reportedly been aborted, over 3,000 per day, in the United States.

Following the march that evening, the Memphis group then made the 17-hour trip back home, arriving early the next morning.

I was the sponsor for the trip and was, once again, gratified by the students’ continued perseverance and 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.

I reminded them, “Abortion destroys the image of God, as we are all created in His image from the moment of conception.”

I also said, “You have lived your young lives in a culture of death that arose from unhindered abortion on demand. You are missing classmates due to
abortion. It’s important, therefore, that we continue our tradition of traveling to Washington to witness for life and stand for those who can’t stand up for themselves. It’s the only demonstration that truly has the unselfish cause for others and not yourselves. You are the ‘Pro-Life Generation’ and your commitment will help end the culture of death brought on by this decision and will bring our nation back to life.”

SBA Students for Life leader Philip Speering said, “I have been all four years of high school and I believe that, if we keep doing the March for Life, one day we will win the right to life for the unborn. Each year that I have participated, the crowd of high school students grows larger.”

SHARON MASTERSON, who wrote this opinion piece, is the director of communications and sports information for St. Benedict at Auburndale High School, located at 8250 Varnavas Drive, Cordova. Contact her at mastersons@sbaeagles.org.