Marching in Remembrance and Hope
By: Caitlin Bootsma
With the snow coming down and the traffic getting heavier, I am just returning from attending the March for Life along with an estimated 400,000 participants. It might have been cold, but the energy was high as teenagers chanted pro-life rallying cries, politicans spoke at the pre-March rally about the importance of a bi-partisan approach to protecting life, and families stood as a testament to the beauty of welcoming children into the world. Not least among the participants were the thousands of parishioners who came from our diocese across the river.
Bishop Loverde with the Bishop of Norwich and Sr. Clare Hunter
The very first person from the diocese that I ran into was Bishop Loverde. He had just arrived after celebrating Mass at the “Life is Very Good” event at the Patriot Center with thousands of teenagers. He was clearly energized by the enthusiasm for life shown by so many young people and ready to march for the unborn and to meet parishioners along the way.
Students from Pope John Paul the Great, Dumfries
On the steps of the National Gallery of Art, Pope John Paul the Great High School students were regrouping and preparing to march with a huge banner expressing their support for human life. The teenage boys couldn’t resist strategizing about how they could elevate their banner above all of the other hundreds of signs being held along the March. Principal Sr. Mary Jordan shared with me that she could tell that many of her students were struck by the value of young life after hearing Bishop Loverde relating his own story of being born prematurely, weighing a mere three pounds.
Fr. Lundberg and Sr. Mary Jordan Hoover from Pope John Paul the Great with my husband and son, parishioners of St. Agnes
As I marched along in the throng with my husband and son, we quickly got caught up with a huge group from St. Timothy parish in Chantilly. Among that group, I ran into a coworker who explained that his children were present among several different groups — both parish and school.
The new director of the March for Life, Jeanne Monahan, told us at the rally before the March that 1/6 of the U.S. population is not with us today because they were victims of abortion. Looking at the faces of fellow parishioners, as well as other participants from near and far, it was clear that they were well aware of the reality of our lost brothers and sisters. Today, we marched in remembrance of these young lives, but also with hope for protecting the lives of future generations.