On Jan. 27, more than 200 members of the Mount community took to the streets of Washington, D.C. for the 44th annual March for Life, a peaceful march from the National Mall to the Supreme Court Building, which protests the Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade, and emphasizes the sanctity of life. This year’s theme was “The Power of One.”
Each year, the university organizes trips to the nation’s capital so that the Mount community can participate in the March for Life. This year, 75 undergraduate students, faculty and campus ministry staff attended the trip organized by Campus’ Ministry’s Mount Students for Life group. Fifty seminarians also headed to the capital, sponsored by the Seminarians for Life group. All Friday classes at the seminary were cancelled for the event.
The March for Life attracts hundreds of thousands of people each year, who flood Constitution Avenue to celebrate and promote life through prayer, dialogue and music.
“The environment is incredibly loving and prayerful,” describes senior Veronica Messier. “There are groups of people praying the rosary. There are people singing the Salve Regina. There are bagpipes. There’s a lot of good stuff going on.”
For those Mount students and seminarians who attend each year, “it’s almost like a family reunion, because there are so many people there supporting the pro-life cause from all over the U.S.,” says Kate Tombs, President of Mount Students for Life. “You’re bound to see someone you know, as many of our marchers did!”
Most marchers sported matching hats or sweatshirts to identify the group they came with, but the Mount had a unique way of making its presence known.
“A Mount favorite was used to find each other and let the March know the Mount was there,” explains Tombs. “Father Brian would shout, ‘Here comes the Mount!’ and all from the Mount would shout, ‘Hey!’ and this would repeat over and over.”
The Mount banner, with its signature royal blue and white logo, could also be seen flashing proudly among the myriad of signs from across the nation.
While participation in the March for Life is a Mount tradition, and has been organized since the march’s origins in 1974, this year’s march held special significance. “The March was different this year than it has been for the past eight years because we have a president who openly disagrees with the ruling of Roe v. Wade. Also, it was the first time a member of the president’s administration has ever spoken at the March,” remarks Messier.
“Whether or not the law gets overturned,” she continued, “people are becoming aware that there is something important going on here because of the witness of people on the March, and, hopefully, hearts are changing and becoming more respectful of human life at every stage because of it.”
The Mount community came together Friday to issue its support for the march. A special ‘March for Life Mass’ was held at 9:45 am in the Immaculate Conception Chapel, and all were encouraged to attend.
Interim President Trainor also expressed his support and gratitude in an email dated Jan. 27: “We wish the more than 200 members of our entire campus community, students, staff and faculty who are in Washington D.C. today the best as they participate in March for Life to promote the sanctity of human life. Thank you for your efforts to highlight the dignity of all life.”