Sunday, 09 February 2020 17:40

Hundreds from diocese attend March for Life

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Amid the throng of hundreds of thousands of people carrying banners and signs in the nation’s capital on Jan. 24 at the 47th annual March for Life were close to 500 members of the faithful of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. The Springfield diocese was represented by Bishop Thomas John Paprocki, a number of priests, religious sisters and seminarians, other adult chaperones and of course, hundreds of youth.

Bishop Paprocki met the pilgrims in Washington, D.C., celebrating a Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica, visiting with various diocesan groups and then taking part in the march.

Most of the people from the Springfield diocese left home on Jan. 22 and returned home a few days after the rally. Besides attending the Mass with Bishop Paprocki and marching for life, they visited Arlington National Cemetery, attended the Life is Very Good Rally at George Mason University as well as Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, according to Tony Cerveny, the director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries.

“I want to thank the parents who allowed their child/children to attend the march and a special thank you to the chaperones,” Cerveny said. “That is not an easy task but a worthy one.”

The theme for this year’s march — “Life Empowers: Pro-Life is Pro- Woman” — was chosen to mark the centennial anniversary of women’s right to vote in the United States with the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920. The march’s theme counters the narrative put forward by abortion supporters that the practice of abortion empowers women.

President Donald J. Trump made history this year by being the first sitting president to appear in person at the March for Life. Trump said he was “proud to stand with you” to “protect the right of every child, born and unborn to fulfill their God-given potential.”

“Young people are the heart of the March for Life and it’s your generation that’s making America the pro-family, pro-life nation,” he said. “You are empowered by prayer and motivated by your unselfish love.”

Trump spoke for about 15 minutes and then the participants peacefully and purposefully made their way from the National Mall, heading up Constitution Avenue to the Supreme Court.

Looking back on the event, Cerveny said he was impressed with the people who stood up for life. “The students and chaperones did a fantastic job representing the diocese out in D.C., for the march. It was a true inspiration to see the number of people who gathered from all over the country to show our nation that abortion is not the answer,” he said. “Having junior high and high school students lead the way was great to witness and it also gave me a feeling of hope for the future of those who have no voice.”