“A new generation is on the rise, a generation dedicated to life, to love, and to faith — You are that generation!” — Rev. Carter Griffin, Homily during the Youth Rally for the March for Life at the Verizon Center, Jan. 25, 2013
Only one word, to describe yesterday’s March for Life in DC — “Unbelievable!”
I took plenty of pictures, and lot’s of video footage featuring the “Avengers 4 Life” (Regnum Christi Mission Corps Volunteers, who are also featured in our cover shot on Biltrix). Unfortunately, I am technologically disadvantaged at the moment, and will remain so until I return to New York on Sunday.
I hope to have the video edited early next week be able to share that along with more pictures of the event.
For now, just a quick synopsis of the my incredible experience yesterday.
The Pro-Lifers rallied, 500,000 strong, but numbers don’t tell the story. The atmosphere was charged with LIFE, youth, enthusiasm, faith, and vigor — perhaps most importantly, courage and hope. Throngs of chanting teens never let up. As far as the eye could see, as far as the ear could hear, the landscape and the air were pregnant with life.
Our day began with Mass during the Youth Rally at the Verizon Center at 10:00 a.m. Cardinal Wuerl presided along with several cardinal, bishop, and priests concelebrants.
Every cardinal in the United States was present, including my Archbishop, Timothy Dolan, of New York. Rev. Carter Griffin (vocations director for the Archdiocese of Washington) delivered a stellar homily, encouraging the young people present to stand strong in their faith and persevere in defense of life.
After the Eucharistic Celebration, I rushed to meet the growing crowd with the Avengers. This year I did not make it for the speeches on the lawn of the National Mall, because the “Avengers-4-Life” were busy teeming up with groups of cheering kids from all over the country.
At around 1:00 we began to march to the Supreme Court building, stopping several times along the way to join other chanting mobs. The relatively short trip from the Mall to the Supreme court took us over three hours. That’s not the normal time it takes to march, but we started out near the beginning of the procession and were among the last to arrive at the point of arrival.
Incidentally, I never saw a single counter-protester. Certainly, a meager few of them did show up to represent their views, but their presence was insignificant compared to the main attraction and the endless host of Pro-Life marchers.
People who attend the march for the first time are always shocked — jaws dropped and eyes gaping — saying “I never expected anything like this!” That is the truth of the matter. Words cannot explain what one sees at the March for Life. You have to experience it for yourself. Everyone who I talked to said, emphatically, “I’m definitely coming back next year.”
For those of you who have not been able to attend the March for Life in Washington yet, I hope one day you will be able to do so. These past few years have brought numerous challenges to our faith. To see half-a-million people, most of them kids, coming together in one place — the Capital of America — to express their belief and support for the sanctity and dignity of human life, is beyond impressive. It’s inspiring.
The pro-life movement is strong and growing, and it is young. The message I took away from the event this year is courage and hope.
To end this post, I want to leave you with that message of hope. Don’t let the bad news discourage you, even when it seems to come in droves. The culture of life is strong and growing and it isn’t going away.