My Youth Group has been talking about the March for Life for months. When we first started our little group, only a handful of students had ever attended the March before, and even for them, it had been quite a few years. For most of our members, the 2016 March for Life was going to be their first. We talked about it often, and as the date approached, their excitement was palpable. Even when whispers of snow began to float around, my students were not deterred. When we gathered last Tuesday for our final meeting before the March, we all had every intention of attending. But by Thursday it was becoming increasingly clear that if we attended, it would be a small group. By mid-afternoon, the executive decision to attend the Youth Rally and Mass, but skip the actual March, had already been made. As the hours ticked by and the predictions for snow continued to rise, families began to pull out.
I’ll admit- I was the first. At nine months pregnant, a little snowfall could be a recipe for disaster. We were all nervous about the snow- even if we managed to make it through the Rally and Mass, there was no telling what the weather would be like by the time we returned to southern Maryland. We already knew that the snow would start earlier in southern Maryland and northern Virginia, and many of us were still recovering from Wednesday’s storm, which had been a flurry compared to this past weekend’s blizzard. I was not at all surprised when parents began emailing me to let me know that they and their children would not be able to attend- with the storm inching closer, we were all worried that we would not be able to get home before the heavy snows began to fall. But I will tell you what did surprise me- the amount of parishioners who did decide to attend the March for Life.
Needless to say, I am incredibly proud of everyone who attended the March for Life this year. They braved the elements, and I know that they did a fantastic job representing our parish. But I am also incredibly proud of the rest of our Youth Group. I know many students attended Eucharistic Adoration in lieu of the March. I know many students prayed for an end to abortion with their families at home, when it became too treacherous to travel. Even though we could not all be in Washington, DC in person, we were all there in spirit. The prayers of those at home were certainly united to those of the parents and teens who were able to attend the March. Even though we were not all able to attend the March for Life, we were all able to stand up for the unborn in our own ways, through our prayers, our witness, and our written testimony. And of course, in my case, joyfully embracing the little life that God has given me.
Mary Help of Christians, pray for us!