March for Life
Lourdes Students Travel to Washington, DC to Witness for Life
|By Emilee Smith|
“We must not be surprised when we hear of murders, killings, of wars, or of hatred...If a mother can kill her own child, what is left but for us to kill each other?” – Blessed Mother Teresa
January 22, 1973… a day that as Americans, we will never forget. The legalization of abortion has forever changed not only our country, but the world. On January 19, 2012 eight Lourdes students left with Fr. Rolling for the Diocesan sponsored March for Life pilgrimage. Approximately 105 students attending various schools in our Diocese and the Diocese of Grand Island along with eight priests attended the six day pilgrimage. Senior Josh Kaiser and juniors Cassidy Becklun, Justin Easter, Kayla Eggenberg, Alyssa Hurd, Kaitlin Mick, Emilee Smith, and Elizabeth Tune took part in the 26 hour bus ride, in order to stand up for the unborn.
On January 19, the group attended Mass at the Blessed John XXIII Diocesan center, and then boarded the charter bus headed for the first stop in Philadelphia, PA. Friday morning January 20, the two busses arrived at the Shrine of St. John Neumann. The group was blessed with the opportunity to view the remains of St. John Neumann and to have Mass.
Later that evening they went to St. Charles Borromeo Seminary where they ate pizza with seminarians from our home diocese and received a tour. One of my personal favorite things about the trip was the visit to the seminary. Even though I had been on the bus for two days and gone without a shower, I experienced something that not many people ever get to witness. These men are being prepared for something that is not only a ‘job,’ but the the rest of their lives. It is incredible to see their overabundance of joy, but also their love for the Church and our Lord.
On Saturday January 21, the two busses left Philly and made the two hour journey to Baltimore, MD. Upon arriving there, the Diocesan priests held Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (America’s first Cathedral.) After leaving the Basilica, we rode the bus to the final destination: Washington D.C. Once everyone was checked into the hotel, the students separated into groups and were free to do as they pleased. That evening, Fr. Rolling’s group saw the Capitol Building, U.S. Supreme Court building, U.S. Botanical Garden, the White House, and they experienced a fair share of time riding the Metro.
Sunday January 22, we attended Mass at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle. After Mass, we were free again to do some touring of D.C. Some spent the afternoon at the Holocaust Museum, while others saw the Lincoln and Washington Monuments, WWII Memorial, National Archives, the National Gallery of Art, and Arlington Cemetery.
The big day came on Monday January 23. We went to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception where we attended Mass in the morning. We also received a brief tour and viewed some of the various 70 chapels within the Basilica. After Mass, Congressman Jeff Fortenberry made a stop on both Diocesan busses. He said he was proud to see so many young Nebraskans taking a stand against abortion. Everyone then attended the March for Life rally where many politicians voiced their Pro-Life opinions. The March officially began at 11 A.M. Despite a cold winter rain in our nation’s capital, close to half a million men and women, took part in this fight for an end to our modern day holocaust. Reflecting on the trip, Josh Kaiser said “The entire pilgrimage was wholesomely gratifying. I loved the experience and meeting so many new people who are now good friends of mine. Seeing so many people all fighting for the same cause was pretty cool. It’s awesome being a part of something as big as the pro-life movement.”
Everyone felt it was worthwhile. The 2013 National March for Life has been set for Friday, January 25, 2013.