Every January, we remember the United States Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, legalizing abortion in our country.
On January 17, hundreds gathered at the Cathedral Basilica for the RLA’s Annual Roe v. Wade Memorial Mass celebrated by Archbishop Robert J. Carlson. Joining him were half a dozen priests as well as numerous seminarians from Kenrick Glennon. The Mass was immediately preceded by a Rose Procession, consisting of individuals born every year since 1973 honoring their peers lost to abortion. During the homily, Archbishop Carlson reminded all gathered that “we are called to witness our faith as Jesus did, never afraid of those who opposed him,” words that were put into action following Mass with a Rosary procession to Planned Parenthood. A powerful witness was made as hundreds gathered to offer the Sorrowful Mysteries outside of the abortion facility.
On January 22, 2,000 youth, young adults, and chaperones on the Generation Life pilgrimage and hundreds of others from our Archdiocese joined 500,000 others in the March for Life in our nation’s capital. The sheer magnitude of the crowd combined with the prayerful exuberance was truly inspirational. Several of these young people shared their reasons for being pro-life here. With pro-life hearts such as these, we have much reason to hope that abortion will soon no longer be legal or desired by anyone.
Beyond the March, pilgrims partook in other spiritual and educational activities, ranging from the Youth Rally and Mass for Life at the DC Armory to the National Prayer Vigil for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Generation Life pilgrims got to hear from pro-life speakers such as the Sisters of Life and Ryan Bomberger of the Radiance Foundation.
Meanwhile, numerous parishes held their own special prayer opportunities to allow all to join in prayer for an end to abortion. For example, young adults from around the Archdiocese gathered at the Cathedral Basilica for a special Holy Hour and pro-life Rosary. The event, sponsored by the RLA and the Office of Young Adult Ministry, drew over 60 young adults in addition to a dozen seminarians.
Although it has been 42 years since the legalization of abortion and it is easy to become discouraged when we reflect on the number of lives lost, there is hope. We know that much is being done materially, legally, and spiritually to end abortion. Let us all work together so that we will no longer have to commemorate Roe v. Wade, but rather live in a country where every human person is respected as a child of God.