On January 16, a group of 255 youth, young adults, and chaperones set out on a pilgrimage to Washington, DC to take a stand and march for all lives. The pilgrims took this opportunity to pray, reflect, and think about how to be lights in the darkness of the world around them. On the day before the March, our pilgrims visited the 9/11 Memorial at the Pentagon to reflect on the lives lost on that tragic day, and reflect on the heroes of Flight 93 who fought to save thousands of innocent lives even if it meant sacrificing their own. The pilgrims then spent time at the Saint John Paul II Shrine, where we prayed and attended Mass together.
The March for Life itself gave me hope. I saw hope in the eyes of our pilgrims that they could make a difference in the lives of the people they meet. I felt hope for myself, knowing that there is a generation coming up who have the passion and drive to, not only take a powerful stand regarding the dignity of all life, but also stand for the Truth of Jesus Christ.
The day after the March, we gathered as a group at one of the Planned Parenthood sites in Washington, DC. Praying with 254 other people for the lives of the unborn, the mothers, the fathers, the families, and all who are involved, was powerful. While we prayed, 8 women entered the Planned Parenthood. I pray that the witness of these pilgrims changed their hearts.
This pilgrimage lasted 5 days, and our pilgrims seemed to walk away with an understanding that our whole life is a pilgrimage and to be thankful for every step.
Story by Chris Rodgers, Director of the Office for Youth and Young Adult Ministries