An estimated 200,000 defenders of life traveled to Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Jan. 22., to mark the 42nd anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion in America in 1973.
Among the thousands of men, women, teenagers, and children who marched together down Constitution Avenue, past the Capitol to the Supreme Court, were many from the Rockland prolife community, including those who came on two buses chartered by the Rockland Right to Life Committee.
For those, the day began before dawn. Msgr. Joseph Giandurco, pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Suffern, greeted the marchers as they boarded the bus at the church parking lot at 5 a.m.
Next, the bus headed for St. Anthony’s Church in Nanuet, where another group was were waiting. Bus co-captains Eileen Peterson and Jim Dugandzic took attendance. And pastor of St. Anthony’s, Rev. Jerry Deponai, spoke with the group about the importance of their mission and gave them a blessing for the journey.
Shortly after 11 a.m, the Rockland marchers were in Washington, D.C., near the National Mall where the Rally that precedes the March takes place. The Washington Monument could be seen outside the window. The temperature was great — in the upper 40s, and the sun was shining.
At the Rally, the crowd was addressed by Patrick Kelly, Chairman of the Board of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, who told the crowd, “History is on our side. Because History is always on the side of those who fight for the truth.”
President of the March for Life Jeanne Monahan Mancini told the marchers that 1 million babies are aborted in the United States each year — one out of every five — and 90% of those diagnosed before birth with abnormalities.
But Monahan also reminded the thousands who had assembled in the Mall of the theme of this year’s march,”Every Life is a Gift.” She said that each one us is also a gift to the world, with a unique, unrepeatable, mission. “Be who you are, and you will set the world on fire,” she encouraged the crowd, especially the youth people, who were there in great numbers. She urged them to always defend life and to use social media to spread the word.
Many members of the bipartisan Congressional Prolife Caucus addressed the Rally, including Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash), who herself is the mother of a child with Down’s syndrome; Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) who said Senate will work with the House as they pass legislation to protect human life; Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Il) and Rep. Tom Reid (R-NY) who’s from the Finger Lakes region.
Longtime prolife leader Chris Smith (R-NJ), chairman of the prolife caucus, said he had never seen as many prolife lawmakers in Congress as we have now. “We must take abortion out of Obamacare,” he said to great applause, “and make the Hyde Amendment permanent.” (The Hyde Amendment prohibits federal tax money from being used for abortions.)
Among the hundreds of thousands at the Rally, somehow the groups from the two Rockland buses (which traveled separately) found each other. Here is Sr. Nancy Richter and the ProLife Club of Albertus Magnus High School, posing for their group picture.
And then the March for Life began!
And the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, carrying the banner of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Patroness of Life.
The Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, where our marchers met their bus for the trip back to Rockland.
Thank you everyone for marching for life, for your passion, commitment, and enthusiasm. Now a new year of challenges begins, but we’ll never give up. And we pray that one day there will be a true culture of life in our land — and then there will no no need to march again.
Rockland Right to Life would like to thank the photographers, who attended the March for Life and provided the images that appear in this article: John Ferrao, Francis Wong, and Joanne Clemente.
We also thank the bus captains, Eileen Peterson and Jim Dugandzic, the leaders who brought our marchers to Washington and safely home.
Thanks also to Msgr. Giandurco and Father Jerry for your words to the marchers and blessings for the trip.
Thank you all who organized the trip and helped with the many, many details that go into promoting it and making it happen: Marie DiNapoli, Jeanmarie Grahn, Mary Loftus, Liz O’Brien, Eileen Peterson, John Rio, Spear Printing, and Ann Upton.
And our deepest appreciation to our many generous supporters, whose donations made this trip possible.
To see more photos, click on “Continue Reading.” Continue reading
Throughout the day, On the March will post texts, tweets, and photos from the marchers in Washington, and messages from YOU! If you would like to be part of today’s event and send a shout out to our friends, the Rockland Marchers, please text it to 201-739-4413 or email it to RocklandRT@optonline.com, and it will appear HERE.
6:39 a.m. Today is ‘THE DAY.’ And They’re Off !!!!!! Heroes For Life. Silently, fluffy snow flakes falling now in Rockland. Soon, many voices resounding in Washington in support of the sanctity of Life. God bless them all. — Jeanmarie Grahn
10:30 a.m. from Joanne Clemente — Lilly and Eileen singing
11:15 a.m. –THEY HAVE ARRIVED! THE BUS IS AT THE NATIONAL MALL. WEATHER IS BEAUTIFUL! — Reported by Eileen Peterson
12:30 to 1:00 p.m.
1:20 p.m. Meanwhile, back in Rockland: Earlier this morning the annual Rose Mass was held at St. Paul’s in Congers. Eighth-grade students from all of Rockland’s Catholic Schools attended this mass for Life, which was concelebrated by Msgr. Nevins, the pastor of St. Paul’s and Vicar of Rockland, and priests from parishes around the county.
Also present were Cathleen Cassel, regional superintendent of schools for the Archdiocese of New York, and Lisa Ferraro, Instructional Specialist for the archdiocese.
At the Offertory, representatives from each school brought to the altar a long-stemmed, red rose, the symbol of Life. Students also offered the petitions during mass, and at the end of the service, a student gave witness about his sister, whom his parents had been advised to abort because she had been diagnosed with a fetal abnormality. That sister is now 18 years old, a welcome and beloved member of the family — Reported by Gail Krug and Jeanmarie Grahn
1:40 p.m. Thanks to all our Rockland Right to Life marchers for representing all of us here at home. Godspeed, — Joe O’Brien
3:20 p.m. From Eileen Peterson
09:00 p.m. Nothing like marching in Washington! You stood tall and proud! You inspired us here at home and couldn’t be ignored by those who oppose us. America was watching and listening. – Joe O’Brien
EVERY LIFE IS A GIFT: MARCH for LIFE 2015
!!!!!! UPDATE !!!!!!
THE BUSES HAVE LEFT FROM SACRED HEART, ST. ANTHONY’S and ALBERTUS MAGNUS HIGH SCHOOL and ARE ON THEIR WAY
FOR UPDATED INFORMATION ABOUT OUR TRIP TO THE MARCH — CLICK HERE
The location of the Rally has been changed this year. It is still the National Mall, but will be between 12th and 14th Streets — closer to the Washington Monument.
CLICK HERE FOR LINE-UP OF SPEAKERS FOR THE RALLY FOR LIFE
NINE DAYS OF PRAYER TO END ABORTION
From Jan. 17 through Jan. 25, join with the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and thousands of Catholics across the country coming together to pray for a “culture of life” via App, Text, Email, or Online.
Back in session, the New York State Senate yesterday unanimously (62-0) passed all the planks of the Women’s Equalty Act (WEA) except for one — the controversial abortion expansion bill.
These same measures — including pay equality, curtailing pregnancy discrimination in the workplace, aid for victims of domestic violence, and strengthening laws against sex trafficking — passed the Senate last spring, but never became law because the House refused to consider them without also voting on the abortion legislation.
Now, again, the WEA will return to the House, where pro-abortion forces are pressuring the legislators not to vote on the bills passed by the Senate, but to hold out for the full package containing those bills plus the abortion expansion “10th point.”
It will be interesting to see what Governor Cuomo, who strongly supported the full WEA agenda in his State of the Union address last year, will say in his speech next week.
Senate Majority Leader and Coalition Co-Leader Dean Skelos (R) said in a statement supporting the passage of the non-abortion-related measures: “It is a new year and time to put progress over politics by passing effective measures that provide women with the protections they need and the opportunities they deserve.
For more about this, see Equality Clash Redux (The Times Union)
NYS Senate Passes Women’s Equality Package (Press release from the NY Senate)