Dominican High students walk for life, return emboldened

    We lined the sidewalks, packed closely for we were many. Some of us stood among the rose bushes they planted to keep us out. Our fingers grasped our rosary beads. It was Tuesday morning, but D.C.’s Planned Parenthood hid behind closed doors. Perhaps the weather kept it closed. Or perhaps it was our prayers.
    A few flurries greeted us when we stepped outside that morning, but with each passing minute the snow whirled around our faces more aggressively. The forecast predicted six inches that afternoon. The Capitol building had closed, canceling our tour. Many residents stayed indoors. But we were pilgrims, not tourists. We walked to the White House and continued to pray.
    We started our trip Jan. 18 aboard one of 10 buses carrying 500 youth from the Archdiocese of New Orleans, heading to the March for Life in Washington, D.C., on the 41st anniversary of the legalization of abortion. Most local high schools and CYOs were represented. I was a chaperone for 25 St. Mary’s Dominican High students.
    By the Jan. 22 March, the snow had stopped, and the sun blazed through a crisp, blue sky. But it was the coldest day of the week with highs in the teens. When we collected on the National Mall for the pre-March rally, the air stung like needles.  
    Then we marched. Hundreds of thousands of pro-life supporters stormed Capitol Hill. We saw groups from other dioceses, universities and religious orders. We saw Catholics, Protestants and non-religious supporters.
    “Seeing the people gathered helps you feel a sense of solidarity,” said Dominican senior Stephanie Reuter.
    As I looked around the crowds I noticed we were in the company of mostly youths. Youths with a passion. Youths who did not mind that they couldn’t feel their toes or that they might be mocked by their peers or even their own families. Youths who are certain that abortion will end.
    Relativism and self-centeredness pervade society. Our government has failed to protect the dignity of human life. This culture of death looms, causing us to be numb to its severity and hopeless for change.
    “You feel like you are one in a million and cannot make a difference,” senior Courtney Dauzat said. “But when you are surrounded by so many people. ... you realize there is hope and we will abolish abortion.”
    “It helps you realize you can’t do it by yourself,” said Abby Sticker. “You need Divine help.”
    Witnessing so many young Americans fighting for the dignity of the unborn is an answer to prayer. We need hope that this culture of death will end.
    We returned home, thankful for the memories and the opportunity to stand for the dignity of life. With renewed hope, we look forward to the day that the March for Life is no longer a plea for change, but a tribute to the millions of Americans who have lost their lives to the tragedy of abortion.
    Maria Bruce is Prolife Club moderator and English faculty member at St. Mary’s Dominican.

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