The First Sitting President to Attend the March for Life is……

“Let us reaffirm a fundamental truth: All children, born and unborn, are made in the holy image of God.” President Donald Trump

In 2018, Vice President Mike Pence became the first VP to attend the March for Life. Those who are attending this year’s March for Life will also get to be a part of a historical feat. This was never done by Presidents, Reagan, Bush Sr or Bush Jr.

News has broken that Donald Trump will be the first President of the United States to attend the largest grassroots rally ever. He made the announcement today via https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js“>Twitter.

Even Abby Johnson rejoices over the news on her public page:

“There has NEVER been a president in United States history that has done more to break down the abortion industry more than President Trump. Not Bush, not Reagan…no one Like it or not, that’s a fact.”

Jeanne Mancini, President of the March for Life Foundation, released these words in light of the news.

“President Trump and his Administration have been consistent champions for life and their support for the March for Life has been unwavering,” she said in a statement. “We are grateful for all these pro-life accomplishments and look forward to gaining more victories for life in the future.”

“I ask every citizen of this great nation to listen to the sound of silence caused by a generation lost to us, and then to raise their voices for all affected by abortion, both seen and unseen.” Donald Trump

 

Going to the March for Life? Staying in D.C. for the Weekend? Here are some events before and after and things you can do.

In a previous post, I shared about things to do if in D.C. for the weekend.

Recently, I discovered events from many pro-life groups national and local. One group is Priests for Life who will have events planned in D.C. and on the West Coast to coincide with Walk for Life in San Francisco.

Here is a list of additional events happening after the March, if you plan to stay for the night or make a weekend out of the largest peaceful demonstration of the country.

  1. Vigil for Life
    1. The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception will have a night-long vigil for life. Here is information on adoration, night prayer, and the opening and closing masses
  2. Nellie Gray Mass
    1. A mass in the extraordinary form will be celebrated by the community of St. Mary, Mother of God Parish in downtown Washington D.C. This mass has been celebrated in memory of Nellie Gray for the last 8 years.
  3. Pro-Life Karaoke
    1. Rehumanize International and Secular Pro-Life will be hosting an epic karaoke party the night of the March for Life.
    2. This event is a fundraiser. $20 suggested donation at the door for adults. $10 suggested donation for students. $1-5 suggested donations to get on the song-request list. There will also be prizes and a raffle to win some limited edition pro-life merch! Light snacks, beer, wine, and soda will be provided! Email herb@rehumanizeintl.org  for further details.
  4. Students for Life of America Summit
    1. Dr. Monique Ruberu and Richara Krajewski are slated to speak at the annual summit in Washington, D.C. which is expecting 2,000 in attendance.

What to bring and pack

It’s January. It will be cold, so be sure to bundle up, wear layers, and keep warm as best as possible.

Also bear in mind that you will encounter some homeless people living on the streets. Here is what to do.

  1. Give them your leftovers
  2. Give them toiletries (toothbrush, hand sanitizers,
  3. Help them get to a homeless shelter
  4. Give them your pocket change
  5. Give them clothes, gloves, a hat, scarf, and even your time.
  6. Give them a gift card to a fast-food chain.

To me, being Pro-Life does not have to limit us to defending the unborn. Rather, we care about all life. That is from the unborn child in the mother’s womb to the elderly person and everyone in between.

The Pro-life Counter-Witness to Roe v. Wade

The following is a column from the National Right to Life that was published yesterday. Originally it was written by Archbishop Charles J Chaput a week prior to the 41st anniversary of Roe v Wade. 

Charles J. Chaput is the Archbishop of Philadelphia, and (as anyone who reads NRL News Today already knows) someone from whom I have learned a great deal and quote frequently. The following is excerpted from his weekly column and was written just prior to the 41st anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision.


January 22 marks the 41st anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, legalizing abortion on demand. Thanks to Roe, abortion has killed more than 57 million unborn children [now over 61 million] over the past four decades – the equivalent of roughly one in six living Americans; an entire generation extinguished. But alongside the killing spree, and despite the contempt of abortion activists and unfriendly media, the pro-life counter-witness of millions of Americans has also continued.

The “March for Life” this January, like every January over the past several decades, reminds the nation that killing an unborn child is never a private matter. Abortion is a uniquely intimate form of violence – but violence with bitter public consequences. Catholics eagerly join the March for Life each year because we believe in the God of life and joy; a God who creates every human being with innate dignity and rights, including above all the right to life.

What we really believe, we conform our lives to. And if we don’t at least try to conform our lives to what we claim to believe, then we’re fooling only ourselves, because God cannot be fooled. When we claim to be “Catholic” but then don’t advance our beliefs about the sanctity of the human person as the basis of law, it means one of two things.

We’re either very confused, or we’re very evasive.

All law involves the imposition of somebody’s beliefs about the nature of truth, charity, and justice on everyone else. That’s the reason we have marches, debates, elections, and Congress–to peacefully turn the struggle of ideas and moral convictions into laws that guide our common life. …

There’s a very old Christian expression that goes like this: “Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.”

Are we troubled enough about what’s wrong with the world — the killing of millions of unborn children through abortion; the neglect of the poor, the disabled and the elderly? Do we really have the courage of our convictions to change those things?

The opposite of hope is cynicism, and cynicism also has two daughters. Their names are indifference and cowardice. In renewing ourselves in our faith, what Catholics need to change most urgently is the lack of courage we find in our own personal lives, in our national political life, and sometimes even within the Church herself.

Every year in these weeks between the end of Christmas and the beginning of Lent, I reflect on what the Church means when she talks about the season of “ordinary time.” Ordinary time is where we spend most of our lives — raising families, doing our jobs, helping others, making the daily choices that shape the world around us. Ordinary time is the space God gives us to make a difference with our lives. What we do with that ordinary time — in our personal choices and in our public actions — matters eternally.

As Alexander Solzhenitsyn once wrote [in “The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956”], “the line separating good and evil runs not through states, nor between classes, nor even between political parties, but right through the center of each human heart, and every human heart.” That includes you and me.

Next week hundreds of thousands of good people will march for life in Washington. It’s an opportunity to prove the strength of our convictions; to show to the world what we really believe about the sanctity of human life. I’ll be there. And I ask you to join me.

Blogger’s Note: If you are planning to be in DC next week and decide to stay for the weekend, here is a post that breaks down a few worthwhile events and additional ones hosted by Priest for Life that are in DC and West Coast. 

Michelle Williams vs Leah Darrow

The talk of the town in the past two days has been Michelle Williams. Truthfully, Rick Gervais deserves a Golden Globe for his epic speech to scare the elite liberals of Hollywood.

One speech that has offended many women that evening came from actress Michelle Williams. In her acceptance speech, she cowardly made the false correlation between her professional decisions and her personal decisions claiming that “Because as women and as girls, things can happen to our bodies that are not our choice.” She continues, “I’ve tried my very best to live a life of my own making and not just a series of events that happened to me, but one that I could stand back and look at and recognize my handwriting all over—sometimes messy and scrawling, sometimes careful and precise, but one that I had carved with my own hand. And I wouldn’t have been able to do this without employing a woman’s right to choose: to choose when to have my children, and with whom.”

Clearly, this line is in the guise of a woman’s right to choose an abortion to fulfill a selfish need. I beg to answer the question that has she ever met women who once had an abortion and later in life regretting that fateful decision that has left them scarred, broken, and filled with a hole in their heart.

Leah Darrow

Leah Darrow

A woman that I believe Williams can learn from is a former runway model who is now an evangelist and sought-after speaker, Leah Darrow. Like Williams, Darrow is a celebrity. She was a contestant for America’s Next Top Model. She recalled how she had a road to Damascus experience, which led her back to the Catholic Church. She shares more about it also in her ground-breaking book, The Other Side of Beauty.

After hearing about the news of Williams and ready to give birth to her fifth child, Leah took it to Instagram to slam Michelle Williams for not only her speech but also how being a mom does not keep women from achieving their dreams. Instead, Leah shares the fact that authentic womanhood makes women better moms every time they give their yes to life.

As of today, Leah is now a proud mom of five beautiful children and the wife of a veteran and firefighter. Leah’s “yes” can teach women that choosing to be a mother to one, two, or even fifteen children does not derail us from our dreams and ambitions. Rather, you are willing to sacrifice the things of the world for the sake of your salvation and your family.

The things of the world cannot help you make achievements. Instead, they leave a deeper hole in our hearts. God calls us to something that is bigger than what the world proposes. He calls us to love those around us and to sacrifice the things that give us pleasure for his greater glory.

On behalf of Voices for Life, we congratulate Leah Darrow and her family on the birth of Valor Joseph who was born on the feast of the epiphany. We thank you for your testimony and hope you inspire other women to follow Christ and her mother by saying “yes” to his will.

A Pro-Life To-Do List

To do list

 

For the past few years, I took time on my Facebook page to reveal some of the things I hope to accomplish or do in a given new year. It can be challenging, but at the same time, it can help you to do new or accomplish things that you’ve always wanted to cross off.

As a pro-lifer, you may be on the same boat as I am. You may be asking yourself what you can do in the New Year to be a better pro-lifer or go into the unknown. To help you get a jump start on your pro-life to-do list, I came up with 10 things you can do as a pro-lifer.

  1. Host a screening of a pro-life themed movie. Unplanned took the world by storm and there is no question that many groups want to show movies like the world phenom of 2019. Cinema is a powerful medium to convey the message of life.
  2. Take part in a 40 Days for Life campaign (February 26th thru April 5th, 2020 and again the fall from September 23rd to November 1st). Be on the lookout once registration for vigil hours become available.
  3. Have a mass or Holy Hour offered for an end to the scourge of abortion or the conversion of those involved with the diabolical industry.
  4. Brush up on apologetics. It may be one thing to think you know it all. It’s another if you educate on what to say to those who may not know the issue at hand. Some people to learn from are Stephanie Gray and Trent Horn. Using their experience, they share the dos and don’ts in conveying the pro-life message to an individual or group.
  5. Volunteer at a pregnancy resource or crisis center. Many of them are not too far from a Planned Parenthood facility. these facilities need additional help with tasks like answering calls, taking inventory, and even being a support to vulnerable women. Side note: consider helping one raise funds for an ultrasound machine.
  6. Take part in prayer vigils. Yes, this may be scary, but we have been reminded 365 times in the Bible to not be afraid. If you can muster the courage every day to be present, your reward will be heaven. Don’t know what to say or do? Here’s a blog post for that. Here’s a post on prayers to recite in front of the facilities.
  7. Donate or raise funds for pro-life organizations. A previous blog post breaks down different groups that may help you decide who you can send your donation. If you want to go towards a fundraiser route, you might want to consider having a quizzo night, have someone teach ballroom dancing, or arts and craft and sell them with proceeds going to a pro-life organization of your choosing.
  8. Attend a rally. One of the most common events you can attend is the March for Life in DC, Chicago,  or West Coast area (San Francisco or L.A. areas). You may also want to consider attending one on the state level. (Pennsylvania will host their inaugural state march on May 18th, 2020.
  9. Attend a pro-life seminar near you or on a national scale. Dr. Monique Ruberu and Richara Krajewski will be speaking at the annual National Pro-Life Summit on January 25th in Washington, DC. Secure your spot today.
  10. Recruit more people to join the pro-life cause. Visit parishes, have displays on your campus, invite a pro-life speaker to your classroom, and learn more about how you can

Pro-Lifers Sing Christmas Carols, Call Escorts and Workers to Repentance

“When Herod realized that the wise men had deceived him, he flew into a rage and issued an order to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and the surrounding area who were two years old or less, in accordance with the information that he had obtained from the wise men. Thus were fulfilled the words of the prophet Jeremiah: A voice was heard in Ramah, lamenting and sobbing bitterly: Rachel weeping for her children, and refusing to be consoled because they were no more.” Gospel of Matthew

On a mild, Saturday morning in Center City, the prayer vigil started out with four regulars praying in front of the largest abortion facility in murder counts turned into 20 pro-lifers across the greater area to pray, sing Christmas carols, and call the workers and escorts to repent of the murder they are participating in. Even two women who experience abortion first-hand pleaded to the moms to turn away.

It is fitting that today’s caroling took place during the feast of the Holy Innocents. Sadly, like Herod, we have a political party that wants to deem the unborn as expendable through their agenda at all stages of a mother’s pregnancy.

On this feast, let us remember that these innocents cry out for help. this cry resonates today every time we are present outside of the abortion facilities in America. We need to reclaim that first inalienable right to life just as God intended. Life is for every person from the womb to the tomb and everyone in between. We must place them as a high priority over material things.

 

Holy Innocents, pray for us

Do You Have Room In The Inn? A Pro-Life Christmas Reflection

And she gave birth to her firstborn son, and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger because there was no room for them in the place where travelers lodged.Luke 2:7 

This passage from the gospel of Luke strikes me to the core. With Christmas just days away as I blog this, I cannot help but realize how 60 million babies can relate to baby Jesus. Thankfully, the Blessed Mother, Mary gave her full yes to the gift of life.

Sadly, our society has shown away pregnant moms, many of whom are single or unwed, by offering abortion or not proper services. Instead, we replace it with a dog or cat. Do not get me wrong I love the sight and adore dogs from puppy to adult. I see many of them every day when I am out and about. At the same time, I am more likely to adore a mom, dad, or even together showing their newborn baby or two their surroundings whenever they go out to shop, eat, or explore the amazing attractions that await them.

What Luke can tell us from this account is that we must be willing to have room for one more child in our lives, whether it’s an orphan, the immigrant, or consider renewing your vows, and even supporting a mother in need.

Activites

  1. Contact your local pregnancy center and ask if there is a family in need of clothes, diapers, and even baby food.
  2. Donate any old clothes in good condition to a homeless shelter.
  3. Help a mother who is struggling by inviting them to your Christmas festivities.
  4. Send a card to a pregnancy resource center in thanking them for all they do to help pregnant mothers choose life.
  5. Offer a rosary and or Chaplet of Divine Mercy for mothers scourged by abortion.

Get on the Bus with Northeast Philly Pro-Lifers

marchforlife2020

The following is from Emily Welfield, a pro-lifer hailing from the Northeast section of Philadelphia. 

Maternity of BVM parish’s Respect Life Committee will be running a bus trip to Washington, DC on Friday, January 24th.

The cost is $30 per person. The accepted payments are cash or check and the check made out to Maternity BVM Respect Life. It can be dropped off at the rectory located at 9220 Old Bustleton Ave Phila PA 19115.

If interested in participating, reserve your seat by contacting Emily Welfield,
Respect-Life Committee Leader, at emilyhoelsworth@gmail.com or 267-982-9238.

March for Life Pilgrimage with Students for Life President

Hawkins.jpg

The following is from the Facebook status of Students for Life President Kristan Mercer Hawkins.

Are you thinking of coming to the March for Life and National Pro-Life Summit but worried about logistics? Have no fear! Sign up to join the Students for Life Supporter Pilgrimage to the March, and our travel company will do all of the work for you! Use promo code: Life_2020 for $300 off right now!

More info here

March for Life Weekend To-Do List

2019 March for Life

Do you have plans or thinking about making a long weekend in Washington, DC during the March for Life (Friday, January 24th)?

Believe it or not, there are pro-life events happening before and after the March for Life that you should consider attending. Here are just a few of the happenings before and after the march.

Thursday, January 24th

Bryan Kemper and other pro-lifers will be leading a prayer vigil outside of Planned Parenthood’s Carol Whitehill Moses Center (1225 4th St NE, Washington, DC 20002).

March for Life Vigil Mass

You are invited to join the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception for the 2020 Opening Prayer Vigil for Life on Thursday, January 23. Mass will begin at 5:30 PM in the Great Upper Church.

The Most Reverend Joseph Naumann, Archbishop of Kansas City, KS, and Chairman, Committee on Pro-Life Activities, will be the main celebrant and homilist. Mass will be broadcast live on EWTN as well as the National Shrine’s YouTube and Facebook pages.

March for Life Conference

The March for Life Conference is designed to provide marchers with in-depth education on the yearly theme. The speakers and training sessions will provide information and training tools for marchers to go back to their communities equipped to make a difference for life. Register here

Schedule:

9:00 a.m. Keynote Address – TBA

10:00 a.m. Panel Discussion – TBA

11:00 a.m. Capitol Hill 101 – a session designed to equip marchers to meet with their Members of Congress during their March for Life trip to advocate for the sanctity of life.

Storkball 2020

You may have noticed a previous blog post regarding a banquet hosted by Save the Storks, a pro-life organization based in Colorado Springs. Learn about their event taking place the night before the march here.

Friday, January 24th

Closing Mass

In addition, on Friday, January 24th, The National Shrine will conclude the National Prayer Vigil for Life with Holy Mass in the Great Upper Church at 7:30 AM.

For a full schedule, visit here

March for Life Expo

Friday, January 24, 8:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 P.M. – 7:00 P.M. (This event is also taking place on January 22nd from 5:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M. and 23rd from 9AM to 8PM.)

RENAISSANCE WASHINGTON DC DOWNTOWN HOTEL
999 NINTH STREET NW
WASHINGTON, D.C., 20001

March for Life

From the March for Life’s website:

Schedule

January 24, 2020

11:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. Musical opening
12:00 p.m. Rally Program
1:00 p.m. March up Constitution Avenue to Supreme Court and Capitol Building
3:00 p.m. After finishing marching:

  • Silent No More testimonies outside U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Advocate for life to your Representative or Senators.
  • Visit the March for Life Expo.

Location

The March for Life Rally will take place at noon at 12th St. on the National Mall, in between Madison Drive and Jefferson Drive. Following the Rally, the March will begin on Constitution Avenue between 12th and 14th Streets at approximately 1:00 pm.

Travel Info

Please use the Metro to arrive at the rally site. Recommend locations: Federal Triangle, Smithsonian, Metro Center. For metro info: https://www.wmata.com/fares/smartrip/.(Check out our March for Life map — you can print off paper copies OR download the March for Life app.)

Have your metro card easily accessible, before you enter the station. Metro Stations are crowded during rush hour, and even more crowded on the March for Life, during rush hour. Keep in mind that in the Washington Metro system, you need to tap in and tap out of their fare gates. One way to alleviate long lines, and avoid the frustration of fellow metro riders is to have your metro card ready, in your hand, before you enter the line for the fare gate. Also, you do not need to wait for the gates to close after the person in front of you walks through, just ensure you tap your card to the SmarTrip target and proceed through the gate.

Important Notes

  • While walking and riding the metro in D.C., please be respectful of residents and commuters. Let’s show the nation’s capital how passionate and polite and respectful pro-lifers really are!
  • Do not leave trash or signs on the grounds of the National Mall, Supreme Court, or Capitol.
  • This is our nation’s capital and we should treat it with dignity and respect. If trash bins are full, please carry your trash or sign with you until you find an available trash bin.
  • Do not engage with counter-protesters. If they try to engage you, ignore them as best you can. However, if you are comfortable doing, so use your phone to video the situation. This is for your protection.
  • Once again, please be respectful of all people and stay focused on the cause of promoting and celebrating life, lovingly and graciously.

38th Annual Rose Dinner

The Rose Dinner is an evening of inspiration and fellowship to conclude the March for Life activities.

This year’s speakers are Sister Bethany Madonna of the Sisters of Life and Dr. William Hogan.

Sister Bethany Madonna (Keynote Speaker)

Sister Bethany Madonna entered the Sisters of Life in 2007. While attending the University of Central Florida, she had a profound encounter with the Lord, which drew her heart toward the vulnerable unborn and their mothers. After her graduation in 2006, she worked for the Respect Life Office for the Diocese of Orlando before joining her religious community. She made her final vows in 2015 and currently lives at the community’s Motherhouse, serving as the Vocation Director. She loves sharing the message of life and love.

Dr. William Hogan (Guest of Honor)

Dr. Bill Hogan began his medical career as an OBGYN in the 1960s, placing the loving care for expectant mothers and babies at the heart of everything he did, both inside and out of his practice. From serving women with crisis pregnancies in his medical practice to defending the Human Life Amendment before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Dr. Hogan has fully exemplified the spirit of the pro-life movement. For this reason, the March for Life is honored to present Dr. William Hogan with the inaugural Pro-Life Legacy Award.

Learn more about the life and legacy of Dr. Bill Hogan.

Note: Tickets for the Rose Dinner are sold out and registration is closed.

Please reach out to Mary Lembke at marylembke@marchforlife.org to inquire about sponsorships or to be added to the waiting list. A small number of tickets may be available in January.

January 25th

There are several pro-life events happening around DC, including two conferences in downtown DC and at Georgetown University.

Prayer Vigil at Planned Parenthood Carol Whitehill Moses Center

Pro-lifers are welcome to pray outside of Planned Parenthood and offer life-saving alternatives.  (1225 4th St NE, Washington, DC 20002) From 8AM-12PM. There will be a Jericho Walk around the perimeter of the building.

Students for Life of America Conference

This year’s theme is History Maker: Casting a Vision for a Post-Roe America.

The Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions, handed down by our Supreme Court on January 22, 1973, have shaped our nation for the last 46 years. We are drawing a line in the sand to say, “no more!”

Pro-lifers are poised on the edge of a pro-life wave that has brought us two decades of advancement in pro-life legislation, the most pro-life Presidential administration in history, more pro-life judges being appointed across the nation and to the Supreme Court, and public opinion shifting ever more to rejecting abortion. Now, we must prepare for that wave to come crashing down on the Supreme Court decision that started it all.

If we really want to see Roe reversed and if we really want to see abortion become unthinkable, then now is the time to prepare for a post-Roe nation.

Register for the conference here

Click here to learn about this year’s lineup for speakers.

Cardinal O’Connor Conference on Life

Mission

The Cardinal O’Connor Conference on Life strives to promote intellectually rigorous discourse on the dignity of human life. Rooted in the Catholic tradition, the Conference is named in the honor of His Eminence John Cardinal O’Connor, the late Archbishop of New York and a Georgetown University alumnus, who principally committed himself to care for the defenseless and eloquently advancing the pro-life argument. We aim to encourage discussion among men and women of all faiths and backgrounds, including students, professionals, academics, and clergy. Attendees will leave the Conference equipped with the arguments and information necessary to better promote a consistent ethic of life in their own communities.

History

Traditionally held on the day before or after the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., the Conference was founded by Georgetown University undergraduate students in January 2000 and later named in honor of John Cardinal O’Connor. Cardinal O’Connor was renowned as a champion of the unborn and the Cardinal O’Connor Conference on Life seeks to continue his mission. Each year, our attendees have the opportunity to hear from the nation’s leading advocates in the pro-life movement, participate in small group discussions, meet other collegiate leaders, and experience the momentum that the movement brings to our nation’s capital each year during the March for Life.

Originally created for college and high school students, the Conference now attracts students, academics, clergy, and activists from around the country to reflect on a variety of pro-life topics. The Conference has grown to be the largest collegiate pro-life conference in the United States and to host many prominent pro-life speakers, including Helen Alvaré, Dr. Robert George, Margaret Colin, Dr. Michael Pakaluk, Deirdre McQuade, Archbishop Burke, Cardinal O’Malley, Dr. Charles Camosy, Ross Douthat, Jennifer O’Neill, Mother Agnes of the Sisters for Life, the Little Sisters of the Poor, Serrin Foster, Rep. Chris Smith, Dr. Wanda Franz, Dr. Mildred Jefferson, Dr. Alveda C. King, Rep. Henry Hyde, Richard Doerflinger, Jeanne Mancini, George Weigel, and Timothy Cardinal Dolan.

To register, visit the site here.

Also, click here to learn about the myriad of speakers lined up for the conference.

More events will become available at another time. Start making your plans, network with fellow pro-lifers, and stand for life.