This past week we sent many youth up to D.C. for the March for Life. I was not able to attend due to parish responsibilities, but many of our teenagers and parents with children did attend. In fact, there was so much interest that we had a waiting list. St. Mary’s Ryken High School had to reserve a second bus, because the demand was so high. The children said it was the largest march they had ever seen. Many were surprised by the large numbers of young people, especially college students and young parents with children. It has truly become a young people’s march, which bodes well for the future. Older people who went to the march despite various ailments felt encouraged as well.
One of the things I was also happy to hear was how the leaders in the pro-life movement recognized that it needs to become a more diverse movement. We need to work harder to get African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and people of various religious and secular backgrounds. Those who have attended in the past know that the march is mostly made up of Catholics, with many priests, religious men and women, priests, and students, both in college and grade school. While this is a wonderful thing, the sad part is many others need to come out as well. We do not have large groups of Protestants, Jews, Muslims and others that should be defending the dignity of all human life.
We also need to make sure that as pro-life Catholics, we recognize that we need to stand up to all the threats to the dignity to human life. This includes euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide, the death penalty, and discrimination based on race or nationality. These are evils that need to be rejected by all who call themselves pro-life. As Catholics, we are called to bring these evils out of the darkness into the light and fight against them with our voices, actions and advocacy. To do this, we must know and explain why we are pro-life, in every sense of the word. We must stand for the dignity of every single person, from conception to natural death, regardless of race, nationality or disability.
The March for Life may be over for 2017, but there is much to do. We must write letters to our representatives in the federal and state government. We must speak up at work, in school and among our family. We must also live in unison with our speech, treating everyone we encounter with dignity and respect, or else our words mean nothing. As Martin Luther King said, “Evil wins when good men are silent.” Let us not be such men.
– Fr. Scott