January 10, 2018
Local Catholics prepare to attend March for Life in Washington
By Carolee McGrath
SPRINGFIELD – Hundreds of people from across the Diocese of Springfield are making plans to attend the 45th annual March for Life, Friday Jan. 19, in Washington, D.C.
The Diocese of Springfield’s Pro-Life Commission and Pioneer Valley Massachusetts Citizens for Life (PV-MCFL) are coordinating the bus trip once again this year from St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr Basilica in Chicopee, following an 8 p.m. Mass, Thursday, Jan. 18. Buses will also be leaving from Franklin and Berkshire counties.
After spending the night on the bus, people will be dropped off at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, to attend a 7:30 a.m. Solemn Mass for Life. The March begins with a rally at noon on the grounds of the Washington Monument, which is followed by the march up Constitution Avenue to the U.S. Supreme Court and capitol building.
Organizers admit the trip is a huge sacrifice for those who attend each year from across the country.
“Why go to the March for Life? Because it is the ultimate way to speak in a free society, to speak for those who have no voice who are defenseless,” said Tim Biggins, chairman of the Pro-Life Commission.
Each year, more than a hundred thousand travel to the nation’s capital to peacefully and prayerfully protest the Jan. 22, 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling of Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion on demand. This year’s theme is “Love Saves Lives: Life Is the Loving, Empowering and Self-Sacrificial Option.”
The woman who was “Jane Roe” in the Supreme Court Case, Norma McCorvey, later had a conversion on the issue and became a Catholic. She never had an abortion.
“I realized that my case which legalized abortion on demand was the biggest mistake of my life,” McCorvey stated in a public service announcement produced by Virtue Media.
McCorvey died last February at the age of 69. She will be honored during the 24th annual National Memorial for the Pre-born and Their Mothers and Fathers, Jan. 19 at 8:30 a.m. at DAR Constitutional Hall.
In her personal testimony, which she wrote for Priests for Life, McCorvey stated, “There is not a day that I do not thank God for the men and women who, by their personal contact with me or simply by their prayers, have helped me on my journey. His mercy is limitless, His power is infinite, and His promise of Life will not disappoint.”
The speakers at the rally this year include Pam Tebow, mother of pro-life advocate and NFL/MLB star Tim Tebow, and former NFL player Matt Birk and his wife, Adrianna.
Some of the local teens attending have had to rework their mid-term and finals schedules.
“It is a simple example in miniature of what our Lord said: ‘There is no greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one another.’ And for those who can go, it is truly an indelible experience,” Biggins said.
For more information, call PV-MCFL at (413)583-5034.