The 50th anniversary of Humanae Vitae seemed like an auspicious year to attend the Mass for Life and the Washington State March for Life for the first time. I am grateful that I was able to finally attend.
I didn’t know exactly what to expect. I knew the general layout of the day: Mass, the March at the Capitol, then meeting with elected representatives, but I didn’t know I would be witnessing and observing so much joy and positivity as a community of Christians, most of us Catholic.
We were publicly, loudly, expressing our faith in God and our fervent desire to protect all life, from conception until natural death. It was a powerful experience to shout “Pro-life!” over and over as one of our state representatives led us in the chant. It was moving to pray all together many times throughout the March.
Before going to the March, it was enlivening and bolstering to receive the Eucharist in the house of God, where we received bold encouragement before entering our house of government. We owned our identity as pro-life people — people who love all others and look to help those in need, in the name of Jesus Christ.
From first-timers to many-timers, we included small children, senior citizens, students of all ages, families, couples and singles — a cross-section of God’s creation, coming from all parts of the state. It was amazing to think of all these thousands of people going to great lengths and spending an entire day, in many cases traveling long distances, to get to our state capital to advocate for our most needy citizens.
It didn’t matter that it was raining. Malcolm Efta, one of my fellow riders on a chartered bus, remarked that last year it had rained hard during the March, and he and his wife decided the heavens were crying over so many babies lost to abortion. This year, the rain was still there, only lighter, and we acknowledged that the heavens still weep.
Another bus rider, Sharee Corcoran, said it was an honor to attend the Mass and March. And it was. It was an honor to raise our voices in community, both parish and diocesan, for those who have no voice.
It was an honor to honor the unborn — those who have been sacrificed, and those who yet need protection.