January 22nd marked the forty-third anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion in the United States. To commemorate the anniversary, pro-lifers from around the country faced great obstacles such as the weather to fill the streets of Chicago, San Francisco and Washington D.C. as a witness to the dignity of all human life.
Over 5,000 people braved frigid temperatures and packed the streets of downtown Chicago on January 17th. Before marching, however, the event began with Masses for Life. Several Masses for Life around the Chicago area were sponsored by religious orders and were influenced by their spiritualties such as the Franciscan Litany recited at St. Peter’s in the Loop. During the events, over 2,000 of the IRL’s Merciful Like the Father holy cards were distributed by Fr. Jim Heyd and his team.
Winter Storm Jonas wreaked havoc on the east coast during the weekend of the March for Life in Washington D.C. The weather forced many to stay home and participate in local pro-life events, however, many still converged on our nation’s capital to defend life. One group of 165 were led by Fr. Nathan Caswell, SJC of the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius. After attending the March, they unfortunately shared the fate of many and were stranded in Pennsylvania. They made the best of their situation, however, and were able to celebrate Mass in the hotel’s bar. They were even joined at Mass by sisters from another IRL affiliate, the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist.
Pouring rain could not stop tens of thousands of people from attending the 12th annual Walk for Life in San Francisco. Among those in attendance were students from Thomas Aquinas College. The group led the Walk for Life last year and brought the largest group ever from the school this year with 220 students. The Sisters of Life also attended the Walk for Life and appropriately performed the corporal work of mercy of clothing the naked in this Year of Mercy by giving their cloaks to protesting women so that they would not become ill before being arrested.
These and other tremendous stories emerged from the events surrounding the forty-third anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. Pro-lifers will not soon forget them as they witnessed to the dignity of all human life.