Diocese gears up for 2019 March for Life

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As they have for the past 46 years, members of the Diocese of Arlington are preparing for the annual March for Life, a peaceful protest through the nation’s capital in remembrance of the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. This year’s theme, “Unique from Day One,” recognizes that at the moment of conception, a new life with its own DNA is created.

Speakers at the Jan. 18 gathering will include commentator Ben Shapiro and former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson. The March for Life Rally will begin at noon at 12th Street on the National Mall; the march will begin at 1 p.m.

Bishop Michael F. Burbidge said that, “As was the case last year, the Apostolic Penitentiary of the Holy See has granted a plenary indulgence that may be obtained, under the usual conditions, by those who participate in the sacred celebrations carried out Jan. 17 and 18.  The elderly, sick and homebound may also gain a plenary indulgence if they spiritually unite themselves to these events and make their prayer and penance an offering to God.

“Thank you for your faithful witness to the dignity and value of all human life, and please be assured of my prayers for you,” he said.

The diocesan Office for Marriage, Family and Respect Life offered free cinch backpacks to groups attending the march so they can share via social media #WhatsInYourBackPack.

The diocesan-sponsored Life is VERY Good rally for teen marchers will be held Jan. 17 at George Mason University’s EagleBank Arena in Fairfax. Nearly 8,000 people will attend the evening of prayer featuring the band I Am They, musician Steve Angrisano and speaker Chris Stefanick. GMU chaplain, Father James R. Searby, will emcee the Jan. 18 morning rally featuring keynote speaker Sister of Life Bethany Madonna. Mass will be celebrated by Bishop Michael F. Burbidge and concelebrated with other visiting bishops and priests. 

The annual prayer and action campaign “9 Days for Life,” sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro Life Activities, will run Jan. 14 to 22. The nine-day novena leads up to the annual Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children Jan. 22. The 9daysforlife.com website provides ways for Catholics to join the novena and to access resources.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2019