Prayers and pilgrimages

Students from Seton School in Manassas made two trips to Washington last month. The first was to promote the pro-life cause; the second was to commit themselves to Our Lady.

Twenty students made the trip March 2 to support the upholding of a Texas law requiring doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges to nearby hospitals. The students stood on the steps of the Supreme Court prior to oral arguments in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstadt.

The trip was organized by senior Ryan Orr. "We went primarily to pray for the justices," said Orr.

The students held signs and prayed with other pro-life groups. Some even had the chance to interact with pro-choice demonstrators.

"I talked to a young lady named Anna who was very sincere in her beliefs, never once raising her voice above normal speaking volume while we discussed the issues and our opposing views," said Orr. "I left Anna at the end, happy to have had the chance to have a meaningful conversation with someone who is open-minded. I'll keep praying for her, and I'll never forget her. If she is truly seeking the truth, she will find it someday, and it's a matter of prayer power to get her to that point."

Senior Thomas Moore also stood with the pro-life group and was surprised by the rowdiness of the pro-choice protestors.

"They surrounded the pro-life group and attempted to cover up our signs," said Moore. "I helped escort several elderly ladies through the crowd because they had been surrounded on all sides by those in support of abortion."

Three weeks later, on Good Friday, another group of Seton students made the trip to Washington, this time to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception to consecrate themselves to Jesus through Mary. The students venerated numerous relics in the crypt and then attended the Good Friday liturgy in the main church. Afterward, they visited the Chapel of the Immaculate Heart of Mary to make their consecrations and pray the rosary. The pilgrimage concluded with a walk through the shrine's Holy Door to invoke God's mercy.

"The consecration is not only a great way to grow closer to Jesus, but also a way to grow closer to those who are consecrated with you," said senior Patrick Dealey.

Senior James Foeckler added, "It was a fantastic trip that really helped me to prepare for Easter and get more out of the Triduum."

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2016