St. Bernard students joined with the Diocese of Birmingham and 400,000 other pro-life supporters in Washington DC for the annual March for Life during the last week of January, capturing the attention of media mongrel CNN.
Sixty-one students and thirteen chaperones enjoyed one day in Washington visiting Arlington National Cemetery and various monuments and museums on the National Mall.
Together with the other groups from the Diocese, a special Mass was celebrated in the Crypt Church of the Basilica of National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception with Bishop Robert Baker.
St. Bernard Chaplain, Fr. Bede Marcy, who organized the St. Bernard portion of the trip, said a large snow and ice storm rolled into DC a day before the March forcing the monuments and museums to close early.
Fr. Bede said even with the freezing temperatures as low as 8 degrees Fahrenheit and a wind-chill as low as minus fifteen at times, his students made the most of the day playing in the snow and enjoying the freezing temperature, while also playing cards and games with other pilgrims.
Despite bitter cold temperatures, students bundled up to celebrate life with more than 400,000 people at the nation’s capital. St. Bernard Senior Landon Skinner describes the feeling as surreal.
“This was my third trip to the March, and it really meant a lot more since I was looking at it from the perspective this could be the last time I march through the streets supporting my high school and the city I’m from,” Skinner said. “It wasn’t just about marching to stop something immoral. It went from a “March for Life” to a “March because of life,” Skinner said.
Students reported the awesome feeling having marched up Capitol Hill to look back and witness hundreds of thousands of other supporters chanting, singing, and holding banners all for the same cause.
In the words of Skinner, “We were marching for those who had been murdered, but we were there because we were alive. We were marching because we had been given a chance to do something with our time given. We were there with our time for those who had had that chance stripped from them.”
Seniors of the ethics and morality class at the school reported the trip gave them a new outlook on what they were marching for, and they plan to continue to support and participate in the March until the overall goal is reached.
The students at St. Bernard represented the largest group from the Diocese. “We are passionate about proclaiming the truth and about giving joyful witness and support to those who have suffered the effects of abortion. Every life is precious, every person is wanted, and every person matters,” Fr. Bede said.