March for Life – and beyond….

For the 10th year running Franciscan Youth Ministry of St. Francis High School (Athol Springs, NY) traveled to Washington DC for the annual March for Life. The 33 student participants from were joined by their chaperones, Our Lady of the Angels Province friar – Br. Nick Romeo, OFM Conv. (pictured here mid-right, in his habit), Mr. Morcelle, Mr. Reichenberg and alumnus Jonathan Molik ’16. They joined with over 400 marchers from WNY and hundreds of thousands of people from across the nation to participate in this, the largest annual event in our nation’s capital.

Reflection by Adam Peck ’19 (edited): Over thirty students left Archbishop Curley High School (Baltimore, MD) just after dawn on Friday, January 27, 2017 and headed for Washington, DC, to attend the annual March for Life. Those in attendance felt inspired, as they began the day with Mass, in the Verizon Center, with many bishops, clergy, religious orders and thousands of marchers. After sharing a meal, they joined the rest of the March participants on the several mile walk to the Supreme Court. They encountered thousands on the way protesting Roe vs Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion. Participants gained a greater understanding, under the direction of Our Lady of the Angels Province friar and their Campus Minister – Religious Studies Instructor – Chair of the Religious Studies Department – Director of FYM, Fr. Matt Foley, OFM Conv. (second from right – in back) that the march was not only a protest against abortion. It was a demonstration of support for life in all stages of development. It is a right from the Creator, as the Declaration of Independence explains: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Vice-President Spence spoke to the marchers. It was the first time a sitting vice-president attended the march and spoke. {Our Lady of the Angels Province friar, br. Manny Wenke, OFM Conv. is also pictured here – seated}

On the morning of the March for Life 2017, OLA friar, Fr. Tim Dore, OFM Conv. who serves as the pastor of both St. Anne Catholic Church and St. Wenceslaus Church (Baltimore, MD) participated in the “groundbreaking” ceremony for “the UCF House.” The project is being developed adjacent to the St. Wenceslaus church property. The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults assists young adult cancer patients and their families as they journey through their treatments and their struggles. The house will be a “home away from home” for them as they are served by nearby hospitals specializing in cancer treatment.

Our Lady of the Angles Province friars, and their many diverse ministries from around the province, participated in the March for Life 2017 is various ways. They traveled with of greatly supported their parish communities who ventured out on diocesan buses and in convoys. Fr. Reto Davatz, OFM Conv., who serves in campus ministry at Blessed Trinity Catholic High School (Roswell, GA) could be found at concelebrating Mass at the January 26th Vigil for Life, held at Washington DC’s Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Friars like Fr. Jude DeAngelo, OFM Conv. posted video explanations of the reason why the March takes place, while other friars also serving at The Catholic University of America (CUA) marched alongside the students with whom the attend classes and serve in Campus Ministry. (CUA also houses many of the marchers from all over the country through their Pro-Life Hospitality. As not all of the friars could make it to the March for Life 2017, other Pro-Life efforts could also be spotted throughout the province took place during that weekend (see insert picture and story). One of our North Carolina pastoral ministries, not only sent many parishioners to join the March participants that traveled from Raleigh Diocese on over 30 buses, but also used the weekend to promote a College Fair they will be holding at the church in February showcasing the importance of education, while the Confirmation Class to gather for retreat that included service projects and outreach to those in need. Other parishes and schools held blood drives, stocked food pantry shelves and shared information on how to contact organizations promoting the welfare of others. We keep our Pro-Life efforts thriving around the province, in our day to day lives, and in the lives of the those whom we serve. Please keep our work in your continued prayers.