By ROB HERBST
The Catholic Week
Young people from throughout the Archdiocese of Mobile continue to be witnesses for life.
The archdiocese was again well-represented at this year’s March for Life in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 18. Archdiocesan Director of the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry Adam Ganucheau estimated about 600 marched thanks to pilgrimages organized by the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry as well as McGill-Toolen, St. Michael, Montgomery Catholic high schools and St. Lawrence Parish. College students from Auburn University participated as well.
Students from archdiocesan Catholic schools also marched in downtown Mobile as about 1,000 people took part in the third annual March for Life, a lay-organized event unaffiliated with the archdiocese.
“I’ve participated in the March for Life in Washington over a dozen times, and one thing that I am always struck by is the youthful and joyful spirit of the peaceful and prayerful protest through our nation’s capital,” Ganucheau said. “What separates the March for Life from other protests is that the majority of the marchers are young, and that we march not for our own rights, but for the rights of those without a voice, those whose lives are threatened by abortion. Our young people already have been blessed with the right to live, now they walk, chant and pray so that the laws of this country may change and our culture can be one of life, not death. The young people from the southern half of Alabama brought their energy, hope and joy to the March, and I hope that their passion for all life issues continues.”
While the trip is often described as a pilgrimage, Ryan Holtzscher also described the experience as being similar to a vigil.
“Our pilgrimage to Washington, D.C. for the March for Life was similar because of the simple fact that we spent very little time sleeping,” Holtzscher said. “It’s cheesy, but the time we spent awake opened up a great opportunity for awareness and an awakening that life begins at conception. As we (returned) home, we (reflected) and we (prayed) that abortion can be stopped soon.”
While an estimated 100,000 were in Washington to support life, a strong crowd which included various faiths also made their voices heard in downtown Mobile.
Among those who spoke during the rally was Very Rev. Paul Zoghby, pastor of St. Margaret of Scotland Parish in Foley. He stressed that what marchers were doing was important and must continue beyond the March for Life.
“You are doing something great with your lives today. You are marching for life. Going forward from this day, you may be the only Bible that someone ever reads,” Fr. Zoghby said. “You may be the only good news that someone ever hears. Be a voice for good. Speak the truth and love. Proclaim that human life is always beautiful and always precious because God makes us so.”