2011's March for Life attracted close to 15,000 people, the largest crowd in the event’s history Photo by Deborah Gyapong

Pro-lifers to hit the streets for Canada's National March for Life

  • April 26, 2012

OTTAWA - Organizers are anticipating a record turnout of marchers and bishops for the 15th National March for Life to be held May 10 in Ottawa.

More than a dozen bishops participated in last year’s March for Life, which drew 15,000 people, the largest crowd in the event’s history. An additional 10,000 people attended marches in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan.

“We were absolutely delighted with the turnout last year and we’re looking forward to an even bigger turnout this year,” said Campaign Life Coalition (CLC) national organizer Mary Ellen Douglas.

The Ottawa event will include Toronto Cardinal Thomas Collins, Ottawa archbishop Terrance Prendergast and several other bishops from Ontario and Quebec, including new Quebec Archbishop Gerald Lacroix, new Montreal Archbishop Christian Lépine and new Gatineau Archbishop Paul-André Durocher. 

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has adopted a new pastoral initiative on life and family that recommends bishops participate in the National March for Life or similar local events.

“I think those who attend the March will discover that there is lots of energy, zest and joy among those who take up the cause of life,” Prendergast said. “Yes, we are saddened by the loss of life to abortion, but we believe in affirming life, helping women struggling with a pregnancy they feel unprepared for and celebrating the joy that a newborn brings to the parents and to all of us.”

Douglas said the March has been building over the years as more and more people organize buses from their local areas to travel to Ottawa. 

“People want to show their commitment to the unborn,” she said.

The theme of this year’s March is “Abortion hurts everyone.” Among the featured speakers are Stephen Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute in the United States and Patrick Mahoney, president of the Christian Defense Coalition, also based in the U.S.  

Sault Ste-Marie Bishop Jean-Louis Plouffe will celebrate Mass on the eve of the March at St. Theresa’s Parish; Archbishop Lacroix will preside at the francophone Mass at Sacré-Coeur Church; Peterborough Bishop Nicola De Angelis will celebrate an Anglophone Mass at St. Patrick’s Basilica; and Prendergast will celebrate a bi-lingual Mass at Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica.  

The March will also have more Members of Parliament than last year, as many MPs were busy in their ridings after last May’s federal election. Usually about 25 MPs from the Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus greet the crowd and attend various March for Life events.

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