March for Life is a true celebration of motherhood

By 
  • May 4, 2011

Coming on the heels of Mother’s Day, Deborah Morlani believes the timing couldn’t be more right for the National March for Life.

"It’s perfect timing for women to be showing that they’re proud to be mothers and that motherhood is a blessing," Morlani, a pro-life speaker and Catholic writer, told The Catholic Register.

The annual National March for Life takes place in Ottawa May 11 through 13, mere days after Mother’s Day. This year’s theme is "Abortion kills a human being." The aim of the march is to promote respect for life at all stages, from conception to natural death.

Morlani, along with taking part in the march, will be among the guest speakers at the march’s youth conference on May 13.

"I was conceived in rape when my mother was raped when she was 16, so I’ll be sharing my testimonial with youth," she said. The title of her talk is "Every human being deserves a chance at life: no exceptions."

Events around the march begin with a prayer service, candlelight vigil and Mass on May 11, concluding with a night-long adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. The day-long events May 12 include a pro-life Mass at Notre Dame Cathedral, a French Mass at Saint-Francois D’Assise parish, prayer services at Merivale United Church and St. George’s Anglican Church. The procession will begin at Parliament Hill and wind through the streets of downtown Ottawa back to Parliament Hill for a rally that will include a Silent No More Awareness Campaign presentation, followed by the Rose Dinner and Youth Banquet, and then the youth conference the following day.

The first March for Life took place in 1998 with fewer than 700 participants, said Wanda Hartlin, secretary for the March for Life organizing committee at Campaign Life Coalition.

"Now, in 2010, we had 12,500 so it’s grown each year. And we’re just hoping that it grows again this year."

The march commemorates the passing of the Omnibus Bill in Parliament on May 14, 1969, that decriminalized abortion in Canada.

"A bill came out on May 14, 1969, called the Omnibus Bill — the beginning of the government manipulation with the abortion laws in Canada," said Hartlin.

Janet Morana, co-founder of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign and executive director of Priests for Life in the United States, is another special guest who will participate in the march. The awareness campaign, which originated in the United States, seeks to expose and heal the secrecy and silence surrounding the emotional and physical pain of abortion.

"When the march is over, on the steps of Parliament, the men and women will each be sharing a three-minute testimony about their abortion experience," said Morana, who will share remarks with the crowd following the testimonials.

Mother’s Day, said Morana, highlights the sadness of abortion for women who’ve lost their children or who were never able to conceive again following an abortion.

Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, S.J., will be among at least eight bishops taking part in the March for Life. Prendergast is urging Catholic leaders to "be bold and stand up for life."

"It makes a personal difference not only that first time but also later," Prendergast said.

"Taking a stand for life is an important step in fostering the culture of life."

For more information on the National March for Life, see www.marchforlife.ca.

(With files from Deborah Gyapong, CCN.)

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