Canadian students rally at American pro-life march

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  • January 28, 2011
Students from Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy in Barry’s Bay, Ont., joined an estimated 400,000 American pro-lifers at the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 24.

Organized by the pro-life group at the Catholic liberal arts college, 20 students and three staff members attended the march and with the opening prayer vigil Mass held at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

“We walked, prayed the Rosary, prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet and sang chants,” said second-year student Kathleen Dunn, president of the school’s pro-life group. “It was really amazing to be a part of it.”

The annual march marks the anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision on Jan. 22, 1973, which legalized abortion in the United States.

Dunn said one of the reasons the students wanted to attend the march was because some of their fellow students are American.

“We thought it was important to give them the opportunity to still attend their own march and we wanted to stand with them for the cause."

Another contributing factor was the major influence that American culture has on Canada and the rest of the world, said Dunn.

Elliott Warner, an American student at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom from Charlottesville, Va., said he felt it was his duty to attend the march.

"The Mass on Sunday was definitely one of my favourite parts of the weekend," said Warner, who attended along with about 10,000 Catholics. "The cardinal of Houston (Daniel DiNardo) celebrated the Mass and gave a great homily."

Warner said he was grateful for all the generosity that came from their community.

While the local Knights of Columbus donated $500 for their travel expenses, St. Hedwig's parish in Barry's Bay, Ont., gave the students $1,500, said Dunn.

"We received $2,000 worth of donations which really helped," she said. "We were able to bring everyone who wanted to come."

Keith Cassidy, president of Our Lady Seat of Wisdom, said he was delighted that so many students were willing to make the long trip to Washington.

"That over a quarter of the student body is willing to do this is a testimony to the deep pro-life spirit found among these remarkable young men and women," he said.

First-year student Mariana Mazzarolo, also a member of the pro-life club, said she wanted to attend so as to be a voice for the unborn.

"But also to support our neighbouring pro-lifers and to show America this issue extends out of their country, into ours and, ultimately, to the whole world. America, having more power and influence, should be the role model for the rest of the world and I was there to show my support for them.

"It gave me an opportunity to pray in front of Congress and the White House; to show this is a spiritual battle and we came armed to fight."

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