On Sunday, January 17, we came together to stand in witness of God’s love and mercy. Busloads of people, young and old, arrived from Chicagoland parishes. Hundreds more came on buses from parishes and dioceses from all over Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and Iowa. Braving the frigid temperatures, Sister Mary Matthew and Sister Judith, Residents, Judy Kirberg and Jeanne Rauhaus, and Development Staff Liz Rahimi and Diana Olson joined the estimated 7,000 marchers in the 10th Annual Chicago March for Life. Strangers became fast friends as extra hand warmers and hot chocolate were passed through the crowds. Uniting as one voice, we joined to proclaim the sacredness of life.
Bright yellow balloons with “Life” written on them, floated above Federal Plaza as speakers addressed the crowd before the march. “This isn’t just about Chicago or people in neighborhoods where we come from, this is about our nation and the soul of our nation.” Archbishop Cupich said, “We want to make sure we send a message that what we do here today has a message beyond the borders of the state, beyond the borders of the city and speaks to the world about the importance of protecting life.”
Warmed with exuberance and determination, we dismissed the -20 wind chill and began our march. Resonating from the marchers were joyful voices singing hymns in Polish, cheerleading chants by teens and a drumline cadence that helped us to keep our steady pace.
After we marched through the streets, we gratefully climbed into the warmed buses to thaw for ride home. Father Michael Sparough, SJ, led our bus in a Chaplet of Divine Mercy in thanksgiving for the outpouring of God’s mercy in the successful march.
It is our prayer that the world‘s hearts will be open to the precious gift of life and that these words of our Holy Father, Pope Francis will be heard and followed:
“In all its phases and at every age, human life is always sacred and always of quality. And not as a matter of faith, but of reason and science!”
“Every unborn child, though unjustly condemned to be aborted, has the face of the Lord, who even before his birth, and then as soon as he was born, experienced the rejection of the world. And every old person, even if infirm and at the end of his days, carries with him the face of Christ. They must not be thrown away!”