by Magdalena Dajka ’20
The 2020 March for Life has come and gone, and it was certainly a memorable one. After a nearly sleepless night on the road, the TMC contingent, consisting of nearly the entire student body led by Resident Director Mr. Daniel Leahy ’19, arrived in Union Station at about 5 a.m., dispersed to freshen up and find coffee, and trooped onto the metro, pilgrimage banners in tow, to head to the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception for Mass. The rosy sunrise which the students witnessed as they were entering the Shrine was a propitious beginning to a day spent joyfully witnessing to the beauty of life, from conception till death.
After beginning the day with prayer, students had some free time before the rally. A group of freshmen took the opportunity to visit the Saint John Paul II National Shrine and venerate the relics of Saints John Paul II and Faustina, while another group of students walked the four miles to the National Mall, happily reminded of similar adventures in Rome. Then came the time for the rally, which was particularly momentous this year: President Donald Trump spoke in person as the first President of the United States to attend the March for Life. The crowds were ecstatic at his words, which testified to the sanctity of human life: “All of us here understand an eternal truth: Every child is a precious and sacred gift from God. Together, we must protect, cherish, and defend the dignity and the sanctity of every human life. When we see the image of a baby in the womb, we glimpse the majesty of God’s creation. When we hold a newborn in our arms, we know the endless love that each child brings to a family. When we watch a child grow, we see the splendor that radiates from each human soul. … We know this: every life brings love into this world. Every child brings joy to a family. Every person is worth protecting.”
“[E]very life brings love into this world. Every child brings joy to a family. Every person is worth protecting.”—President Donald Trump
Then the March itself began, and the Thomas More students formed a brigade behind the school’s banner and began singing the rosary as they joined the massive crowd flowing up Constitution Avenue. Amid the hordes of people all gathered for the same purpose, each group presented its own joyful spirit, showing how the fight for life unites people of all different kinds from all over the country. The Thomas More contingent was a sight to behold, as it proudly displayed its spirit with four pilgrimage flags waving high and voices raised in a constant stream of song.
After a few more adventures—including a chance sighting of Cardinal Burke by the side of the road and a rowdy rendition of “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” in a crowded Union Station—the students found themselves back on the bus, heading north to New Hampshire. They arrived back on campus at 4 a.m. and collapsed into bed, exhausted but happy.
It may sometimes seem as if our prayers and sacrifices have little effect against the dark culture of our time. But as a Sister of Our Lady of Mercy told a group of students at the JP II shrine, our prayer is far more powerful than we realize. Perhaps someday we will be allowed to see what a torrent of grace is released by the March for Life.
Video compiled by Daniel Richert ’20