AHN Respect for Life Club returns from DC March with new purpose


The Respect for Life Club, forty strong, keep their spirits warm in the wind and rain.

Allie Reichart, Multimedia News

Forty committed members of the Academy Respect for Life Club took headed for Washington, DC, early on the morning of January 21, at 4 am.  Little did they know that they were embarking on a journey that would bring them together in communion with one another and with God to fight for those unable to do so for themselves.

Arriving in DC, the girls began their mission with prayer . As soon as the bus dropped the girls at their hotel, they were off to the Supreme Court building to pray the rosary. Sitting on the cold marble, the girls came together reflected on the purpose for their pilgrimage, asking God for guidance in their mission. Later that night, the club members attended a youth rally at their hotel, which included heart-rending speakers and inspirational music to prepare their hearts and spirits for the March the next day.

In the middle of the rally, chaos broke loose as pro-choice protestors filtered in and began chanting, trying to drown out the pro-life speaker. The crowd immediately leapt into action, responding by chanting a Hail Mary, shouting over the pro-choice strikers. The girls were deeply moved by the power of prayer and became aware of the intensity of the life debate.

Sophomore Sarah Elliott said, “When the protestors first came in and started shouting, I thought it was staged. Then, I realized that it was real and we were in the middle of an all-out protest. I wasn’t sure what to do at first, but when everyone joined hands and started chanting the Hail Mary, I felt chills run down my spine.”

The next day, the girls continued their faith-filled mission by visiting the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land,  where they admired the snow-covered gardens and the quaint chapels. Later that day, the club traveled by metro to the National Basilica on the campus of Catholic University for Mass. The girls arrived at the Basilica hours ahead of time to reserve seats for the Mass because of the thousands of marchers who be in attendance. The priests poured in during the procession, numbering in the hundreds, and the crowds at Mass covered the floors and even filled the basement. Needless to say, the energy felt at Mass was incredible and overpowering.

Monday, January 23, was the actual day of the March. The girls traveled to the Washington Monument for a rally before the march, and they listened to many pro-life political figures speak about their mission to end abortion. Then the march began amidst a sea of rain boots and umbrellas in the cold rain. Protesters filled the streets, leaving no ground uncovered. From every viewpoint, signs filled the air, promoting life, and chants could be heard from miles around, yelling for all those hurt by abortion. The energy of the march grew as thousands, from newborns to elderly people, joined in one purpose.

The next day, the girls toured DC, taking in the sights and visiting many museums and shops. On the flight home, the girls chattered about the march, the things they saw and learned, and all the fun times at the hotel. Needless to say, each member of the Academy Respect for Life club went home a changed girl with a new outlook on the power of prayer and of protest. The March brought the intensity of the pro-life argument to life and highlighted the need for change to each girl, as they traveled home to Florida with a new mission sealed in their hearts.