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Right to Life attends march in Washington

Becky Hogan | Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Students from Notre Dame/St. Mary’s Right to Life Club marched along Constitution Avenue in Washington, D.C. Monday with other pro-life advocates in the 34th March for Life, an annual event that memorializes Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision on abortion.

Approximately 120 Notre Dame students marched from the United States Capitol building to the steps of the Supreme Court building carrying a Notre Dame banner and a U.S. flag, said Notre Dame Right to Life secretary Victor Saenz.

“The enthusiasm and support of all the people [at the march] made us feel like we were making a difference,” Saenz said.

The group arrived in Washington, D.C. on Saturday in three charter buses. Another charter bus arrived on Sunday.

While at the march, students heard from various senatorial candidates on pro-life issues and were also accompanied by Holy Cross priests and seminarians, who led them in the rosary.

“People could tell Notre Dame cared for the pro-life message,” Saenz said.

Many of the traveling group members attended the 2007 Rally for Life and the Youth Mass sponsored by the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. At the rally, attendees received the sacrament of confession, participated in mass and enjoyed entertainment by Catholic recording artists.

During the weekend before the march, Notre Dame students took advantage of their time in D.C. to visit monuments and museums.

Touring sites throughout the D.C. area gave students the opportunity to interact with both the secular and religious aspects of the abortion issue, Saenz said.

The group also visited the John Paul II Cultural Center located near the Catholic University of America.

Cardinal Francis Eugene George, Archbishop of Chicago, delivered a talk to the students in Washington, D.C. on Sunday before the march.

“I thought his insight was amazing on practical life issues,” Saenz said. “His talk really helped us to realize why we were marching.”

Sunday night, Notre Dame Right to Life also celebrated mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. “The church was a beautiful place of worship, and we got to participate in a huge mass,” Saenz said.

Senior Monica Querciagrossa, a member of the Notre Dame Right to Life, organized the trip to Washington, D.C.

Students who arrived Saturday paid a $75 fee to cover the cost of transportation for the trip and those that got in Sunday paid $50. Saenz said the club also received funding for the trip from donors who support the pro-life message.

Saenz said that the trip to D.C. helped the club members “begin to realize the reality of the importance of human life.”