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Students prepare for March for Life in D.C.

| Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Notre Dame Right to Life club, as well as other members of the Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross community, will be participating in the March for Life  this year in Washington D.C. on Thursday, Jan. 22nd.

This year, a record total of 692 students from Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross will be participating in the annual march.

“We hope that this record only lasts one year though, as we are always looking to bring more people with us,” Kristina Flathers, senior and vice president of communications for the ND Right to Life club, said.

On its website, the ND Right to Life club states that its mission involves promoting the sanctity of all life from conception until natural death in the spirit of the Catholic Church.

“I want to emphasize the part that says ‘all human life,’ because though many think that we care only about abortion, our pro-life beliefs and events actually cover much more than that,” Flathers said.

Flathers said service is central to the club’s mission, and commissioners for the club have organized a variety of service events. The club helped provide resources for adoption, organized karaoke events for special needs children and hosted dances at elderly centers.

“Witnessing … the ability of thousands of marchers, including 692 Notre Dame students, to operate as one cohesive body for the preservation of human dignity of life … is why I am most excited for this march,” first year Tierney Vrdolyak said.

Flathers, who has attended every March for Life since her first year, said she is especially excited for this year due to the huge interest and participation displayed by the community.

“My favorite memories revolve around the friends that I make on that trip, some of whom are my best friends here,” Flathers said. “There is a very special community that forms around attending the march.”

According to Flathers, one of the most touching facts about the march is that people travel nearly ten hours both ways by bus and sleep on the floors of churches for the singular cause that brings them together.

“I think attending the march is important because it awakens people’s interest and passion for life issues and reminds them that they are not alone in caring,” Flathers said. “Over 600,000 people showing up for a demonstration has a way of doing just that.”

This year, the Diocesan Mass for Life will be held at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C. on Friday morning, which the ND Right to Life club members will attend.

“It’s a great way to come together after such a big event and give thanksgiving as a collective group,” Vrdolyak said. “I am moved by the fact that there are going to be so many people gathered in one setting all united by one similar cause.”

“When people go through such experiences together they form special bonds, and I am very excited for more students to witness that,” Flathers said.

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About Selena Ponio

Selena Ponio is from Dallas, Texas and is currently a senior at the University of Notre Dame. She is the Associate News Editor for The Observer. Selena lives in Breen-Phillips hall and is majoring in International Economics with a concentration in Spanish and is minoring in Journalism, Ethics & Democracy.

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