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Notre Dame students participate in March for Life

| Wednesday, January 23, 2019

To senior Dan Lindstrom, team coordinator for Notre Dame Right to Life, the March for Life is less about trying to change people’s minds in the moment — that can happen in everyday discourse about pro-life issues — and more about bearing witness to what he believes in.

“It’s an opportunity to give a voice to the unborn,” Lindstrom said. “As taboo as it’s become to talk about abortion, the fact is that if you believe that life begins at conception, then there has never been a bigger atrocity in the history of mankind than the deaths of more than 60 million children.”

Lindstrom, along with nearly 1,000 other Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross students, faculty and staff participated in the 46th annual March for Life on Friday in Washington, D.C.

The trip was cut short due to a troubling weather forecast for Saturday, which forced those in attendance to return to campus directly after the March, Lindstrom said.

He said he had to make last-minute calls to the bus company, a pizza restaurant they planned to stop at as well as the parish responsible for accommodating students and faculty.

Petra Farrell, a ’97 Saint Mary’s alumna and program coordinator at the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture said the unexpected change in travel plans did not stop her from having an enjoyable March experience. In fact, it reaffirmed her commitment to the cause, she said.

“To knowingly travel 12 hours on a bus, march for another four to five hours and then get back on the buses to return home shows how truly dedicated our Notre Dame family is to protecting life,” Farrell said. “You don’t even realize how exhausted you are from walking for hours because you’re surrounded by pure joy.”

Notre Dame Right to Life partners with the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture for the March every year. The center provides transportation and travel reimbursements for all Notre Dame students, faculty and staff who choose to attend the March for Life. They also co-host the Notre Dame March for Life reception with the Alumni Association.

A record 500 members of the extended Notre Dame family registered for the reception, Farrell said.

Farrell said she was overwhelmed and inspired by the turnout of young people at the March. She said the average age of those in attendance hovered around 20 years old, creating an exciting atmosphere.

“It’s impossible not to leave inspired. Everywhere you turn, you see young, smiling faces. People are greeting one another, seeing old friends and making new ones,” she said. “Imagine being surrounded by some of the most inspiring, happy and kind individuals you’ve ever met, and that will give you an idea of what it feels like to attend the March for Life.”

Senior Brookelyn Bacchus said she felt a tranquil energy during the march up Constitution Avenue to the Supreme Court.

“Strangely enough, despite the energy and excitement, I felt like there was an overwhelming sense of peace during and before the March,” Bacchus said. “I expected people to be shouting and angry, but there was a sort of reverence and calmness surrounding the whole situation.”

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