We are the Pro-Life Generation


Three members of The Edge staff, Isabel Belcher, Haley Biggins and Madalynn Duffy detail their experience covering this inspiring pro-life movement.

“I thought it was very beautiful and very overwhelming. I was not expecting it to be so emotional and powerful. I’m tearing up just thinking about it,” St. Edward sophomore Katie Ellsworth reflected on her recent trip to Washington, D.C. The experience for our students was life-changing.

I thought it was very beautiful and very overwhelming. I was not expecting it to be so emotional and powerful. I’m tearing up just thinking about it.

— Katie Ellsworth

Led by peer ministry director Jim Harkins, about 70 students from St. Edward left on Tuesday, Jan. 24 for the March for Life in Washington, D.C.  Reverend Matthew DeBlock, Pastor of St. Catherine of Siena in Dundee, and a group of students from St. Catherine also joined the St. Edward group. Throughout the trip, we saw many historical places and events but the most moving part for many students was what we came for, the March.

Before we departed for D.C., the students attended a send-off Mass at St. Catherine of Siena Church. This Mass was to prepare students for the challenge of standing up for what we believe in despite challenges from those who may disagree with our views.

On Wednesday, Jan. 25, we arrived in D.C., where we visited the Arlington National Cemetery. This is one place every American should visit. There are over 400,000 people from the United States and 11 other countries buried at the cemetery. We had the opportunity to witness the laying of the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. “It was shocking, because we didn’t know what to expect,” said St. Edward senior Ellie Treiber.

“It gave me chills, and was so emotional; it took my breath away,” commented fellow senior Jenna Lundquist.

After visiting the Arlington National Cemetery, we toured the Holocaust Museum. This was an emotional experience for all who came. When you first enter the museum, you are given an identity card of an actual holocaust victim to learn about as you go through the museum.  Some of these men and women are still alive today. It is a great way to gain perspective on how Jews and many others were persecuted during World War II. Seeing how people of Faith were persecuted made us even more grateful we were able to attend this march and stand up for our beliefs.

That night, we walked to many of the monuments, including the Lincoln Memorial, the White House, and the Washington Monument. Thursday started with a trip to the Air and Space Museum. The museum had many realistic models of spaceships, satellites, and airplanes. We were able to experience many exhibits, such as the Wright brothers, hands-on activities, and stars and space presentations.

We went on to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. We arrived about four hours before the service started to get a seat. By the time it started there was only standing room. One of the most incredible moments of the trip was attending the National Prayer Vigil for Life with over 15,000 students from around the country, who were all united in supporting the unborn.  A few hundred priests and deacons and at least 30 Bishops were also in attendance, where Cardinal Timothy Doland, the chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities was the principal celebrant.

Friday morning, we headed to the Museum of American History before we walked to the starting point of the March just a few blocks away. The March started at 1 p.m., but before we even started walking there were groups of people chanting, praying, and preaching.  Father DeBlock commented, “I found the March to be a peaceful and prayerful experience. It was both positive and reassuring to be surrounded by so many fellow believers who were willing to make the journey to Washington, D.C. to stand up for life. This year, we felt a particular ‘positive energy’ and that what we were doing was making a difference.”[/pullquote]

There were 650,000 people in attendance, all marching together to end abortion. As we walked together with signs and banners we prayed and chanted for those who could not. Being with thousands of people marching for the same cause was a very moving experience. Upon returning, several students have already begun outreach to their peers in the hopes to attract even more students for next year’s event. “After hearing about the experience, I can’t wait to go next year,” said sophomore Henry Herrero.