WASHINGTON, D.C.—The 49th annual national March for Life on January 21 is expected to bring tens of thousands of people to Washington D.C. as the Supreme Court considers a ruling that could weaken or overturn the Roe v. Wade decision, which since 1973 has led to 63.5 million abortions in America.
People of all faiths, denominations, races and backgrounds are planning to converge on Washington to march for life and stand against abortion. This year’s theme is “Equality Begins in the Womb.”
“There is a strong hope that the court will either overturn Roe or send the issue back to the states, which is a good thing because many states are already passing pro-life laws to protect the unborn,” said Maureen Ciardiello, coordinator of Respect Life & Project Rachel for the Diocese of Bridgeport.
She said that polls on abortion in recent years have indicated that up to three-quarters of Americans favor significant restrictions on abortion and that an increasing proportion oppose tax dollars going to support abortions abroad.
The Washington event will include a rally on the National Mall and a march to the Supreme Court. Last year’s march was a virtual event because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In previous years, attendance was estimated as high as 100,000.
Ciardiello said, “Some local efforts are planned this year despite the challenging times in which we are navigating.”
St. Theresa Church of Trumbull will sponsor a bus to the march, and the Parish of St. Catherine of Siena in Trumbull will hold a pro-life Holy Hour that day.
Dave Janny, a parishioner of St. Theresa’s who is coordinating transportation, said the bus is scheduled to make a day trip to Washington on Friday, January 21.
“It is crucial that we start to see sign signups ASAP, so we can get an idea on turnout,” he said. “For those who have been to the march, you know what a spectacular and moving experience it is. For those of you who have never attended, I strongly urge you to seriously consider attending as it truly is an unforgettable experience.”
He said, “It is very important that we pray and make our voices heard” because later this year the Supreme Court will announce its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, an appeal by Mississippi to remove a lower court’s injunction on a law that bans most abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy.
The itinerary for the St. Theresa trip is as follows:
- Mass at 4:15 am that morning at St. Theresa.
- Bus departs at 4:45 am.
- Participants can bring snacks and bags and leave them on the bus.
- The bus will go at a rest stop for breakfast and for dinner on the return trip.
- The group is expected to arrive in Washington about 10 or 10:30 am in time for the rally.
- Afterwards, the march will commence on Constitution Avenue.
- Departure from Washington will be at 4 pm and the bus will arrive in Trumbull late in the evening.
The cost for the trip is $80, reduced for $90. The link to sign up is: rally.co/march-for-life-st-theresa-trumbull. For further information, contact Janny at: 203.856.8496.
He strongly recommends downloading the Rally Bus mobile app to your phone to ensure the best means of communication.
“If the weather or the pandemic prevents us from going, money for the trip will be refunded on cancellations,” he said.
The District of Columbia has a vaccine mandate for indoor gatherings, but outdoor events are not affected, although participants should wear face masks.
Ciardiello said that for those who are unable to attend the march but would like to prayerfully participate, the Parish of St. Catherine of Siena in Trumbull will be hosting its annual Holy Hour for Life on Friday, January 21 from 7 to 8 pm, in person and live-streamed. During Eucharistic Adoration, a Pro-Life Scriptural Rosary will be prayed, concluding with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. For more information, visit the parish’s website at: www.stcathtrumbull.com.
“It is so important that we persevere in prayer and make our voices heard in opposition to abortion to protect the lives of babies and to help mothers who are faced with the decision,” said Ciardiello. “Prayer goes a long way, and I hope more parishes start to do Holy Hours for Life. People should continue praying for an end to abortion even if they can’t get to a Holy Hour. Pray a rosary, fast, do some penance or offer up good works to remember the day in some way.” She praised the pro-life efforts of St. Theresa, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Aloysius in New Canaan, St. Rose of Lima in Newtown, the Basilica of St. John the Evangelist in Stamford, and St. Edward the Confessor in New Fairfield.
She also praised the faithful who conduct vigils at the abortion clinics in Bridgeport, Stamford and Danbury. There are chapters of Sidewalk Advocates for Life in Stamford and Danbury, and she urged people to get involved in their counseling ministry, whose goal is to provide “a peaceful, prayerful, loving and law-abiding sidewalk outreach” to women and staff outside abortion facilities so they can pursue “life-affirming alternatives.”
Ciardiello said Sidewalk Advocates for Life was founded in 2014 by Lauren Muzyka, a licensed attorney who is now President and CEO of the international organization. The group estimates that it has saved 13,358 babies, with 3,665 hopeful saves (where the mother decided to think about the alternative to abortion).
They also say their efforts have prompted 78 abortion clinic workers to quit and 27 facilities to close.
The program leader of the newly formed Danbury chapter is Tom, who is seeking volunteers to become counselors and/or prayer partners. Free training is provided to prepare counselors for their ministry. People from the Greater Danbury Area and New York are welcome to join. Membership is not required to benefit from the training, which is available to pro-life believers of any denomination, as well as “secularists, scientists, legal and humanity supporters,” he said.
Anyone interested in training (virtually or otherwise), with or without joining the Danbury chapter, or in the work of the group should contact Tom at email@example.com and visit the Sidewalk Advocates for Life website for further information.
Ciardiello also coordinates Project Rachel, a ministry of the Catholic Church that offers a program to help post-abortive women in the healing process.
(For more information, contact Ciardiello by phone at 203.416.1445 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org)