This Sunday, 80 students and 20 adults from Trinity High School will be heading down to Washington, DC for the annual March for Life. This is the 7th time Trinity has sent a group and it's always an amazing event. What's so unique about the March for Life is that it is largely composed of high school and college students. About 500,000 descend on Washington to protest Roe v. Wade and to demand respect for all human life, which we as Catholics believe begins at conception.
We will gather in the school gym at 5am (yikes) and Father Richard Dion, the pastor of Saint Anthony's Parish, has kindly agreed to celebrate Mass for us before we depart. We should arrive in New York City around noon and spend about 2 hours stretching our legs and seeing some sites. We will then hop back on the bus and arrive in the DC area around 8pm. The girls will be spending the night at Elizabeth Seton High School while the boys will crash at Dematha Catholic High School, both Catholic schools who host us year after year at no cost. In addition, they provide us with free food!
The next morning we will head early out early to the Verizon Center in downtown Washington for the 2012 Youth Rally and Mass for Life, sponsored by the Archdiocese of Washington. Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the archbishop of Washington, will be the celebrant. This event is perhaps the best part of the trip. Before Mass begins, there is an hour or so of singing and a party like atmosphere with 20,000 teenagers taking part. The opening procession of the Mass takes about a half hour as all the priests and bishops present process in (our very own Bishop Libasci will be in attendance). The cardinal will then welcome everyone and will do a sort of roll call by welcoming the bishops who are present. When a bishop is introduced, the people from his diocese in the crowd clap and yell. The apostolic nuncio will also say a few words and, if tradition holds, will read a personal letter from Pope Benedict XVI.
Following Mass, we will all head down to the National Mall for the march which kicks off at noon. After the March, the students will have about 3 hours to walk around DC and we will all meet at Union Station at 6:30pm to head back to Manchester.
This is always an exhausting and freezing trip but it's always so worth it, especially since we get to go to the Youth Rally. Stay tuned!