By J1 Reporter Olivia Holloway
Marian students will be partaking in the March for Life pilgrimage to D.C. this year for the second time as a school- sponsored group. Last year eight girls attended the trip, and this year Marian will be taking an entire bus of 43 Marian students. The dates for the trip are January 15-20, and students will have an excused absence from school. The total cost of this trip is $525, but there are scholarship opportunities through the archdiocese of Omaha.
English teacher Mrs. Amy Bauman, Miss Megan Han and theology teacher Deacon Kevin Fuller are chaperoning with some parents. Whitney Bradley, the Respect Life coordinator for the Archdiocese of Omaha, is the bus captain.
The March for Life is 500,000 to a million people standing together in solidarity to promote positivity and to support each other. The theme this year is “Unique from Day One: Pro-Life is Pro-Science,” the focus will be on the more secular aspect. The movement is often criticized as exclusively religious, but science is on the Pro-life side.
The trip is also a pilgrimage. The Students will tour the National Mall and Smithsonian in D.C., celebrate Mass with Archbishop Lucas at St. Matthew’s Cathedral, and tour Gettysburg. These are just a few of the activities planned besides the actual March in Washington on Jan. 18.
“The March for Life is an important journey because it allows Pro-Life students to act on their beliefs in a completely positive and powerful setting,” senior Audrey Laney said. “The trip fuels our passion to support the Pro-Life movement and helps us to gain a better understanding of why we are fighting for the unborn. It strengthens our faith while affirming our core truth of the validity of the souls of unborn babies. The pilgrimage is not only faith-oriented; through the March, students also learn the science and reason behind the struggle in order to better educate our peers in a constructive and kind manner when the subject is debated.”
“It is very important that the young generation participates in this March to show that they stand together to defend life at all stages. It is especially important for young women to use their voice to support other women and to empower them to choose love,” senior Anna Kenney said.
“I am going to the march because I want to have my voice heard for those babies who don’t get the chance for their voice to be heard and I know it is going to be a life-changing experience, and it will really open my eyes on how valuable life is,” junior Madeline Leddy said.
“The March for Life is about peace and prayer and encouragement. Everyone empowers each other to spread love,” Kenney Said. “They are positive and stand together to support women and life at all stages. The March for Life is pro-woman and pro-love! The girls who attend are looking to encourage and empower each other to choose love, spread joy, and educate each other with facts.”
The night before the March, the group attends the Life is Very Good Evening of Prayer. They get to listen to speakers educate them and lift them up. They will also have opportunities to go to confession and have adoration.
“I think this trip is so life-changing. I thought it was awesome how the archdiocese incorporated all of the activities that we do from touring to the March to a concert all with in five days,” junior Katie Tiojanco said.
Not only do the students get to March, they form bonds with their classmates and even the other students from different high schools. The 25 hour bus ride might have something to do with the bonds that are formed.
“It is really fun to bond and get to know the other girls better. Last year we watched movies and played ice breaker games. We talked a lot and got to know our chaperons really well. It was also fun to stop along the way in different states and to see a lot of the country as we drove through it. We sang songs and just had a lot of fun,” Kenney said. “I can’t wait to bond with the girls this year!”
“I think it brought everyone closer on the bus, and I met so many amazing people along the way,” Tiojanco said. “The bus trip was pretty interesting to say the least. But, I thought it was such an awesome time to bond and get closer with my class. Although I have to miss winter formal every year, I think the experience and travel is most definitely worth it!”
“I am super excited for this year’s March for Life trip! We have an awesome group of girls going this year. These girls are really open-minded and want to educate themselves to come back to Marian and spread that knowledge with their peers. The March for Life is super fun and joyful. Everyone who marches has smiles on their faces and joy in their hearts,” Kenney said.
Laney said, “The actual March is such a moving experience that it is truly indescribable. There is an unseen force that works among the pilgrims, and we all have an understood oneness. I would recommend the trip to any girl who wants to better understand what it means to be Pro-Life or to anyone who is already strong in their beliefs and wants to get more involved.”