March for Life Pilgrimage 2023
SKUTT CATHOLIC MARCH FOR LIFE PILGRIMAGE 2023
January 17 through 22, 41 students and 13 adults were on a pilgrimage for the National March For Life. After Roe vs. Wade was overturned on June 24, 2022 those involved in the pro-life movement began to ask the question – should we still march? After prayer and discernment, we decided to still host this opportunity for our students, even without the Archdiocese of Omaha planning the pilgrimage.
REASONS WE CONTINUE TO MARCH
- Inspire our students to a greater understanding of the pro-life movement
- Experience the beauty and joy of this national event where we can celebrate the Dobbs decision AND continue to march for the lives of the preborn babies in states without bans on abortion
- Galvanize students to do work on the state level
- Prayer and sacrifice offered on this pilgrimage is REAL and makes a difference!
WHAT WE DO ON PILGRIMAGE
Our students had the opportunity to attend Mass daily in very beautiful churches, pray Liturgy of the Hours, the rosary, and spend time in Eucharistic adoration. We began our time in D.C. praying outside of the Planned Parenthood. We visited several historic sites: Mount Vernon, Holocaust Museum, Gettysburg, and the Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. Plus, there was time to learn more about the issue of abortion and have fun together/ The highlight of the pilgrimage for many was the opportunity to participate in the 50th Annual March For Life – the longest running human rights campaign.
PILGRIMAGE, NOT VACATION
As Fr. Taylor described to all of our students, this was a pilgrimage – NOT a vacation. They are asked to make many small sacrifices throughout the course of the pilgrimage – especially the discomfort of the 24-hour bus ride each way. To hear it in his own words you can WATCH his homily from St. Wenceslaus’ Sunday Mass on Jan 29.
CONNECTED TO PRIESTS AND CONSECRATED LIFE
In addition to formal events, our students took advantage of opportunities to learn more about priesthood and consecrated life and to encounter numerous communities with different charisms.
- Fr. Taylor Leffler, Fr. Scott Schilmoeller, Christine French with the Apostolic Oblates, and two Postulants (Erin and Olivia) with the Carmelite Sisters of the DIvine Heart of Jesus were on the bus sharing about their vocations in both formal and informal ways.
- We stopped at the Moreau Seminary at Notre Dame and interacted with a few men in the Holy Cross community.
- Omaha native Fr. Frassati, OP and a few other Dominicans joined us for dinner at CUA after Mass at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.
- We attended LifeFest hosted by the Sisters of Life and saw religious from about a dozen different communities and experienced Mass with at least 60 concelebrating priests and four bishops.
FUTURE OF THE MARCH FOR LIFE
Going into this year’s March For Life, the organizers told parents and families that this might be the last year that we March. Many people expressed concern for the safety of our students. However, we were excited that it was a very safe environment for our SkyHawks. We will be discerning but hope to continue this Skutt Catholic tradition.There have been more than 400 students who have participated since our school began sponsoring the pilgrimage annually in 2011.
Special thanks to SERRA Club of Omaha and the SERRA Club of West Omaha for their support of our 2023 March For Life pilgrimage; and for a private donor for covering all costs associated with taking two postolants (religious sisters in formation) to D.C. with us.
Christine French, Skutt Catholic Campus Minister