Report from the March for Life
By Br. Jeremiah Tobin, O.P.
Ever since the first March for Life in 1974, Americans of all walks of life have risen early in the morning, in the late-January cold, to witness to the dignity of life. And since that first march, consecrated religious have risen with them. This year’s march was no different.
Franciscans, Jesuits, and Augustinians were present; as were more sisters’ congregations than you could count. Benedictines, Carmelites, and Carthusians offered their secluded prayers for the cause. Other communities which have lent their endeavors directly to the apostolate of upholding human dignity: Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, Missionaries of Charity, Sisters of Life. American religious can proudly claim the label of life-obsessed, for the God to whom we all swore three vows said, I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10).
And alongside these men and women of multitude charisms, the Dominicans marched, just as we have for fifty years. The street—where prophets preached, where apostles journeyed—was where St. Dominic chose to situate his sons and daughters as heralds of the Gospel. It is fitting, then, that for fifty years we have marched the streets of our nation’s capital to witness to life. This year was different in one key way, however.
As every religious prays every morning of his or her life in the Benedictus:
In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.
A certain dawn has finally broken upon us: Roe v. Wade is on the ash heap of history at long last! As the Dominicans walked the last stretch up Capitol Hill, some of us prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary. I thought of all the rosaries that have been prayed in the past fifty years for an end to abortion—oh how many! As proud custodians of so powerful a prayer, and armed with the mandate to preach Truth to the world, the Dominican has been, and will continue to be, one to go before the Lord to prepare his way.