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Kathryn Zagrobelny

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Thousands of students from faithful Catholic colleges to attend 2015 March for Life

Kathryn Zagrobelny

Students and community members from the faithful Catholic colleges and universities recommended in The Newman Guide—about 3,000 of them, according to estimates—are traveling to Washington, D.C., this week to participate in the 42nd annual March for Life.  Colleges are also participating in the Walk for Life West Coast in San Francisco, and taking part in a variety of prayer events and rallies to support the sanctity of life.

A record number of students from Aquinas College, in Nashville, Tenn., will go to D.C. to participate in the March for Life, according to the College website.

A total of 165 students from Ave Maria University, in Ave Maria, Fla., will travel on three charter buses to the March. The University anticipates that another 50 students will travel separately and join the group in D.C., making for more than 200 Ave students in attendance.

A record number of 93 students, one monk, two faculty members, four FOCUS missionaries, and three staff members from Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, N.C., plan to join marchers at the nation’s capital on Thursday.

Six buses will depart from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., for a 2,262-mile, 54-hour, roundtrip journey. The more than 300-person group includes Benedictine students, staff and faculty members, monks and priests from St. Benedict’s Abbey, as well as students and faculty from other nearby schools, according to the College.

Additionally, Benedictine College was chosen by the World Apostolate of Fatima to carry the statue of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary during the March. The statue has traveled across the country over the past year. The College led the March last year.

The Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, D.C., anticipates that 500 undergraduates will walk together this year in the March. Before departing for the National Mall, the students will gather in the morning for an address by University president John Garvey.

“As Catholics and as members of The Catholic University of America community, we are called to stand up for the dignity of the voiceless and defenseless,” Pamela Tremblay, associate campus minister for women’s and pro-life ministry, said in a recent CUA news release.

Additionally, 200 CUA volunteers will host more than 1,200 teenaged marchers traveling into the city from out of town. University students will register visitors, serve meals, arrange sleeping bags, chaperone, and usher during the National Prayer Vigil for Life held in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

Christendom College in Front Royal, Va., will cancel classes on Thursday to allow the entire student body, faculty and staff, a group of more than 400 people, to participate in the March. On four different occasions in the past, its students have led the March, the College reported. Christendom College has also attended every March since the College was founded.

Classes at the Franciscan University of Steubenville are likewise cancelled in order to allow more than 800 students, faculty, staff, and alumni to travel from Steubenville, Ohio, to Washington, D.C. Before the group leaves campus on Wednesday night, the University will hold a holy hour.  Upon their arrival, the participants will attend Mass at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.

“I've heard from high-schoolers and students at other universities that our large showing inspires them,” Molly Sheahan, president of Franciscan's Students for Life said in a University news release. “And it shows our own Franciscan University community that we are not alone. We are hundreds strong from this single school who want to end abortion.” 

There will be 94 undergraduate students and 150 seminarians from Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Md., who will attend the March. Before departing, students will attend a Mass in the campus chapel while the seminarians will attend the Youth Rally and Mass for Life in the Verizon Center that morning. According to the University, a separate group of seminarians will also travel to join the National Prayer Vigil and pray a holy hour during the middle of the night at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.

Additionally, on the day of the March, The National Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes will be giving away prayer cards in honor of the sanctity of human life.

Northeast Catholic College, in Warner, N.H., will likewise send a group of students to Washington, D.C., the College reported.

St. Gregory’s University in Shawnee, Okla., will have 16 students and two faculty members travel 20 hours to attend the March.  St. Gregory’s will also post abortion statistics around campus and live-stream the Mass from the Basilica on Wednesday, January 21, and the March for Life events for students unable to attend.

“Part of the reason I will be attending this year is to contribute to the prayer, sacrifice and witness that happens in Washington D.C. on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade,” Lauren Mach, president of St. Gregory’s Pro-Life Team said in a University news release.

About 275 students from Thomas Aquinas College (TAC) in Santa Paula, Calif., will travel more than 400 miles to attend the Walk for Life West Coast in San Francisco, on Saturday, Jan. 24. As in previous years, TAC students will help lead the march and help to provide security along the route.

Students from the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts will travel from Merrimack, N.H., to Washington, D.C. to attend the national March, according to the College website.

The University of Mary in Bismarck, N.D., will be sending 35 students to Washington, D.C. Faculty and staff, including President Monsignor James Shea, Father Kerry Bender—chaplain and director of the Christian Leadership Center—and Dr. Peter Huff—director of Campus Ministry and professor of theology—will join the students.

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The University of St. Thomas (UST) in Houston, Tex., announced that 38 members of Celts for Life, the University’s pro-life group, will journey to Washington, D.C., for the March. The group will be hosted by the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist and St. Philip the Apostle Catholic Church in Falls Church, Va., the University reported. Additionally, 20 UST students will attend the Texas Rally for Life in Austin, on Jan. 24.

Wyoming Catholic College in Lander, Wyo., will send 63 students, about half of its student body, on a 1,000 mile, 15 hour trip to participate in the Walk for Life West Coast.

All the aforementioned colleges and universities are recommended in The Newman Guide for their strong Catholic identities. The Cardinal Newman Society recently released the 2015 edition of the Guide along with an innovative new “Recruit Me” program that lets students sign up so that the recommended colleges can compete for them.

Reprinted with permission from The Cardinal Newman Society. 

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