On January 25, 2017, 5 adults escorted 15 young teens to the 44th annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. This tradition began 10 years ago, when Mark Woodward, a teacher at Owensboro Catholic Middle and David Ralph decided to take a group of OCMS students on a pilgrimage to March for Life. Their first trip included 13 students and driving themselves on the Big Green Bus. They have attended every year since, rain, sleet or snow. Sleeping on the floor of an unheated church. In recent years, they have quadrupled the number of students and through generous donations and fundraising, they now travel by a chartered bus and sleep on the floor in a heated parish hall. Still a pilgrimage to be sure, but a little more comfortable. This was the 1st year they were unable to attend, there was a conflict of scheduling due to the inauguration, however they had planted a seed in the students who had attended last year and some who hadn’t gotten to, but had heard what a powerful experience it is. These students were so passionate about returning to the March for Life that through a lot of prayer, planning, generous donations and determination we made it happen. I was fortunate enough to be included in this group of adults to escort this fine group to the March. I say “escort” because it was the students who inspired us to go, we were following their lead and convictions. It made an impact on us and we had to get them there. I cannot put into words the sense of pride we felt when seeing these young people in action at the March. From starting pro-life chants and having the crowd beside and behind us join in, to praying Hail Mary’s to drown out the opposing groups of protesters. The kids brought the Holy Spirit and it showered us all. We had a prayer circle every night to discuss the day and let me just say that listening to these kids made us all want to be better leaders, Christians and well, simply put, better adults. We came home with a mission, keep this seed that was planted fed and watered so it will take root and grow. We are going to continue to be the voice for the voiceless and continue our crusade here at home. With the world in such a state, it is more than comforting to know that we have kids like these that will be our future leaders, #PROLIFEGENERATION.
“I felt compelled to attend the march when I realized that most of the people that supported abortion didn’t have the slightest clue on how the procedure worked. I wanted to get out there and make a difference somehow. We definitely proved to people that abortion is not safe, and it is murder, and the baby can feel everything that it is undergoing. I hope to continue to stand up for what is right in the future!!” ~Rachel Payne – 8th Grade at OCMS
“It was a life changing experience where we were able to hopefully change the life of many and inspire people to fight for what is right.” ~ Rudy Clouse – 10th Grade at OCHS
“The march was very powerful to me seeing so many people in one place believing what I believe. It makes me want to come home and protest in Owensboro.” ~ Clayton Lewis – 8th Grade at OCMS
Written by: Melanie Ballard on behalf of Kentucky Teens for Life. God Bless.