March for Life seen as a pilgrimage
By MARNIE McALLISTER
Record Assistant Editor
A delegation of about 140 people from the Archdiocese of Louisville who attended the March for Life in Washington, D.C., Monday, Jan. 23, arrived home early Tuesday morning weary but glad.
“It was a true pilgrimage,” said Sharon Schuhmann in an email she sent to The Record on the bus ride home. “Our youth and chaperones came away exhausted from our 37-hour experience.”
Schuhmann, coordinator of pro-life ministries for the Archdiocese of Louisville, led the delegation, which departed in three buses from St. Michael Church in Eastern Jefferson County on Sunday afternoon. They drove through the night to arrive in Washington Monday morning. They stayed just long enough to take part in the day’s events.
“After the 12-hour drive through the night, we walked into the Washington, D.C., Armory at 7:30 a.m. to music, dancing, stories of inspiration and Mass celebrated with Cardinal (Daniel) DiNardo, bishops, priests, religious and 10,000” other worshippers “who believe in the dignity of life,” Schuhmann wrote as the teenagers who attended slept on the bus around her.
The archdiocesan group attended the youth rally and Mass that morning and then walked down the streets of Washington to join in the march. The group included 120 teenagers from Archdiocese of Louisville parishes and schools. They were accompanied by about 20 chaperones.
The weather in Washington that day saw intermittent rain and temperatures were in the upper 30s. But the atmosphere generated by the crowd was inspiring, said Schuhmann.
“The spirit of the tens of thousands we walked with — shoulder to shoulder dedicated to the dignity of human life — inspired our youth to return to their homes, schools and parishes rededicated to the cause for life,” she wrote in an email.
Jonathan Wheeler from St. Rose Church in Springfield, Ky., told Schuhmann on the bus, “The crowd was quite impressive.”
Wheeler, who came on the trip with a brother and his sisters, also said they unexpectedly saw their older brother during the march. He is a seminarian studying in Columbus, Ohio.
Jordan Ellis-Reeves, a teenager from St. James Church in Elizabethtown, Ky., told Schuhmann, “The march was moving — along the route there were billboards with information that showed what a crime abortion is.”
When the march was over, it was time for the archdiocesan group to find their buses and drive home.
Schuhmann said, “After walking four miles, hungry, cold and tired, as we boarded the buses to come home, one of the youths from Trinity asked, ‘Can we come back next year?’ ”