Just three days after the March for Life in Washington, D.C., Catholic college students joined tens of thousands to walk for an end to abortion on Saturday, January 25th in San Francisco, California, led by students from Thomas Aquinas College.
Students from Thomas Aquinas and Wyoming Catholic College, which are recommended in The Newman Guide for strong Catholic identity, were present at the 10th annual Walk for Life West Coast.
The Walk for Life began in 2005 with approximately 7,500 pro-lifers present. This year, more than 50,000 were expected to gather to both stand for life and to make known the harm done to women by abortion.
Thomas Aquinas College students carried the lead banner in the Walk, with more than 200 students signing up for the seven-hour bus-ride from Santa Paula to San Francisco to witness to the dignity of all life, according to the College’s website.
The College’s chaplain, Father Joseph Illo, asked students in a homily to spend time in prayer on the bus and throughout the trip, suggesting that they pray all four sets of the Rosary. He reminded them that they are “not going on a picnic,” but rather “entering the gaping maw of the culture of death,” according to the College’s website.
Fr. Illo reminded students that they should be prepared for counter-demonstrators at the Walk for Life in California, some of whom will “hurl obscene and hateful words at us from beyond the police barriers; some may even physically assault us.” The students should use self-defense if necessary, but they should not respond with violence, he urged. Fr. Illo told them that he hopes they “attract hearts and minds” by “sweetness” rather than by “confrontation,” according to the College’s website.
Wyoming Catholic College also announced that one-third of the College's student body, or approximately 40 students, along with the president and chaplains, would be traveling more than 1,000 miles from Lander, Wyo., to San Francisco to participate in the Walk for Life.
"Wyoming Catholic College forms its students to be joyful Catholics who seek out opportunities for evangelization in the public square,” College President Kevin Roberts said. “In our lives, there is no greater injustice than the violation of the right to life. Our college and our students, therefore, have joined this epic defense of the unborn, and I believe that our well-formed, joyful student-leaders offer an optimistic, magnetic zeal that the pro-life movement will welcome."
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