Approximately 200 students from the Diocese of Allentown started their day today (1/21) with a special Mass celebrated by Bishop Alfred Schlert on their way to the 49th annual March for Life in Washington, D.C.
Buses from five diocesan high schools stopped for the 10 a.m. Mass at the Basilica of the Assumption in Baltimore, Md.: Allentown Central Catholic; Berks Catholic, Reading; Bethlehem Catholic; Marian, Tamaqua; and Notre Dame, Easton.
Bishop Schlert expressed his great pride and admiration of and gratitude to the students for coming to the Mass and the March for Life.
He noted that their day started in Baltimore with Holy Mass because “it is Our Lord Jesus in the Eucharist who empowers us and strengthens us to stand for the dignity of all human life.”
“The Mass with the Bishop was beautiful,” said Berks Catholic freshman Aloyska Gonzalez. “His homily helped to open my eyes a little more on this issue.”
Concelebrating the Mass were Father Stephan Isaac, chaplain of Berks Catholic; Father Giuseppe Esposito, chaplain of Allentown Central Catholic; Father Brian Miller, chaplain of Marian; and Father Allen Hoffa, Berks Catholic board member.
The Basilica is known as America’s oldest Cathedral. It was started in 1806 and completed in 1821.
The buses were on the road again late this morning to arrive in Washington before the March for Life began at 1:15 p.m. There was also a rally at 11 a.m. with a performance by singer Matthew West. This year’s theme was “Equality Begins in the Womb.”
“Given that abortion-on-demand is one of the worst evils of our time and the most foundational and pressing human rights issue in our country, it’s encouraging to see so many of our diocesan high school students attending the March for Life and publicly witnessing to the inherent dignity of every human life, especially the preborn, who are the weakest and most vulnerable among us,” said Father Isaac.
The march is held annually on a date near the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion.
“With the Supreme Court case of Dobbs vs. Jackson, and a pending decision on that critical case in June of this year,” said Father Isaac, “we hope and pray that Roe v. Wade is finally overturned and that we don’t have to come to Washington, D.C. every year for the March for Life to protest this egregious and appalling 1973 decision that has led to the deaths of over 60 million preborn babies in the U.S. alone.”