Catholic Colleges Champion Pro-Life View With Strong March for Life Presence

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 20, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Catholic Colleges Champion Pro-Life View With Strong March for Life Presence

by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 20
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — Several of the nation’s most authentic Catholic colleges are once again helping lead the March for Life. Schools like Christendom College and Magdalen College are drawing kudos from pro-life advocates by going the extra mile to promote Catholic pro-life teaching by their involvement in the event.

Hundreds of thousands of pro-life Americans will march for life and call on new President Barack Obama to reject abortion on Thursday.

They will be joined by thousands of Catholic college students and the schools, according to the Cardinal Newman Society, deserve praise.

Joseph Esposito is the editor of the CNS-produced Guide to Choosing a Catholic College, and he tells that the march will underscore the important contribution given by many faithful Catholic colleges and universities.

"We are heartened by the Catholic college officials, faculty and students who are standing up in defense of innocent human life, an important way of living out their Catholic identity," he said.

"The enthusiasm of thousands of students, administrators and faculty for the March for Life and other pro-life activities gives us renewed optimism that the moral crime of abortion will eventually end," Esposito adds.

Esposito noted that all 21 of the colleges recommended in the guide are committed to supporting the pro-life movement and several have longtime pledges for active participation in the march.

Few have been as engaged as Christendom College, which has participated every year and will once again bus all of its students to Washington on Thursday. For the third time and the first time since 1998, the college will lead the March with its banner.

The entire student body of Magdalen College in Warner, New Hampshire, will travel about 500 miles to the March for the second consecutive year. Students solicited donations to support their trip.

Magdalen president Jeffrey Karls, who will accompany the group, explained his college’s commitment.

"We mourn the intentional killing of millions of innocent babies and the suffering of pregnant mothers from these killings, and we wish to show America our determination to defend life, and our unequivocal endorsement of the culture of life," he said.

Undoubtedly, the most extensive hospitality for the March for Life takes place through The Catholic University of America, where Pope Benedict XVI spoke to educators last April. Hundreds of students are housed at the campus’ DuFour Center and at the adjacent Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

Nearly 200 students from the bishops’ university volunteer to assist this effort and serve as ushers at the pro-life Masses, especially the National Prayer Vigil for Life which attracts thousands of clerics, students and other pro-lifers the day before the March.

"I have seen the hundreds of students who come to the Vigil and then stay on to sleep overnight," Esposito said. "It is truly an awesome experience to see this outpouring of support from young people, and it makes you thankful for the high schools and colleges which help nurture this prayerful dedication."

Meanwhile, about 750 students come from Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, nearly half of them arriving by bus.

Campus Students for Life vice president Emily Espinola said, "Franciscan University is very pro-life, and since the mission of the school is education, our main focus on campus is educating students about the pro-life movement and how they can be pro-life."

Ten percent of the student body from Benedictine College in Kansas will travel 20 hours to Washington, a figure which is 60 percent higher than last year and reflects a waiting list.

Other colleges sending high numbers of students include Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland, Belmont Abbey College of North Carolina,

"The pro-life dedication of these and other Catholic colleges is part of the ‘springtime’ of spiritual revival in Catholic higher education," Esposito said. "We are blessed to have this profound witness intensifying as we engage a disturbingly hostile culture."

Related web sites:
Cardinal Newman Society –

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