The most powerful aspect of the March for Life: Standing room only in the Great Upper Church, and also filling the chapels of the undercroft.

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By: Msgr. Charles Pope

As I have remarked before, to March for Life is experience life. So many joyful Christians and others who support life gather and celebrate the glory and dignity of human life. The March is ever young, with the ranks of so many young people growing every year.

Here at my rectory are 15 fine seminarians from the Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit. Fine orthodox, and zealous men who love God and the Church and are eager to preach the Gospel and celebrate the sacraments. Almost 700 seminarians marched into the Basilica Thursday evening along with hundreds of priests, and as many as 8000 lay people, standing room only in the Great Upper Church, and also filling the chapels of the undercroft.

Today at the Cathedral I was privileged to preach to a full Church and hear powerful witness talks from Project Rachel leaders prior to the Mass. Despite cold and some light snow, I would say the crowd was close in size to last year’s 400,000.

Yes, such life, such faith and joy.

I must say however, that my joy is often tempered each year toward the end of the march when I go and try to witness to the “pro-choice” demonstrators who stand in front of the Supreme Court. I often experience great pain in this work.

To be sure they are the hardened cases, but I experience such grief after talking with them. Here are a couple of conversations as I remember them.

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13,000 faithful, 5 cardinals, 42 bishops, 395 priests, 80 deacons, 520 seminarians

Editor’s note: The Mass that is regularly celebrated in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the night before the March for Life, is truly the experience of a lifetime and it should not be missed, if at all possible.

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