Youth Mass at Verizon Center expanded to the Washington D.C. Armory. 27,000 attended.

The Youth Rally and Mass for Life, hosted by the Archdiocese of Washington, marked the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. Annual events tend to focus on mobilizing the young, and Catholic high schools, youth groups and colleges were out in force Monday in Washington.

For the first time, a morning Mass at Verizon Center was expanded to the D.C. Armory, where a parallel event was held. More than 27,000 young people attended the events, which began after dawn and included readings by youths in hooded sweatshirts and jeans, contemporary praise music and dozens of priests hearing confessions in the sports arena’s dining area.

The Rev. Mark Ivany of the Catholic Church of the Little Flower in Bethesda, who delivered the homily at Verizon Center, compared attendees to activists from previous eras who fought against slavery and for women’s right to vote.

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