WASHINGTON, D.C. — Dozens of Catholic U.S. Military personnel and members of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS), walked in the 49th annual March for Life on Friday along the National Mall. The delegation included cadets from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., midshipmen from the U.S. Naval Academy, and dozens of others in Washington to attend the AMS’s Young Adult Ministry Symposium this past weekend in Crystal City, VA.
His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services, led the AMS delegation through the heart of the nation’s capital in sub-freezing temperatures. Among those walking the route were Auxiliary Bishop Joseph L. Coffey, Episcopal Vicar for Veterans Affairs; Chaplains Father Curtiss P. Dwyer, CHC, LCDR, USN, stationed at the Naval Academy; Father Mark C. Bristol, CHC, LT, USN, currently based at Naval Station Rota in Spain; Father John F. Reutemann, Ch Capt USAF, stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska, Father Mark Rutherford, Judicial Vicar of the AMS, Father Robert Cannon, Chancellor, and Father S. Matthew Gray, Vocations Director.
The peaceful, demonstration in defense of human life was joined by tens of thousands on the one-mile route from the Washington Monument to the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court, where the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion was handed down 49 years ago Saturday. The theme of March for Life 2022 was “Equality Begins in the Womb.”
Just before the march, in his homily at the daily noon Mass in the main chapel of the Edwin Cardinal O’Brien Pastoral Center, Archbishop Broglio reminded marchers a strong prayer life must feed outward demonstrations of witness to the Gospel. He borrowed from Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) the analogy of a reservoir:
“We fill up with Christ so that we are in a position to share of our abundance. The reservoir retains water until it is filled and then discharges the overflow without loss to itself. We depend on reservoirs for our water supply and in times of trouble there is no water if it has not been stored. There is no ability to announce the truth if we have not spent time with the Lord, been nourished by His word, and strengthened in sacrament. We cannot get up and march if we are not filled up with Jesus Christ and a desire to share His life with others. We cannot teach if we do not draw the fullness of the Gospel of Life.”
Having spent time with the Lord at Holy Mass, Archbishop Broglio noted, “We will go forward to give witness to our faith and proclaim the dignity of human life.”
Speakers at March for Life 2017 included The Bible in a Year podcast host Father Mike Schmitz, Down Syndrome advocate Katie Shaw, Representatives Julia Letlow (R-LA) and Chris Smith (R-NJ), actor/producer Kirk Cameron, and Duck Dynasty star Lisa Robertson. Matthew West, the GMA Dove Award®-winning and GRAMMY Award®-nominated artist/songwriter, performed at a pre-rally concert from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 Noon (EST).