“The Pennsylvania March for Life is the first statewide march since Roe v. Wade was overturned,” proclaimed Jeanne Mancini, President of the National March for Life.
Most know that with the overturning of Roe nationally, the battle is back in the state. Additionally, there is the fight over the Women’s Health Protection Act in Congress which would legalize abortion through birth and counter every pro-life law in the country.
Hence, there is no surprise that the Diocese of Allentown had a strong representation with nearly a dozen buses from several schools and parishes at the Harrisburg march.
Most of the Diocese of Allentown buses left Monday morning to attend Mass at St. Mary, Hamburg celebrated by Bishop Alfred Schlert and priests of the Diocese. Then, they headed to the Pennsylvania March for Life in Harrisburg immediately after. Two Masses were also celebrated at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Harrisburg.
Dana Seisler, Pro-Life Coordinator at St. Ambrose, Schuylkill Haven, took a bus of 40 individuals to Bishop Schlert’s Mass and remarked afterward, “Bishop Schlert is a positive force for the pro-life movement in the Diocese of Allentown.”
Seisler found the Mass inspiring due to the large presence of students from several Catholic high schools, including Nativity BVM, Pottsville, where her daughter attends (see article below for other participating high schools).
Father Bernard Ezaki, who led a bus of teens from Bethlehem Catholic, noted our Shepherd’s humble and powerful homily responding to the persecutions Catholics face for their stance on abortion, especially after the overturning of Roe v. Wade. One statement stood out among the others for Father Ezaki. Our Bishop said that if the world will come after the Church for its pro-life stance, “Then so be it.”
Though Roe v. Wade was overturned, Pennsylvania stands at a crossroads. When Roe v. Wade was overturned, it did not end the battle for innocent lives in Pennsylvania.
A court case rivaling Roe v. Wade is before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. If Allegheny Reproductive Health Center v. Pennsylvania Department of Human Services is ruled in favor of abortion providers, Pennsylvania will see an expansion in legalized abortion through all nine months of pregnancy, forced taxpayer-funded abortion, and a repeal of nearly every pro-life law established in Pennsylvania.
Buses from St. Thomas More, Allentown, St. Stephen of Hungary, Allentown, and Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Bethlehem brought individuals from churches all over Northampton and Lehigh counties. They arrived, rallied, and marched around the Capitol building, praying the rosary together holding signs such as “No Woman Stands Alone in Allentown.”
At one point while praying, their groups joined with Father Stephan Isaac and the Viking Nation from Allentown Central Catholic High School, and then Notre Dame High School on the Capitol building stairs after the rally and march.
At the end, Notre Dame was one of the last groups standing and listening to the Silent No More Awareness talks on the stairs of the Capitol as rain began to trickle down.
It was a great day to be a Catholic and parishioner in the Diocese of Allentown under the leadership of our Shepherd, Bishop Schlert.
By Annaleigh (Atiyeh) Gidosh.
A Student’s Reflection on the Pennsylvania March for Life
In observance of Pennsylvania’s first statewide March for Life after the overturning of Roe v. Wade, a Mass was celebrated by Bishop Alfred Schlert at St. Mary Church, Hamburg.
The high schools that filled the church on their way to the march in Harrisburg were Allentown Central Catholic; Berks Catholic, Reading; Bethlehem Catholic; Marian, Tamaqua; Nativity BVM, Pottsville; and Notre Dame, Easton.
It was a wonderful Mass, and the Bishop’s homily set the tone for the whole day.
When speaking about abortion, the Bishop was really able to put into perspective how evil the act truly is, and how it has gravely affected our country. He explained how 62 million babies have been killed since Roe v. Wade in 1973, and how that is four times the state of Pennsylvania. A total of 38,000 babies have been killed every year since that decision, which is equal to the city of Easton being slaughtered every single year.
He said that it is unthinkable how the most innocent and feeble people, the people who cannot defend themselves in any way … are being murdered. Adults can defend themselves and possess physical strength, but these poor unborn babies are not capable of doing so. And they’re losing their lives.
Bishop Schlert explained that there are two prongs to the way that the Catholic Church approaches the subject of abortion. The first prong is our compassion for the poor mother who feels that abortion is her only option … to kill her baby that she conceived. The second prong, on the other hand, is combatting the very evil of abortion.
The Catholic Church is the biggest enemy of the pro-abortion movement, but we willingly accept this fact and keep our heads held high and our spiritual weapons drawn, prepared to never give up.
By Michael Hodgskin, senior at Notre Dame High School, Easton.