January 29, 2021

For every year in recent memory, toward the end of January, hundreds of Catholic University students, faculty, and staff would bundle up (regardless of snow or rain) and head downtown to participate in the annual March for Life.

Although weather couldn’t keep them indoors, this year, a pandemic has.

Catholic University students who’ve recently returned to campus for a late start to the Spring Semester were asked to quarantine for 14 days before participating in public activities. In addition to the quarantine, the national March for Life organization made the hard decision to cancel the in-person march at the Capitol due to the pandemic and recent violence in Washington, D.C. 

“It is truly disappointing to know that the 48th annual March for Life will have to be a virtual event,” said Rev. Jude DeAngelo, O.F.M.Conv., University chaplain, in a recent letter to students. Father Jude has marched with the University contingent in every march for the last 10 years since he arrived at CatholicU. “We’ve marched on bright sunny anniversaries and on overcast days. We’ve walked in blizzard conditions and rainy as well.”

Although they can’t travel downtown, Campus Ministry has invited students to participate in a number of other activities to support and pray for the right to life cause. Activities include:

  • The annual Vigil for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, which is being livestreamed this year. 
  • A virtual Youth Rally for Life hosted by the Archdiocese of Washington.
  • The virtual March for Life events
  • A Rosary for Life on Zoom hosted by the campus Knights of Columbus. 
  • Praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet for Life with Campus Ministry staff online. 
  • Attending a Zoom Friday Night Event with the House with night prayer.

“Our inability to march with our customary force and energy does in fact leave us the opportunity to grow in grace,” Father Jude said in his letter to students. “It gives us the privilege to offer our disappointment and sadness as an oblation to the Lord. We can ask the Lord to take our sacrifice and join it to the eternal sacrifice of His Son on behalf of the pre-born children and their mothers and fathers.

“It may be the moment for a calm, loving dialogue with others who struggle much with the Church’s teachings,” Father Jude continued. “Who knows what experiences some of your peers have had in life? This may be the moment when a loving, non-combative, non-judgmental dialogue rooted in prayer and sacrifice might open up another’s heart to the beauty and sacredness of human life. It might be a time of great healing.”