January 19, 2024
University President Peter Kilpatrick gathered at a Metro station with students heading to the March for Life. (Catholic University/Patrick G. Ryan)

Braving a snow shower that pelted Washington, D.C. on Jan. 19, hundreds of students, faculty, staff, and campus leaders from The Catholic University of America joined the March for Life.

The annual national march promotes the dignity of human life by working to end abortion. It moves from the National Mall to prominent sites, including the Capitol building and the Supreme Court.

University President Peter Kilpatrick’s passion for the protection of life was on full display for the students gathered inside the University's Heritage Hall one hour before the March. The president held back tears as he saw a sea of hopeful advocates for the protection of life.

“I’m thrilled to see you all out witnessing for life,” he told them.

“Sometimes we think, gosh, we got to go march to change the world. Well, no, no, you have to go march to be faithful,” President Kilpatrick said. “Our Lord is going to change the world. And we should hold onto that, we should believe in that.”


The emotion of the day was felt by many students, including Cardinals for Life president Larissa York. York’s group was a significant leader in mobilizing student engagement in the march. She moved about Heritage Hall with a brightly colored Cardinals for Life sweatshirt featuring cardinals in a nest.

Before the March, she said, “By participating in the March for Life, we show our abiding love and steadfast support for parents and their children, promoting a culture of life on a global scale.”

The University’s representatives took a subway train from the nearby Brookland-CUA Metro station to the Smithsonian. Some gathered, reciting the Prayer to St. Michael. Others packed the trains and shared stories of participating in regional marches for life.

Students donning hats and signs supporting the beauty and precious nature of life, the University’s presence was vibrant and visible everywhere. Students gathered on the National Mall as an estimated three inches of snow covered the ground, showing enthusiasm for the cause.

Just before the March, Sophomore Sean Morganstern held the University’s main sign that bore the message, “Celebrate Life” with his fellow Knights.

Morgenstern, a sophomore,  was overwhelmed, much like President Kilpatrick.

“I have a great love for all of the people that are out here, for the teachings that we have on the dignity of life,” Morganstern said. “I think it's amazing.”

See more photos from University photographer Patrick G. Ryan.