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"Pro-Life Generation Is the Light in This Dark World"

Third-year graduate seminarians travel to Washington, D.C. for annual March for Life.

by Perrin Atisha

Every year, a group of seminarians representing Sacred Heart embark on a journey to participate in the March for Life in Washington, D.C. This year's journey had many beautiful and edifying moments for me and my classmates. Our first event was Mass during the National Prayer Vigil for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Mass was celebrated by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York, and we joined thousands of faithful, including hundreds of priests, deacons, seminarians, and religious. Cardinal Dolan encouraged us all, with a reminder we march not as warriors but as apostles. We were not called to go out on the streets shouting and obnoxiously protesting, but as imitators of Christ, witnessing to the message of the gospel.

The next morning, we headed to the Capital One Arena for the rally and Mass for Life. We had a great time meeting many people from around our country, all uniting to march for a righteous cause, the dignity of human life. This year's March for Life had a significant historic value. It was the first time in history that March for Life participants were addressed by the President of the United States via live video from the White House. President Donald Trump offered support and encouragement and declared January 22, 2018, as National Sanctity of Human Life Day, which was also the 45th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

by Perrin Atisha

During the day's events, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, continuously thanked the many young people who were present. The presence of youth was one of the most beautiful things I witnessed that day. Everywhere we went, whether it was a church or museum, was filled with young people. Many held signs and marched for the gift of life. One of the most memorable signs read, "Fewer women would have abortions if wombs had windows." Seeing the many young people holding signs showing the world they were the result of adoption or their mother choosing life, was edifying.

For me, one of the biggest pro-life witnesses I made wasn't holding a sign, shouting chants, or giving high-fives to high schoolers, it was wearing clerics throughout the city. We were with hundreds of thousands of people, and many stopped to thank us for our vocations and encouraged us to keep moving forward. When I think about the pro-life generation I am immediately drawn to the beauty of being called to bring light into this dark world, which desires to destroy life.

One spiritual explanation for clerics is the black shirt of a priest represents the darkness of the world and the small white tab represents light. The priest is expected to be the light in this dark world. As priests, we aren't just called to be pro-life merely during the month of January but every minute of our vocations. This is what the March for Life taught me, and I think it's a lesson for all priests and laity. The pro-life generation is the light in this dark world. Jesus has already conquered the battle, we just need to trust and have confidence that in his time and in his way the end of abortion will come.

Perrin Atisha

Perrin Atisha is a third-year theologian studying for the Chaldean Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle.

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Sacred Heart Major Seminary is a Christ-centered Catholic community of faith and higher learning committed to forming leaders who will proclaim the good news of Christ to the people of our time. As a leading center of the New Evangelization, Sacred Heart serves the needs of the Archdiocese of Detroit and contributes to the mission of the universal Church.