Father Jenkins and students, faculty and staff attend March for Life

by Michael O. Garvey

Father Jenkins at March for Life

Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president of the University of Notre Dame, was among some 350 Notre Dame students, faculty and staff who traveled to Washington, D.C. on Jan. 23 to take part in the March for Life.

The annual march, which marks the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion, has drawn increasing numbers of people over the years, and this year, the 39th anniversary of the decision, tens of thousands of marchers braved raw temeratures and intermittent rain to participate.

The Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture Fund to Protect Human Life provided funds to defray the cost of the buses and to offer $250 travel grants to some of the students who made the 15-hour trip to the nation’s capital.

The Notre Dame Alumni Association and the Notre Dame Club of Washington, D.C., hosted a “Notre Dame Reception for Life” for the Notre Dame march participants at a Washington restaurant on Sunday evening.

On Monday morning at Saint Agnes Catholic Church in Alexandria, Va., Father Jenkins presided at a Mass for the Notre Dame contingent before joining them on the National Mall for a noon “Rally for Life,” followed by a march along Constitution Avenue to the Supreme Court Building.

“Notre Dame assuredly has one of the largest contingents here from any college or university in the country,” according to Rev. Wilson Miscamble, C.S.C., professor of history and president of Notre Dame’s chapter of University Faculty for Life. “This not only reflects the willingness of these faculty to demonstrate their own commitment to the cause of life but also indicates the desire of faculty and staff to march with and support our marvelous pro-life students. Together we are making clear Notre Dame’s commitment to defend human life at every stage and forcefully stating Notre Dame’s unambiguous position on the great civil rights issue of our time.”

Notre Dame student at 2012 March for Life

The afternoon of the march on the Notre Dame campus, the Alumni Association hosted a “Sanctity for Life” prayer service in solidarity with the Notre Dame marchers. Some 50 students, faculty and staff members gathered for prayer in the Log Chapel followed by a procession to the Grotto, where they recited prayers for the protection of human life submitted by members of the extended Notre Dame family to the alumni association website at http://mynotredame.nd.edu/sanctityoflife.