ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – Hundreds of thousands will march in Washington Friday to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. This year, the St. Louis Catholic community is sending 1,600 young people: its largest number ever.
Thirty-one busloads of Catholic teens gathered at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Valley Park Wednesday night for a presentation and mass before departing.
The trip is coordinated by the St. Louis Archdiocese, and includes youth groups from St. Charles to Illinois.
The pro-life march in Washington has been a tradition every year since Roe v. Wade, and it’s also been a tradition for many St. Louis young people. For them, it’s a long drive, but worth it to see the sea of people uniting to stand up for the unborn.
High school senior Danny Hanna explains, “It’s uplifting to see all those people gathering from all over the country to meet in one spot to help the helpless.”
The group also views the trip to D.C. as a pilgrimage. St. Louis Archdiocese Director of Youth Ministry Tom Lancia explains, “This isn’t just a trip, where people are going from one place to another. These are a group of youth and people traveling for a moral reason of significance of life.”
For some, the common cause also made friendships closer.
High school junior Gabbi Kramer says, “It’s really exciting to share this passion together and be able to go and experience it together.”
Her close friend Alyssa Clausen adds, “And I know personally speaking, when we went freshman year we kind of knew each other and had a few classes together, and this is our third year going together and we’ve gotten a lot closer.”
Significant about this pilgrimage is the fact that it’s all young people. Lancia says that’s for a reason: “They are the focus; they are the driver, because we feel that the youth is going to change this world. And the youth of this generation is becoming more pro-life. And we just know that they’re gonna be the ones to change it.”
The group will arrive in Washington Thursday afternoon, in time for the Friday march, and will arrive back in St. Louis on Sunday.