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Nearly 200 Benedictine College students boarded buses and endured the 1,100 mile, 24-hour trip to Washington, D.C., to take part in the National March for Life on January 19, the second national march since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Always strong supporters of life, Benedictine College and its Ravens Respect Life (RRL) student organization usually bring the largest group traveling the greatest distance for the annual March.
“We march for faith, for justice, and as a joyful testimony for life,” said Fr. Ryan Richardson, LC, Benedictine College Chaplain who accompanied the students on the March. “Our presence here matters.”
Archbishop Joseph Naumann, of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, has made it a point of emphasis as the former chairman of the Pro-Life Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, that Catholics should continue to show strong support for life at both the national as well as the state level. The Archdiocese includes Atchison, Kansas, and Benedictine College.
“We need young people today who can catechize the world in what true love is…so we need you to be apostles of true, authentic love,” the Archbishop told the gathered students in Washington.
Attendance at this year’s March was estimated in the hundreds of thousands, despite the winter storm that has covered much of the country in snow and ice.
“The March for Life was breathtaking,” said Luke Hahn, a Benedictine College freshman. “To see that many people standing up for the gift of life was incredible. I just hope all of us will have the same amount of courage once we leave D.C.”
Olivia Glover, the March for Life coordinator for RRL, noted that the fight at the state level will now become increasingly important. RRL has also been planning for the Kansas March for Life, set to take place on January 24, 2024, in Topeka, Kansas.
The College was proud to lead the March in 2014 and Benedictine students have attended the March for Life since 1980. The founding of Ravens Respect Life in 1989 made the annual trip more formal and increased participation. Many of the students who led Ravens Respect Life in its early days are now leaders in the Church today, including Bishop Andrew Cozzens ’91 of the Diocese of Crookston, Minn., Abbot James Albers ’94 of St. Benedict’s Abbey, Father Joseph Taphorn ’93 from the Archdiocese of Omaha, Father Brendan Rolling ’99, former chaplain of Benedictine College, and Father Jeremy Hepler ’00, pastor of St. Benedict’s Parish.
Read more about the thriving faith life on the Benedictine College campus.