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By Kelly Salomon, The Cardinal Newman Society, January 18, 2018
Faithful Catholic schools and colleges give witness to the dignity of human life all year long—and Friday, January 19, 2018, will be no exception. Students, faculty and staff from colleges recommended in The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College  and schools on our Catholic Education Honor Roll  will be leaders once again at this year’s March for Life in Washington, D.C.
Several students from these institutions told the Newman Society how their faithful education inspires them to value the dignity of all life. These students make great sacrifices—from long bus rides to braving cold temperatures to sleeping on the floors of church halls (or buses!)—to make a stand for and peacefully protest an end to abortion.
They will join the hundreds of thousands who are expected at the 45th annual March for Life marking the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, and President Trump plans to address the crowds via a live video stream, according to LifeSiteNews.com .
A student from Newman Guide-recommended University of Mary in Bismarck, N.D., is invited to attend a March for Life reception with Vice President Mike Pence. She was invited last year as well—the same year that the University of Mary was chosen to lead the March for Life—but unfortunately the buses arrived in D.C. too late and she was unable to attend.
The University of Mary gained national attention two years ago when they celebrated Mass with other stranded motorists who were caught in a massive snowstorm on the interstate on their way home. This year, the University is busing nearly 200 students, faculty and staff to the March, including President Monsignor James Shea.
Two campuses will be taking around two hundred students, faculty and staff more than 1,000 miles to participate in the March for Life: Ave Maria University in Ave Maria, Fla., and Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan. These are two of the largest groups to travel the greatest distance to the event.
Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, N.C., will send about 100 students, faculty, staff (and monks!). Belmont Abby student Andrew Torres explained to the Newman Society how his Catholic education helps him to value the dignity of all life:
Catholic education forms the human person in such a way that he understands and embraces himself and consequently all people, revealing his significance, his purpose, and his dignity in the context of God, His will, and His creation; this instills in the person a sense of obligation and desire to value all of human life. The March for Life offers a beautiful and effective way to carry out this obligation and affirm and defend the value that all people share.
Christendom College in Front Royal, Va., has always closed its campus on the day of the March so that the entire student body and members of the faculty and staff can attend. College President Dr. Timothy O’Donnell leads the group and they pray all five mysteries of the rosary throughout the journey.
Other colleges allow excused absences for the March for Life trip. With The Catholic University of America’s location in Washington, D.C., the University hosts its own pro-life rally, offers hospitality to many visiting groups, and more than 500 students attend the March.
Franciscan University of Steubenville in Steubenville, Ohio, sends its own large contingent of 500 students, and the trip is entirely student-led. Franciscan University President Father Sean Sheridan, TOR, also joins the group.
DeSales University in Center Valley, Penn., will be sending 35 students, faculty and staff; and Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Md., will be sending 224 students and seminarians to participate in the March.
A student at Northeast Catholic College in Warner, N.H.—which will send 85% of its student body to the March— told the Newman Society how his education has prepared him for this pilgrimage. Corin Friesen stated:
The curriculum at Northeast Catholic College prepares students to answer several fundamental questions, two of which are ‘what is the nature of the human person’ and ‘what promotes human dignity and flourishing?’ My time at Northeast Catholic College has thus awakened in me a deeper concern for the dignity of human life and has inspired me to continue valuing and defending it in my work and actions. The March for Life is a wonderful opportunity for myself and my collegiate community to stand in solidarity with life and those who value life.
Seven students will make the trip from Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College in Barry’s Bay, Ontario, and students from Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack, N.H., will also be in attendance. Senior Michael Yost of Thomas More College shared with the Newman Society:
We know a nation when we know what it loves best of all. The crime of abortion shows that our nation values many things: material ease, individual freedom, social mobility; but it does not value human beings, the proper ends of their societies, or their souls. The Pro-life Movement is important to me because by promoting a “culture of life” we promote a proper understanding of the goods of human sexuality, which support the goods of family life, which in turn promote the goods of our entire nation.
The University of St. Thomas in Houston, Tex., is sending its largest group of students to the March in the University’s history, and the group is led by the University’s new president, Dr. Richard Ludwick; Walsh University in Canton, Ohio, will be hosting a pro-life event on campus the night before the March and sending 55 students to the March.
Campuses located on the other side of the country participate in the West Coast Walk for Life in San Francisco, Cal., including Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, Cal., which sends more than 200 students on the 375 mile trip to the Walk. TAC students help lead the Walk, provide hymns, and security along the route.
Wyoming Catholic College in Lander, Wyo., sends more than half of their student body to the West Coast Walk for Life, which requires a 20 hour bus ride each way, and approximately half of the student body at John Paul the Great University in Escondido, Cal., also attends.
Schools recognized on the Newman Society’s Catholic Education Honor Roll are also well-represented at the March for Life, including Mount Royal Academy, in Sunapee, N.H, which will be bringing about 50 students. The school leaves for the event on Thursday, attends an event in Washington, D.C. on Thursday night, spends the night in a local school, attends Mass on Friday morning, joins in the March for Life, and then drives home on Friday night, arriving in the early morning hours on Saturday.