CV NEWS FEED // After several buses bearing Catholics from the Diocese of Brooklyn returned home last weekend from the 51st annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., many parishioners said that the event helped them grow more in their faith.
Brooklyn’s diocesan newspaper, The Tablet, reported that the diocese sent Catholics from several different parishes and walks of life to the March this year, including teens, religious sisters, priests, and other parishioners.
Mother Maria Altar Purisimo, SSVM, a nun who led a busload of youth to the March, told The Tablet that she witnessed first-hand how the young people became closer to their faith through participating in the pro-life event.
“It is important for them to go to the March for Life because they see young people like themselves from all over the country who are committed to the pro-life cause,” she said. “They become committed too. And they come back committed to their Catholic faith.”
Two teens, Donna Castillo and Melissa Ramirez, said that marching made them think more about different aspects of their faith.
“It was cold and marching in the snow was hard. My body hurt. But when you think of all the suffering that Jesus did for us, you don’t complain. You keep going,” Castillo said.
Ramirez agreed, saying: “I feel my faith much more now, especially after learning all about abortion and that it’s not OK. I have always known that as Catholics, we have to respect life. But now I really understand what that means.”
Other members of the diocese who attended said that the March gave them opportunities to evangelize and serve others.
“I think [marching] is really important because our faith teaches that life is sacred from conception until natural death, and it’s really important that we come out here to share that same belief with other people,” Connor Whelan, a music director at a parish in the diocese, told The Tablet. “It’s important just to remind the world of how sacred life is.”
Christopher Keane, another parishioner from the diocese, agreed that evangelization is an important aspect of the March.
“It’s important to come because it shows other people who aren’t here that this is an important issue to many people,” he said. “It’s important to me and it will make people think and raise awareness as to the rate of abortion in the country, the fact that it’s a human rights issue not just a religious issue.”
The diocese’s director of marriage, family formation, and respect life education, Christian Rada, said in recent years he’s seen the definition of “pro-life” expand to include other issues.
“I’ve noticed that my counterparts from the state of New York have really geared their efforts toward not just the abortion issue because of the Dobbs decision, but expanding it so it’s not just the single issue of abortion. The focus has to be on euthanasia, capital punishment, and any other violations toward life,” he said.