Young Catholics Proclaiming the Gospel of Life
We are Generation Life. YOU are Generation Life. We represent the St. Louis Archdiocese as “Young Catholics proclaiming the Gospel of life”! There is no other event that makes this more evident than at the annual March for Life. Our pilgrimage begins at the various Launch Masses throughout the diocese. Tonight, there are 43 busses that will load up over 2200 people from seven major launch sites. These busses will journey through the night to Washington D.C. and arrive tomorrow morning. On Friday, we will join up with over 100,000 people from across the nation to march in front of the nation’s capital to end abortion.
As Generation Life, we build our foundation on four pillars. They are our guide…our roadmap. They make sure we are on the right course in respecting life at all stages. The four pillars are fully in action at the March for Life. How? Let me explain…
First Pillar- Standing Together
“Inspired by the Catholic Church’s teachings on the sanctity of life, we believe all human life is sacred from conception to natural death. United in our approach, we will work together, empower each other, and educate others until our society becomes a culture of life.”
This is our first pillar. We stand together (and sit, and kneel) when we attend the Masses held by Generation Life. From the Launch Masses to the two Masses we celebrate in D.C., we are entering into the most powerful prayer we can offer up as Catholics. We stand together as the body of Christ. We are stronger when we unite with a common purpose…the purpose of protecting life!
Second Pillar- Forming Leaders
“Generation Life educates and empowers each young person to answer Christ’s call to evangelize, and lead this world to the truth that every life is precious and loved. We express that love in our daily prayer, support, service, activism and example. In forming leaders, we expand on a community that cares for life and brings hope.”
Through several talks given by inspiring speakers, we will give our youth the chance to be informed and inspired to become leaders and advocates in their communities. Since we are approaching the 20th anniversary of the St. John Paul II’s visit to St. Louis, we will listen to excerpts from his very powerful speech given at the youth rally. We’ll look at how his words still ring true to us today, and we’ll pray about how God is calling us to be a light to the world.
Third Pillar- Speaking for the Voiceless
“We must speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves (Provers 31:8). As the Body of Christ, we need to care for each of its members, fight injustice, and care for those in need of love and support. This includes victims of abortion, poverty, capital punishment, euthanasia, violence and any issue that contradicts the Church’s teachings on human dignity.”
And now we bring ourselves to the March- the largest pro-life rally in the United States. Why are we marching? The March for Life President, Jeanne Mancini, says it best, “We want laws to represent the inherent dignity of human life and also create a culture where abortion is unthinkable.” We will march to speak for the voiceless- those who cannot speak for themselves. Through our peaceful presence on Constitution Avenue and our signs that promote a culture of life, we are sending a message to our government and the world…a message the innocents cannot speak.
Fourth Pillar- Making a Difference
“Generation Life educates and empowers each young person to answer Christ’s call to evangelize, and lead this world to the truth that every life is precious and loved. We express that love in our daily prayer, support, service, activism, and example. In forming leaders, we expand on a community that cares for life and brings hope.”
When we come back from the March, we will talk about ways we can build a culture of life at home. In our words, in our actions and interactions with others, we are called to be a generation of life. We are called to recognize the dignity of those around us, the beauty of all life, and act and live in a way that honors that life. We will pray about what areas of our lives we are challenged to be a greater witness. All of this means nothing if it ends when the pilgrimage ends. It must continue when the bus drops us off at our homes. We will offer ideas on how to do that- how to carry on the mission of life.
Remembering the Mission
If you need a reminder of all that you have learned on this pilgrimage, or are following from home, you can come to this blog! This is the place where we will recap the talks and the homilies. We’ll go live on Facebook, and update with posts. We’ll also share through our stories on Instagram and Snapchat (@genlifestl), and live tweet the talks on Twittter. You can find all of the pictures we take on Flickr. We’ll finish with a slideshow recapping the whole event. So stay tuned and you won’t miss a thing!
Quotables from St. John Paul II
Standing Together– “Your belonging to the Church can find no greater expression or support than by sharing in the Eucharist every Sunday in your parishes. Christ gives us the gift of his body and blood to make us one body, one spirit in him…”
Forming Leaders– “This is the time of your ‘training’, of your physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual development. But this does not mean that you can put off until later your meeting with Christ and your sharing in the Church’s mission. Even though you are young, the time for action is now!”
Speaking for the Voiceless– “If you look to Jesus, if you live the Truth that is Jesus, you will have in you the light that reveals the truths and values on which to build your own happiness, while building a world of justice, peace and solidarity.
Making a Difference– “Because Jesus is the Light, we too become light when we proclaim him. This is the heart of the Christian mission, to which each of you has been called through Baptism and Confirmation. You’re called to make the light of Christ shine brightly in the world.”