Tonight, 197 teenagers and adults – and many of their family members and friends –gathered at St. Joseph Parish in Cottleville, MO; they began their journey to the March for Life in in prayer, celebrating the Eucharist. And this same scenario repeated itself at 8 additional launch sites throughout the Archdiocese of St. Louis, as 2400 participants boarded 44 buses for the pilgrimage that we call Generation Life. It’s a pretty big deal, and an awesome sight to behold: God’s kids standing up for God’s kids.

According to the National Right to Life Educational Foundation, over 61 million abortions have been performed in the United States since 1973. And in the midst of this darkness of sin and death, what St. Pope John Paul II called the “Culture of Death” in his famous encyclical Evangelium Vitae, there is so much hope. And that hope can be seen in the faces of all of the young people and chaperones who care enough to make the 1700 mile round trip journey to our nation’s capital to speak up for the voiceless.

We were blessed to hear an awesome and encouraging homily by Father Schneier who referenced the “Miracle of the Hudson” when Captain Sullenburger successfully landed an airplane that had lost all power into the Hudson River, saving 155 lives that otherwise would have been lost. We were encouraged to reflect upon the reality that not only were those lives saved, but that the saving actions of this brave pilot affected countless others – spouses, siblings, other family members, friends, and coworkers. When one life is lost, many good people suffer loss. And when even one life is saved, countless other lives are blessed and enhanced. What an important message for us all to remember!

As his homily concluded, Father Schneier encouraged all of us to find a group of people to pray for (in addition to the unborn babies, of course) – and offer up our inconveniences for them while we are on this pilgrimage.

So, who will you pray for? Will it be the moms who are considering abortion? The fathers of these unborn babies? The doctors who provide abortions? The workers at abortion clinics? Pro-choice politicians? Or will it be another group of people? Let the Holy Spirit move your heart and ask Jesus, “Lord, teach us how to pray…and who to pray for!”