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Catholics are called to serve as witnesses for pro-life cause

Lending their voices – and presence – to protect the unborn.
 
That’s what people from the Omaha archdiocese will do during pro-life events later this month in Lincoln and Washington, D.C.
 
More than 360 high school students, along with 12 priests and religious sisters, and about 50 adult chaperones will take part in a pilgrimage to the 45th annual March for Life in Washington Jan. 16-21, said Whitney Bradley, coordinator of the archdiocese’s Respect Life Apostolate.
 
“This will be a unique opportunity to be both Catholic and American as we pray, sacrifice and exercise our right to free speech,” she said.
 
Seven buses will travel from the Omaha archdiocese – one each from Columbus, Norfolk and West Point (with a stop in Omaha for additional pilgrims); and four from Omaha – two departing from V.J. and Angela Skutt Catholic High School, and one each from St. Gerald and St. Peter churches.
 
Additional students and adults from Creighton University and Creighton Preparatory School, both in Omaha, will fly to Washington for the event, Bradley said.
 
Although each group’s itinerary will vary, and might include visits to Washington monuments and historic sites, all will join Archbishop George J. Lucas for Mass in Washington at the Cathedral of St. Matthew, and attend a youth rally, both Jan. 18.
 
All groups will participate in the Jan. 19 march beginning on the National Mall and proceeding from the Washington Monument to the U.S. Capitol.
 
“The March for Life pilgrimage is more than a vacation,” Bradley said. “We are actively promoting social justice and will be praying daily for our nation and an end to abortion.”
 
One week later, about 5,000 people will gather Jan. 27 in Lincoln for the 44th annual Walk for Life, sponsored by Nebraska Right to Life. 
 
“It’s important that we realize that frequent public affirmation of the pro-life message is as critical to building a culture of life in Nebraska as it is in Washington, D.C., or anywhere else in the United States,” said Marion Miner, associate director for pro-life and family with the Nebraska Catholic Conference (NCC).
 
“Pro-life values will not be passed down to future generations automatically,” he said, “so it’s critical that we bear witness to the truth in every generation.”
 
The event will begin with a 9 a.m. Mass at St. Mary Church at 14th and K streets, celebrated by Lincoln Bishop James D. Conley. The homilist will be Father Ryan Kaup, of Cristo Rey Parish and a teacher at Pius X High School, both in Lincoln, who was saved from abortion by his mother’s change of heart and adopted by a Lincoln family.
 
A rally will begin at 10 a.m. across the street from the church at the state Capitol, followed by a seven-block walk to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Student Union.
 
There, participants will be able to visit numerous pro-life booths, enjoy refreshments and snacks, and attend a keynote speech by Ann McElhinney.
 
A New York Times best-selling author and documentary filmmaker with her husband, Phelim McAleer, McElhinney will speak about their latest book, “Gosnell: The Untold Story of America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer” and related film, “Gosnell.”
 
Kermit Gosnell, a former Philadelphia abortionist, is serving life in prison for killing three babies born alive during failed abortions, and for manslaughter in the death of a woman during an abortion.

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