2018 March for Life pilgrimage to offer twist

This year’s archdiocesan pilgrimage of high school youth and others to the March for Life in Washington, D.C., is offering a bit of a twist.

The ultimate destination remains the same: the March – this year Jan. 19 – which draws hundreds of thousands to the nation’s capital, providing prayers and public witness to the importance of ending abortion.

But rather than all six buses making the same visit to places important to history and to the faith during the Jan. 16-23 trip, stops will vary depending on decisions made by the travelers on each bus, said Whitney Bradley, coordinator of the Respect Life Apostolate of the archdiocese’s Center for Family Life Formation.

Some groups, for example, might want to visit Arlington Cemetery, others Gettysburg, Bradley said. "People can tailor the trip," she said.

The change in part honors the church’s belief in subsidiarity – giving freedom of choice to the smallest group able to make decisions, Bradley said.

Three buses will leave from Omaha, one each from Norfolk and Columbus, and one from Hartington, which will pick up additional passengers in West Point, Bradley said. People should watch for information from their parishes or schools concerning trip details and how to register. The deadline for most groups is Oct. 16.

Last year, about 275 people from the archdiocese, including youths, clergy, religious sisters and others, took part in the pilgrimage.

"This is a unique opportunity to be both Catholic and American," Bradley said, "as we stand up for what we believe – praying, sacrificing and exercising our freedom of speech."

While some destinations might vary, most groups from the archdiocese will visit Washington, D.C., monuments and attractions, attend Mass at the Cathedral of St. Matthew with Archbishop George J. Lucas and the Life is Very Good youth rally, and pray outside an abortion clinic, Bradley said. All will participate in the March.

Cost of the trip might vary, depending on the cost of buses leaving from each area, but should be about $525 per person, Bradley said. Financial aid is available through Oct. 2 from the Respect Life Office, with an application form at

People struggling to find a group can contact Bradley for help at 402-551-9006, ext. 1306, or

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