In October of 2007, a small group of Catholic youth gathered peacefully outside of a Planned Parenthood “clinic” in Houston. These youth were on their knees, praying quietly for the conversion of the hearts of the doctors and patients who were involving themselves, knowingly or not, in the malicious murder of innocent, unborn children. They were lifting their voices in unified praise of Almighty God, whose revelation to men allowed them to know the truth of their cause with certainty. These youth shared something in common besides their Christianity, however: their birthday.
No, they were not all born on the same day. Don’t be silly. What united them is that their birthdays all fell after January 22, 1973, which, as you all know, is the date Roe v. Wade was decided and abortion made legal in the United States. Thanks to this misguided Supreme Court ruling, every single one of those youth present at that first March Of The Surviving Youth could have been legally killed before they were even born, before they ever had a chance to open their senses to reality, to gaze upon the face of a loving mother and a protective father, to smile, to laugh, to cry, to love, and above all, to truly live. But they survived this threat. Not only did they survive, but their survival gave them the chance to experience the joys of the world, to experience emotion, to experience love, and above all, to experience life. Because their mothers believed in the goodness of life. They believed in the intrinsic value of every person, and despite the inevitable sacrifices that would have to be made on their part, they believed their babies had the right to life. At MOTSY, these youth faced their nemesis, truly an imminent arch-foe, with confidence and faith that someday, through their witness, the abortion clinics would come tumbling down one by one. MOTSY remains ever as important today as it did 14 years ago, because the greatest change we can make is to change one heart at a time, and to lead each towards the truth.
As some of you may be aware, SCOTUS agreed to take up a case that would challenge the constitutionality of the Roe v. Wade decision. This is of course a spark of hope in an increasingly anti-life society, but the war is not over yet. We need the witness of young people at local pro-life events like MOTSY to show the world that we actually care about this. A new Supreme Court decision could outlaw abortion once again, but this would not stop the large percentage of Americans who advocate for the right to murder unborn children from holding to their beliefs. Both sides of the political spectrum know that just because something is legal does not mean it is right.
Marching for life alongside hundreds of thousands of people in Washington D.C., while the most grandiose way to call for legal action against abortion, is no more necessary than marching outside of your local abortion clinic. In D.C., you may encounter counter-protesters, those who advocate for abortion, but you will probably not meet many people who are on their way to abort their baby that moment. But think now of the stories you’ve heard of women whose hearts were changed by the words spoken or displayed on a sign by a single person standing outside of Planned Parenthood. This is why MOTSY is so important. Through a witness of love, laughter, and solemn prayer, we have the opportunity to save the life of one baby at a time. Even one woman deciding her child’s life matters because of our presence is something worth celebrating. One personal encounter at a local abortion clinic could change not one, but two lives forever, and impact many more.
We want everyone to see the joy of being alive, and that is precisely why every year, we gather as many teens as we possibly can to celebrate it. Beginning with the celebration of Holy Mass followed by a speaker and music to fire us up, we then march triumphantly upon the Jericho of our time in a show of peaceful force to end this nightmare of genocide. In time, our witness will save the lives of many, even if that time is long. We must never succumb to the temptation that our presence is not making a difference, because it is, even if that difference is so small as changing one person every two years. If this is what it takes to change our culture, we will continue marching, singing, praying, and loving every person who comes up that driveway, year in and year out, and we will not rest until every person recognizes that their child deserves inherently that chance to experience the world created for them. And so I invite all of you to join us, your fellow surviving youth, on October 30th, to march for all those who may not be so fortunate to survive.
That may sound like a lot of work, and it is. We can’t do this without you. Literally. We can’t have the March Of The Surviving Youth without youth to lead it. We need all the help we can get to make MOTSY the biggest success it’s ever been, so if you want to get involved, make haste in filling out this volunteer form.
March with us. Help us change one heart at a time. Also click here for some more details. Also also, to pledge to pray a decade a day for the overturn of Roe v. Wade until the Supreme Court’s hearing, click here.