‘March with confidence’ because ‘Christ has won’

The diocesan group of March for Life pilgrims stopped to pray outside the Planned Parenthood clinic built last year in Fairview Heights, IL on their way back from Washington, D.C. CBS News reported this particular center was built using a shell company to avoid public trace that the former medical office was being converted to an abortion facility. (photo courtesy of Respect Life/Human Rights Office)

Megan Marley

It was cold and sleeting outside super early in the morning January 23, but that didn’t deter the pilgrims gathering from all corners of the diocese for a three-day round trip ‘ironman’ pilgrimage for the Washington D.C. March for Life.

This year marked 47 years since Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruling legalizing abortion; every year since this decision, thousands have gathered at the National Mall and in major cities to speak for the cause of the unborn killed through abortion. 2020’s March for Life theme— Life Empowers: Pro-Life is Pro-Woman—focused on the concept that women and society deserve better than abortion, and that supporting life is the empowering choice for women, babies and the public.

One hundred two pilgrims total went with the diocesan group to make a stand, including three priests, four sisters and one permanent deacon; at least seven other groups from within the diocese made the pilgrimage as well. An additional local prayer vigil, organized with Missouri Right to Life for January 25 at the downtown Kansas City federal courthouse, was cancelled due to heavy snowfall that started moving in the day D.C. Marchers left.

Fr. Alex Kreidler, parochial vicar at St. Thomas More Parish, gave a motivating homily at the midnight sendoff Mass for the diocesan group. He encouraged the group to trust Christ with the mission of their trip.

“In order for us to be successful, which is what we want, we have to be dependent entirely upon Christ. His is the victory; His is the defeat of death. We can’t do anything apart from Him,” he said.

“We go forward and march with confidence and with joy, knowing what we stand for is right and true and just: our confidence is in Christ, that He has already won the victory for us,” Fr. Kreidler continued. “He is the one who has triumphed over death, he is the one who has given us new life, and he is the only one that can heal the wounds of sin, especially the sin of abortion.”

And even when it appears there is no apparent change in society from our efforts, graces are still gained and expiation made for sin.

“We do not march in vain, not one second is wasted. Every effort we make for love, for life, in Christ, has great merit with God,” he explained.

Fr. Kreidler said it was fitting to celebrate Mass, the most holy Eucharist, before starting off on their journey.

“The Eucharist isn’t just the presence of Christ among us, which is glorious enough beyond all telling,” he stated.

“It’s also the moment where His passion, His death, the death of the most innocent of us, is re-presented. It’s that moment where we realize even in the face of the worst atrocities—the murder of God’s only begotten Son—God can bring about our salvation,” said Kreidler. “God only allows evil because He can bring a greater good from it, we’ve learned that over and over and over again.”

“We’re marching for hope, we’re marching for life…we’re marching to tell people the dignity of every single human person made in God’s image and likeness…we settle for nothing less, because that’s the standard God has given us when He gives us His very Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity at this Mass and at every single Mass.”

A group of March for Life pilgrims from the diocese loaded onto two buses bound for Washington D.C. early January 23. (Megan Marley/Key photo)

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Wednesday
September 23, 2020
The Diocese of Kansas City ~ St. Joseph