By Laura Dieckhoff | Intern, Office of Youth Ministry
Hi everyone! I am an intern in the Office of Youth Ministry for the Spring 2015 semester. In my second week at the office, I had the privilege to travel halfway across the country for our annual Generation Life pilgrimage. I joined just about 2,000 wonderful teens, young adults, staff, and volunteers as we marched for LIFE!
Maybe you didn’t pack your bags and head out to Washington D.C. with us, or perhaps you did and had so much fun that you already need a trip down memory lane. Either way, here’s a recap:
Fellowship: Eighteen hours on a crowded bus can bring about an opportunity to get to know those around you. If I’m sitting next to someone for that long and don’t learn anything about them, I am definitely not my outgoing mother’s daughter. Everyone who attends GenLifeSTL has different motivations, but our passion unites us (as well as our desire to find a comfortable sleeping position while sitting upright). We spent time together in prayer, in protest and in longing to make a difference.
Advocacy: Attendees hopped off the buses and gathered at the National Mall for the Pro-Life Rally and the March for Life and showed everyone they truly are the pro-life generation. They put faith into practice as they walked alongside hundreds of thousands of people to the steps of the Supreme court. Their dedication, however, did not end there. Speakers and presentations throughout the weekend highlighted the fact that the pro-life movement is not a one day event, but a continuous commitment to speak up for the sanctity of all lives.
Spiritual Renewal: Masses throughout the weekend, adoration and reconciliation allowed us to take a step back during our time at the nation’s capitol. Archbishop Robert Carlson presided over Thursday evening Mass and the weekend closed with Mass at the National Shrine with Bishop Rice. We listened for the ways in which God is calling each one of us to promote life and were reminded that our mission would not end when we returned home.
Exploration and Fun: Groups had the opportunity to explore Washington DC and all it has to offer. On Saturday morning, prayer services were held at some of our nation’s national monuments and memorials before touring throughout the day. Programming in the evenings provided lots of laughs alongside powerful messages.
It is now nine days post-pilgrimage but your trip should not be forgotten. It is in living each day with intention that you will effect change and in loving ALL lives that you can live the Gospel as we are called by Jesus Christ. Do not hesitate to share your experiences with others; it is through those interactions that we put the issue of abortion on people’s hearts and minds.
If you didn’t attend GenLifeSTL this year I encourage you to learn more about our keynote speakers, the Sisters of Life and Ryan Bomberger, founder of The Radiance Foundation and the Too Many Aborted campaign.