Two busloads of people who gathered at the Franciscan Life Center in Meriden were among many from Connecticut who went to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 21 for Masses, a rally and the annual March for Life in support of the unborn. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities, was principal celebrant and homilist at a National Prayer Vigil Mass for Life Jan. 21 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. About 20,000 mostly young people attended from all points of the compass. On Jan. 22, about 225 Connecticut pilgrims gathered for a Mass for Peace and Justice at the Washington Plaza Hotel, where Archbishop Henry J. Mansell was principal celebrant. Helen Alvaré, associate professor of law at George Mason University, spoke about religious freedom at a breakfast after the Mass. The pilgrims from the Hartford Archdiocese, led by Franciscan Sister of the Eucharist Suzanne Gross, coordinator of the Pro-Life Ministry in Meriden, gathered on the National Mall at noon Jan. 22, where pro-life government officials, clergy and organizers spoke to crowds estimated to be as high as 300,000. Bob Mullen and his wife Julie, parishioners of the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford, attended the West Coast version, Walk for Life, in San Francisco, Calif. The sixth annual event brought more than 40,000 advocates for life to San Francisco to march despitepouring rain. A small but vocal opposition also was on hand. Many groups prayed the rosary while marching the three miles from Justin Herman Plaza, down The Embarcader and past Fisherman's Wharf and finishing at Marina Green. The rally prior to the march featured a number of national pro-life figures, including Abby Johnson, formerly of Planned Parenthood; David Bereit, founder of 40 Days for Life; and Lila Rose, UCLA student and president of Live Action.
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