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Boston youth rejoice standing for the Gospel of Life


The annual March for Life rally took place in Washington Jan. 23. The pro-life demonstration marks the anniversary of the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion across the nation. Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy

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BRAINTREE -- Before the sun came up on Jan. 22 nearly 500 students from parishes and schools of the Archdiocese of Boston sat packed tightly on buses underway to the Youth Pilgrimage for Life to Washington, D.C. for the March for Life.

The Pilot embedded with high school students for the trip. The casual observer might have expected to see crabby, sleeping, or complaining teenagers, instead a group of enthused --but a bit tired -- young people ready to march to defend the Catholic belief that all life is good in the eyes of God.

Father Sean Maher, the parochial vicar at Holy Family, in Duxbury, Mass., set the tone with a chant that the pilgrims responded to.

"This is a," he shouted.

"Pilgrimage," they shouted back.

"Not a," he shouted.

"Vacation," they shouted back.

"And we never," he shouted.

"Complain," they shouted back.

"About," he shouted.

"Anything," they shouted back.

"On a," he shouted.

"Pilgrimage," they shouted back.

From the time the bus left the Pastoral Center at 66 Brooks Drive until the time it arrived at Hylton Memorial Chapel in Woodbridge, Va., more than ten hours later, the students periodically broke into song. One song, "Mighty to Save," seemed omnipresent throughout the weekend-long pilgrimage. The students burst into that song just before arrival in Virginia.

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