From Cardinal Seán's blog

As promised last week, I'll begin my post this week by recounting my experience at the March for Life in Washington, D.C.

Thursday evening, we gathered in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception for the Opening Mass of the Prayer Vigil for Life.

It was good to see Mother Olga and the Daughters of Mary of Nazareth at the vigil.

There had been some speculation about the numbers at the march being lower this year, but that was not reflected in the vigil Mass -- the basilica was completely full.

At the start of the Mass, the papal nuncio, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, read a message from Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin on behalf of the Holy Father, in which the Holy Father imparted his blessing on all those participating in the March for Life. The Mass was celebrated this year by Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington, Virginia, the chair of the Pro-Life Committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. He gave a very inspiring homily, and Mass concluded with a Eucharistic procession and Holy Hour. And, at the end of the Holy Hour, Archbishop Lori of Baltimore spoke.

Day of the March for Life

Friday morning, before the march, our Boston young people went to the first-ever Life Fest rally organized by the Knights of Columbus and the Sisters of Life.

Meanwhile, our seminarians from St. John's, Pope St. John XXIII, and Redemptoris Mater seminaries gathered with me at the Dominican House of Studies for Mass.

Then, around midday, I met up with the Boston group to begin the March for Life.

Thankfully, we had beautiful weather for the march, and the temperatures were relatively warm for January.

The march took a little different route this year. We went around the Capitol and then ended in front of the Supreme Court.

I haven't heard an official estimate of the attendance, but the papers were all reporting that tens of thousands of people participated. It was a huge rally, and I think a very important one to send the message that, although the Roe v. Wade decision has been overturned, the work to promote the Gospel of Life and the protection of unborn children is an ongoing commitment on the part of the Church.

I thought it was a very significant event, and I was happy to see so many young people there with us, including a large group from our own archdiocese. As I always say, the march is a great help for them to realize that they are not alone in living their Catholic faith and that thousands of their peers are trying to live a life of discipleship. I know participation at the march is always very reaffirming for our young Catholics.

St. Joseph Parish

I returned to Boston Saturday. Then, on Sunday, I went to St. Joseph Parish in Lynn for a Mass to celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Altagracia, the patroness of the Dominican Republic.

It was a beautiful celebration, and they had a lovely image of Our Lady of Altagracia on a float that they carried in procession. And, of course, there were many parishioners proudly waving their Dominican flags.