Children carry the banner at the head of the Massachusetts March for Life down Beacon Street in downtown Boston Oct. 9. Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy
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BOSTON -- It was a cold and rainy Sunday, Oct. 9, but still, hundreds of people braved the weather to march in the 2016 Massachusetts March for Life.
Organized by the Massachusetts Citizens for Life, the annual event began at 1:00 p.m. with a pro-life rally at the Parkman Bandstand in Boston Common. Standing under tents and umbrellas, people gathered around the bandstand to listen to pro-life speakers and a live band.
The marching began an hour later as the hundreds of attendees walked around the perimeter of the Boston Public Garden and Boston Common, holding up signs and chanting pro-life messages.
Participants also congregated in front of the State House, where Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley led them in prayer.
"People were quite moved by, and I think inspired by, (Cardinal O'Malley's) presence in making time to come out and to greet them," said Domenico Bettinelli, director of Community Engagement with MCFL.
MCFL estimates that over 600 people attended the march.
"Despite the rain and Tom Brady making his triumphant return, we still had a very large response of people of all ages, from babies to school children to college students to parents and grandparents also coming out to witness to the value of life at all ages, and to support the 16 pro-life beneficiaries that the March raises funds for," said Bettinelli.
Those beneficiaries include the Pro-Life Office of the Archdiocese of Boston, as well as a number of other organizations from throughout state. Bettinelli noted that the amount of funds raised is still being counted.
One of those braving the soaking rain to participate in the March for Life was Gregory Morehouse, a science teacher at Sacred Heart High School in Kingston.
"I think every single one of us is here to show that we care about life at all stages, from conception to natural death, and that we really hope that other people will see this and start asking questions themselves," he said.
"As a science teacher, for example, there are scientific reasons why abortion is a terrible thing," said Morehouse.
He said several students from the school also attended the March.
Bridget Prendergast, a student from Bishop Feehan High School in Attleboro, said that while this is her first time at the Massachusetts March for Life, she had previously attended the National March for Life in Washington, D.C.
"I think it's really import for our nation to change its attitude before you can change a law," she said.
Standing next to her was Mary Rose Corkery, also a student at Bishop Feehan High School, who said she has participated in similar local events with her mom ever since she was a child.
"I just think it's so important to stand up for the right to life, especially in Massachusetts, to set a precedent for the rest of the country," Corkery said.