From Cardinal Seán's blog

As I mentioned last week, I was very happy to take part in the Life Fest gathering, sponsored by the Sisters of Life and the Knights of Columbus.

Despite the fact that there was considerable snow by Washington, D.C., standards, about 6,000 young people were able to gather for that event, which featured witness talks, confession, adoration, and Mass.

I was very pleased that so many priests and young people from Boston were able to be there with us.

I concelebrated the Mass with Archbishop Lori, the Supreme Chaplain of the Knights of Columbus, and I was very honored to be asked to serve as the homilist.

Georgetown University visit

Saturday, the day after the March, I went to Georgetown University for their annual Cardinal John O'Connor Conference on Life. It is the largest and longest-running student pro-life group in the nation, and this year, they were marking the 25th anniversary of this annual pro-life gathering, which was named in honor of Cardinal John O'Connor, Archbishop of New York. It was founded, in fact, by Stephen Feiler, who now works in the central administration of the Knights of Columbus but, at the time, was a young student at Georgetown. I have addressed them in the past, but I was honored to be included in their Jubilee Year.

Our day began with a breakfast hosted by President DeGioia, with the student leaders of the conference and several members of the faculty, including John Carr and Kim Daniels. We had a fascinating dialogue with them.

Afterwards, the program began.

I started my keynote by speaking about my friendship with Cardinal O'Connor and experiences we had traveling together, particularly in Central America during the time of the wars there, as well as his commitment to the gospel of life and social justice.

I went on to give a reflection on what I see as the state of the pro-life movement in the United States -- where we are now and what we can expect in the coming years.

During the conference, they always honor another student pro-life group, and this year, they chose the group from Notre Dame University.

Plenary session

From there, I traveled to Rome for the plenary session of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is held every two years.

One of our key themes of discussion was the validity of sacraments.

Audience with the Holy Father

To conclude our plenary session of the DDF, we had an audience with the Holy Father on Friday in the Sala Clementina.

In his address, he spoke to us about the importance of the sacraments, which nourish and sustain the life of the Church and shared his hope that our document on dignity would help the Church to be close to those who suffer from injustice and oppression. He also spoke about faith, which he said is often rejected in today's world.