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Local students March for Life

By Mark Labbe Pilot Staff
Posted: 2/3/2017

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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Throughout the world, "there are so many different people believing all these different things. So, it's really cool to see so many people in one place who all believe in the same thing," said Arianna Alberti during the 2017 March for Life in Washington, D.C.

Alberti, a student at St. Mary's High School in Lynn, was just one of hundreds of young people who traveled with the Archdiocese of Boston to attend the march, Jan. 27, and one of hundreds of thousands from across the country to attend the event.

"It's really cool to have this community," she said.

Avonlea Westhoff, a homeschooled student travelling with St. Francis Parish in Dracut, echoed Alberti's comments.

"It was really awesome to get together with hundreds of thousands of kids and kind of see that we are not alone," she said.

The pilgrimage was "really, really, really awesome and insightful," she added, noting that she wants to return next year.

The march stretched from the Washington Monument to the Supreme Court, totaling about two miles. As they walked, Boston marchers held signs with pro-life slogans, sang songs, prayed, and chanted, calling for the repeal of Roe v. Wade, one of two Supreme Court decisions that legalized abortion on demand across the country in 1973.

"It was really, really great seeing all those people standing up for what they believe in," said Gabrielle Roy, a high school student travelling with the Billerica Catholic Community.

Fellow parishioner Anita Guila chimed in: "I thought it was great, too, that there was like no opposition. We were all really organized, and then the first protesters that were there just were not organized at all," she said, laughing.

"I thought it was nice that they brought us to do a little bit of sightseeing, because we had a tight schedule, but it was good to look at stuff in Washington, D.C.," she added.

Groups marching with the Archdiocese of Boston included youth and young adults with the archdiocese's Office of Lifelong Faith Formation and Parish Support, members of the Hispanic community with the Hispanic Apostolate, and seminarians with St. John's Seminary in Brighton, Pope St. John XXIII Seminary in Weston, and Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Chestnut Hill.

"It's awesome, it's a great experience," said first time marcher Brian Sousa, a coordinator of religious education at St. Michael Parish in Hudson.

He said he had heard stories of the march and the large crowds that attend it, but "seeing it in person is completely mesmerizing."

"I'm hoping to bring students next year... So, hopefully we'll be able to make that happen!" he said.

A student at St. Monica School in Methuen, Michael Barr said the march was "amazing."

"It's just so wonderful here. Everybody just comes together," he said.

While it was his first march, "I'll definitely keep coming for as long as it goes," he said.