June 24, 2023 marks the one year anniversary of the Supreme Court of the United States overturning the Roe v. Wade ruling.
At the beginning of this year, the Regnum Christi family attended the 50th Annual National March for Life on January 20th in Washington, DC. The theme for this year’s March for Life was “Next Steps: Marching into a Post-Roe America,” and emphasized the need for pro-life advocates to continue to uphold the rights of the unborn since the overturning.
Consecrated Woman of Regnum Christi, Karla Amezcua, who was serving as the Young Women’s Section Director in Washington, DC, coordinated the Regnum Christi presence at the March for Life for the second year in a row.
For Karla, one of the highlights of the event occurred before the march had even begun. Fr. Vito Crincoli, LC, who is the director of ECYD and the Leadership Training Program in Washington, DC, invited each of the Regnum Christi participants to receive a personal blessing with the Blessed Sacrament on the Thursday evening before the march. “All of the participants were so happy and touched by the grace they received during that adoration,” says Karla. “It was a beautiful moment of grace.” That evening, Fr. John Klein, LC, and Sarah Carpenter, two members of RC Music Collective, a musical group made up of Legionary priests, Consecrated Women, and lay members of Regnum Christi, performed a concert for the RC members who had arrived in DC for the March for Life.
The next morning, a Mass was held for all Regnum Christi members, with several Legionary priests concelebrating. A girl’s choir from Pinecrest Academy, a Regnum Christi school in Cumming, Georgia, provided music for the Mass, led by Teresa Maziarz, a Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi and the High School Campus Minister for the school.
The Regnum Christi presence at the 2023 March for Life incorporated several new events and elements that Karla and her team hope to build upon in the coming years. This year, instead of organizing a mission on the Thursday evening as had been done in the past, they decided to do a mission on Friday during the march itself. Each team of Regnum Christi members carried crosses about two feet tall while they marched, asking other participants if they had any intentions for which they could pray. With each prayer request, the team would tie a ribbon to the cross, so that by the end of the march, the crosses represented the intentions of the thousands of fellow marchers with whom the team had met, interacted with, and prayed for throughout the day.
On Friday night, after the march, all Regnum Christi members who attended the march gathered to meet members of the RC spiritual family from other locations and share in the joy of the day. Hosting a post-march gathering for RC members is an annual tradition for the Alecia family, a Regnum Christi family who live in DC.
Approximately 250 RC members attended the march from a variety of RC localities, including Michigan, Atlanta, and Philadelphia. Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, and many other apostolic schools and high schools brought groups of students to Washington for the march, including Fr. Patrick O’Loughlin, LC, who serves as High School Chaplain for Pinecrest Academy and travelled with a large number of students. “I love accompanying our Pinecrest Academy students from Georgia to the March for Life! Washington, DC offers such a perfect opportunity to experience the Christian roots of our nation – you read it all over our monuments and memorials! And our love and respect for life, especially for the unborn, moves from our heads to our hearts as we walk with hundreds of thousands of others through the streets of our Capital!”
Regnum Christi members and missionaries from all over the United States worked tirelessly behind the scenes to create an unparalleled event. “This year we had an amazing team, and they were a big factor in raising the standard of the event,” says Karla. “They made everything feel more professional, more beautiful, and it was so delightful to work with them and to experience their availability and their joy!”
Mary Peach, who works with ECYD on a local, national, and international level, travelled from Cincinnati to attend this year’s march, and helped Karla with some of the organizational tasks of the event. “What I love about coming to the march is the unity of our movement, standing up for something that we all believe in. I love seeing all the priests and consecrated, young adults and high schoolers, everyone there celebrating life, and being able to share in the joy of that that looks like. It was such a gift!”
For Karla, the National March for Life also provided a much-needed opportunity for the Regnum Christi members to come together as a family for a single event, and she would love to see the march become an annual gathering space for Regnum Christi members from all over the country. “It was great to be together as a family – the grace of God was there, so present, and we were grace-filled!”
Next year’s National March for Life in Washington, DC, will be held on January 19th, 2024. For more information, visit marchforlife.org.