March for Life is Virtual Today, Jan. 29
By Colleen Rowan
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the March for Life to be virtual this year, but pro-life voices are still being heard, loud and clear. Among them is Bishop Mark Brennan, who led a livestreamed holy hour at 5 a.m. today, Jan. 29, from the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Wheeling. This was part of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Prayer for Life event. The cathedral was open to the public, and the holy hour was livestreamed on the diocese’s Facebook Page and website.
The faithful may view the holy hour anytime on the diocese’s Facebook page.
Holy hours led by bishops from across the country began last night, Jan. 28, at 11 p.m. and ended at 8 a.m. today with Mass celebrated by Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. The Mass was livestreamed on the basilica’s website.
There will be coverage of the March for Life Rally and live coverage of the March for Life today, according to the March for Life’s website. The rally will include inspiring speeches from pro-life leaders, information on how to stay involved in the pro-life movement all year long, and a performance by Christian singer and songwriter Matthew West.
After the rally, live coverage of the March for Life begins at noon “as a small group of pro-life leaders march in representation of pro-life Americans across the country,” the website states.
For information on how to watch the livestream, visit marchforlife.org.
Parishes around the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston are also celebrating the March for Life. Faithful in the Eastern Panhandle are invited to join members of St. James the Greater Parish in Charles Town in praying for an end to abortion. Today, Jan. 29, the rosary will be prayed at noon at St. James Church. At 1:45 p.m. parishioners and pro-life supporters will meet in downtown Charles Town at the corner of the Post Office. “We will offer a silent hour of prayer from 2-3 p.m.,” parish officials posted on St. James Church’s Facebook page.
The parish did all of this Jan. 22 as well to mark the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. “January 22, 1973, a sad day in the history of our country when the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the Constitution of the United States protects a woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction,” officials posted on the parish’s Facebook page.
St. Joseph Parish in Martinsburg, which has a large contingent at the March for Life each year, will have Exposition, Adoration, and Benediction today, Jan. 29, from 1-4 p.m. at the church. Father Thomas Gallagher, pastor of the parish, encouraged all to “pray for an end to abortion, for the conversion of hearts, for those expectant mothers and fathers in vulnerable situations, and for the unborn children themselves.”
The diocese and its faithful have always had a strong showing at the March for Life. Last year, Bishop Brennan joined Weirton-area Catholics including 21 Weirton Madonna High School students at the march. Last year’s march also saw a group of 100 from St. James in Charles Town, a group of 75 from St. Joseph’s in Martinsburg, as well as 23 students and seven chaperones from Central Catholic High School in Wheeling, among many other diocesan groups. They all joined the tens of thousands present in the nation’s capitol to call for an end to abortion.