The gift of life through the eyes of our teenagers

Reflections from the 2018 March for Life submitted by St. Mary’s Dominican students follow.

Pilgrimage opened my eyes to dignity of all life
By Brooklyn Comeaux, Contributing writer

In my daily prayer of “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening,” (1 Samuel 3:10), I heard God calling me to attend the March for Life.

I had no idea going into the trip what it would be like, what I would encounter or if I would regret my decision to go. I expected a trip where I would see Washington, D.C., and, for one day March for Life, but the trip exceeded my expectations in an incredible way.

Through several Masses and adoration, my relationship with the Lord grew in a way I did not know was even possible.  I learned new ways to pray, how to see the Lord in the most remote things, and that God lets us know exactly what we should do when he calls us.

The Lord called me to be on that pilgrimage, and the Lord calls me each day to do his work on earth by fighting for life.  Each person deserves the chance at life, and I also learned the pro-life movement supersedes just combatting abortion.

It means we should live each day treating others with the dignity and respect they deserve. It means we should respect all life no matter young, old, or physical/mental ability.

It means that we should thank the Lord each day for the life he gifts to us by simply waking us up each morning.

This trip changed my life in a way that I could never forget, even if I tried.  I am forever grateful that I heard the Lord’s call for me to attend the march.

Brooklyn Comeaux is a senior at St. Mary’s Dominican High School.

God had a reason to send me on this graced trip
By Meredith McKeough, Contributing writer

I have wanted to participate in the March for Life for as long as I can remember. While I am passionate about many things, the fight to end abortion tops my list. I had extremely high expectations for this trip, and I was terrified of being disappointed. Now, I can honestly say that I was not disappointed; in fact, this trip shattered every expectation I had.

The theme of our pilgrimage was “Where is your God?”

I could not get that simple but powerful question out of my head the entire trip. In every situation, I found myself thinking, “Where is God, really?” When our bus was delayed in Meridian, Mississippi, for hours because of icy road conditions, I found God in my wonderful classmates.

Our delay was filled with fun and positivity during a very frustrating time. I knew then that God was at work in our hearts. The impatience in me was gone, and I enjoyed our 30-hour-plus bus ride more than I ever could have imagined.

When we visited the Holocaust Museum, the question of God’s presence was weighing on my heart more than ever. I was having trouble locating God’s love and mercy in the midst of all the horrors presented in the museum. As I was walking through a room filled with the names of the victims, I found my answer. God was present in the people who lost their lives in the name of religion and freedom. God was in every one of those innocent victims, just as he is present in the innocent victims of abortion.

Our youth minister on the bus, seminarian Viet Pham, told us three things as we departed for Washington, D.C. The one that stuck with me most was: “You are meant to be here.”

Prior to this trip, I knew in my heart that God was calling me to be an outspoken activist for the pro-life movement. When Viet told us that God put us all there on the bus together for a specific reason, I understood.

I knew that God was using us as voices for the voiceless in a unique way. What I did not realize was that God also intended me to be on this pilgrimage for a conversion experience.

The months leading up to the march tested my relationship with God to its breaking point. I was in a place where I thought that my sins were unforgivable. God intended for me to be present on this pilgrimage so he could reveal himself to me in his full splendor during adoration.

During adoration, I felt the overwhelming power of God’s forgiveness wash over me. It seemed as if God was telling me he loved me, I was already forgiven, and he would never leave me.

Those words changed my heart, and I am forever grateful that God put me right where I was supposed to be on this life-changing trip. I am a better person for it.

Meredith McKeough is a junior at St. Mary’s Dominican High School.

Trust in God removes fear; put God No. 1 in your life
By Celia Candies, Contributing writer

My trip to Washington, D.C., was much more than marching to expose and end the horrible truths of abortion, but it was a spiritual experience.

The ways that I was able to connect with God were abundant. I learned so many important points on the respect of human life and how close we are all getting to ending this abortion epidemic.

One person I learned the most from was one of my bus group leaders, seminarian Viet Pham. Viet taught me two important things that helped guide me through my trip. The first is to not be afraid. To not be afraid is to be have complete trust in God and to completely believe that God is meeting our greatest needs and desires. To have trust in God is knowing that he is looking out for all the souls troubled by abortion.

The second thing Viet taught me is that we must focus on God before all things. Focusing on God was one of my biggest learning experiences on this trip. At the ministry night after the march, there was adoration. At adoration I was able to see many teenagers giving themselves completely to God. They were in tears by the amount of love that they had for God. This was one of the most beautiful things I have ever experienced because I was able to see these people focusing on God with no shame that anyone around them would judge their thoughts or beliefs.

The amount of strength these people have is amazing; not holding back your emotions for God and not caring what others think is one of the most amazing things I saw on this trip.

Focusing on God is something that I will forever continue to work on in my life. Focusing on the ways to stand up for the unborn and unheard children that are lost to abortion is something I will also continue to work on for the rest of my life.

This trip will always hold a special place in my heart because of the people I learned from and the amazing amount of faith I gained for God.

Celia Candies is a junior at St. Mary’s Dominican High School.

 

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