Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Posted in Events on April 11, 2015

Sursum Corda's second annual March for Life trip enjoyed some success even before it began, with the number of pilgrims doubling from the previous year and the provision of charter bus to accommodate the growing group. In addition to the physical comforts provided by the bus, one of the most important aspects it contributed was the possibility for all the members to travel as one body and cultivate a unity of spirit. The sense of family and camaraderie aboard the bus was beautifully edifying, as young adults from various apostolates and their friends shared prayers, conversation, and a common purpose. The canons and chaperones were also freed from driving, which allowed for a deeper development of the spiritual life during the long hours to and from Washington D.C.  

A spirit of prayer and reparation guided the group and was present throughout the three days we spent together. Daily Mass, many rosaries and devotions, and countless choruses of Christus Vincit animated our young adults and drew others to us as well. Many marchers commented or asked about Sursum Corda, or simply joined in the rosaries we prayed along Constitution Avenue. One fellow unknown marcher even sang Christus Vincit while he walked beside our sea of "Institute blue" hoodies. Another friend chose to join Sursum Corda instead of his own local young adult group (and even dressed to match).

The events surrounding the actual March provided opportunities for sanctification, recreation, and representation, as we made the most of our stay in the capital. Thursday morning, prior to the March, our whole group visited the pro-life expo in a nearby hotel. What a wonderful opportunity to witness and meet the diversity of the groups fighting for the unborn! It also served as our first opportunity to answer "Who are y'all, and where are you from, and what's all that stuff on your sweatshirts mean?"

Our trip to D.C. blessedly coincided with the presence of a traveling exhibit on the Blessed Mother as depicted in Renaissance and Baroque art. The most important Mother and Birth in history, during a march to save mothers and infants...the significance was not lost on us. A small group visited the museum, where priceless paintings of Our Lady were hung amongst embroidered antique chasubles, small statuary, and the words of both the Memorare and the Litany of Loreto, emblazoned on the wall in large golden letters. It was incredibly moving to see these elements of our faith publicly represented and many of the scenes presented provided food for meditation after our group left and rejoined the group to begin the March.

Waiting on the Mall for the March to begin, we once again saw just how large and diverse the groups are who come to support the right to life. Everything from small family units, to multi-bus groups, from monks in full habit to college students in the latest fashion trends...international representatives were there, as were people from all walks of life and all corners of our country. Sursum Corda, though, was unique...praying the Rosary while waiting and while on the March, and providing a solemn counterpart to the pomp and calls to action evidenced by most of the rest of the gathering. Though a small party in the scheme of the 600-700,000 souls participating, the spirit of our group was evident and remarked upon by others, right down to the guy in the taco truck who gave us two thumbs up and said "that's wonderful! good job!".

After the March concluded, we hurried to prepare for the Pontifical High Mass and to find seating as a family, since the Nellie Gray Mass (named for the March's founder) is traditionally standing-room-only. Bishop Paprocki of Springfield celebrated the Mass and our own Canons Stein and Huberfeld were in choir habit in the Sanctuary. It was a beautiful occasion, and a peaceful and fitting conclusion to a busy day.

Once Mass was over and we'd made our private devotions and thanksgivings, the group split for the evening. Most of the group enjoyed a pizza dinner and a lively Game Night back at the hotel, while a delegation socialized with other young adults and clergy from around the country at an organized social. Each option provided lasting memories and welcome recreation, whether through energetic games of reverse charades or fruitful conversations on everything from Lenten devotions and vocations to hobbies and cultural customs around the country. New friendships were forged, old friendships strengthened and renewed, and it was a tired but happy group that boarded the bus for "sweet home Chicago" the next morning.

While it would be expected that the whirlwind tour, the adrenaline crash, and the quirks of bus travel could lead to grumpy attitudes or frayed nerves on the return ride...this was not the case. Happy conversations and cooperation were even more in evidence, and after a heartfelt chanting of Compline (during which each side of the bus formed a choir), our 54 ambassadors for life pulled up to the Shrine with a final burst of Christus Vincit, Christus Regnat, Christus, Christus Imperat!

A large, grateful “thank you!” to all of our Institute family and friends who sponsored individuals, remained at home and took up extra duties to enable our absences, hosted us along the way, and kept us in their prayers. You were most assuredly in ours, and the realization of all the souls who were marching for life in spirit with us is both humbling and inspiring.

- Miss Heidi Knuth, Sursum Corda Chicago

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Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life
Institute Young Adult Group at March for Life