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Virtual ‘March for Life’: Supporters find ways to get pro-life message across amid pandemic

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People from the Diocese of Wilmington rally at the 2020 March for Life.

The annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., was set for Jan. 29, but with the coronavirus pandemic still raging, it became a virtual event, with in-person attendance limited to some pro-life leaders standing in for the tens of thousands who normally attend.

The decision to go virtual was made because of the coronavirus pandemic and the turmoil in Washington Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol.

Several alternative events had already been planned for those in the Diocese of Wilmington.

Bishop Malooly pre-recorded a Holy Hour for Life which is streamed on the diocesan YouTube channel, YouTube.com/DioceseofWilm, and at cdow.org/Respect-Life, from the Cathedral of St. Peter in Wilmington. A livestreamed Mass for Life was celebrated by Father Joseph W. McQuaide IV. Both are part of the National Prayer Vigil for Life sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

People from the Diocese of Wilmington rally at the 2020 March for Life.

Catholics across the country observed a prayer vigil on Jan. 28 and 29 to mark the 48th anniversary of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, the U.S. Supreme Court decisions that legalized abortion. In the years since, more than 60 million abortions have been performed legally in the country.

The vigil began with a live broadcast at 8 p.m. Jan. 28 from the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., with a rosary, followed by a Mass opening the National Prayer Vigil for Life. Throughout the night, bishops from around the United States led Holy Hours. Those are streamed at www.usccb.org. Bishop Malooly’s Holy Hour began at 4 a.m. The Mass for Life was set for 10 a.m.

Bishop Malooly has attended nearly every vigil or Youth Rally and Mass for Life since becoming a bishop 20 years ago.

“Although we are disappointed that this will not occur this year, we are pleased to be able to hold these online opportunities for prayer, in conjunction with the national observances,” he said in an interview in mid-Jamuary.

The Holy Hour featured Deacon Robert Cousar and transitional Deacon Michael Preston, as well as seminarians Brennan Ferris, John Eneumo and James Gebhart.

The Youth Rally and Mass for Life was also virtual this year, according to the Archdiocese of Washington Office for Life Issues. The live event was set to feature Josh Brahm of the Equal Rights Institute, who was speaking about ways to talk about pro-life issues effectively and appropriately. He also discusses different apologetics arguments and ways that Catholics can best represent their values on human life and dignity.

Sarah Kroger, Out of Darkness and Ivan Diaz were scheduled to provide the music at the virtual rally. Information can be found at www.youthrallyandmassforlife.org.

A Mass from St. Matthew’s Cathedral included Cardinal Wilton Gregory of the Archdiocese of Washington.

Two events were held in Delaware Jan. 22. In Wilmington, a March for Life was at Rodney Square, processing to Planned Parenthood at Seventh and Shipley streets.

A life chain happened at the corner of Coastal Highway and Route 26 in Bethany Beach on Jan. 22. It is being sponsored by the pro-life committee at St. Ann’s Parish in Bethany Beach.