This past January, many were still unsure about COVID-19 and the safety of travel. As a result, the National Pro-Life March was made digital and the standard hundreds of thousands of pro-lifers who typically make the pilgrimage were left to carry out their own activism in their home cities.
This was the case for Valeria Guerrero, an SFLA Stevens Fellow (our high school fellowship) and co-founder of the Students for Life group at Benet Academy. Valeria boldly led efforts to coordinate a pro-life walk event for her school and community as an alternative to heading to Washington D.C in January.
“On January 14th, over 500 (masked) people from around our Chicago suburban community processed behind the Blessed Sacrament witnessing for Life. A dozen priests and high school students attended the sacrament as we shuffled along the sidewalk of a busy street avoiding snow and ice… We processed from my high school, Benet Academy, to Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church.”
Benet Academy usually takes 100-200 students on the 18-hour bus ride to Washington D.C. every year for the National Pro-life March. It is typically quite a memorable event for the students who attend.
“This year we made the decision to cancel the trip in November, but we did not despair. It was very exciting to later learn we made it on Students for Life’s Hype video. It is very rewarding to know that Benet’s culture of life extends beyond the excitement of a D.C. trip and stays with us even when we can’t make it the capitol.”
The local Bishop and Melissa Villalobos (among others) gave opening remarks at the event.
“I was moved close to tears by the witness of Melissa Villalobos, whose pregnancy experience is one of the miracles for the canonization of St. John Newman. She and her baby were saved by his intercession, and are both a beautiful example of the value of human life from conception to natural death. Finally, Shelby and I were able to share a few words of our own pro-life stories and work before we began the litany for the Unborn and the Eucharistic Procession itself.”
To read more about the Thaddeus Stevens Fellowship, click here.