Benedictine College Leads National March for Life

Benedictine College Leads National March for Life

Eight Busloads Made it Safely to D.C.

Friday, January 03, 2014

Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., was honored with the lead position in the March for Life this year. Members of the college’s student pro-life organization, Ravens Respect Life, carried the banner at the head of the procession on Jan. 22, 2014, the 41st anniversary date of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.

The college sent eight busloads for the 2014 event, the 29th year students have made the trip. Fifty students held the lead banner for the March for Life along with President Stephen D. Minnis, Archbishop Joseph Naumann and Abbot James Albers.

Benedictine College announced a new pro-life initiative on the steps of the Supreme Court at the March. Click here for details.

President Minnis said, “As the flagship college of the new evangelization, Benedictine College is proud to be the standard bearer of the 40th March for Life. This is a student-led trip and it is exciting to see the passion of this generation. They really see abortion as the civil rights issue of the day and just like the freedom riders of the ’60s, they board buses and travel across the country to fight injustice.”

“The news that Benedictine College will be leading the March For Life has been the hot topic on campus all semester,” said Kathryn Brown, March for Life coordinator for the Ravens Respect Life organization. “We in Ravens Respect Life recognize what a huge honor this is, especially since it will be the 40th March For Life, and we are proud to be taking the lead in front of over half a million pro-lifers who will be standing up for God's most precious gift to us.”

The Washington Post quoted Kathryn saying ““You walk up Capitol Hill and you can’t see the end of the crowd, it’s an ocean. It’s one of the most moving things I’ve seen in my life,” in a Jan. 22 story. “The amazing thing is, they aren’t there because they’re mad at the government, they’re there out of love, sacrificing themselves in the cold out of love.” Read more of Kathryn's comments in a January 8 post on the Gregorian Institute's website.

Coverage of the Benedictine College trip includes:

“About 20 percent of our student body was willing to take that long, 29-hour bus ride to Washington, D.C., in support of life,” said Stephen D. Minnis, president of Benedictine College. “I am proud and amazed by our students.”

Special aspects of the trip were noteworthy:

“I see attendance at the March for Life as something almost necessary for a Catholic college student,” said Jeanne F. Monahan, president of March for Life.  “Field trips like the MfL can change and form a student’s perspective in many ways, as well as help to foster vocational and professional inklings.”

President Minnis agreed. “This doesn't end at the March,” he said. “Ravens Respect Life members take their youthful passion and put it into practice. They go to nursing homes to help the elderly, they skip a meal to give meals to the poor and they go on mission trips around the world. These young people are putting their support for life into action.’

The trip to the March first started with Benedictine students who were interacting with the Kansans for Life organization. The school’s Knights of Columbus chapter took the lead and was a major promoter of the event. The first few years saw a handful of students go, but the numbers began to grow.  In 1989, students at Benedictine College became so focused on right to life issues that they formed the Ravens Respect Life organization, using the name of the Benedictine College mascot.

“This is an important mission for us,” said Michael Green, last year’s March for Life Coordinator.  “We don’t go just because it’s some fun trip with our friends. We go to show the leaders of our country what we stand for; that is, the dignity of all people from conception to natural death.”

In 2009, the Benedictine College presence attracted the attention of documentary film makers, who then featured Benedictine students in their film.  “Thine Eyes: A Witness to the March for Life” was shot on location by a six-camera crew to share the spirit of the annual March.  It has now been seen on national television on EWTN and in theaters across the country.

Read more about the thriving faith life on the Benedictine College campus.

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas.  The school is proud to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report as well as one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide.  It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging.  It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.