Benedictine College Students Head for 2016 March for Life

Benedictine Students Head for 2016 March for Life

Five Busloads Head for D.C.

Published: Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Nearly 300 Benedictine College students will leave on Wednesday, January 20, facing a 1,100-mile, 27-hour journey to Washington, D.C. to participate in the 2016 March for Life. The College and its Ravens Respect Life student organization were proud to lead the March in 2014 and this year they will carry the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima. This is the 31st year the students have made the trip, usually comprising the largest group traveling the greatest distance for the annual March.

“I estimate that approximately 75% of Marchers are under the age of 25,” said Jeanne Monahan-Mancini, president of March for Life, in a Catholic Pulse interview. “They are incredibly positive and enthusiastic. Pope Saint John Paul II referred to young people as the best ‘ambassadors for life.’ I wholeheartedly agree and believe it is because of their zeal for advocating for the good, fighting social injustices and their energy and optimism.”

In addition to attending the March, Benedictine College staff and the Ravens Respect Life group usually organize an expanded program, complete with a Mass at St. Peter’s Church in Washington, a Rosary in front of the Supreme Court building, and a gathering and Mass with other groups from the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.

The president of Benedictine College, Stephen D. Minnis, will also attend the March, along with Abbot James Albers of St. Benedict’s Abbey and Dr. Linda Henry, vice president of student life. Abbot James, who graduated from Benedictine College in 1994, was one of the first students to participate in the early bus trips to the March.

The trip to the March first started with Benedictine students who were interacting with the Kansans for Life organization. Then 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.

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.