Benedictine College Students Attend the 2018 March for Life

Benedictine College Students Attend the 2018 March for Life

Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018

2018 March for Life Send-Off

Hundreds of Benedictine College faculty, administrators, staff and students gathered on a chilly winter afternoon in Atchison, Kansas, on January 17, prepared to face a 1,100-mile, 27-hour journey to Washington, D.C., to participate in the 2018 March for Life. The College and its Ravens Respect Life student organization were proud to lead the March in 2014 and this is now the 33rd year they will participate. Each year, Benedictine College usually brings the largest group traveling the greatest distance for the annual March. 

“We are the pro-life generation and we want everyone to know we’re not going to stop fighting for life,” said Kathryn Probst, the March for Life coordinator for Ravens Respect Life.

Probst, a Benedictine College senior from Boylston, Massachusetts, has been a strong supporter of the pro-life movement since she was a child. Her mother worked at a crisis pregnancy center and began taking Kathryn to the March for Life when she was 11. Probst has attended almost every March for the past 10 years. It was even at the March where she first connected with Benedictine College.

“When I was a senior in high school, I saw this huge group from Benedictine College and they were leading the March,” Probst said. “I saw their enthusiasm for the cause and I wanted to be a part of it. That experience is one of the reasons I chose to come to Benedictine.”

Once at the college, she joined the Ravens Respect Life organization and began attending the March for Life with the group.

“When I was a freshman, I heard the March for Life organizer talking about how much it meant to her and how much it can help make changes for the better,” she said. “It was very moving to me and I knew I wanted to do that. I wanted to have an impact on others.”

Probst served as the March for Life recruiter last year and took over as the overall coordinator this year. She has worked to promote attendance at the March and has organized 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.

This year, Probst added the possibility for Marchers to attend the Cardinal O'Connor Conference on Life, the largest collegiate pro-life conference in the nation, which will take place in Washington the day after the March.

“We’ve made such tremendous progress,” Probst said. “But there is so much more we have to do. When I graduate, I hope to work with a pro-life organization and continue to have an impact.”

The college’s trip to the March for Life 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.