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Diocesan delegation, Bishop Malesic participate in Ohio March for Life

News of the Diocese

October 7, 2023

Diocesan delegation, Bishop Malesic participate in Ohio March for Life

“I march because it is not enough to just be a bystander. Justice requires action. Marching, voting and voicing the truth are all necessary to end the injustice of abortion and the injustices that restrict life,” said Anthony, one of the teenagers from the Diocese of Cleveland who participated in the 2023 Ohio March for Life.

The march took place Oct. 6 in Columbus, Ohio and included a Mass celebrated by Columbus Bishop Earl Fernandes in St. Joseph Cathedral, a rally, the Ohio March for Life and Marching 101: Pro-life Advocacy Workshop.

Many members of the Cleveland delegation attended an early morning Mass in St. Mary Church, Hudson, celebrated by pastor Father Larry Jurcak, before boarding the buses to Columbus. The group included teenagers and chaperones from the following parishes: St. Mary, Hudson; St. Francis of Assisi, Gates Mills; Holy Family, Stow; St. Ambrose, Brunswick; St. Basil the Great, Brecksville; St. Helen, Newbury; and St. Lucy, Middlefield, as well as St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron and Gilmour Academy in Gates Mills. Francine Costantini, director of youth ministry for the diocese, said her office coordinated details for the diocesan group.

Diocesan delegation, Bishop Malesic participate in Ohio March for Life

Bishop Edward Malesic and Mary von Carlowitz, director of the diocesan Office for Human Life, also participated in the rally and march, which occurred less than a month before the Nov. 7 election in which Ohioans will be asked to vote on Issue 1, a statewide constitutional amendment that would allow broader access to abortion.

In the opening prayer before the rally, Bishop Fernandes asked that the spirit of blessing be on march participants so that they “might be filled with the apostolic boldness to proclaim the good news of human life … to witness the goodness of life.”

The rally on the steps of the Ohio Capitol, featured several speakers including Jeanne Mancini, president of March for Life; Aaron Baer, president, Center for Christian Virtue; Bishop Fernandes; state Sen. Kristina Roenger, R-27; Pastor Jeremy Westbrook, executive director-treasurer, the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio; Peter Range, CEO, Ohio Right to Life; Pastor Walter Moss, president, Right to Life Action Coalition of Ohio; Lt. Gov. John Husted and his wife Tina Husted; Ruth Edmonds, Christian engagement ambassador, Center for Christian Virtue; and state Rep. Melanie Miller, R-67. Damascus Worship provided the music.

After the rally, the group marched in downtown Columbus near the Statehouse.

Diocesan delegation, Bishop Malesic participate in Ohio March for Life

The diocesan delegation also attended the pro-life advocacy workshop and heard from several speakers, including Mancini, Michelle Ashley of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, Range, Seth Draeger of Created Equal and Baer.

“Young people, your witness matters more than you will ever know,” Mancini told the group.

Ashley said she is amazed by the young men and women that work for her organization and change people’s minds about abortion. “When you see people face-to-face at the door, their hearts soften. It’s so rewarding when God meets you on th4e field. That’s what I love about this job. It’s blessing upon blessing,” she added.

Baer said an easy way young people can help strengthen the pro-life cause is to use social media. “Any pro-lifer has felt the loneliness pinch, feeling like we are the only ones that feel this way. Courage begets courage. When you post, it inspires people to do more.”

Teens from the diocese shared some of their thoughts about attending the march and rally.

“Today was really moving and very powerful,” said Clare. “I was surprised by how many people were there. It was inspiring.”

Grace said the March for Life helped her to see that “I am not alone in my beliefs and that a lot of people want to protect life.”

Patrick admitted that he came to the march undecided, but said the event helped him understand the issue better. “It gave me a more informed understanding and opinion,” he added.

“I was so surprised to see all of those people there. It was a great and amazing experience that I would definitely do again,” said Nina.

Francesca found the march to be “a fun experience. It gave be a better understanding of Issue 1 and what I can do about it. I realize how critical it is for this generation to make an impact.

“I march because God created every person for a reason and out of love, Everyone, from conception to natural death, deserves to be treated with dignity and love and to be protected,” said Lucy.

Click here for more information on Issue 1 that was compiled by the Catholic Conference of Ohio.

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