Students march silently on Roe v. Wade anniversary

Published 1:21 pm Saturday, January 23, 2010

Teenagers walked in silence through downtown Austin Friday.

Pacelli High School students held a silent prayer march, walking from their school to the Veteran’s Memorial, on the 37th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.

Sixth grade students and ninth through 12th graders participated in the second annual march and prayer service at the memorial.

“We do this because it’s important to put our faith into action,” said Mary Holtorf, director of Austin Area Catholic Schools.

Students gathered in Pacelli’s gym for a prayer, led by religion teacher and campus ministry director Jeff Austin, before beginning their walk.

“We are joining the thousands of people gathered today … to pray for a greater respect and love of the gift of life,” Austin told students.

“We will walk in silence to remember those who have lost their lives to abortion.”

At the memorial, the prayer service included reciting two decats of the Rosary in unison as well as several scripture readings.

Meanwhile, seventh and eighth grade Pacelli students traveled to the Twin Cities for The Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life rally.

Pacelli students have attended the rally for about 10 years, Holtorf said. The rally, though, has been an annual event at the capital since the mid-70s.

It is traditionally one of the state’s largest gatherings at the capital and this year Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Lieutenant Gov. Carol Molnau and former Sen. Norm Coleman attended.

“Our students participate to send a message that as Catholics and Christians we value the importance of life, beginning at conception,” Holtorf said.

Law enforcement officials estimated that around 5,000 attended the rally in St. Paul.

In Washington, D.C., anti-abortion advocates staged their annual “March for Life” rally on the Capitol Mall with a march scheduled to end at the Supreme Court building.

Abortion supporters also rallied in Washington, D.C.