Students Travel 1,000 Miles to March for Life in Crucial Year

She came a long way from her home in New York to go to Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, — and then went a long way to stand up for the right to life.

“It is so beautiful to see so many young people come together and fight for life,” said Mary Grace Raciti, a senior from New York who helped organize Benedictine College’s march for Life Trip. “It is so inspiring to know that we are not alone in our fight against abortion. It may be a little cold, but it is so worth it to march for those who cannot march themselves!”

Always strong supporters of life, Benedictine College and its Ravens Respect Life student group sent more than 300 students to Washington, D.C., to participate in the event this year.

Six buses departed the college campus on January 19 for the 1,100-mile, 24-hour trip that will mark the 41st year Benedictine College students have participated.

As anticipation builds for the Supreme Court’s ruling that could reverse Roe v. Wade and state legislatures across the country are adding pro-life verbiage to their constitutions, the 2022 National March for Life has become more important than ever as a statement by the pro-life movement.

“As we make this 24-hour bus trip we are all achy, cramped, tired, and sore,” said Ruth Nelson, a Benedictine College senior from Oregon. “We get a small piece of the physical and mental pain that both children and mothers suffer due to abortion.”

She added her own voice to the #WhyIMarch reasons given by participants nationwide:

“We pray the rosary together to offer up this suffering we experience for the sake of those who cannot advocate for themselves, and the poor mothers who are convinced to kill their children. Our heavenly mother knows and loves all her children, and we pray for her intersession today. This is why I March.”

The College was proud to lead the March in 2014 and each year, Benedictine College usually brings the largest group traveling the greatest distance for the annual March. Benedictine students have attended the March for Life since 1980, but the founding of Ravens Respect Life in 1989 made the annual trip more formal and elevated the participation.

Many of the students who led Ravens Respect Life in its early days are now leaders in the Church today, including Bishop Andrew Cozzens ’91 of the Diocese of Crookston, Minn., Abbot James Albers ’94 of St. Benedict’s Abbey, Father Joseph Taphorn ’93 from the Archdiocese of Omaha, Father Brendan Rolling ’99, former chaplain of Benedictine College, and Father Jeremy Hepler ’00, pastor of St. Benedict’s Parish on the campus of Benedictine College.

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Benedictine College

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 to Choosing a Catholic College. 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.