Local Pilgrims to Attend March for Life

On Thursday, Jan. 18, several hundred Catholic pilgrims, mostly teens from across the diocese, will travel by bus to Washington, D.C, for the world’s largest pro-life event. The pilgrims make significant sacrifices to come, including time away from family, cold weather and much more. Sarah Wandor, a senior in high school and parishioner of St. Brigid of Kildare Parish in Midland views the March as crucial to raising awareness about the sanctity of human life. 
“When I was younger, I watched the March on television and I thought the people were crazy for walking a long distance for something I didn’t understand,” said Sarah. 
Sarah’s father, David Wandor, attended the March in 2017, which further increased his daughter’s desire to attend. However, earlier this year, Sarah’s health took a turn for the worse and she now faces an illness which will require her to participate in a wheelchair. To Sarah, attending the March is of the utmost importance. 
“[The March] is an honorable thing and something we need to do,” said Sarah. “We want to give a voice to those who don’t have one and defend those who cannot defend themselves.” 
Sarah will join hundreds of thousands of fellow Catholics and people of all faiths during the 45th Annual March for Life on Friday, Jan. 19 in Washington, D.C. The massive group from across the country and around the globe will raise awareness to the 59 million babies who have been aborted since the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion. 
“This pilgrimage is not only an immediate boost of faith,” said Mark Graveline, coordinator of youth ministry for the Diocese of Saginaw. “Our young people share their enthusiasm and love for life within their parish communities upon return, and also carry their experience of standing up for life into adulthood.” 
Father Jose Maria Cabrera, All Saints Parish Pastor (Bay City), Father Nate Harburg, Nativity of the Lord Parish (Alma), and Father Andy LaFramboise, a diocesan priest who is enrolled in graduate courses in marriage and family life at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., will be accompanying the pilgrims on the March. 
The theme of this year’s March for Life is “Love Wins.” According to the March for Life website, it was chosen because there is too much violence in the world, and “our culture desperately needs love.” The mission is love, in effort to make abortion “unthinkable.” 
As part of the Diocese of Saginaw pilgrimage, participants will spend an evening learning more about the issue of abortion and the sacredness of human life. The evening will feature ValLimar Jansen, a highly regarded singer, composer and recording artist. Jansen has presented at conferences across the United States and abroad. Additionally, while in the nation’s capital, the group will participate in Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. 
Members of the community are encouraged to follow the events of the pilgrimage online. The Office of Communications will post photos on the Diocese of Saginaw’s Facebook page and on the diocesan website.