Joliet Diocese teens to take part in anti-abortion march
BY JAIME ANGIO Correspondent January 23, 2013 10:20PM
A group of 250 people from the Diocese of Joliet board buses in Romeoville Wednesday, January 23, 2013 to attend the March for Life Rally in Washington, D.C., coinciding with the 40th anniversary of Roe V. Wade. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 25, 2013 12:50PM
Nearly 300 youths from the Joliet Diocese arrived at St. Charles Borreomo Center in Romeoville Wednesday night to board buses to attend Friday’s March for Life rally in Washington, D.C.
This is the fourth time that the diocese has sent members to take part in the anti-abortion demonstration, which occurs this year on the 40th anniversary of the historic Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.
Mary Scholp, administrative assistant for the diocese’s Office For Human Dignity, said the trip is not only a spiritual journey but one of discovery and taking a political stand.
“A lot of the students here are younger than 40, so they are here because their parents chose life,” Scholp said.
“They are pro-life, and they are speaking up for the unborn who are unable to speak for themselves.”
Melissa Novak, youth minister at the Cathedral of St. Raymond in Joliet, had 18 teens making the trip to the nation’s capital.
“We just march for the unborn and to stand up,” Novak said. “We go in hopes of changing hearts.”
Evie Cora, 14, of Joliet, a Joliet Catholic Academy freshman, said she was excited to join the march.
“I’m a big pro-life person, and I’m really excited to experience this and come together with my friends for this great cause,” Evie said. “ I’m just looking forward to coming together with a lot of people from my school and everybody from the diocese and bonding together over such a great cause.”
Tyler Landeck, 16, of Joliet, also attends Joliet Catholic Academy, said he feels everyone deserves a chance at life.
“I came to rally for the March of Life ... and protest the abortion law that passed in 1973,” he said. “I feel that everyone deserves equal opportunities. I understand that women reserve the right to make a choice, but I feel if the baby had a say-so they would choose life over death. I was lucky enough to be born, and I want people to have the same opportunity.”
Michael Lewandowski, youth minister at St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Naperville, said six teens from the parish youth group and other parishioners were taking part in the march.
“We are going to pray, and we’re going to march and peacefully protest against the Roe vs. Wade decision,” Lewandowski said. “We’ll be marching together as diocese. We’ll have time for prayer, a day to exercise our constitutional right and a day for sightseeing. ... So many teenagers get caught up in their own world, and it’s important for them to realize the issues that affect their world and their church.”
Maureen Lutz, 17, of Plainfield, attends Benet Academy and is making her second journey for the march.
“I really like going because I always thought women should have a choice,” she said.
“But it’s not OK to take a choice away from a person. I believe the minute the baby is conceived it’s a person and a soul.”