A Voice for the Silent
by Danielle Koleniak
As thousands of northerners made their way down to sunny and warm Southwest Florida, a group of 11 Bishop Verot High School students are heading to Washington DC, where the temperature this month averages 45 degrees.
Their purpose is far more important than taking a ‘selfie’ with the National Monument—They’re marching for life. Since January 22, 1974 (the day abortion was legalized), 56 million people have gathered to rally their pro-life support on the day of prayer for the legal protection of unborn children.DOWNLOAD THE BULLETIN
This year, more than 500,000 people from all over the world are expected to attend the largest pro-life event in the world. Bishop Verot sophomore and St. John XXIII parishioner, Elena Quinonez will be one of 11 students from the Catholic high school, traveling to the cold temps to pray, take a stand, and march through the National Capital in hope of bringing change and ultimately, saving lives.
Danielle Koleniak: How did you first learn about ‘March for Life?’
Elena Quinonez: I’m in a club for school called ‘Mission in Life.’ One day we went to Planned Parenthood to pray for the unborn. After we prayed, our Director of Campus Ministry, Matthew Burback, told our club about ‘March for Life’ and asked if any of us were interested in going to Washington DC to join the effort. The march is similar to what we do in our own town, except in Washington DC, march and pray with thousands of people.
DK: Explain what the ‘Mission in Life’ club is.
EQ: About 20 highschoolers come together to work in bettering our community.We do service projects together. For example, for Christmas we wrapped gifts for children in need. Now we’re focusing on Respect for Life.
DK: How many are attending the march from Bishop Verot High School?
EQ: We’re a group of 11. We’re going to fly to Washington DC and stay for four days. We’re paying for the trip on our own.
DK: Why is the Respect for Life cause so important to you?
EQ: Deciding someone’s fate is not our decision. Life is sacred from the beginning. We need to protect the unborn and be a voice for the babies who don’t have voices. It’s important to make a stand, march, and pray for that.
DK: You’re at an age where young ladies are having abortions. How does this hit ‘close to home?’
EQ: My dad is a doctor and he tells me that girls my age come into his office pregnant and look at abortion as an option. I think it’s important that the teenagers should know that they don’t only have that option.
DK: What are you expecting for this trip?
EQ: Cold weather, for sure. Haha! The march starts in the National Mall and it’s a long walk through Washington DC. Everyone marches together and prays. To have everyone together, believing and praying for the same thing, is really powerful. I think this will really make my beliefs and passion even stronger, and hopefully bring change. When we come back home, it would be great to share our experience with other students at Bishop Verot High School.
Prayer to End Abortion
I thank you today for the gift of my life,
And for the lives of all my brothers and sisters.
I know there is nothing that destroys more life than abortion,
Yet I rejoice that you have conquered death by the Resurrection of Your Son.
I am ready to do my part in ending abortion.
Today I commit myself
Never to be silent, never to be passive, never to be forgetful of the unborn.
I commit myself to be active in the pro-life movement,
And never to stop defending life
Until all my brothers and sisters are protected,
And our nation once again becomes
A nation with liberty and justice
Not just for some, but for all,
Through Christ our Lord. Amen!