Students Brave Oncoming Winter Storm to Attend Jesuit Mass for Life in Washington, D.C.

By Doris Yu

January 22, 2016 — Undeterred by a massive winter storm bearing down on the Washington, D.C. area, students traveling from as far as Missouri and Colorado gathered in St. Aloysius Church on the campus of Gonzaga College High School this morning to attend the Jesuit Mass for Life.

The annual event observed the 43rd anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion.


Each year, students attending Jesuit high schools, colleges and universities across the country travel hundreds of miles to participate in the Mass at St. Aloysius, within sight of the U.S. Capitol. The Mass is followed by the larger March for Life on the National Mall.


Students from Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, Colorado, stepped up last minute to perform in the choir.

Father Timothy Kesicki, SJ, president of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States, presided at the Mass, and Father Patrick Gilger, SJ, offered the homily. Jesuit Michael Wegenka, a scholastic studying theology at Boston College, led students from Regis Jesuit High School in Denver in an impromptu a cappella choir after the original choir was unable to attend due to the impending storm.


Jack Quinn, a member of the class of 2016 at Georgetown Preparatory School in North Bethesda, Maryland, read the first reading.

“I think it’s really challenging in some ways to figure out how to preach to a group like this, in that the group is here for a united reason and they’re already motivated to be a part of all this,” Fr. Gilger said. “It’s fantastic. But then the question is, we don’t just want to allow people to remain exactly where they are. We want to find out where there’s a point of challenge. How is the Lord calling us, prophetically, in those moments to pay attention? What more is there available?”


Father Timothy Kesicki, SJ, blessed Father Patrick Gilger, SJ, before the homily.

“Jesus calls you to act as he did,” Fr. Gilger said, asking students to “always begin with mercy, with others and with ourselves” as a form of penance. He said his biggest goal for speaking to the students was “to encourage people in what they're already doing, support them, and to see the joy that’s there, but also to look around at the sorrow and say, in the midst of that recognition of sorrow, we pray and do penance for our own sins and the sins of our country that is deeply a part of us, that we’re a part of.”

“I really enjoyed the homily by Fr. Paddy. His words of mercy really hit home with me and it struck me as very powerful,” said Holden Madison, a student at Gonzaga College High School who was attending the Jesuit Mass for Life for the first time. “I thought this was a really encouraging experience.”


Mimi Aujero, moderator of the Eagles for Life student organization at Gonzaga College High School, attended with her husband Matt and 1-year-old daughter Teresa.

Madison appreciated attending the Mass with fellow Jesuit students. “It felt very intimate and close and the relationship felt very evident.”

After the Jesuit Mass, students and chaperones trekked out of St. Aloysius to the rally and march on the National Mall, which began just as the first few flakes of snow started to fall in D.C. 





Recent News

June 13, 2019 — In The Pope Video for June 2019, Pope Francis speaks to all Catholics, inviting them to look around and observe with an open heart each of the priests in their communities. Holiness always attracts less attention than sin and scandal.

June 13, 2019 — Last May 31 to June 2, 50 young professionals took part in an Ignatian retreat at the Manresa Jesuit Spiritual Renewal Centre. These young people, between the ages of 19 and 39, came from all walks of life.

June 13, 2019 — Ignatius Farm expresses the Program Objectives of the Ignatius Jesuit Centre through organic and relational farming.

June 13, 2019 — Here is a brief summary of news and events that have happened or will happen in the next few days.

June 9, 2019 — Fr. Philip Shano, SJ dealt before with the Holy Spirit’s gifts of piety, wisdom, knowledge and courage. He is dealing this year with fear of the Lord. This is the gift that helps us to be aware of the glory and majesty of God.

June 8, 2019 — Indeed with our dwindling numbers, we religious cannot afford to be competitive, like Jesuits and Dominicans of old. We need to know one another and work together, to be the body of Christ together as men and women, to learn how to perceive the Spirit at work in others as in ourselves.

June 6, 2019 — Jesuit brothers go wherever they are needed and do whatever needs to be done, as “Bros” to their fellow Jesuits, and as “Bros” to all of us looking to find God in all things.

view all news

Search news

Publications

Campion's Brag

Relations Mai 2019

Canadian Jesuits



Manresa Jesuit Renewal Centre
Since 1946, Manresa has welcomed retreatants to grow closer to God on 21 beautiful acres in ...