The trip that wasn’t

January 19, 2011

Faith Outdoors

Had it not been for my sprained ankle, I’d be thinking about my upcoming trip to Washington, D.C. for the annual March for Life.

For the first time, our archdiocese is assembling a group of teens to go. There’s a total of 196 high schoolers registered, 274 total, including chaperones, youth ministers, young adults and a couple of priests.

I was going to go down to join them and take photos of their involvement in the march, but I’m not physically able to go. I’m just getting off crutches now and will not be ready to do all of the walking that would be required of me to cover the march.

So, I’ve had to do the next best thing, which is to write a preview story for The Catholic Spirit. In so doing, I encountered a person who will have a greater challenge getting around in DC than I would have with my sprained ankle. Her name is Aly May, a 14-year-old high school freshman who belongs to St. Jude of the Lake in Mahtomedi. She is coming with her mother, Maren.

I had the privilege of talking to both of them in their home on Sunday. What a delight! Aly is a neat girl and she’ll be making a powerful statement for life because she is confined to a wheelchair due to a condition called spinal muscular atrophy.

I’m sure it won’t be easy for her to get around, especially with a crowd of several hundred thousand expected to attend. But, she and the rest of her family live by a simple motto — don’t give up. So, I’m sure she will do just fine.

I’m sad to miss this event, but encouraged to know so many youth are going. I sure hope to go next year. Sounds like the archdiocesan Office for Marriage, Family and Life may sponsor the trip again next year. Who knows? Maybe, it will become an annual tradition for our youth to attend the national march.

For those interested in hearing from someone who’s going, tune in to Relevant Radio AM 1330 on Friday morning at 9. I will be on the air with host Paul Sadek interviewing a student from Providence Academy in Plymouth who’s going — senior Genevieve McCarthy.

Also appearing will be Katie Lahti, who works in campus ministry at the school and will be leading a group of nine girls from the school on the trip. They all are members of a student group at Providence called Lions for Life.

I’m greatly looking forward to the interview. And, I would like to ask people to pray for everyone who is going on the march, both in DC and here in the archdiocese, where there will be a prayer service at 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning, followed by a march to the state Capitol. As much as ever, our pro-life voices need to be heard!

About Dave Hrbacek

Staff photographer and writer for The Catholic Spirit. Also, avid outdoors enthusiast with a passion for hunting, fishing and photography. Married to Julie and have four children, three boys and a girl.

View all posts by Dave Hrbacek