The 2019 March for Life

By Charlotte Hays

St. Luke’s yearly Mass for Life at Immaculate Conception drew Ordinariate members and friends from the Washington DC area and beyond. Bishop Steven J. Lopes of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter came from Houston to serve as celebrant. Bishop Lopes wasn’t the only one who made the trip from Houston. Sister Thomas Aquinas, O.P., a member of the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist,  could be seen shepherding a group of 50 Catholic high school students from Houston. Most are affiliated with Holy House Academy, the school at Our Lady of Walsingham Church in Houston, the principal church of the US Ordinariate. Sister Thomas Aquinas is Director of Religious Education. Father Charles Hough IV, rector and pastor of Our Lady of Walsingham, Father Justin Fletcher and Sister Amata Veritas also came from Houston to attend the March for Life. St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago is not an Ordinariate school, but  sisters from the order of the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, also teach there. So it seemed natural that they, too, made St. Luke’s Mass their March for Life Mass.

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Bishop Lopes preached and, after the Mass, people were sent out to the strains of the stirring and resolute hymn “Onward Christian Soldiers.” Of course, Father John could not resist calling the largely youthful group back into the church so he could snap a picture of the nearly packed Immaculate Conception.

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The Ordinariate was well-represented at this year’s March for Life. We carried Ordinariate banners at the front and end of our group, and St. Luke’s parishioners were delighted to see our name emblazoned on one of the banners. Spotted, often accompanied by parishioners, were Ordinariate priests Father Eric Bergman, St. Thomas More (Scranton, Pennsylvania); Father Ed Meeks, Christ the King  (Towson, Maryland); Father Albert Scharbach, Mount Calvary (Baltimore, Maryland); and Father David Ousley, St. John the Baptist (Bridgeport, Pennsylvania). Our own assisting priest (and Army Chaplain) Father Matthew Whitehead also participated.

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While here for March-related activities, students from Holy House Academy attended two of St. Luke’s low Masses at 8:30 am. At one of them, Father John was celebrant and preacher. He told them that it is always important to stand up for what we as Catholics believe. And, he added, if they looked around them at the March, they knew that they were not alone. The Church, Father John said, stands with us. The March for Life 2019 was an inspiring time for our parish.