Archdiocese cancels annual Youth Rally and Mass for Life

Youth Rally

The Archdiocese of Washington, DC, has cancelled its annual Youth Rally and Mass for Life.

Both are usually held in conjunction with the national March for Life in Washington DC.

“After a consultation process that involved dialogue with other dioceses, ministry leaders, and the partners who assist the archdiocese in hosting the annual rally and Mass…[we have] decided not to move forward with hosting the larger multi-diocese rally.”

Five months ago, the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade, the 1973 landmark case that legalised abortion nationwide. The annual March for Life, which is now in its 50th year, began in opposition to Roe.

“During this consultation process, we heard from many dioceses who shared that they are turning their efforts to their state’s March for Life now that Roe v Wade has been overturned,” the Archdiocese of Washington said in a statement.

The archdiocese says the Youth Rally and Mass for Life had been held for over 25 years.

Its youth ministry website says the Youth Rally aims to “encourage the youth participating in the national March for Life in their witness as disciples of Christ and promoters of the Gospel of Life.”

The Youth Rally is the archdiocese’s largest annual event.

The archdiocese says last year, the Holy See granted a plenary indulgence for any Masses that were held in the archdiocese during the March for Life.

“As difficult a decision as it was to cancel, we encourage groups travelling to Washington, DC, to participate in the National March for Life at the National Mall and to attend the Vigil Mass at The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception,” it says.

“Wilton Cardinal Gregory, archbishop of The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, would like to express his deepest gratitude for the support and participation of archdiocesan youth and young people who travelled to Washington, DC, over these past 25 years,” the statement says.

Youth from the Archdiocese of Washington have been invited for a Mass of Celebration and Thanksgiving at the Cathedral of St Matthew the Apostle on 20 January 2023.


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