The National Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children, on January 22, 2024, marked 51 years since the Supreme Court legalized abortion in the United States. It also marked 40 years since the first annual March for Life, where thousands rally together at state capitols across the country to celebrate life and fight against abortion.

Students from the Upper School and Middle School at Providence Academy had the opportunity to attend the Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL)  March for Life at the Minnesota State Capitol for the first time since 2020. In years prior, students and faculty have attended the March for Life in Minnesota or traveled to Washington D.C. for the National March for Life. 

Bernadette von Dohlen, Audrey Ebertz, Rachel Bartels, and Quincy Wiederholt, ’25, smile in front of the Capitol with their signs. PAW Photo Credit: Penbrooke Wiederholt.

“It was so cool to see babies, kids, high schoolers, adults, and grandparents at the March for Life. The whole event made me feel so hopeful because we were all united,” commented Lions for Life President, Quincy Wiederholt, ‘25.

In past years, only PA’s Lions for Life club members attended the event to represent the school. This year, the club opened up the event to anyone in the Upper School who wanted to show their support for the effort. A week prior to the March, Lions for Life members gathered to make inspirational signs for the walk to the Capitol.

“Making the signs gave us a chance to think about the topic in a way that was creative, inspiring, and fun,” Lions for Life Adviser and Upper School Teacher, Mrs. Angela Jendro, said.

The Middle School Lions for Life club, advised by Mrs. Hannah Wegner, had the opportunity to join the Upper Schoolers for the March for Life. 

“It was fun to meet other people in the older grades and get to know them,”  Middle School Lions for Life member Katherine Stephenson, ‘28, commented.

PA students at the Cathedral after the prayer service. PAW Photo Credit: Mrs. Hannah Wegner.

The day started with a prayer service at the Cathedral of St. Paul, led by Bishop Joseph Williams. PA students joined thousands of others to pray for the protection of unborn children, taking part in Scripture readings, listening to a  homily given by Bishop Williams, singing hymns, and offering petitions.

“One of the most impactful moments at the March was during the petitions at the prayer service.  There were easily between 2,000 and 3,000 people inside the Cathedral, and as we all gave our sung response to each petition, I was reminded that it was through prayer that many great strides have been made in the pro-life movement,” Lions for Life Leader Nathan Ward, ‘24, commented.

JP Nelson, ’25, and Flynn Jacobs, ’25, on their way to the Capitol. PAW Photo Credit: Mrs. Hannah Wegner.

After the prayer service, there was a march to the Minnesota State Capitol starting at the Cathedral, where the marchers held up their signs and waved to people in cars driving by. They then surrounded the steps of the Capitol to sing “Amazing Grace” and hear talks from Pastor John Tramm, MCCL Co-Executive Director Cathy Blaeser, MCCL Legislative Director Don Parker, and 15 year old Abby Hewit, who overcame congenital heart defects after her mom didn’t give into the pressure to abort from doctors. The rally ended with a closing prayer by Fr. Paul Kubista, a priest from Delano, and marchers singing “America the Beautiful” as 12,000 life-sized models of unborn children were brought into the Capitol, each representing a child lost to abortion in 2022.

“I would definitely want to go to the March for Life again in the future because it was an opportunity to stand up for those who can’t speak for themselves,” commented Penbrooke Wiederholt, ‘26.

Mrs. Jendro, Mrs. Wegner, and the PA students left the March for Life with an appreciation for all who led and joined in the March to support life and inspiration to keep fighting for the protection of the unborn.