Sr. Natalie Sayde Salameh
On Friday, January 19, the Maronite Servants of Christ the Light were in Washington D.C. for the annual March for Life. We joined with His Excellency, Bishop Gregory J. Mansour, other Maronite clergy and seminarians, and faithful and a contingent of Maronite Young Adults (MYA).
It was a sea of pro-life marchers as hundreds of thousands came together from all over the country to celebrate this year’s theme - “Love Saves Lives”. Choosing life is not always easy, but it is the loving, empowering, and self-sacrificial option. Love is universally attractive because it is directed towards others. Love is what we all strive for because deep-down we are all drawn to give of ourselves in this way. Love saves lives in countless ways.
Friday’s rally before the March had an excellent line-up of speakers, including President Trump, Vice-President Pence, Speaker Paul Ryan, Sr. Bethany Madonna (Sister of Life), March for Life President, Jeanie Mancini, and other congress men and women.
The president delivered his address from the Rose Garden as marchers watched on video screens just a few blocks away on the National Mall. The President’s address came a day after his administration announced a new Department of Health and Human Services division intended to protect "conscience and religious freedom." In his remarks, the president pointed to the initiative as a key victory, saying it will defend the individual rights of "doctors, nurses and other medical professionals."
On Saturday, January 20, we connected with our Maronite faithful from the parish of Our Lady of Lebanon in Washington, D.C at the St. Maron Cenacle, and we visited with the beautiful families that give of their time, talents and treasures to be prayer warriors for our priests and religious.
On Sunday, January 21, after Divine Liturgy, we spent time with the MYA who were still in town that had come for the March. Along with a number of MYA, we attended a Q & A session on theological questions facilitated by former rector of the Maronite Seminary, Msgr. Seely Beggiani.