Joshua Schipper
Video/Digital Content/Graphic Design Producer
January 23, 2024 // Bishop

Diocesan Youths March for Life in Indianapolis

Joshua Schipper
Video/Digital Content/Graphic Design Producer

Nearly 200 young people from the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend traveled to Indianapolis on Monday, January 22, to join their pro-life peers from across the state at the 2024 Indiana March for Life.

As the morning rally at the Indiana Convention Center concluded, Bishop Rhoades, who would join an estimated 1,800 people in nearly freezing temperatures throughout the duration of the march, offered some perspective and a prayer.

Bishop Rhoades holds a pro-life sign as he participates in the Indiana March for Life in Indianapolis. – Photos by Joshua Schipper — More photos here

“I’m glad to see the young people from my diocese and all of you throughout the state of Indiana,” the bishop said to the crowd of youths. “I’m so grateful to all of you. As I look out at you, I remember when I was your age, which was quite a long time ago. I was a sophomore in a Catholic high school in January of 1973. … I remember that day when the Supreme Court made the Roe v. Wade decision, and how, as a high school student, we were all horrified back then. We couldn’t believe it – that abortion on demand was basically legalized throughout our country. And here we are, 51 years later, and we’re still marching. Now, Roe v. Wade has been overturned, thanks be to God … but the battle for life has not ended, because now it’s on a state level.”

Four of the five bishops of Indiana celebrated Mass at the convention center, and youths from the diocese assisted the bishops at Mass. Students from Saint Joseph High School brought the gifts to the altar, and Thomas Bundy, a seminarian at Bishop Simon Bruté College Seminary in Indianapolis, served at the altar, holding Indianapolis Archbishop Charles C. Thompson’s crozier throughout the Mass.

After Mass, the youths heard from several speakers as they congregated on Georgia Street to begin the march around downtown Indianapolis. Among those who spoke before the youths set out to the statehouse were Senator Mike Braun, disability advocate Katie Shaw, and Sarah Cabrera, the President and Founder of Homeschoolers 4 Life.

Pro-life supporters from Marian High School in Mishawaka march in downtown Indianapolis.

At the rally and throughout the march, the young people of the diocese reflected on the reasons they chose to march for life.

Anna McCarthy, a junior at Bishop Dwenger High School, said she was inspired by the national March for Life in Washington, D.C., that she attended two years ago, and said this year, she “wanted to do it again, but more locally.”

Father Patrick Hake, Pastor of St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Fort Wayne and Co-Chaplain at Bishop Luers High School, looks on during the Indiana March for Life with a group from Bishop Luers on Friday, January 22, in Indianapolis.

Marisa Carey, another junior at Bishop Dwenger, recalled that a speaker at one of the rallies said that Indiana was the first state to enact new legislation after Roe v. Wade was overturned. Carey said that it is still important to march in Indianapolis to show other states that, while Indiana has passed pro-life legislation in the wake of the 2022 ruling, “We are still here to support it and to support all those mothers who need it.”

David Anderson, a senior at Bishop Dwenger, noted the importance of defending life from conception until natural death and said that whether someone is Catholic or not, that core belief of life matters. Michael Moran, a sophomore at Bishop Dwenger, said even if you are not Catholic or Christian, “the life we live and the love and the joy that we experience, especially through our faith – it’s not really up to the parents to decide whether the baby gets to enjoy that life or live that love that we have.”

Max Carey, a senior at Bishop Dwenger, said, “We are protecting the sanctity of all precious human life, for all the unborn,” and his classmate, Jude Carsten, said it is important for the movement to show community.

Alex Earl, a sophomore at Marian High School, spoke of the importance of supporting mothers.

Members of the Saint Joseph High School community from South Bend pose for a photo during the Indiana March for Life in Indianapolis.

“It’s important because I think we need to show women that there are people here to support them,” Earl said, “and how many people there are in at least the state of Indiana who will support them and that they can get help if they don’t want to abort their babies.”

The diocese has taken steps to provide resources to mothers in need. Walking with Moms in Need is a national initiative of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops that supports mothers, particularly those who are underinsured and uninsured. Local resources for mothers in need can be found at

Emmanuel Reynolds, a senior at Marian, said marching was important so that “we can support all the people who are struggling having unborn children.” Ethan Adams, a senior at Bishop Dwenger, said the march was important in supporting “unborn children and mothers who are in crisis pregnancies.”

After reaching the march’s end at the steps of the Indiana Statehouse, the youths heard from several state and local leaders, including Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita and Indiana Secretary of State Diego Morales.

Winded from the long walk, constant wind, and temperatures in the 30s, the youths loaded buses to return to the diocese having not only demonstrated on behalf of the unborn but also having learned more about how positive legal and cultural change can be brought about.

A group from the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend poses for a picture during the 2024 Indiana March for Life on Monday, January 22, in Indianapolis.

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