January 24, 2023 // Diocese

South Bend March Brings Personal Testimony and More Than 600 Participants

An overflow crowd filled the Knights of Columbus Hall for the preliminary presentation of the 50th anniversary of Right to Life Marches. Father Ryan Pietrocarlo, CSC, Pastor of St. Adalbert Catholic Church, gave the invocation to “share the gift of life” and “for people to cherish life.” Knights of Columbus Council President Steve Sommers stated that they have recently donated two baby boxes, an ultrasound machine for the Women’s Care Center, and are filling trucks with baby supplies.

Overall, 64 million babies have been killed by abortion these past nearly 50 years, with more than 18,000 in Indiana alone and more than 350 in St. Joseph County in the last reporting year.

Click here for more photos from the march in South Bend.

Anna, now a mother of four, gave her tear-filled testimony on how 20 years ago in her last year of college at the University of Wyoming, the nurse told her that she was pregnant and she had very few weeks to decide to terminate this unexpected pregnancy as a victim of date rape. Anna was shocked and initially angry at God for allowing such a thing to happen. She had been raised in a very strong and supportive pro-life Catholic family. In her anguish, she felt that God said: “But Anna, I do not make mistakes.”  She said that many in society would think that an abortion for this reason would be alright, but she knew that she would feel guilty all her life.

Photos by Phil Niswonger
More than 600 people gather at the U.S. Federal Courthouse in South Bend following the March for Life from the Knights of Columbus Hall on Friday, Jan. 20.

She gave birth one week after her graduation. The Women’s Care Center gave her help with baby supplies, counseling, and post-partum assistance. Her son, Andrew, an Eagle Scout, honors graduate of Marian High School, and four-time record setter for Marian’s Swim Team, is now a sophomore with a scholarship at Valparaiso University.  He attends St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church near campus and is going again this summer on a mission trip.

Anna continued, “Pro-life is a matter of the heart. A baby’s heart starts beating at 20 days and feels pain even earlier. Those in ICU may also be dependent upon life support … for food and breathing … like a baby in the womb, but they are still fully human. It is a black and white decision — the baby is a human life.”

Students from Cathedral School of St. Matthew in South Bend hold signs supporting life as part of the March for Life on Friday, Jan. 20.

Then, from the Knights of Columbus Hall, about 400 people marched to the U.S. Federal Courthouse led by the Knights of Columbus Honor Guard to join 200 others. It appeared from their sounds that the 600 were far more joyful this year. Many passing cars and trucks responded in kind with their horns. Students from Cathedral School of St. Matthew, St. Thomas More Academy, and Holy Cross College added to the ranks of participants.

Two St. Matthew’s students said, “All lives matter.” A sophomore at St. Thomas More Academy said, “I support life at all stages of life.” Philomena and John of Holy Cross College said that Life is a precious gift of God, and the children’s souls are so loved by God that we need to cherish them all our lives too. A man from the Church of the Nazarene held a homemade sign that stated, “Babies are our Hope. Why damage our Hope?”

Mother of four, Anna, gives tearful testimony at the Knights of Columbus Hall in South Bend on Friday, Jan. 20, before the March for Life, about an unexpected pregnancy as a victim of date rape in college, how she chose life, and how grateful she was for the help she received after giving birth.

Larry Day of Holy Cross Catholic Church said that he has been in attendance for more than 20-years and supports the Right to Life because he supports life. Three women from Holy Family Catholic Church quoted their pastor, Fr. Glenn Kohrman, “We are here infinitely valuable, one-of-a-kind, a masterpiece, created by God for a mission.” Eric Van Meter, with Knights of Columbus since 1994 and its Color Guard Coordinator, said that they are the right hand of the Church and support all life causes to the fullest financially and in prayer, especially the Women’s Care Centers with the Knights of Columbus’ ongoing ‘We Care a Truck Load’ program.”

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