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Mount St. Mary’s Offers March for Life Pilgrims a Place to Pray and Reflect


GrottoEMMITSBURG, Md. (January 22, 2018) – Hundreds of people on their way to and home from the March for Life in Washington, D.C., made a special stop at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg as part of their pilgrimage. They came to worship at the National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, a Catholic national shrine devoted to Our Blessed Mother Mary; to visit the Mount St. Mary’s Seminary and to seek nourishment at and enjoy the beauty of the campus nestled in the Catoctin Mountains.

On Saturday, January 20, 700 pilgrims from Indiana, Louisiana, New York and Ohio visited the Grotto shrine on their way home from the March for Life. More than 100 people intermingled with Mount students in the dining hall for lunch.

March for Life 18 studentsA group of 50-plus people made the Grotto a part of their journey on the way to the march, while students from St. Thomas More in Champaign, Illinois, accompanied by Fr. Matthew Hoelscher, S’14, also visited the university at the beginning of their trip.  

The Grotto shrine, which features one of the oldest American replicas of the Lourdes shrine in France, built about two decades after the apparition of Mary at Lourdes in 1858, attracts hundreds of thousands of pilgrims each year from all over the world. 

In addition to offering a place for prayer and reflection for marchers, services in the Grotto’s St. Mary’s Chapel on January 19 included a sermon on the dignity of human life and a sorrowful mysteries rosary.

Seminarians at March for Life 18Mount St. Mary’s was represented at the March for Life by 224 students and seminarians. Six Mount students attended Students for Life of America’s National Conference, and one participated in the Cardinal O’Conner Conference on Life. 

A Mount St. Mary’s Seminary alumnus, Fr. Martino Choi, S’15, offered a homily at the Youth Rally and Mass for Life in which he talked about a woman’s decision in favor of life when a doctor recommended that she abort her child because the organs weren’t developing properly. “This woman is my mother, and I am that child,” he stated. “…She chose life because she chose love, and here I am.” 

 
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