The 50th Annual March For Life in Washington, D.C. was unique for me on several levels. First and foremost because it was the first post-Roe March, and the joy of the marchers celebrating that fact was palpable.
Also unique was the theme for this year’s March for Life, “Next Steps: Marching into a Post-Roe America” emphasizing the need, despite the absence of Roe v. Wade, for pro-life advocates to continue defending the unborn, both on the state and federal level.
It was unique because Jesus spoke there - well, at least the actor who plays Him in the TV series "The Chosen," Jonathan Roumie. Roumie said, “History has been made here, life has triumphed in an extraordinary way,” and went on to praise the attendees for gathering in Washington, “to fight the noblest and worthies cause possible, which is to allow the unborn the right to enter into the world.”
Many others spoke at the march, including Republican House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, former NFL coach Tony Dungy and Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch, who won the case that resulted in the overturning of Roe.
The terminal point of this year’s march was also unique - The Capitol building - this was to emphasize that the campaign now goes to the Congress. Congressman Chris Smith, a co-chair of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, said that the House would soon be voting on another anti-abortion bill, called the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act" that he sponsored and introduced in the chamber earlier this month.
But for me personally, the most unique aspect of the 2023 March was as Commander of the New York/Northeast Commandery of the Knights Templar, I had the privilege of marching with knights and dames from all over the U.S. and Italy.
The Knights Templar (also known as Templars Today) is a private, Catholic association of the faithful, guided by the Code of Canon Law(Canon no. 215), who recognize the Holy Father as our supreme authority. Currently, we are comprised of 3,000 laymen and women and 100 clerics, predominantly in Italy, but also in France, England, Belgium, and most recently in the United States.
Templars Today strive to live more perfect Christian lives, promote public adoration of the Holy Eucharist, and defend the Eucharist, priests, and those unable to defend themselves.
I have found that being a Templar is challenging, and brings one at times to one's limits. But this is what we do. Not only do we push our own limits, but we go the distance to bring those who are lost back to Christ.
In light of our Charism or mission, it was then quite fitting for us to be part of the Washington March For Life. I was proud to be with men and women who made the sacrifice to come from long distances to affirm their belief in the sanctity of life – all life, from conception to natural death.
By Deacon Ben Locasto