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Record crowd expected at March for Life; prayer vigil to feature Masses, holy hours

Catholic World News - January 15, 2013

Jeanne Monahan, the new president of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, said that she expects a record crowd at the March for Life on January 25 because hotels at which many participants stay have filled up a month earlier than normal. An estimated 300,000 attended last year.

Monahan, the successor to the late Nellie Gray, noted that “a lot of people say we wouldn’t have the March for Life if not for Nellie, and that’s really true." Gray, said Monahan, “lived and breathed the atrociousness of abortion, and she wanted to do everything she could with her life to make that come to a speedy end.”

The March for Life typically takes place on January 22, but has been moved this year because most of the ceremonies associated with President Barack Obama’s second inauguration are taking place on January 21, a day later than normal.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is hosting its annual National Prayer Vigil for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on January 24 and 25. Confessions begin at 3:30 PM on January 24, with the opening Mass of the prayer vigil taking place at 6:30. Following an additional time for confessions, a National Rosary for Life will take place at 10:00 PM and Night Prayer in the Byzantine tradition at 11:00.

Seminarians from six different seminaries will lead holy hours throughout the night. Following additional time for adoration and Morning Prayer, the closing Mass of the prayer vigil will take place at 7:30 AM on January 25.

In addition, 28,000 people are expected to take part in the Archdiocese of Washington’s youth rallies and Masses for Life, which will take place concurrently on the morning of January 25 in two locations: the Verizon Center in Washington and the Comcast Center in College Park, Maryland.

The March for Life begins with a rally at noon on January 25.

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