The donor paying for a quarter of Benedictine College's student population to go to the March for Life had one stipulation.
Students say it is no coincidence that Benedictine College was chosen to lead the March for Life in the year of its consecration.
“I think Mary has definitely had a hand in us taking eight buses and the overall success of our trip to the March for Life,” said Kathryn Brown, the college’s Ravens Respect Life student coordinator.
The signs of Mary’s involvement are everywhere, she said.
Taking a quarter of the student population more than 1,000 miles is expensive, but Kathryn said she got a call over Christmas break from the college’s advancement office that they had found a donor.
“Her only stipulation was that we carry a copy of a picture she had seen on EWTN of the Blessed Mother with Jesus in her womb,” said Kathryn.
The students also got a call from the World Apostolate of Fatima — Our Lady’s Blue Army. The group has a statue of Our Lady of Fatima that was blessed by Pope Francis in October a week after he consecrated the world to Mary. They wanted Benedictine College to carry the statue in the March for Life, as the first leg of its nationwide tour.
That is appropriate, because this year has become a kind of Marian Year on campus after Benedictine College was consecrated to Mary on Sept. 8 — Mary’s birthday — by Abbot James Albers. As a student, Albers participated in the college’s first March for Life trips, and he will ride the bus with students and will be holding the lead-off banner in the March.
So will President Stephen D. Minnis, who started the Memorare Army to pray for religious liberty and for the college, and who has helped lead the school in Marian devotion. Hundreds of the college’s students have consecrated themselves to Mary at the school this year, following his example and encouragement.
When I asked students why they were marching, senior Karianne Bolduc told me, “It is my goal to grow closer to Mary this year.”
What does Mary have to do with the March for Life? “Spiritual adoption,” said Karianne. “As a Catholic, I believe that as Jesus was dying on the cross, he gave Mary to each of us as our spiritual mother.”
Then she told me why she has been so committed to the pro-life cause.