The 2023 March for Life will be the first since the US Supreme Court struck down Roe v Wade last June, and with it comes a new pre-march rally, Life Fest. Organized by the Sisters of Life and the Knights of Columbus, Life Fest is a 3-hour event featuring guest speakers, performances from Catholic musicians, and Holy Mass to lift spirits before the march on January 20, 2023.
The theme of the first annual Life Fest is “Because love is the answer,” a phrase that encapsulates the pro-life mission. In an interview with CNA, Sister Agnus Dei of the Sisters of Life explained the theme:
“As Sisters of Life, we’ve been walking with women facing unexpected pregnancies for the past 30 years and we see the miracles born of hope. We see that when a woman is loved and supported, she can do anything, she can make that choice for life.”
On Life Fest’s website, organizers call this year’s March For Life “a critical moment in history that demands a new vision. Now that Roe has been overturned, the legality of abortion has been left up to individual states. This means that efforts which have been aimed at a single, federal entity must now be transitioned to 50 smaller initiatives on the state level. As of 2023, only 13 states have enacted total bans on abortion.”
While the future of the March for Life may look very different than it has for the last 50 years, this year, the changes start with Life Fest. The event will begin at 7:30 a.m. and will run for three hours, right before the March. While tickets are sold out, interested parties can still register to watch a live stream of the event on the Life Fest website.
Life Fest will feature presentations by a roundup of Catholic pro-life voices. From the Sisters of Life, Sr. Mary Casey, SV, will take the stage with her sister Casey, who has Down syndrome. The pair are expected to speak on the inherent value of human life and the virtues of bringing a baby to term, even if the child has a disability. Also from the Sisters of Life, Sr. Bethany Madonna, SV, will be on hand to present, and a short film on adoption from David Scotton will be screened.
Peter and Tricia DeMaio, who work extensively with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Project Rachel, are two more presenters. These high school sweethearts became pregnant before graduating and, feeling there were no other options, sought an abortion, a horror that Tricia went through for a second time in college. The couple now have seven children, but they have never gotten over the two children that they willingly chose to lose. On January 20, they will share their compelling story at Life Fest.
The event will be rounded out by musical performances from Catholic artists Brother Isaiah and Sarah Kroger.
Brother Isaiah, who our sources tell us was ordained Father Isaiah, in 2022, has forged a musical path with quick witted, fast flowing lyrics and a percussive guitar style. This Franciscan friar made a name for himself with beautifully shot videos from the Vigil Project. Images of this robe-clad man in sandals are especially striking in a modern urban setting.
Sarah Kroger is no stranger to the pages of Aleteia, as we have covered her excellent brand of Catholic music on several occasions. A wholesome Catholic artist who is brimming with deeply introspective thoughts, Kroger’s gentle voice and comforting music creates an atmosphere of peace wherever it is played. While her set list has not been released, we hope that she’ll be performing “What a Wonderful World,” a new rendition she released in 2022.
Whether you’re attending the March for Life and couldn’t get tickets, or if you just can’t make the trip to DC, Life Fest is available to view from anywhere. Visit Life Fest’s website to register for the livestream today and be ready to watch the event on January 20, at 7:30 a.m. EST.